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August 10, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 10th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 10, 2016 – East Idaho News – Search dogs aid in the hunt for pioneer remains on INL site – Of all the ghosts along the Oregon Trail, one of the loneliest may be James Slater, who died near the Big Lost River in the early morning hours of July 26, 1862, at age 53. For nearly 154 years the location of Slater’s remains near Goodale’s Cutoff remained a mystery. His daughter Nellie’s diary gives a vague idea of how and where his body was buried, but it wasn’t until early July 2016 that two trained noses – German shepherds named Kessa and Rocco – were brought into the hunt. Now it looks like Slater’s descendants, many of whom live in Idaho, could be visiting the site in September to pay their respects. The land where Slater’s bones rest, is now part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory Site. INL first learned of the gravesite when it received a call in 1994 from Nellie Slater’s great-grandson, Wilbur Chitwood, now 78, of Nampa, who had asked for permission to explore the area.

August 10, 2016 – World Nuclear News – DOE legal obligation on Yucca Mountain – The US Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) has urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to pursue the completion of the licensing review for the Yucca Mountain used fuel and nuclear waste disposal facility, saying the consent-based siting process proposed by the department cannot legally substitute for the Nevada project. The Washington, DC-based organization, which represents the USA’s commercial nuclear industry, made the comments in its submission to the DOE’s request for public input on the consent-based approach, issued in December 2015. “We respectfully suggest that the Department must follow current law, under which the proposed Yucca Mountain project remains the only … repository authorized to date,” NEI Vice President and General Counsel Ellen Ginsberg said in her letter accompanying the submission.

August 10,2016 – The Recorder – Speakers in Pirie raise doubts about nuclear dump – Speakers at an indigenous forum in Port Pirie questioned the merits of proposals for a nuclear waste dump in South Australia. The forum was hosted by Jason Downs, of the Consultation and Response Agency set up after the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission. It was aimed at gathering informal views from the Aboriginal community on the findings of the commission. Gregory Waldon, of Wirrabara, said radioactive contamination on the leg of a fly could be a “problem dose” amid the scenario of handling nuclear waste. He said the issue of “risk” should be reserved for the casino.

August 10, 2016 – myfoxspokane.com – State finds feds, contractor for mishandling Hanford waste – State regulators have fined the federal government and one of its contractors $50,000 for mishandling hazardous waste at Hanford. The Department of Ecology said Tuesday it issued the penalty to the U.S. Department of Energy and CH2M Hill for violations at Hanford’s T Plant. The facility is used to store and treat Hanford waste. The Tri-City Herald reports that DOE and its contractor were ordered obtain detailed analysis of waste before storing it and properly maintain records. An Energy Department spokesman says the agency is evaluating the notice and plans to seek clarification on some items. He says records show the contractor did identify and designate all of the waste in five containers.

August 10, 2016 – fastcoexist.com – Chernobyl’s Radioactive Wasteland Could Become The World’s Largest Solar Farm – Thirty years after the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant spewed radioactive fallout over the surrounding area, it still isn’t a safe place to live, or grow food, or even log trees. And it won’t be any time soon, because some isotopes of plutonium last for more than 24,000 years. But the Ukrainian government hopes to put the massive area known as the exclusion zone, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island, to another use: a new solar farm. If it’s fully developed, the area could generate more than 1,000 megawatts of solar power. The exclusion zone has a few advantages for solar energy. First, because the land can’t be used for anything else, it’s cheap. The electrical transmission equipment—normally expensive to install—is still in place from the former nuclear plant. Chernobyl is also near Kiev, a city with nearly 3 million people and the largest power demand in the Ukraine.

August 10, 2016 – CNYCentral – Watchdogs criticize transfer of public funds in FitzPatrick deal – Many people are hailing the agreement for Exelon to purchase the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant from Entergy as a win for the region, but one watchdog group argues the deal isn’t the victory its claimed to be. In a release the Alliance for a Green Economy, otherwise known as AGREE, and the Nuclear Information and Resource Service said the deal puts public dollars into private hands and ignores “serious safety problems” both at FitzPatrick and at Exelon’s Nine Mile Point facility. Here is part of what they had to say: The sale of FitzPatrick from Entergy to Exelon was announced today and celebrated by Governor Cuomo at a rally in Oswego County, where FitzPatrick is located. The sale was brokered in order to save the unprofitable reactor from closure. Entergy had planned to shutter the reactor, but Exelon now plans to take it over with the promise of $7.6 billion in subsidies over 12 years to FitzPatrick and Exelon’s other three reactors in upstate New York.

August 10, 2016 – The Times – State prepares for nuclear emergencies annually with pill distribution – Mary Lou Wilson, 68, of Beaver took a few minutes to stop by the Center at the Mall last week to sit down with a representative from the state Department of Health. Officials visited Center Township to distribute more than 3,000 potassium iodide, or KI, pills as a part of an annual program for emergency preparedness. “I survived cancer recently, so you know what, I think I’m still meant to be here,” Wilson said, adding that in uncertain times she’s glad to feel a little safer. The pills, made of a salt compound, are offered annually for free to anyone living or working within a 10-mile radius of the state’s five nuclear power plants, including those near the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport. Schools and workplaces can also arrange for a bulk supply.

August 10, 2016 – BBC News – Independent inquiry into Worcestershire hospitals’ 11,000 X-rays backlog – An independent inquiry will look into why a hospital trust had a backlog of 11,000 X-ray results. An unannounced inspection found Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust failed to make reports of the X-rays. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns of potentially delayed treatments. The trust said it is commissioning an “independent peer review into radiology services”. The CQC inspected the radiology departments of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Kidderminster Hospital on 27 July. It has not yet published its findings. The trust was rated inadequate by the CQC in December.

August 10, 2016 – LiveMint – Kudankulam nuclear plant unit-I dedicated to the nation – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa Wednesday jointly dedicated to the nation the 1,000 MW Nuclear Power Plant-I in Kudankulam, assuring it was one of the safest atomic plants in the world. Speaking on the occasion through video conferencing from New Delhi, Modi said Kudankulum 1, an India-Russian project, was an important addition to the continuing efforts to scale up production of clean energy in India.

August 10, 2016 – WWMT – Kalamazoo Co. offering free radon testing kits – The Kalamazoo County Health Department wants to help you detect a silent killer. The health department will be at the Kalamazoo County Fair giving away free Radon test kits. They say in West Michigan it’s especially important to have your home tested for the gas. Radon is a colorless, odorless and radioactive gas found naturally in the environment. It’s the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

August 10, 2016 – Claims Journal – Son Waits for Late Father’s Radiation Exposure Compensation – As of last week, 219 current or former Wah Chang employees or their survivors had received more than $35 million in benefits as compensation from the federal government for cancers contracted through radiation exposure at the Millersburg, Ore., metals refinery. Most of them owe a debt of gratitude to Mark Backer, whose petition on behalf of his late father, Roy Backer, was the basis for establishing “special exposure cohort” status for the plant, a designation that made it much easier for claimants to qualify for benefits. The Backer family, however, has yet to see a dime in compensation. Even though it was Mark Backer’s petition that created the special exposure cohort covering hundreds of Wah Chang employees, his father’s claim has never been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

August 10, 2016 – WhaTech – Global linear accelerators for radiation therapy market manufacture, production, capacity, growth rate and revenue analysis illuminated by new report – Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy Market 2016 is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy worldwide. First of all, ” Global Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy Market 2016 ” report provides a basic overview of the Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy industry including definitions, classifications, applications and Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy industry chain structure. The analysis is provided for the Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy international market including development history, Linear Accelerators for Radiation Therapy industry competitive landscape analysis.

August 10, 2016 – Huffington Post – 108 Mobile Phone Towers Exceeding Radiation Limits In India – A total of 108 cell phone towers were found exceeding radiation limits in the last three years and penalties have been imposed on the concerned telecom providers, Lok Sabha was informed today. A total of 72 cellphone towers were found exceeding prescribed radiation level in 2013, while the figure came down to 24 the next year and no tower was found violating the norms till May this year, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said during Question Hour. In 2015, the number of such towers stood at 12.

August 10, 2016 – Renal & Urology News – Adjuvant ADT May Up Mortality in Black Prostate Cancer Patients – Adjuvant androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) combined with radiation therapy for favorable-risk prostate cancer (PCa) is associated with an increased risk of death in black men compared with white men, a new study suggests. The study included 7252 men underwent brachytherapy with or without neoadjuvant ADT for low-risk or favorable intermediate-risk PCa. Men received ADT to reduce prostate size and facilitate brachytherapy, and not for therapeutic gain. Among those who received ADT, black men had a significant 77% increased risk of all-cause mortality and significant 86% increased risk of death from causes other than PCa in multivariable analysis, a team led by Konstantin A. Kovtun, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, reported online ahead of print in Cancer. The investigators found no significant difference in PCa-specific mortality. Dr. Kovtun and his colleagues observed no significant differences in mortality risks among patients who did not received ADT.

August 10, 2016 – Medical XPress – Boron carrier for targeted tumour therapy – Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a boron carrier for use in targeted radiation treatment for cancerous tumours. The carrier is based on a common blood plasma protein, meaning it can be tailored to individual patients thus lessening the chances of blood contamination. Targeted radiation-based therapies for treating cancerous tumours such as ‘boron neutron capture therapy’ (BNCT), rely on the efficient and effective delivery of the capture agent (in this case, boron) to the tumour. The agent must collect in the tumour in high enough concentrations to trigger an effective reaction during thermal neutron irradiation.

August 10, 2016 – Tech Central – Drone crashes into Koeberg – Eskom has placed a safety officer at the Koeberg nuclear power station north of Cape Town on precautionary suspension after a drone crashed on the site in contravention of nuclear safety regulations. Eskom said in a media statement on Wednesday that the drone was returned to its owner without an investigation into what happened having been completed. This necessitated the officer’s suspension as a precautionary measure, the power utility said. “The matter has also been reported to the South African Police Service as Koeberg is a national key point,” it said. Such points enjoy special protection under the National Key Points Act of 1980.

August 10, 2016 – WRVO – Nuclear part of New York’s energy future – Tuesday’s announcement that a new company has agreed to take over the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County — and keep it running — was cheered in central New York for the jobs and tax revenue it will keep in the region. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it is part of his goal for 50 percent of the state’s power to come from renewable energy by 2030. The governor announced that Exelon has agreed to take over the plant and keep it going for at least another 12 years. “And keep it producing nuclear power for years and years to come,” Cuomo said outside the plant, as workers cheered. More than 600 jobs will be saved by the decision. Cuomo said a closure could have caused a financial crisis in central New York.

August 10, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Eskom Probes Nuclear Information Leak Related to Contract Award – Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., South Africa’s state-owned power utility, said it is investigating an information leak at the Koeberg nuclear plant that could affect a court case related to a 5 billion-rand ($373 million) contract awarded to Areva SA for work at the facility. The power producer hasn’t determined whether the leak was intentional, spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said by phone. Koeberg’s station and plant managers were put on precautionary suspension after distribution of the documentation. The data were given “to one of the said parties who are related to the steam-generator replacement program and it was information that had still not been approved by the board,” Phasiwe said. A safety officer was also suspended after a drone crashed at the plant in an unrelated incident, according to Eskom.

August 10, 2016 – Tasnim News Agency – Iranian MPs to Visit Nuclear Sites in Natanz, Fordow Next Week – Several members of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission plan to pay a visit to the country’s nuclear facilities in Natanz and Fordow in coming days, a spokesman for the commission said on Wednesday. “According to the schedule, the members of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission’ nuclear committee will pay a visit to nuclear facilities in Natanz and Fordow on Monday,” Hossein Naqavi Hosseini told the Tasnim News Agency. The trip to the nuclear sites by the lawmakers is aimed at “monitoring the proper implementation of the JCPOA”, he said, referring to the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and other world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

August 10, 2016 – Sputnik International – Modi: India Will Build More Nuclear Power Plants With Russia – India plans to build additional 1,000-megawatt nuclear power plants with Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a ceremony dedicated to the handover of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant’s first unit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. “In years ahead we are determined to pursue an ambitious agenda of nuclear power generation. At Kundakulam alone, five more units of 1,000 megawatt each are planned. In our journey of cooperation [with Russia], we plan to build a series of bigger nuclear power plants,” Modi said.

August 10, 2016 – New York Times – Chinese City Backs Down on Proposed Nuclear Fuel Plant After Protests – Bowing to days of passionate street protests, a city government in eastern China said Wednesday that it had halted any plans to build a nuclear fuel plant there. The reversal was the latest indication of how public distrust could hold back China’s ambitious plans for expanding its nuclear power industry. The government of Lianyungang, a city near the coast of Jiangsu Province, announced the retreat in a terse message online. “The people’s government of Lianyungang has decided to suspend preliminary work for selecting a site for the nuclear cycle project,” it read, referring to a proposed plant for reprocessing used fuel from nuclear plants.

August 10, 2016 – Daily Mail – Thank goodness for weather forecasts! A solar storm in 1967 almost sparked a nuclear WAR – In May 1967, the US Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation’s surveillance radars were being blocked by the Soviet Union. However, the cause of the radar jamming was not the Soviet Union. The military discovered that a solar storm had caused the disruption, and thankfully the US avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange.

August 10, 2016 – KFYR TV – ND Health Council reapproves radioactive waste rule, asks for new study – The development of fracking brought a historic economic boom to North Dakota. It also brought issues the state rarely dealt with before, such as radioactive waste disposal. The North Dakota Health Council (NDHC) paved the way for some radioactive waste to be stored in state last year. But, landowners and activists say they weren’t given enough notice, so they took the council to court. Now, the NDHC revisited the rule in a public meeting. The NDHC gave landowners and experts 20 minutes to speak out against new rules regarding radioactive waste.

August 10, 2016 – Digital Journal – New Bikini Atoll A-Bomb test films released by National Security – On July 22, 2016, the U.S. National Security Archives declassified and released all the footage shot by Task Force One, the Army Air Force scientific photographic unit as it flew over Bikini Atoll just moments after the Able test detonation (1:00-4:30) went off. The same unedited film footage also depicts four shots of the Baker test from different ranges (5:44, 8:56, 11:28, and 14:10), showing the formation of the nuclear cloud past the height of clouds in the sky. The end of the film, (15:40) shows a roiling cauldron at the bottom of what was once a beautiful coral bay. The damage appears to be complete. Only five ships sank, but those left floating were extensively damaged, and the viewer can see the huge oil slicks contaminating the environment from ships that had suffered damage to their infrastructure. But U.S. scientists weren’t prepared for what the tests ultimately revealed.

August 10, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Customers Could Pay $2.5 Billion for Nuclear Plants That Never Get Built – U.S. electricity consumers could end up paying more than $2.5 billion for nuclear plants that never get built. Utilities including Duke Energy Corp., Dominion Resources Inc. and NextEra Energy Inc. are being allowed by regulators to charge $1.7 billion for reactors that exist only on paper, according to company disclosures and regulatory filings. Duke and Dominion could seek approval to have ratepayers pony up at least another $839 million, the filings show. The practice comes as power-plant operators are increasingly turning to cheaper natural gas and carbon-free renewables as their fuels of choice. The growth of these alternatives is sparking a backlash from consumers and environmentalists who are challenging the need for more nuclear power in arguments that have spilled into courtrooms, regulatory proceedings and legislative agendas.

August 10, 2016 – Beyond Nuclear – Radioactive Waste – No safe, permanent solution has yet been found anywhere in the world – and may never be found – for the nuclear waste problem. In the U.S., the only identified and flawed high-level radioactive waste deep repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been canceled. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an end to the production of nuclear waste and for securing the existing reactor waste in hardened on-site storage. Environmental coalition members from the Crabshell Alliance, Sierra Club Nuclear-Free Campaign, NIRS, PSR, NEIS, and Public Citizen “just say NO!” at the NRC HQ nuke waste con game public comment meeting on 11/14/13 in Rockville, MD. Photo credit David Martin and Erica Grey. Beyond Nuclear submitted six sets of comments to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), by the July 31st deadline, re: “Consent-Based Siting” for so-called “centralized interim storage sites” (de facto permanent parking lot dumps), as well as permanent burial dumps (such as long targeted at Yucca Mountain, Nevada), for high-level radioactive waste/irradiated nuclear fuel.

August 10, 2016 – Syracuse.com – Gov. Cuomo says Fitzpatrick nuclear plant saved: Whole state should be smiling – Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said a deal for Exelon Generation to take over the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Scriba saves 615 high-skilled, well-paying jobs. The governor made the announcement at a rally in support of the FitzPatrick plant in Oswego County. The facility, currently owned by Entergy, provides enough electricity to power more than 800,000 average-sized homes.

August 10, 2016 – Albany Times Union – Cuomo touts FitzPatrick nuclear plant sale – Exelon has acquired the FitzPatrick nuclear plant from Entergy Corp., the company and state announced Tuesday, putting in sight an end to uncertainty surrounding the plant’s future even as the state continues to lean on nuclear power to help reach its clean energy goals. The $110 million agreement transfers the plant’s operating license to Exelon, according to the company. The New York Power Authority will transfer the decommissioning trust fund and liability for FitzPatrick, which is on the shores of Lake Ontario near Oswego, to Entergy, which would then transfer them to Exelon if the deal is approved by regulators and the transaction closes.

August 10, 2016 – Charlotte Observer – Is the Energy Department doing enough to protect nuclear whistleblowers? – Changes announced by the U.S. Department of Energy to strengthen protections for nuclear whistleblowers don’t go far enough to fix deep-rooted problems unearthed in a recent audit, lawmakers and worker advocates say. The audit, released last month, found that the DOE’s nuclear program rarely holds its civilian contractors accountable for unlawful retaliation against contract employees who raise concerns about health, safety, fraud and waste. The lack of enforcement has led to the creation of chilled work environments at nuclear sites across the country, according to the audit performed by the Government Accountability Office at the request of three Democratic senators: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

August 10, 2016 – The State – Once secret documents helping lawyers argue for sick nuclear workers at South Carolina complex – Lawyers are using once-classified government documents to argue that potentially thousands of sick nuclear weapons workers and their families should be eligible for federal benefits. The documents, released late last year, provide evidence that some workers at the Savannah River Site were exposed to thorium after 1972 even though the government said the South Carolina plant no longer had significant quantities of the radioactive material, said Bob Warren, an attorney representing ex-SRS employees. Warren said the federal records show that SRS had ample amounts of thorium, a metal used in nuclear reactions that can cause cancer. Warren obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act from the U.S. Department of Energy after a three-year wait.

August 10, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Solutions needed in MOX funding debate – It’s a shame more people weren’t on hand Thursday to hear an important legislative update from U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina. But for the approximately 30 people attending the town hall organized by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, the affable senator from the Lowcountry delivered a lot of important news. Scott addressed a wide variety of topics, including roads, education and issues affecting small-business owners. But the bulk of Scott’s visit centered on the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, or MOX, at the Savannah River Site. Scott echoed the sentiments of most Republican lawmakers that the approximately $7.7 billion project must move forward.

August 10, 2016 – Daily Caller – Costly Wind Turbines Are Damaging Texas Power Grid, MIT Study Finds – Wind turbines are pushing Texas’s power grid to the limit, despite more than $8 billion invested in green infrastructure, according to a report published Friday in the Technology Review, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Texas is learning just how costly it is to wrangle the wind,” MIT researchers found. Texas is already spending $8 billion, but the state’s utilities and transmission companies will have to spend hundreds of millions more to upgrade the system enough to transport electricity from wind-rich West Texas to market in East Texas, the report found. Texas’ new wind turbines also place dangerous stress on the power grid, potentially leading to blackouts.

August 10, 2016 – KFGO 790 FM – Health Council to revisit radioactive waste rules – North Dakota’s State Health Council will redo a meeting from a year ago during which it approved new rules for radioactive waste, in the wake of a lawsuit. Environmental groups sued in April, alleging the August 2015 meeting was held illegally. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem had issued an opinion in March saying the council violated state law by not providing adequate notice of the meeting. The new meeting is being held on Tuesday at the state Capitol. The Health Council will consider ratifying the decisions made a year ago.

August 10, 2016 – Denver Post – Payouts to property owners in long-running Rocky Flats suit should start in 2017 – For those who lived in the shadow of the former Rocky Flats nuclear plant — and for those who still do — compensation for loss of property value triggered by the noxious stew of chemicals and radioactive elements that were produced at the sprawling facility and dispersed downwind is moving from dream to reality. Late last week, a federal judge gave preliminary approval to a $375 million settlement that was reached in May between thousands of property owners living east of Rocky Flats and the plant’s longtime operators, Rockwell International Corp. and Dow Chemical Co.

August 10, 2016 – WyoFile – Lawmakers eye nuke plant, waste – Wyoming lawmakers may consider working with the U.S. Department of Energy in a new “consent-based” effort to establish sites for storing highly radioactive nuclear waste. Storing nuclear waste was the source of terrific controversy the last time Wyoming experienced a severe energy bust in the late 1980s. The Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee has scheduled more than 2 hours to discuss nuclear waste storage and other nuclear energy-related topics when it meets Thursday at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission building in Casper. DOE wants states to voluntarily research the potential for temporary and permanent storage of spent nuclear energy material. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality officials attended a meeting in Denver in May at which “consent-based siting” of nuclear waste was discussed. DEQ has been ordered to examine what it would take to draft a “permit mapping process” for nuclear waste storage, however it has not been instructed to take any actions.