Daily News: 02/2015

February 27, 2015

Oren Dorell, "U.S. casts doubt on secret Iran nuke facility" USA Today / February 27, 2015 The State Department on Thursday cast doubt on claims by an Iranian dissident group that it has discovered a secret underground Iranian nuclear facility.... View Source ›

Jihad Fakhreddine and Travis Owen, "Iranians More Hopeful for Nuclear Deal" Gallup / February 27, 2015 As negotiations continue between Iran and six major global powers about the future of the country's nuclear program, Iranians have more hope than they did in 2013 that both sides will eventually reach an agreement.... View Source ›

"4-star general to lead nuclear Air Force for 1st time" Associated Press / February 27, 2015 The Air Force has for the first time nominated a four-star general to lead the organization responsible for its nuclear missile corps and strategic bomber fleet.... View Source ›

"Turkey Drives Hard Bargain Over Crucial Missile Deal" AFP / February 27, 2015 Turkey has alarmed fellow NATO members by raising the prospect of handing China a multi-billion dollar missile contract, yet the long-running saga is far from over and Ankara may just be trading for a better deal.... View Source ›

"US Navy conducts 155th test flight of Trident II D5 missile 25 February 2015" Naval Technology / February 27, 2015 The US Navy has successfully conducted the 155th test flight of two unarmed Lockheed Martin-built Trident II D5 Fleet ballistic missiles, which were launched in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine.... View Source ›

February 26, 2015

Alastair Gale, "South Korea Touts ‘Exploratory Talks’ With North Korea on Nukes" The Wall Street Journal / February 26, 2015 Is there finally some progress on getting North Korea back to dialogue about ending its nuclear weapons program?... View Source ›

Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols, "Sanctioned North Korea shipping firm still active, renamed ships - U.N. panel" Reuters / February 26, 2015 A U.N.-blacklisted North Korean shipping company has renamed most of its vessels in a bid to disguise their origin and continues its illicit shipments in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a U.N. experts report seen by Reuters on Wednesday.... View Source ›

Philip Ewing, "Ash Carter warns Russia on nukes" Politico / February 26, 2015 Ash Carter has quietly thrown down the gauntlet in a lingering dispute with Russia: If President Vladimir Putin continues to violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the U.S. could respond in kind.... View Source ›

"Rouhani seeks clergy support in holy city " Gulf Today / February 26, 2015 President Hassan Rouhani, as decision time looms for a nuclear deal with world powers, sought Wednesday to win the support of the religious community at the "backbone" of the Islamic republic.... View Source ›

February 25, 2015

Jonathan Saul, Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau, "Exclusive: Iran smuggles in $1 billion of bank notes to skirt sanctions - sources" Reuters / February 25, 2015 At least $1 billion in cash has been smuggled into Iran as it seeks to avoid Western sanctions, a bigger figure than previously reported, Iranian officials and Western intelligence and diplomatic sources say.... View Source ›

Brian Everstine, "Congress to review nuke budget Thursday" Air Force Times / February 25, 2015 Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, and Brian McKeon, the principal undersecretary of defense for policy, will testify before the House Armed Services Committee. The committee is expected to discuss the military's response to the cheating scandal and morale issues in the Air Force nuclear community.... View Source ›

"MOX imports have cost at least ¥99.4 billion, much higher than uranium fuel" Jiji Press / February 25, 2015 Five nuclear plant operators have spent at least ¥99.4 billion on imports of plutonium-containing mixed oxide (MOX) fuel since it was first shipped to Japan in 1999, Jiji Press learned on Saturday.... View Source ›

Jo Biddle, "N.Korea may have 100 atomic arms by 2020: US experts" AFP / February 25, 2015 North Korea appears poised to expand its nuclear program over the next five years and in a worst case scenario could possess 100 atomic arms by 2020, US researchers warned Tuesday.... View Source ›

February 24, 2015

Shadia Nasralla, "Iran says to speed up work with IAEA as deadline looms" Reuters / February 24, 2015 The U.S. and Iran are exploring a nuclear deal that would keep Tehran from amassing enough material to make a bomb for at least a decade, but could then allow it to gradually build up its capabilities again.... View Source ›

Jodi Rudoren, "Israeli Views on Iran Diverged, Reports Say" The New York Times / February 24, 2015 Shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel’s dire warning at the United Nations in 2012 that Iran was a mere months away from being able to develop a nuclear bomb, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency presented a more sober assessment that did not support Mr. Netanyahu’s timetable.... View Source ›

Laurence Norman, "U.S., Iran Explore Option of 10-Year Nuclear Freeze" The Wall Street Journal / February 24, 2015 The U.S. and Iran are exploring a nuclear deal that would keep Tehran from amassing enough material to make a bomb for at least a decade, but could then allow it to gradually build up its capabilities again.... View Source ›

February 23, 2015

Bradley Klapper and George Jahn, "Phased Iran-US nuclear deal taking shape" Associated Press / February 23, 2015 The United States and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran's nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement's duration.... View Source ›

"Fukushima to OK Radioactive Soil Transfer" Jiji Press / February 23, 2015 The Fukushima prefectural government has decided to accept the transfer of radioactive soil to designated yards where it will be kept provisionally until the establishment of an interim storage facility nearby, officials said Monday. ... View Source ›

"Cracks appear in the nuclear industry" DW.DE / February 23, 2015 Cracks discovered in the walls of Belgian nuclear reactors are causing unease among experts. The reason: a previously unknown phenomenon – material fatigue. There are fears that many more reactors could be affected.... View Source ›

David Jolly, "Areva, French Nuclear Giant, Warns of $5.6 Billion Loss" The New York Times / February 23, 2015 Areva, the French nuclear technology giant, warned on Monday that it was facing a loss of a magnitude that raises doubts about its ability to continue operations without an injection of state funds to restore its capital.... View Source ›

February 20, 2015

"UN: Probe of alleged Iranian nuke weapons program stalled" Associated Press / February 20, 2015 The U.N. nuclear agency reported deadlock Thursday in its probe of allegations that Iran worked on atomic arms — an assessment that further dims hopes that Tehran and six world powers could negotiate a full nuclear deal by their June deadline.... View Source ›

"Kerry, Iran FM to hold fresh nuclear talks" AFP / February 20, 2015 Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and top US diplomat John Kerry will meet in Geneva this weekend for talks on Tehran's nuclear program, Iranian and American officials said Thursday.... View Source ›

"N. Korea conducts submarine missile ejection test: sources" Yonhap / February 20, 2015 North Korea appears to have conducted a test of a missile ejection launcher that helps fire missiles from submarines, South Korean military sources said Friday.... View Source ›

February 19, 2015

"Iran, U.S. to hold talks in Geneva to narrow nuclear gaps: IRNA" Reuters / February 19, 2015 Iran and U.S. negotiators will hold talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear program in Geneva on Friday to narrow remaining gaps aimed at ending a 12-year standoff with six major powers, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Thursday.... View Source ›

Thomas Erdbrink, "Supreme Leader Doubts Talks Will End Iran Sanctions" The New York Times / February 19, 2015 Iran’s supreme leader said on Wednesday that he did not believe that all sanctions against his country would be lifted, a move he had previously said was an essential condition for nuclear talks to succeed.... View Source ›

"Japan nuclear regulator advisers fear loss of its 'essential' independence" Reuters / February 19, 2015 International advisers to Japan's atomic regulator have raised concern a mandatory review of its performance could lead to a loss of independence for the body, which was set up in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.... View Source ›

Rajat Pandit, "Govt approves construction of 7 stealth frigates, 6 nuclear-powered submarines" The Times of India / February 19, 2015 In a major step towards building a formidable blue-water Navy for the future, the Modi government has cleared the indigenous construction of seven stealth frigates and six nuclear-powered attack submarines, which together will cost well upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore. ... View Source ›

February 18, 2015

Hugh Bronstein, "Argentina asks U.S. to include 1994 bombing in Iran nuclear talks" Reuters / February 18, 2015 Argentina wants the United States to help it get to the bottom of a deadly 1994 bombing at the heart of a current political scandal by including the crime in the U.S. nuclear talks with Iran, its foreign minister said on Tuesday.... View Source ›

Natalie Obiko PearsonAnusha Ondaatjie, "India Signs Nuclear Energy Pact With Sri Lanka, Countering China’s Sway" Bloomberg / February 18, 2015 Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena signed a deal with India to receive training for his country’s civilian nuclear program, a sign of improving ties as he looks to reduce the island nation’s dependence on China.... View Source ›

"Taiwan unveils $356 million plan to export nuclear waste overseas" AFP / February 18, 2015 Taiwan has unveiled a Tw$11.25 billion ($356 million) plan to process nuclear waste overseas for the first time as its power plants approach capacity, sparking criticism from environmental groups. ... View Source ›

"IAEA team highlights significant progress at Fukushima since 2013" Nuclear Engineering International / February 18, 2015 The International Atomic Energy Agency has completed a third review of Japan's efforts to plan and implement the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.... View Source ›

"Wolsong 1 awaits decision" World Nuclear News / February 18, 2015 South Korea's Wolsong 1 power reactor continues to await permission to restart. The refurbished and uprated unit has laid dormant for two years while discussions continue on renewing its licence.... View Source ›

February 17, 2015

Barak Ravid, "Fearing leaks, U.S. 'limiting' information it shares with Israel on Iran nuke talks" Haaretz / February 17, 2015 The Americans fear Netanyahu will make use of the information given to Israel for his own political needs, and will try to undermine the talks between Iran and the big powers.... View Source ›

"China's foreign minister pushes Iran on nuclear deal" Reuters / February 17, 2015 A deal with Iran on its controversial nuclear program would help it escape from sanctions and allow more efforts to be spent on economic development, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a trip to Tehran.... View Source ›

"Iran refutes claim supreme leader wrote US president" Associated Press / February 17, 2015 Iran has denied a report that its supreme leader wrote a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, the Islamic Republic’s official news agency reported, as the country negotiates with world powers over its contested nuclear program.... View Source ›

"Scientists claim N. Korea conducted secret nuclear test in 2010" Yonhap / February 17, 2015 North Korea appears to have conducted a secret nuclear test in 2010 and the explosion could have gone unnoticed by the outside world, scientists have claimed, adding to a series of similar allegations.... View Source ›

Anthony Faiola, "From Russia with love: An energy deal for Hungary" The Washington Post / February 17, 2015 To much of the West, he is the Machiavellian strongman of a newly belligerent Russia. But inside the Gothic Revival parliament building in this elegant capital, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be welcomed Tuesday as a generous benefactor of the Hungarian state.... View Source ›

February 13, 2015

W.J. Hennigan, "Senate confirms Ashton Carter as new secretary of Defense" LATimes / February 13, 2015 The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve Ashton Carter, a former senior Pentagon official and Harvard professor, as President Obama’s fourth secretary of Defense.... View Source ›

Michael Safi, "Australian uranium 'could end up in India’s nuclear weapons program'" The Guardian / February 12, 2015 Australian uranium could end up in India’s nuclear weapons program thanks to concessions the Abbott government made in the deal between the two countries, two nuclear experts have warned.... View Source ›

Elise Labott, "Majority of Israelis don't trust Obama on Iran" CNN / February 13, 2015 Nearly three in four Israelis don't trust President Barack Obama to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to a new survey among likely voters who also have an increasingly negative perception of the U.S. President.... View Source ›

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