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 December 29, 2009 8:37 PM

UN HELPS RUSSIAN TRAINING CENTRE TO ENHANCE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT SAFETY

New York, Dec 28 2009 1:10PM
Science students from Russia and Ukraine have been taking part in a United Nations-backed practical training programme to enhance the protection of people and the environment against radiation exposure from nuclear power plants while responding to safety and security-related needs.

Russia’s Interdepartmental Special Training Centre (ISTC) state-of-the-art training facilities in Obninsk, where the students underwent a week-long course, were recently upgraded with support from the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (<"http://www.iaea.org/">IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund.

ISTC cooperation with the IAEA began in 2001, when it introduced an international course on the practical training on operation of physical protection systems. The IAEA organizes training courses and workshops for physical protection specialists from IAEA Member States in the ISTC annually.

In 2004, a decision was taken to create new Physical Protection training facilities at the ISTC. The Canadian Government funded curriculum development, training and equipment for the project through the IAEA Nuclear Security Fund. The new facilities were inaugurated this May.

Students from the National Nuclear Research University (MEPhI) and Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Russia and the Sevastopol National University of Nuclear Energy and Industry (SNUNEI) in Ukraine took part in the most recent course. The practical training is a continuation of a curriculum introduced by the three universities in recent years.

“To date, the three technical universities are the only institutions of this type to adopt such a programme,” IAEA Physical Protection Specialist Jerzy Knapik <"http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2009/schoolNucsecurity.html">said. “However, we continue to research other academic establishments that could offer nuclear security programmes in the hope that the IAEA curriculum can be expanded in the future.”

So far, the curriculum is only offered in Russia and Ukraine and is done in Russian. But the IAEA is currently working with the ISTC and partner universities to offer the practical training also in English.

The university partners are supporting this project that allows students to use the ISTC and exposes them to the most modern technologies – a unique opportunity for students to use such equipment not usually accessible at the universities’ own facilities and research laboratories.

Equipment for ISTC was procured by IAEA from countries as disparate as Canada, Israel, Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

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 December 29, 2009 8:30 PM

DESPITE NO ACCORD AT CLIMATE SUMMIT, UN AVIATION AGENCY PUSHES EMISSIONS CURB

New York, Dec 28 2009 2:10PM
Although a deal on aviation and maritime fuel emissions was not reached at this month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the United Nations aviation agency is moving forward with its aggressive plan of action to curb global warming greenhouse gases.

At a high-level meeting of the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (<"http://www.icao.int/">ICAO) in October, nations representing 93 per cent of global commercial air traffic agreed on further reducing air travel’s impact on climate change, setting a goal of 2 per cent annual improvement in fuel efficiency globally until the year 2050 and a global carbon emissions standard for aircraft.

“The projected growth in public demand for air transport in the years to come could exceed our capability to limit the impact of air travel on climate change unless we continue our progressive course of action in developing and implementing bold and effective solutions,” ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh González <"http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/2009/pio200916_e.pdf">said recently.

“The time-tested ICAO process of consensus-building and cooperation among the 190
Member States of ICAO, coupled with sustained efforts of the air transport industry, has been very effective through the years in minimizing the impact of aviation on the environment. It has recently led to the first, and to date, only globally-harmonized agreement designed to address climate change from a specific sector.”

According to latest assessments, total carbon emissions from the aviation sector account for some 2 per cent of global emissions from human activity, with 60 per cent of that related to international air travel.

The October meeting also agreed on a framework for market-based measures in international aviation; measures to assist developing States and to facilitate access to financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building; and continued further work on the development and implementation of alternative fuels for aviation worldwide which could lead to aviation being the first sector to use sustainable alternative fuels on a global basis.

Progress is expected on these and other initiatives next year with the 8th meeting of ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection in February, related discussions in the ICAO Council and a full review of environmental policies and programmes at the next decision-making Assembly in the fall.

“As an active and long-time participant in <"http://unfccc.int/">UNFCCC [UN Framework Convention on Climate Change] deliberations, we fully recognize the complexity of the climate change challenge. We are convinced that the current ICAO process is best suited to achieving the goals we have set for ourselves,” Mr. Kobeh added.

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Todays World News from the U.N. December 28/ 2009. December 28, 2009 9:11 PM

Here is the World's United Nations News Alerts for Today, hope you find them Informative, best way to read these is to Print them off, and read at your Leisure, like a Newspaper  [ send green star]
 
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