Reuters: U.N. nuclear agency mulls more "special inspections"
‘VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog signaled on Monday it wanted to use its "special inspection" powers more often, something the United States has suggested could be invoked in the case of Syria. The International Atomic Energy Agency last resorted to such a prerogative in 1993 in North Korea, which still withheld access and later developed nuclear bomb capacity in secret. "It is a normal tool that we should be able to use more frequently," Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA's deputy director general in charge of inspections, told a news conference. He said the U.N. body wanted to look at ways to "lower the threshold" for deploying such missions but he declined to discuss specific states whose activities it is probing. Washington's envoy to the IAEA said earlier this year a "number of countries" were beginning to ask whether it was time to invoke the special inspection tool to give the IAEA the authority to look anywhere necessary in Syria at short notice.’
Eurasia Review: Civil Nuclear Liability: Fact And Fiction
‘With the countdown accelerating for the Obama visit to India next week the outstanding Indo-US bilateral issues have come into focus, which prominently includes India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill [now an Act]. It has caused immense concern to Washington and the American nuclear industry. Why? Hopefully, India’s recent, post-haste entry into the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage in Vienna will reassure them. Will it? What are the concerns of Washington and the American nuclear industry? To briefly recollect: the Bush Administration had invested much political capital to legislate the Indo-US nuclear deal. The US law permits India to receive nuclear technology without signing the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or placing its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards, despite exploding nuclear devices to become a quasi-nuclear weapons power. The problem lies in Section 17 (b) of the impugned Act. It envisages that the operator has a right to ‘recourse’ i.e. obtain compensation from the supplier if the accident occurs due to the fault of the supplier or his employees, which includes supply of defective equipment, material or sub-standard services. In marked contrast, the international law contained in the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), lays this responsibility squarely on the operator and confers no right to ‘recourse.’ Undoubtedly, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy as uppermost in the minds of Parliamentarians. The carelessness of the operator (Union Carbide) was compounded by the malfunctioning of essential safety equipment, which led to this accident in 1984 resulting in a huge loss of lives. This experience guided Parliamentarians on the issue of civil nuclear liability during the debate.’
Eurasia Review: Turkey - South Korea Nuke Deal Unclear
‘Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday the negotiations between his country and South Korea on the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey still face unresolved technical issues. The two parties have yet to iron out technical problems such as the treasury warranties, the type of partnership, and cost and risk sharing, Yildis told a meeting at the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). The coming G-20 summit, due in Seoul, capital of South Korea, on November 11, will be the deadline for reaching an agreement. "Officials of the two countries have continued marathon talks here over the last three weeks but the deal is still unclear," Yildis regretted.’