[ RadSafe ] Russia will work to push its interests on nuclear fuel market - Putin

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 7 11:51:41 CDT 2006


Russia will work to push its interests on nuclear fuel market - Putin
Fire on Russian nuclear submarine kills two
Nuclear courier accused of theft, fraud
2 US Senators may complicate passage of nuclear bill 
Boston U. awarded $42.5 million from NASA to study space radiation

Russia will work to push its interests on nuclear fuel market - Putin

CASABLANCA. Sept 7 (Interfax) - President Vladimir Putin has said 
Russia will work to assert its interests on the international nuclear 
energy market. 

"We do not see an absolutely level-playing field on the nuclear fuel 
market yet. Russia's interests there are being trampled on," he said 
aboard the presidential jet responding to a question from Interfax. 

"Russia will be working more recognition of its interest on the 
nuclear energy market," he said. 

"We have things to discuss with our partners here," he added. 

Putin also said that along with extracting mineral fuel and advancing 
nuclear power engineering Russia was determined to develop hydropower 

Fire on Russian nuclear submarine kills two 

MOSCOW (AFP) Sept 7 - Two submariners have been killed and one 
injured in a fire aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents 
Sea close to Norway, with naval sources insisting that the incident 
posed no risk of radioactive contamination. 
"The fire was extinguished around midnight Moscow time" (2000 GMT 
Wednesday), Interfax quoted a northern fleet press officer as saying 

"The submarine's nuclear energy protection apparatus was activated. 
There is no kind of nuclear contamination threat," the press officer 

The submarine, the Saint Daniel of Moscow, was on the surface of the 
Barents Sea north of the Rybachy peninsula at the time of the fire 
late Wednesday.

The two victims, aged 35 and 28, were asphyxiated by burning material 
from the submarine's interior, said the navy's top admiral, Vladimir 
Masorin, on Russian television.

They were taken out of the submarine still alive but died during 
efforts to resuscitate them.

A third man who came to their aid suffered non-fatal poisoning, he 

They "apparently didn't have time to connect their respiration 
apparatus," Masorin told ITAR-TASS.

A fleet spokesman said that the fire had broken out "due to a short-
circuit in the energy supply system in one of the nose sections".

Russia's submarine fleet has experienced numerous such incidents 
since the Soviet Union's 1991 collapse, most notably the sinking of 
the Kursk in August 2000, also in the Barents Sea not far from the 
northern fleet's headquarters at Severomorsk.

That incident claimed the lives of all 118 on board and focused 
attention on the riskiness of Russia's ageing Soviet-era nuclear 
submarine fleet.

Following the latest incident, the Saint Daniel of Moscow was towed 
to Vidyayevo, near Severomorsk.

Masorin said the 16-year-old vessel had exceeded a deadline by which 
renovation work was due.

In a statement, Russia's prosecutor general's office said it had 
opened an investigation for "violation of a ship's rules of conduct".

At 107-metres (350-feet) in length, the Victor IV-class submarine was 
designed to carry 96 people, as well as cruise missiles, mines and 

Nuclear courier accused of theft, fraud

AMARILLO, Texas - A former nuclear materials courier with top secret 
clearance was indicted Wednesday on charges that he used his position 
to obtain restricted items and sell them over the Internet. 
Joe Allen Sizemore, 41, of Amarillo, was charged with wire fraud, 
theft of government property and possession of unregistered firearms, 
U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper announced Wednesday in a news release.

Roper said Sizemore was expected to surrender to federal authorities 
and make his initial court appearance within the next two weeks.

No telephone listing for Sizemore could immediately be found in the 
Amarillo area.

Sizemore worked as a nuclear materials courier for the Office of 
Secure Transportation under the        Department of Energy and was 
assigned to the Pantex Plant, a nuclear weapons assembly and 
disassembly facility near Amarillo.

Couriers transport nuclear weapons and obtain body armor, night 
scopes and weaponry restricted to government and law-enforcement 
officials. They agree to return equipment the DOE that has been 
provided to them during their employment, according to Roper's 

>From July 2003 until August 2005, Sizemore prepared purchase requests 
of restricted items on DOE letterhead and submitted them to his 
supervisors, who signed them, according to the indictment. After he 
received the items, he posted them for sale on the Internet, 
prosecutors say.

Authorities recovered two submachine guns when they searched 
Sizemore's home in October, according to the release. The fully 
automatic weapons are required by law to be registered in the 
National Firearms Registry.

Sizemore had worked at Pantex since 1990 and had top secret 
clearance, according to a previous report published in the Amarillo 

2 US Senators may complicate passage of nuclear bill 

Rediff News Sept 7 - The summer recess of the United States Congress 
is over, and for the US-India civilian nuclear agreement, trouble is 
in the air. Two conservative US Senators have threatened to block the 
Senate version of the bill from coming to the floor for debate and 
voting, if Title II -- also known as the IAEA Additional Protocol -- 
is not dropped from the enabling legislation passed by the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee by an overwhelming 16-2 margin June 29.  

On that day, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Senator Richard 
Lugar had said that he and co-author Senator Joe Biden had "agreed to 
add an important piece of nonproliferation legislation to this bill 
as Title II." 

Lugar recalled then that "in 2004, the Senate ratified the IAEA 
Additional Protocol, but Congress has not passed implementing 
legislation that is required before the treaty can go into effect." 

He noted that President George W Bush had asked Congress to act on 
this issue, and that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had voted 
unanimously in favour in March. "Unfortunately, we have been unable 
to secure Senate passage by unanimous consent. 

"At a time when the US is demanding that India complete and ratify an 
Additional Protocol as part of our civilian nuclear agreement and we 
are continuing to demand that Iran abide by its Additional Protocol, 
it is important that Congress complete its work." 

He warned that continued failure to pass the bill would weaken 
America's standing and President Bush's leverage on these important 

Neither the Bush administration nor the Government of India had any 
problem with the addition of this provision to the nuclear bill. 

Now, however, Senators Jon Kyl and John Eric Ensign, both 
Republicans, are preparing to throw a spanner into the machinery. 

Both Senators say they are in favor of the US-India nuclear deal, but 
cannot support the enabling legislation unless Title II is not 

Faced with this attitude by the two Senators, Lugar has stuck to his 
guns; he maintains that Title II will remain in the legislation when 
it comes to the Senate floor for debate and voting. 

The stand-off comes at a time when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist 
had assured the administration and the pro-India lobby that he hopes 
to bring the bill for a floor vote in or around the third week of 

Congressional sources close to Kyl and Ensign told Rediff India 
Abroad the two Senators believe Title II devolves all authority to 
the International Atomic Energy Agency, and would preclude the US 
from acting unilaterally against 'rogue States' like Iran and North 
Korea, "who are clandestinely developing nuclear weapons and 
endangering the security of the US and its allies." 

Title II binds America's hands behind its back, they argue. 

Senior diplomatic sources speak of their frustration at the sudden 
turn of affairs, just when they were hoping the bill would sail 
through the Senate during the upcoming session. 

"What is so utterly galling is that Title II doesn't even have 
anything to do with India and its bilateral relations with the US," a 
senior Indian diplomat told Rediff India Abroad. "The whole thing is 
about implementing the US's Additional Protocol with the IAEA." 

These Indian sources are peeved that Lugar tagged this provision onto 
the enabling legislation instead of introducing it independently. "If 
you are going to get into a fight with other members of the Senate 
from your own party, then why tag this on in the first place?" the 
source asked. 

The Indian diplomatic sources said they believe Lugar was trying to 
pull a fast one and push the Additional Protocol through along with 
the India-US nuclear bill, in furtherance of his own non-
proliferation agenda. 

"So this has created a major hurdle for the legislation to come 
before the full Senate," the Indian sources lamented. "This is the 
first thing to be resolved as soon as Congress reconvenes." 

Diplomatic and administration sources said they would like to see 
Title II removed from the nuclear bill. "It is not because India is 
against this in any way. It has nothing to do with India at all," a 
senior Indian diplomatic source pointed out. "The problem is this is 
an unnecessary drag on the legislation, which may prevent it from 
being taken up on the floor for a vote. 

"We (India) have our own problems with the legislation as it is, so 
why muddy the waters even more?" the source argued. 

This has messed with a schedule carefully chalked out by the Bush 
administration working in concert with the pro-India lobby. The plan 
was to bring the legislation to the Senate floor for a quick vote; 
approval, everyone believes, will be by an overwhelming margin. 

They then hoped to get the differences between the Senate and House 
bills resolved quickly in committee; schedule a conference vote 
before October 10, and get the final legislation to President Bush 
for his signature before Congress adjourns. 

There is a valid reason, they say, for the rush -- if the bill misses 
the October deadline, Congress will get too preoccupied with the 
November elections to devote any time to the bill. 

This means the legislation will be shelved till a new Congress 
reconvenes early next year -- and the momentum already built up in 
its favour will be lost. 

"We've been working behind the scenes, strategising, and we've got 
Indian Americans throughout the summer to touch base with their 
respective lawmakers in their home states and so on, so that an 
overwhelming vote like that in the House can be assured," a senior 
Indian diplomat lamented. "But, of course, if we can't get the 
legislation on the Senate floor, then all of this would have been of 
no avail."

Boston University awarded $42.5 million from NASA to study space 

Study of near-earth radiation belts aims to make space exploration 

(Boston) Sept 7 -- Boston University today announced it has received 
an eight-year, $42.5 million contract from NASA to study Earth's 
radiation belts, a region which can be dangerous to astronauts and 
orbiting satellites.  

The project, called the Radiation Belt Storm Probes - Energetic 
Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (RBSP-ECT), will place 
several science instruments into Earth's orbit on a pair of 
satellites designed to measure the behavior of charged particles 
which cause space radiation. The study aims to achieve a better 
understanding of the physical processes that control the shape and 
intensity of the ever-changing radiation belts to help make space 
exploration safer for humans and satellites.

The two-satellite mission, slated for launch in 2012, is part of 
NASA's Living with a Star (LWS) program which aims to learn how and 
why the sun varies, how planetary systems respond, and the effects on 
human activities in space and on Earth. 

"Many satellites orbiting at high altitudes pass through the 
radiation belts, a dynamic region where energetic electrons and ions 
are trapped in Earth's magnetic fields. Even the low-altitude 
International Space Station orbit skims the radiation belts, posing 
serious concerns for astronauts during certain conditions," said 
Harlan Spence, a BU professor of astronomy and the ECT principal 
investigator. "A better physical understanding of the radiation belt 
environment has extremely important practical applications in the 
areas of spacecraft operations and design, mission planning, and 
astronaut safety. RBSP-ECT is designed to provide the observations 
needed to distinguish between competing theories of radiation belt 

According to studies, in order to protect satellites and astronauts 
from high-energy radiation and other adverse effects, it is essential 
to understand first how energetic charged particles are accelerated 
in space. This happens every day in Earth's radiation belts making 
them the ideal place to study radiation processes, explained Spence.

Adverse effects abound. High-energy electrons can penetrate 
spacecraft components and produce catastrophic electrical discharges. 
High-energy ions interact with spacecraft systems in other ways, 
sometimes producing abnormal changes in the logic state of a computer 
chip or degrading the efficiency of the satellite's solar cells. At 
sufficiently high energies, particles penetrate even thick layers of 
shielding and produce damaging radiation as they pass through human 
tissue or electrical components. 

"Some effects from this radiation may be immediate, such as loss of 
power to a spacecraft, while others may be cumulative, like increased 
risk of cancer for astronauts," said Spence. 

To develop the physical understanding needed to predict such effects, 
the RBSP-ECT suite will consist of three instruments designed to 
measure electrons and ions from low to very high energies. All three 
are based on measurement techniques proven in the radiation belts and 
optimized to provide clear separation of ions and electrons and clean 
energy responses - even in the extreme radiation belt environment. 
The coordinated ECT particle measurements on the two RBSP satellites 
are necessary for understanding the acceleration, global 
distribution, and variability of radiation belt electrons and ions - 
key objectives of the Living with a Star program.

"The ECT team applies our extensive experience in designing, 
fabricating, and operating spaceflight instrumentation in the harsh 
RBSP radiation environment to ensure that these measurements have the 
reliability needed to answer important LWS science questions," said 
Spence. "It is personally gratifying that NASA selected BU to lead 
this effort on one of their flagship space physics missions. I am 
honored to be working with such an outstanding team of scientists, 
engineers, and managers. The team is excited about getting started on 
RBSP, a mission that many have dreamed about for decades."

BU will share the funding with partner ECT researchers from MIT, The 
Aerospace Corporation, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University 
of Colorado at Boulder, Southwest Research Institute, Dartmouth 
College, and UCLA, who will collectively implement the RBSP-ECT 
instrument suite. The team also includes scientists from the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Space Environment 
Center, and from three international institutions - University of 
Alberta, Canada; British Antarctic Survey, England; and CERT/ONERA, 
France. The team will initially be provided $1.75 million to conduct 
a one-year study of cost, management, and technical feasibility. 

Faculty research in BU's Department of Astronomy is coordinated 
through its Institute for Astrophysical Research and its Center for 
Space Physics. Research areas include observational and theoretical 
studies in galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, magnetospheric 
and ionospheric physics, planetary and cometary atmospheres, space 
weather, space plasma physics, star formation and galactic structure, 
star and star clusters, active galaxies and quasars, high-energy and 
particle astrophysics, galaxy formation, and cosmology.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized 
institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 
students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the 
United States. BU consists of 17 colleges and schools along with a 
number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central 
to the school's research and teaching mission.

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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