Ian's Feed
Sep 8, 2011

UN atom safety plan to win backing despite criticism

VIENNA, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The U.N. atomic agency’s
35-nation governing board is expected next week to endorse steps
to boost global nuclear safety in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima
crisis, even though some disappointed diplomats say the
proposals have been watered down.

Japan’s reactor disaster six months ago spurred a rethink
about nuclear energy worldwide and calls for more concerted
measures, including beefed-up safety checks of reactors, to make
sure such an accident does not recur.

Sep 7, 2011
via Breakingviews

Weakening UK growth creates tax cut Catch-22

By Ian Campbell The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK should cut taxes on high earners to stimulate growth, say some economists. Lightening the load on the poor would be better. Politically, that would be a lot easier for George Osborne. But the UK chancellor faces a Catch-22. While tax cuts would help growth, weak growth means deficit reduction already looks behind schedule. The government needs all the revenue it can muster.

Sep 5, 2011

Iran’s nuclear advance may add to Western worries

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran is making headway toward rolling out advanced uranium enrichment machines that could speed up its production of nuclear reactor fuel as well as weapons-grade material if, as the West fears, it ultimately tries to assemble atomic bombs.

But it remains unclear whether Tehran, under increasingly strict international sanctions that crimp its ability to import key components, can manufacture the machines in industrial-scale numbers that would revolutionize its enrichment activity.

Sep 2, 2011

U.N. agency calls rare Mideast nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear agency has invited its members — including Israel, Arab states and Iran — to attend rare talks later this year about the volatile Middle East and efforts to rid the world of atomic bombs, it said on Friday.

While Israel and some Arab nations have indicated readiness to take part in the planned forum in Vienna in November, Iran said it saw no justification for such a meeting now.

Sep 2, 2011

Concern rising about Iran military nuclear work: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – The watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency is “increasingly concerned” about possible work in Iran to develop a nuclear payload for a missile, the IAEA said in a confidential report obtained by Reuters on Friday.

In addition to addressing the issue of alleged military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, the report said Tehran had begun installing machines for higher-grade uranium enrichment in an underground bunker near the holy city of Qom.

Sep 2, 2011

U.N. atom agency seeks rare Mideast nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear agency has invited all its members, including Israel, Arab states and Iran, to attend rare talks later this year about the volatile Middle East and efforts to rid the world of atomic bombs, a document showed on Friday.

While Israel and some Arab nations have indicated readiness to take part in the proposed forum in November, Iran said it saw no justification for such a meeting now.

Sep 1, 2011

Iran “charm offensive” fails to ease nuclear fears

VIENNA (Reuters) – An Iranian effort to show increased openness about its disputed nuclear program is doing little to dispel Western suspicions about Tehran’s atomic ambitions, with one Vienna-based envoy dismissing it as a “charm offensive.”

Diplomats accredited to the U.N. nuclear watchdog said they believed it would once again highlight concerns about possible military aspects to Iran’s atomic work in its next quarterly report, due to be submitted to member states in coming days.

Aug 30, 2011

U.N. nuclear safety proposals weakened: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Countries with atomic power plants would be encouraged to host international safety review missions, under a draft U.N. action plan that may disappoint those who had hoped for strong measures to prevent a repeat of Japan’s nuclear crisis.

Seeking the middle ground between states advocating more binding global rules and others wanting to keep safety as a strictly national responsibility, the U.N. nuclear agency appears to have gradually watered down its own proposals.

Aug 24, 2011

Nuclear experts warn of Libya “dirty bomb” material

VIENNA (Reuters) – A research center near Tripoli has stocks of nuclear material that could be used to make a “dirty bomb,” a former senior U.N. inspector said on Wednesday, warning of possible looting during turmoil in Libya.

Seeking to mend ties with the West, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons — a move that brought him in from the cold and helped end decades of Libyan isolation.

Aug 23, 2011

Iran shows U.N. official all nuclear sites – envoy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran allowed a senior U.N. nuclear inspector rare access to a facility for developing advanced uranium enrichment machines during a tour of all of the country’s main atomic sites, an Iranian envoy said on Tuesday.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said last week’s visit to Iranian nuclear facilities by IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts showed Tehran’s “100 percent transparency and openness.”