Some other stories from the nuclear industry you may have missed:
Prospect: The future will not be nuclear
‘Gordon Brown does not dither about nuclear power. His commitment to it is emphatic, advancing since the start of the year from a policy of simply replacing Britain's existing nuclear capacity to one of doubling it, and now to there being no upper limit to its share of electricity generation. Brown has undertaken a radical reform of the nuclear regulatory and planning processes, aimed at clearing the path for new reactors. It is therefore particularly poignant that this is a policy doomed to fail.’
Bernama: Asean Okays Plan By Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam To Build Nuclear Power Plant
‘Asean members expressed no objections to the plan by three of its members -- Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam -- to develop nuclear power plants, an official here said. Chairman of the Asean Technical Working Group on the Establishment of Nuclear Power Plants Ad Hoc committee, Prof Carunia Firdausy, said the nuclear power plant development for Indonesia was part of an effort to reduce the country's dependence on oil and coal.’
Bloomberg: Japan Plans 27% Increase in Budget to Cut Emissions
‘The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to spend 433 billion yen ($4 billion) on measures to slow climate change in the year starting April 2009, compared with 342 billion yen for the current year, it said in a statement distributed in Tokyo today. Policies include the development of advanced nuclear plants, electric vehicles and a system to capture and store carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming.’
Arms Control Work: What to do with British Pu?
‘Here’s an interesting factoid. The UK and US each possess about 100 MT of separated plutonium. However, the UK stockpile is largely civilian, whereas the US stockpile is almost entirely military. The UK is currently engaged in a debate about what to do with this plutonium. Last year the Royal Society published a report on the subject and last week the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (the UK public body charged with cleaning up Britain’s messy nuclear legacy) published draft options for public comment.’
Daily Dispatch Online: South Africa’s nuclear waste to be sent overseas
‘GOVERNMENT planned to send highly-radioactive spent fuel rods stored at the Koeberg nuclear power station overseas for reprocessing, Parliament’s minerals and energy portfolio committee heard yesterday. This was a short-term solution to disposing of it, in terms of policy approved by Cabinet “but not announced yet”, Minerals and Energy Department nuclear safety director Schalk de Waal told MPs. “In the longer term, Necsa (the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa) will investigate the possibility of developing an indigenous reprocessing facility,” he said.’
Christian Science Monitor: Will lasers brighten nuclear’s future?
‘Inside a bland industrial building in Wilmington, N.C., an experiment is in the works that could vastly reduce the cost, time, and space needed to make fuel for nuclear power plants and, some nonproliferation experts say, for nuclear bombs as well. In that building, secret uranium-enrichment technology licensed by GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy is nearing a pilot test. If successful, the new technology will enable the company to supply low-cost nuclear fuel to power reactors worldwide, officials say. […] But it would not take much – just a signal from Wilmington of SILEX’s success in the months ahead – to unleash a global push by companies and nations to develop similar laser-based technology, nonproliferation experts, scientists, and US government studies warn.’
The Moscow Times: Surprise Nuclear Plant in Kaliningrad
‘Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko has signed a decree for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Kaliningrad region, the country's atomic energy company announced Wednesday. Design of the two-reactor plant is to be completed by the end of 2009, and the first of the two 1,200-megawatt reactors is to come on line in 2015, Rosatom said in a statement.’