Europe uses more nuclear power than North America UN agency reports

Nuclear power provides about 16 per cent of global electricity, the IAEA reported. France draws 76.4 per cent of its energy from nuclear power, and Lithuania 73.7 per cent, followed by Belgium (56.8 per cent), the Slovak Republic (53.4 per cent), Ukraine (47.3 per cent), Bulgaria (45 per cent), Hungary (42.2 per cent), the Republic of Korea (40.7 per cent), Sweden (39 per cent) and Switzerland (38.2 per cent.) In North America, where 118 reactors supply about 20 per cent of electricity in the United States and 12 per cent in Canada, the number of operating reactors has declined slightly. In Western Europe, with 150 reactors, overall capacity is likely to remain at or near existing levels in the coming years, the IAEA said.The IAEA reported that in Central and Eastern Europe and the newly independent States, a few partially built plants are likely to be completed, while aging units are being shut down. Only in the Middle East, Far East and South Asia, with a total of 94 reactors at present, are there clear plans for expanding nuclear power, particularly in China, India, the Republic of Korea and Japan. read more

UN envoy attends swearingin of new Sudanese First VicePresident

Jan Pronk, head of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), heard Mr. Kiir pledge to uphold Mr. Garang’s commitment to a peaceful and unified Sudan. Mr. Kiir had been named leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) after Mr. Garang’s 30 July death.Mr. Kiir urged broad cooperation towards nation-building in Sudan and pledged to exercise his energies, and those of the SPLM, to bring eastern Sudan and the troubled Darfur region in the west on board the peace process. Darfur’s two-year conflict has claimed over 180,000 lives, displaced around 2 million people and sent hundreds of thousands more fleeing to neighbouring Chad.Mr. Garang, who steered the southern-based SPLM through a two-decade battle against the northern Government, had been instrumental in ushering in a January peace accord, which ended Africa’s longest-running conflict and led to the swearing in of a national unity Government in early July.His death, which occurred just three weeks after he took office as First Vice-President, sparked days of rioting in Khartoum and the southern part of the country and drew calls for calm and recommitment to the peace process from the UN Security Council, as well as Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The UN has pledged to assist the SPLM and the Government investigate what caused the helicopter to crash into a mountain in southern Sudan. read more