Ukraine says radiation levels not affected by Chernobyl fire

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — There has been no change in background radiation levels in the Ukrainian capital as a result of nighttime fires in woodlands in the exclusion zone around the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukrainian authorities said Wednesday.

The emergency services agency said in a statement that isotope levels in surface soil and water are within the norm.

Kerry, Zarif meet for first time since Iran framework pact

NEW YORK (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his Iranian counterpart for the first time since they agreed to a framework for a nuclear deal earlier this month.

Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sat down Monday in New York at the Upper East Side home of Iran's ambassador to the United Nations. Kerry and Zarif are both in New York to attend a United Nations conference on nuclear non-proliferation.

New Mexico lobbying to be storage site for nuclear waste

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is touting a rural area in the southeastern part of the state as an interim storage site for the country's high-level nuclear waste, according to a letter issued by Gov. Susana Martinez earlier this month.

The governor reached out to the Obama administration in a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. In the April 10 letter, which was obtained by the Santa Fe New Mexican, Martinez urged officials to consider a 1,000-acre parcel as a place for storing spent radioactive fuel rods from power plants. Martinez also praised southeastern New Mexico residents for being able to "carve out a niche in the nuclear industry."

Supporters of Senate Iran bill swatting away amendments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate begins debate this week on a bill empowering Congress to review and potentially reject any Iran nuclear deal. It will offer Republican presidential candidates a chance to prove their hawkishness toward Iran and support for Israel.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants to add a provision requiring the Obama administration to certify that Iran's leaders have publicly accepted Israel's right to exist, a nearly impossible mandate. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas isn't satisfied with the bill's process in which Congress could disapprove of the deal. He and Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania want lawmakers to approve the final deal.

Legal hurdles remain for restart of Japanese reactors

The Economist

Japan's nuclear reactors, which have remained shut since the Fukushima disaster four years ago, still face multiple legal hurdles before they can restart, The Economist reports.

GAO, House knock DOE on uranium management issues

The Energy Department’s program for managing excess uranium through transfers and sales is riddled with problems, including legal issues and inconsistent methods for valuing sales, according to a government auditor, who added that the DOE isn’t properly assessing impact sales and transfers have on the domestic uranium market.

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Interior Wednesday, Government Accountability Office Natural Resources and Environment Director David Trimble said the GAO has identified issues with the program since 2006.

Japan court supports planned restart of 2 nuclear reactors

TOKYO (AP) — A court rejected an injunction requested by local residents opposed to resuming operations of two nuclear reactors in southern Japan, giving the go-ahead Wednesday for their restart as planned this summer.

The Kagoshima District Court decision regarding the Sendai No. 1 and No. 2 reactors was a major relief for the power industry and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pro-business government. Another court last week banned restarts of two reactors in western Japan.

U.S. scientists work on mirroring Iran’s capabilities

The New York Times

Answers to questions raised about Iran’s nuclear capabilities have come from atomic labs in the U.S., including one in Oak Ridge, Tenn., The New York Times reports.

SKorea, US agree to revised civil nuclear cooperation deal

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Wednesday it reached agreement with Washington on revisions to the 41-year-old treaty that governs the country's commercial nuclear activities.

Ambassador for nuclear energy cooperation Park Ro-byug said the deal would pave the way for South Korea to better manage spent nuclear fuel and improve nuclear exports.

Senate Appropriations panel hearing on nuclear power

Washington, April 22, 2015, 3:00 pm

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to hold hearing on the importance of nuclear power. Energy Department Assistant Secretary John Kotek, of the Office of Nuclear Energy, to testify.


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