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Nuclear Fuel

February 8, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi and Julian E. Barnes
In a move possibly meant to deflect attention from his domestic political woes, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday ordered the nation's atomic energy agency to begin enriching uranium to a higher level of purity to serve as fuel for a Tehran medical reactor. The command to enrich uranium from 3.5% to 20% purity comes amid Iran's diplomatic impasse with the United States and its allies over a proposal to exchange nuclear fuel that the international community hopes would slow the development of Tehran's nuclear capabilities.
The U.S. Department of Energy is studying the possibility of shipping bomb-grade uranium fuel from foreign research nuclear reactors through the Port of Long Beach to government facilities in other states. The study, which includes other U.S. ports as well, is still in the preliminary stages and a final decision on where to import the spent nuclear fuel rods is months away, said Energy Department spokesman Brad Bugger.
March 18, 2011 | By Ralph Vartabedian, W.J. Hennigan and Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Workers struggling to contain radioactive releases from the Fukushima power plant face two critical tasks to avoid turning a nuclear disaster into a catastrophe: preventing a runaway chain reaction into the nuclear fuel and maintaining a massive flow of seawater through the damaged pools and reactor vessels. There are few options, none of them good. "The most imaginative engineers in the world couldn't have dreamed up a situation like this," said Najmedin Meshkati, a USC professor and nuclear power expert.
October 24, 2009 | Borzou Daragahi
The international community waited anxiously today for Iran's response to a proposal to transfer the bulk of its nuclear material abroad to be turned into fuel for a peaceful medical research and treatment reactor. Earlier in the day, the United States, Russia and France formally signed off on the plan, which would retrofit the bulk of Iran's nuclear fuel stockpile into rods for a Tehran reactor used to diagnose and treat cancer. The U.S. delivered its positive response to the proposal to Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, a spokesman for the National Security Council confirmed this morning.
December 5, 2010 | By Ramin Mostaghim, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The head of Iran's atomic energy organization said on television Sunday that Iran had achieved the ability to produce its own yellow cake, uranium powder that is a step in the process for creating nuclear fuel. Ali Akbar Salehi said the breakthrough, using uranium ore mined in southern Iran, signified the country's full self-sufficiency in the production of uranium, cutting out the need for imported material. The announcement comes on the eve of talks on Iran's nuclear program Monday in Geneva and may be aimed at bolstering Tehran's bargaining position.
March 29, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Iran has proposed setting up a nuclear fuel production facility within its borders with international help, the Iranian Embassy said Tuesday. The proposal is an alternative to Russia's offer to play host to Iran's nuclear fuel production to ease concern that Tehran could develop weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for generating electricity.
March 23, 2011 | By Robert Alvarez
The nuclear crisis at the Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan, has turned a spotlight on the severe dangers involved in storing spent nuclear fuel in pools. But the danger is not new. In 2003, I cowrote a report with a group of academics, nuclear industry executives, former government officials and other researchers warning that spent fuel pools at U.S. nuclear power plants were vulnerable. The drainage of a pool might cause a catastrophic radiation fire, we reported, which could render an area uninhabitable greater than that created by the Chernobyl accident (roughly half the size of New Jersey)
June 27, 1991 | Associated Press
A device that was lowering a nuclear fuel bundle into a pool of water at the Pilgrim plant accidentally dropped its load Wednesday, but no damage was detected, plant officials said. A refueling process that was about two-thirds complete was halted.
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