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Analysis: Iran’s nuclear fuel debate

Roxana Saberi, BBC News
As the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme intensifies, so does the debate over whether or not Iran really needs its own nuclear fuel cycle.

Critics question why a country that ranks fifth in the world in proven crude oil reserves and second in natural gas reserves needs nuclear power.

But Iran says these resources are limited.

It says nuclear energy is an economical, alternative source of electricity for its growing population.

“It’s true that Iran has oil and gas, but so do other countries that also want to acquire other kinds of energy,” Iran’s Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said in an interview.

“Each day that we use our oil and gas, we’re taking one step toward their depletion.”
(1 Aug 2006)

Nigeria to exploit nuclear energy for peace

Alli Hakeem, IOL
Despite soaring oil prices in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and the ninth-ranked producer in the world rankings, the government in Abuja has staked out a new policy to diversify the country’s own energy sources including domestic nuclear power.

Nigeria hopes to exploit nuclear energy for power generation and other peaceful purposes, President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared.

“I wish to affirm that Nigeria’s aspirations for the acquisition of nuclear technology are for purely peaceful applications. We are unequivocally committed to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty,” he said as he inaugurated a board for the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission in Abuja.
(2 Aug 2006)

Gorbachev – Australia must avoid nuclear & sign Kyoto Protocol

Green Clippings
Less than a week after John Howard suggested a uranium enrichment industry and nuclear power for Australia, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev has warned Australians that nuclear power was dangerous and uneconomical.

Gorbachev reminded Australians about the Chernobyl disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident, and explained that this catastrophic event had changed people’s attitudes to nuclear power. Twenty years after Chernobyl, former Soviet states have spent billions of dollars containing the radiation. But Gorbachev said the full effects of the disaster were still unknown.

The former world leader urged Australians to look to alternative energy, but was critical of the lack of investment in their development. He noted that more than one hundred billion dollars was diverted for the war in Iraq, but spending even half of that amount on research into solar energy would have a significantly effect.
(2 Aug 2006)

Swedish nuclear reactors stopped

Four of Sweden’s 10 nuclear reactors have been shut down, following an electricity failure.

The Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, SKI, has been holding an emergency meeting, following the incidents at the Oskarshamn and Forsmark plants.

The firm operating Oskarshamn, in southern Sweden, stopped two of its three reactors late on Wednesday, citing safety concerns.

Last week’s shutdown in Forsmark – some 75km (46 miles) north of Stockholm – came after a short-circuit in a unit supplying power to the reactors.

SKI spokesman Anders Bredfell told the BBC News website that the Forsmark incident ranked as a number two on the 0-7 scale used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to classify nuclear incidents.

“We can’t say how long the reactors will remain shut down,” he said.
(3 Aug 2006)