If you can't innovate, then reinvent the wheel. That seems to be the thinking behind the US Department of Energy's (DoE) plans for a nuclear fuel reprocessing programme - but this tactic may play into the hands of weapons-makers.

Many people consider management of high-level nuclear waste as a complex issue. The fuel discharged from a nuclear power reactor contains 94 per cent uranium,1 per cent transuranic elements such as neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium and about 5 per cent fission products such as caesium-137, strontium-90 etc Transuranic elements are long lived and remain toxic for thousands of years. There is international consensus that the nuclear industry can design, construct and operate deep geological repositories to dispose of high-level waste, including transuranic elements permanently.

For the first time, a top executive of the Indian nuclear power establishment has urged early conclusion of the nuclear deal with the United States to help ease the acute shortage of uranium fuel, which now is causing a steep drop in nuclear power production to less than 50 per cent of capacity.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd has received the first consignment of uranium fuel from the Russia Federation for unit-1 of 1,000-MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, according to a release issued by the corporation. The project, located in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district, comprises two units of 1,000-MW each. It is being built with technical collaboration from the Russian Federation.

The first consignment of enriched uranium fuel for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) arrived from the Russian Federation at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Sunday night. S.K. Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), said on Monday that the first consignment formed part of the supply for the first unit of the project. The Russian Federation would continue to send the entire fuel needed for the two reactors coming up at the project site in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

A US appeals court on Wednesday threw out a Washington state law barring the federal government from adding radioactive waste to the Hanford nuclear disposal site until existing contamination is cleaned up. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal law pre-empts the state from halting waste disposal at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a 586-square-mile (1,520-square-km) site along the Columbia River in south-eastern Washington. It provided plutonium for World War Two atomic bombs and for the US Cold War arsenal.

Talks On With Namibia & Niger For Uranium Imports Even As Govt Woos Left For N-Deal With US Subhash Narayan NEW DELHI ENERGY-hungry India is now tapping non-NSG (nuclear suppliers' group) members, including Namibia and Niger, to explore possibilities of importing fuel for its nuclear power plants. This comes even as the government tries to bring on board its Left allies on the Indo-US nuclear deal. At least two units, expected to be commissioned within the next few months, may have to wait for fuel linkages if fresh supplies for uranium are not secured soon.

India's continuing progress in scientific field is commendable. Our scientists have found out the formula which would produce electricity from thorium. Scientists have completed the first phase of ambitious project of producing electricity from thorium. Having a little capacity the main aim of this facility is to design parameter of thorium reactor of 300mw power project. The scientists team which has got preliminary success in producing electricity from thorium, deserves all accolades.

Russian and U.S. officials signed an important agreement on civilian nuclear power on Tuesday that will give the U.S. access to Russian technology and could hand Moscow lucrative deals for storing spent fuel. The deal, signed on the eve of Dmitry Medvedev's inauguration as President, signals a reversal in U.S. policy on cooperating with Russia on nuclear issues. Cooperation had cooled in recent years, mainly due to disagreements over how to handle the perceived nuclear threat from Iran.

Plans are afoot to reuse spent reactor fuel in the U.S. But the advantages of the scheme pale in comparison with its dangers.