[ RadSafe ] Report: China plans to build 10 new nuclear power plants

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 20 16:14:44 CDT 2005


Report: China plans to build 10 new nuclear power plants
Australia mulls nuclear dump in remote desert heart
Kansas, other states not ready to give up nuke dump project
Two Ukrainian nuclear reactors shut down after malfunctions
Romanian nuclear power plant shut down after transformer malfunction
Report: No High Radiation Risk in S.C.
Philippines, U.S. sign deal to install radiation detectors at port
US Aide: India Nuclear Deal Response "Fairly Positive"- NYT
ANALYSIS-Uranium price triples to record peak, seen higher
Russia has imported 900 kilograms of spent nuclear fuel
DHS Awards Rapiscan Systems $2.7 Million Contract to -Rapiscan System

Report: China plans to build 10 new nuclear power plants

BEIJING (AP) - A state-owned utility plans to build 10 nuclear power 
plants in eastern China as the country tries to reduce its reliance 
on coal, a state newspaper reported Friday.

Six of the 1,000-megawatt reactors will be built in Shandong province 
in the east and four in Liaoning in the northeast, the China Daily 
said, citing Liu Changqing, a senior director of the state-owned 
China Power Investment Corp.

China is struggling to meet surging power demand amid economic growth 
that exceeds 9 percent a year, while also trying to cut its heavy 
reliance on dirty coal, which has left cities choked in smog.

Construction dates for the new power plants are still unknown, the 
China Daily said.

No decision has been made on what technology the reactors will use, 
Liu was quoted as saying.

China's first commercial nuclear reactor began operation in 1991.

Australia mulls nuclear dump in remote desert heart

CANBERRA, July 15 (Reuters) - Australia's government is considering 
dumping radioactive waste in the nation's remote desert heart, just a 
few hundred kilometres from the iconic Uluru monolith once known as 
Ayers Rock.

Science Minister Brendan Nelson unveiled three sites in Australia's 
Northern Territory on Friday as potential locations for the safe 
disposal of low- and intermediate-level medical, industrial and 
research waste from national government agencies.

"We need to make sure that Australians appreciate that what is being 
proposed here makes sense to the national interest and is making sure 
that we have a single repository for waste," Nelson told reporters.

He said the Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Facility was 
due to start operating in 2011.

The Mt Everard site being considered is less than 300 km (185 miles) 
from Uluru, while Harts Range is 450 km from the rock that attracts 
almost 400,000 visitors a year. The Fisher's Ridge site is about 360 
km south of the tropical northern city of Darwin.

Along with waste from various government agencies, the radioactive 
dump would also receive waste from Australia's only reactor, a 
research facility at Lucas Heights in Sydney.

Low-level waste includes laboratory gloves, clothing, glass, and 
contaminated soil, while intermediate-level waste includes disused 
radiotherapy equipment and about 50 cubic metres of spent fuel from 
the research reactor that has been reprocessed overseas.

But the country's six states will have to look after their own waste 
after Prime Minister John Howard's conservative government scrapped 
plans for a national dump a year ago after the states had failed to 
agree on a location.

The government had earmarked a site for a national dump in South 
Australia state, near the former rocket range at Woomera, 475 km (295 
miles) north of Adelaide, but abandoned it after a court ruled the 
compulsory purchase of the land was illegal.

The court action had been launched by the centre-left Labor state 
government in South Australia.

"The reality is we've got to proceed with this now, there will be no 
further mucking about," Nelson said.

Nelson said state and territory governments hold their own low and 
intermediate-level radioactive waste at more than 100 different 
locations around the country.

Kansas, other states not ready to give up nuke dump project

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Representatives from four states seemed ready 
Thursday to abandon two decades of work to build a low-level 
radioactive waste dump but keep intact their organization in case 
public health and environmental problems arise.

Delegates from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma expressed 
disappointment that their efforts as the Central Interstate Low-Level 
Radioactive Waste Compact has not produced a waste facility as 
Nebraska, a former member, refused to license a dump site in its 
northeastern corner.

Beginning a two-day meeting, they grappled with questions about the 
compact's fate and a $141 million settlement the compact will receive 
Aug. 1 to settle the legal dispute with Nebraska.

"It's hard to admit defeat. It's hard to work on something for a long 
time. You know, at what point do you say 'Uncle?' said Catherine 
Sharp, the compact commissioner for Oklahoma.

On the other hand, the delegates were encouraged that the waste 
problem did not become as bad as what was envisioned 25 years ago, 
when Congress passed a law mandating states to form compacts and 
build interstate dumps, and that advanced technology has reduced the 
waste mass and now disposes it more effectively.

"We've been struggling for 25 years to solve a problem that never 
existed," Kansas commissioner Joseph Harkins said. "The private 
system today is meeting the demand, and there is no pressing need for 
government intervention."

But none of the four commissioners seemed ready to disband, saying it 
would be more practical to scale down and remain prepared to respond 
if necessary. They noted that nuclear power was regaining public 
acceptance as an energy source, especially in light of U.S. 
dependency on fossil fuels and foreign oil. And changes in the 
marketplace, they said, could make it difficult for commercial 
operators to handle the waste.

A federal passed in 1980 law required states to form regional 
compacts to dispose of their low-level waste, such as tools from 
nuclear power plants, needles from hospitals and clothing from 
research labs, or be individually responsible for the waste.

No compact to date has opened a regional dump and the country's low-
level waste is primarily handled by private facilities in South 
Carolina, Utah and Washington state.

The commissioners approved resolutions Thursday to:

Not use any of the $141 million settlement to pursue building another 
waste dump, and

Take control of about $14 million that had been placed in escrow for 
a possible waste dump project involving Texas and Nebraska.

With the Central Interstate compact, formed in 1983, each member 
state has paid about $750,000, while private companies have posted 
millions. States and waste generators have contributed nearly $89 
million to the failed disposal facility project in Butte, Neb., 
according to the compact office in Lincoln, Neb.

Of that, the major generators and their estimated shares of the total 
were Entergy Arkansas, 21 percent; Entergy Gulf States, 17 percent; 
Entergy Louisiana, 16 percent; Nebraska Public Power District, 16 
percent, Omaha Public Power District, 13 percent; and Wolf Creek 
Nuclear Operating Corporation, 17 percent.

In Arkansas, the state contribution came from the Health Department 
budget. The Duratek facility in Barnwell, S.C., handles much of 
Arkansas' waste. But Gilson said it has been threatening to shut 

Two Ukrainian nuclear reactors shut down after malfunctions

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Two nuclear reactors in Ukraine have been shut 
down due to malfunctions, emergency officials said Wednesday.

Radiation levels remained normal at the Rivne nuclear power plant, in 
western Ukraine, and the Southern Ukraine plant, in the Mykolaiv 
region, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Employees disconnected Rivne's No. 4 reactor from the national power 
grid on Wednesday, after low water levels caused two power supply 
pumps to automatically turn off.

Reactor No. 2 of Southern Ukraine plant automatically turned off 
after a crack appeared in a circuit pipe, the ministry said.

Minor malfunctions occur frequently at the country's 15 nuclear 
reactors; as of Wednesday, only nine were operating. Workers were 
conducting repairs at four others plants, officials said.

Ukraine was the site of 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the 
world's worst civilian atomic disaster.

Romanian nuclear power plant shut down after transformer malfunction

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) - A nuclear power plant in southeastern 
Romania was shut down Tuesday after an electricity transformer 
network went off-line, the company that runs the plant said.

There were no radioactive leaks, said Teodor Chirica, general manager 
of Nuclearoelectrica SA, a state-owned company which operates the 
plant. He added that the incident did not threaten the safety of the 
plant, which will likely be restarted on Wednesday. Experts are 
currently investigating why the transformer turned itself off, 
Chirica said.

The Cernavoda plant, which was built using Canadian technology, 
provides about 12 percent of Romania's energy needs.

Report: No High Radiation Risk in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A 13-year federal study has found that people 
living near a site that supplied the nation's nuclear arsenal with 
plutonium for decades did not receive major doses of radiation during 
the Cold War.

The report said few people living near the Savannah River Site had a 
substantially higher cancer risk from pollution between the early 
1950s and 1992, when atomic weapons production reactors shut down.

Scientists used 50,000 boxes of records, some of which had been 
classified for decades, to reconstruct chemical and radiation 
releases during the Cold War. The study began in 1992.

It found that people born in 1955 probably received higher radiation 
doses than those born in the 1960s. But the report said there was a 
less than a 1 percent chance someone born in 1955 and living near the 
site would die from cancer related to the nearby nuclear facility.

"This has been a long time coming," said C.M. Wood with the Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention. "We have learned that there were 
not significant doses to the public" from the site near Aiken, S.C., 
about 60 miles southwest of Columbia.

The findings released Friday will probably end a research project on 
pollution and its health effects in South Carolina and Georgia, Wood 

The CDC hired a contractor for the project, but will not continue the 
work unless major new information is discovered in the next few 
months, Wood said.

But atomic engineer Arjun Makhijani, a critic of federal nuclear 
sites, said it is hard to believe people's health has not been 
threatened because the Savannah River is a source of drinking water 
and used for recreation, he said.

"Discharges from the Savannah site do pose a risk to the downstream 
population," said Makhijani, who has not reviewed the study.

Philippines, U.S. sign deal to install radiation detectors at Manila 

MANILA, Philippines (AP) - The Philippines and the United States 
agreed Tuesday to install special equipment at Manila port to detect 
hidden shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials, the U.S. 
Embassy said.

"The United States and the Philippines both recognize the need to 
remain vigilant against the threat posed by the trafficking of 
nuclear and other radioactive materials through the global shipping 
network," U.S. Charge d'Affaires Joseph Mussomeli said in a 

The radiation detection technology is part of U.S. security efforts 
against the proliferation of nuclear weapons material, the embassy 

A similar agreement was signed with Singapore in March.

The Philippine secretary for science and technology, Estrella 
Alabastro, said the agreement was a "big stride in strengthening the 
world's nuclear security regime."

US Aide: India Nuclear Deal Response "Fairly Positive"- NYT

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The response from U.S. Congress and America's 
allies to a deal with India on its civilian nuclear program has been 
"fairly positive," a senior Bush administration official told the New 
York Times.

The Times, in a report published Wednesday, said according to R. 
Nicholas Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs, 
European leaders had been told in recent weeks that a deal might be 
in the works, but that it had not been clear there would be an 
agreement until the last minute, leaving little time to brief foreign 
and Congressional officials in advance.

"I don't expect a lot of opposition in Europe," Burns said in an 
interview with the Times. He said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice 
also spoke Tuesday to President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan and that 
his reaction was " constructive" and "not overly problematic."

The Times also said a spokesman at the Pakistani Embassy said there 
had been no reaction in Islamabad to the deal announced Monday 
between U.S. President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan 
Singh of India.

The accord, which gives India help for its civilian nuclear program 
while allowing it to retain nuclear weapons, would bring a major 
change in the international accords governing nuclear technology.

According to the Times, it essentially exempts India from 
longstanding requirements that only countries willing to forswear 
nuclear weapons may purchase or obtain civilian nuclear technology, 
equipment and fuel from the world's major nuclear energy suppliers.

India has never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and never accepted 
inspections of its nuclear facilities. Now it is to accept 
inspections of its civilian but not its military nuclear facilities.

For the agreement to be put into effect, U.S. Congress would have to 
change a 1978 law barring American nuclear energy aid to nuclear 
weapons states, the Times said, as well an accord of a coalition of 
nations known as the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which has long agreed 
to similar restrictions.

According to the newspaper, a European diplomat whom it didn't name 
said that although the deal was a "step in the right direction" for 
India, because India would agree to safeguards for its civilian 
nuclear program, it posed the risk of weakening the Nuclear 
Nonproliferation Treaty "if it is poorly implemented."

The Times also reported that the deal between India and the United 
States drew criticism from nuclear experts at research institutions 
specializing in efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and 
from a former top Bush administration official involved in the issue.

It said John S. Wolf, a former assistant secretary of state for 
nonproliferation affairs, said that despite his own misgivings, he 
expected that the United States' allies in Europe, as well as Russia 
and China, would probably support the India deal because they would 
jump at the chance to sell nuclear components to India.

ANALYSIS-Uranium price triples to record peak, seen higher

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Prices of uranium, the fuel used in most 
of the world's nuclear power plants, have tripled in the last five 
years to record levels due to years of under-investment in the supply 
chain, traders and analysts said.

Soaring oil prices and international attempts to reduce greenhouse 
gas emissions have thrown the spotlight back onto nuclear energy 
after many years of disfavour.

European manufacturers are looking at nuclear energy to secure long-
term power prices, with Alcan considering building a plant to feed 
its aluminium smelting capacity in France and construction of a 
reactor in Finland is already under way to supply the paper and pulp 

China plans to build 30 new reactors by 2020 and the United States, 
Britain, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine, India and Chile also looking 
at reactor programs.

Spot uranium is trading at $29.50/lb according to the Ux Consulting 
(UxC) website, a leading publisher of uranium prices and price 
forecasts, against $8-10/lb three or four years ago.

Industry watchers said prices could rise to $50 or even $100/lb as 
years of low prices and under-investment in mining capacity result in 
significant shortfalls of material.

"I think $100 is unlikely. But $50 is certainly not out of the 
question and the market is definitely not capped at $30," Jeff Combs, 
president of UxC, said.

In addition to strong fundamentals, speculative interest could also 
push uranium prices higher. 1/8nL18268489 3/8


"At the moment the world requirement (for uranium) is about 65,000 
tonnes per year, but that is rising by 1,000-2,000 tonnes per year, 
so it will get above 100,000 tonnes in the early 2020s," Steve Kidd, 
director of strategy and research at the World Nuclear Association, 

"Production is only 40,000 tonnes, with the other 25,000 tonnes 
coming from ex-weapons material and inventories that have been built 
up in the past."

He said a typical reactor consumes about 200 tonnes of uranium per 
year, but required an initial charge or 'first core' of around 600 

"Uranium stocks have fallen because of production shortfalls in 
recent years and due to the environmental and permitting processes it 
will take several years for new mines to come into production," 
Standard Bank London analyst Robin Bhar said.

Kidd said he did not expect primary output to rise much above 45,000 
tonnes in the next two or three years.

Canada produces 11,000-12,000 tonnes of primary uranium a year, 
followed by Australia with about 9,000 tonnes and Russia, Kazakhstan, 
Niger and Namibia which each produce about 3,000 tonnes per year.

"Primary production is almost at capacity. There is not that much 
coming on for a few years. The big one will be Olympic Dam in 
Australia," Kidd said.

"That could increase from 4,000 tonnes to 12,000-13,000 tonnes, but 
it will take until 2010 or 2011."

BHP Billiton acquired Olympic Dam, the world's largest uranium 
deposit, when it bought WMC Resources earlier this year.

"While a full feasibility study is yet to be conducted...we believe 
that there is a high probability of being able to proceed with an 
open pit expansion," BHP Billiton said.

Other miners were also bullish.

"The fact that there has been a prolonged period of limited 
exploration and investment suggests that there will be a significant 
lead-time before new projects will satisfy demand," a Rio Tinto 
spokeswoman told Reuters.

"The near-to-medium term outlook for prices is therefore positive."

Russia has imported 900 kilograms of spent nuclear fuel from research 

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia has imported 900 kilograms (1,984 pounds) of 
spent nuclear fuel from research reactors in foreign countries, an 
official said Thursday.

The spent fuel has come from Soviet-built research reactors in 
Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Libya, Latvia and Uzbekistan, said Yulia 
Byba, a spokeswoman for the Federal Atomic Energy Agency.

Russia and the United States signed a deal last year that provides 
U.S. funds to bring both fresh and spent uranium fuel from more than 
20 research reactors in 17 nations back to Russia for reprocessing, 
in an effort to prevent it from falling into terrorist hands.

A Russian atomic agency spokesman last year said that Soviet-built 
reactors abroad contain enough highly enriched uranium to make about 
10 nuclear bombs.

U.S.-funded operations to return fuel to Russia began in 2002 amid 
growing American concerns following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror 
attacks that terrorists might be trying to acquire nuclear materials 
to make a nuclear or dirty bomb.

Since 2002, the United States has financed the removal of uranium 
fuel from Soviet-built research reactors in Yugoslavia, Romania, 
Bulgaria and, most recently, Libya.

DHS Awards Rapiscan Systems $2.7 Million Contract for the Development 
of Radiological Threat Identification System

HAWTHORNE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)----Rapiscan Systems, a division of 
OSI Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:OSIS), today announced that the company was 
awarded a two-phase $2.7 million contract by the Homeland Security 
Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSAPRA) for the development of the 
Rapiscan Radiological Threat Identification System (RTIS(TM)).

RTIS(TM) is designed to automatically detect and identify radioactive 
materials within cargo and vehicles utilizing gamma-ray spectroscopic 
analysis of radioactive species. This process distinguishes between 
radiological threats and benign Naturally Occurring Radioactive 
Materials (NORM). As a result, the system facilitates the flow of 
commerce because its false alarm rate is much lower than radiation 
detection systems that cannot make the distinction.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to deploy, on a large 
scale, systems that detect the illicit movement of nuclear and other 
radioactive materials at our nation's ports and border crossings. As 
part of this multi-phase, competitive-bid initiative, performance 
tests are scheduled to begin in the near future. The field is then 
expected to narrow down to the top-three systems followed by a large-
scale acquisition planned for by the DHS.

Ajay Mehra, President of Rapiscan Systems, stated, "This announcement 
signifies an advance in the next generation screening technologies 
for radiological and nuclear threats. The new technology will be 
designed to work either as a stand-alone portal monitor, or it can be 
deployed in tandem with our image-based screening technologies such 
as the advanced Eagle(R) X-ray technology, which is operating in the 
Port of Baltimore."

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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