Indymedia: Russia turns into international nuclear waste dump. Does it want to destroy itself?
‘Most probably, Russia can be destroyed for a token fee... Since the application of nuclear energy started, the number of casualties has increased manyfold, and the number of accidents has increased, too. Putting the obvious economic benefits of nuclear energy on one scale, and the no less obvious danger – on the other, the advantage is almost always on the side of the first. Today, 440 units are operated at the world's nuclear power plants, and most countries are not going to turn off their nuclear program in the near future. But let's not forget that, apart from the much-needed electricity for humanity, nuclear power plants also produce radioactive nuclear waste ... In 2001, Russia passed a law allowing the import of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) to the country. As a result, even now we have got more than 400 storage sites of various nuclear materials. At present, Russia is the only country in the world that receives depleted uranium hexafluoride from abroad on an industrial scale. "It is too expensive to keep radioactive materials with half-life periods of 24 thousand years in the territory of a [normal, i.e. developed] country, that's why life-threatening cargo is transported to Russia", experts explain. It's stunning, but Russia is glad to cooperate! By buying uranium from foreigners at a price of 60 cents per kilo, Russia hopes to get rich. Well, the fact that 53 new cases of cancer (caused by nuclear plants) are recorded in the country every hour is not important, after all ...’

Business Recorder: Saudi and Russia in talks over nuclear deal
‘Business Recorder Logo KHOBAR  (October 26, 2010) : Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia will hold talks with Russia over a potential draft nuclear agreement, Saudi state media said on Monday. The Gulf Arab state has said it is looking at various energy sources to satisfy rising domestic demand and has set up a nuclear research centre, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy. About a tenth of the country's production in barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) goes to power generation. The Saudi government has mandated the head of the city to hold discussions with Russia to sign a draft co-operation agreement on peaceful development of nuclear energy between the two major oil exporters, state news agency SPA said after a weekly cabinet meeting.’

Japan Times: Uncertainty over tests stymies India nuclear pact
‘Torn between economic gains and a national credo of abolishing nuclear weapons as the only country struck by them, Japan faces a dilemma in negotiating a civilian nuclear cooperation pact with India. The three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once again highlights Japan's ambivalent feelings toward the proposed pact, which would allow Japanese firms to export nuclear power generation technology and related equipment to India. Tokyo has been negotiating a legal framework for peaceful use and transfer of nuclear-power technologies with other energy-hungry emerging nations, but India's case is unique because it has nuclear weapons but refuses to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The launch of bilateral talks in June on the nuclear cooperation accord triggered an immediate outcry from survivors of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.’

Bloomberg: Study will gauge impact of Virginia uranium mining
‘A one-year study intended to assess the statewide consequences of uranium mining in Virginia begins this week when a National Academy of Sciences panel convenes for two days in Washington, D.C. The 13-member study committee has a broad charge to assess the implications of lifting a 1982 ban on uranium mining in Virginia. Its conclusions are due in December 2011, and will be key to any General Assembly deliberations to lift the ban. Fueled by renewed U.S. interest in nuclear power, Virginia Uranium Inc. has proposed mining a 119 million-pound deposit in Southside Virginia, near the North Carolina border. The company estimates the uranium's value at anywhere from $7 billion to $10 billion. The proposal has met fierce opposition from some local residents who fear the mining and milling of the ore will foul local farm fields and streams and water sources for localities as far away as Hampton Roads. The provisional members of the study panel, some of who have been challenged because of their ties to mining or the nuclear-power industry, are meeting in Washington to hear from a lineup of government officials, according to an agenda for the Board on Earth Sciences, a division of the National Academy.’

Today Online: Region not ready for N-energy - South-east Asian nations should consider alternative energy options
‘THE report, "An Asian nuclear renaissance" (Oct 23-24) by Venessa Lee, is a balanced commentary on the scientific and socio-political debates revolving around the potential use and expansion of global nuclear energy. However, against the assortment of background information and experiences with nuclear power, the article has failed to consider the culture, politics and geographical significance of the South-east Asian region; contextualise the cost-benefit analysis to weigh the feasibility of proliferating nuclear usage; and identify the inactivity of regional organisations - in terms of gathering governments - in addressing the concerns. However, besides the pertinent concerns on the level of radiation and the safety of the infrastructures of the reactors, nuclear technology is far from refined. As such, the International Atomic Energy Agency has not been able to develop a sound blueprint on how radioactive waste produced by power stations can be properly disposed of, or guarantee the reliability of the processors in different conditions.’
 
Monsters and Critics: Fuel to be injected into Iran's nuclear reactor core
‘Tehran - Fuel will finally be injected into the core of the first Iranian nuclear reactor in the southern port of Bushehr, the head of Iran's parliamentary foreign policy commission said Monday. Alaeddin Boroujerdi told official news agency IRNA that the fuel would be loaded on Tuesday into the core. After 35 years, Iran's first nuclear power plant was opened in August by Iranian and Russian nuclear officials in the Persian Gulf port Bushehr. With the opening of the Russian-built plant, 82 tons of nuclear fuel that were already delivered to Iran by Russia were unsealed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and kept in an outdoor 'fuel pool' near the reactor. A total of 163 fuel rods were initially supposed to be injected into the reactor by September under IAEA supervision, and the plant was expected to go online in November and be connected to the national electrical grid. Due to the heat in Bushehr and reportedly also some technical problems with the site's computers, the loading was delayed for almost two months.’