Harvey Wasserman: BP's Radioactive Liability Cap
‘As BP destroys our priceless planet, its lawyers gear up to save the company from paying for the damage. The same will happen -- only worse -- with the next atomic reactor disaster. By law, BP may be liable for only $75 million of the harm done by the Deepwater Horizon. Ask yourself why the federal government would adopt legislation that limits the liability of an oil driller for the damage it does to us all. Ask the same question -- on another order of magnitude -- about nuclear power plants. By any calculation, BP did more than $75 million in harm during the first hour of this undersea gusher. That sum won't begin to cover even the legal fees, let alone the tangible damage to our only home. Now imagine a melt-down alongside the blow-out. See the Deepwater Horizon as a nuclear power plant. Think of the rickety Grand Gulf, a bit to the north, or the two decaying reactors at South Texas, a ways to the west. Imagine that apocalyptic plume of oil ravaging our seas as an airborne radioactive cloud. Feel it pouring like Chernobyl over the south coast, enveloping all of Florida, blowing with the shifts of the winds up over the southeast, irradiating Atlanta, then Nashville, then New Orleans, then Houston, all through Mexico and the north coast of South America, the Caribbean, then around again across Florida, through the Atlantic and all over Europe, then around the globe two or three times more. The instigators of such a nightmare are currently on the hook for a maximum of $11 billion. Ask yourself why the federal government would limit the liability of a reactor owner for the damage it imposes on the public.’

IAEA considers Indonesia ready to have nuclear power plants: official
‘JAKARTA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) considers that Indonesia is ready to have nuclear power plants as new energy source, an official said in an interview on Monday. Responding to Xinhua's questions, Head of the National Atomic Agency (BATAN) Hudi Hastowo said that Indonesia has been preparing to have the power plants for a long time. "And, the IAEA considers that we are ready. But why we haven't started yet?" he said, with such preparation, Indonesia only needs a decision from the president on the project. According to Hudi, Indonesia already has 19 items that are almost ready. He said 12 items that are considered ready, among others, are nuclear safety, safeguard, surveillance framework, radiation protection, power network, human resource development, environment protection, emergency mitigation plan, security and physical protection. Meanwhile, four items that need sustainability are funding option, shareholders' involvement, supporting facilities and industrial involvement.’

Walchandnagar's Chakor Doshi on Indian Nuclear Society Board of Trustees

‘Pune -  The Chairman of Walchandnagar Industries Ltd, Chakor Doshi, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Indian Nuclear Society (INS), an apex body engaged in promoting the advancement of Nuclear Science, engineering and technology. Walchandnagar Industries Ltd. (WIL) has pioneered the development of many critical manufacturing technologies for Nuclear Power Projects for more than four decades. WIL, the High Tech Heavy Engineering Company based in Pune, has manufactured and supplied majority of the Calandria - Reactor vessels for 220MWe and 540MWe PHWRs and other critical nuclear components of these reactors and Fast Breeder reactors at Kalpakkam (FBTR & 500MWe PFBR) and supplied to Nuclear Power Corporation of India and many other research institutions connected with the nuclear field in India. The recently commissioned Nuclear Submarine" INS Arihant" has major critical components manufactured and supplied by WIL. The entire Nuclear Part of the Propulsion power plant was assembled, integrated, and installed on board the submarine by Walchandnagar.’

Radioactive waste contaminating Canadian water supply: Report "Tritium on

‘OTTAWA - Nuclear facilities and power plants are contaminating local Canadian food and water with radioactive waste that increases risks of cancer and birth defects, says a new report to be released on Friday. The report, Tritium on Tap, produced by the Sierra Club of Canada, warned that radioactive emissions from various nuclear plants across the country have more than doubled over the past decade. The figures were based on statistics compiled by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission which measured pollution coming from the plants. Although Canadian guidelines have suggested that the existing levels of tritium in the water are safe, the report cites recent peer-reviewed studies, including a recent review by the UK's Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters, that suggest the opposite. "Once in our body, tritium enters our DNA, fat, proteins and carbohydrates - and that is where it does its damage from close range," said the Sierra Club report. "It is a carcinogen and causes birth defects." The report noted that other jurisdictions such as the European Union and California have drinking water guidelines for tritium that are hundreds of times stronger than Canada's guidelines. A recent report by the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council, released in May, has also suggested more stringent drinking water standards to restrict tritium.’
Government ready to make changes in nuclear liability Bill: Pranab
‘The government on Tuesday hinted that it was ready to make substantial "improvements" in the Nuclear Liabilities Bill based on the suggestions of a standing committee of Parliament. Warding off criticism that the government was putting a limit on its own responsibility by capping the liability of the nuclear power operator at Rs 500 crore in the event of a nuclear accident, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the liability Bill was drafted keeping in mind the long-term scenario while envisaging the possibility of private companies entering the nuclear power generation sector. "We are not trying to put a cap on the liability which the government will have to undertake. The question of government's liability is being raised only because as of now the government is the owner of the nuclear plants. It is not necessary that this will be the permanent position. Tomorrow, private companies might also come (into the sector)," Mukherjee said at the Idea Exchange programme at The Indian Express.’

RCA (République du Cameroun): At the heart of African turmoil
‘The National Assembly passed a bill to extend Francois Bozizé's mandate as the president of RCA, which expires June 11. No date has been set for the next presidential election, which was scheduled for April 25, then postponed to May 16. and again postponed. The civil society and international donors recognise that the conditions are not yet met for an indisputable ballot to be held, especially for the lack of an accurate census of voters. This situation raises concerns and fears of the scenario reproduction and duplication, in RCA, of Cote d'Ivoire case, where President Laurent Gbagbo is remaining in power even his term has expired in 2005. The country's stability is important, especially because Areva signed in August 2008, an agreement to resume operations in Bakouma uranium mine, on 2010. But this project has been delayed, causing tension between the two countries (France and RCA).’

EDF CEO: Group Must Be Fully International To Succeed
‘PARIS (Dow Jones)--French state-controlled power company Electricite de France SA must transform into a fully international company with strong divisions in order to meet its objectives, Chairman and Chief Executive Henri Proglio said Tuesday. At EDF's annual meeting, Proglio said the firm's objectives must cover the long-term future and beyond, including a goal to become an important player in the natural gas market. Proglio also said the group will maintain its business model in the nuclear segment, where it is a power producer but also has a nuclear engineering expertise. As well as its long-term projects, EDF still aims to tackle more immediate issues, such as increasing the utilization rate of its nuclear capacities and the liberalization of France's power market. With the French government currently considering a new electricity bill to address the European Union's competition concerns, Proglio said EDF can't sell its power to competitors below production costs.’

Door of diplomacy remains open on Iran nuclear issue: Chinese envoy
‘"Circulating a draft resolution on Iran does not mean the door of diplomacy is closed, and we believe that the dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations are the best way to address the Iranian nuclear issue," Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, said here Tuesday. Li made the remarks to reporters shortly after the U.S. delegation introduced the draft in the 15-nation Security Council. The draft was circulated in the Council after an agreement was reached among the five permanent members of the Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany in the wake of rounds of negotiations in New York since April. "We think the introduction of the draft represents an opportunity," he said. "It is our hope that all the parties concerned can grasp the opportunity to work for a proper solution to the Iranian issue through diplomacy." "We welcome and attach importance to the agreement that Iran signed with Brazil and Turkey, and this is a positive step forward in the right direction," Li said.’