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Hokkaido city assembly OKs plan to file lawsuit against nuclear plant

The municipal assembly of Hakodate in Hokkaido on Wednesday approved the city government's plan to file a lawsuit against the state and an electrical utility to stop construction of a nuclear power plant in neighboring Aomori Prefecture. The city government plans to file the lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court as early as April 3 in the first nuclear power-related lawsuit against the state by a local government.

China welcomes Japan-U.S. deal on nuclear materials

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it "welcomes" Japan's agreement the previous day to return to the United States hundreds of kilograms of plutonium and uranium provided for research and held at an experimental reactor facility. Ministry spokesman Hong Lei described the agreement as the first step in the right direction. He called for further action, saying, "Japan still stockpiles other sensitive nuclear materials, which far exceed its actual normal needs." ==Kyodo

China welcomes Japan-U.S. deal on nuclear materials

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it "welcomes" Japan's agreement the previous day to return to the United States hundreds of kilograms of plutonium and uranium provided for research and held at an experimental reactor facility. Ministry spokesman Hong Lei described the agreement as the first step in the right direction. He called for further action, saying, "Japan still stockpiles other sensitive nuclear materials, which far exceed its actual normal needs." ==Kyodo

US, Japan in historic plutonium return deal

Japan pledged Monday to return hundreds of kilos of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium given to Tokyo for research during the Cold War era, in the first major deal announced at a summit on nuclear security. "By removing this nuclear material, we can prevent the risk of nuclear terrorism," Japan's special nuclear advisor, Yosuke Isozaki, said on the sidelines of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague.

Asian editorial excerpts

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

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.

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.

Uranium miner Cameco says 2018 production target no longer makes sense

Cameco chief executive Tim Gitzel says it no longer makes sense for the company to keep to its goal of producing 36 million pounds of uranium a year by 2018. The company continues to like the long-term prospects for the industry, but the near- to medium-term outlook is too foggy to support that target, he says. "There has been little to no improvement on the issues needed to help clear the oversupply and uncertainty the industry continues to face," Gitzel told a conference call with financial analysts Monday.

U.S. asks Japan to return plutonium exported during Cold War

Washington has been pressing Tokyo to return over 300 kilograms of mostly weapons-grade plutonium given to Japan for research purposes during the Cold War era, Japanese and U.S. government sources said Sunday. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, which is keen on ensuring nuclear security, wants Japan to return the plutonium supplied for use as nuclear fuel at a fast critical assembly in Tokaimura, Ibaraki Prefecture, the sources told Kyodo News.

Arak reactor cannot make plutonium for bomb

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor is incapable of producing plutonium for use in a nuclear weapon, a major fear of the West, Tehran's atomic chief said Friday. "The Arak research reactor cannot produce plutonium that could be used to make an atomic bomb since the plutonium will remain in the reactor's core for a year," Ali Akbar Salehi told the ISNA news agency. "Plutonium destined to make a weapon cannot stay there for more than three or four weeks or it will contain other elements preventing its use" for military means, he said.
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