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August 19, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 19th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 19, 2016 – Nevada Appeal – Heller: Don’t force Yucca on Nevada – Sen. Dean Heller says the nation needs a program to dispose of and store nuclear fuel and radioactive waste but Yucca Mountain isn’t the answer. In a letter to House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee chairman John Shimkus, the Nevada Republican urged him not to try to revive the defunct Yucca Mountain repository project. Shimkus is holding hearings focused on doing just that. “I fully appreciate the importance to Illinois, which is home to more nuclear power plants than any other state in the nation, that progress is made,” he said. “With that said, that solution is not forcing the burden on Nevada, a state that has never had a nuclear power plant.” Heller pointed out the Department of Energy last year began an initiative to find communities willing to host a waste storage and disposal facility. He said that program is “the only viable long-term solution to our nation’s nuclear waste problem.”

August 19, 2016 – New Baltimore Voice – Cause of massive fire at St. Clair Power Plant under investigation – Authorities are investigating the cause of a massive fire that raged for more than 10 hours at the St. Clair Power Plant in East China Township Thursday and Friday. The fire broke out at the DTE plant on Recor Road at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Fire crews extinguished the blaze at about 4:45 a.m. Friday and continue to monitor the facility for rekindling. All employees were evacuated from the building with no injuries reported. Small radioactive sources used in level gauges are present in piping inside the facility, but pose no threat to first responders or the public, St. Clair County officials stated in a press release. Monitoring of all hazardous materials that could pose a threat will continue throughout the response.

August 19, 2016 – Blackburn News – Opposition Growing Against Trucking Radioactive Waste – A proposal to truck highly radioactive liquid waste 1,000 miles through the United States and Canada isn’t sitting well with many environmentalists. The US Department of Energy wants to transport the material from Chalk River, near Ottawa, to the Savannah River site in South Carolina. Beyond Nuclear Radioactive Waste Specialist Kevin Kamps believes this has never been done via truck and says it would set a dangerous precedent. “We’re worried about the Bluewater Bridge, Sault St. Marie, and Interstate 75 traversing much of Michigan as well as Interstate 69,” says Kamps.

August 19, 2016 – PhysOrg – Method to entangle thousands of atoms could lead to record clock stability – Physicists have proposed a method for entangling hundreds of atoms, and then entangling a dozen or so groups of these hundreds of atoms, resulting in a quantum network of thousands of entangled atoms. Since small bundles of these entangled groups can function as atomic clocks, this design is the first detailed proposal for a quantum network of atomic clocks. The scientists estimate that, if realized, these clocks will have an order of magnitude greater stability than today’s best atomic clocks. Superstable clocks are critical for measuring astronomical effects such as gravitational waves and, potentially, dark matter.

August 19, 2016 – Santa Fe New Mexican – Navajo Nation gets federal funds for mine cleanup – The Navajo Nation will receive more than $300,000 for cleanup work at abandoned uranium mines through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The $328,847 will cover the costs of cleanup work for the next 14 months, and additional grant funding may be available after that, the EPA has said. More than $100 million has been spent remediating the mine sites, but the work likely will require hundreds of millions of dollars more. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said in a statement that the mining occurred decades ago, and companies that mined the sites have become difficult to identify and hold accountable.

August 19, 2016 – KYForward.com – Public health researchers, geologists combine to create radon risk potential maps for state, 15 counties – University of Kentucky health researchers and geologists combined their research on radon and created a map that shows which parts of Kentucky have the highest risk of radon exposure, and most recently created maps that focus on 15 counties, according to a UK news release. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. “It is a collaboration between two disciplines that might not traditionally be seen as related,” Ellen Hahn, a professor in the UK College of Nursing, said in the release. “There is a new and emerging emphasis on geology as we think about other disciplines, in this case, nursing and public health.”

August 19, 2016 – Tasnim News Agency – Over-The-Counter Laser Pointers A Threat to Eyesight – Some laser pointers that can be bought over the counter are unsafe to the point that they can cause blindness, report researchers. Laser pointers bought legally for less than $AU30 are a threat to eyesight — with one pointer found to be 127 times over the Australian legal limit. RMIT University researchers in Melbourne, Australia, found that green lasers were most dangerous, with all four models tested failing Australian standards. Now they are calling on government to consider banning green lasers. In the meantime, they are recommending authorities to implement stringent testing and quality control.

August 19,2016 – Tecake.in – Hawking Radiation studied and proved in a new study, for the first time – Black hole remained a mystery as knowing anything about it was quite difficult, until now. A virtual hole has been created in a lab and studied, showing that some particles can escape black holes. Scientists believed that black hole traps whatever enters it, the reason that the name is ‘black hole’, and nothing can come out of it. In 1975 Stephen Hawking, the popular physicist came up with the theory that black holes are not completely black and that some particles known as ‘Hawking Radiations’ can escape through it, this can happen only when a particle and its antimatter are situated at the edge of the hole, in this case either of them escapes the black hole along with its energy. The energy loss results in shrinking the black hole. Jeff Steinhauer, a physicist at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa chilled atoms in a test-tube to create black hole, phonons were created inside it, which are pairs of sound particles that were made to move very fast inside the liquid which was Bose-Enistein condensate of rubidium-87 atoms. This resulted in moving away of one particle when the liquid was sped up to the speed of light, other particles escaped. The same experiment was repeated for 4600 times and conclusion was made, though it did not show anything about light but sound works just fine with it.

August 19, 2016 – Standardmedia.co.ke – How phones can actually cause cancer – The debate whether cell phone use can cause cancer and other tumors has been ranging for some time now. Though medical experts worldwide differ on this, some like Ruchira Misra are convinced of the effects of prolonged cell-phone usage. Dr. Misra, a consultant Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in India, believes that prolonged use of mobile phones exposes the user to radio frequency radiation which can cause cancer. “There are not enough studies to prove this; but we have seen that there is radiation exposure from the batteries that can cause cancer, and so should not be held close,” said Misra. The doctor wrote to the family of a 15-year-old girl fighting for her life for the past three years with T cell Rich B cell Lymphoma, saying the condition was as a result of exposure to cell phone radiation.

August 19, 2016 – Nature World – NASA Van Allen Probe Glimpses How Radiation Belts Become ‘Supercharged’ – On March 17, 2015, the Earth was under attack from the Sun. A great solar flare caused an interplanetary shockwave that rippled through the Earth’s magnetic field, creating one of the greatest solar storms in the last decade. The solar flare, which is called coronal mass ejection of CME, resulted in a geomagnetic storm that shook the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts – the region in the Earth’s outer atmosphere held in place by the magnetic field. Fortunately, NASA’s Van Allen Probes were there to capture the rare phenomenon on their instruments, which were detailed in a paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. “We study radiation belts because they pose a hazard to spacecraft and astronauts,” David Sibeck, the Van Allen Probes mission scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement.

August 19, 2016 – ForexTV.com – Order from two customers in Belgium for C-RAD systems – C-RAD has secured an order for a Catalyst HD™, a Catalyst™ system and a Sentinel 4DCT™ system for two radiation therapy centers in Belgium. The order has a total value of 6.1 MSEK. The Catalyst HD™ and Catalyst will be delivered with the complete software configuration containing modules for Respiratory Gating, Patient Setup and Positioning, and Motion Monitoring, as well as interfaces to Varian and Elekta linear accelerators and the respective CT imaging modality. The customers also selected C-RAD’s unique audio-visual couching functionality, which supports an interactive gating mode. Delivery and installation are expected to start in September 2016. Sales and marketing for the C-RAD products in Belgium and the Netherlands is carried out by the Dutch company AEP International B.V. AEP International has more than 35 years of experience marketing and selling high-quality linear accelerator components, as well as representing many renowned RT brands in the Benelux area.

August 19, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Panel: TEPCO’s ‘ice wall’ failing at Fukushima nuclear plant – Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s “frozen wall of earth” has failed to prevent groundwater from entering the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and the utility needs a new plan to address the problem, experts said. An expert panel with the Nuclear Regulation Authority received a report from TEPCO on the current state of the project on Aug. 18. The experts said the ice wall project, almost in its fifth month, has shown little or no success. “The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing,” said panel member Yoshinori Kitsutaka, a professor of engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University. “They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plan.”

August 19, 2016 – Mondaq Review – Canada: The Unlikely Intersection Of Nuclear Fallout And Green Energy – Will the world’s largest atomic fallout exclusion zone one day host the world’s largest solar farm? The infamous nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near Pripyat in Soviet Ukraine, occurred 30 years ago. A fire and series of explosions in one of the plant’s reactors caused the largescale release of radiation across parts of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and other parts of Europe. Despite extensive containment and decontamination efforts, lingering radiation in the area immediately surrounding the site of the meltdown has rendered the land uninhabitable for humans, likely for centurties. Other uses of the land, such as forestry or farming, have also been deemed too risky. As a result, a large swathe of once-viable land in northern Ukraine sits unused.

August 19, 2016 – Business Review – Romanian politicians react to US nuclear weapons transfer reports – The report by Euractiv.ro that the United States has started the transfer of nuclear weapons from Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to the Deveselu air base in Romania has triggered numerous reactions from Romania’s politicians. The country’s Ministry of Defense denied yesterday the reports, which he dismissed as “speculations.” According to Euractiv.ro, the weapons are being transferred due to the worsening of relations between Washington and Ankara. The Incirlik Air Base is located 10 km east of Ankara. “What I can tell you is that there were no talks, neither at political level, nor at specialized level to this end. There is no thinking, no plan in this direction. Therefore, absolutely, we can only call such reports speculations,” Romanian Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc spoke from Buzau, where he attended Romania’s 2nd Army centennial celebrations.

August 19, 2016 – Hartford Courant – Kevin Rennie: Our Bipartisan Battle Against Nuclear Waste Dump – Last week, I wrote about the treachery accompanying the passage of the income tax I witnessed as a state representative 25 years ago this month. It was not, however, the only issue that commanded my attention that year. At a time when cynicism is flourishing, it’s important to hear this story of citizens and their representatives defeating a government plan thought to have been unstoppable. On June 10, 1991, a state agency announced that it had chosen three prospective sites in East Windsor, Ellington and South Windsor for a nuclear waste dump. John Larson, Ed Graziani and I were the legislators for the three towns. With nearby representatives Joe Courtney and Nancy Wyman, we became an unlikely and united bipartisan quintet in fighting this disorienting move by a government agency, the Low Level Hazardous Management Service. An ill-considered federal law required states to take more responsibility for disposing of the radioactive waste generated within their borders. Connecticut and New Jersey had entered into an agreement that required each state to build a facility for storing certain types of radioactive waste.

August 19, 2016 – Nature World News – ‘Secret Clocks’ In Tree-Rings Could Date Events From Thousands of Years Ago – Trees that grew during intense radiation bursts hold “secret clocks” that could pinpoint historical events in world history, scientists said. According to researchers at Oxford University, massive solar storms caused intense radiation bursts to impact the Earth sometime in 775 and 994 AD, which caused large concentrations of radiocarbon to be trapped inside the trees growing during that period. “Variations in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration are largely the result of carbon dioxide emissions from activity from volcanoes and the ocean, but they are also influenced by changes in solar activity,” Michael Dee from the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford and lead author of the study said in a press release. “The spikes in 775 and 994AD were almost vertical and of comparable magnitude all around the Earth. Such markers can be easily identified in known-age tree-rings and are fixed in time.

August 19, 2016 – Democracy & Freedom Watch – Georgian drivers can now check if their car is radioactive – Georgian drivers can now get their car examined for radioactivity. But why would they want to do that? The new radiation control service became available on Wednesday and will be handled by the agency for nuclear and radiation security of the Environment Ministry. The ministry’s unusual concern for radioactive cars is related to the fact many of the vehicles seen driving along Georgian roads have been imported from Japan, which experienced a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in 2011. Vasil Gedevanishvli, head of the agency, told DFWatch that even though cars are examined at the border control, it will now be possible for drivers to voluntarily approach the agency and re-check their car. Checking the car for nuclear radiation cost 50 laris and takes 15-20 minutes.

August 19, 2016 – Express Tribune – How well prepared are we to deal with any possible fallout of a radioactive disaster – August marks the anniversaries of the United States (US) attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The World War II nuclear bombing killed 90% of Hiroshima’s population while tens of thousands died later due to radiation exposure. In Nagasaki, an estimated 40,000 people were killed. Today, despite consistent rise in nation states’ interest in building and expanding their nuclear capability, a combination of stringent safeguards and international diplomacy has largely reduced the threat of a repeat of a Hiroshima/Nagasaki. However, bombing is not the only way for toxic levels of radioactivity to make its way to common people’s lives. In the past 70 years, 440 radiation accidents have occurred worldwide, largely linked to nuclear power plants. A critical nuclear plant accident not only demand intensive disaster response in terms of addressing the radiation contamination, but states are required to undertake massive operations for evacuation and resettlement, while also dealing with psycho-social impacts of the disaster, and resurrect of a shattered economy.

August 19, 2016 – The Conversation – Nuclear power deserves a level playing field – In one of the courses I teach at Penn State, we discuss the characteristics of an ideal electricity production portfolio for the United States and consider what form of energy policy would best achieve it. The class typically identifies the most important factors as cost, reliability of supply, public safety and environmental impact. Students also cite other characteristics, such as national security, domestic availability of fuels and technologies, and electric grid stability. Because no real-world energy source fulfills all of these characteristics, we have to make compromises to find an optimal combination of energy sources. Ideally a well-designed national energy policy would give us a framework for making these choices by balancing short-term goals, such as cost, against long-term goals, such as environmental protection. However, there really is no coherent long-term energy policy in the United States. What exists instead is an ad hoc hodgepodge of subsidies, taxes and regulations differing across regions of the country, that, along with the free market, end up determining what energy sources are used for the production of electricity. In particular, we have no carbon tax to penalize carbon-emitting technologies.

August 19, 2016 – The Daily Caller – Report: Nuke Commission Improperly Stores Classified Info, Jeopardizes Govt Secrets – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials are jeopardizing sensitive government secrets by processing and storing classified information on seven unauthorized systems, according to a new NRC Inspector General (IG) report. “NRC has national security systems that were operating without the required authorizations to operate, contrary to federal and internal requirements,” the IG said. The problem developed because of unclear or confusing policies and procedures for operating national security systems. As a result, the commission — which licenses, inspects and enforces regulations for commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials — violated Committee on National Security Standards (CNSS) rules requiring authorization for all national security systems.

August 19, 2016 – The Conversation – Compete or suckle: Should troubled nuclear reactors be subsidized? – Since the 1950s, U.S. nuclear power has commanded immense taxpayer and customer subsidy based on promises of economic and environmental benefits. Many of these promises are unfulfilled, but new ones take their place. More subsidies follow. Today the nuclear industry claims that keeping all operating reactors running for many years, no matter how uneconomic they become, is essential in order to reach U.S. climate change targets. Economics have always challenged U.S. reactors. After more than 100 construction cancellations and cost overruns costing up to US$5 billion apiece, Forbes Magazine in 1985 called nuclear power “the greatest managerial disaster in business history…only the blind, or the biased, can now think that most of the money [$265 billion by 1990] has been well spent.” U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chair Lewis Strauss’ 1954 promise that electric power would be “too cheap to meter” is today used to mock nuclear economics, not commend them.

August 19, 2016 – WBFO 88.7 – Legal fight underway to keep nuclear waste out of WNY – Radioactive liquid nuclear waste may soon be shipped across the Peace Bridge and through Western New York. As that reality looms, several organizations have joined forces to block the plan. The plan includes shipping nearly 6,000 gallons of liquid nuclear across the Peace Bridge. Experts say people in vehicles next to the trucks would be exposed to radiation. The groups, including the Sierra Club, have filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the nuclear waste shipments. Under the U.S. Department of Energy’s plan, about 150 tractor-trailer loads of highly radioactive waste would travel a thousand miles from Chalk River, Ontario through Buffalo to a DOE processing site in South Carolina. Highly radioactive material from Chalk River, Ontario would be shipped through Buffalo in casks like this on tractor trailers. “This weapons-grade uranium is essentially the same kind of material that was in the Hiroshima bomb,” said Dr. Gordon Edwards with the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

August 19, 2016 – Sputnik News – Radioactive Waste Leak at New York Nuke Plant Left Unrepaired for Years – An unrepaired New York nuclear power plant has been leaking highly-radioactive waste for at least four years, and those responsible will likely evade prosecution. According to a quarterly inspection report by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the leak at the Fitzpatrick plant is of “very low safety significance” in the immediate future, as it is in a contained area, but regulators warn that it will make the site far more difficult to decontaminate when the reactor is shut down. The NRC has stated that plant owner Entergy Corp. has not repaired the leak, despite knowing about it for four years and considering the uncontrolled radioactivity to be a “more than minor significance.”

August 19, 2016 – NY Newsday – Right move to save nuclear plants – The recent passage of a new Clean Energy Standard makes New York a leader in recognizing nuclear power’s crucial role in our energy portfolio and in the protection of our environment [“Cash to aid nuke plants,” News, Aug. 2]. The Public Service Commission’s support for nuclear plants means that we’re one step closer to achieving the ambitious and important goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) by 2030. The new CES is a win because billions of dollars in economic activity and state and local taxes are provided by our nuclear fleet. Our workers, families, and communities win because they benefit from thousands of good-paying jobs. Our environment wins because nuclear generation in New York prevents the emission of 15.5 million metric tons of carbon each year. One important step remains: The state should drop its opposition to the relicensing of the Indian Point nuclear plant, which produces fully 20 percent of New York’s clean power and prevents the emission of 6.5 million metric tons of carbon annually.

August 19, 2016 – Odessa American – Andrews County judge appointed to state nuclear waste commission – Gov. Greg Abbott reappointed Andrew County Judge Richard Dolgener and a Waco health physicist to a state commission charged with managing and disposing of low level radioactive waste while maintaining public welfare. The governor announced the appointments to the the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission on Wednesday. Dolgener was reappointed with Linda Kay Morris, an associate professor at the Texas State Technical College Environmental Health and Safety Technology Department. Their terms expire on Sept. 1, 2021.

August 19, 2016 – Las Vegas Sun – Metro Police seek help finding 2 gauges with radioactive material – Authorities seek the public’s help finding two missing bright-yellow cases carrying gauges with radioactive material. According to Metro Police: The cases, which contain gauges with two radioactive isotopes, went missing last week in the Las Vegas Valley. They’re safe when handled by a trained technician, but others should “use extreme caution.”