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Saskatchewan village reaps benefits from deal with uranium companies

VILLAGE OF PINEHOUSE, Sask. - It's been just over a year since a small village in northern Saskatchewan signed a major deal with two uranium mining companies and the mayor says the community is already seeing dividends. Cameco and Areva signed a $200 million collaboration agreement with Pinehouse and Kineepik Métis Local in late 2012.

Iran sticking to nuclear freeze: UN watchdog

Iran is still sticking to a partial nuclear freeze agreed in a November interim deal with world powers, the UN atomic watchdog said in a new monthly update seen by AFP on Thursday. The International Atomic Energy Agency said that two months into the six-month halt, Iran was still not enriching uranium to medium fissile purities, as agreed in November. It was also continuing to dilute and convert its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and had not made any advances at its Fordo and Natanz enrichment plants or at the Arak nuclear reactor, the IAEA said.

Los Alamos lab turns to Texas to temporarily store radioactive waste

By Joseph J. Kolb ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - The Los Alamos National Laboratory has found a temporary home in Texas for roughly 1,000 barrels of radioactive junk left in limbo after a radiation leak led to a prolonged shutdown of New Mexico's only nuclear waste disposal facility.

Iran meeting nuclear commitments, but key plant not ready

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran is meeting its commitments under a landmark nuclear pact with world powers but has yet to complete a facility it will need to fulfill the six-month deal, a U.N. agency report showed on Thursday. The planned plant is designed to convert low-enriched uranium gas (LEU) into a less proliferation-sensitive oxide form. The apparent construction delay means Iran's LEU stockpile is almost certainly continuing to increase for the time being, as its production of the material has not stopped.

EU sees big gaps in nuclear talks but Iran 'commitment' to deal

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Positions between Iran and world powers diverge widely in some areas but Iranian negotiators seem "very committed" to reach an agreement on the country's disputed nuclear program, a senior EU official said in an email seen by Reuters on Thursday. Russia, one of the six major powers seeking to persuade Iran to scale back its contested atomic activities to deny it any nuclear bomb breakout capability, separately said the two sides were "far apart" on the issue of uranium enrichment.

Iran, six powers lock horns over nuclear reactor that could yield plutonium

By Fredrik Dahl and Parisa Hafezi VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran and world powers locked horns on Wednesday over the future of a planned Iranian nuclear reactor that could yield plutonium for bombs as the United States warned "hard work" will be needed to overcome differences when the sides reconvene in April. Tehran's foreign minister voiced optimism that a July 20 deadline for settling a long-running dispute about the scope of Iran's nuclear program was within reach.

Russia says Iran, world powers far apart on uranium enrichment

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The positions of Iran and six global powers seeking to rein in its nuclear program are "far apart" on the issue of uranium enrichment, Interfax news agency quoted the Russian negotiator as saying on Thursday after the latest round of talks this week. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Iran and the powers agree that a solution should be based on an interim agreement reached in November but that Iran had "very far-reaching demands" on enrichment, Interfax reported.

U.S. says 'hard work' needed to agree with Iran on enrichment

VIENNA (Reuters) - It will be very difficult to overcome differences between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's uranium enrichment program, though all parties aim to adhere to their 6-month deadline to reach a nuclear deal, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. "It's a gap (on enrichment) that's going to take some hard work to get to a place where we can find agreement," the senior U.S. administration official said after the latest round of negotiations on Iran's atomic program in Vienna.

Monitors indicate 2nd, small radiation release from troubled nuclear waste dump in New Mexico

CARLSBAD, N.M. - New air sampling data from southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump indicates there has been another small radiation release. Department of Energy officials say a monitoring station picked up elevated radiation readings around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad on March 11. That's nearly a month after a Valentine's Day leak contaminated 17 workers and shut the only repository for toxic waste from the nation's nuclear bomb-building program.

Could Iran's Arak reactor be "de-fanged" to ease bomb fears?

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran appears ready to help allay international concerns that a planned research reactor could yield nuclear bomb material, raising hope for a compromise on a tough sticking point in negotiations with world powers. How to deal with the Arak plant is expected to be among several thorny issues to be tackled in this week's round of talks between Iran and the six global powers in Vienna, with the aim of resolving the decade-old nuclear dispute by late July.
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