CBRNE & Hazmat

Russia blocks nuclear treaty renewal

Annoyed by the inclusion of an expression of “grave concern” about Europe’s largest nuclear power station, in Ukraine, Russia has blocked adoption of a declaration by a delayed United Nations conference about renewal of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The accord is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, and participants in the previous review, in 2015, also failed to reach an agreement. [node:read-more:link]

Japan rebooting nuclear options

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced today that Japan will restart more idled nuclear plants as it considers next-generation reactors and sustainable options, a decade after the Fukushima disaster saw the country’s nuclear industry shut down. He also said officials had been instructed to come up with plans by year’s end, including how to gain “the understanding of the public” of such a major policy shift. [node:read-more:link]

Russia suspends nuclear inspections

Insisting that it remains committed to its strategic arms control treaty with the U.S., Russia is suspending inspections of its facilities. Citing the coronavirus and western sanctions, the foreign ministry said August 8 that “Russia is now forced to resort to this measure as a result of Washington’s persistent desire to implicitly achieve a restart of inspections on conditions that do not take into account existing realities.” It also accused the U.S. of trying to create “unilateral advantages and prevent Russian inspections of U.S. facilities [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian nuclear plant “out of control”

Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Aug. 2 that a major nuclear power station in southeastern Ukraine “is completely out of control” since Russian forces seized it shortly after their invasion of the region. “Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated,” he said, demanding IAEA access to the “extremely grave and dangerous” Zaporizhzhya site in the city of Enerhodar. [node:read-more:link]

Armageddon “one miscalculation away”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres kicked off a long-postponed nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference today with a warning that the world faces “a nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War" and is “one miscalculation” from annihilation. “We have been extraordinarily lucky so far,” he stated. “But luck is not a strategy.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran says ready to talk again

UN envoy says his country is ready for the EU to resume brokered discussions with the U.S. on overcoming remaining obstacles to a renewed nuclear agreement. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told the UN Security Council his country’s “negotiating team is ready to engage constructively . . . if the US acts realistically and shows its serious intention to implement its obligations.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks melt down again

After “two intense days of proximity talks” in Qatar about resuscitating Iran’s moribund multinational nuclear accord, the affair ended unproductively June 29. “We are disappointed that Iran has, yet again, failed to respond positively,” a U.S. official said. The EU, which brokered the meeting, said it would “keep working with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks back on?

The European Union’s top diplomat says a “long and positive” weekend meeting with Iran’s foreign minister has set the stage for a resumption of stall nuclear negotiations. Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Nuclear Policy, said new talks would focus on “resolving the last outstanding issues” which include U.S. sanctions. [node:read-more:link]

N.B. power reactor relicensed

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has renewed the operating licence for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick for 10 years only days before its current licence was set to expire. NB Power had requested a 25-year renewal for the reactor, which began generating power in 1983, but the regulator said June 22 that 10 years was “appropriate” due to “strong public interest” in a series of hearings. [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks bogged down

Iran says the U.S. is responsible for a pause in multinational talks in Vienna aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, “A deal is very much within reach,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said today, adding that “Washington should make political decision for the deal's revival.” The State Department said last week that a small number of issues remained to be address and that it was up Iran to decide. [node:read-more:link]

Four provinces plan small nuclear reactors

The Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick governments have confirmed plans to develop small nuclear reactors, modular designs they say will provide safe clean power to local users while helping to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The first would be built in Ontario with four to follow in Saskatchewan between 2034 and 2042. [node:read-more:link]

New focus of Iran nuclear talks

U.S. designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a “foreign terrorist organization” evidently is at centre stage in ongoing efforts to revive Iran’s nuclear accord, abandoned by the former U.S. administration in 2015. European Union negotiator Enrique Mora met with Iranian officials in Tehran on the weekend and talks focused on whether the U.S. would lift the IRGC’s designation. [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear deal almost done?

Diplomats trying to salvage Iran’s moribund 2015 nuclear agreemen t with the West are reported to be near the cusp of a deal that would bring the U.S. back into the accord and Iran back into compliance with limits on its nuclear program. Officials say that after 11 months of intermittent meetings, only a small number of issues remain to be addressed. [node:read-more:link]

Iran has “bitter experience” with U.S.

A senior Iranian security official said today that broken U.S. promises essentially compel his country to defend its interests by securing a reliable nuclear agreement abandoned by the U.S. in 2018. “Bitter experience with the U.S. breach of promises and European inaction have made it inevitable to meet the requirements for a reliable, balanced and sustainable agreement,” said Ali Shamkhani, a two-star General and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. [node:read-more:link]

France planning nuclear power expansion

President Emmanuel Macron announced Feb. 10 that his country plans to build up to 14 new nuclear reactors in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases and provide a buffer against volatile energy prices. Plans for an initial six reactors are confirmed and Macron said eight more are being considered. Construction is to begin in 2028 with a view to commissioning by 2035. [node:read-more:link]


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