Issue No.8 Spring
(April 2005)


ENS News

ENS President's Contribution

Tapping Unusual Quarters

ENS Events

PIME 2005

RRFM 2005

ETRAP 2005

ENC 2005

Member Societies & Corporate Members

News from Poland

News from Lithuinia

Corporate communication

YGN Report

Young nuclear specialists in the new Europe

European Institutions

7th Framework Programme

News from Bulgaria

ENS World News

International Ministerial Conference in Paris

NEA Publication

NucNet News

ENS Members

Links to ENS Member Societies

Links to ENS Corporate Members

Editorial staff
RRFM 2005RRFM 2005

ETRAP 2005
23-25 November 2005 in Brussels




























































































11 April 2005 / News N°xx / 05 / B

Bodman Reaffirms US Commitment To Nuclear Energy

The United States is committed to ensuring nuclear power’s viability as a significant part of the country’s future energy mix and will invest 500 million US dollars (USD) over the next six years to support licensing the construction of at least two or three new plants, energy secretary Samuel Bodman has said.

Speaking at an international security conference at Chantilly in Virginia on 5th April 2005, Mr Bodman said nuclear power was the only method under current technology to reliably produce large amounts of electricity without emitting any pollution or greenhouse gases. “In a time of rising energy costs and growing demand, nuclear power is integral to a balanced energy portfolio.”

He said today’s nuclear power plants are operating more safely, efficiently and economically than any time in history. “But despite nuclear energy’s advantages, the United States has not begun construction of a new nuclear power plant since the 1970s.”

The reasons for this are high siting and construction costs, and political opposition – which drives the costs even higher. But, said Mr Bodman, a study conducted at the University of Chicago concluded that once the additional start-up costs of building new plants are absorbed, nuclear power could become cost-competitive with electricity produced by coal and natural gas. “And as prices for fossil fuels rise – and we seek further progress reducing emissions – nuclear energy becomes even more attractive.”

As a sign of the US commitment to nuclear, Mr Bodman pointed to the government’s Nuclear Power 2010 programme, which promotes partnerships between government and industry to licence new plants and develop advanced reactor designs [see News No. 222, 25th June 2002]. And he said the US would invest more than USD 500 million to support licensing the construction of at least two or three new plants.

Mr Bodman also highlighted the Generation IV International Forum, which brings together 11 member nations to develop the next generation of nuclear energy systems [see News in Brief No. 27, 4th March 2005]. “These future nuclear technologies will use fuel – and fuel cycles – that are significantly different from those of today.”

“The need for expanding nuclear energy production is clear,” said Mr Bodman. “The International Energy Agency predicts that global demand for energy will rise by about 60% over the next 25 years, and that two-thirds of the increase will come from developing nations. Countries like China already have begun building emission-free nuclear plants to help meet future energy needs.”

But with broader use of nuclear power comes greater responsibility, said Mr Bodman, adding the nuclear energy sector’s top priority must always be safety and security.

In March 2005, president George Bush said the US must promote safe, clean nuclear power and start building nuclear power plants again [see News No. 48, 10th March 2005]. “America hasn't ordered a nuclear power plant since the 1970s, and it's time to start building again,” he said.

Source: US Department of Energy
Editor: David Dalton


20 April 2005 / News N°73 /05 / B

Australian Minister Calls For ‘Mature’ Debate About Nuclear Power

An Australian government minister has called for the country to consider using nuclear as “the most obvious power source” for the generation of electricity and water desalination.

Brendan Nelson, the federal minister for education, science and training, said: “The government has no plans whatsoever (to introduce nuclear power), but do we not at least owe it to our future to maturely canvass all our options?”

Mr Nelson’s remarks about nuclear were part of a wide-ranging speech he delivered in Sydney on 18th April 2005. He said the government had invested 1.8 billion Australian dollars (AUD) in its climate change strategy and said a further billion dollars “is leveraged from the private sector in low emission technologies, photovoltaics and renewable energies”.

He said: “We are part of the nuclear cycle. About a third of the world’s uranium is at Olympic Dam in South Australia. As Australia’s science minister, I have had to deal with the crippling parochialism of the South Australian (state) government refusing to allow the safe storage of low level waste at Woomera*... Now it is making arrangements to store its own low and medium-level waste in South Australia.

“Simultaneously the same government enthusiastically eyes the economic potential of its massive uranium deposits. Australia already accounts for 19% of global uranium production earning us AUD 427 million in 2002-2003.

“Nuclear power generates 16% of the world’s electricity… In doing so the complete nuclear process emits two to six grams of carbon equivalent per kilowatt hour (kWh). Coal, oil and natural gas emit 100 to 360 grams of carbon per kWh. The nuclear power that today generates 16% of the world’s electricity avoids 600 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. In plain language that’s 8% of current global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Some people seem happy to tuck themselves into bed at night comfortable in the knowledge that we earn money from exporting uranium and that it generates power in an environmentally friendly way. But they will then man the barricades if any by-products are to be shipped and stored, let alone be even considered a future fuel source here at home.

“It is not only in electric production that nuclear energy offers potential for Australia. It could also be used to fuel water desalination on a large scale.”

*The federal government announced in July 2004 that it was dropping plans for a national low-level waste repository near Woomera in the state of South Australia [see also News No. 231, 17th July 2003]. Although Australia has no nuclear power plants, it is building a replacement research reactor that is scheduled to start operating in 2006 [see News No. 16, 24th January 2005].

Source: Brendan Nelson
Editor: John Shepherd


22 April 2005 / Feature N°6 /05 / B

Indonesia Looks For Support To Achieve Nuclear Ambition

The prospect of launching nuclear power in Indonesia is back on the political agenda and the government is asking the international community to help it achieve that goal.

Recent incorrect reports claimed the Indonesian government had approved the start of construction of at least one reactor unit on the island of Java and was preparing to draw up tenders. But a senior representative of Indonesia’s permanent mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna confirmed to NucNet this week that no such decision has been made.

However, Indonesia is moving with vigour to promote a domestic debate about nuclear power and to seek international expertise and assistance as it maps out its plans for a nuclear future.

The government has declared that the building of a nuclear power plant to feed electricity to the Java-Bali grid is “techno-economically feasible” and that a unit could be fully operational by 2016. This announcement was based on the conclusions of an Indonesian study, supported by the IAEA, which confirmed that nuclear was needed to help reduce the use of oil and to form part of a wider energy mix including gas, coal and renewables.

The country also supports the inclusion of nuclear power in clean development mechanisms (CDM) under the Kyoto protocol. Indonesia points out that for developing countries that cannot afford the initial high investment associated with nuclear new-build, CDM offers the chance of capital and technology transfers in exchange for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits.

Indonesia is not subject to emission limitations under the Kyoto protocol, but has acknowledged its “full support to any efforts in promoting nuclear power to be included as a CDM option”.

Although momentum for nuclear’s cause in Indonesia is increasing, the issue has been under consideration for some time. Parliament approved an atomic energy law in 1997 that permitted the eventual launch of a nuclear construction programme [see News No. 100, 26th February 1997]. The government established an independent nuclear regulatory agency in 1998 and several proposed nuclear plant sites have been identified on Java. Statistical information that would eventually be required for licensing has also been kept up to date.

The country’s nuclear research facilities and universities support research and development, education, and training to ensure that skilled workers will be available to support a domestic nuclear power programme when the time comes. In 2001, the Polytechnic Institute of Nuclear Technology opened in the capital Jakarta, as an offshoot of an existing nuclear technology academy.

Ensuring that the public accepts the use of nuclear will be crucial to the success of the programme. Indonesia is reaching out for guidance from countries with particular experience in overcoming initial public hostility to nuclear projects. Indonesia’s ambassador to the IAEA, Mr Samodra Sriwidjaja told an international ministerial conference in Paris in March 2005 that he hoped the IAEA would conduct further research and studies to “assure public confidence concerning the increasing use of nuclear energy as part of the energy mix”.

Indonesia Looks For Support To Achieve Nuclear Ambition

Indonesia’s preparations to start a domestic nuclear power programme have already included talks with a number of potential partners. There have been discussions with South Korea over a proposed construction of a nuclear-powered desalination plant. South Korea has also been involved in talks about the eventual licensing of a proposed SMART (System Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor) on the island of Madura, off the cost of Java, by 2015.

Russia also sees the potential of helping Indonesia achieve its nuclear energy ambitions. The Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency has a specific legal mandate to negotiate with a number of countries, including Indonesia, to “accelerate” nuclear cooperation [see News No. 169, 30th August 2004].

Indonesia also knows it will need expert support for research on nuclear construction, nuclear safety technology, international regulatory requirements and waste management.

Mr Samodra Sriwidjaja also told the March 2005 Paris conference that Indonesia had played an “active role” in the Non-Proliferation Treaty review as well as other efforts to “strengthen implementation of the non-proliferation regime” [see also Feature No. 3, 16th March 2005]. However, he said that “non-proliferation control arrangements on nuclear materials and technology should be transparent” and that there should be no “restrictions on access to material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes required by developing countries for their continued development”.

Indonesia says nuclear power is of vital importance to its long-term development. The country’s energy ministry also wants investors to support further prospecting for oil to offset a predicted fall in oil production to 476 million barrels a year between 2006 and 2010 from the 502 million barrels a year produced between 2001 and 2005.

As well as using domestic coal in the national energy mix, coal’s export value is also important. According to Indonesia’s Central Bureau of Statistics, coal was the main component of the near 80% growth in non-oil and gas exports in the first two months of 2005. Sales were driven by the world’s search for cheaper alternatives to increasingly expensive oil. More than 105 million tonnes of coal was exported in 2004 compared to just over 89 million tonnes in 2003.

Mr Samodra Sriwidjaja said the oil and gas industries continued to be Indonesia’s main source of revenue, but added: “This situation creates one of the most important issues of security of energy supply that needs to be addressed appropriately.

“The introduction of a nuclear power programme would not only serve as a solution to the rising demands for electricity, but is also expected to help save and prolong fossil energy for other purposes, as well as (contributing to) global efforts to reduce global warming.

“We share the expectation of developing countries that the role of nuclear power in the 21st century shall not only be for generating electricity, but also for other peaceful purposes, such as hydrogen production and desalination.”

Source: Various
Editor: John Shepherd

Home l Top l Disclaimer l Copyright l Webmaster