[ RadSafe ] Ukraine Will Increase Nuclear Energy Production: PM

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Sat Jan 7 09:43:35 CST 2006


Ukraine Will Increase Nuclear Energy Production: PM
German Minister Dismisses Nuclear Power Lobby
Pakistan Says Interested in Buying Nuclear Reactors 
Europe Warms To Nuclear Power
Envirocare expansion appeal on hold

Ukraine Will Increase Nuclear Energy Production: PM

BERLIN, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yury Yekhanurov 
said on Friday that his country is considering increasing nuclear 
energy production in the aftermath of the gas dispute with Russia. 

Ukraine and Russia struck a deal this week on a new gas price after 
Russia shut off the flow of gas to its neighbor for two days during a 
price row. 

"We already produce half of our energy requirements with nuclear 
power," Yekhanurov told German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. "We will 
have to increase capacity in the newly built nuclear plants."

Ukraine would also develop alternative energy sources, including 
hydroelectricity, wind and solar power, Yekhanurov said. 

"The first task is to diversify our energy sources," he said. 

The country currently has four working nuclear power plants. 

The Russia-Ukraine standoff began when Kiev rejected Moscow's demand 
for a fourfold price increase which would push the gas price from 50 
U.S. dollars to 230 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. 

Under the agreement reached on Wednesday, Russia will sell gas to a 
trading company for 230 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters and 
Ukraine will buy gas from the company for 95 U.S. dollars. 

The Russia-Ukraine gas dispute had also affected gas deliveries to 
some European countries which use Ukraine's pipeline, raising fears 
of long-term gas shortage in Europe.

German Minister Dismisses Nuclear Power Lobby

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should boost renewables rather than 
nuclear power to increase its energy security, Environment Minister 
Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday, seeking to snuff out a debate 
rekindled by a Russian gas blockade. Gabriel's Social Democrats 
struck a deal in 2001 with utility firms to close Germany's 19 
nuclear power plants by 2020, but leading members of their 
conservative coalition partners are urging a rethink. Gabriel, 
environment minister since November, told a news conference that 
existing reserves of uranium could run out in 30 to 40 years.  

"The technology is expensive and the fuel relatively cheap, but the 
latter will change fairly soon," Gabriel said. 

He added that those advocating a longer life for the country's 
nuclear power stations were simply seeking to increase earnings for 
the affected firms. E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall Europe operate 
nuclear plants in Germany. 

Gabriel's stance appears to have the backing of Chancellor Angela 
Merkel, who must hold the fragile coalition of left and right 
together. Government spokesman Thomas Steg said on Wednesday Merkel 
had indicated she would stick to a coalition deal which foresees an 
exit from nuclear power. 

The Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and its Christian Democrat 
(CDU) allies in neighbouring Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to a number of 
nuclear plants, want the nuclear debate reopened following a gas 
dispute between Russia and Ukraine. 


Roughly a third of German gas comes from Russia, and the dispute over 
pricing, which led Moscow to cut off the gas flow through a key 
pipeline for two days, has many asking whether Germany is too reliant 
on Russia. 

"I am confident that we will be able to enter a discussion (on 
nuclear power) soon," CSU chief Edmund Stoiber told a party meeting 
on Thursday. "But we cannot force it." 

Stoiber said he was not trying to reverse Germany's abandonment of 
nuclear power, but simply to prolong the life of safe atomic plants. 

Gabriel said 25 percent of Germany's electricity could come from 
renewables by 2020. By then, energy productivity should have doubled 
compared with 1990s levels, he added. 

Nuclear power, which became unpopular in Europe after the 1986 
Chernobyl disaster, has been making a comeback. The first new nuclear 
plant on the continent in years is being built in Finland. One reason 
for nuclear's return to favour is the fact that nuclear reactors emit 
virtually no greenhouse gases. 

However, only a quarter of Germans believe the country should produce 
more nuclear power to lessen its reliance on energy imports, 
according to a Thursday poll for ARD public television. Eighty-one 
percent want Germany to stress renewables.

Pakistan Says Interested in Buying Nuclear Reactors 
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan said on Thursday it was interested in 
buying nuclear reactors from China and elsewhere to meet its growing 
energy needs, but denied a report that it was engaged in talks with 
Beijing to buy up to eight reactors. 

"We are interested in purchasing nuclear power reactors because our 
economy is growing and so is the energy requirement," said Foreign 
Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam. 
"We are not only interested in purchasing them from China, but also 
from the West," she said, adding that any nuclear facility 
established would be run within the safeguards of the UN's 
International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Britain's Financial Times reported on Tuesday that Pakistan was in 
talks to buy up to eight nuclear reactors from China for between $7 
billion and $10 billion, but Aslam said the report was "incorrect". 

The newspaper, quoted an unnamed senior Pakistani official as saying 
that construction work on the nuclear plants could start by 2015 and 
end 10 years later. It said the new power stations would add 3,600-
4,800 megawatts of capacity using a series of 600 megawatt reactors. 

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz formally launched construction 
last week of a Chinese-supplied nuclear plant at Chashma in the 
eastern province of Punjab. 

Pakistan already has one nuclear power plant supplied by China and 
another that was supplied by Canada. 

In September, Pakistan called on the United States and other Western 
countries to help it develop civilian nuclear technology that would 
meet its expanding energy needs. 

However, there have been international concerns over Pakistan's 
nuclear activities since scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan admitted in 2004 
selling nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. 

Khan, once revered as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, ran a 
black market supplying technology to make highly enriched uranium for 
nuclear bombs. 

Pakistan built its first nuclear power station in 1972 with Canadian 
help. But Western countries - under pressure from the United States - 
later halted cooperation amid suspicions that Pakistan was secretly 
developing nuclear weapons. 

Pakistan exploded its first nuclear device in May 1998.

Europe Warms To Nuclear Power

January 6 (Christian Science Monitor) - After nearly two decades, 
Europe's antinuclear tide is showing signs of turning. 

For the first time in 15 years, a European country has begun 
construction of a nuclear reactor, and six more are likely to be 
built in the next decade. Other countries are revising plans to phase 
out their nuclear programs. And this week's brief but brutal drop in 
Europe's supplies of crucial Russian gas has only served to fuel the 

"People are saying 'let's take a second look' at nuclear power,'" 
says William Ramsay, deputy executive director of the International 
Energy Agency. "Rising oil prices means nuclear is becoming more 
economically attractive, and gas prices are a second kick in the 

To reduce its dependence on oil and gas imports, Europe needs to 
"look at nuclear power and at renewable energy," European Union 
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said Wednesday. 

Nuclear power plants remain unpopular with a majority of Europeans, 
who are worried about what happens to the radioactive waste. Industry 
officials, however, are playing on the public's competing worries 
about the effect of greenhouse gases on global warming. Nuclear 
plants, they point out, emit practically no CO2. 

"Nuclear is the only game in town if you are serious about cutting 
greenhouse gases" as the European Union has pledged to do under the 
Kyoto Protocol, argues Ian Hore-Lacy, spokesman for the World Nuclear 
Association, an industry lobbying group. 

With the legacy of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and rising 
environmental concerns clouding the nuclear horizon, EU nations 
stopped building nuclear plants for 15 years. But last year Finland 
ended that streak by starting construction of a third-generation 
pressurized water reactor, designed by the French company Areva. It's 
to come on-line in 2009. 

The French state-owned power generating company, Électricité de 
France, has won government approval to build a similar plant in 
France and chosen the site. In addition, President Jacques Chirac 
announced Thursday, France will complete a pilot plant by 2020 that 
will produce less waste and burn more efficiently. 

In eastern Europe the Bulgarian government is expected to award a 
contract this month for the construction of two units, Romania has 
restarted building a power station that was mothballed 15 years ago, 
and the Czech Republic's energy plan foresees the construction of two 
more nuclear plants by the end of the decade. 

The Swiss parliament last year ended Switzerland's moratorium on 
building nuclear power plants and extended the operating lifetime of 
the country's five existing units, and the British government has 
promised an energy review this year that many analysts expect to 
favor nuclear. The review "will include, specifically, the issue of 
whether we facilitate the development of a new generation of nuclear 
power stations," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a recent 

The question of nuclear power has resurfaced even in countries that 
have abandoned — or pledged to abandon — it. In Italy, which closed 
its four power stations after a 1987 referendum, Industry Minister 
Claudio Scajola said this week that "the development of nuclear 
technologies remains an important element for Italy's energy policy." 

Sweden has dropped plans to close all its nuclear plants by 2010, and 
Belgium's intention to start phasing out nuclear power in 2015 has 
run up against a finding by the Federal Planning Bureau that nuclear 
power is the best way for the country to meet its Kyoto commitments 
to cut back on greenhouse gases. 

In Germany, meanwhile, conservatives are taking the opportunity 
offered by this week's gas scare to challenge the 2020 deadline for 
an end to nuclear energy that the previous government imposed at the 
insistence of the Green Party.

In negotiations to form her government last year, Chancellor Angela 
Merkel was unable to persuade her Social Democrat coalition partners 
to drop the deadline. But supporters of nuclear energy are unlikely 
to give up, suggests Hermann Ott, director of the Wuppertal Institute 
for Climate, Environment and Energy. 

"It will be a constant fight for the next 20 years," predicts Ott. 
"Renewable energy has the potential to replace existing fossil fuel 
supplies ... But if that does not happen fast enough, it is likely 
that the life of the nuclear reactors will be extended." 

Not that many Germans would be happy with that. Only 38 percent of 
them are in favor of nuclear power, according to a European Union 
opinion poll last June which also found that across the EU, 55 
percent of citizens oppose nuclear energy. 

If the nuclear industry is to overcome this hostility, says the IEA's 
Ramsay, "it will have to demonstrate that it can handle nuclear 

Over the past couple of years, nuclear supporters have sought to 
deflect attention away from the problem of nuclear waste by 
highlighting the problems associated with fossil fuels, most notably 
greenhouse-gas emissions. They have enjoyed some success: 62 per cent 
of respondents in the 2005 EU poll agreed that nuclear power was 
advantageous in terms of cutting greenhouse gases — up from just 41 
percent four years earlier. 

As European policymakers begin to reconsider the nuclear option "it 
is Kyoto and the need to reduce emissions that is the driver," says 
Patrick Heren, founder of Heren Energy Ltd, which publishes reports 
on the power markets. 

Antinuclear activists insist that nuclear power is as potentially 
dangerous as ever, that nobody has yet found a safe way to dispose of 
highly radioactive waste, and that uranium deposits are too small to 
ensure long-term fuel supplies to nuclear plants. European 
governments would be much better advised to invest more heavily in 
wind and solar power, they argue. 

For most of the past two decades, antinuclear ecologists have had the 
argument pretty much all their way in Europe. Today, acknowledges 
Sven Teske, energy expert for Greenpeace, "there is more of a 

For Heren, who also opposes the expansion of nuclear energy, the 
signs are obvious. "Quite clearly," he says, "the wind is blowing in 
favor of nuclear across Europe."

Envirocare expansion appeal on hold
SALT LAKE CITY January 7 (Daily Heald) The Associated Press   -- A 
proposal to double the size of a low-level radiation and hazardous 
waste site about 80 miles west of Utah's capital city is on hold 
while the state Radiation Control Board awaits clarification on how 
land at the expanded site would be regulated. 

The board heard nearly four hours of testimony Friday from attorneys 
of the waste site's owner, Envirocare, and the Healthy Environment 
Alliance of Utah, which opposes granting Envirocare a permit to 

The Division of Radiation Control has already granted Envirocare a 
permit to expand its boundaries, but HEAL is challenging that. The 
board is expected to make a final decision on Jan. 26.

Envirocare contends that the permit would allow it to simply move its 
fence, and that no hazardous waste would be handled on the site until 
additional permit amendments were granted by the Division of 
Radiation Control.

The Legislature and Gov. Jon Huntsman also must give their approval 
before Envirocare can change its boundaries.

But HEAL attorneys argued that, by definition, expanding the waste 
site boundaries would mean that the facility will be able to accept 
nuclear waste.

Radiation Control Board members were in the process of denying HEAL's 
appeal when a question arose about whether a train carrying hazardous 
waste through the expanded site would be allowed to anymore. Because 
the new parcel isn't designated to handle the waste, it could create 
regulatory problems, board members said.

"It helped us focus in on some final things we want to know," said 
Karen Langley, chairwoman of the Radiation Control Board.

The waste delivered to the Envirocare facility comes by train and 
crosses over the parcel the company wants to include as part of its 
waste site. But the new parcel isn't subject to the same regulation.

If the expanded site were to receive the board's approval and that of 
the Legislature and governor, it's possible Envirocare could receive 
an amended permit to allow the transportation of waste on that land, 
said Dane Finerfrock, director of the Division of Radiation.

But HEAL attorneys argued that, by definition, expanding the waste 
site boundaries means radioactive waste is received, transferred or 
stored there.

If the Legislature and governor approve the expansion, it remains 
unclear whether their approval would be needed again if Envirocare 
tries to amend its permit to begin accepting waste on the site.

"Envirocare will comply with the legislative process," said 
Envirocare attorney Craig Galli.

Envirocare is one of three U.S. sites licensed to take commercial low-
level radioactive waste. Envirocare handles much of the commercial 
radioactive waste that comes from nuclear power plants, as well as 
from medical and research facilities. The Utah site also counts on 
federal cleanup waste for about half of its revenue.

Envirocare has said it has adequate capacity at the landfill to 
accept low-level radioactive and hazardous waste for up to 20 years.

Galli said Envirocare isn't applying for permits to accept new 
hazardous waste on the site now because its needs to make sure it can 
get beyond the process of site expansion first.

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

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

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