The Local: German conflict over nuclear power rages on
The internal government conflict over extending the lifespan of Germany's nuclear power stations has sharpened, with a broad alliance calling for a longer extension than the one favoured by Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen. Röttgen favours an extension of only eight years, but he is being defied by the parliamentary faction of his Christian Democratic Union, along with the Economy Ministry and the southern German states, who all want operational lifespans extended by an average of 14 years. Economic policy spokesman Joachim Pfeiffer said, "Röttgen should recognize that a majority of the party think that a longer lifespan is absolutely necessary to guarantee a safe energy supply." Röttgen's predecessor, and now head of the opposition Social Democratic Party Sigmar Gabriel, commented, "Either Röttgen is too weak to assert himself against the nuclear-fans in his party, or going back to a nuclear power economy is his personal goal, despite all his sermons." Either way, Gabriel argued, he is not suited to be Environment Minister. The SPD boss said that if the "hardliners in the parliamentary faction and the states" get their way, Röttgen will have failed completely.’

Metro: Nagasaki 65 years on: British nuclear test vets push for MoD compensation
‘Britain's nuclear test veterans who are battling to secure £20million in compensation are urging the government to pay up before any more of them die. More than 1,000 of them are pursuing a class action against the Ministry of Defence over illnesses they insist are linked to explosions carried out in Australia and the Pacific. However, with three survivors dying a month on average, they say the time has come to settle the case now rather than through the courts. Speaking ahead of Monday’s 65th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki, the servicemen talked about their experience of living through 20 test blasts carried out between 1952 and 1958. Unaware of the dangers of radiation, they wore nothing more than their military fatigues during the tests. Brian Gay Sapper engineer Brian Gay who was based at Maralinga in S.Australia who witnessed the Testing of Nuclear bombs. Many were ordered to clear away waste just 24 hours after the blasts while others lived within kilometres of the test sites.’

Xinhua News: Iran says IAEA to set date for nuclear talks soon
‘TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief will soon set the date for the Vienna Group-Iran nuclear talks. "IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano is preparing a letter to set a date for talks with the Vienna Group," Mottaki said, adding that the Islamic Republic is completely ready to participate in negotiations that are based on the Tehran nuclear fuel swap declaration, the official news agency IRNA reported. Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed an agreement on May 17, dubbed Tehran declaration, in which Iran committed itself to giving 1,200 kg of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20 percent enriched uranium to be used as fuel in the research reactor in Tehran. The Vienna Group, including the United States, Russia, France and the IAEA, put forth some questions about the declaration, to which Iran have officially responded in late July.’

AZoMining: Paladin Energy Inks Deal with Guangdong Nuclear Power
‘Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN) has entered a memorandum of understanding with China's biggest nuclear power company Guangdong Nuclear Power. The Perth based company has been negotiating this long term sales and growth opportunity for longer than a year. As per the deal with the company Guangdong Nuclear Power, Paladin Energy will expand a potential joint venture in Northern Territory with Energy Metals. Energy Metals is owned 69.3 % by Guangdong and will partner with Paladin on the Bigrlyi Uranium project. The Bigrlyi Project comprises ten granted exploration retention licences located approximately 390km northwest of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. The licences cover 1,414 hectares on the Mount Doreen Cattle Station 80km west of the Yuendumu Aboriginal township.’

Zia Mian and M. V. Ramana: India nuke rule upsets security in South Asia
‘The Japanese government is under pressure to change its rules on nuclear technology exports and lift the ban on sales to India, even though it has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). This rule change is aimed at bringing Japan in line with a 2008 decision by Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries to permit nuclear commerce with India. The NSG decision has served to drive the nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan. To prevent the problem from getting worse, Japan and other like-minded countries should reaffirm their traditionally strong positions on nuclear nonproliferation and the need to control nuclear trade, and not join the rush to sell nuclear technology to India. In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush changed 30-year-old laws banning nuclear trade with India. By doing this, he hoped to recruit India as a strategic partner to counter the rise of China and to gain privileged access to a big emerging new market. This effort was strongly backed by France, Russia and Britain, who all hoped to sell billions of dollars worth of reactors to India. To go forward, this decision had to be approved by the 46 countries of the NSG, including Japan, who had all agreed not to sell nuclear technology to any country that has not signed the NPT and that does not have international safeguards on all its nuclear facilities to ensure material is not diverted to make nuclear weapons.’

Planners of Piketon plant renew bid for loan backing
‘The company that is trying to build a new uranium enrichment plant in southern Ohio has formally resubmitted, as expected, its request for a $2 billion federal loan guarantee. Suburban Washington-based USEC says the federal loan guarantee from the Department of Energy is vital to its ability to finance and finish constructing a $3.5billion enrichment plant in Piketon. A uranium enrichment plant supplies fuel for nuclear power plants. The "comprehensive update" attempts to meet concerns raised by the Energy Department last year when federal officials rejected the initial loan guarantee application, questioning whether USEC was on track to build a commercially viable plant. Among the steps the company says it has taken: reviewing a quality assurance program; building and operating more than 40 production-ready commercial centrifuge machines; and assembling and operating machines "configured for a multistage cascade that replicates anticipated commercial plant conditions."’