[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Jordan plans nuclear energy by 2015

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Sun Apr 1 11:54:56 CDT 2007


Jordan plans nuclear energy by 2015
Nuclear Energy: The Next Big Green Thing
Students impressed by safety of Yucca Mountain after site visit
'County must embrace nuclear power'
Nuclear plant passes milestone in license extension
PCs used to track nuclear info missing  
Australia's Senators head anti-nuclear Palm Sunday march
Nuclear waste on our rails

Jordan plans nuclear energy by 2015

King Abdallah has called for an Arab center for nuclear energy for 
peaceful purposes.

"Ynet" news reported today that Jordan is planning to construct a 
nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes. Quoting a report in London 
today by "Al Hayat," Ynet said that Jordan intended to operate its 
first reactor for the purpose of energy production in 2015, "to 
ensure a better future and achieve continuous development" for the 
kingdom, which lies in a desert region and suffers from a severe 
energy shortage. 
The Jordanians' policy is based on three key moves: creating a large 
uranium reserve for energy purposes; training suitable physicists, 
through the promotion of the plan at Jordanian universities; and 
creating relevant alliances with Western countries.

Nuclear Energy: The Next Big Green Thing

According to research by Industrial Info Resources, nuclear energy is 
the only installed and proven energy option that will keep up with 
the growing population while reducing greenhouse gases and the 
problems of global warming.

By 2050, the world will need three times the amount of nuclear 
produced energy than exists today, the research showed.

Safety is a key concern for nuclear power, but the report suggests 
that geological disposal of nuclear waste is safer and more efficient 
than reprocessing spent fuel. It adds that current technologies and 
processes result in a very low risk of adverse effects and 
construction and operations are closely monitored.

Currently, nuclear plants are not included with the government´s 
carbon-free emitting classification which provides tax subsidies that 
can lower the overall investment costs, making competition with 
natural gas and coal-fired plants difficult, the report said.

North America has approximately 100 nuclear sites and there are 400 
worldwide. The U.S. in 2002 had 20 percent of it electricity from 
nuclear power. With that expected to triple by 2050, government 
officials will need to play a larger role in safety and monitoring of 
nuclear power both domestically and abroad, according to Industrial 

Students impressed by safety of Yucca Mountain after site visit

Ask Churchill County High School science students what they think of 
storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and they will explain how 
safeguards make the proposal a good idea. 

A group of advanced placement chemistry pupils in Steve Johnson's 
class visited the planned nuclear waste repository earlier this 
month, along with the Nevada Test Site and the San Onofre Nuclear 
Generating Station in California. A stop at Hoover Dam taught the 
students about hydroelectric power.

What the teens learned on the trip convinced them that nuclear power 
is a vital energy source, and that storing radioactive waste in 
Nevada is not a big deal. 

Alex Belbin, 16, said this was his second trip to Yucca Mountain but 
his first to San Onofre. 

"Not only do they have all these guards, they have a backup in case 
the systems fail," he said about the power plant. "It's really, 
really, really safe. That impressed me."

After touring Yucca Mountain, Belbin said geologists explained how 
the waste would be protected via natural features of the area, such 
as volcanic rock. 

"It's really safe. Nothing is going to happen," he said about a 
potential disaster. 

Belbin plans to attend the Naval Academy and eventually work in 
engineering. He enjoys chemistry and all sciences. The junior has 
lived in Fallon most of his life after being born in England where 
his mother was stationed with the Navy. 

"I like the concepts and doing things with chemicals. Explosions are 
always nice, too," he joked. 

Shane Groover said experts at Yucca Mountain explained how nuclear 
waste would be stored in an unbiased way to allow students to form 
their own opinions. 

"The Yucca Mountain trip reinforced my opinion that it is a good 
place to store nuclear waste," he said. "We have to store it 
somewhere. If we don't, the nuclear industry is going to collapse."

He hopes to be a nuclear engineering someday. Groover, 17, said he 
would love to be a pilot but he suffers from motion sickness that 
might hamper that goal. His father retired this week after 23 years 
with the Navy. 

Pam White said she doesn't understand why Nevada officials oppose 
storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. 

"Of all the places to store it, I see Nevada as the best place," said 
White, 17. "There's a very small chance it would get into our water 
table. Our government has some good ideas, and we're very good about 
planning for the future."

She hopes her future holds a job she enjoys, that is creative and 
also contributes to society. 

Misty Moyle said visiting a museum at the Nevada Test Site brought to 
life the public's reaction to atomic testing beginning in the 1950s 
and continuing for four decades until a moratorium was enacted in 

"It was interesting to see a visual of how destructive the bombs 
were," she said.

Moyle, 17, joins her classmates in the belief that Yucca Mountain is 
completely safe for storing nuclear waste. 

"Everything about the whole process is so safe. They have taken every 
precaution to the Nth degree," she said. "To me, it's a beautiful 
piece of land, and I love Nevada, but it's so safe nothing could 

She believes nuclear waste will be recycled and reused in the future. 

Moyle is fascinated by how hormones work in the body and hopes to 
become an endocrinologist. She lives in Fallon during the school year 
and in Eureka to work on the family farm during summers. 

The U.S. Department of Energy had set at 2017 deadline to open the 
nuclear repository in Southern Nevada, 90 miles northwest of Las 
Vegas. The date was pushed back to 2020 or 2021 on Wednesday because 
it could take longer to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission. Litigation has also delayed the project. 

Yucca Mountain would be the country's first national repository for 
nuclear waste with the capacity to store at least 77,000 tons of the 

There is currently about 50,000 tons of radioactive waste sitting at 
reactor sites in various states. 

Johnson said he has been taking students to the Nevada Test Site and 
Yucca Mountain for about 10 years. 

"The Nevada Test Site has played a major role in the Cold War years. 
It's important for Nevada residents to know we played a part," he 

'County must embrace nuclear power'

It is "vital" for Lancashire and the North West to stay at the 
cutting edge of the UK's nuclear industry.

That was the message from a nuclear power expert, who added that new 
power stations would have "major implications" for jobs.

Joe Flanagan, sector lead for energy at the North West Development 
Agency, was speaking at a nuclear debate in Preston.

The event, at the Red Rose Hub in Bluebell Way, could help influence 
a Government consultation into the future of nuclear energy in the 

The conference was told that currently about 23,000 people work in 
the nuclear industry in the region and that Heysham 1 and 2 power 
stations generating 4% of the UK's electricity. 

Heysham 1 is set to be decommissioned in 2014 with Heysham 2 
following in 2023.

Mr Flanagan said: "It is vital that we stay at the forefront of the 
nuclear industry in the UK.

"Clearly, a new nuclear build could have major implications for the 
region in terms of economic development. 

"There is a great potential for jobs during the construction phase 
and if stations were built there would be an ongoing employment in 
the region."

The debate on Friday afternoon took place before the Government set 
out its policy framework, which is expected in a White Paper in May. 

Speaking at the debate, County Coun Hazel Harding, leader of 
Lancashire County Council, said: "The North West has a key role to 
play in the nuclear debate with several potential sites for new-build 
reactors and waste depositories, and not less than 20,000 people in 
the region currently employed in the sector across Heysham, 
Springfield and Sellafield."

The North West Regional Assembly, which organised the event, said it 
presented a timely opportunity for the region's political parties and 
stakeholders to set out their position.

A spokesman for the NWRA said: "Last summer, nuclear power was put 
back on the British political agenda for the first time in 20 years.

"Since the 1990s no new reactors have been built. 

"However concerns over climate change, coupled with soaring oil and 
gas prices and the reliance on their supply from foreign - often 
politically unstable - nations, have resurrected the debate."

Nuclear plant passes milestone in license extension
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. Federal regulators have given the Vermont Yankee 
nuclear power plan a key approval in its bid to extend operation for 
an additional 20 years.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says there are no outstanding 
safety issues at the plant on the Vermont-New Hampshire border.

But the draft report released Friday says six areas need more 
documentation from Entergy Nuclear, the plant's parent company.

The report will be complete in August, along with an environmental 
impact statement. A draft statement released last year has been 
challenged by the Vermont Attorney General's office and anti-nuclear 

PCs used to track nuclear info missing  

WASHINGTON ? The office in charge of protecting American technical 
secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 
desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified 
information, the Energy Department inspector general reported Friday. 

This is the 13 th time in a little more than four years that an audit 
has found that the department, whose national laboratories and 
factories do most of the work in designing and building nuclear 
warheads, has lost control over computers used in working on the 

Aside from computers it cannot find, the department also is using 
computers not listed in its inventory, and one computer listed as 
destroyed was in fact being used, the audit said. 

"Problems with the control and accountability of desktop and laptop 
computers have plagued the department for a number of years," the 
report said. 

In January, Linton F. Brooks was fired as the administrator of the 
National Nuclear Security Agency, the Energy Department agency in 
charge of bombs, because of security problems. The agency was created 
in the 1990s because of security scandals. 

When the most recent audit began, the Counterintelligence Directorate 
was unable to find 141 desktop computers. In some cases, documents 
were found indicating that the computers had been taken out of 

Previous incidents of wayward computers also have involved nuclear-
weapons information. But the office involved in this breach has a 
special responsibility, tracking and countering efforts to steal bomb 

Australia's Senators head anti-nuclear Palm Sunday march

GREENS Leader Bob Brown and his Democrats counterpart Lyn Allison 
today led a 1000-strong Palm Sunday rally through Melbourne 
protesting moves to ramp-up Australia's nuclear industry.

This year the traditional Palm Sunday peace rally had the theme 
"Nuclear Fools Day" to turn attention on the Federal Government's 
push to investigate nuclear energy and uranium options.

Senator Brown said the Federal Government was taking "much more note 
of the people who want to make profits out of uranium and nuclear 
waste than the Australians who don't want that".

Last week, Prime Minister John Howard signalled Australian uranium 
could be sold to India if New Delhi accepts strict safeguards.

But Senator Brown warned there was no way to ensure Australian 
uranium did not end up in the nuclear weapons of the countries which 
bought it.

"They never could guarantee that uranium out of Australia wasn't 
going into French nuclear weapons," he said.

"They won't be able to guarantee that with Chinese or Indian nuclear 
weapons. That's the problem."

Senator Brown also took a swipe at federal Opposition Leader Kevin 
Rudd who is pushing for Labor to abandon its `no new mines' policy at 
the upcoming national conference.

It would "absurd" for Labor to oppose nuclear reactors in Australia 
because they were not safe but then support increased exports to 
countries where safety regimes were even less strict, he said.

Soon after the senators spoke, the rally headed off down Collins 
Street flanked by a 100-metre rainbow banner, a brass band and 
protesters chanting `Export Howard, not uranium'.

Nuclear waste on our rails

Trains carrying up to 4,500 casks of high-level nuclear waste could 
roll through downtown Reno and Sparks every week for 24 years under 
the latest strategy by the U.S. Department of Energy to build a 
railroad line to Yucca Mountain, according to Nevada officials.

In this new age of terrorism, the greatest threat is a cask being 
blown up on a train in downtown Reno or Sparks, said Bob Loux, Nevada 
Office of Nuclear Projects director.

"We think all shipments are vulnerable to terrorists and sabotage," 
Loux said.

Other than to keep pestering Energy Department officials, Loux said 
he doesn't believe local and state officials can do much to stop the 
latest route under study. "I don't see a legal recourse," Loux said.

As many as 4,500 or 5,000 casks -- half of all the casks to be 
shipped by rail -- are expected to go through Reno and Sparks if the 
Mina line is built and the DOE moves forward on using a "suite of 
routes" instead of only one rail line across the country, said Bob 
Halstead, the state's transportation consultant for Yucca Mountain.

Using the southern Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway route as well 
as the central Union Pacific route would provide greater security and 
operating flexibility in routing rail shipments from the East Coast, 
he said. The Santa Fe route would come up from the Central Valley in 
California and then over Donner Pass and into Reno on the UP line. 
Other shipments would come across the UP line from Utah.

At the earliest, DOE officials expect rail construction to begin in 
2012. The repository would be open to start taking in 77,000 metric 
tons of spent nuclear fuel in 2017 in the energy department's best-
case scenario, while state officials say 2025 is more likely, if 
Yucca Mountain is approved at all.

Reno and Sparks are not included in a draft environmental-impact 
study on the Mina railroad line now proposed to be built through 
central Nevada. From the Union Pacific line, the Mina route would 
start with an existing rail line at Hazen, east of Fernley. Then, 
this route would head south to Hawthorne, where a new line would 
follow an abandoned railroad route to the nuclear waste repository at 
Yucca Mountain in Southern Nevada.

The study is limited to the effects of building the new line and 
continued evaluation of the Caliente Route, which has been the 
favored route, starting near the state's eastern border.

The suite of routes has been proposed in discussions by members of 
the DOE's Transportation External Coordinating Working Group and 
outlined in a series of DOE e-mails quoted in an unpublished report 
by Halstead.

If only the Union Pacific route is used to send shipments across the 
country, most allotments would not go through Reno. Only 1,000 casks, 
or about 10 percent, would come by train through Reno and Sparks from 
power plants in California and Oregon, Halstead said.

Allen Benson, spokesman for DOE's Yucca Mountain repository project, 
said he was unaware of the "suite of routes."

But he said there's no need to worry. DOE has been transporting casks 
containing nuclear waste around the country for 50 years without 
incident, including 5,000 shipments to a waste isolation pilot plant 
in Carlsbad, N.M., he said.

"Nuclear material is already being shipped around this country and 
has been since the dawn of the atomic age," Benson said. No harmful 
release of radiation has occurred in this country in 2,700 shipments 
over 1.6 million miles, the department boasts.

But Benson declined to say much about protecting the casks from 
attack or sabotage.

"All of our shipments are escorted. I'm not going beyond that because 
it's a security measure," he said. "Those who need to know will be 
made aware."

Benson describes the casks as "pretty robust."

While DOE intends to hold another hearing in Reno when the draft Mina 
report is issued this fall, Benson said there are no specific plans 
to study the impacts of routing more nuclear waste by rail through 
Reno and Sparks. That's because transportation already was covered in 
an initial environmental-impact statement issued several years ago, 
he said.

And, he said, Reno is no different than any other city, such as 
Kansas City, that will be on the route.

Terrorist threat 

With the same shoulder-fired weapons used in Iraq, Loux said 
terrorists could launch a two-cycle rocket to destroy a cask 
containing nuclear wastes on board a train.

"Most have a secondary explosion. The first explosion penetrates the 
cask and then a second explosion occurs once inside. Then you'd have 
a huge explosion that would include nuclear material," he said.

Depending on the winds, Loux said, the radiation could spread over 42 
square miles.

He said his office had a list of weapons that could be used to attack 
the casks on its Web site, but the FBI asked that information be 
removed because it was copied onto terrorist Web sites. Loux said the 
information was widely available through publications such as Jane's 
military magazine.

In February Loux and Halstead stood along the trench through downtown 
Reno and asked whether it would be a help or a hindrance in 
safeguarding the trains. Trains run under 11 bridges in the 2-mile-
long trench.

The trench will have to be studied more, Halstead said. When trains 
carrying nuclear waste are coming, he said trains should be stopped 
on the other set of tracks before entering the trench.

Halstead said the trench could have symbolic value for terrorists. 
But if radiation leaked, he said, the trench could contain the 
radiation. But a lot of wind could stoke a fire, making an incident 
far worse.

In a letter, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell told DOE officials they 
mishandled the environmental review process with the sudden change of 
plans to send "large amounts of high-level radioactive waste and 
spent fuel through the second largest metropolitan area in Nevada."

Sparks is concerned about train cars carrying nuclear material 
"stopping and staging here when there's a change of crews," in a 
letter signed by Mayor Geno Martini and the Sparks City Council that 
was sent to the Energy Department.

Loux said he considers the Western states as a target because 
terrorists could launch a missile almost anywhere because of the wide-
open spaces.

As more and more communities become aware that they too could become 
targets if and when the trains come, Loux said a movement will grow 
to stop the Yucca Mountain project despite DOE's desires "to keep the 
discussion bottled up in Nevada."


The spent nuclear fuel from power plants and other waste sources 
represent only 10 percent of the cask's weight, Benson said. Over 24 
years, he said, 1,250 rail shipments would be made, amounting to two 
or three shipments a week.

Loux said his office initially petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission in 1999 to make the casks stronger. And since the Sept. 11 
attacks, he said, the commission has started an internal analysis of 
those standards to consider making them stronger.

Halstead said three casks would be shipped on a train. A large rail 
cask would contain 21 pressurized nuclear fuel assemblies from power 
plants, he said. The radioactive material inside those 21 bundles 
weighs about 10½ tons, according to his figures.

Mina vs. Caliente 

The new look at the Mina route was prompted by the Walker River 
Paiute Tribe. Last June, the tribe notified DOE that it had withdrawn 
its objection, filed in 1991, over an environmental study to ship 
nuclear waste across its reservation through central Nevada.

The DOE estimates the Mina route would require only 240 miles of new 
rail and would cross fewer mountain passes than the Caliente Route, 
which would require 318 miles of new rail.

The Mina route is estimated to cost $1.6 billion versus $2 billion 
for Caliente.

Both the Mina and the Caliente routes would involve few, if any, rail 
shipments through Las Vegas. Clark County has loudly opposed 
shipments and DOE officials would likely "pay a little more attention 
to what they're saying," Loux said.

Earlier this month, the Energy Department asked for legislation to 
withdraw public lands at Yucca Mountain and around it from public 
use, a move required as part of its licensing. It also wants to lift 
a 77,000-ton limit on the amount of nuclear waste to be stored there.

No matter the setbacks, the nuclear energy industry will wait, 
Halstead said.

"I was just at a meeting with 2,200 (industry) people. Only 25 of us 
were dubious about the future of the nuclear industry and dubious 
about the future of Yucca Mountain," Halstead said.

Sooner or later, "from a common sense standpoint, these guys are 
going to get a license," Halstead said.

Benson said the environmental study should be complete before the 
energy department submits a license application to the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission by June 2008 as planned.

He said the license could take three to four years to get.

Loux said the project will not be approved because of bad science, 
questions over quality control work for the site selection and the 
energy department's history at other sites. He said the department 
has never built a nuclear-related facility that hasn't leaked.

Loux and Halstead said the Feather River Canyon route for Union 
Pacific shipments from California -- an alternative suggested by some 
local officials -- is unlikely to be adopted. The route would avoid 
Reno but it's longer and more dangerous, susceptible to slides of 
rock or mud.

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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