Iran: Crisis-hit EU must rethink Iran oil embargo
Menelaos Hadjicostas, Associated Press – June 26, 2012
The European Union’s embargo on Iranian oil sales is “on the wrong track” and won’t help end a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran’s foreign minister declared Tuesday, warning the EU to avoid actions that may jeopardize fuel supplies to its crisis-hit nations. Minister Ali Akbar Salehi appealed to the EU to rethink the embargo with “more rationality and wisdom,” saying it contributes nothing to negotiations aimed at ending Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which the West suspects is being used to build nuclear weapons. Iran vehemently denies the charge.
S. Korean official: No talks in sight with the North
Ben Birnbaum, Washington Times – June 25, 2012
Prospects for resuming multilateral talks over North Korea’s nuclear weapons are not “bright,” says South Korea’s top negotiator, offering a gloomy assessment of the North’s behavior in the wake of its recent leadership change. “If somebody asks me what the prospects of the six-party talks are at this point in time, even though I’m sort of jobless at this point, I would be hesitant to answer that they look bright,” Lim Sung-nam, South Korea’s chief envoy to the talks, said Sunday at the East-West Center’s international media conference at Yonsei University.
Costs of the Nuclear Complex
$12.3 billion Hanford plant sees new costs, delays
Shannon Dininny, Source – June 25, 2012
A new cost estimate and construction schedule for a massive waste plant being built at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site will be delayed at least a year as workers try to resolve serious technical problems raised by whistleblowers about design and safety, the U.S. Department of Energy said Tuesday. The announcement seemed certain to spark new fears about the long-term viability of the project that has already been the subject of numerous lawsuits and remains a top priority of Washington and Oregon despite its ballooning budget and delays. The $12.3 billion waste treatment plant is currently scheduled to begin operating in 2019, under a consent decree with Washington state, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department. The plant, long considered the cornerstone of the cleanup at Hanford, is being built to convert highly radioactive and toxic waste into a stable glass form for permanent disposal underground.
Op-Ed: Cargo, The Terrorists’ Trojan Horse
Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Edward Markey and Bennie Thompson, New York Times – June 26, 2012
Millions of cargo containers are unloaded from ships each year at American seaports, providing countless opportunities for terrorists to smuggle and unleash a nuclear bomb or weapon of mass destruction on our shores. To counter this threat, Congress passed a law five years ago mandating that by July 2012, all maritime cargo bound for the United States must be scanned before it is loaded on ships. But the Obama administration will miss this deadline, and it is not clear to us, as the authors of the law, whether it ever plans to comply with the law.