Energy Blast – Aug 23, 2010

Iran has joined the world’s nuclear power generating nations after launching the Bushehr nuclear power plant with Russia’s Rosatom this weekend.  The Guardian has images.  The head of the Iran’s atomic energy organization praised it as a ‘symbol of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities‘, thanks to the plan for Bushehr to return the plant’s spent fuel to Russia.  Hans Blix has praised the plant for demonstrating that Iran can rely on an international nuclear market.  Rosneft will invest $630 million in a joint venture to drill for gas in the United Arab Emirates.  Vladimir Frolov praises President Dmitry Medvedev’s green policies.  Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz are in a new round of negotiations on a joint venture on long-term gas supply.  Bloomberg reports on the surge in support for Australia’s Green party and its potential implications for the country’s energy policies.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to tax nuclear power plant operators in exchange for an extension of the plants’ lifetimes has received support from EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger.