US Secretary of State John Kerry tempered expectations that a nuclear deal with Iran is imminent as foreign ministers from world powers rejoined a record ninth straight day of negotiations. While progress continues to be made at the talks, “we are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues,” Kerry told reporters on Sunday at Vienna’s Palais Coburg, where he’d been meeting for much of the day with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. An agreement will allow energy-rich Iran back into global oil and natural-gas markets as sanctions are lifted. The US, whose allies in the region are wary of Iran’s influence, says it will only sign a deal that restricts the Islamic Republic’s ability to make nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is entirely peaceful.
A nuclear deal with Iran looks imminent after a logjam over monitoring was broken and with foreign ministers set to rejoin U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a record ninth-straight day of talks later on Sunday. Kerry began morning meetings at Vienna’s Palais Coburg with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, a U.S. administration official said. The impending agreement could be announced as early as Monday, according to two Western officials who asked not to be named in line with rules. “The extension of negotiations is not a desired alternative for any of the parties,” Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araghchi, said Saturday on state television. “All parties involved are determined to come to a conclusive end.”
The head of the United Nations atomic agency will travel to Iran Thursday to meet the nation’s president and top security official, Iranian media reported, as talks with world powers tackle remaining hurdles to a nuclear deal. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, state-run IRNA news agency reported, citing diplomats it didn’t name. He’ll also hold talks with the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, a key official with military oversight.
As Iran nears a deal to ease oil sanctions after almost two years of talks, selling more crude remains a long way off. The nation’s goal of increasing exports 50 percent as soon as restrictions are lifted won’t be fulfilled, say Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Societe Generale SA. That would require an extra 500,000 barrels of daily output, which the banks say will take six to 12 months as OPEC’s fourth- biggest producer complies with terms of a deal and revives aging wells. The impact on prices will be limited, the banks predict. “They’ve got to meet the requirements of any agreement, and that’s going to take time,” Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, said by e-mail from New York on Monday. “When you shut these fields in to that significant of a degree, your ability to bring back production to previous levels will be limited because you’ve done damage to the fields that will require significant investment.”
Diplomats in Vienna are close to clinching a historic deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, according to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. “We are near to close the deal, it is a good deal,” Mogherini told reporters late Sunday after meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was heading to Tehran for consultations with his leadership before returning to Vienna.
A leading union is raising safety and job concerns over the technology to be used in a possible new nuclear power station. The GMB has written to the Government and safety bodies saying it feared the Bradwell nuclear site in Essex could be handed over “lock, stock and barrel“ to China’s national nuclear corporation. The Chinese could then use their own technology, and possibly bring thousands of workers to the UK, dealing a blow to this country’s own nuclear industry, the union claimed. National officer Gary Smith said in a letter to Energy Secretary Amber Rudd: “The idea that a Chinese state company will be given a site in the UK, not far from London, where they can use Chinese labour to construct a reactor to be made in China and using Chinese components would in our view constitute economic madness and raises serious safety issues.
Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a seven-year contract by Fusion For Energy (F4E) for the development and delivery of the Natural Beam Cell Remote Handling System on the ITER fusion reactor in the South of France. The framework contract, which is worth up to €70million over the next seven years, is the largest nuclear robotics contract awarded by F4E to a UK company. Clive White, President of Amec Foster Wheeler’s Clean Energy Business said: “This contract demonstrates our leading expertise in nuclear remote handling and robotics.
Hundreds of workers at the site of a new nuclear power station face being laid off as preparation work comes to an end ahead of a final investment decision. Around 400 contract staff are expected to be affected, as French giant EDF Energy completes earthworks, drainage, welfare facilities and roadworks on the multi billion pound project in Somerset. EDF said it had made good progress on work to finalise agreements which will enable a final investment decision “in the coming months”.
Iran and world powers extended talks aimed at ending the 12-year standoff over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program into an eighth day with the US indicating progress toward an agreement. Diplomats negotiated all night in Lausanne, Switzerland and will reconvene at about 9:00 a.m. local time, US spokeswoman Marie Harf said. The US State Department said late Wednesday that enough progress had been made in meetings between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif to warrant continuing talks.
The first major permission has been given for the technology to build a new nuclear reactor. Horizon Nuclear power welcomed completion of the so-called regulatory justification process as it presses ahead with plans to build new nuclear power stations at Wylfa in Anglesey, North Wales, and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. The approval by the Government is the first to be put in place, with the final go-ahead expected in 2018.
The final shipment of waste from a Scottish nuclear plant back to Belgium has been completed. It was created during the reprocessing of material sent from Belgium as part of a contract made between the UK Atomic Energy Authority and SCK/CEN of Belgium in the 1990s. The operators of BR2, which carries out materials research and produces isotopes for nuclear medicine, sent 240 spent fuel elements to Dounreay in Caithness during that decade.
Cape has been awarded a five year contract extension by EDF Energy for the supply of access, insulation and associated service in support of its eight nuclear power stations in the UK. The contract will see the company provide its services until 2021 in support of the energy suppliers. Around one fifth of the UK’s energy supply comes from EDF’s nuclear power stations, two coal fired power stations, combine gas cycle turbine power station and wind farms.
Renewable power has overtaken nuclear to become the main source of electricity in Scotland, figures have revealed. In the first half of last year sources such as wind and hydro power produced 10.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, figures from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change showed. Nuclear power stations, which had been Scotland’s main source of electricity, generated 7.8TWh over the same period, according to data from the National Grid.
A series of mysterious drone flights over French nuclear reactors recently is exposing a security threat that has authorities scrambling. There have been more than a dozen sightings so far, including one this week, of small unmanned aircraft. They haven’t inflicted damage nor has anyone publicly claimed responsibility, according to atomic operators and French ministers. In spite of government assurances that a probe is underway, the flights have been going on for more than a month.