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

Russia may help build a nuclear power plant in Syria
‘DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Russia may help build a nuclear power plant in Syria, Russia's energy minister said on Tuesday, a step that could upset the West due to unresolved allegations Damascus tried to construct a potential nuclear weapons facility in secret. In 2007, Israel bombed to rubble what Washington said was a nascent, plutonium-producing nuclear reactor in Syria's desert and a U.N. nuclear watchdog probe to determine what the target was has stalled due to Syrian non-cooperation, diplomats say. On the first state visit to Syria by a Kremlin chief since the Bolshevik Revolution, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev played up prospects for nuclear power cooperation and said Washington should work harder for peace in the Middle East. "Cooperation on atomic energy could get a second wind," Medvedev said at a news conference with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after their talks. Assad said he and Medvedev "talked about oil and gas cooperation, as well as constructing conventional or nuclear powered electricity stations." Asked whether Russia would build an atomic power plant in Syria, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told Reuters: "We are studying this question."’

Political slip-ups risk stalling Europe’s nuclear revival
‘A series of significant political developments in Germany, Italy and Britain in the past week have thrown a serious spanner in the works of Europe’s attempts to revive its nuclear industry. On Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition was defeated in a crucial regional poll in Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This robs the chancellor of a majority in the country’s upper chamber and in so doing her ability to extend the lifespan of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors. Exactly a week ago, Claudio Scajola, the Italian industry minister, was forced to resign over corruption charges he denies. He has been accused of paying for a luxury apartment overlooking Rome’s Colosseum six years ago with money illegally provided by a property developer arrested in February. As industry minister he had been spearheading the Berlusconi government’s ambitious plans to re-launch Italy’s nuclear sector. Now Britain, with its hung parliament, risks facing a protracted period of political turmoil that could in turn undermine its nuclear ambitions. The French are worried. The state-controlled EDF utility has invested a bundle in the UK power sector - as much as 50bn euros ($64bn) - to capitalise on Britain’s nuclear revival. So has Areva, the state-owned nuclear group, that has looked upon the UK as a prime market for its new-generation EPR nuclear reactors.’

North Korea boasts success in nuclear fusion
‘SEOUL - North Korea announced Wednesday it has successfully carried out a nuclear fusion reaction in what it called a breakthrough towards developing new energy sources. The report in Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the ruling communist party, made no mention of using the claimed new technology for the North's atomic weapons programme. Nuclear fusion reactions can be employed to make hydrogen bombs. "The successful nuclear fusion marks a great event that demonstrated the rapidly developing cutting-edge science and technology of the DPRK (North Korea)," the paper said. It said scientists worldwide were studying nuclear fusion as a way of obtaining "safe and environment-friendly new energy" but the North's experts had worked hard to develop the technology their own way. As part of the process, "Korean style thermonuclear reaction devices were designed and manufactured, basic researches into nuclear fusion reaction completed and strong scientific and technological forces built to perfect the thermonuclear technology by their own efforts".’

Nuclear waste in Australia a terror risk: Expert
‘Radioactive wastes being transported to a proposed waste dump in Australia's Northern Territory could be targeted by terrorists for making "dirty" bomb, a nuclear expert has warned. John Large, a Britain-based nuclear risk expert, said that waste that will be taken to disused Muckaty cattle station is suitable for a "dirty" radioactive bomb. Experts acknowledge a home-made radioactive bomb is the most likely nuclear terrorist threat. Transportation of waste was prone to accident, open to malicious acts and required extra handling for transportation and packaging, Large told The Age. Large's comments came after a Labor-led Senate committee last Friday upheld the move by federal Resources and Energy Minister, Martin Ferguson, to locate Australia's first national radioactive waste dump at Muckaty, 120 km north of Tennant Creek. The Northern Territory government and many Aboriginal traditional owners have objected to the plan, the latter challenging the right of one clan to offer a 1.5-square-km site in return for at least $11 million and access to services.’