Fish found in Vermont Yankee tested positive for radiation
'When a fish taken from the Connecticut River recently tested positive for radioactive strontium-90, suspicion focused on the nearby Vermont Yankee nuclear plant as the likely source. Operators of the troubled 38-year-old nuclear plant on the banks of the river, where work is under way to clean up leaking radioactive tritium, revealed this month that it also found soil contaminated with strontium-90, an isotope linked to bone cancer and leukemia. Three days later, officials said a fish caught four miles upstream from the reactor in February had tested positive for strontium-90 in its bones. State officials say they don't believe the contamination came from Vermont Yankee. Tritium was reported leaking from the plant in January, and since then has turned up in monitoring wells at levels 100 times the federal Environmental Protection Agency's safety limit. Officials have said tritium has been flowing downhill from the plant to the adjacent river, though it is diluted quickly in the fast-flowing stream. Tests on river water have not produced measurable tritium readings. Now the question is whether strontium-90, generally considered a more dangerous isotope than tritium, may also have found its way to the river.'
Siemens-Rosatom Talks Are Frozen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Reports
'May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG's talks with Rosatom Corp. on a planned venture to build nuclear reactors are frozen and won't be able to start until 2011, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said, citing unidentified people close to the German company.Siemens has to wait for a decision pertaining to its intention to sell a stake in a reactor unit it owns with Areva SA before starting talks on cooperation with Rosatom, the German newspaper said. That decision probably won't be taken before the end of the current year, FAZ reported, citing the unnamed people close to Siemens.'
Uranium site to be made part of Kakadu
'THOUSANDS of hectares of wilderness land, including the large Koongarra uranium deposit, are set to be handed over to become part of Kakadu National Park. The land has been offered on behalf of traditional owner Jeffrey Lee. The Northern Land Council has written to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett offering the land for inclusion in Kakadu. Mr Garrett said he wanted to see the plan go ahead. "The opportunity to include land adjacent to the park, but not currently incorporated into the Kakadu boundary, is clearly one that I would be keen to see realised," he said. Koongarra, near the sacred site and popular tourist attraction Nourlangie Rock, is estimated to hold about 14,000 tonnes of uranium. French miner Areva has been stopped from mining the area by Mr Lee, who has said he is not interested in money.'
Pakistan gov't sets aside Rs 18,500M to fund nuclear projects
'The Pakistan government will provide Rs 18,500 million for nuclear projects, including two controversial new atomic power plants to be built at the Chashma complex with Chinese assistance. The allocation for Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's projects, part of the government's Public Sector Development Programme for 2010-11, came as the country marked the 12th anniversary of its first nuclear tests in 1998. A total of Rs 12,599 million will be provided for the third and fourth nuclear plants to be built at the Chashma complex in Punjab province. The complex currently has an operational 300 MW nuclear reactor supplied by China. A second 300 MW reactor is currently being built with Chinese assistance.China and Pakistan signed an agreement last year for cooperation in building two more reactors with a generation capacity of 340 MW each at the Chashma complex. Nuclear scientists have expressed concerns over the pact, saying it violates international guidelines forbidding nuclear exports to countries like Pakistan that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty nor have any international safeguards on reactors.'
Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia to host Allegro reactor
'Moves have been made to site the Allegro advanced reactor in central Europe. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia have agreed to make a joint proposal to host the project. Allegro is to be a gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR) with thermal capacity in the range 50-80 MW. It has funding support as a demonstration project of the Generation IV International Forum, in which France, Japan, Switzerland and the EU are partners on the GFR concept. It was France that suggested a joint hosting arrangement in central Europe, and the idea has received support from the Czech, Hungarian and Slovakian governments. Last week a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for the preparatory phase of Allegro was signed in Budapest by the countries' lead nuclear research bodies, AEKI Budapest, UJV Rez and VUJE Trnava, respectively. It covers work for the next two or three years concerning the potential siting of the reactor in the countries, the selection of a specific site and also the overall organization of work for Allegro.'
Nuclear giants stockpile fuel while price is cheap
'Some of the world's biggest energy companies are stockpiling the nuclear fuel used to power reactors as they try to capitalise on rock-bottom uranium prices. An oversupply of nuclear fuel on international commodity markets has followed five successive years of rapid growth in uranium ore production in Kazakhstan, which has nearly quadrupled its output since 2004. Raw uranium prices have tumbled to around $40 per pound - almost one quarter of the levels of $140 in 2007. Ed Sterck, uranium analyst at Bank of Montreal, said that the low price was encouraging nuclear power station operators such as Exelon, of the United States, Germany's E.ON and EDF, of France, to boost their stocks of nuclear fuel. Energy companies in China, which is pursuing an aggressive nuclear expansion programme, have also been active buyers, Jeff Combs, president of Ux Consulting, a uranium research firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, said.'
3000 demonstrators call on Finnish MPs to turn down nuclear applications
'In Finland's largest environmental demonstration for almost a decade, over 3000 people marched today for safe clean energy, against the expansion of nuclear power and nuclear waste in Finland. A key demand from the demonstration was for Finnish MPs to vote against the ministers' irresponsible plan of authorizing the construction of two new nuclear reactors. "We gathered today to urge the MPs to reject the construction of two new nuclear reactors. These plans would turn Finland into a massive exporter of nuclear electricity and the world's largest producer of nuclear waste per person. The expansion would also result in a second high-level nuclear waste dump in Finland, on top of the one being planned in Olkiluoto. It is time for each and every citizen who wants investment in safe clean energy to speak up and tell their MPs to stop the nuclear plans," said Greenpeace energy campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta. "The nuclear industry's intense marketing and lobbying has failed to convince the Finnish people, especially after the promises over Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant have been exposed as completely false. In a recent poll, less than 15 percent of the population is prepared to accept the ministers' proposal of two new reactors. An overwhelming majority want investment in clean renewable energy rather than nuclear power," Myllyvirta continued.'