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World leaders seek action to counter nuclear terrorism risk-draft

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - World leaders are expected to call next week for more action to minimize civilian use of highly-enriched nuclear fuel to help prevent al Qaeda-style militants from obtaining atomic bombs, a draft summit statement shows. Holding a third nuclear security summit since 2010, in The Hague on March 24-25, leaders from 53 countries - including U.S. President Barack Obama - will say much headway has been made in reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism in the past four years.

Asian editorial excerpts

Selected editorial excerpts from the Asia-Pacific press: KEEP TABS ON JAPAN PLUTONIUM (South China Morning Post, Hong Kong)

Iran's Zarif expects 'tougher' round of nuclear talks with world powers

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday he expects a more difficult round of nuclear talks with six world powers as the two sides try to iron out details such as Iran's Arak heavy water reactor and levels of uranium enrichment. The two sides are to meet again in Vienna on Tuesday to try to build on an interim agreement reached late last year in Geneva by reaching a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's atomic activities by late July.

Operations resume at Halifax port after short-lived radiation scare

HALIFAX - A Halifax container port was bustling Saturday after being shut down for more than a day when cylinders carrying radioactive material fell about six metres as they were being unloaded from a ship. Calvin Whidden, senior vice-president for Cerescorp, said work at the Fairview Cove container terminal in the city's north end resumed at 8 a.m. Saturday after experts wrapped up their examination of the area and confirmed there was no leakage of granular uranium hexafluoride.

Safety lapses rapped after US nuclear plant fire

A fire which sparked the evacuation of a major underground US nuclear waste plant last month was preventable, according to a report out Friday highlighting safety lapses at the site. Poor training, badly maintained equipment and unclear procedures were criticized in the report into the subterranean blaze at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Eighty-six workers were underground when the fire broke out on a salt-hauling truck on February 5, in a rare accident at the site used to dispose of material including plutonium-contaminated waste.

Wolseong 3 reactor halts operations, cause unknown

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- A nuclear reactor at South Korea's Wolseong nuclear power plant automatically stopped operating early Saturday, plant operators said, adding that they are still investigating the cause. The 700,000-kilowatt reactor stopped operating at 6:50 a.m. when its safety shutdown system became engaged, according to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. It added that power supply will remain stable throughout the weekend. The reactor, located in the country's southeastern provincial city of Gyeongju, began commercial operation in July 1998.

Cylinders carrying radioactive material dropped at port, no leak detected

HALIFAX - Halifax fire officials say normal operations could resume Saturday morning at a container port where cylinders carrying radioactive material fell about six metres as they were being unloaded from a ship. The four steel cylinders carrying granular uranium hexafluoride fell Thursday at around 10 p.m., setting off a short-lived radiation scare at the Ceres terminal in the city's north end.

Kansai Electric seeks to avoid planned outages even without reactors

Kansai Electric Power Co. is seeking to avoid resorting to planned outages in its service area even if it cannot rely on nuclear reactors to meet electricity demand in the summer, the utility's President Makoto Yagi said Friday.

Fukushima nuclear workers rally against plant operator

Fukushima nuclear plant workers rallied outside the headquarters of operator Tokyo Electric Power on Friday, complaining they were forced to work for meagre pay in dangerous conditions. The group of about 100 demonstrators shouted and pumped their fists in the air as they railed against being cheated by contractors hired to find recruits to clean up the shattered site and surrounding area. "Workers at the Fukushima plant have been forced to do unreasonable tasks with no decent safety measures," said one man in his thirties, who declined to give his name.

Halifax fire deals with radiation scare, but says no evidence of leak at port

HALIFAX - Firefighters responded to a radiation scare aboard a ship at the port of Halifax on Thursday night, but later determined there was no leak of radioactive material. A city news release says firefighters received a call shortly before 10 p.m. after four steel cylinders fell about six metres from inside a container at one of the city's terminals, landing in a contained area of the ship.
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