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

France rejects Iranian "ultimatum" on nuclear fuel selling or swap

‘PARIS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- France Monday rejected Iran's Sunday "ultimatum" that urged Western powers to decide whether to sell nuclear fuel to Iran or swap nuclear fuel for Iran's low-enriched uranium within a month. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, in an interview with the RTL radio, said it was not acceptable that Iran brought forward a new plan to counter the proposals by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA prepared a draft deal agreed by Western powers, which suggested Iran transport most of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France by the end of 2009 for further processing. The higher-enriched uranium then would be shipped back to Iran for civilian use. The draft deal fell on deaf ears when it passed the Dec. 31, 2009 deadline.’

New Jersey nuclear plant shut down because of ice in Delaware River

‘LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK - One New Jersey nuclear power plant has been shut down and another put on reduced power because of ice in the Delaware River. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Salem Unit 2 was shut down around 8 a.m. Sunday because it was taking ice into its cooling mechanism. Salem Unit 1 was also reduced to 80 percent power for the same reason. It's not clear when the two plants will return to full power. Hope Creek, a third nuclear power plant in the same complex, was not powered down because of the ice.’

Cez announces 2010 planned power plant shutdowns

‘PRAGUE, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Czech utility CEZ (CEZPsp.PR) outlined on Monday its planned power plant shutdowns in 2010, including a seven-week stoppage at Temelin unit 2 in May and a more than eight-week closure of the nuclear facility's unit 1 from mid-July. CEZ also said it plans five shut downs over the course of the year of various units at its Dukovany nuclear power plant and will idle the entire 1,050 MW Prunerov coal-fired plant for about two weeks in June.’

Mongolian Energy Update: Research on nuclear power plant construction is to start in 2010

‘Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy plans to commence several activities in energy sector in 2010. For instance, high voltage power plant shall be constructed near Shivee-Ovoo for exporting energy and ensuring reliable operations of the central power supply system. In order to supply growing needs for energy in the eastern region, Baganuur-Undurhaan-Choibalsan 220kW thermal power plant shall be built, current sources shall be expanded, new sources shall be created and even a research on constructing a nuclear power plant in the region shall be started.’

Nuclear summit interest

‘Industry leaders and expert advisors are set to attend the Nuclear New Build Conference at London's Charing Cross Hotel on January 26 and 27. The annual industry event, organised by think tank C5, brings together regulators, energy companies, supply chain members and site licence holders plus leading consultants and legal advisors. Major industry players such as Westinghouse UK, EDF Energy, Fluor, Amec, Mott Macdonald, AON, Areva and Atkins Global will be joined by Ed Miliband MP, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, who will present the opening keynote address.’

Heat rises at Haripur over nuclear plant

‘Kolkata - Tension is building up at Haripur in East Midnapore following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's announcement about a proposed nuclear power plant there with the National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF), a trade union, mobilising fisher folks against the project. Pradip Chatterjee, a national secretary of NFF, said his outfit has organised an awareness campaign at Haripur, located by the Bay of Bengal, over the proposed nuclear park and claimed more than 10,000 fishermen are ready to oppose the project. Chatterjee said a team from East Midnapore Congress district committee is likely to visit the area on January 17 and it will not be allowed in by the fishermen and locals. The team, he claimed, has postponed it visit that was scheduled for January 6.’

Militants, Niger soldiers killed in desert clashes

‘NIAMEY (Reuters) - Nine unidentified militants, seven Niger soldiers and a civilian were killed during clashes late last week near Niger's border with Mali, a military official said on Monday. Security sources in Niger, which has substantial deposits of uranium, had said on Saturday they killed two militants in the fighting in the area where Tuareg rebels and al Qaeda cells are active. "The search to capture the remaining elements of the armed group is ongoing," the military official said on condition of anonymity, adding that soldiers had seized several of the militants' vehicles along with guns and ammunition. Niger's vast uranium and other mineral deposits have attracted billions of dollars in investments from major international companies, including France's Areva and Canada's Cameco.'