CBRNE & Hazmat

Contentious “green” gas and nuclear plan

A European Commission plan to designate some natural gas and nuclear generating stations as “green” has drawn immediate criticism from Germany. “It is necessary to recognise that the fossil gas and nuclear energy sectors can contribute to the decarbonisation of the Union's economy,” the EU said Dec. 1. Germany's environment minister, whose government confirmed the day before that it was shutting down half of her country’s nuclear power plants, called the plan “absolutely wrong.” [node:read-more:link]

Germany accelerates nuclear decommissioning

Three of Germany’s six nuclear power stations were being shut down today, a year earlier than planned by the government two decades ago. The government says the three others will be decommissioned in 2022 and that it would stop the use of coal-fired power generation by 2030 as Germany pushes to become “climate neutral” by 2045. [node:read-more:link]

Belgium shutting down reactors

The Belgian government announced Dec. 23 that it has an agreement in principle with a power utility to permanently shut down seven nuclear reactors at two sites by 2025. There have been regional concerns due to a series of temporary shutdowns in recent years at the reactors, some of which date to the 1970s, and the plan now is to start closing them down in 2022 with decommissioning and demolition by 2045. [node:read-more:link]

Iran “accelerating” nuclear program: U.S.

A senior official in the current U.S. administration is quoted as saying that Iran has been “rapidly accelerating” its nuclear program since the previous administration withdrew from an international agreement in 2018. The deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. traded sanctions relief for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and the official reportedly says Iran’s resumption of development “should not have been a surprise to anybody that knows Iranian behavior.” [node:read-more:link]

Planning renewed nuclear talks

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has told his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, that when talks to revive a stalled nuclear accord resume Nov. 29, they must pick up where the left off in June. The statement reflects concern about Iran’s public rhetoric about resurrecting a 2015 multinational agreement abandoned by the former U.S. administration. [node:read-more:link]

Iran seeks U.S. guarantees

An Iranian foreign ministry official said Nov. 8 that the U.S. must guarantee that it will not abandon any resurrected nuclear agreement if talks scheduled to begin Nov. 29 restore the 2015 multinational accord the U.S. walked away from in 2018. “The U.S. should show that it has the capability and will to provide guarantees that it will not abandon the deal again if the talks to revive the deal succeed,” the official said. [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear talks set to resume

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, has confirmed his country will attend multilateral talks set to begin Nov. 29 in Vienna in the hope of reviving its nuclear deal with major powers. “We agreed to start the negotiations aiming at removal of unlawful and inhumane sanctions,” he says, referring to U.S.-led sanctions imposed by the previous U.S. administration in 2018. [node:read-more:link]

The global nuclear power challenge

Some climate scientists and environmental advocates argue that nuclear power is the best hope of addressing climate change because its carbon emissions are limited. On the other hand, critics decry its huge startup costs and the perennial problem of long-term waste management. [node:read-more:link]

Iran to resume nuclear talks

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, in Brussels for meetings with EU officials, said today on social media that his country has agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks “before the end of November.” They aim to resurrect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action through which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. [node:read-more:link]

“Islamic Bomb” creator dead

Abdul Qadeer Khan, a physicist acknowledged as the “father” of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program and an international trafficker of the technology, has died from COVID-19 at the age of 85. Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan had lost a “national icon.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran nuclear impasse continues

The German foreign ministry says it would reject any Iranian demands for the U.S. to release frozen assets as a condition for resuming nuclear talks. A ministry spokesman was responding to Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's demand that $10 billion in assets be released as a goodwill gesture. [node:read-more:link]

No multilateral UN nuclear meeting

A hoped-for meeting at UN headquarters between Iran and British, European, Chinese and Russian officials did not take place. EU policy chief Josep Borrell, who has coordinated the 2015 nuclear deal from with the U.S. withdrew in 2019, said the tentative meeting to resurrect the deal was “not in the agenda” for the overall UN session. “The important thing is not this ministerial meeting, but the will of all parties to resume negotiations,” he said Sept. 20 in anticipation of a meeting with an Iranian official today. [node:read-more:link]

Iran amenable to more nuclear oversight?

Iran amenable to more nuclear oversight? The International Atomic Energy Agency has struck a “constructive” deal to service equipment designed to monitor Iran’s nuclear program. The announcement effectively negated pressure from several western countries which could have killed the prospect of broader talks that could bring the U.S. back into the effort to keep Iran from extending its allegedly peaceful energy program into weapons development. [node:read-more:link]

Western Canada driving fourth wave

As COVID-19 fourth-wave infections surge in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, physicians are blaming lax and late public health measures which are already putting pressure on provincial facilities. Infection rates in the three provinces are above the national average. [node:read-more:link]


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