Stefan Kuhn

Nuclear industry raises flags over Baran, Burns nominations to NRC

The head of the nuclear power industry's trade group raised questions Tuesday about President Barack Obama's two nominees to the fill one current and one expected vacancy on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The White House said earlier in the day that President Barack Obama would nominate Jeffery M. Baran, a congressional staffer, and Stephen G. Burns, a former longtime NRC official who rose to general counsel before leaving in 2012 to become head of legal affairs at the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency.

Baran, Burns nominated for Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The White House said Tuesday that President Barack Obama will nominate Jeffery M. Baran and Stephen Burns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Baran is a senior Democratic staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and aide to retiring Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

Burns is a former NRC general counsel who is currently head of legal affairs at the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency, a unit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

If confirmed by the Senate, they will fill two Democratic vacancies on the five-member commission, which oversees U.S. nuclear power safety.

Commissioner William D. Magwood said Tuesday that he will depart on Aug. 31 to become director-general of the agency on Sept. 1, a move he previously announced. George Apostolakis was not nominated by Obama for a second term and departed the commission at the end of June.

Senate panel approves Vietnam nuclear agreement

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam, as Washington looks to expand its relationship with its former Southeast Asian foe.

The agreement would allow U.S. companies into Vietnam's expanding market for nuclear power. The U.S. and Vietnamese governments reached the agreement in October, and it was approved by President Barack Obama in February this year. It now has to be endorsed by the full Senate. The prospects for passage remain uncertain.

Magwood must leave NRC, green groups urge Obama

The Hill

Bill Magwood, a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who is headed to become chief of the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency, should be asked to leave his NRC post, groups including Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth wrote to President Obama, The Hill reports.

Contractor gets $1.9M bonus days after WIPP fire

Albuquerque Journal

A $1.9 million bonus the Department of Energy awarded to the contractor that operated the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, five days after the fire that crippled the facility, praised Nuclear Waste Partnership for excellent performance, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Obama: Significant gaps on Iran nuclear talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says there are "still significant gaps" and more work to do on Iran nuclear talks.

The president told reporters Wednesday that he will consult with Congress and allies to determine whether negotiations need to be extended after the July 20 deadline.

Japanese reactor restarts could boost struggling uranum prices


Japan's move to vouch for the safety of two idled reactors is a step toward a nuclear restart in the country, a development market analysts say could boost struggling uranium prices, Bloomberg reports.

Japanese nuclear plant deemed safe, nears restart

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese nuclear plant won preliminary approval Wednesday for meeting stringent post-Fukushima safety requirements, clearing a major hurdle toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority accepted a 418-page report that found that design upgrades and safety improvements at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s two reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Station have complied with the requirements introduced last July.

Iranian Nukes: Gaps remain, but talks continue

WASHINGTON (AP) — World powers and Iran still face significant gaps in their negotiations to curb Tehran's nuclear program, foreign ministers said Tuesday while forging ahead with efforts to secure a deal that could finally bridge a decades-long diplomatic chasm between the Islamic republic and the West.

Sunday's deadline for an agreement could be extended, but that issue is controversial, too. And without an accord on the nuclear talks, the U.S. risks losing opportunities to negotiate with Iran on other pressing regional issues, including sectarian fighting in Syria and Iraq that is threatening to rip apart the Mideast.

Iran lays out possible deal that features nuclear freeze

The New York Times

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told The New York Times that Iran is willing to freeze its nuclear fuel production capacity for seven years in exchange for sanction relief in an effort to reach a deal with world powers ahead of a July 20 deadline.


Subscribe to Nuclear