International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 05 Jul 2009 18:50

From the Separating Myth From Reality article by Feroz Khan above

The U.S. Role

The recent hype and, at times, irresponsible writing by U.S. academics with serious credentials has created a sense of cynicism in Islamabad, reinforcing beliefs that the recent chatter is a prelude to aggressive counterproliferation measures by the United States.[37]

Many claims, such as those in a recent Boston Globe article[38] alleging the existence of a secret joint Pakistani-U.S. strategy for U.S. access to Pakistan, are baseless.[39] Pakistan is very careful in seeking assistance on nuclear technology from the United States, especially if the assistance is perceived to be of an intrusive nature. Like other nuclear-capable states, Pakistan jealously guards its locations and nuclear best practices from any outside influence or knowledge.[40] However, it is always keen to learn of other countries' nuclear security measures and to acquire detection equipment at seaports, airports, and other border crossings.

In 2001, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell offered nuclear security assistance to Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The SPD carefully examined the offer and accepted training but declined technology transfers, which they perceived as intrusive or likely to compromise program secrecy. Since then, Pakistan has benefited from advanced-level training from U.S. national laboratories and has improved its best practices in accordance with its own security culture.[41] There has been no further acceptance by Pakistan of any assistance from the United States, especially permissive action links (PALs), the coded mechanical or electrical locks designed to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of a nuclear weapon.

There are two issues regarding cooperation on PALs. First, the U.S. export control laws restrict sharing PAL technology with other countries, especially with countries that are not parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).[42] Second, transferring PALs not only helps prevent unauthorized use, but also can encourage the recipient state to deploy and disperse the weapons, thus facilitating nuclear use. There are objections from the proposed recipient as well. The recipient state would have to share details of its nuclear weapons design for the technology transfer to work.[43] No country shares such secrets.

In fact, alarmist stories in the U.S. media actually undermine any possibility of positive U.S. assistance.[44] U.S. speculation about contingency plans and pre-emptive weapons seizure leads to greater Pakistani distrust of the United States. Referring to conjecture on U.S. plans to seize nuclear sites, Michael Krepon accurately summed up Pakistani anxieties: "I think these plans-if they exist and I'm not sure that they do-[are] unlikely to be successfully executed and would result in multiple mushroom clouds. So I think this is a bad idea, and it's a bad idea even to talk about it."[45]

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 05 Jul 2009 22:49

South Korean Pyroprocessing Awaits U.S. Decision
Pyroprocessing differs from PUREX (plutonium-uranium extraction) reprocessing, which has been used in nuclear energy and weapons programs around the world, because the plutonium separated from spent fuel by pyroprocessing remains mixed with other elements. Advocates of pyroprocessing say the difference makes the process significantly less proliferation-prone than PUREX and that pyroprocessing therefore should not be considered reprocessing. Many nonproliferation advocates say the differences are not very significant from a nonproliferation standpoint.


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Tilak » 06 Jul 2009 05:16

GNEP is dead; long live Gen-4
01 July 2009

The US Department of Energy has stated that it is no longer pursuing domestic commercial reprocessing.

It announced in late June that it has cancelled the environmental impact statement of the domestic Global Nuclear Energy Partnership programme, effectively halting the programme. It said that reprocessing was the primary focus of that programme.

However, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, provides $145 million for the continuation of research and development (R&D) on proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies.

As described in the President’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget request, the Department’s fuel cycle R&D’s focus is on ‘‘long-term, science-based R&D of technologies with the potential to produce beneficial changes to the manner in which the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste is managed.’’

One outlet for this money is likely to be the Generation IV International Forum, which includes a research programme on fast-breeder reactors, which in turn require reprocessing plants.

At the close of the comment period in March 2009, the DOE had received more than 14,500 comments on the draft environmental impact statement.



Fatal blow to GNEP?
29 June 2009

The US Department of Energy is cancelling the wide-ranging environmental analysis of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) project. Its decision follows a change in government policy on commercial reprocessing.

The proposed GNEP program, which was part of President George Bush's Advanced Energy Initiative, is intended to support a safe, secure and sustainable expansion of nuclear energy, both domestically and internationally. Domestically, the GNEP program would promote technologies that support economic, sustained production of nuclear-generated electricity, while reducing the impacts associated with used nuclear fuel disposal and reducing proliferation risks. As yet, DoE has no specific proposed actions for the international component of the GNEP program. Rather, the USA, through the GNEP program, is considering various initiatives to work cooperatively with other countries. So far, 25 countries have joined the GNEP partnership.

In a notice published in the Federal Register, the Department of Energy (DoE) said that it had decided to cancel the GNEP programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) because it is no longer pursuing domestic commercial reprocessing, which was the primary focus of the prior administration's domestic GNEP program.

In March 2006, the DoE published an advance notice of intent to prepare an EIS for the GNEP technology demonstration program, soliciting comments on the proposed scope, alternatives and environmental issues to be analyzed. The DoE stated that the technology demonstration program would demonstrate technologies needed to implement a closed nuclear fuel cycle that enables recycling and consumption of used fuel in a proliferation-resistant manner.

The comments that the DoE received included suggestions to prepare an environmental impact statement addressing the entire GNEP program. The DoE agreed and in October 2008 announced the availability of its draft GNEP PEIS. The document provides an analysis of the potential environmental consequences of alternatives to the present US open fuel cycle, in which nuclear fuel is used one time and eventually sent to geologic disposal. DoE's stated preference in the draft was to close the fuel cycle, although it did not identify a specific preferred alternative.


The draft PEIS assessed six programmatic domestic alternatives: no action alternative-existing once-through uranium fuel cycle; fast reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; thermal/fast reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; thermal reactor recycle fuel cycle alternative; once-through fuel cycle alternative using thorium; and once-through fuel cycle alternative using heavy water reactors or high temperature gas-cooled reactors.


Although the future of GNEP looks uncertain, with its budget having been cut to zero, the DoE will continue to study proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 provides $145 million for such research and development (R&D). As described in the President Obama's 2010 budget request, the DoE's fuel cycle R&D's focus is on "long-term, science-based R&D of technologies with the potential to produce beneficial changes to the manner in which the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste is managed."


In 2007, a panel of the US National Academy of Sciences suggested that the commercial-scale reprocessing facilities envisaged under GNEP were not economically justifiable.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Austin » 06 Jul 2009 21:23

Medvedev, Obama sign deal to cut nuclear arsenals

"Within seven years after this treaty comes into force, and in the future, the limits for strategic delivery systems should be within the range of 500-1,100 units and for warheads linked to them within the range of 1,500-1,675 units," the framework agreement said


The document says the new treaty should be signed in the near future and would be in effect for 10 years. Russian officials earlier said it could be signed late this year or early in 2010.

Under the agreement, the two nations can only deploy warheads on their sovereign territories, and the new treaty will not cover cooperation in the sphere with third countries.


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 07 Jul 2009 23:34

North Korea Threatens Domestic Annihilation
A North Korean inside source has relayed news that the North Korean authorities, as the June 25th commemoration of the Korean War approached, used a secret recorded lecture to emphasize to frontline military units that they would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against anti-regime forces inside North Korea.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 09 Jul 2009 03:45

Canada sees isotope reactor off line till late '09
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd said on Wednesday it expects its troubled Chalk River nuclear reactor, which produces a third of the world's medical isotope supply, to be off line until late 2009.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 10 Jul 2009 06:28

Britain could cut nuclear warheads as part of global deal
a 2006 Government White Paper on replacing Trident committed Britain to reducing the number of warheads to fewer than 160... Britain's operational nuclear deterrent is routinely based on fewer than 50 warheads. A Vanguard-class submarine sails with a maximum of 48 warheads. There is normally only one submarine deployed on operational duty at any given time. The Royal Navy has four Vanguard-class submarines able to carry Trident nuclear missiles. The Ministry of Defence is considering plans to cut that number to three when the Vanguards are replaced.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 10 Jul 2009 20:13

G8 calls upon all countries to sign NPT
The G8 countries on Thursday called upon all countries to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while deciding to step up efforts for swift implementation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), in a message that seems aimed at India -- the only `outlier' country at the summit.


India not signing NPT: Chavan
This was stated by Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan in a written reply to a question raised by Kalikesh Singh Deo in the Lok Sabha.

“No Sir,” Chavan said to a query on whether the government was considering signing the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

In reply to a separate question, Chavan said the government had received suggestions to amemnd the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to allow private participation in nuclear power generation.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 11 Jul 2009 04:35

Violations Would Kill UAE-U.S. Nuclear Trade Deal, Tauscher Says
"The UAE's expressed commitment not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing capabilities is a marked contrast to Iran, which continues to defy its international obligations," she added

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Muppalla » 12 Jul 2009 20:29

English text of secret nuke pact revealed
The document had been placed under the strict supervision at the North American Affairs Bureau and Treaties Bureau, which is now the International Legal Affairs Bureau, said the former director general of the Treaties Bureau, who declined to be named. He also suggested the document may have been destroyed because of the 2001 disclosure law.

This is the first revelation of the existence at the ministry of the English-version of the bilateral pact signed on Jan. 6, 1960, by then Foreign Minister Aiichiro Fujiyama and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Douglas MacArthur II.


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 12 Jul 2009 21:09


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 13 Jul 2009 05:55

U.S. To Go Into Medical Isotopes Production
With the U.S. entry into isotopes production, Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program director Alan Kuperman said it is a signal for Canada that it would be a huge waste of money and effort for Ottawa to remain in isotope production in the long term.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 14 Jul 2009 04:26

Voters want Britain to scrap all nuclear weapons, ICM poll shows
Survey for Guardian finds 54% support disarmament rather than replacing Trident deterrent


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 18 Jul 2009 08:01


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Jul 2009 21:46

The US move to boost Japan's nuclear umbrella is probably less related to North Korea, and more related to Japan's imminent role in advancing the CTBT. The US is giving the Japanese the security guarantees they need, so that they will feel comfortable moving forward to push for CTBT, as opposed to seeking any nuclear option themselves.

The Japanese leaders are big sellouts to their own people, just like the Kaangress are for Indians. Their efforts will not result in their obtaining the security they seek.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Sanjay M » 19 Jul 2009 21:49

Ultra-Dense Deuterium Created (PDF)

Ultra-dense deuterium, a form of "Rydberg matter" has been created within the confines of a solid oxide crystal lattice.

This is probably the most dense form of man-made substance yet created.

Obviously, this material may be a strong candidate for attempts at nuclear fusion.

I notice that they mention metal oxides like palladium and lithium in particular.
Could the existence of ultra-dense deuterium clusters be the reason for speculative evidence about cold fusion phenomena in connection with palladium?

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 20 Jul 2009 16:43

Germany's Spies Refuted the 2007 NIE Report
Work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003'


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 25 Jul 2009 03:44


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 26 Jul 2009 01:24



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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 29 Jul 2009 07:27

DOE denies USEC's loan guarantee; layoffs coming
The Department of Energy has denied USEC Inc.'s application for a $2 billion loan guarantee, and the company has started "demobilizing" the American Centrifuge Project, which currently employs about 450 at its Oak Ridge manufacturing site.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 01 Aug 2009 06:16

Revealed: Burma’s nuclear bombshell
BURMA’s isolated military junta is building a secret nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facilities with North Korean help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years, according to evidence from key defectors revealed in an exclusive Herald report today.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 02 Aug 2009 20:24

John Bolton's Nuclear Fantasy
"There is not that much difference between me and the people who want a world where no government has nuclear weapons. I only want one government to have nuclear weapons."


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby negi » 02 Aug 2009 23:12

Another story on Burma's bomb

Myanmar building nuke reactor, says media report
Interesting these days NoKo's name is being tossed up anywhere there is a mention of nuclear proliferation; a clear case of the NPA lobby in unkil land and elsewhere trying not to upset PRC which according to me is actually the chief proliferator (Given PRC's influence in Burma this is too obvious) while AQ network and NoKo are only agents .

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 04 Aug 2009 03:02

Iran is ready to build an N-bomb - it is just waiting for the Ayatollah's order
Iran’s scientists have been trying to master a method of detonating a bomb known as the “multipoint initiation system” — wrapping highly enriched uranium in high explosives and then detonating it. The sources said that the Iranian Defence Ministry had used a secret internal agency called Amad (“Supply” in Farsi), led by Mohsin Fakhri Zadeh, a physics professor and senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council.

The system operates by creating a series of explosive grooves on a metal hemisphere covering the uranium, which links explosives-filled holes opening onto a layer of high explosives enveloping the uranium. By detonating the explosives at either pole at the same time, the method ensures simultaneous impact around the sphere to achieve critical density


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 04 Aug 2009 22:16


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 04 Aug 2009 23:42


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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 06 Aug 2009 23:55

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the September 2009 head of state-level UN Security Council Meeting

On September 24th, the United States intends to convene a head of state-level meeting of the UN Security Council on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament during the U.S. Presidency of the Council. The meeting will be chaired by President Obama. The Security Council has an essential role in preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons and is also the world’s principal multilateral instrument for global security cooperation. The session will be focused on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly and not on any specific countries. Over the next several weeks, we will work closely with members of the Security Council to prepare for this important meeting.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 09 Aug 2009 03:20

U.S. Air Force Opens New Command for Its Nuclear Operations
The Air Force today opens a new command that consolidates oversight of all of its U.S.-based nuclear bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 09 Aug 2009 19:03

Reprocessing isn't the answer
By Richard L. Garwin

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Sanatanan » 10 Aug 2009 23:50

Gerard wrote:Reprocessing isn't the answer
By Richard L. Garwin

From the above article:
. . .
But aside from the almost 1-percent plutonium in the spent fuel and the 94-percent uranium 238, the other 5 percent of mass (called "fission products") is removed and melted together with glass into a vitrified product that is encased in welded stainless steel canisters.
. . .

I believe the following:

1) For India, reprocessing is the answer. For India, spent fuel from its PHWRs and FBRs and imported LWRs contains "wealth" in the form of several fissionable nucleii (U, Pu, Am, Np etc) in useful quantities. Spent fuel is not a "waste".

2) Deep underground geological storage concept (such as the "Yucca Mountain" proposal), is highly unlikely to ever receive favourable public acceptance. The best option would be to reprocess the spent fuel rods coming out of the reactors to separate and recover the unburnt Uranium and the transuranic elements (such as Plutonium, Neptunium, Americium), and then break-down (transmute) the remaining radioactive fission products (five percent, as in the above quote) using appropriate particle accelerators so that they can be turned into non-radioactive (or short-lived-radioactive) nucleii for storage/disposal.

I believe R&D work towards developing Accelerator Driven System to do this, is at the initial stages in India. My view is that, to accelerate the pace of indigenous development of ADS, the "energy booster" aspect should probably be delinked, (at least initially, irrespective of resulting possible unfavourable cost angle) and the transmutation of the highly radioactive fission products must be given over-arching priority. India must not wait for this development to take place in foreign countries, but must initiate pioneering efforts to indigenously develop this technology on a war-footing. Development of this technology is more important than spending money in importing npps, if we do not want to have accumulating fields of un-reprocessed spent fuel casks (or shielded containers with vitrified highly radioactive fission products) on our land.

Here is a link to the Wikipedia article on Nuclear transmutation that gives some information about the long-lived fission products in typical spent fuel rods.
Last edited by Sanatanan on 11 Aug 2009 07:47, edited 1 time in total.

Gerard
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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 11 Aug 2009 01:41

For India, reprocessing is the answer.


For other countries as well. Garwin, like many bomb makers turned peacenik, is concerned about arms control. They see reprocessing technology and Plutonium fuel stockpiles (which they used for bomb making rather than energy) as inherently dangerous because it may provide breakout capability and thus threaten the established order.

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Re: International Nuclear Watch & Discussion

Postby Gerard » 11 Aug 2009 07:15

New nuke report debunks Iran hawks
Iran is unlikely to be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a nuclear weapon until at least 2013, according to a United States government intelligence estimate made public last Thursday.


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