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[en] In June 2015, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with international agencies including the crime-fighting organisation Interpol, will host a major conference on the protection of computer systems and networks that support operations at the world's nuclear facilities. According to the IAEA, the use of computers and other digital electronic equipment in physical protection systems at nuclear facilities, as well as in facility safety systems, instrumentation, information processing and communication, ''continues to grow and presents an ever more likely target for cyber-attack''. The international nuclear industry is right to take heed of ever-evolving security threats, deal with them accordingly, and be as open and transparent as security allows about what is being done, which will reassure the general public. However, the potential menace of cyberspace should not be allowed to become such a distraction that it gives those who are ideologically opposed to nuclear another stick with which to beat the industry.
[en] Sometimes things are rather unimpressive. This certainly cannot be said in its entirety about the Location Selection Act (StandAG). This is shown impressively by paragraph 1, in which the purpose of the law is described in no less than six paragraphs. paragraph paragraph 30 et seq. regulate the procedure for determining the levy amount as well as for collecting the levy and for the advance payments to be made by those subject to the levy. These provisions have essentially remained unchanged. The only major change is that the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is now responsible for the determination and collection of the determined levy amounts. But what considerations are behind this transfer of responsibility to the Federal Ministry?
[en] The German Federal Cabinet passed the draft ''Act for the Reorganisation of Responsibility in Nuclear Waste Management''. The individual elements of the act shape an overall concept. The public sector, also assumes the interim storage of the waste in addition to the previous responsibility for final disposal of radioactive waste. Both tasks will be financed by a new public fund into which the operators pay their provisions. By paying an additional risk premium the operators can also exclude future margin requirements. This new concept is to be welcomed because it would lead to a structurally viable and sustainable solution for the final disposal of nuclear wastes, not withstanding many difficulties and partly uncertainties in detail.
[en] Europe's political leaders have been accused of failing to offer a clear and comprehensive approach to the future of nuclear power in Europe. The criticism came in an opinion adopted recently by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). According to the EESC, the European Commission should propose ''a clear analytical process and methodology which can offer a consistent, voluntary framework for national decision-making about the role - if any - of nuclear power in the energy mix''.
[en] During a severe accident in a nuclear power plant the release of radioactive iodine is possible. A precautionary measure to prevent man from the reception of radioactive iodine is an early and right taking of non-radioactive iodine pills. After the accident in Fukushima iodine tablets have been stored by authorities as an precautionary measures. In the case of an accident, a quick distribution should be possible. One question which arises are the costs bearers of such a storage. Are nuclear power plant operators responsible for such measures, carried out by the authorities?
[en] The VGB PowerTech Scientific Advisory Board recommends an increase of the financial support of research and education to develop a sustainable energy supply. The recommendation is available at www.vgb.org. (orig.)
[en] This year's Annual Nuclear Technology Conference of the Deutsches Atomforum and Kerntechnische Gesellschaft was held in Nuremberg on May 10-12, 2005. More than 1 100 participants from eighteen countries make this specialized event one of the largest international conventions in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear power, whose attendance has steadily increased over the past few years. The first day of the conference was devoted to plenary lectures traditionally dealing mainly with political and economic problems of the use of nuclear power. The partner country of JK 2005 was Switzerland. Traditionally, the program of the three-day conference was organized in the proven format of plenary sessions on the first day, followed by technical sessions, specialized sessions, poster sessions, and special events on the following days. For the third time, the ''Nuclear Campus'' was organized which successfully made the world of nuclear technology transparent to high school and university students in lectures and an exhibition. The meeting was accompanied by a technical exhibition with meeting points of manufacturers, suppliers, and service industries. (orig.)
[en] On September 15 and 16, 2005, DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH ran a German-Russian seminar on final storage of radioactive waste. Acting upon a Russian request for support, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy in June 2001 had agreed to include repository research in scientific-technical cooperation about the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. On the German side, DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH was commissioned to coordinate the scientific-technical aspects. The joint seminar was organized to present to a broad group of scientists the results of cooperation, and to deliberate new activities. The Peine seminar had been preceded by a joint seminar held in Moscow in October 2003, which had been organized by VNIPI-Promtechnologii, the Russian institute in charge of final storage. (orig.)
[en] After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, one of the questions raised was about the potential liability of the operator of a nuclear power plant for damage sustained by a third party as a result of a comparable terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant. Internationally, this situation is regulated by the Convention on Third-Party Liability in Nuclear Power, the so-called Paris Liability Convention, of 1960, 1964, 1982. Among other things, that Convention excludes liability in cases directly resulting form 'actions of armed conflict..'. The problem arises, among other things, from the absence of an internationally acknowledged definition of terrorism or terrorist attack, and from the idea that, according to the Paris Convention, the legal entities assumed to be involved in such actions are states and weapons. National and international agreements and laws about the liability of the operator of nuclear facility for damage to third parties as a result of terrorist actions are analyzed and discussed. (orig.)