[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Warnings about nuclear proliferation at opening of meeting in Vienna

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Mon Apr 30 12:46:48 CDT 2007


Warnings about nuclear proliferation at opening of meeting in Vienna
Toshiba to help Kazakhstan with nuclear unit
Concerns expressed at proposed nuclear plant development in Slovakia
Nuclear power research - Australia

Warnings about nuclear proliferation at opening of meeting in Vienna
VIENNA (AFP) - The United States called for cracking down on nations 
that withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as        
North Korea did, at an NPT conference that opened in Vienna Monday. 
"It is important . . . for us to make such withdrawal more 
unattractive before any other State Party violator is tempted to 
follow such a course," US head of delegation Christopher Ford told 
the 188-nation meeting, which gathered as the Iranian nuclear crisis 

"Let us not mince words, the NPT is in a serious crisis today," 
Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said in an opening address.

The meeting on the landmark 1970 NPT came with        Iran under UN 
sanctions for failing to stop uranium enrichment and as an agreement 
to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program, which unlike Iran has 
actually produced atomic bombs, has stalled.

Japanese ambassador Yukiya Amano, the chairman of the meeting in 
Vienna, said: "It is no secret that the NPT has had serious 
challenges," adding that "issues related to the DPRK (North Korea) 
and Iran have become more pressing."

The international community "cannot afford to be complacent," Amano 

Plassnik proposed setting up a multilateral, international nuclear 
fuel bank so that there "should no longer (be) concern about 
potential misuses of fuel" for military purposes by individual 
nations, such as Iran.

Ford said states that withdraw from the NPT, thus freeing themselves 
from UN inspections, should "remain accountable for violations".

He also said the UN nuclear watchdog the        International Atomic 
Energy Agency should have the authority "to terminate assistance and 
withdraw any material or equipment" made available by the agency or a 
nation to help with peaceful nuclear development.

The NPT, which went into effect at the height of the Cold War and was 
extended indefinitely in 1995, is reviewed every five years. The last 
such meeting in 2005 failed to resolve any key questions, with non-
aligned countries and nuclear powers bickering over an agenda.

Such delays threatened to hurt the Vienna meeting however as Iran was 
holding up adoption of an agenda, objecting to items on compliance 
with IAEA safeguards and on penalties against withdrawing from the 

The Vienna meeting is the first of a series of preparatory sessions 
ahead of the next overall review in 2010.

Beyond the proliferation concerns raised by Iran and North Korea, 
there is also concern that the NPT, a deal under which nuclear 
weapons states agree to disarm while those nations without the bomb 
agree not to seek it, is threatened by the new US strategy to use pre-
emptive force if judged necessary and Britain's upgrading of its 
nuclear arsenal.

Experts agree that the NPT is ill adapted to the modern era, where so-
called rogue states seek to acquire a nuclear weapons capacity by 
first developing peaceful programs under the terms of the treaty.

Proposed fixes include having all states sign on to tougher UN 
inspections under an Additional Protocol to the NPT.

North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003, shortly after kicking out 
United Nations inspectors. Pyongyang tested an atomic bomb last 

Iran justifies its nuclear work under Article IV of the NPT, which 
guarantees "the inalienable right . . . to develop research, 
production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes."

But the United States charges that Iran is using this as a cover for 
the secret development of nuclear weapons, something that is banned 
by the treaty. 

There are believed to be nine nuclear weapons states. 

They are the five allowed under the NPT -- Britain, China, France, 
Russia and the United States; North Korea which withdrew from the 
treaty; and three nuclear states -- India, Israel and Pakistan -- 
which have refused to sign it.

Toshiba to help Kazakhstan with nuclear unit

TOKYO, April 30 (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp said it agreed on 
Monday to help Kazakh state nuclear company Kazatomprom build a light-
water nuclear power station in the central Asian state. 
The agreement was one of 24 business deals signed by Japanese and 
Kazakh firms on Monday during Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari's 
visit to Kazakhstan, holder of the world's second-largest uranium 
reserves, to secure a supply of uranium in exchange for technological 

Japan's Marubeni Corp. , Tokyo Electric , Chubu Electric and Tohoku 
Electric also agreed to help Kazatomprom develop new uranium mines. 
Kazatomprom agreed to supply Japan's Itochu Corp. with uranium, 
Japan's Trade Ministry said. 

Energy-hungry Japan relies on nuclear power for 30 percent of its 
electricity and imports 60 percent of its uranium from Australia and 
Canada. It is looking for additional sources of uranium amid rising 

Toshiba, Japan's second largest maker of industrial electronics, 
bought U.S. nuclear power firm Westinghouse late last year. It hopes 
to win more contracts in central Asia and in Eastern Europe with 
Westinghouse's light water reactors, which use ordinary water to make 
Concerns expressed at proposed nuclear power plant development in 

Part of: Russian nuclear power reactors 
In the coming weeks the Italian electricity company ENEL is expected 
to take a final formal decision on whether to develop an old nuclear 
reactor in Mochovce, Slovakia, by constructing an additional two 
outdated blocks, reported the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament. 
Bellona, 30/04-2007 

Greens MEPs Monica Frassoni, Rebecca Harms and Claude Turmes met with 
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes on 16 April to express their 
deep concerns about ENEL´s plan to develop an old nuclear reactor in 
Mochovce and the fact that the development is likely to be dependent 
on a significant amount of state aid. 

According to Greens/EFA Co-President Monica Frassoni, 
"environmentalists and Greens across Europe are gravely concerned by 
the proposed expansion of the Mochovce nuclear power plant. The 
Mochovce reactor is based on 1970s soviet technology and is one of 
the most outdated in Europe, lacking many of the crucial safety 
mechanisms introduced after Chernobyl, notably containment. By 
proceeding with this development, ENEL would be acting in 
contradiction to what it is claiming in Italy i.e. that it is 
investing in safe and advanced technologies. There is no such thing 
as safe nuclear technology." 

Referring to a plebiscite in Italy in 1987, which decided to close 
down all Italian nuclear reactors, Frassoni further said that "ENEL 
would also be ignoring the will of a clearly anti-nuclear Italian 
public, which is disturbing given ENEL is a partially state-owned 
firm. We fully support the demonstration organized by Greenpeace at 
various Italian embassies today in opposition to ENEL's planned 
nuclear investment".

Also greens energy spokespersons Rebecca Harms and Claude Turmes 
criticized the project. "In addition to safety issues, the proposed 
development at Mochovce would not be feasible without flouting EU 
competitive rules," they said.

Nuclear power research - Australia

A STRING of companies are pushing the Howard Government to introduce 
financial incentives for research aimed at more efficient nuclear 
power generation and waste management.

The calls come after the Prime Minister John Howard at the weekend 
said the Federal Government would provide "immediate support" to 
Australia participating in the development of new generation nuclear 

However, it is unlikely the Federal Budget, to be unveiled next week 
by Treasurer Peter Costello, will include any incentives for nuclear 

Gas and oil companies receive a 150 per cent tax break on investment 
in exploration and investors in Australia's emerging nuclear industry 
are stepping up the call for financial support.

Melbourne businessman John White, who has applied to international 
regulators to secure a licence to manage uranium exported from 
Australia, believes the Government will need to provide incentives if 
it wants to cultivate viable local technologies.

"We can't just rely on digging up resources and exporting them. We 
need appropriate and competitive incentives across the board for all 
research and development in Australia."

Mr White, who is also chairman of international environmental waste 
management provider Global Renewables, refused to comment on whether 
the incentives for developers of nuclear technologies should be on a 
par with, or exceed, government support for gas exploration.

Another company in line to secure support from Canberra is Sydney-
based nuclear R&D firm NuPower-Green (Australia).

The company has won some financial support from a group of British 
investors for research it has undertaken into the potential for 
thorium-based nuclear generation.

Thorium, which is more abundant than uranium and plutonium, is seen 
as a potentially more efficient nuclear fuel because it is associated 
with generation systems that produce less radioactive waste.

While a thorium-driven power plant is yet to be developed, advocates 
of the technology argue that such reactors will be introduced within 
20 years.

Philip Lavers, one of the directors of NuPower-Green, said that the 
company was in talks with British Nuclear Fuels with a view to 
undertaking joint research.

"Thorium and uranium companies will be the Exxons and Chevrons of the 
world in the next 20 years, I'm convinced of that," he said

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 cox.net 

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

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