MUNICH (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Sunday his country is prepared to move ahead in negotiations over its nuclear program, assuring Western diplomats that Tehran has the political will and good faith to reach a "balanced" long-term agreement.
Mohamad Javad Zarif told a gathering of the world's top diplomats and security officials that his country and Western nations were at a "historical crossroads" and just beginning to build the trust necessary for a long-term agreement.
"I think the opportunity is there, and I think we need to seize it," he said.
LONDON (AP) — Elevated radiation levels detected Friday at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in northwestern England were caused by naturally occurring background radon, not by any faults at the aging plant, the operating company said.
Only essential workers were asked to report for work as safety teams worked to pinpoint the cause of the elevated radiation, which was reported on one monitor in the northern end of the sprawling site — the largest nuclear site in Europe.
Sellafield Ltd. said its on-site monitors detected unusual activity overnight, leading it to reduce staffing levels Friday morning as a precaution.
LONDON (AP) — The largest nuclear site in Europe was being operated with reduced staffing Friday after monitoring found higher-than-normal levels of radiation.
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant in northwestern England said in a statement that elevated levels of radioactivity had been found at one of the on-site radiation monitors at the north end of the site. It added that there was "no risk to the general public or workforce."
Only essential workers are being asked to report for shifts Friday, but the station is continuing to operate normally, it said.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Proposals to tighten safety standards for crude carried by rail were published in the Federal Register Friday by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, kicking off a period for public comment that will run for 60 days, The Hill reports.
Environmental groups have submitted a petition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, charging an Environmental Protection Agency rule that sets a new deadline for states to submit plans to reduce fine particle pollution violates the Clean Air Act and asking for a review, E&E reports.
With a glut in the Atlantic basin and weaker demand, crude oil Friday dropped to its lowest settlements in months in New York and London despite continued crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. U.S. benchmark crude for September delivery finished the week more than 4 percent lower, falling 29 cents to close at $97.88 a barrel on the Nymex, its lowest settlement since February, while Brent crude tumbled $1.18 to $104.84, Reuters reports.
Although Libyan ports and oilfields have been reopening, sending oil prices tumbling globally, analysts warn that the worst violence to wrack the country since its 2011 civil war shows little sign of abating and the oil industry there remains at risk, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The three West Coast governors, all Democrats -- Jerry Brown of California, Jay Inslee of Washington and John Kitzhaber of Oregon -- have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, expressing their opposition to including any oil or gas lease sales from their area in her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Associated Press reports.
Opening up more areas to offshore drilling -- including parts of the Pacific -- would generate around $160 billion over a period of less than 20 years, according to more than 160 Republican Congressmen who sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell about her department’s updated plan for the Outer Continental Shelf, The Hill reports.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia over its policy in Ukraine, which would require permits for exporting oil technology to Moscow, poses a problem for Exxon Mobil, which has plans to drill for oil in partnership with state-owned Rosneft in the Arctic and elsewhere, National Journal reports.
The cost of battery technology will have to come down by more than half, but Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk – speaking to investors during a week when he announced partnership with Panasonic to build a battery gigafactory -- is confident that will happen and electric vehicles will achieve price parity with those running on gasoline within 10 years, E&E reports.
Kinder Morgan affiliate El Paso Natural Gas Co. has already begun engineering work on $529 million worth of upgrades to its pipeline system in the Southwest which will enable it to deliver promised natural gas to Mexico, agreed in a 21-year deal signed with the country’s electricity commission, FuelFix reports.
The BNSF Railway is some 811,000 short tons behind on coal deliveries to the Sherco power plant northwest of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy has told the Surface Transportation Board, warning that if the plant runs out of coal it will stop producing electricity, Platts reports.