Nuclear: Mickey Mouse energy solutionToday's big stories from the nuclear industry:

President Obama: Nuclear Power is neither "safe" nor "clean

‘During President Obama's recent State of the Union speech, Congress applauded as the President announced his intention to expand "safe and clean" nuclear power. The following week the President proposed an additional $54 billion in loan guarantees to the already heavily subsidized nuclear industry. It seems that the Obama Administration and Congress have miraculously discovered the cure for radiation induced cancer, the solution for long term safe storage of nuclear waste and the secure containment of nuclear materials from theft or terrorist attack at nuclear power plants. It's more likely that the President and Congress are poised to dangerously repeat the same costly mistakes of the past at the expense of public health and safety and national security. Nuclear fission is a by-product of the Manhattan Project which

developed enriched uranium and plutonium for nuclear weapons. After the dubious distinction of becoming the only Country in the World to use atomic weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, whether through guilt, blind faith or both, President Eisenhower proposed commercial nuclear power and the "Peaceful Atom" program. Because nuclear energy is anything but "clean and safe", Utilities refused to accept the risks without legal indemnification and almost total government underwriting.’

US denies nuclear deal or atomic power plant to Pakistan

‘Washington : The US has categorically told Pakistan that it would not get any atomic power plant or civilian nuclear deal on the lines of the one signed with India. "The United States is working closely with Pakistan to help meet its growing needs. Nuclear power is not currently part of our discussions," a senior Administration official told reporters. Leaders of Pakistan, who have been pitching hard for a nuclear power plant, have been told about it recently. The senior Administration official, preferring anonymity, said the US has also told Pakistan that there is no way that they can get a civilian nuclear deal similar to the one the Obama Administration has signed with India. The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal is specific to India only and there is no thinking going on in the Administration to create a template for it, the official said.

Indian civil nuclear liability bill to be introduced in this session

‘NEW DELHI: The government is expected to introduce a bill that limits the liability of a nuclear plant operator at Rs 300 crore in the eventuality of an accident and provides for appointing claims commissioner with powers of a civil court to arbitrate such cases in the current session of Parliament. The prime minister had recently met BJP leaders and sought their backing for the legislation. The passage of a civil nuclear liability bill is an important step in the implementation of the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement. The bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on November 20 last. The bill pegs the maximum amount of liability in case of each nuclear accident at Rs 300 crore to be paid by the operator of the nuclear plant. However, the draft bill also has provisions that would enable the Central government to either increase or decrease the amount of liability of any operator. The operator would not be liable for any nuclear damage if the incident was caused by "grave national disaster of exceptional character", armed conflict or act of terrorism and suffered by person on account of his own negligence.’

Napocor lists 14 potential sites for nuclear facility

‘MANILA, Philippines-State-run National Power Corp. has identified 14 candidate sites for a nuclear power plant, should the government pursue such controversial project. Documents from Napocor identified the sites as Mapalan Point in Morong, Bataan; San Juan, Batangas; Talusan Point in Sipalay, Negros Occidental; Tagbarungis in Inagauan and Concepcion in Tanabag, both in Palawan; and Cansilan Point in Bayawan, Negros Oriental. Also being considered are sites in General Santos, Sarangani; Piacan Point and Cauit Point, both in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte; Baluangan, Cawayan in Negros Oriental; Palicpican in Ternate, Cavite; Port Irene/Matara Point and Rakat Hill, both in Cagayan.’

EDF sale of British electricity grid back on track

‘LONDON: EDF's plans to sell its electricity distribution network in Britain are back on track with bids expected by mid-March, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported. The French state electricity giant has relaunched its plans and already aroused interest from four potential buyers, the weekly said, citing sources close to the situation. The network could change hands for around four billion pounds (six billion dollars, 4.5 billion euros), said the broadsheet. The newspaper's sources said sale documents for the process had been sent out earlier this month. "EDF is also thought to have put a caveat into the sale process that it could still be halted should it decide at the end of March there is not enough interest in the asset," the weekly said. A consortium including Australian infrastructure group Macquarie, the Canadian Pension Plan and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund ADIA was understood to be working on a joint bid, it said.’

Areva says Niger Imouraren startup delayed

‘French nuclear energy group Areva said on Friday it will start producing uranium at its Imouraren mine in Niger in 2013 or 2014, rather than 2012 as planned, because of fallout from the global financial crisis. The mine is still expected to produce 5,000 tonnes per year, Areva said. Areva has two mines currently producing uranium in Niger's north and has set 2010 output targets for the Somair and Cominak mines at 2,600 tonnes and 1,430 tonnes, respectively. Somair produced some 1,806 tonnes in 2009 and Cominak 1,436 tonnes. Niger's President Mamadou Tandja was ousted by soldiers in a coup last week but Areva would not comment on the political situation and said the delay to Imouraren was a result of a reassessment of the cost of the project during the global financial crisis. "We will not be able to start production in 2012. The first tonnes of uranium are forecast in 2013/2014," Moussa Souley, a spokesman for Areva in Niamey, told Reuters in an e-mailed response to questions on Friday. "The forecast level of production of the mine is 5,000 tonnes of uranium per year," he added.’

Iran Exposes Nukes

‘Iran has exposed the majority of its nuclear fuel stockpile to an aerial attack by moving it from a deep, underground plant to an above-ground facility, it was revealed over the weekend. The New York Times reported Saturday that two weeks ago Iran moved 4,300 pounds of its low-enriched nuclear fuel, the vast majority of Iran's nuclear stockpile, from the underground plant in Natanz to an above-ground plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that its inspectors were present when Iran made the move, and the newspaper claimed IAEA officials were baffled as to why Iran would leave its nuclear stockpile exposed to an aerial attack. The news had military analysts in Israel, the U.S. and the Gulf region speculating as to reasons behind the Iranian move.’

Six-way denuclearization talks could resume by April, Yonhap says

‘SEOUL (Kyodo) The stalled multilateral talks on denuclearizing North Korea could resume by April, a South Korean official was quoted as saying during a visit to the United States, Yonhap News Agency said Sunday. According to the report, the official, who was not identified, made the remarks Saturday in a meeting with South Korean reporters in Washington. This is the first time a high-ranking South Korean official has made a specific prediction on when the six-way talks involving the two Koreas, Japan, China, the United States and Russia will likely reconvene. The South Korean official was quoted by Yonhap as saying North Korea has been holding talks in various quarters about coming back to the table, and Washington has analyzed the situation similarly. The U.S. has indicated its willingness to agree to another round of direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang if they are to be conducted under the six-way framework, and provided that Pyongyang offers a clear assurance about when it will come back to the six-way parley, the official said.’