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In brief

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Booklet: Nuclear Energy a dead end

Dodewaard/BNFL again threaten WISE with court case. The owner of the Dutch (closed) nuclear power plant Dodewaard and BNFL, owner of the Sellafield reprocessing plant, have again summoned WISE to renounce plans to undertake actions against spent fuel transports from Dodewaard. When WISE in 1999 prepared actions, both Dodewaard and BNFL also started procedures for a court case to forbid such actions. The court case then took never place as the transport license was dismissed. As a new license has been issued, WISE again has been approached by Dodewaard/BNFL. They now even want to aim for a prohibition on "calling on for or encouraging actions". WISE will not give up. It is ridiculous to forbid actions before they take place or to forbid even to support other's actions. WISE will continue its preparations for actions and is not afraid of the upcoming court case. There have already been several groups that have announced their willingness to take over the work. We'll keep you updated.


Temelin: Commissioning continues despite protests and failure of pumps. The commissioning of Temelin-1 continues, with power levels reaching 5%. This is despite the continuing series of blockades of the Austrian-Czech borders, and an incident where all four of the primary cooling circuit pumps failed. This incident occurred while the reactor was at a nominal power level, but if it had occurred at full power it could have caused a serious accident E-mail from Centrum ENERGIE, 8 November 2000; Email from Upper Austrian All-Party Platform against Atomic Danger, 28 October 2000



Planned 8-fold increase in India's nuclear capacity. India is planning an eight-fold increase in its nuclear capacity by 2020, according to C Ganguly, chief executive of Nuclear Fuel Complex. Most of India's electricity comes from coal-fired plants, but Ganguly stated that the coal is not of a good quality and that the use of coal leads to global warming. India was one of the countries featured in the IAEA case study (see WISE News Communique 535.5206: "IAEA General Conference: pushing nuclear in climate debate"). Ganguly's announcement followed the connection of Kaiga-1 to the grid (see WISE News Communique 535: In brief). A further reactor, Rajasthan-4, achieved criticality on 3 November and is expected to be connected to the grid soon. Times Internet, 25 October 2000; Uranium Institute News Briefing 00.42 (11-17 October 2000) and 00.45 (1-7 November 2000)



Australian research reactor controversy. The proposal for replacement of the research reactor in the Sydney suburb of Lucas Heights (see WISE News Communique 532: In brief) continues to attract controversy. On 25 October, Greenpeace activists boarded a ship in Sydney's Botany Bay and chained themselves to a container that they said was intended to collect nuclear waste from the existing reactor for reprocessing in Europe. The involvement of the Argentine state-owned INVAP in the new reactor project is particularly controversial. As well as INVAP's relations with Iran and Libya, mentioned in the article in WISE News Communique 532, there is the issue of waste. A clause in the Lucas Heights contract allows nuclear waste from the new reactor to be sent to Argentina for reprocessing. However, Article 41 of the Argentine national constitution forbids the importation of nuclear waste, and there are also provincial laws that forbid the entrance, transport and storage of radioactive waste. Reuters, 26 October 2000; Pollution Online, 31 October 2000



Norway: Developing MOX-fuel. A Norwegian governmental report states that tests have been going on for years to develop MOX-fuel in Norway. The MOX-tests are part of the OECD-Halden reactor project, taking place at the Norwegian research reactor in the town of Halden. All the participating countries are provided with the test results, where the goals are to develop MOX with higher burn up. The environmental organization "Nature and Youth" (NU) claims the tests are against generally recognized Norwegian policy, and demands that the minister of environment, Siri Bjerke, takes action to stop them. Tests have been going on since the late 1960s, and the goals today are to develop MOX with burn-up of up to 60 MWd/kg. Electricite de France is using MOX with a 36/MWd/kg burn-up rate. In a letter to NU Bjerke claims the tests will go on for at least three more years.Nature and Youth, 18 October 2000