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Geopolitics

Yes, Ukraine's Vast Nuclear Power Network Presents Enormous Risks

The shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has raised concerns, even if there are no initial signs of radiation from this incident. But what about the other plants that are located in the immediate vicinity of the Russian attack path?

-Analysis-

BERLINGesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) is Germany's leading organization in the field of nuclear safety, and its representatives are in direct contact with their counterparts in the energy industry in Ukraine. According to the information provided, nine of Ukraine's 15 power reactors were still on the grid the day before the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was fired upon in the southeast of the country. The power supply is stable, they say, and the site operators reported "normal operations."

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According to Western experts, Russians had so far spared Ukraine's energy infrastructure — both the nuclear power plants and power grids — in order to have access to it after the invasion.

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Inside Sweden's "100,000-Year" Solution To Bury Nuclear Waste

As experts debate whether nuclear power can become another leading renewable energy source, Sweden has adopted a first-of-its-kind underground depository for nuclear waste — and many countries are following their lead.

As last fall’s climate summit in Glasgow made it clear that the world is still on route for major planetary disaster, it also brought the question of nuclear power squarely back on the agenda. A growing number of experts and policymakers now argue that nuclear energy deserves many of the same considerations as wind, solar and other leading renewables.

But while staunch opponents to nuclear may be slowly shifting their opinion, and countries like France, the UK and especially China plan to expand their nuclear portfolios, one main question keeps haunting policymakers: how do we store the radioactive waste?

In Sweden, the government claims to have found a solution.

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Iran's Hard Line On Nuclear Talks Keeps Getting Harder

In spite of the toll sanctions have taken on its economy, Iran wants a deal on its nuclear program that addresses none of the West's concerns about its military ambitions. It is also moving forward with new uranium enrichment technology.

-Analysis-

After a four-month hiatus, Iran has resumed talks on its nuclear program with other signatory countries of the suspended, multilateral pact of 2015. These are Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, and the European Union (EU). The talks that began this week in Vienna exclude the United States, an original signatory that withdrew from the pact in 2018 — and while the U.S. administration under President Joe Biden says it favors a deal, it is only indirectly involved, through the EU.

Prospects for this round remain dim, given Iran's preconditions and the stated objectives of Western states. The Iranian deputy-foreign minister, Ali Baqeri-Kani, said on a recent trip to several EU states that Iran would only resume talks to discuss ending sanctions on it, and there would be no discussions for a nuclear agreement. He was suggesting that an end to all sanctions — whether for Tehran's nuclear program, rights violations or terrorism abroad — was the central condition for more talks.

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As Hopes For Iran Nuclear Deal Fade, Uranium Enrichment Accelerates

Institute for Science and International Security concludes that Iran is enriching uranium at a 60% level, with new centrifuges meaning that Tehran is a month away from obtaining arms-grade material to move toward its first weapon.

-Analysis-

The U.S.-based Institute for Science and International Security, which includes independent nuclear power experts, concludes from information issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran is enriching uranium at a 60% level — and thanks to new types of centrifuges, Tehran is barely a month away from obtaining weapons-grade material. The specialists caution that weapons-grade uranium is not the same as a nuclear bomb, for which delivery weapons and assemblage are needed. That would require another two years.

The Institute's experts believe Iran could produce material for a second bomb within a three-month time frame and that unless its activities are slowed, it may have enough enriched uranium for three bombs in the next five months.

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Germany
Klaus Geiger

Nuclear Power And The Willful Ignorance Of Germany's Greens

For all its cosmopolitan pretense, the Green Party is strikingly provincial when it comes to addressing the global threat of climate change, Die Welt foreign-desk editor Klaus Gieger writes.

-OpEd-

For all the wrong turns it has taken in the 21st century, Germany remains adamant that it's rest of the world that's mistaken. Such is the case when it comes to immigration, defense and environmental policy — especially around the role of nuclear energy within environmentalism. Germany's view is that nuclear power should have no role at all, but it is the only major industrialized country that thinks so.

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Turkey
Gila Benmayor

Turkey's Energy Sector Looking To Supply Developing World

ISTANBUL - Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, has offered some notable insights into the future of global energy markets. His presentation of the “World Energy Outlook 2012” report that focused on "energy efficiency" will undoubtedly be studied closely by the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSÄ°AD).

But to better understand Turkey's particular situation, it is worth focusing on the recent presentation of Murat Mercan, the Deputy Minister of Energy, who outlined the country's energy vision for the future.

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