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In brief

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#715
03/09/2010
Shorts

No Nukes Asia Forum in Taiwan
Activist from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and India wil hold their (almost) annual meeting in Taipei, from September 18- 22.

NNAF began in 1993 and unites Asian based antinuclear organizations. The forum always combines education and exchange with direct action and media outreach. This year the international delegation will travel to Taiwan’s nuclear power station no. 1 and 2 at the northeast coast and nuclear power plant no. 3 at the southeast coast. At the University of the capital Taipei a two-day program will discuss the danger of  nuclear power plants in earthquake prone areas, the debate on climate change and the role of nuclear power and the situation in the different countries.
Contact and more information: [email protected]


Doctors against uranium.
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) on September 1 adopted a resolution at its International Council meeting in Basel, Switzerland, calling for a ban on uranium mining and the production of yellowcake (uranium oxide). The resolution described both processes as “irresponsible” and “a grave threat to health and to the environment”.
The resolution also describes uranium mining and yellowcake production as a “violation of human rights”. The right to life, liberty and security, to physical integrity, self-determination, the protection of human dignity, the right to clean water are just some of the rights that are afflicted by uranium mining and its processes, say the doctors. IPPNW calls for appropriate measures to ban uranium mining worldwide
Although many national branches of the IPPNW network have been campaigning against uranium mining and nuclear energy for many years already it is seen as a major breakthrough that now the international federation has taken a firm position and has committed itself to support campaigns against uranium mining.
Source and contact: IPPNW, Anne Tritschler, Tel.: +49 (0) 30-698074-14, [email protected]


Iran: Busher reactor finished after 36 years!
On August 21, Russia started loading fuel into the reactor at Iran's first nuclear power station Bushehr. The Bushehr plant is on the Gulf coast of southwest Iran. It is Iran's first nuclear power plant. Construction of two pressurized water nuclear reactors began in 1974 with the help of German contractor Siemens and French scientists. The Bushehr I reactor was 85 percent complete and the Bushehr II reactor was partially complete prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the fall of the Shah. The project was halted and the site was then damaged during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, and equipment was looted.

The project was later revived with Russian help but construction ran into repeated delays blamed by Russia on problems with receiving payment from Iran. Current plans are for one reactor to be launched. Bushehr will have an operating capacity of 1,000 MW.
Reuters, 21 August 2010


Sudan: 4 reactors in 2030.
Well, if you think you read it all…. Sudan plans to build a four-reactor nuclear power plant to "fill a gap in the energy needs" of Africa's largest country by 2030, Mohamed Ahmed Hassan el-Tayeb, head of Sudan's atomic energy agency, said on August 24. He also said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would help to build a research reactor and power plant for Sudan by providing expert training for staff, fellowships and feasibility studies.

He said Sudan was hoping for "a medium size four-unit power plant with each reactor producing between 300-600 MW per year". El-Tayeb said bidding for equipment and technology could begin in five years time and a further 10 years for construction of the plant, so it could be completed by 2030, costing between US$3-6 billion.

Currently 20% of the population has access to electricity.
Reuters, 24 August 2010


Nuclear power: Goal or means?
Vice President Boediono of Indonesia said on August 20, that a proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Indonesia was still on the table although he could not say when or where it may be built. “We will continue trying. Someday, somewhere we will build the nuclear power plant.”

More often than not it seems that nuclear power is rather a goal than a means to boil water (because that’s all there is to it, or not…?).
Jakarta Post, 20 August 2010


Radioactive boars on the rise in Germany.
Almost a quarter century after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in Ukraine, its fallout is still a hot topic in some German regions, where thousands of boars shot by hunters still turn up with excessive levels of radioactivity and considered potentially dangerous for consumption. In fact, the numbers are higher than ever before. The total compensation the German government paid last year for the discarded contaminated meat shot up to a record sum of  425,000 euro (US$558,000), from only about 25,000 euro ten years ago, according to the Federal Environment Ministry in Berlin. "The reason is that there are more and more boars in Germany, and more are being shot and hunted, that is why more contaminated meat turns up," spokesman Thomas Hagbeck told The Associated Press. Boars are among the species most susceptible to long-term consequences of the nuclear catastrophe 24 years ago. Unlike other wild game, boars often feed on mushrooms and truffles which tend to store radioactivity and they plow through the contaminated soil with their snouts, experts say.

However, boars are actually the beneficiaries of another ecological crisis — climate change. Central Europe is turning into a land of plenty for the animals, as warmer weather causes beech and oak trees to overproduce seeds and farmers to grow more crops the boars like to feast on such as corn or rape, said Torsten Reinwald of the German Hunting Federation.

"The impact of the Chernobyl fallout in Germany, in general, has decreased," said Florian Emrich, spokesman of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. For example, radiation has ceased to be a problem on fields cultivated with commercial crops, he said. But forest soil in specific regions that were hit hardest after Chernobyl — parts of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg in southern Germany — still harbors high amounts of radioactive Cesium-137 which has a half life of roughly 30 years, Emrich said. In fact, the Cesium from the Chernobyl fallout is moving further into the ground and has now reached exactly the layer where the boars' favorite truffles grow. Therefore, the season for such truffles — a variety not eaten by humans — usually means a rising number of radioactive boars.
AP, 18 August 2010


Russian reactor too expensive for Belarus?
Alyaksandr Lukashenko said that Belarus might abandon plans to have its nuclear power plant project built by Russia and financed with a Russian loan, according to BelaPAN. The Belarusian leader said that the signing of an interstate agreement on the project had been postponed once again, and that the government did not reject the possibility of the plant being built by a contractor other than Russia s Atomstroiexport. Belarus chose Russia on the basis of "what they promised to us," Mr. Lukashenko noted. "They urgently demanded from us that they build this plant and then they started putting pressure on us for, I believe, purely subjective reasons. You know what the reasons are," he said.

Russia wanted Belarus to pay "in fact a double price," but Minsk refused, saying that there had been an agreement that the price would be "the same as in Russia," he said, adding that Belarus had agreed to pay the price at which the last nuclear power plant was built in Russia.
www.naviny.by, 16 August 2010