[ RadSafe ] Washington State Seeks to Bar More Waste from Hanford Nuclear Site

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 13 10:04:25 CDT 2006


Washington State Seeks to Bar More Waste from Hanford Nuclear Site
Senators oppose Russia nuclear deal at G8
Ceradyne Enters Nuclear Waste Business
Russia wants to store nuclear waste 
E.ON May Have to Sell Nuclear Plants to Buy Endesa, People Say

Washington State Seeks to Bar More Waste from Hanford Nuclear Site

SPOKANE, Wash. AP  Jul 13 - Washington state is appealing a ruling 
that struck down a voter-approved initiative barring the federal 
government from accepting more radioactive waste at the Hanford 
nuclear site.  

U.S. District Judge Alan McDonald ruled last month that the 
initiative was unconstitutional. It would bar the government from 
accepting more nuclear waste at Hanford until what's already there 
has been cleaned up. 

State attorneys filed a notice of appeal Wednesday with the 9th U.S. 
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. 

"We are not content to let this decision rest with a single district 
court judge," Attorney General Rob McKenna said in a statement. 

The judge ruled that the initiative is unconstitutional because it 
violates federal authority over nuclear waste, as well as the 
Constitution's interstate commerce clause. 

Voters overwhelmingly approved the initiative in 2004. The federal 
government immediately sued to overturn it. 

Hanford was built in the 1940s as part of the top-secret Manhattan 
Project to build the atomic bomb. It produced plutonium for the 
nation's nuclear arsenal for 40 years. 

Today, it is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. Cleanup 
costs are expected to total as much as $60 billion, with the work to 
be finished by 2035.

Senators oppose Russia nuclear deal at G8

WASHINGTON (Reuters) JUl 13  - Top lawmakers on the U.S. Senate 
Energy Committee told President George W. Bush on Wednesday they 
would oppose a deal allowing Russia to sell more highly enriched 
uranium as fuel to U.S. nuclear power plants. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will urge Bush at this 
weekend's rich nations' meeting in St. Petersburg to alter two supply 
agreements in order for Russia to ship more enriched uranium to the 
United States.  

Russia signed agreements with the United States in 1992 that 
stipulate that no additional Russian nuclear fuel supplies beyond 
those derived from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons will be 
delivered to U.S. utilities with nuclear reactors.

Russia already supplies about half the enriched uranium used by U.S. 
nuclear power plants and the lawmakers said allowing Russia to "dump" 
more of the fuel in the U.S. market could scuttle construction of two 
planned American uranium enrichment facilities.

Republican Pete Domenici, who chairs the Senate's energy committee, 
and Jeff Bingaman, the top Democrat on the panel, said they are 
against changing the supply agreements.

"Any changes proposed in either agreement would have the potential of 
making the U.S. more dependent on foreign sources of nuclear fuel at 
a time when domestic sources are being developed," they said in a 
letter to Bush.

"Additionally, Russian access to the U.S. market at this time is 
likely to result in market destabilization potentially jeopardizing 
resurgence of the nuclear-related industry," the lawmakers warned.

A senior Bush administration official at a briefing on the G8 meeting 
on Tuesday declined to comment on what nuclear issues may be agreed 
to between the United States and Russia at the summit.

The two U.S. uranium enrichment facilities have a combined price tag 
of $3.2 billion and would be located in New Mexico, which Domenici 
and Bingaman both represent, and in Ohio.

Ohio's two Republican senators, Mike DeWine and George Voinovich, 
also signed the letter against allowing in more Russian enriched 

By 2013, the two facilities could provide half of the enriched 
uranium required by U.S. nuclear power reactors, the lawmakers said.

The senators suggested that the U.S. government examine the options 
for uranium fuel supplies after 2013.

Putin doesn't want to wait that long. In answers to e-mailed

questions posted on the Kremlin's Web site, Putin said he was against 
U.S. "discriminatory" restrictions on the sale of Russian nuclear 
fuel and will raise the issue with Bush when they meet at the G8.

"The only thing we want is equal competition on external markets, 
including the American market," Putin said.

Ceradyne Enters Nuclear Waste Business

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Jul 13 -- Ceradyne Inc. said Thursday it 
bought an industrial facility, a new product line and manufacturing 
equipment for $14.1 million, as part of a nuclear waste containment 
The company, which makes durable ceramic products for military and 
industrial uses, said it bought an 86,000-square-foot facility in 
Quebec, Canada.

In a separate transaction, the company acquired a boron carbide and 
aluminum cladding product line called Boral, as well as manufacturing 
equipment and inventory from AAR Manufacturing Inc. Ceradyne intends 
to manufacture the nuclear waste containment materials under an 
agreement with Canadian aluminum producer Alcan Inc.

Chief Executive Joel Moskowitz in a statement called the acquisitions 
"part of our diversification strategy."

Ceradyne's products include armor for military helicopters, diesel 
engine components and orthodontic brackets.

Russia wants to store nuclear waste 

WASHINGTON Jul 12 - Russian President Vladimir Putin is maneuvering 
to take the nuclear waste the rest of the world shuns, hoping for a 
financial bonanza - and President Bush, in a reversal of U.S. policy, 
is offering to help.  

The two countries will announce as part of the upcoming G-8 summit 
that they will begin negotiations on a civilian nuclear agreement 
that would clear the way for Putin to achieve one of his top energy 
goals: expanding his country's power reactors and using Russia's vast 
territory as a storehouse for the world's used reactor fuel.  

A majority of the spent reactor fuel now at power plants - especially 
in such countries as        South Korea, Japan and Taiwan - came from 
the United States and can't be shipped anywhere without U.S. 

The United States has civilian nuclear agreements with nearly two 
dozen countries, including China, but it has opposed negotiating one 
with Russia, mainly because Russia has been helping        Iran 
develop its nuclear energy program.

While U.S. officials have emphasized the desire to increase 
cooperation with Russia on civilian nuclear matters, some major 
hurdles must be overcome before an agreement can be reached, 
including assurances that any U.S.-origin waste that would go to 
Russia will be secure and safe.

"There would have to be all kinds of technical details and safeguards 
worked out," said        Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security 
adviser, adding, "It will take months to do." Others say it could 
take years and may find strong opposition in Congress, which does not 
have to approve a deal, but can veto it.

U.S. officials believe Putin wants the civilian nuclear agreement so 
much that it gives the administration leverage to get more 
cooperation from Russia to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"The Russians can make billions of dollars (from accepting foreign 
reactor waste) but only with U.S. OK. And that gives the United 
States a lot of leverage," says Matthew Bunn, a leading nuclear 
proliferation watchdog who heads the Managing the Atom Project at 
Harvard University.

As for the United States, the administration sees such cooperation 
with Russia as essential for its broader vision on the expansion of 
nuclear energy worldwide. There are now 442 nuclear power plants in 
32 countries including the U.S. and Russia, and the desire for more 
reactors is growing, especially in Asia.

Earlier this year, the White House unveiled a long-range plan to 
renew reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel as part of an international 
program in which a limited number of countries - including the U.S. 
and Russia - would provide uranium fuel to other countries and then 
retrieve the used reactor fuel for reprocessing.

That would allow countries to have reactors to produce electricity, 
but not to pursue nuclear fuel enrichment, which - as has been the 
concern with Iran - poses the risks that uranium might be enriched to 
a point where it can be used in a weapon.

A civilian nuclear agreement would help get Russian participation in 
the Global Nuclear Energy Project and development of the next 
generation of nuclear reactors: high-speed neutron reactors that are 
essential in nuclear fuel reprocessing.

Putin has made clear his determination to expand Russian civilian 
nuclear programs. Like Bush, he envisions an international program to 
provide uranium fuel and a way to dispose of spent reactor waste.

In 2001, Putin signed laws that clear the way for importing spent 
fuel from foreign reactors, despite strong opposition from many 

"In poll after poll, 90 percent of the Russian population objected to 
Russia becoming essentially a repository for spent nuclear waste," 
says Sarah Mendelson, a senior fellow in the Russia program at the 
Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-
based think tank.

That could pose a sticky problem for the administration, she 
suggested, if the U.S. is perceived as conspiring with the Russian 
government against the will of most of its citizens.

But many scholars of Russia and of global nuclear issues maintain 
that increased cooperation on civilian nuclear issues is likely to be 
beneficial to both countries.

"There are a lot of potential benefits, but there are at the same 
time potential risks," said Bunn, the Harvard scholar who specializes 
in nuclear proliferation issues. 

While generally supporting the U.S. initiative with Russia, Bunn 
said, "The negotiations won't be quick" as the United States seeks 
assurances from Russia on a broad range of issues from assuring spent 
fuel is kept secure to gaining some say in how the revenue from waste 
shipments - estimated by some to be as much as $20 billion - are 
spent by the Russians. 

While no U.S. reactor waste is likely to go to Russia, the United 
States is expected to press Russia to funnel a significant portion of 
the money it gets from foreign shipments to improving security not 
only at civilian waste facilities, but also defense sites where 
nuclear material is kept. 

Robert Einhorn, a senior CSIS adviser and former assistant secretary 
of state, said much of the impact of increased U.S.-Russia 
cooperation on civilian nuclear programs will be positive "especially 
if Russia would devote some of the revenues from spent fuel storage 
to nuclear security and other threat reduction steps." 

"Having material safely stored is a nonproliferation benefit," said 

Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force 
on Nonproliferation, isn't convinced. 

"Our plan to deal with the global nuclear waste problem should not be 
turned into a nuclear waste marketplace in a country with such a poor 
record of securing their own nuclear material," said Markey. "That is 
just plain naive."

E.ON May Have to Sell Nuclear Plants to Buy Endesa, People Say 

July 13 (Bloomberg) Jul 13 -- Spain's energy regulator will consider 
forcing E.ON AG, the world's largest power company, to sell nuclear 
and coal-fired plants in the country to win approval for a 26.9 
billion-euro ($34.2 billion) bid for Endesa SA, said two people 
briefed on a staff recommendation. 

The staff of the National Energy Commission wants E.ON to sell 
Endesa's stakes in seven atomic plants, its power-supply business in 
the Balearic and Canary islands and plants that burn Spanish coal, 
said the people, who wouldn't be identified because the proposal is 

Spain, which has opposed E.ON's all-cash proposal in favor of a lower 
offer from Barcelona's Gas Natural SDG SA, gave the regulator the 
power to veto utility takeovers by foreigners three days after 
Dusseldorf-based E.ON made the Feb. 21 offer. The assets identified 
for sale represent half of Endesa's Spanish business, leaving units 
in Italy, France, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina. 

``This won't stop E.ON because this takeover provides a growth 
platform in Southern Europe and gives it a hold in Latin America,'' 
said Jose Javier Ruiz, an analyst with Exane BNP Paribas in London. 
``E.ON is unlikely to challenge this in court because it would just 
delay the takeover.'' 

A spokeswoman for the commission said yesterday the agency won't 
comment on the proposals until they are made public. Sabine Hower, an 
E.ON spokeswoman in Dusseldorf, Germany, said she hadn't seen the 
draft. Officials in the press office of Endesa didn't answer the 
telephone when called after normal business hours in Madrid. 

The report also leaves open the possibility of an outright rejection 
of the bid from E.ON of Germany because it conflicts with Spanish 
law, the people said. 

Veto Possibility 

European governments have sought to create power companies big enough 
to compete when full market competition arrives in a year. 

The recommendations, if retained in the final proposal in their 
entirety, would strip assets from E.ON that could supply electricity 
to about 22.5 million homes. 

The staff report, scheduled to be delivered in final form in coming 
days, will be used by the full nine-member regulatory panel to rule 
on the takeover of Spain's largest power company. 

The regulator plans to rule on the final report at the end of the 
month, said one of the people. The board can veto the takeover, 
accept the staff recommendation in full or modify it. 

The remaining assets, including Madrid-based Endesa's businesses in 
Italy, France and Chile and its gas-fired and hydropower plants in 
Spain, may be attractive enough to carry on with the purchase, Ruiz 

Seeking Growth 

E.ON, based in Dusseldorf, wants to add customers in Spain and Latin 
America. The plan by E.ON Chief Executive Officer Wulf Bernotat was 
opposed by the Spanish government. 

The regulator and the Spanish government have authorized a lower bid 
by domestic rival Gas Natural, currently worth 20.3 billion euros. 

Endesa owns 3,641 megawatts of nuclear power plants in Spain, or 48 
percent of the country's total. It also owns the monopoly power 
plants and distribution grids in Spain's Canary and Balearic islands, 
and three domestic coal-fed plants with an installed capacity of 
3,770 megawatts.

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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