Payvand Iran News: Iranian authorities announce delay in launch of nuclear power plant
‘Iranian media published various explanations regarding the delay in the start of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant today. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, reportedly announced that the reason for the delay is "precipitation in the fuel pool next to the reactor." He added that the launch was however proceeding well and that it would only take place a week later. Salehi claimed: "During the procedures we noticed that the pool adjacent to the heart of the reactor has some precipitation and since security takes precedence over a speedy launch, we have chosen to take care of the defect in the pool." He adamantly denied that the delay had any connection to the Stuxnet virus which has recently infected a number of computers in Iran. ILNA, Iranian Labour News Agency, has however reported that the delay is linked to the presence of Stuxnet in a number of computers of the power plant.’

Xinhua: Ukraine, EBRD agree to further raise funds for Chernobyl projects
‘KIEV, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed Tuesday on intensification of raising funds for completion of all the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's projects to convert it into a secure facility. The agreement was reached at a meeting of joint Ukraine-EBRD committee headed by Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Kluev and EBRD vice president Horst Reichenbach. Both sides agreed that the Ukrainian government will approve schedules for implementation of all Chornobyl projects that will be coordinated by the EBRD. According to the EBRD vice president, the precise estimates of the cost of all projects have already been set. Reichenbach expressed conviction that they will be approved by the Assembly of Donors as the basis for the further fund raising.’

Bellona: Will there be a demand for irradiated agricultural products in Russia?
‘Russia’s nuclear industry is convinced of the safety of gamma radiation, where independent scientists object. If the experiment continues, thousands of containers of caesium will be sent to Russia’s agricultural regions. In 2001, experiments with irradiating agriculture products with gamma radiation has been carried out seven regions of Tatarstan.  The experiment is being carried out by OAO Izotop, a division of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom via a protocol signed between Tatarstan’s administration and the nuclear corporation, according to a report by the RIA Novosti Russian newswire. Izotop’s general director, Andrei Silkin, told the news wire that, “in Tatarstan in 2010, we irradiated 120 tons field seeing materials  - wheat, barley, sowed these 120 tons, and gathered the harvest. And we can definitely say that in the conditions of contemporary agriculture in Tatarstan, the germinating power of the seed irradiated by us was more than in the control group. If we talk about it in percent, then you can say we saw a 20 percent improvement on germinating power.” The developers of the foodstuffs irradiation method are sure of its safety, but scientists don’t share their optimism. Ivan Nikitchenko, a professor and a doctor of biological and agricultural sciences, as well as a member of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences told Bellona Web that “the ionizing radiation is fatal to all living things, and a seed is a living thing.” Nikitchenko continued to say that, “I am sure that gamma radiation is dangerous without exception to all organisms. And if one irradiates seeds and roots vegetables with gamma radiation, then, without fail, changes at the molecular level will occur. A natural particle under the impact of gamma radiation denaturalizes because so called free radical and ties are punched out of it.”’

Montreal Gazette: Kahnawake bars ship carrying nuclear waste
‘KAHNAWAKE, Que. — The band council in Kahnawake made good on its word Monday and banned the transport of nuclear waste materials through the St. Lawrence Seaway section that runs through the Mohawk community. The resolution, although not binding, signals the band council's opposition to an Ontario nuclear power plant's plan to ship 16 radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to a recycling facility in Sweden. If approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the shipment from southwestern Ontario's Bruce Power plant would be a first. The shipment has raised concerns from environmentalists, aboriginal groups and officials in more than 100 municipalities throughout Ontario and Quebec. "We just don't want it coming through," said Joe Delaronde, a spokesman for the band council. "The (Seaway) system hasn't had any catastrophic failings, but accidents have happened."’

CBC News: Uranium policy urged for Nunavut
‘The Nunavut government should take an official stance on uranium mining before an environmental review can proceed on a proposed uranium mine in the territory, according to a local advocacy group. Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit is calling on the Nunavut Impact Review Board to stop its environmental review of Areva Resources Canada Inc.'s proposed Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake, Nunavut, until the territorial government develops a uranium mining policy. "We thought that the process should be halted on the environmental review of the Kiggavik uranium mine until [the Nunavut government] takes a position," Sandra Inutiq, who chairs the group, told CBC News on Monday. While the Nunavut government has a set of guiding principles for uranium development in the territory, it has no clear or firm policy. The board is in its early stages of reviewing Areva's proposal to build an underground and open-pit uranium mine at its Kiggavik site, located 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake in Nunavut's Kivalliq region.’

Wired: Robots Now Guarding Nevada Nuke Site
‘Citizens of Nevada, you can now relax. The Nevada National Security Site, home to tens of millions of cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste — and location of over a thousand Cold War nuclear weapons tests — is now being guarded by robots. The first of a planned trio of Mobile Detection Assessment Response Systems, or MDARS, is currently patrolling some of the more remote sections of the 1,360 square mile facility. The camera-equipped MDARS can scoot around pre-determined paths on its own, alerting flesh-and-blood guards when it encounters an intruder or a broken lock. In development by the Navy and General Dynamics since the early 1990s, the diesel-fueled sentry bot can operate for up to 16 hours, and reach a top speed of 20 mph. The U.S. military has experimented with using the MDARS machines to patrol some of its Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. The bots have even been tested with automatic weapons — though I doubt that’s the plan at the nuke site. The Nevada complex, about 65 miles away from Las Vegas, is best known for its iconic nuclear weapons test-shots. Today, it boasts locations to conduct “controlled chemical releases in the open environment to simulate emissions from nuclear weapons production plants,” according to the NNSS website. And the place hosts the “Big Explosive Experimental Facility” — BEEF, for short. It’s “currently used for weapons physics experiments and shaped charge development.” Going robo at the Nevada site is a cost-cutting move, the National Nuclear Security Administration claims.’