ElBaradei: Threat Iran ‘hyped’.
On September 14, the 53rd IAEA General Conference confirmed the appointment of Mr. Yukiya Amano of Japan, a Japanese career diplomat, as the next IAEA Director General. Mr. Amano assumes office on 1 December 2009, succeeding Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei to the Agency´s top post. His appointment is for a term of 4 years - until November 2013.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Bulletin Of Atomic Scientists, Elbaradei stated that there is no concrete evidence that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program. "But somehow, many people are talking about how Iran's nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world. In many ways, I think the threat has been hyped." ElBaradei said there was concern about Iran's future nuclear intentions and that Iran needs to be more transparent. “But the idea that we'll wake up tomorrow and Iran will have a nuclear weapon is an idea that isn't supported by the facts as we have seen them so far," said ElBaradei.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 24 August 2009 / IAEA, 14 September 2009
France: charges dropped for publishing document.
The public prosecutor in Paris has decided not to press charges against Stephane Lhomme, the spokesperson for the anti-nuclear Sortir du Nucleaire organization. Lhomme had been under investigation since 2006 for breach of national security in connection with the publication of a classified document acknowledging weaknesses in the EPR reactor design's ability to withstand the crash of a commercial jetliner. After he was arrested many organizations published the documents on their website. 30,000 People, several of them wellknown political figures, intellectuals, writers and artists, signed a petition demanding the case to be closed.
Lhomme revealed in 2006 that he was in possession of an internal Electricite de France document, stamped "defense confidential," that acknowledged weaknesses in the EPR's resistance to an aircraft crash, a major issue after the terrorist attacks with airplanes in the US on September 11, 2001. The revelation came during public inquiry and licensing proceedings for EDF's first EPR unit, Flamanville-3. Lhomme was charged with endangering national security by revealing the contents of a classified document.
Nucleonics Week, 27 August 2009
SE tries to stifle opposition.
Plans by Slovak utility Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) to stifle opposition to its contested Mochvoce 3, 4 nuclear power reactors have mistakenly been leaked to Greenpeace. The leaked documents show that SE, which is jointly owned by Italian energy giant ENEL and the Slovak State, intends to manipulate public hearings on the environmental impact assessment for the project which involves the construction of two new Soviet-era reactors. The documents also mention strategies to "prevent [a] public hearing in Vienna", "reach the lowest possible media & public attention" and "avoid antinuc [sic] unrests [sic]". "These tactics are more akin to communist era manipulation and show that the Mochovce nuclear project is in dire straits," said Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU dirty energy policy officer.
Construction of the Mochvoce 3,4 nuclear reactors started in the 1980s but was halted after the velvet revolution. After privatization of state utility SE to the Italian electricity giant ENEL, the Slovak government demanded from ENEL to finish the project. Because the reactors are from a 1970 Russian design and much of the civil construction already has happened in the 1980s, it is not possible to replace it with a modern design. As a result, the safety level of these nuclear reactors is lower than what is currently considered appropriate, especially after the 9/11 attacks.
Greenpeace 11 September 2009
US enrichment plant denied loan guarantee, or not?
US enrichment company USEC is preparing to 'demobilize' - or cancel - its partially built uranium enrichment plant after the US Department of Energy (DoE) denied its application for a loan guarantee in July. As mentioned in the July 16 Nuclear Monitor In Briefs, loan guarantee from the Department of Energy was essential for continued construction. The American Centrifuge Plant is mid-construction at Piketon, Ohio. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) granted a construction and operation license for the plant in April 2007. The plant had been scheduled for commercial operation in 2010, but financing for the plant has long been a concern and earlier this year USEC announced that it was slowing the plant's schedule pending a decision on the DoE loan guarantee. The company applied for loan guarantees amounting to US$2 billion (Euro 1.37 billion) in July 2008. After the DoE decision in late July, however, the company said it is initiating steps to demobilize the project in which it has already invested US$1.5 billion.
Two weeks later, in a surprising announcement, the Department of Energy said it has agreed to postpone by six months a final review of USEC's loan guarantee application for the American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio. The additional time will allow USEC to address financial and technical concerns about its application that caused the DoE to deny the loan guarantee.
Sources: World Nuclear News, 28 July & 5 Augusts 2009
DOE loan guarantees.
Established under the US Energy Policy Act of 2005, the DoE loan guarantee program was set up as a way of helping to drive forward the "commercial use of new or improved technologies to sustain economic growth while delivering environmental benefits such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing a stable and secure energy supply".
Up to US$18.5 billion of loan guarantees are available for the construction of advanced nuclear reactors and up to US$2 billion for front-end fuel cycle projects such as enrichment plants. The only front-end projects to submit loan guarantee applications by the September 2008 deadline were USEC's American Centrifuge Plant and Areva's Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility. Together, the USEC and Areva loan guarantee applications far exceeded the US$2 billion set aside for front-end fuel cycle loan guarantees.
Saving the climate equals 8 million jobs in the power industry.
A strong shift toward renewable energies could create 2.7 million more jobs in power generation worldwide by 2030 than staying with dependence on fossil fuels would. The study, by environmental group Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), urged governments to agree a strong new United Nations pact to combat climate change in December in Copenhagen, partly to safeguard employment. “A switch from coal to renewable electricity generation will not just avoid 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions, but will create 2.7 million more jobs by 2030 than if we continue business as usual,” the report said. Under a scenario of business as usual, the number of jobs in power generation would fall by about half a million to 8.6 million by 2030, hit by mainly by a decline in the coal sector due to wider mechanization.
The report said that, for the first time in 2008, both the United States and the European Union added more capacity from renewable energies than from conventional sources including gas, coal oil and nuclear power. The report suggested the wind sector alone, for instance, could employ 2.03 million people in generating power in 2030 against about 0.5 million in 2010.
The report can be found at: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/working-for-the-cl...
U.K.: Keeping the nuclear fire burning.
A stinging attack on the nuclear policy of the United Kingdom's Government and the role played by civil servants has been made by Jonathan Porritt. Retiring as chairman of the Government's Sustainable Development Commission he spoke of wasted years and opportunities in pursuing the revival of the nuclear industry. In 2003 the commission had worked with the Department of Trade and Industry minister Patricia Hewitt on a new White Paper which concluded that "nuclear power is not necessary for a secure low-carbon efficient UK economy". However, instead of implementing the plans, civil servants "kept the nuclear flame burning" until a new minister was appointed. "The civil servants won that battle at a great cost to energy policy in the UK. We have had years of delay on critical things that could have been done on renewable energy and energy efficiency. We had six to eight years of prevarication when we could have been getting on with it."
N-Base Briefing 622, 19 August 2009
A planned transport of MOX-fuel (Plutonium-uranium mixed oxide) from Sellafield to Grohnde nuclear reactor in northern Germany, which had been planned for this autumn is to be postponed. A spokeswoman of power plant operator E.on said September 10, that the transport will not be done within the next two months (probably meaning September and October). According to E.on the reasons are purely organizational and recent discussions about routes for the planned transport did not matter in the decision.
However, at the moment there is no agreement on which harbour should be used on the route to Grohnde. Bremen (harbor management) rejected the shipment. Earlier plans for a route via Cuxhaven had been withdrawn by the applicant (either a haulage company or E.on) after (encountering) strong criticism.
But the reason may actually be political. With German parliament elections late September, which may lead to either a nuclear-friendly or an anti-nuclear government for the next 4 years, polluters may be trying not to provoke more anti-nuclear publicity.
Die Welt online, 11 September 2009 / Junge Welt, 14 September 2009
Clean energy in Germany cheaper than nuclear power.
In July a study of the German ecological NGO "Deutsche Umwelthilfe" has been published that analyzed the electricity market in Germany. The results are very interesting and maybe a good argument for anti-nuclear campaigning in other countries, too: In practice all offers of nuclear companies are more expensive than clean energy of independent ecological electricity companies!
This result was surprising as the nuclear power has been much subsidized and the reactors have been paid for itself since a long time - so they have only the costs of running the reactors, but don't have to repay the costs of the construction any longer. In addition the nuclear fuel is tax-exempted, the nuclear companies don't have to have an insurance covering all the costs of the accidents they could cause, they don't have to pay a realistic price for the final disposal of their radioactive waste and other consequences...
But it is a fact: nuclear energy is more expensive than ecological energy - at least in Germany as the study proofs!
You find the tables (German) of this study in the internet: http://www.duh.de/uploads/media/Vergleich_Preis_Stromkennzeichnung_07-20...