Sify News: Schools to shut for two days against Jaitapur n-power plant
Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), Jan 10 (IANS) About 70 schools in and around Madhban village, where the Jaitapur nuclear power plant is coming up, will remain closed for two days as part of protests against the project, an activist said here Monday. 'From kindergarten to high schools, around 70 schools with nearly 2,500 students will remain shut Monday and Tuesday in 20 villages, including Madhban, Mithgawane, Karel, Niweli and Ansure that are the most affected,' said Praveen Gavankar, an activist leading the agitation. Gavankar said land for the project in Madhban, about 60 km from here and 370 km from the state capital Mumbai, had been acquired through force and this was unacceptable.

Hindustan Times: Jaitapur - Villagers snub Chavan
Project-affected people of the Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Ratnagiri district, around 370 km from Mumbai, will boycott chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s open house to discuss the troubled 9,900 mega watt project. The open house will be the CM’s effort of doing his homework before he travels to the project site in coming days. Chavan had assured in the legislative session last month that he would visit the project site to meet the agitating farmers. On Sunday, Chavan, who was in New Delhi, had said that he would meet all the parties concerned on January 18 at Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in Mumbai. Nuclear scientists, all political parties, leaders of protesting groups and social organisations will be invited for discussion. Protests continued in the project area on Monday. Activist leader Praveen Gavankar told Hindustan Times that the open house date clashed with the local festival, Bhagwatichi yatra (religious congregation of Goddess Bhagwati) in Madban village. “Since our entire tehsil takes participates in this festival, no local will travel to Mumbai on January 18,” said Gavankar from Madban. Gavankar added that around 2,500 students from 70 schools in the area did not attend classes in protest. “Schools will be closed on Tuesday as well. They will also not celebrate Republic Day.”

Associated Press: Vermont Nuke fights for future but chances are dimming
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's piece of the nuclear age, launched four decades ago, seems to be coming to a close, even as advocates push for a renaissance of nuclear power in the United States. The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant's initial 40-year license expires March 21, 2012, less than 15 months from now. And despite a safety and performance record no worse than many of the other 61 reactors that have won 20-year license extensions from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Vernon power plant's future looks short. That's largely because it's located in the only state in the country with a law saying both houses of its legislature have to give their approval before Vermont regulators can issue a state license for the plant to continue operating. The Vermont Senate voted 26-4 last February against letting the Public Service Board issue the new state license. That vote came a month after it was revealed that Vermont Yankee was leaking tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, into soil and groundwater surrounding the reactor on the banks of the Connecticut River. It also followed revelations that senior plant personnel had misled state officials about whether Vermont Yankee had the sort of underground pipes that carried radioactive tritium.

Lansing State Journal: Michigan USA - Kushler: New nuclear power plant would be costly economic folly
On Sunday Dec. 12, the LSJ published two guest editorials promoting more nuclear power plants for Michigan. I appreciate the opportunity to offer an alternative viewpoint. I will leave the controversial issues of health, safety, and nuclear waste disposal for others to discuss. I will focus solely on the economics. Simply stated: Michigan cannot afford a new nuclear power plant. Constructing a new nuclear plant is mind-bogglingly expensive - on the order of 3 to 6 times more expensive than comparably sized coal or natural gas fired power plants. Over the last decade, nuclear construction cost estimates have soared by 50 percent to 100 percent, reaching levels of $6 billion to $10 billion for a typical 1,000-megawatt power plant. Constructing a single new nuclear plant could cost more than the entire net asset base of either of Michigan's two large electric utilities (DTE and Consumers Energy). This would require huge rate increases for the unlucky customers of any utility which attempted to build a plant. On a per-kilowatt-hour cost of electricity provided, including fuel and operating costs, new nuclear power plants would be far more expensive than coal, natural gas, or even wind power. The best new source of energy is actually energy efficiency, which costs about one-sixth as much as nuclear power on a per-kwh basis. (My organization recently published a national review of the results of utility energy efficiency programs in 14 states, which found an average cost of 2.5 cents per kWh. That compares to the most recent estimates of power from a new nuclear plant of 12 to 15 cents per kwh, and new coal plants at 10 cents per kwh.)

PanOrient News: Japanese METI Minister Ohata Offered “Nuclear” Help to Iraq
Tokyo- (PanOrient News) Japan is ready to boost cooperation and projects in Iraq’s energy sector including rebuilding Iraqi Nuclear reactor(s), Hussain Shahristani, Iraqi deputy prime minister for energy, told Arab reporters on Monday. Shahristani reportedly said after his meeting with Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Akihiro Ohata in Baghdad in the same day, "we discussed the issue of reconstruction of the nuclear reactor(s) in Iraq... and the Japanese expressed their interest in that. Iraq will study the possibilities of developing its peaceful nuclear industry." A joint statement was issued after the meeting calling on the two countries to reinforce economic cooperation in areas including postwar reconstruction, oil development and electricity generation in Iraq. Feasibility studies have already started to build an electricity generation station in Iraq, according to the statement.

Bellona: Secret shipment of Soviet-origin highly enriched uranium arrives in Russia from Ukraine
MOSCOW - In another nuclear repatriation shipment planned for 2010 – and which took place just as the year was expiring – five airplanes carried 50 kilograms of Soviet-made highly enriched uranium (HEU), produced as research reactor fuel for the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, back to Russia. US President Barack Obama congratulated Ukraine for getting rid of its HEU, while environmentalists continue to warn of the high risks of transporting nuclear materials. Media reports say fifty kilograms of highly enriched uranium are enough to make stuffing for two nuclear bombs. “The operation was clandestine and elaborate,” a report by Fox News said, stressing the secrecy of the delivery. Twenty-one specially designed casks were used for the recent transport of the Ukrainian fuel, which was delivered to a location near Moscow by five planes from research facilities in Kiev, Sevastopol, and Kharkov. The delivery had been delayed by several days owing to severely unfavourable weather conditions, news reports said. The transfer was the result of an April, 2010, agreement between the Obama administration and the government of the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, announced during the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington.