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August 18, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 18th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 18, 2016 – KLAS 8 – Metro searching for stolen nuclear density gauges – The Metro Police Department is assisting the Division of Public Health in investigating the whereabouts of two stolen nuclear density gauges. According to Metro, the density gauges, which are used to determine soil compaction and contain two radioactive isotopes, were stolen from the 4000 block of Meadow Valley Lane on Aug. 11. Geotechnical engineer Chris Guertin does his work out of a laboratory built in his garage. Guertin tests concrete while gathering research to make sure casinos, homes and other buildings don’t topple over on soil. Guertin’s research requires the right tools and says he went inside his home for only a few minutes. “I come in and out of the office a lot and then at one point the gauges are gone,” Guertin said. “This is a no-nonsense situation, this is hazardous material.” Two nuclear density gauges containing radioactive isotopes are now missing. The gauges were stored in cases the size of an icebox and aren’t dangerous inside of them. If opened, the consequences could cause immediate long-term health problems.

August 18, 2016 – Daily Mail – Something fishy? Bizarre four-eyed creature baffles experts after being reeled in by an angler in Australia – A bizarre four-eyed fish has baffled scientists after being caught by a fisherman in the Northern Territory. The bizarre specimen, which has a set of eyes on the front of its head as well as the side, bears a striking resemblance to ‘Blinky’ the radioactive fish from the Simpsons. Simon Merefield took to social media to unravel the mystery of the creature, caught in Darwin’s Buffalo Creek, before scientists debated exactly what it was.

August 18, 2016 – DNA India – Radiologists threaten another strike from September 1 – Radiologists have threatened to go on an indefinite nationwide strike from September 1 against actions taken by state health officials for technical errors under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act. Associations of gynaecologists and radiologists have also come together against the same. In June, the radiologists had gone on a week-long strike after one in Pune was suspended for technical mistakes under the Act.

August 18, 2016 – defenseWeb – Egypt orders airport security systems from Smiths Detection – The Egyptian Ministry of Defence has awarded Smiths Detection contracts to provide advanced detection systems for passenger checkpoint, hold baggage and cargo screening to airports across Egypt. The contracts were awarded via Egyptian security company Falcon Group and are worth almost £19 million, Smiths Detection said on 10 August. The award for X-ray scanners, people screening systems and trace detectors is part of national programme to provide an additional layer of security to existing equipment at airports. Smiths Detection systems were chosen by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence for their lifetime high performance and quality, as proven by earlier contracts, the company said.

August 18, 2016 – The Atlantic – How 4-Year-Olds Learn Particle Physics – “The game actually doesn’t teach you anything,” Lauri Järvilehto told me over lunch in Helsinki, Finland. I scratched my head, because Järvilehto, 39, is a co-founder and the CEO of a Finnish education gaming company called Lightneer, which is poised to launch its first app, “Big Bang Legends,” in the coming months. I thought “teaching”is what these learning apps are supposed to do. Järvilehto’s road to co-founding Lightneer is as intriguing as his clothing style. (The day we chatted, he wore a black T-shirt with a huge Batman logo, a yellow hooded sweatshirt, yellow sneakers, and an Apple Watch with a yellow band.) At the age of 17, Järvilehto began a 10-year career as a pop-music producer in Finland, but eventually burned out, moved to France, and started reading philosophers like Plato. Then he returned to Helsinki to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy (just for fun), after which he received a Ph.D., got hired to consult Rovio’s video-game franchise Angry Birds on education issues, and eventually wrote a 2014 book called Learning as Fun. Then in October 2015, Järvilehto founded Lightneer with another Rovio alum.

August 18, 2016 – WhaTech – New report examines the medical radiation shielding market report on geographical analysis, key player profiles and future trends from 2016 to 2021 – The report “Medical Radiation Shielding Market – Global Forecasts to 2021”, report provides a detailed overview of major drivers, restraints, challenges, opportunities, current market trends, and strategies impacting the medical radiation shielding market along with estimates and forecasts of the revenue and market share analysis. Medical radiation shielding market is expected to reach USD 1330.0 Million by 2021 from USD 989.2 Million in 2016, at a CAGR of 6.1%. Complete report on Medical Radiation Shielding Market spread across 125 Pages, Profiling 10 Companies and Supported with 66 Tables and 25 Figures is now available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/medical-radiation-shielding-market-by-products-x-ray-shields-booths-sheet-lead-bricks-curtain-solution-radiation-therapy-cyclotron-multimodality-pet-spect-ct-mri-end-user-hospitals-diagnostics-cen-ts-to-2021-market-report.html.

August 18, 2016 – (e) Science News – Isotope research opens new possibilities for cancer treatment – A new study at Los Alamos National Laboratory and in collaboration with Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource greatly improves scientists’ understanding of the element actinium. The insights could support innovation in creating new classes of anticancer drugs. “The short half-life of actinium-225 offers opportunity for new alpha-emitting drugs to treat cancer, although very little has been known about actinium because all of its isotopes are radioactive and have short half-lives,” said Maryline Ferrier, a Seaborg post-doctoral researcher on the Los Alamos team. “This makes it hard to handle large enough quantities of actinium to characterize its chemistry and bonding, which is critical for designing chelators.”

August 18, 2016 – Counter Punch – Helen Caldecott: “America Still Thinks It Can Win a Nuclear War” – I just attended the 31st annual national Veterans for Peace convention here in Berkeley and was truly inspired by the hundreds of vets who attended it, and by their organization’s heroic stand for peace. As one vet put it, “Been there, done that — war doesn’t work.” And while wandering around the grounds of the convention center before the festivities began, I ran into Helen Caldecott, an Australian doctor who has bravely spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons ever since the terrible days of America’s Cold War. I’m not sure what I was expecting that she would look like — perhaps Super Girl in a cape? But she was just an ordinary-looking person, like someone you would meet on the street. Until she started speaking to an audience of 300-plus veterans. And then her eyes flashed, her voice rang out like a warning bell and her passion came alive. “I am a pediatrician,” she told us, “and if you love this planet, if you love the next generation of babies, you will change the priority of your lives — because right now, America’s top priority seems to be for us to come as close to nuclear war as we possibly can.”

August 18, 2016 – themedialine.org – Israelis Gear Up for Annual Assault on its Nuclear Program – There is potentially good news about Israel’s annual battle against those seeking to dismantle Jerusalem’s nuclear program amid the usual plethora of doomsday scenarios. The daily Haaretz is reporting that it obtained a secret communication sent to those who will represent the Jewish state at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s conference informing them of the decision by Arab leaders to forego a vote on a resolution demanding international oversight on Israel’s nuclear activity. In addition to a heads-up warning that the situation could turn on a dime, it was explained that a decision had been made by Arab leaders to focus on what should be an easier goal: challenging the safety of Israeli nuclear facilities. Haaretz says the Israeli diplomatic corps will be gracious toward Arab diplomats for their decision but offer a stern warning that if they change their minds, Israel will fight to prevent the resolution’s passage.

August 18, 2016 – DailyStar.co.uk – Spine-chilling ritual ‘human sacrifice’ filmed on nuclear research campus – A VIDEO has surfaced online purporting to show a ritual human sacrifice being carried out inside the secure complex of a mysterious nuclear research facility. The minute-long clip, shot at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, shows several figures dressed in long black robes performing the gruesome ceremony in front of a statue of Shiva – the Hindu god of destruction. While the incredible footage has been circulated on numerous conspiracy websites, officials at CERN denied any murder had taken place. It is now thought that the ritual sacrifice was an elaborate hoax, conducted by scientists working at the secretive science facility – home to the Large Hadron Collider.

August 18, 2016 – Riverhead Local – Letter: N.Y. needs its nuclear power plants – Despite the protests of anti-nuclear activists (“N.Y. Public Service Commission OKs multi-billion dollar nuclear industry bailout,” August 12), true environmentalists who value New York’s Mail_Envelope_lettercarbon reduction goals recognize that maintaining our nuclear fleet is critical to achieving the 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 projected in the Clean Energy Standard (CES). Nuclear energy is New York’s largest source of clean, emission-free energy. New York’s nuclear plants annually prevent over 21.4 million metric tons in carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of keeping 4.8 million gasoline-powered cars off the road. Nuclear opponents herald wind and solar as the primary energy sources of the future, but these can only produce power when the wind blows and the sun shines. Nuclear power plants produce safe, clean, zero carbon energy 24/7, 365 days a year. If we lose our statewide nuclear facilities, that void in our electric grid would be largely filled by natural gas – which emits carbon.

August 18, 2016 – Reuters – Nuclear developers have big plans for pint-sized power plants in UK – A range of mini-nuclear power plants could help solve Britain’s looming power crunch, rather than the $24 billion (18 billion pounds) Hinkley project snarled up in delays, companies developing the technology say. So-called small modular reactors (SMRs) use existing or new nuclear technology scaled down to a fraction of the size of larger plants and would be able to produce around a tenth of the electricity created by large-scale projects, such as Hinkley. The mini plants, still under development, would be made in factories, with parts small enough to be transported on trucks and barges to sites where they could be assembled in around six to 12 months, up to a tenth of the time it takes to build some larger plants. “The real promise of SMRs is their modularisation. You can assemble them in a factory with an explicable design meaning consistent standards and predicable costs and delivery timescale,” said Anurag Gupta, director and global lead for power infrastructure at consultancy KPMG.

August 18, 2016 – News-Sentinel – Dismantling Parkview Randallia incinerator reveals low-level radioactivity in bricks – About two weeks ago, a load of scrap from an incinerator at Parkview Hospital Randallia was rejected by metal dealer OmniSource because it triggered a radiation detector. The reason, hospital officials said later, was refractory bricks that were part of the incinerator. Those bricks, specially made to resist high temperatures, were radioactive enough to be flagged by a radiation detector, but their radioactivity was negligible, compared to more familiar sources of radiation. “The bricks did not pose a risk to anyone, at any time. All of the bricks have been removed from the property and disposed of properly. A significant majority of the incinerator has been removed. The remaining few pieces will be disposed of within days,” Parkview spokesman Eric Clabaugh wrote in an email on Tuesday. Clabaugh said that the radiation level in the bricks was measured in microrems, 1/1000 the strength of the more familiar measure of radiation exposure, the milliRem.

August 18, 2016 – HealthCanal – Ocean radiation levels finally returning to normal after Fukushima – Five years after the accident at Fukushima that saw the largest release of nuclear material in the world’s oceans research has shown radiation levels across the Pacific Ocean are rapidly returning to normal. Edith Cowan University environmental radiochemistry expert Professor Pere Masqué will discuss the affects of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters in The West Australian ECU Lecture Series on Friday, 19 August. While hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated from towns and cities around the Fukushima plant, it’s believed more than 80 per cent of radioactive material from the stricken reactors ended up in the ocean. Immediately following the devastating 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake in 2011 radioactivity levels off the coast of Japan were tens of millions of times higher than normal.

August 18, 2016 – Wise Bread – The 10 Coolest Things That Come in a Can – The humble can is making a comeback, and with good reason. When it comes to storing food, the aluminum can not only keeps out air, but also light, which can degrade the product within. It’s also lightweight, and easier to recycle, with the average aluminum can containing three times more recycled content than either plastic or glass bottles (plastic bottles contain only 3% recycled materials). That all adds up to great sustainability, and less impact on the environment. So it’s hardly surprising that so many cool things in cans are popping up on shelves. Here are 10 of the most noteworthy… which have you tried? 9. Uranium Ore – Planning to build your own nuclear reactor, or maybe a time machine like the one Doc Brown made in Back to the Future? Well, this won’t get you very far, but it is genuine. The uranium in this can is called NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) and is useful for science labs, and for testing Geiger counters. As it has low radioactivity, it’s safe, and gives off alpha, beta, and gamma radiation types. Once again, if you’re looking to find a gift for someone who has everything, it’s certainly unique.

August 18, 2016 – Eco-Business – Indigenous Australians fight nuclear dump plan on “sacred land” – Enice Marsh remembers the black clouds of “poison stuff” that billowed from the northwest after British atomic bomb tests in the 1950s spread fallout across swathes of South Australia. Now a new kind of radioactivity could head to her ancestral home in the remote Flinders Ranges – a nuclear waste dump. “To me, it feels like a death penalty,” said Marsh, 73, standing in the cemetery of the outback town of Hawker, where many of her relatives are buried under red earth. “We are one big family and the land also is family to us. We care for the land just in the same way we care for our family.”

August 18, 2016 – KDAL – Beach Find Determined Not To Be Dangerous – A small container found on a beach near Poplar has been determined not to be a hazard to the public. A person walking on the beach Wednesday came across the item, about the size of a deck of cards, that had radioactive markings on it. Initial responders from the Superior Fire Department and the U-S Coast Guard determined that the object was not emitting any radioactivity. A follow up investigation ensured that the surrounding area was also clear of radiation. The container was removed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for proper disposal.

August 18, 2016 – The Recorder – Rowe seeks money for nuke waste storage – The Yankee Atomic Electric Co. nuclear power plant in Rowe shut down its 185-megawatt reactor in 1992, leaving in place 15 dry casks of radioactive spent fuel, along with one cask of higher-level nuclear waste, until the federal government finds a permanent home for waste like this. Now, Rowe and other U.S. communities with “de facto” interim spent nuclear fuel storage sites are seeking annual compensation for this storage from the federal government. Congressman Richard E. Neal, D-First District, has agreed to co-sponsor the “Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Site Compensation Act of 2016,” which would require annual payments of $15 per kilogram of spent nuclear fuel stored at the sites of former nuclear power plants built for electricity generation. For Rowe, this would generate about $1.9 million for every year the town applies for this funding, says Selectmen’s Chairwoman Marilyn Wilson. “We wrote to Congressman Neal saying we wanted his support, and he has signed on as a co-sponsor,” she said. “He will be visiting Rowe in the fall.”

August 18, 2016 – CNYCentral – Feds report violations, including leaks of radioactive waste, at FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant – An inspection report released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission describes violations at the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, including exposing workers to high amounts of radiation and allowing leaks of radioactive material over the past four years. The NRC’s report covers the period of time from April 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016. it was during this period that oil leaked into Lake Ontario from the plant. According to the inspection results, the oil spill wasn’t the only problem at the plant during that time. The report says employees were sent into a high-radiation area without monitoring for it or notifying the radiation protection department, and a failure of an atmospheric control system persisted for over a month and wasn’t shut down after 30 days as required.

August 18, 2016 – Buffalo News – Liquid nuclear waste shipments over Peace Bridge could start in September – Truck shipments carrying high-level liquid nuclear waste over the Peace Bridge and across Western New York’s highways en route to a South Carolina processing facility could start as early as September. A lawsuit that seven environmental organizations filed this week against the U.S. Department of Energy in federal court in Washington, D.C., aims to stop these “mobile Chernobyls on steroids.” “It is terrifying for us to hear that the government is willing to endanger the lives of so many by the shipments of this highly dangerous liquid radioactive waste through our community and those of others,” said Lynda Schneekloth, chairwoman of the Sierra Club’s Niagara Group.

August 18, 2016 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Westinghouse shuts down part of S.C. nuclear fuel plant over safety concerns – Nuclear regulators are investigating why Westinghouse Electric Co. ended up with three times the safe amount of uranium stuck inside a scrubber at its nuclear fuel factory in Columbia, S.C., and why it took the company more than a month to notify regulators when the situation should have been reported within 24 hours. When the Cranberry-based company did contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in mid-July, federal regulators sent out a team to investigate, and Westinghouse shut down that portion of the plant. The NRC is still piecing together what happened and might be finished with its investigation in several weeks, said spokesman Roger Hannah. In the meantime, the agency has deemed the uranium concentration was high enough that there might have been potential for an uncontrolled nuclear reaction that could have caused a small explosion. Last week, it sent a memo to Westinghouse outlining what the company will need to do before it can apply to restart that portion of the plant.

August 18, 2016 – Bloomberg BNA – Groups Aim to Derail Nuclear Waste Shipments – A nuclear safety advocate alleged that the Energy Department is aiming to profit off liquid nuclear waste shipments heading from Canada to Savannah, Ga., at the expense of public and environmental risk as he announced litigation Aug. 16 to enjoin the project. The department could begin shipping nuclear waste from Chalk River, Ontario, to the Savannah River Site by September as part of a years-long bid to secure authorization, Savannah River Site Watch and Friends of the Earth official Tom Clements told reporters. The project, however, is moving forward without an environmental impact statement and sufficient exploration of alternatives, which necessitates an injunction, Clements and other environmentalists said. The department is set to generate $60 million on the project, Clements said. The complaint says that sum will be used to operate the H-Canyon plant at the Energy Department-owned Savannah River Site, which stabilizes the waste for eventual disposal in a federal facility.

August 18, 2016 – Beyond Nuclear – Kamps’ prepared statement for press conference re: highly radioactive liquid waste truck shipments from Canada to U.S.A. – Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear’s Radioactive Waste Watchdog, delivered a statement to members of the news media on a press conference call sponsored by NIRS. An environmental coalition, including Beyond Nuclear, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block up to 150 unprecedented truck shipments of highly radioactive liquid wastes, from Chalk River Nuclear Labs in Ontario, Canada through multiple states, to Savannah River Site nuclear weapons and radioactive waste complex in Aiken, South Carolina, U.S.A.

August 18, 2016 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – Georgia PSC approves latest Plant Vogtle spending – The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) signed off Tuesday on Georgia Power Co.’s latest spending report covering the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle. Commissioners unanimously approved and verified $160 million the Atlanta-based utility spent on the project during the last half of last year. With that spending, Georgia Power’s share of the project remains within the $6.1 billion the PSC certified when the work was approved back in 2009.

August 18, 2016 – Amarillo Globe News – Pantex Plant to store more nuclear materials produced at Los Alamos lab – The Pantex Plant located 17 miles northeast of Amarillo will store nuclear materials produced at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico after plans to build a 31,000-square-foot storage vault were scrapped in an effort to cut costs, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office released earlier this month. The GAO report called into question the savings stated in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s report on the proposed Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility. The facility, which would provide analysis in support of plutonium pit production at Los Alamos, was intended to include underground vaults to store the nuclear material. A plutonium pit, or core, is “the heart” of a nuclear weapon, according to the Pantex website.

August 18, 2016 – Casper Journal – Committee considers nuclear waste storage – In response to a renewed effort by the federal government to find a national nuclear waste repository site, a Wyoming legislative committee has voted to update the state’s laws allowing nuclear storage. The legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Interim Committee last week reviewed the state’s radioactive waste siting statute, with an eye toward adjusting it to meet new U.S. Department of Energy guidelines. The state’s statute was passed in 1995 and only allows for “temporary” storage facilities – up to 40 years; and while the DOE is primarily seeking a permanent repository, it has considered using temporary facilities as an interim solution.

August 18, 2016 – Idaho Falls Post-Register – INL chooses leader for nuclear innovation program – Idaho National Laboratory has selected a veteran nuclear executive to lead its new Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear program. Rita Baranwal, an executive at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pennsylvania, will take the top spot at GAIN next week, the lab announced Tuesday. Founded late last year, the INL-led initiative was set up to assist private companies hoping to develop new types of nuclear energy technologies. Baranwal starts the job Monday, taking over for Kemal Pasamehmetoglu, an INL associate lab director who has been pulling double duty leading GAIN since last year.