Montreal Gazette: You can steal a bomb, buy one, build one
‘Lucy Walker's Countdown to Zero reviews the history of the atomic bomb and its ongoing status as a potential global life-ender. It is not a comedy. The chilling new documentary by the director of The Devil's Playground and the producers of An Inconvenient Truth begins by listing the three ways a nuclear weapon can be acquired: You can steal a bomb. You can buy a bomb. You can build a bomb. Walker then sets about interviewing people who are in a position to speak with some authority about those inconvenient realities. They include former heads of state like Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf, and South Africa's F. W. de Klerk, who effectively reversed his country's development of the Big One and eliminated it as a defence option. A terrific archival team unearthed all kinds of material about accidents, human error and trafficking of weaponry and fissile materials out of the failed Soviet Union through the state of Georgia and into the Middle East.’

The Denver Post: Listen to neighbors on cleanup of uranium mill
‘The Cotter uranium mill in Cañon City, a Superfund cleanup site for more than 25 years, won't be operational, at least for the time being. This surely is welcome news for the mill's neighbors, who have worried for years about the potential for continued contamination. The public focus now turns, and understandably so, to a pending decision on how the mill owner should best clean up the remaining pollution at the site. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will oversee the fact-finding and public hearings before making a decision on how the cleanup ought to proceed. The major determination that has to be made is whether to pursue an active cleanup at the site or to let pollution dissipate on its own, also called "natural attenuation." This is an important question for those who live in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood near the mill that has polluted groundwater underneath it.’

Associated Press: Nuke waste dump plays role in races outside Nevada
‘WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's decision to bypass Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository should give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a boost in his bid for a fifth term. The action is not doing another endangered Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, any favors. And the same could be said for Democratic lawmakers in South Carolina who have distanced themselves from the administration's decision. Democratic Reps. John Spratt and Jim Clyburn have been particularly critical of shelving Yucca in recent months. I am doubtful that there are easy alternatives to the Yucca Mountain site," Spratt, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said during a hearing he called in late July.’

Tri-City Herald: Slow ride for Hanford hot cells
‘A heavy-haul trailer carrying hot cells grouted inside boxes is making the slow trip down the Hanford highway to central Hanford on Saturdays this summer. Washington Closure Hanford has finished removing nine contaminated hot cells from the 327 Building north of Richland as part of work to clean up the nuclear reservation along the Columbia River. One at a time they're being hauled from the 300 Area just north of Richland to the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility -- the central Hanford landfill for low-level radioactive waste. The trip takes about four hours one way and the oversize Goldhofer hydraulic platform trailer that carries one hot cell at a time is surrounded with a rolling blockade for the trip. Traffic is not allowed to pass in either
Steel Guru: Zambia seeking government policy on uranium mining to safeguard the lives of people
‘It is reported that environmental and economic interest groups in Zambia are seeking to know government’s policy on uranium mining to safeguard the lives of people. Mr Evans Rubara policy and advocacy advisor Council of churches in Zambia asked the government to ensure that there was specific policy that dealt with uranium mining in the southern African country. According to Mr Rubara, without a clear policy on mining of uranium, people’s lives could be adversely affected. Without a policy we are faced with social issues; people are going to be displaced, the livelihood of the people will be affected even though they will live 5 kilometers from the mining activity area because they will breath the same air.’

Lukashenka reveals that Russia may not build nuclear power plant in Belarus
‘Alyaksandr Lukashenka revealed on Friday that Belarus might abandon plans to have its nuclear power plant project built by Russia and financed with a Russian loan, BelaPAN reports. The Belarusian leader said that the signing of an interstate agreement on the project had been postponed once again, and that the government did not reject the possibility of the plant being built by a contractor other than Russia’s Atomstroiexport. “We’ll soon decide who will build our nuclear plant,” he said, noting that Belarus has offers in this regard. Belarus chose Russia on the basis of “what they promised to us,” Mr. Lukashenka noted. “They urgently demanded from us that they build this plant and then they started putting pressure on us for, I believe, purely subjective reasons. You know what the reasons are,” he said.’

Nuclear deal: Elusive benefits, tangible costs
‘The controversial Indo-U.S. nuclear deal was pushed through without building “the broadest possible national consensus” that the prime minister had promised. Certain give-and-take is inevitable in any deal. But this deal has picked up such onerous conditions that it now threatens to cast a perpetual political albatross around India's neck. To implement the deal, the government is now seeking to burden the Indian taxpayer on multiple counts — from state subsidy in the form of liability protection and acquisition of land on behalf of foreign vendors to guaranteeing subsidised price of electricity from the high-cost foreign reactors to be imported. The result is likely to saddle India with dozens of Enrons in the nuclear-energy sector.’

New US nuclear projects depend on federal loan guarantees: S&P
‘New US nuclear development depends on federal support such as loan guarantees, especially as natural gas prices remain depressed, Standard & Poor's said in a report Monday. Federal loan guarantees, in which the government backs financing for most of a new nuclear project, "significantly" improve the economics of reactor construction, S&P analysts Swami Venkataraman and Aneesh Prabhu wrote. A merchant nuclear plant costing $6,500/kW to build is likely uncompetitive without a federal loan guarantee at prevailing forward gas prices, S&P said. Such a project could become viable with subsidies even at prices lower than recent spot rates for natural gas.’