[ RadSafe ] Doctors warn against nuclear industry

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 7 09:20:16 CST 2005


Doctors warn against nuclear industry
Chinese PM, on visit to France, eyes nuclear future 
India becomes partner in multinational nuclear fusion reactor project
Russian nuclear company prepares bid for Bulgarian NPP tender
Doyle's reversal on nuclear plant sale followed donations
Huntsman optimistic his D.C. visit has helped bar material from Utah

Doctors warn against nuclear industry

Dec 7 (Sydney Morning Herald)  Radioactive waste from nuclear power 
plants cannot be dealt with in a safe and effective way, a group of 
eminent doctors has warned.

As debate over the government's plans to force a nuclear waste dump 
on the Northern Territory continued in the Senate on Wednesday, the 
18 doctors released a statement warning against the expansion of the 
nuclear industry.

Citing concerns that any expansion of nuclear power would increase 
the proliferation of nuclear weapons, increase the risk of nuclear 
terrorism and increase the risk of nuclear accidents, the doctors 
said the industry should not be encouraged.

"Calls for Australians to consider nuclear power for domestic use are 
unnecessary and counterproductive," they said.

"Jumping out of the climate change frying pan into the fire of 
increased nuclear risk would at best be swapping one set of serious 
problems for another, while setting back the work of implementing 
real, sustainable solutions to climate change."

Science Minister Brendan Nelson also has proposed a $1 million 
research study into a nuclear power industry for Australia.

The doctors said the issue of radioactive waste was insurmountable.

"The problem of nuclear waste is intractable, a burden irresponsibly 
imposed on countless future generations.

"No nation has in place a satisfactory plan to deal with the tens of 
tonnes of high-level radioactive waste produced by each nuclear power 
plant each year.

"No human institution has survived for the length of time necessary 
to safeguard this waste."

The Senate is debating two bills that will give the federal 
government power to override a range of laws, including any passed by 
the NT government, that might frustrate a nuclear waste dump there.

The move came after the government last year abandoned plans for a 
dump in South Australia following community protest.

The government will now canvass three sites on commonwealth land in 
the NT - Mount Everard and Harts Range near Alice Springs and Fishers 
Ridge, near Katherine.

The Australian Greens have suggested a number of amendments to the 
legislation, including preventing overseas nuclear waste making its 
way to Australia, reinstating the right of indigenous communities to 
veto a dump on sacred sites, and removing absolute ministerial power 
over where the dump will be.

The doctors, from a range of backgrounds at various universities 
across the country, released their statement through the Medical 
Association for Prevention of War (MAPW)

Chinese PM, on visit to France, eyes nuclear future 

CADARACHE, France (AFP) Dec 6 - China's push to develop its nuclear 
technology to meet skyrocketing energy needs dominated the third day 
of a visit to France by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. 
He emphasized that goal on a trip to inspect the site of the future 
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) to be built 
over the next decade in Cadarache, southern France.

"The energy issue elicits great attention in the whole world, and the 
ITER site also attracts great attention in the world," he said as he 
stood on a hilltop clearing upon which will built the cutting-edge 
fusion reactor facility.

China is one of the seven partners financing the ITER project and 
providing scientific staff and equipment. The others are the     
European Union, Japan, the United States, Russia,     South Korea -- 
and, as of Tuesday, India.

"I'll come back in 10 years," Wen quipped, referring to the scheduled 
date when the reactor is expected to be operational.

The EU is putting up half the 4.6-billion-euro construction (5.4-
billion-dollar) cost, with the rest equally divided up among the 
other partners.

Wen added that he was "very happy to see the ITER established in 

The decision to locate the site in France was made in June after 
lengthy negotiations marked by strong competition to host the reactor 
from Japan -- China's rival in Asia.

ITER aims to create fusion energy -- the same sort of process that 
occurs at the heart of the Sun, one that is much more powerful than 
in conventional nuclear power plants -- and find ways to harness it 
to one day supplant the world's reliance on dwindling fossil fuels.

It will be home to 400 scientists, two-thirds of them foreign. The 
reactor is expected to have a life-span of 40 years.

Alain Bugat, the head of France's Commission for Atomic Energy, the 
body overseeing the Cadarache site, where a much smaller fusion 
reactor is already located, showed Wen a model of what ITER will look 

China, Bugat told AFP, was "working out what portion of the project 
it is going to contribute," along with the other partners. He 
declined to elaborate.

Beyond the research possibilities of ITER, Wen on Tuesday also made 
reference to France's bid to win an eight-billion-dollar (6.8-billion-
euro) deal to construct four third-generation nuclear energy reactors 
in China.

"China hopes that France will offer more attractive conditions on 
technology transfer as well as price so that Franco-Chinese 
cooperation in this field can develop," he said at an elite French 
science university in the southern Paris suburbs before travelling to 

The French company Areva is fighting to win the contract, but is 
facing stiff competition from Westinghouse of the United States as 
well as the Russian AtomStroyExport.

China was to have announced a winner by the end of 2005 but has put 
off a decision till early next year in the hope of squeezing better 
terms from the bidders.

Wen, addressing students, professors and business chiefs, insisted 
that his country's advances in nuclear development and other fields 
were not a threat, implicitly addressing fears by some analysts that 
China aims to become a formidable military power.

"Having suffered enormously from foreign invasions, China knows the 
price of peace. This choice is a logical choice, imposed by China's 
history and culture. China's development is not a threat but an 
opportunity for the world," he said. 

The Asian giant, which has become the top target for Western 
companies keen to benefit from its burgeoning economy, has proved 
adept at making technology transfer a condition for any major deals. 

On Monday in Paris, Wen oversaw the signing of a Chinese order to buy 
150 Airbus mid-range jets, worth nearly 10 billion dollars at list 

But the windfall for the European plane-maker only came after it 
committed to exploring the feasibility of setting up an assembly 
plant in China. 

Other technology products also grabbed Wen's interest. 

Before inspecting the ITER site, he spent 30 minutes touring the 
headquarters of Eurcopter, the helicopter subisidiary of the European 
Aeronoautic, Defence and Space (EADS) company which also has a 
controlling share of Airbus. 

On Monday Eurocopter announced a 600-million-euro partnership deal 
with China to share development and production of a new 16-seat 
aircraft dubbed the EC175. 

After his ITER visit, Wen went to Marseille to meet Chinese business 
leaders and community representatives living in France. 

On Wednesday, the last day of his four-day French visit, he was to 
tour the satellite facility of the telecommunications giant Alcatel 
at Cannes before leaving for Slovakia, the Czech Republic and 

India becomes partner in multinational nuclear fusion reactor project 

Dec 7 (India Daily ) India will become a partner in a multinational 
project to build an experimental nuclear-fusion reactor, the Indian 
government said Wednesday.

The decision by the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, 
Russia and South Korea to accept India "as a full partner is an 
acknowledgment of India as a responsible nuclear state with advanced 
nuclear technology including in the field of fusion research," the 
Indian foreign ministry said in a statement. 

"It also recognizes that India can significantly contribute to such 

The decision to let India take part in the International 
Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor being built in France was made 
Tuesday at a meeting in Jeju, South Korea, of the project's partners, 
the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement. 

Scientists hope the plant will produce clean, safe and endless energy 
and help phase out polluting fossil fuels, like oil and coal. 

India carried out multiple nuclear tests in May 1998, provoking 
sanctions from the United States and other Western countries. 

But it later imposed a ban on further tests and most of the sanctions 
have been lifted. India also does not have a record of exporting 
nuclear technologies. 

New Delhi's desire to participate in the thermonuclear reactor 
project got a boost earlier this year when U.S. President George W. 
Bush proposed sharing civilian nuclear technology with New Delhi. 

"U.S. support was instrumental in ensuring the final agreement (in 
Jeju)," the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said late Tuesday. The decision 
"represents the first tangible and concrete step toward greater 
cooperation between the U.S. and India in the nuclear field." 

Several European nations have also been keen on India's participation 
in the A10 billion (US$12 billion) project.

Russian nuclear company prepares bid for Bulgarian NPP tender 

MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - Atomstroiexport, Russia's nuclear 
power equipment and service export monopoly, has prepared the 
technical aspect of its bid for the tender to build a nuclear power 
plant (NPP) in Bulgaria, the company said Wednesday.

The documentation, which will be submitted to the Bulgarian National 
Electric Company December 15, was compiled with the help of Framatome 
ANP and major Russian engineering and supply companies, including the 
Atomenergoproyekt institute, the Kurchatov institute, the Gidropress 
experimental design bureau, Silovye Mashiny, and the Izhora plants.

The documentation will have been translated into Bulgarian by 
December 12.

The construction site for the NPP is situated in Belene, 250 
kilometers (over 150 miles) from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The 
project was being developed in coordination with Soviet experts until 
Bulgarian authorities stopped the work in 1992.

Doyle's reversal on nuclear plant sale followed donations

MILWAUKEE Dec 7 (AP)  A campaign finance watchdog group is 
questioning whether donations from utility executives to Gov. Jim 
Doyle's re-election campaign helped reverse the state's rejection of 
the sale of a nuclear power plant to an out-of-state bidder.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says Doyle's campaign accepted 
$41,550 from executives of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Alliant 
Energy Corp. in the six months after the state Public Service 
Commission, on Nov. 19, 2004, rejected their sale of the Kewaunee 
nuclear plant to Dominion Resources Inc. of Richmond, Va.

The three-member commission, which included two Doyle appointees, 
reversed its decision on March 17 and allowed the sale to go through.

"A state commission controlled by the governor made one decision, and 
then they did an about-face and reversed that decision," said Mike 
McCabe, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's executive director. "That 
change of heart corresponded with some very large campaign donations 
flowing into the Doyle campaign. That alone raises major new 

McCabe said former commission Chairwoman Burnie Bridge and 
Commissioner Mark Meyer were Doyle appointees who could have been 
influenced by the governor to change their minds.

"If Jim Doyle wanted this plant sale, he had a friend on the PSC that 
he could obviously talk to," he said.

The governor's spokeswoman, Melanie Fonder, called the allegation 

"The Public Service Commission is an independent regulatory agency 
and it has no connection to this report," she said.

Commission members are appointed by the governor and then confirmed 
by the state Senate.

Meyer said in a statement the accusation was "baseless and absurd."

A message left with an assistant to Bridge by the Associated Press 
was not immediately returned.

The commission rejected the first sale request 2-1 with Bridge and 
Meyer voting against the deal, saying the terms "exempted it (the 
plant) from state regulation."

The commission reversed its decision March 17, approving the sale 
unanimously after Dominion promised to give the panel a say in a 
future sale of the plant, agreed to return unused fees to dismantle 
it at the end of its life and to increase its payments to WPS and 
Alliant if it failed to supply them power.

A group of utility watchdogs challenged the sale approval in Dane 
County Circuit Court on May 20, but Judge William Foust dismissed the 
case Monday, court records showed.

The utilities denied accusations of decision-buying. "We're not going 
to dignify this with a comment," said spokesman Richard Zuercher of 
Dominion, which bought the plant for $191.5 million in July.

Wisconsin Public Service spokesman Tom Meinz said company employees 
and executives donated to Doyle because he is "pro-business."

"We want to support people that are pro-business, doesn't make any 
difference what side of the aisle they're on," Meinz said.

Huntsman optimistic his D.C. visit has helped bar material from Utah

WASHINGTON Dec 7 (Deseret Morning News) Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. left 
the nation's capital Tuesday "hopeful and optimistic" that the 
legislative attempt to block nuclear waste from coming to Utah will 
move forward, his general counsel Mike Lee said.  

Huntsman spent two days in Washington, D.C., meeting with senators 
and House members working on the National Defense Authorization Bill 
and the state's own congressional delegation. The bill contains a 
provision by Rep. Bob Bishop, R-Utah, that would create 100,000 acres 
of wilderness area that would block a potential railroad route to the 
proposed Private Fuel Storage nuclear waste site on the Goshute 
Indian Reservation.  

Lee said the matter is still in play right now, but he would likely 
know more by the end of the week. He did not want to speculate on the 
overall status of the language after Huntsman's visit but said the 
governor is an effective lobbyist for the state.  

"It's uncertain who the real enemies of the proposal are," Lee said. 
"Over the next 48 hours it will become clearer of what will happen. 
The lobbying effort has not stopped." Lee said the Air Force told 
lawmakers Tuesday that it supported the provision. If passed, the 
wilderness area designation would protect Cedar Mountains, near the 
Utah Test and Training Range, the Defense Department's largest 
training range used by pilots at Hill Air Force Base.  

Former Utah Rep. Jim Hansen, a Republican, tried to get the language 
passed before he left office but failed to do so. Lee said this time 
is different because of the Air Force's support, along with a flip in 
position by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and 
environmental groups, who opposed the idea in the past.  

Private Fuel Storage spokeswoman Sue Martin said the final language 
of the wilderness area designation would need to be examined before 
its exact impact would be known.  

Martin said the site's license application, which the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission has approved, allowed for a rail route to be 
built as well as using heavy-haul trucks to bring waste in from the 
road versus building a rail line.  

If approved, the designated wilderness area would block a rail line 
from being built but may not have much effect on a truck shipping 
plan because the road already exist.  

"That's my impression," Martin said. "We'd have to look at it more 

Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

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