Nuclear

Rio Tinto unit sees uranium gaining by next year

Source: 
Bloomberg

Uranium prices could start recovering as early as 2015 on renewed demand in China and Japan, according to Rio Tinto-controlled Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., or ERA, Bloomberg reports.

NRC needs more speed in gauging reactors' quake risks: Boxer

Source: 
The Hill

"Earthquakes will not wait until the paperwork has been completed," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told nuclear regulators appearing before her Environment and Public Works Committee, as she chided them for delays in assessing seismic risks to reactors, The Hill reports.

GE, Toshiba, Hitachi named in Fukushima suit

TOKYO (AP) — About 1,400 people filed a joint lawsuit Thursday against three companies that manufactured reactors at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, saying they should be financially liable for damage caused by their 2011 meltdowns.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the lawsuit, filed at Tokyo District Court, is a landmark challenge of current regulations that give manufacturers immunity from liability in nuclear accidents. Under Japan's nuclear damage compensation policy, only the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has been held responsible for the accident, which was triggered by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

The 1,415 plaintiffs, including 38 Fukushima residents and 357 people from outside Japan, said the manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. They are seeking compensation of 100 yen ($1) each, saying their main goal is to raise awareness of the problem.

Hundreds sue makers of Fukushima nuclear plant

TOKYO (AP) — About 1,400 people have filed a joint lawsuit against three companies that manufactured Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, saying they should be financially liable for damage caused by its 2011 meltdowns.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the lawsuit, filed Thursday at Tokyo District Court, is a landmark challenge of current regulations which give manufacturers immunity from liability in nuclear accidents. Only the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has been held responsible for the accident, triggered by a powerful earthquake.

The plaintiffs, which include Fukushima residents and nearly 400 others from around the world, say the manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the four decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. They are seeking compensation of 100 yen ($1) each.

UN inspectors visit key Iran uranium mine

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A group of U.N. inspectors visited a key uranium mine in southern Iran on Wednesday, as part of a deal to allow expanded monitoring of the country's nuclear sites.

Nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told the official IRNA news agency that the three-member team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency — inspected the Gachin uranium mine, 50 kilometers west of the southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

Iran and the IAEA struck a deal Nov. 11 in Tehran granting U.N. inspectors wider access to Iran's nuclear facilities. The deal was parallel to an agreement reached with world powers Nov. 24 in Geneva to have Iran halt its most sensitive uranium enrichment activities in return for an easing of Western sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

SKorea OKs new reactors, first approval since Fukushima

Source: 
Reuters

South Korea has given the go-ahead for two new nuclear reactors to be built in the country at a cost of $7 billion, the first such approval since the accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi in neighboring Japan, Reuters reports.

UN inspectors in Iran visiting uranium mine

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian official says a group of U.N. inspectors are on the way to visit a key uranium mine as part of a deal to allow expanded monitoring of the country's nuclear sites.

Nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told the official IRNA news agency that the inspectors were en route Wednesday to Bandar Abbas to visit the nearby Gachin mine.

Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency — struck a deal in November that grants U.N. inspectors wider access to Iran's nuclear facilities.

Successful wrap for a weapons-to-electricity program

Source: 
The New York Times

A little-known post-Cold War program for using scrapped Russian nuclear weapons to generate American electricity has reached a successful conclusion, The New York Times reports.

Oil

Global "Elders" urge Iran to build on nuclear deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The former head of the United Nations urged Iran Monday to build on a historic deal reached with world powers in November and work toward a final settlement over its contested nuclear program.

Kofi Annan, who is heading a group of ex-world leaders known as "The Elders," made the comments after a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday.

"We believe that there have been a number of recent positive developments, most important the interim nuclear agreement signed in Geneva last November. These efforts now need to be sustained to achieve final agreement," he told a press conference in Tehran.

Oil

US official warns against business deals with Iran

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Companies should "hold off" doing business in Iran because many of the sanctions against the country are still in place despite an interim nuclear deal, the top U.S. Treasury official warned Monday.

Speaking in Turkey, which is looking to expand business opportunities with its neighbor Iran, David Cohen, the U.S. secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said a significant portion of sanctions against Iran remained, including in the banking, energy and shipping sanctions.

"Iran is not open for business," Cohen said. "Businesses interested in engaging in Iran really should hold off. The day may come when Iran is open for business, but the day is not today."

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