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Gov't to ease restrictions on renewable energy development

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will move to lift regulatory restrictions on the development of renewable energy to fuel investment in this critical field, the government said Sunday. According to the finance ministry, it plans to recommend the easing of unnecessary rules across the board so as to fuel innovation and investment in technologies that can allow growth in such areas as wind, solar and geothermal power generation.

Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. "Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide," Iran's atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel.

France's oldest nuclear plant shut down after incident but no danger posed - EDF

PARIS (Reuters) - France's oldest nuclear power plant, Fessenheim, was shut down on Saturday following an incident at the facility away from the reactor which did not pose any danger, operator EDF said. The accidental closing of a valve controlling the steam supply to the turbine generator automatically shut down Fessenheim's reactor 2. Technicians were working on the issue and a restart date had yet to be determined, an EDF spokeswoman told Reuters.

No Keystone XL pipeline this year, following new delay

WASHINGTON - The Canadian government demanded an answer immediately on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. It has now received a reply from the United States government that amounts to: Maybe next year. The project is now paralyzed for an indefinite period, with the U.S. administration Friday announcing another delay in a process already beset by political and legal challenges. The announcement made it clear that Canadian pipeline backers will not get the answer they wanted in time for the summer construction season, pushing completion of the project until 2015 — at best.

U.S. puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline

Washington, Apr 18 (EFE).- The U.S. State Department said Friday that it will allow more time for eight federal agencies to weigh-in on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. "Agencies need additional time based on the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state," the department said in a note.

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

The United States on Friday indefinitely extended the review process for a controversial Canada-to-US oil pipeline, potentially delaying a final decision on the project until beyond mid-term elections in November. The US State Department said eight federal agencies -- who had been given until the end of May to submit views on the matter -- would now have a longer window to weigh in on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline.

Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions

By Alexei Anishchuk NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions imposed on the country after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Shell plans to expand Russia's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom, he said at a meeting at Putin's residence.

Turkey to seek price reduction for Russian gas

Energy-dependent Turkey will ask for a discount on the price of the gas it buys from Russia, its energy minister said on Friday. "The negotiations and agreements we concluded with Russia give us the right for a price revision in the coming months," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters in Ankara. "We will convey our demands on this to Russia and Gazprom officials," he added. Gazprom deputy head Alexander Medvedev will hold a meeting with Turkish government officials on Monday for further discussions, according to the minister.

Japan Diet OKs civil nuclear pacts with Turkey, UAE

The Diet on Friday approved civil nuclear agreements with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates that will help Japan export atomic power reactors to the rapidly developing economies, in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's growth strategy. The accords, both concluded last year, require the peaceful use of nuclear materials and devices provided by Japan. Their approval by the House of Councillors in a plenary session followed their endorsement by the House of Representatives earlier this month.

Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile, key plant delayed: IAEA

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfill the six-month deal has been delayed, a U.N. report showed on Thursday. The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency , which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the accord, made clear that Iran so far is undertaking the agreed steps to curb its nuclear program.
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