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

South Korea to train Myanmar technicians on nuclear energy

’YANGON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will provide training on nuclear energy to officials and technicians from Myanmar along with other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the local weekly Myanmar Times reported Wednesday. It was offered by the South Korean government when ASEAN+3 energy ministers met recently in Myanmar's second largest city of Mandalay, South Korean embassy here was quoted as disclosing. The East Asian country agreed to the provision of technical know-how on nuclear power stations in order to reduce the burning of fossil fuels and to help protect the environment. Under a three-year training program which lasts from 2009 to 2011, South Korea will train a total of 150 technicians and senior government officials from ASEAN countries including Myanmar, the report added.’

Pakistan's A.Q. Khan strikes again

’ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - The world's most infamous agent of nuclear proliferation, Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, has added a fresh feather to his cap following revelations that a newspaper column he penned two weeks ago for Pakistan's The News heavily plagiarized websites of British universities. Fondly known to many in his homeland as the "father of the bomb" for his role in developing Pakistan's uranium enrichment and nuclear weapons programs, Dr. Khan was placed under house arrest in 2004 following a confession made to former military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf that he had leaked nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The newspaper column in question, "Science of computers - part I," appears to have been lifted almost verbatim, from the computer science homepages of the University of Sussex, Imperial College London, and the University of Cambridge. A blow-by-blow comparison can be viewed in a letter to the editor of Pakistani daily The News, the same paper which carried the original column.’

French carbon tax to start at 14 euros per tonne

’France will roll out a carbon tax on fuel in 2010, starting at 14 euros (20 dollars) per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in an interview to be published Thursday. Championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, the new tax on transport and household fuel is part of France's drive to wean consumers off polluting energies and slash global warming emissions. "We have decided to apply this tax progressively. Starting with the market price of carbon, or 14 euros," Fillon told Le Figaro Magazine weekly. "We will then put in place an independent committee charged with measuring the effects of the policy and proposing adjustments." The tax will not cover electricity, he said, arguing that French power consumption was "overwhelmingly drawn from nuclear power." Based on France's commitment to slash global warming emissions by 75 percent by 2050, a government planel called for a levy of 32 euros for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, rising to 100 euros per tonne in 2030. But the government has already said the levy would start at no more than 15 or 20 euros, in order to avoid a consumer backlash.’

Russia to take back Poland's spent nuclear fuel

’Spent nuclear fuel from Polish research reactors will be sent to Russia. An agreement concerning this process was signed by Hanna Trojanowska, Polish Commissioner for Nuclear Energy and Sergey Kirijenko, director at the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom) on September 1, Poland's Ministry of Economy announced. The deal is an element of the international program of returning nuclear fuel. The program particularly focuses on securing highly enriched uranium (HEU) provided by Russia and the US and is ran by American Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI). Spent nuclear fuel is to be transferred from Poland to Russia by the end of 2010. Highly-enriched fuel used in Maria reactor in Poland should be transferred till the end of 2016. According to the provisions of the agreement, nuclear

fuel will be transferred, converted and the radioactive waste will be stored in Russia who will become the owner of the radioactive fuel. The agreement enables Poland to meet its international obligations to convert the core of Maria reactor from HEU fuel to use low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel which requires returning used HEU fuel to Russia. Similar agreements have been signed by Kazakhstan, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the Czech Republic, Ministry of the Economy said.’

As Nuclear Deadline Looms, Will Iran Give Obama What He Needs?

’President Barack Obama took office promising to pursue a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, but so far, he's gotten little out of Tehran. So little, in fact, that the President has given Iran a September 15 deadline to respond positively to his offer of negotiations, or face a heightening of sanctions. As U.S. officials huddled with European, Russian and Chinese counterparts in Germany on Wednesday to review the issue, Iran signaled that it will, indeed, respond - by offering its own package of proposals to achieve a diplomatic resolution to the standoff. Western leaders at the meeting in Germany urged Iran to agree to a meeting with Russia, China, the key European nations and the U.S. before September 23. But nobody is expecting Iran's proposals to come close to meeting current Western demands, and that could leave Obama facing the unenviable choice either of being painted as feckless, or else moving down a road of escalation that puts a diplomatic solution further beyond reach. "We can expect that the new Iranian package, much like the most recent Western proposals presented to Iran, will mostly be a repackaging of old positions," says Trita Parsi, an Iran analyst and President of the National Iranian American Council.’

Russia, Norway to talk nuclear security

’MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian and Norwegian nuclear industry officials will on Thursday discuss security cooperation, including the dismantling of nuclear submarines, the Rosatom state nuclear corporation said. The 12th meeting of a bilateral nuclear commission will be held in Svanhovd, Norway. The commission is co-chaired by deputy Rosatom CEO Yevgeny Yevstratov and Norwegian government representative Elisabeth Walaas. Until 2003, cooperation was carried out as part of an intergovernmental agreement signed in 1998 on environmental interaction in connection with the dismantling of Russian nuclear subs decommissioned from Russia's Navy, in line with which Norway allocated $12-15 million every year.’

Niger's main Tuareg rebel group deposes leader: website

’NIAMEY - Niger's main Tuareg rebel Movement of Nigeriens for Justice has deposed its president Agaly Alambo because he spends more time in a Tripoli hotel than on the ground, the MNJ said on its website Wednesday. "The MNJ's fighters, officers and political leaders decide and order that Agaly Alambo is no longer president of the MNJ," said a statement dated September 1 and signed by chief of staff general Amoumoune Kalakouwa. The decision was taken on August 31, the movement said, accusing Alambo of having "cut himself off completely from the situation on the ground so he could set himself up in Tripoli." From his hotel room in Tripoli, Alambo takes decisions and makes undertakings without ever consulting ... the movement." Pending the naming of a replacement, the MNJ will be led by a board consisting of Kalakouwa, other MNJ officers and political leaders. The rebels called on splinter movements the Nigerian Patriotic Front (FPN) and the Front of Forces for a Recovery (FFR) to "regroup into one sole organisation with a view to negotiations" with Niger's government.’

SAN ONOFRE: Weld defects found in second set of steam generators

’SAN ONOFRE ---- Inspectors in Japan have detected "weld defects" inside two massive steam generators being built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for installation at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Gil Alexander, a spokesman for plant owner Southern California Edison, said in a statement Wednesday that similar defects have not been found in two similar generators already delivered to San Onofre and scheduled for installation inside its Unit 2 containment dome this fall. "The deficiency, which is being corrected, was caused by a manufacturing process that was not used on the Unit 2 steam generators," Alexander said. He said the defects will not delay installation of the generators, scheduled for fall 2010.’

Areva to Meet With Mitsubishi Officials, Challenges Reports

’Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Areva SA will meet with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. officials on Sept. 15 with a view to the Japanese company possibly buying a stake in the world's biggest maker of nuclear reactors, Challenges reported, without saying where it got the information. The Mitsubishi delegation plans to visit Areva sites at La Hague, Melox or Chalon, according to the weekly magazine. Paris- based Areva will organize similar visits for other potential investors between now and mid-October, Challenges said. Areva said June 30 it will sell about 15 percent of the company to strategic industrial partners as it looks to raise capital for expansion.’