International nuclear watch & discussion -28-Mar-08

Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 31 Mar 2008 20:28

Ukraine Signs Nuclear Fuel Deal With USA
Ukraine will buy nuclear fuel of the American make for no less than three out of its 15 water-cooled water-moderated reactors of the VVER-1000 series.

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Postby Gerard » 31 Mar 2008 20:29


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Postby Gerard » 01 Apr 2008 08:36


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Postby Gerard » 02 Apr 2008 07:08


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Postby Gerard » 02 Apr 2008 20:42

Diplomats: China Provided Intel on Iran
Diplomats say that China has given the U.N. nuclear watchdog intelligence linked to Tehran's alleged attempts to make nuclear arms.

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Postby svinayak » 02 Apr 2008 20:46

Gerard wrote:Diplomats: China Provided Intel on Iran
Diplomats say that China has given the U.N. nuclear watchdog intelligence linked to Tehran's alleged attempts to make nuclear arms.

Chaine playing for the atlanticists

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Postby Arun_S » 02 Apr 2008 22:44

Help sought on 100-tonne plutonium stockpile
By Rebecca Bream, Utilities Correspondent
Tuesday Apr 1 2008 20:50

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on Wednesday will appeal to industry for help in dealing with the UK's 100-tonne stockpile of plutonium, and in deciding whether to treat it as waste or reuse it as fuel for nuclear reactors.

One option being considered is for the highly radioactive plutonium to be used to make fuel for a new nuclear reactor at Sellafield, where the plutonium is currently stored.

But the question of whether the plutonium should be used or disposed of could reopen the debate on nuclear reprocessing and whether spent fuel from the next generation of nuclear reactors should be reused.

The government will be concerned that the controversial policy of backing new nuclear reactors could be further complicated by the reprocessing issue.

The stockpile has accumulated over 40 years, through the reprocessing of spent enriched uranium fuel from Magnox and AGR nuclear power stations. Reprocessing separates spent fuel into radioactive waste, which needs to be disposed of, and uranium and plutonium, which can be made into mixed-oxide reactor fuel.

Plutonium is also used to make nuclear weapons. No country has yet successfully devised a plan to dispose of the highly radioactive substance.

Areva, the French state-owned nuclear company, and US nuclear decommissioning groups such as Fluor (NYSE:FLR) and Washington Group (NASDAQ:WGII) are likely to be among those suggesting ideas to the NDA. The agency was set up by the government to tackle the clean-up of Britain's nuclear waste.

The NDA and the companies will look at whether the plutonium should be disposed of with the rest of the UK's highly radioactive waste in an underground bunker or turned into reactor fuel. The NDA hopes to present a list of options to the government by the end of the year.

Ian Roxburgh, NDA chief executive, said it would cost between £3bn ($5.93bn) and £4bn ($7.9bn) to dispose of the plutonium.

The NDA is talking to energy companies including EDF, Eon, RWE and Centrica about building nuclear reactors on some of its sites. Mr Roxburgh said there had been "a robust response" from the companies and that Wylfa in Anglesey and Bradwell in Essex were viewed as the best locations.

It is understood that one proposal under consideration is that a new nuclear reactor at Sellafield could use the plutonium stocks. "That is one credible option," said a person close to the situation.

Two plants at Sellafield currently reprocess spent fuel from the UK's existing reactors and foreign power plants - although the Thorp reprocessing plant has been beset by operational problems.

The government has not yet decided whether to reprocess fuel from any new reactors built in the UK.

France reprocesses all of its spent fuel, while President Jimmy Carter banned reprocessing in the US in 1977 because of fears of nuclear weapons proliferation.

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Postby Philip » 03 Apr 2008 13:42

More on the Israeli raid on a suspected Syrian secret nuclear facility.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... ria114.xml

Israel strike 'targeted Syrian nuclear reactor'
By Alex Spillius in Washington
Last Updated: 1:38am BST 15/10/2007

Israel's secretive air strike inside Syria last month was directed at a site judged by Israeli and US intelligence analysts to be a partly constructed nuclear reactor, according to a report.

Israel has not given any details on the operation in Syria
Officials said the reactor was modelled on one in North Korea used for stockpiling nuclear weapons fuel but was in the early stages of development.

The attack on the location in north-eastern Syria on Sept 6 has been subject to an official news blackout by both Tel Aviv and Washington, for fear of raising tension in the Middle East.

Speculation on the true nature of the target has been rife, with some defence experts and insiders claiming that the Syrians, who already have chemical weapons, were on the verge of producing plutonium for a nuclear weapon.

But the report in Sunday's New York Times gives the clearest picture yet of the daring raid, which was only revealed after the Syrians complained about a violation of its airspace by Israel.

US officials said the partially constructed Syrian reactor was identified earlier this year in satellite photographs. Those officials also suggested Israel brought the facility to US attention.

The facility appeared to have been much further from completion than an Iraqi reactor the Israelis destroyed in 1981.

advertisementThe Sept 6 attack prompted an argument within the Bush administration, with some senior aides to the president seeing it as premature.

Nations are not obliged to declare reactors to the International Atomic Energy Association in the first stages of construction, even if they are signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, as Syria is. It is also allowed to complete a reactor to produce electricity.

Last week it was revealed that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had persuaded the Israelis to delay the air strike, but could not object after Israel presented "jaw-dropping" evidence, believed to be taken from soil seized by Israeli commandos from the site.

Some officials told the New York Times that the facility was years away from being used to produce spent nuclear fuel that could eventually be used for weapons-grade plutonium.

It remained unclear how far Syria had progressed before the attack, what role North Korea might have played and whether a case could be made it was intended to produce electricity. Other reports have said that North Korean advisors died in the attack, which obliterated its target.

In earlier reports Israeli intelligence officials have said they believed that North Korea, which detonated its first nuclear device last year, was supplying nuclear expertise and materials to the Syrians. Only Syria and North Korea have objected to the attack, and even then in limited terms.

The lack of negative comment from an Arab government or Iran has pointed to a regional anxiety about a nuclear Syria.

The Israeli defence establishment has meanwhile been quietly congratulating itself on an attack which also sent a signal to Iran about its nuclear programme.

A senior Israeli official told the New York Times that the attack was meant to "re-establish the credibility of our deterrent power".

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Postby Gerard » 04 Apr 2008 00:34


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Postby Gerard » 04 Apr 2008 00:36

France Upgrades, Trims Nuclear Arsenal
Sarkozy’s call follows a February Russian proposal to institute a global ban on ground-launched short- to intermediate-range missiles, which the United States and Russia have already forsworn through the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Postby Gerard » 04 Apr 2008 04:29

Taqiyya from Ayatollah Kimball
Getting Real About Nuclear Disarmament

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Postby Rye » 04 Apr 2008 06:26

Ayotollah Kimball speaketh:
Washington is not serious about disarmament, states in the non-nuclear-weapon majority will continue to resist new measures to restrict the spread of bomb-making technologies, improve verification, and enforce NPT compliance. This is a chief reason why Shultz et al. have called on the United States to reaffirm the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and pursue immediate steps toward that end.


If this Non-Prol Mullah Kimball is waxing eloquent about the schultz paper, then that makes it even more certain that the Schultz Paper is the next NPA con job as suspected.

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Postby Sanjay M » 04 Apr 2008 06:51

Russians and Chinese, states with inferior conventional weaponry and paranoid about outside intervention against them, will never disarm. So any disarmament initiative is dead in the water.

If US attacks Iran, that will put the nail in the coffin of the NPT, since it will show everyone that Uncle is Violator #1.

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Postby Gerard » 05 Apr 2008 07:57


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Postby Gerard » 05 Apr 2008 18:17


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Postby Gerard » 05 Apr 2008 23:44

A strident call for India, Israel and Pakistan to withdraw :roll: from the NPT if they want to keep their nuclear arsenals...

Deterrence: Mother's milk of nuclear proliferation

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Postby Gerard » 06 Apr 2008 00:41


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Postby Gerard » 06 Apr 2008 00:56


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Postby Gerard » 06 Apr 2008 17:00


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Postby Sanatanan » 07 Apr 2008 17:26



The report says:
Whitfield has introduced legislation directing the Department of Energy to re-enrich the depleted uranium, known as tails, into usable fuel for nuclear reactors.


The U235 content in the tails has not been mentioned. I believe it might be as low as 0.2% or 0.1% (compared to 0.71% in Nat U). After re-enrichment what might be the percentage of U235 in the "re-enriched tails"?

So, who will buy the depleted U if not for use in ammunition? Possible uses as shielding material or as purely fertile material in FBR may not be very economical.

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Postby Arun_S » 07 Apr 2008 22:24



China the "Piece" Loving, Snake oil seller country.
Chinese Nuke inventory estimate raised to onlee 1,000 weapons, while softly peddling its stock of military Pu and Enriched Uranium that is not yet converted into bombs.

Chinese slave-miester (its foreign office spokesmen) asks the world its time for all cunt-ries to sign FMTC.

So per below : Hun CHinese nuke weapons in hand or for projected buildup are:
Chinese missile force:
. . IRBM: ?? (Undisclosed)
. . ICBM: 312 warheads (162 + 150 new type)
Sea based: 192 warheads
PLA-Air Force: ?? (Undisclosed)

Analysis: China's nuke warhead stockpile

by Andrei Chang
Hong Kong (UPI) Apr 04, 2008
China's stockpile of nuclear warheads has increased sharply, with more DF-31A and JL-2 long-range strategic ballistic missiles entering service, giving it preliminary capability to engage in three-dimensional nuclear strikes upon opponent targets.

The changes in the Chinese nuclear capability started in 1995, before which the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Force was often teased as "a military service that needed an exit strategy." At that time, most of the soldiers serving in the PLASAF were doing little more than growing vegetables and raising pigs.

This miserable situation was the result of the aftershock of the large-scale nuclear disarmament by the United States and the Soviet Union. After 1995, however, with the increase in tensions across the Taiwan Strait, China began to refocus its attention on the development of nuclear capability so as to possess effective deterrence against possible U.S. military interference in the Taiwan Strait.

This marked the beginning of the transformation of the PLASAF from a force with balanced nuclear and conventional capability to one more focused on nuclear capability. In terms of technology, the PLASAF sped up the development of carrier vehicles for long-range strategic missiles, mainly the DF-31 and JL-2.

In addition, in order to make up the shortfall in its nuclear arsenal within a short period of time, China produced additional DF-5A intercontinental ballistic missiles and undertook to prolong the service life of its existing DF-3 intermediate-range ballistic missiles and DF-4 long-range strategic missiles.

With the deployment of more ICBMs, the number of Chinese long-range strategic missile brigades has also increased. Meanwhile, at least two 094 ballistic missile submarines and one 092-M SSBN have entered service.

There are signs that the DF-4 long-range ballistic missile positions at Delinghayuan in the western province of Qinghai have been expanded. Straight highway lanes stretch for several hundred kilometers in the region, and some highway sections have been revamped and new preliminary missile positions have been constructed. This indicates that China will very likely start deploying more DF-31A highway-mobile ICBMs to replace the DF-4s.

The strategic missile brigades most likely to receive the DF-5 and DF-5A ICBMs include the No. 801 and No. 804 brigades. The No. 813 brigade is stationed at Nanyang in Henan province, a unit generally believed to be armed with DF-31 ICBMs. In addition, the No. 809 and No. 812 brigades stationed in Qinghai are also armed with DF-4s, as well as the No. 803 and No. 805 brigades, stationed in Hunan.

Some of these DF-4 brigades may have started to receive DF-31A ICBMs. The positioning of DF-4s and DF-31As seem to be very close within the PLA Second Artillery Force, and both are called long-range strategic missiles, while the D-5 is called an ICBM. There is speculation that there is a No. 818 missile brigade armed with the DF-31, but this has not been confirmed by official sources. Because China currently does not have a sufficient quantity of ICBMs with a range above 10,000 kilometers (about 6,200 miles), efforts to upgrade and prolong the service life of its DF-5s are very likely to continue.

The increase of nuclear warheads within the PLA Second Artillery Force focuses on the strategic objective of deterring other major nuclear powers from attempting "nuclear blackmail" toward China. China has sufficient supplies of material for the production of nuclear warheads. It has very rich uranium resources, and its production of plutonium reserves has continued for a number of years. Western military observers generally believe China has enough nuclear material to produce 1,000 nuclear warheads.

Because the DF-31 ICBM and JL-2 SLBM use new types of carrier vehicles, China in recent years has been putting a lot of effort into the research and development of MIRVs -- multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. As a result, the DF-31 and JL-2 will be armed with new warheads, and some DF-5As and DF-5s may also become the platforms for these newly developed warheads. Western intelligence analysts generally believe that China now commands the technology to separate three warheads.

As for the number of ICBMs under each missile brigade, it is reasonable to assume that the Chinese and Russian ICBM brigades may both be armed with nine missile units. If that is the case, calculating on the basis of three DF-5/DF-5A brigades and four to five DF-4 brigades or DF-31A brigades, China would have approximately 63 to 72 ICBMs and long-range strategic missiles.

Among these missile brigades, if each of the missiles deployed at the three DF-5/5A missile brigades and at least two DF-31A brigades are armed with three warheads, there are in total 135 nuclear warheads. If the two to three DF-4 long-range strategic missile brigades are included, and each missile is armed with a single warhead, there are a total of 18-27 DF-4 warheads. So far, the DF-5 has always been armed with one warhead.

This means the total number of China's long-range nuclear warheads would be between 153 and 162. This is taking into consideration the fact that China has been steadily upgrading its long-range strategic missiles.

China's development of sea-based strategic nuclear capability is obviously aimed at acquiring strengths equivalent to that of the Second Artillery Force, giving China two-dimensional and effective strategic nuclear strike competence. As a result, the buildup of sea-based nuclear weapons has been quite fast-paced.

At present, two Type 094 SSBNs are fitted with 24 JL-2 long-range strategic missiles, totaling more than 72 nuclear warheads. Adding the warheads fitted on the 12 JL-1A IRBMs on Type 092M SSBNs, China is now supposed to have a total of 84 sea-based nuclear warheads. Thus, at the current stage, the overall number of China's sea-based and land-based nuclear warheads should be between 237 and 246.

The PLA navy's Type 094 SSBN fleet is going to continue expanding in the next five years, and the number of SLBMs will increase dramatically as a result. Even with only five Type 094 SSBNs, the total number of warheads will very likely reach 180. Including the warheads of the 12 JL-1A IRBMs, China should have 192 sea-based nuclear warheads within the next five years.

Furthermore, the pace of expansion of the DF-31A is going to speed up. Some Western media have claimed that China will deploy at least 50 DF-31As, bringing the number of China's new nuclear warheads to 150. And the design of a new-generation Type 096 SSBN has already begun. China Central Television earlier revealed images of an SSBN carrying 24 SLBMs, indicating the navy's newer-generation SSBN will be fitted with more nuclear warheads.

As to the explosive yield of these nuclear warheads, the earlier variants of DF-5 ICBM warheads may include 1 million-ton class nuclear bombs and hydrogen bombs. Judging from China's series of nuclear tests in the past, the maximum explosive yield of a PLASAF nuclear warhead could reach 1 million to 3 million tons. The new-generation DF-31A missiles are armed with MIRVs, and each warhead has an explosive yield of approximately 100,000 tons. {For lay SRDE Yindus clamouring for Indian MegaTon weapons that is 100kT onlee for Chinese new MIRV payload. -Arun_S}China has so far developed a whole series of nuclear warheads with an explosive yield of 100,000 to 500,000 tons.

(Andrei Chang is editor in chief of Kanwa Defense Review Monthly, registered in Toronto.)

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Postby Gerard » 08 Apr 2008 02:37


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Postby Gerard » 08 Apr 2008 02:49


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Postby Gerard » 08 Apr 2008 04:26

THE LAST TO DISARM?
The Future of France’s Nuclear Weapons

http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/npr/vol14/142/142tertrais.pdf

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Postby Gerard » 09 Apr 2008 01:07


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Postby Sanjay M » 10 Apr 2008 04:52

Kazakhstan's Scary Uranium Ambitions
The Central Asian country intends to become the global leader in uranium production. Its proximity to hotspots like Pakistan and Afghanistan worries some

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Postby Sanjay M » 10 Apr 2008 05:46


Gerard
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Postby Gerard » 10 Apr 2008 15:24


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Postby Gerard » 10 Apr 2008 15:25


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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 01:29


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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 01:35

British, Russian Support May Not Save Ambitious Nuclear Power Club
Nevertheless, the GNEP has had difficulty securing the support of important countries. The Indian government, which is deciding whether to commit to a separate bilateral civil nuclear energy agreement with the United States, has declined invitations to join GNEP. Many Indians worry that doing so might constrain their ability to enrich uranium, suspecting that India would not receive the same right to develop and sell civilian nuclear technologies as the established nuclear powers due to its commingled civilian and military nuclear programs.

South Africa has thus far declined to join GNEP. Its government fears that participation would impede the country's ambitions to resume uranium enrichment and sell it on the international market.
Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, and Turkey have yet to advance from candidate or observer status. Each has announced plans to expand their use of nuclear power as well as enrich at least some of their own fuel, making the governments wary of fully committing to GNEP's nonproliferation goals.

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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 02:28

Aon warns of supply risk for UK nuclear
Insurer Aon Corporation has warned that the UK’s plan for a nuclear power renaissance must take into account risks of interruptions to the supply of uranium fuel.

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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 02:40


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Postby Rye » 11 Apr 2008 03:04

This may be related to the above news about Iran.

From a Rajinder Puri article:

link

There are faint signs that China may already be distancing itself from Iran. According to London's Daily Telegraph, China betrayed Iran by providing the United Nations with intelligence on Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear technology. The paper quoted high level unnamed diplomats. Beijing is believed to have changed heart after documents seized from Iranian officials included incriminating blueprints. Does anyone seriously believe that after Beijing's conduit, Pakistan’s AQ Khan, helped Iran with nuclear know-how, the Chinese leaders were unaware of this earlier? Once the material seized from Iran reached the IAEA in February, the Chinese reportedly ratted on Iran. The Sunni-Shiite complications may explain China seeking Musharraf's cooperation and at the same time leaving Iran in the nuclear lurch.

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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 16:22


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Postby Gerard » 11 Apr 2008 16:23

Global atomic deal may prove useful to SA
From a South African point of view, perhaps the most interesting feature of this alliance is that it will include the nuclear fuel cycle business. South Africa is a uranium producer but no longer has the ability to produce nuclear fuel. However, there are indications that the country would like to re-establish such a capability, provided it could be economically viable. In this regard, the fact that the local nuclear industry is connected with the Toshiba/Atomenergoprom alliance may, in time, prove to be very useful. Furthermore, this alliance could, in due course, help open the Russian market to the PBMR.


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