Daily Telegraph: Russia declares state of emergency in nuclear town as wildfires blaze
‘Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in Ozersk, home to major nuclear reprocessing plant, due to wildfires burning around the town. "A state of emergency has been introduced in forests and parks on the territory of the Ozersk city district due to a complicated fire hazard situation," said a statement posted on the district's website. Ozersk, in the Urals region of Russia, is the latest strategic site to be threatened by wildfires which have already badly damaged military depots and threatened other atomic facilities. Ozersk's Mayak plant can process 400 tonnes of waste a year. It was the scene of one of the former Soviet Union's major nuclear disasters in 1957 when a liquid waste accident affected some 260,000 people and forced the evacuation of several towns. The Snezhinsk centre, which makes nuclear weapons, is located in another town in the Urals some 925 miles east of Moscow.’

Daily Telegraph: New nuclear power stations should be up and running within eight years, Energy secretary Chris Huhne has said
‘A number of potential sites for the stations were identified – generally close to existing nuclear energy installations - and that power should be on stream by 2018. Mr Huhne, who in Opposition described nuclear power as “economically foolhardy, environmentally irresponsible”, said: “We are on course to make sure that the first new nuclear power station opens on time in 2018. “There are a number of sites that have been identified around the country. Those are generally on sites where we have previously had nuclear power stations and where the local people are very keen that there should be new nuclear build. “We have eight years now before I hope that the first one will come making a contribution to the grid.” This timescale could be tight given the length of time it takes to build new nuclear power stations. EDF and Centrica are planning to build the first by 2017, while a consortium of RWE and E.ON will follow with their first by 2020.’

iStockAnalyst: Areva: the first nuclear victim of the recession, but will it be alone?
‘French nuclear energy company Areva has struggled to expand its portfolio in recent years, as have a number of its competitors. Of all reactors being built by 2015, Areva will be responsible for none, while EDF will only be responsible for one. Asian companies may be gaining market share, but this does not dispel the possibility that this is just the beginning of a downturn in the industry. In some respects, it should come as no surprise that Asian companies have taken the helm. The West suffered more from the recession than Asia, making financing far harder to obtain, and nowhere is financing more important than in the nuclear industry. Reactors take 10 years to build, with no return on investment (ROI) before this point. Although nuclear power is an excellent baseload fuel, it remains a very risky investment. In a recent tender in Abu Dhabi between Areva/EDF and Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO), it was KEPCO's cheaper reactor design that won. This highlights a further challenge for the industry. Not only do companies need to find willing investors, they have to quote prices that some believe are unrealistic for a safe reactor.’

The Australian: Abbott to allow uranium exports to India
‘TONY Abbott will open up uranium exports to India if he wins power in the August 21 federal election. The leader of the opposition told reporters that Australia’s relationship with India has been “badly mishandled" by the ruling Labor government. Labor opposes uranium exports to India, which isn’t a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. “India is one of the coming super powers. It is obviously going to have a very important place in our region as well as in the world,” Mr Abbott told reporters. “One of the best things that we could do to boost our relationship with the region is to sell them uranium.” Key beneficiaries of a coalition election win, and subsequent push for uranium exports to India, are likely to include Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.’

Asia One News: Two islands in Malaysia identified for proposed nuclear plant
‘KUALA LUMPUR - The government has identified several sites, including one or two currently uninhabited islands, to locate Malaysia's nuclear power plant should the plan be given the go-ahead. The sites are undergoing pre-feasibility studies to determine their suitability, said Malaysia Nuclear Agency director-general Datuk Dr Daud Mohamad. He said the task to find a suitable location had been given to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) while the agency was doing the study on the technical aspects, the ultimate aim of which is to turn the selected site into a nuclear power plant in 10 years' time. "They (the sites) are all within the peninsula. We are also looking at some uninhabited islands," he said after presenting a paper at the 2010 Energy Forum here yesterday. He said the government had set aside RM25 million (S$10.7 million) for the pre-feasibility studies, which also include a study tour by members of parliament to existing nuclear plants in Korea, Japan, China, France and the US. "We haven't decided on where to go (for the study tour) but it will be done soon."’

The Economic Times: Stop using sea water as coolant, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) told
‘MUMBAI: The Mumbai coastline, it seems, is on high alert. Even as various agencies are busy tackling the oil spill on a war footing, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has been directed to stop using sea water as a coolant. Meanwhile, the government, as a precautionary measure, has imposed major restrictions on traffic to JNPT and MbPT. Located along the coast across Navi Mumbai, the reactors in the country’s premier nuclear power and research centre, BARC, use sea water to cool down copper tubes that carry vapours. But with the oil slick on Monday touching the coastline between Sewree and Mankhurd — where BARC is located — a decision to stop using sea water was taken. “Sea water contaminated with oil is a grave threat to the system besides being an explosive concoction. Considering this we have asked BARC to stop using sea water till it’s cleared of oil,” a spokesperson for the Coast Guard said. The fact that huge oil reservoirs are located a few kilometres away from the spot also forced the Coast Guard to impose restrictions. The Coast Guard thought it prudent to stop the sea water usage as it is busy fighting the biggest such operation in the Indian sea waters. It has so far deployed five ships, one helicopter and one small aircraft for controlling the massive oil spill, an official said.’

Moneyweb: Toshiba to sell debt back to Uranium One
‘TOSHIBA, Tokyo Electric Power and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation scrapped a finance deal with Uranium One after Atomredmetzoloto ZAO (ARMZ) of Russia proposed to buy a majority share in the Canadian producer. The three Japanese companies will have an agreement to purchase as much as 2,5m pounds of raw uranium a year from 2014 to 2025, they said in a joint statement on their websites yesterday. Uranium One will buy back debentures for C$271,79m from the Japanese companies. Russia's proposed buyout would cut Japanese holdings in Uranium One to about 10% from about 16% now, said Masayuki Kishino, a Tokyo Electric spokesman. The new agreement guarantees the Japanese companies a steady supply of the ore, while the old agreement allowed them a maximum of 20% of annual output, he said. ARMZ, a unit of state-run Rosatom, said June 8 it plans to raise its stake in Uranium One to at least 51% from 23% in exchange for $610m in cash and stakes in two Kazakhstan mines. Rosatom wants more uranium to supply reactors it plans to build abroad after Russia announced June 19 it would staff embassies with nuclear officials to win more orders.’