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Ireland says no Down's syndrome link to Sellafield


Ireland says no Down's syndrome link to Sellafield

Nuke Fuel Shipment Draws Protests

German nuclear activists disrupt train to France

IAEA Only few queries left on Iraqi nuke program

Some Answers to Our Energy Problems

EU raps Russia on nuclear cleanup, frets about NTV

Novoste chief says Beta-Cath study not total failure


Ireland says no Down's syndrome link to Sellafield


DUBLIN, April 10 (Reuters) - Ireland's nuclear protection body said 

on Tuesday it accepted a report that concluded a cluster of Down's 

syndrome births in the republic in the 1960s and 1970s were not 

linked to Britain's Sellafield reactor. 

The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland said there was no 

link between the cluster and a fire at Sellafield, then called 

Windscale, in 1957, but added it still had serious worries about the 

plant on Britain's northwest coast. 

"Ireland's objections to Sellafield are solidly based on the 

continuing radioactive contamination of the Irish Sea, and most of 

all on the risk to this country of serious consequences from a major 

accident at the plant," said RPII chief Tom O'Flaherty. 

"These objections are not undermined because the suggestion of a link 

with the Down's syndrome cluster has been disproved." 

A long-held theory suggested the births of Down's syndrome babies to 

six women who attended the same school in Dundalk, across the Irish 

Sea on the northeast coast of Ireland, was linked to radioactive 

contamination from the 1957 fire. 

However the RPII said a new study had revealed three of the women had 

left the school, and the Dundalk area, some months before the fire, 

thus disproving a Sellafield connection. 

Ireland has campaigned long and hard for the closure of the 

Sellafield plant. 


Nuke Fuel Shipment Draws Protests

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - A disputed shipment of spent nuclear fuel 

bound for reprocessing in France got under way early Tuesday as small 

groups of protesters demonstrated against the transport. 

A container of waste left the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant, in the 

southern state of Bavaria, and was taken to nearby Gochsheim to be 

loaded onto a train, officials at the power station said. Some 200 

people gathered at Gochsheim to protest the shipment, a local anti-

nuclear group said. 

Waste containers also were expected to leave two other power plants 

Tuesday - from Philippsburg in Baden-Wuerttemberg state and Biblis in 


Nine demonstrators were detained in Philippsburg, where protests had 

been banned, police said. In addition, seven Greenpeace activists 

were arrested on charges of failing to comply with authorities, 

police said. There were no immediate reports of trouble in Biblis. 

The trains, carrying a total of five containers of spent nuclear 

fuel, were to be coupled together at Woerth, on Germany's border with 

France. From there, they were to continue across France to the 

reprocessing plant at La Hague in Normandy. 

Protesters had threatened a repeat of last month's massive 

demonstrations over the return of reprocessed waste from France to 

the Gorleben dump in northern Germany, the traditional focus of anti-

nuclear protests. 

That transport was delayed 18 hours by protesters who defied a huge 

police operation and attached themselves to the track using an 

elaborate system of pipes and chains. Police had to clear many more 

from sit-down protests. 

The German government ``knows perfectly well that reprocessing in 

France is systematically contaminating the environment,'' complained 

Veit Buerger, a Greenpeace spokesman. 

This time, Baden-Wuerttemberg state police banned sit-in protests on 

the tracks, saying anyone caught trying to disrupt the convoy would 

be fined $70, plus a ``carry-away fee'' between $29 and $57 - 

depending on whether it takes one or two officers to haul them off. 

On Monday night, 13 activists from environmentalist group Greenpeace 

were arrested after they occupied a wagon due to carry the waste near 

the southern town of Wuerzburg. Another 15 people occupied a bridge 

near the town of Schweinfurt, Greenpeace said. 

Germany sends spent nuclear fuel from its power plants to France for 

reprocessing under contracts that oblige it to take back the waste. 

Three years ago, the transports between France and Germany were 

halted after high levels of radiation were found to be leaking from 

the trains. 

Protesters say the shipments are still unsafe and want Germany's 

nuclear plants shut down quickly. They aim to make the transports so 

expensive that the government will be forced to halt them. 

The police presence to protect Tuesday's transport was costing the 

state of Baden-Wuerttemberg $917,000, the state interior ministry 


The government last year struck a deal to scrap the country's 19 

nuclear plants, though the shutdown could still take well over 20 

years to complete. 


German nuclear activists disrupt train to France


SENNFELD, Germany, April 10 (Reuters) - German anti-nuclear activists 

disrupted a shipment of spent nuclear fuel to France on Tuesday by 

chaining themselves to the rails near a nuclear power plant in the 

southern state of Bavaria. 

Police said four Greenpeace activists who chained themselves to the 

tracks near Sennfeld and four others hanging from ropes from a 

pedestrian bridge were delaying the transport of the first waste 

Germany was sending to France for reprocessing in four years. 

Police said they were using special welding equipment to free the 


"It will probably take a while for us to clear the tracks," a 

spokesman said. Six demonstrators have been taken into custody, 

police said. 

Protesters were trying to stop a container carrying nuclear waste 

from a power plant in Bavaria that began its journey to a waste 

reprocessing centre in France. The container was first transported by 

truck and accompanied by a police escort from the Grafenrheinfeld 

power plant to a rail station in Gochsheim. 

Several hundred anti-nuclear activists stood by at the train station 

where the container was transferred to the rails amid a police 

presence of hundreds of German police. But they were unable to stop 

the demonstrators in the nearby town of Sennfeld. 

Three further containers carrying spent nuclear fuel from the 

Philipsburg power plant in Baden-Wuerttemberg and another container 

from the Biblis plant in Hesse were due to join the rail transport in 

Woerth in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate before it heads for the 

French reprocessing plant in La Hague. 

Authorities said the Philipsburg and Biblis plants had nearly 

exhausted their temporary storage capacity and would be forced to 

shut down soon if the waste was not removed. 

Anti-nuclear demonstrators had clashed with police two weeks ago when 

Germany took back the first cargo of reprocessed waste from France 

since the German government banned the shipments in 1998 over 

concerns about radioactive leaks and huge anti-nuclear protests. 

Authorities employed 20,000 police costing the state around $50 

million to protect the shipment on its way from France back to a 

storage facility in the northern German town of Gorleben. Protesters 

briefly halted the train by chaining themselves to the tracks. 

German anti-nuclear activists have announced they will try to block 

the train coming from Philippsburg in southwestern Germany before it 

crosses into France on Tuesday evening. 

The train carrying nuclear waste from Germany to a reprocessing plant 

in northern France this week will pass through the suburbs of Paris, 

French anti-nuclear groups said. 

The train, due to traverse France in the early hours of Wednesday, 

will pass through Bobigny, a suburb so close to the capital that it 

is on the Paris metro network, they said. 


IAEA Only few queries left on Iraqi nuke program

UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency 

said it had only a few remaining questions about Iraq's clandestine 

atomic programs and these might be clarified if inspectors were 

permitted back into the country. 

In a report to the U.N. Security Council on Monday, the International 

Atomic Energy Agency, however, said inspectors first needed to verify 

no new programs had emerged since they were last in Iraq in late 


Iraq has barred U.N. scrutiny of its weapons of mass destruction 

programs since U.N. arms experts left on the eve of a December 1998 

U.S.-British bombing raid, conducted to punish Baghdad for not 

cooperating with the inspectors. 

If inspectors were permitted to return, the IAEA would be able "to 

investigate the few remaining questions and concerns that relate to 

Iraq's past clandestine nuclear program, along with any other aspect 

of this program that may come to its knowledge," IAEA Director-

General Mohamed ElBaradei wrote. 

"As long as such verification activities are not reinstated, the 

agency will remain unable to provide any measure of assurance with 

regard to Iraq's compliance with its obligations," ElBaradei said in 

his six-month report. 

The Vienna-based IAEA is responsible for keeping track of Iraq's 

nuclear materials, while the new U.N. Monitoring, Verification and 

Inspection Commission, known as UNMOVIC, is in charge of monitoring 

its chemical, biological and ballistic weapons programs. 

"The agency remains prepared to resume its verification activities in 

Iraq under the relevant Security Council resolutions at short 

notice," ElBaradei said. 


In April 1999, the IAEA came close to giving Iraq a clean bill of 

health after years of criticism that the agency had failed to detect 

Iraq's clandestine nuclear weapons projects. 

Baghdad launched a crash program to test its first nuclear bomb using 

highly enriched uranium after it invaded Kuwait in 1990. The target 

date was April 1991 but U.S. planes during the Gulf War earlier that 

year bombed many facilities. 

Iraq has been under Security Council sanctions since the August 1990 

invasion of Kuwait. Inspections to verify it no longer has weapons of 

mass destruction programs are a key demand before the embargoes can 

be suspended. 

Baghdad has repeatedly rejected a December 1999 council resolution 

that links an easing of sanctions to allowing the inspectors to 

return. Iraq says it has complied with council demands and that the 

1999 resolution offered little relief in lifting the sanctions. 

Iraq, however, did allow IAEA experts to visit in January and check 

on whether enriched, natural or depleted uranium and other materials 

in its atomic power reactors were being diverted for weapons 

purposes. Such visits are required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation 

Treaty, which Iraq signed in 1968. 

ElBaradei said the inspectors were able to ascertain that nuclear 

material remaining in Iraq "is subject to safeguards." But he said 

that annual visits could not substitute for the verification required 

by the Security Council. 


Some Answers to Our Energy Problems


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 9, 2001--"If you think 

deregulation of the airline and telecommunications industries was a 

big deal, those pale in comparison to deregulation of the energy 

industry--and we're right in the middle of it." 

So said Dr. Charles W. Pryor, Jr., President and Chief Executive 

Officer of the Westinghouse Electric Company, referring to the much 

larger global, electricity supply industry. Pryor was visiting the 

University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business 

Administration to speak to MBA students and to a group of his own top-

level managers at a Darden executive education custom program. 

Having worked in the nuclear power industry for most of his career, 

Pryor caught the attention of Professor John Colley's corporate 

governance class when he addressed the current energy situation: 

"There must be a balance between environmental concerns and 

maintaining the quality of life Americans have grown to expect. I 

don't think they want to give up their quality of life because we 

can't get it right in supplying electricity. On a 90-degree day in 

July, they won't want to turn off their air conditioning to cut down 

on carbon emissions. 

"It's a dilemma to be in the most powerful country in the world and 

not be able to adequately supply consumers," he said. According to 

Pryor, the power we use in the world today would have to double or 

triple to accommodate the number of people who will need it over the 

next 50 years. 

Limiting air pollution and greenhouse gases--a goal of countries 

worldwide--without the use of nuclear power would be difficult, he 

says. In fact, the U.S. Nuclear Energy Institute estimates that "the 

amount of greenhouse gases saved each year by nuclear power plants in 

the U.S. equates to taking nearly 100 million cars off the road." 

Pryor cited California's emphasis on energy conservation, and 

although he supports that philosophy, he does not believe it alone is 

feasible, especially with many of California's utility companies near 

bankruptcy. He said, "Andy Grove (co-founder and Chairman of Intel) 

has said we need to build a nuclear facility, so maybe that will make 

a difference out there." 

Pryor says that more than 100 nuclear plants supply about 20 percent 

of U.S. electricity (Virginia Power is one of the largest users of 

nuclear power) and more than 430 plants supply 17 percent of the 

world's electric power. The ability of nuclear power to compete in 

the marketplace will depend on its ability to be cost-competitive, 

and he believes nuclear plants can compete with alternative 

generating sources. He added that the biggest impact on the industry 

is customers pushing for lower costs. 

With short-and-long term economic considerations of the population in 

mind, Westinghouse is investing in new nuclear technologies that will 

be even safer and more economical than those currently in operation. 

Pryor told the students about a newly created position in one energy 

company, called the CRO - Chief Risk Officer - who looks out for all 

potential risks to a business, such as financial, environmental and 

operational. He believes this is a new trend in the industry and is a 

brilliant idea that may spread to other businesses as well. When 

asked what he thinks is required to supply adequate utilities in the 

U.S., he said, "Ten large, base-load power plants would be a good 

start, if a little on the light side." 

Pryor concluded his remarks with some advice for the group of future 

CEO wannabes. "You show me a CEO who hasn't gone in the wrong 

direction, and I'll show you a CEO who isn't doing a very good job. 

In the U.S., we're learning to tolerate mistakes for the sake of 

taking immediate action to beat out a competitor. If you are 

constantly analyzing, you can't get ahead in a timely manner. 

Americans have grown comfortable with making timely decisions." 

Professor Colley said the goal of his course is to change behavior. 

"In classes, CEO's of major corporations add reality and an 

opportunity for students to measure what the faculty, which are 

mostly academics, are telling them," he said. "Charlie Pryor's talk 

was especially interesting, given the current crisis in energy supply 

and demand," Colley added. 

Historically, either Westinghouse or its licensees have provided more 

than 40 percent of the world's operating commercial nuclear plants. 

With the integration of the ABB nuclear businesses into Westinghouse 

(in April 2000), that percentage has grown to approximately 50 

percent, clearly giving Westinghouse the world's largest installed 

base of operating plants. 


EU raps Russia on nuclear cleanup, frets about NTV

LUXEMBOURG, April 10 (Reuters) - The European Union accused Russia on 

Tuesday of dragging its feet over plans to clean up its environment 

and said Moscow must work much harder to attract sorely needed 

foreign investment. 

During talks in Luxembourg with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor 

Khristenko, senior EU officials also expressed concerns about press 

freedom amid a fierce ownership row over Russia's sole independent TV 

channel, NTV. 

European Commissioner for External Affairs, Chris Patten, said Moscow 

was holding up plans to release European, U.S. and Japanese money to 

tackle some of its environmental problems, especially at nuclear 

facilities in northern Russia. 

"We are profoundly disappointed by the discussions last week (in 

Berlin), which actually went backwards," Patten told a news 

conference also attended by Khristenko and Swedish Foreign Minister 

Anna Lindh. 

Patten was referring to the so-called Multilateral Nuclear 

Environmental Program in Russia (MNEPR), which aims to tap foreign 

capital to tackle problems like rusting hulks of Russian nuclear 

submarines in the Barents Sea. 

Diplomats said the main problems centred on taxation and liability 

for the foreign firms involved. The EU had hoped to wrap up the issue 

by the time of an EU-Russia summit in Moscow in May but diplomats 

said that now looked unlikely. 

They said Russia appeared unhappy about some of the conditions donors 

had attached to the future investments. 


Patten said Moscow had to do more to persuade all investors that 

Russia was a safe and reliable place to do business in. 

"If we are to see an increase in EU investment, Russia has to work 

harder in the energy sector and others," he said. 

Patten added that the EU had been heartened by comments in favour of 

market reforms by President Vladimir Putin in his recent state-of-the-

nation address. 

The EU wants Russia to liberalise its tax regime for foreign 

investors, to simplify customs procedures, enforce contractual rights 

and introduce international accounting standards. 

Despite the criticisms, Khristenko gave an upbeat assessment of EU-

Russia relations, saying they had "never been so intense." 

"This pragmatic spirit should be the basis of our future relations," 

he said. 

The Russian side raised some concerns about the EU's plans to take in 

new members from ex-communist central and eastern Europe but said 

that, handled correctly, enlargement could provide new economic 

opportunities for Moscow too. 

Khristenko said the EU accounted for 35 percent of all Russian trade 

and the 12 candidate countries a further 16 percent, making the 

region by far its biggest market. 


Lindh, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, repeated 

European worries about media freedom in Russia and about the human 

rights situation in Chechnya. 

State-dominated gas giant Gazprom recently ousted the founder of 

independent television channel NTV and his key aides in a boardroom 

coup branded illegal by the network's staff. Thousands have protested 

against the takeover in the biggest street protests of Putin's year-

old presidency. 

"On NTV, we have called for pluralist laws of ownership. We fear this 

(latest) development will decrease pluralism for owners," Lindh told 

Reuters. She also accused Russia of continuing to block humanitarian 

aid for civilians in war-devastated Chechnya, where Moscow says it is 

fighting radical Islamic separatists. 

"We had lots of promising answers (on Chechnya), but we responded 

that unfortunately we have heard these promises before and have not 

seen any improvement on the ground," she said. 


Novoste chief says Beta-Cath study not total failure

CHICAGO, April 9 (Reuters) - Novoste Corp. <NOVT.O> Chief Executive 

William Hawkins told analysts on Monday that his company's Beta-Cath 

radiation therapy still holds some promise for expanded use in first-

time stent patients, despite last month's disappointing study 


The Norcross, Ga.-based medical device company already markets the 

Beta-Cath radiation therapy to prevent reclogging of arteries propped 

open with wire-mesh tubes, or stents, a condition known as "instent 

restenosis." The company had sought to expand the therapy's use to 

patients receiving a stent for the first time, but the technology 

failed to meet the study's main objectives. 

Investors took the news hard, slicing the company's share price 

nearly in half, to $17.06, in March 19 trade on the Nasdaq market. 

At the Robinson-Humphrey Institutional conference in Atlanta, Hawkins 

told analysts the tube, or train, used in the Beta-Cath study to 

deliver radiation was too short, allowing the artery to reclose at 

the edges. Had it been longer, he said, the study may have proven 

more successful. 

In the presentation, which was broadcast over the Internet, Hawkins 

said the areas of the artery treated with radiation responded to the 

treatment. "We used a too-short source train that is easily 

solvable," he said. 

Novoste has filed for U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval for 

two longer source trains, a 40mm version and a 60mm version. He said 

FDA approval for the 40mm version is expected any day, and approval 

of the 60mm version expected in the second half of the year. 

The company plans to conduct a new study using the longer source 

trains later this year, Hawkins said. 

Novoste received FDA approval in November to use radiation to treat 

instent restenosis, a $500 million market. Adding first-time stent 

users would have expanded the market for Novoste's treatment to $1 

billion to $2 billion, according to estimates from Banc of America 

analyst Kurt Kruger. 

In the United States, the company faces competition from Johnson & 

Johnson <JNJ.N>, which markets a similar therapy. 

"They've learned a lot," Kruger said of the Beta-Cath study, adding 

that the data in that study were gathered two to three years ago. "It 

might take them two years from now to get approval for that kind of 

indication," he said. 

Hawkins said the Beta-Cath study also indicated that instent 

restenosis is a much larger market than previously expected, with 

vessels treated with stents reclogging in some 30 percent to 40 

percent of cases, compared with the current 20 percent to 25 percent 

industry estimates. 


Sandy Perle					Tel:(714) 545-0100 / (800) 548-5100   				    	

Director, Technical				Extension 2306 				     	

ICN Worldwide Dosimetry Service		Fax:(714) 668-3149 	                   		    

ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc.			E-Mail: sandyfl@earthlink.net 				                           

ICN Plaza, 3300 Hyland Avenue  		E-Mail: sperle@icnpharm.com          	          

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Personal Website: http://sandyfl.nukeworker.net

ICN Worldwide Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com


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