Jordan seeking funds for first nuclear power plant — official, Jordan Times By Mohammad Ghazal – Aug 20,2016 – AMMAN — Jordan’s first nuclear power plant could be operational by 2025, if sufficient financing is secured, the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) said on Thursday.
“Jordan is currently in talks with German, Czech, Chinese and Japanese companies among others to supply turbines and electrical systems for the power plant and things are going well,” said JAEC Chairman Khaled Toukan.
Thirty per cent of the $10 billion project will be financed equally by Jordan and Russia, who are partners in the project. JAEC is engaged in discussions with companies to secure the remaining 70 per cent to pay for turbines and electrical systems, Toukan said.
“If we secure finance by the end of 2017, we will be able to operate the first reactor by 2025,” he noted.
Under an agreement with Russia, Jordan plans to build a power plant with two nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts.
Toukan was speaking at a press conference on Thursday to announce the results of a report on the programme by the International Advisory Group (IAG).
The IAG was formed in November 2015 to provide consultations on the strategy to deal with nuclear waste, and the best options and mechanisms to finance the plant.
The group includes former energy minister Khaled Shraideh and seven international industry experts. …….http://www.jordantimes.com/news/local/jordan-seeking-funds-first-nuclear-power-plant-%E2%80%94-official
Obama Admin Gives Green Light for Iran to Build Two New Nuclear Plants
New Iranian nuclear plants will not violate nuclear deal, officials say Washington Free Beacon, BY: Adam Kredo August 12, 2016
Iran is permitted to pursue the construction of two newly announced nuclear plants under the parameters of last summer’s nuclear agreement, Obama administration officials informed the Washington Free Beacon, setting the stage for Tehran to move forward with construction following orders from President Hassan Rouhani.
Ali Salehi, Iran’s top nuclear official, announced on Thursday that Iran has invested $10 billion into the construction of two new nuclear plants after receiving orders from Rouhani, according to reports in Iran’s state-controlled media.
A State Department official said to the Free Beacon following the announcement that Iran is allowed to move forward with this venture under the nuclear agreement, which does not prohibit this type of nuclear construction.
“The [nuclear deal] does not prevent Iran from pursuing new light-water reactors,” a State Department official not authorized to speak on record said to the Free Beacon in response to questions about Iran’s latest announcement. “Any new nuclear reactors in Iran will be subject to its safeguards obligations.”………http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-admin-gives-green-light-iran-build-two-new-nuclear-plants/
Let’s get our nuclear weapons out of Turkey, LA Times, Steve Andreasen, 11 Aug 16 “……..After a faction within the Turkish military tried to overthrow the Turkish government last month, one of the many arrested for his alleged role in the attempted coup was a commanding officer at the Incirlik Air Base. That base — according to numerous media reports — is a major NATO installation hosting one of the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in Europe.
What if the Turkish base commander at Incirlik had ordered his troops surrounding the perimeter of the base to turn their guns on the U.S. soldiers that reportedly guard U.S. nuclear storage bunkers there?
What if anti-American Turkish protesters, believing the U.S. was behind the coup plot and that it was harboring the coup’s leader (ominously reminiscent of how Iranians felt about America and the shah 37 years ago) decided to march on Incirlik chanting anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans (as has actually happened) and taken over the base?
Leaving aside the coup, what if Islamic State were to attack Incirlik? In March, the Pentagon reportedly ordered military families out of southern Turkey, primarily from Incirlik, due to terrorism-related security concerns.
While we’ve avoided disaster so far, we have ample evidence that the security of U.S. nuclear weapons stored in Turkey can change literally overnight. Now fully aware of the dangers, the Obama administration should remove any remaining nuclear weapons from Turkey – and the next president should remove all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe……..
Nuclear deterrence does not require the U.S. to store nuclear bombs in Turkey, or elsewhere in Europe. The U.S. has long-range “strategic” nuclear weapons to ward off hostile powers and guarantee the security of all NATO allies. But since the end of the Cold War, most military leaders believe that our short-range “tactical” nuclear weapons based in Europe have virtually no utility, for the simple reason that no U.S. president is likely to use them…….
storing tactical nuclear weapons in Turkey and in other NATO nations comes with the increasing risk of vulnerability to an evolving and more deadly terrorist threat, or to domestic unrest. In the wake of an incident at a nuclear storage site — for which the U.S. would be held accountable and suffer long-term consequences with allies — it would be difficult to explain that vulnerable targets were left in place due to a perceived need to reassure our allies. …..http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-andreasen-nuclear-weapons-turkey-20160811-snap-story.html
An epic Middle East heat wave could be global warming’s hellish curtain-raiser WP, By Hugh Naylor August 10 BAGHDAD — Record-shattering temperatures this summer have scorched countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia and beyond, as climate experts warn that the severe weather could be a harbinger of worse to come.
In coming decades, U.N. officials and climate scientists predict that the mushrooming populations of the Middle East and North Africa will face extreme water scarcity, temperatures almost too hot for human survival and other consequences of global warming.If that happens, conflicts and refugee crises far greater than those now underway are probable, said Adel Abdellatif, a senior adviser at the U.N. Development Program’s Regional Bureau for Arab States who has worked on studies about the effect of climate change on the region.
“This incredible weather shows that climate change is already taking a toll now and that it is — by far — one of the biggest challenges ever faced by this region,” he said.
These countries have grappled with remarkably warm summers in recent years, but this year has been particularly brutal. Parts of the United Arab Emirates and Iran experienced a heat index — a measurement that factors in humidity as well as temperature — that soared to 140 degrees in July, and Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, recorded an all-time high temperature of nearly 126 degrees. Southern Morocco’s relatively cooler climate suddenly sizzled last month, with temperatures surging to highs between 109 and 116 degrees. In May, record-breaking temperatures in Israel led to a surge in heat-related illnesses.
Temperatures in Kuwait and Iraq startled observers. On July 22, the mercury climbed to 129 degrees in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. A day earlier, it reached 129.2 in Mitribah, Kuwait. If confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization, the two temperatures would be the hottest ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere.
[Two Middle East locations hit 129 degrees]
The bad news isn’t over, either. Iraq’s heat wave is expected to continue this week……..https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/an-epic-middle-east-heat-wave-could-be-global-warmings-hellish-curtain-raiser/2016/08/09/c8c717d4-5992-11e6-8b48-0cb344221131_story.html
Israel minister admits Iran has respected nuclear deal, Yahoo 7 News, AFP on August 7, 2016 Jerusalem Israel’s energy minister on Sunday criticised a landmark nuclear accord between the Jewish state’s arch-foe Iran and world powers but said Tehran had so far respected the deal.
The agreement, which was signed in July 2015 and came into force in January, saw Tehran accept curbs to its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions by world powers.
“It’s a bad deal but it’s an accomplished fact and during the first year we spotted no significant breach from the Iranians,” said Youval Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“But it’s still too early to conclude that this 12-year deal is a success,” he told public radio.
Steinitz’s comments came after US President Barack Obama on Thursday defended the accord…..https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/32262076/israel-minister-admits-iran-has-respected-nuclear-deal/#page1
Iran executes nuclear scientist who returned to country from US Iranian judiciary confirms hanging of Shahram Amiri who it claims was a spy who had given away state secrets, Guardian, Saeed Kamali Dehghan, 7 Aug 16 Iran An Iranian nuclear scientist, whose disappearance in Saudi Arabia in 2009 and subsequent return to Tehran a year later from Washington was shrouded in mystery, has been executed in his home country.
The family of Shahram Amiri, an expert in radioactive isotopes at Tehran’s Malek Ashtar University, which is affiliated to Iran’s ministry of defence, told two overseas Persian-language TV networks at the weekend that he had been executed earlier in the week at an unknown location.
The spokesman for the Iranian judiciary confirmed on Sunday that Amiri had been hanged, claiming he had given away state secrets. The semi-official Tasnimnews agency quoted Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i as saying that Amiri had been convicted of spying and put to death after his sentence was upheld by the supreme court.
“This person had obtained top secret information and established contacts with our number one sworn enemy, America, and passed on our country’s most crucial intelligence to the enemy,” Mohseni-Eje’i said.
Amiri’s execution marks the final dark chapter in a real-life spy drama that was the subject of much speculation. It also gives more weight to claims that he defected to the US after going missing on a pilgrimage to Mecca some time in spring 2009.
A few months after Amiri’s disappearance, Iran’s then foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki accused the US of abducting the scientist. But ABC News reported in March 2010 that he had defected to the US as part of an intelligence coup aimed at undermining Iran’s nuclear programme. That report said he had been extensively debriefed by the US authorities……..https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/07/iran-executes-nuclear-scientist-shahram-amiri-returned-country-from-us
Documents detailing UK’s involvement in Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal vanish, Jerusalem Post, 5 Aug 16 Israel maintains a policy of ambiguity concerning nuclear weapons, neither confirming nor denying publicly that it has the capability. The United Kingdom on Thursday said that records detailing the UK’s involvement in Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal have gone missing over the last four years, according to London based internet publication, The Independent.
Over 400 documents were discovered missing after a Freedom of Information request failed to produce a number of files from the 1970’s, including documents detailing the UK’s involvement in Israel’s suspected nuclear program.
Documents include more than 60 Foreign Ministry files, over 40 from the Home Office and six from the offices of former prime ministers, The Independent reported.
Iranian President Says World Powers Must Fulfill Nuclear Deal Radio Free Europe, August 02, 2016
Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized world powers for not fulfilling all of their commitments under a historic nuclear deal signed last year.
Rohani said on state television on August 2 that the failure to lift all sanctions against Iran had harmed the country’s economic growth.
He said that “if the other party had acted properly we would be in a better [economic] situation today.”
Rohani added that Iran still cannot access all of its assets held abroad and that the U.S. Congress, Israel, and some other unnamed regional countries had prevented the nuclear deal from being fully implemented.
He admitted, however, that Iran had been able to export much more oil after sanctions limiting exports were lifted and had regained access to the international banking system…..http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-rohani-world-must-fulfill-nuclear-deal/27896610.html
Reports Turkish troops have sealed off Incirlik US/NATO nuclear air base,news.com.au AUGUST 1, 2016 TURKISH citizens and police have ‘surrounded’ the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.
Cairo, Moscow Agree on Egypt’s First Nuclear Power Plant Construction Terms http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160731/1043814467/egypt-russia-agree-plant-construction.html The Egyptian presidential office announced that Egypt and Russia have agreed on all the clauses of the commercial contract on construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country. The date of contract signing is expected to be announced right after its approval by the country’s supreme administrative court, the Council of State.
Russia and Egypt signed an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Dabaa nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean Sea coast in November 2015. It is set to become the largest construction project carried out by Russia and Egypt since the Aswan Dam.
The contract for the construction of the nuclear power plant is estimated to be worth over $26 billion. The plant will include four units, each one with a capacity reaching 1200 megawatts. The complete offer of the state corporation Rosatom suggests assistance from Russia in the establishment of an entire nuclear industry in Egypt.
South Korea signs $880 million nuclear reactor staffing deal in UAE http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2016/07/25/South-Korea-signs-880-million-nuclear-reactor-staffing-deal-in-UAE/9691469456937/ The reactors, still under construction, are Korean-designed and made. By Ed Adamczyk ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 25 (UPI) — South Korea will manage four nuclear reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates, a deal worth an estimated $880 million, officials said Monday.
Cho Seok, CEO of state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, signed an operation support services agreement in a ceremony Monday to run the four Korean-made reactors at Barakah, UAE.
“Globally, it’s rare that a country has foreigners in charge of operating its nuclear reactors …This may practically be the first time that Korea clinched a business deal of dispatching such large human resources. This will serve as a new chapter in terms of the ties with the Middle East, which have evolved mainly based on the construction businesses since the 1970s,” Cho said, referring to the about 210 workers
who will work annually until 2030
in the UAE. The contract marks the first time South Korea will send personnel overseas to manage nuclear reactors.
Construction of the four reactors began in 2009, with the finish of the first scheduled for May 2017. All four are expected to be completed by 2020. At a signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Mohamed al-Hammadi, CEO of the UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., said, “Over the next decade and beyond, the agreement will continue to build on and enhance the existing long-term nuclear energy partnership between the UAE and South Korea.”
Hydro & Nuclear staff to operate Abu Dhabi’s Barakah plant, New agreement will see KHNP staff stationed at Barakah until 2030 Gulf Business, By Robert Anderson, 23 July 16
Despite years of building and development, nuclear power is on the decline in many parts of the world with its share of global electricity decreasing from 18 percent in 1996 to around 11 percent today according to the International Energy Agency.
Nuclear has become unfashionable in several countries not just because of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters: New safety requirements mean the cost of building nuclear facilities has been rapidly mounting.
The cost of the UAE’s Barakah plant is estimated at between US$25 bn and $32 bn, most of it being paid out of state funds. The initial cost estimate of Saudi Arabia’s nuclear programme – involving French, Chinese, Argentinian and South Korean companies building facilities both for power generation and for desalination – is $80 bn.
Energy analysts say that rather than spending billions of dollars on prestige nuclear projects, subsidies should be eliminated to curtail usage and alternative energy sources should be developed.
The use of solar power is still minimal in many countries in the region yet it has enormous potential.
Middle Eastern rush to a nuclear powered future Middle East Eye Kieran Cooke 21 July 2016
A nuclear power bonanza is underway across the Middle East and North Africa.
Following the disasters at the Chernobyl and Fukushima power plants, many countries either cancelled or put on hold projects for nuclear power facilities but in the Middle East region at least 25 plants are planned and many more are being talked about.
Some studies indicate that up to a total of 90 nuclear facilities, – both big and small – are in the pipeline………
Opponents of the plans say going nuclear in what is one of the world’s most volatile geopolitical regions poses serious safety and security issues. Among other concerns there are the eye watering costs involved in nuclear building programmes and unresolved problems over radioactive waste disposal.
The nuclear salespeople have been busy across the region in recent years: in the United Arab Emirates, the Barakah nuclear power facility in Abu Dhabi, built and operated by the South Koreans, is due to come on stream next year, aiming to supply up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity.
Saudi Arabia plans to have its first nuclear power plant on stream by 2022, with another 15 facilities of varying size in the pipeline. Jordan and Egypt have signed agreements with Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear conglomerate, to build and operate reactors.
Despite recent tensions between Turkey and Russia, Rosatom is continuing construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant on the country’s southern coast.
Tunisia and Algeria have also been in nuclear discussions with the Russians and other suppliers…….. Continue reading
One Year After Iran Nuclear Deal, Sides Remain Compliant but Wary, Voice of America, Chris Hannas July 14, 2016 WASHINGTON— One year ago, exhausted diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers emerged from a meeting at a luxury hotel in Vienna, Austria with what they had been seeking for nearly two years: a comprehensive agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting harsh economic sanctions.
Today, the pact is in effect with clear results on its major components, but there are lingering suspicions on both sides that the other may take advantage and not live up to its responsibilities.
“We need to continue to work and we will continue to work and we have a specially designated ambassador whose day-to-day effort is leading a team to make sure that this deal continues to be lived up to, that we continue to be able to resolve any problems,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.
President Barack Obama called the pact a success, saying, “All of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon remain closed.” He said the deal, implemented in January, has pushed the time frame for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon if it violated the agreement from two or three months to “about a year.”
But U.S. opponents of the deal a year ago have not changed their view, that it would not force to Iran to end its military activities in the Mideast or ultimately block it from developing a nuclear weapon………
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini praised the agreement as a path to “a new chapter in international relations” that uses diplomacy to overcome decades of tensions. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that while the pact was not perfect, it was an important achievement and represented a foundation for a new diplomatic beginning.
Iran removed thousands of centrifuges that had been used to enrich uranium and shipped out the majority of its existing stockpile. World powers lifted their sanctions, unlocking billions of dollars for Iran and paving the way for new business opportunities there. Last month, U.S. aerospace giant Boeing announced a tentative deal to sell 100 jets to Iran’s state-owned airline.
Throughout the past 12 months, however, officials on both sides, particularly from Iran and the U.S., have spoken about the deal with comments that range from suspicion to outright rejection.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that if the world powers fail to meet their responsibilities, then Iran stands ready to restore its nuclear program. Meanwhile, some members of the U.S. Congress want to ban the United States from purchasing nuclear-related material from Iran, accuse the Obama administration of giving up too much too soon in the negotiations, and are wary about how Iran is spending its newly unlocked money.
Iran has complained that despite the lifting of sanctions that once barred financial institutions from doing business with the country, foreign banks remain reluctant to be involved in transactions…….http://www.voanews.com/content/one-year-after-iran-nuclear-deal-sides-remain-compliant-but-wary/3417840.html
Year after nuclear deal, Iran’s high expectations not met, Christian Science Monitor To sell Iranians on the nuclear deal, President Rouhani promised a new era. But the consensus is it has yet to materialize, and many blame the US. By Scott Peterson, Staff writer JULY 14, 2016 ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Joy erupted on the streets of Tehran a year ago Thursday, when Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with six world powers hailed as a victory of diplomacy over war.
The deal was marketed by both sides as a “win-win”: Iran would dismantle the most controversial aspects of its nuclear program – minimizing the chance of acquiring a nuclear weapon for at least a decade – in exchange for the lifting of sanctions that crippled its economy.
As jubilant Iranians waved flags and heralded an easing of Iran’s isolation, President Hassan Rouhani promised that “a page has turned in the history of Iran.”
But one year later, the 159-page accord is a study in unmet high expectations for change, as hard-liners in both Iran and the US Congress fight to undermine the deal to ensure as little political benefit as possible for the architects of the accord – Mr. Rouhani and President Barack Obama – as well as for their long-term strategic foes, in Washington and Tehran.
Analysts say the Iranian president promised more than he could deliver.
“Rouhani had no choice other than leveraging pent-up public demands to rally elite support for diplomacy; the hype was as indispensable as its ensuing disillusionment was inevitable,” says Ali Vaez, the senior Iran analyst for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group.
“The deal has not ushered in a new era. It is, at best, taking Iran back to where it was before the nuclear crisis,” says Mr. Vaez. “The establishment deemed ending economic isolation as an exigency for preserving its power. Now it fears rapid economic opening could loosen its grip on power.
All sides have strictly adhered to the letter of the deal: Iran has dramatically reduced the scale of its nuclear infrastructure – reconfiguring a heavy water nuclear reactor and a deeply buried uranium enrichment facility, for example – while keeping a limited capacity to produce fuel for nuclear energy. And non-nuclear sanctions have been lifted, partially ushering Iran back into the global economy.
But the deal has not yet enhanced Rouhani’s ability to fulfill his promise of expanding social freedoms, or of creating a less securitized atmosphere. In fact, the opposite may be true, after steady warnings from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, about “infiltration” and “soft war” from the United States and the West.
US and European banks also are proving reluctant to engage with Iran, fearful that non-nuclear US sanctions might bite, thereby depriving Iran of the full hoped-for benefits of the deal. The House is readying new measures this week that will impose further sanctions over terrorism and human rights abuses, or limit Iran’s use of the dollar, all of which the White House says it will veto………..http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2016/0714/Year-after-nuclear-deal-Iran-s-high-expectations-not-met