UN: Iran cuts stock closest to nuke-arms grade

VIENNA (AP) — Iran has converted most of a nuclear stockpile that it could have turned quickly into weapons-grade uranium into less volatile forms as part of a deal with six world powers, the U.N. atomic agency reported Thursday.

The development leaves Iran with substantially less of the 20-percent enriched uranium that it would need for a nuclear warhead. Iran denies any interest in atomic arms. But it agreed to some nuclear concessions in exchange for a partial lifting of sanctions crippling its economy under the deal, which took effect in January.

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy: Magwood

PARIS (AP) — Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the incoming head of the Nuclear Energy Agency told The Associated Press.

Size is relative — the modular plants could be about as big as a couple of semi-trailers — easily fitting on the dimensions of coal plants they're ultimately intended to replace in the U.S. They would have factory-built parts that are slotted together like Lego blocks and hauled by train or truck — making assembly possible anywhere.

Update expected on leaky WIPP nuke dump

CARSLBAD, N.M. (AP) — The Department of Energy plans an update on its latest entries into southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump.

Officials says crews made two more trips into the half-mile deep mine this week, and they plan to update the Carlsbad community about their findings at a community meeting Thursday evening.

The plant has been closed since mid-February, when a mysterious leak sent low levels of radiation into the air and contaminated 21 workers.

SC seeks ruling in nuclear fuel funding lawsuit

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has asked a federal judge to rule in the state's favor in a lawsuit seeking to keep viable a nuclear reactor fuel project at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.

In court papers filed earlier this week, Attorney General Alan Wilson and other attorneys for the state asked for a decision without a trial.

Safety equipment issues prompt special NRC inspection at N.C. uranium fuel facility


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a special inspection at a facility in Wilmington, N.C. that converts uranium gas into solid pellets after problems were found with safety equipment, Platts reports.

Iran official concerned for nuclear power plant

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's nuclear chief has raised concerns for the fate of the country's only running atomic power plant amid talks with the West about a final deal to curb Tehran's controversial nuclear program, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The government-run daily "Iran" quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian negotiator in talks with six world powers, as saying that Iran needs 30,000 more centrifuges to enrich uranium and produce enough nuclear fuel to run its Bushehr power plant for a year.

World powers negotiating a final nuclear deal with Iran want a reduction — not an increase — in the number of centrifuges Tehran is operating to remove concerns that the Islamic Republic may use its enrichment capabilities to build a nuclear weapon.

Westinghouse deal to supply nuke fuel to Ukraine is extended

The Wall Street Journal

Westinghouse Electric Co. says Ukraine has extended for five years a deal for the company to supply it with nuclear fuel for two reactors, an agreement which had been due to expire in 2020, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Proposed western SD uranium mine clears hurdle

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an operating license for a proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota's Black Hills, though it isn't the only hurdle for the project and opponents say they'll fight the move.

The federal commission said in a statement that a review "concluded the proposed facility can operate safely, including management of radiological and chemical hazards, groundwater protection, and eventual cleanup and decommissioning."

Czechs cancel tender to expand nuclear plant

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech state-run power utility CEZ says it has canceled a tender to build two more nuclear reactors at the Temelin power station because falling electricity prices have made the multi-billion dollar project less feasible.

U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co. and a consortium led by Russia's Atomstroyexport were bidding to build the reactors.

The U.S. embassy is Prague said in a statement the U.S. government was "deeply disappointed" by the decision.


Russia rejects US warnings over oil deal with Iran

MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian diplomat on Wednesday angrily rejected U.S. warnings against striking an oil-for-goods contract with Iran, saying that Moscow wouldn't be intimidated by threats.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in remarks carried by the state RIA Novosti news agency that an increase in Russian-Iranian trade is a "natural process that doesn't involve any elements of political or economic challenge to anyone."

Russian business daily Kommersant has reported that Moscow plans to buy 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day, a deal that would shatter an export limit defined by an interim nuclear agreement world powers and Iran reached last year.


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