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August 22, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 22nd, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 22, 2016 – Environmental Leader – The Granddaddy of the Climate Change Movement is Trying to Save Nuclear Energy in California – Nuclear power has a powerful advocate: James Hansen, the grandfather of the climate change movement. His latest move is to step on behalf of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon, which is set to retire in 2025. He is asking California’s governor to have the public utility commission delay its decision to close the power plant until the state legislature can weigh in. “There are serious questions about whether this proposal is good for ratepayers, the environment and the climate,” Hansen and other prominent scientists have written to Governor Jerry Brown. California’s aim of cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by mid Century won’t be reached if the 17,600 gigawatt hours that the plant cranks are retired. That’s 9 percent of the state’s electric generation and 21 percent of its low-carbon generation. “If Diablo closes it will be replaced mainly by natural gas, and California’s carbon dioxide emissions will rise,” the letter states.

August 22, 2016 – Las Vegas Review-Journal – Heller predicts new move to build Yucca Mountain after Reid retires – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller thinks there will be a new effort to kick-start the Yucca Mountain Project after one of its most powerful and outspoken opponents, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, leaves office at the end of the year. Heller, speaking at a Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday, said some members of Congress see the Nevadan’s exit as an opportunity to build the high-level nuclear waste repository in Nevada, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Heller, R-Nev., said the push for the long-debated and hotly contested repository never really disappeared under the strong opposition from Reid, at one point considered the most powerful Democrat in the nation, and then President Barack Obama. Some current members of Congress are there “for only one purpose,” he said: to get the site up and running.

August 22, 2016 – PhysOrg – Improved tests of the weak nuclear force from beta decay – Studies of beta decay, which involves an electron and antineutrino being emitted from a nucleus, can reveal new properties of the weak nuclear force—one of the four fundamental forces in the universe. Scientists performed an exquisitely precise measurement of the angular distribution of neutrinos emerging from beta decay using a completely novel approach to the experimental challenge of revealing the extremely subtle imprint of tensor interactions, subtle processes that have long defied measurement due to their modest imprint on nuclear processes. These new measurements will help hone our theoretical understanding of the weak force; such understanding could one day lead to a deeper understanding of the inner workings of our sun and other stars as well as provide valuable insights for fusion energy. The results are consistent with current particle physics theories and set general limits on possible additional contributions to the weak nuclear force.

August 22, 2016 – Buffalo News – Department of Energy needs to provide more information on planned shipments of liquid nuclear waste – The bureaucrats in Washington should consider slowing down plans for truck transport of high-level liquid nuclear waste over the Peace Bridge and across Western New York’s highways on its way to a South Carolina processing facility. This process could start as early as September and, as opponents claim, without the proper environmental reviews and public comment. After years of protest, letters, legislation and finally a lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Energy has failed to satisfactorily address concerns. If, as the agency claims, the process poses no threat to the public from terrorism or environmental hazard, then it should have no problem addressing the point-by-point issues that have been brought by various groups and a congressman. Given the issues, the department owes Western New York – and all along the trucks’ potential routes – at least that much.

August 22, 2016 – WEKU 88.9 – Advocacy Group Wants Role in Landfill Cleanup Negotiations – A citizens group wants representation at the table as the state of Kentucky negotiates the clean-up of radioactive waste at a Central Kentucky landfill. The best a state official is offering is to hear citizen comments. Representatives with the Energy and Environmental Cabinet are talking with Advanced Disposal Services. It’s the owner of the Estill County landfill where 2,000 tons of radioactive waste was illegally dumped. Concerned Citizens of Estill County is asking that two of its members be included in negotiations. Mary Cromer is with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center. She says there needs to be transparency in the process and adds, so far that hasn’t happened. “There was an initial meeting with state officials back in March, but the state has pretty much been silent since then,” noted Cromer.

August 22, 2016 – Consumer Eagle – Perma Fix Environmental Services Inc Has Another Bullish Trade, Fundamental Global Investors Bought Stake! – Fundamental Global Investors filed with the SEC SC 13D/A form for Perma Fix Environmental Services Inc. The form can be accessed here: 000114420416120407. As reported in Fundamental Global Investors’s form, the filler as of late owns 7.1% or 817,016 shares of the Industrials–company. Perma Fix Environmental Services Inc stake is a new one for the and it was filed because of activity on August 3, 2016. We feel this shows Fundamental Global Investors’s positive view for the stock.

August 22, 2016 – OpenPR – Nuclear Medicine Market to Cross US$ 4.5 Billion by 2021 – Market Research Engine has published a new report titled as “Nuclear Medicine/Radiopharmaceuticals Market by Type (Diagnostic (SPECT – Technetium, PET – F-18), Therapeutic (Beta Emitters – I-131, Alpha Emitters, Brachytherapy – Y-90) & by Application (Oncology, Thyroid, Cardiology) – Global Forecasts to 2021”. The nuclear medicine market is expected to exceed more than US$ 4.5 billion by 2021 growing at around 9.0% CAGR for the given forecast period. Nuclear medicine is special category in medical branch used for diagnosis and treatment of disease in a safe and painless way. Nuclear medicine contain radioactive material which combined called as radiopharmaceutical. The small quantity of radiopharmaceutical is given into human body in the form of injection or swallowing. It goes to specific location of a body where there could be disease or abnormality. It emits radiation called gamma rays and contains gamma camera which helps nuclear medicine physician to see inside the body. It takes pictures of inner body which helps physician to diagnose patients’ disease.

August 22, 2016 – Optics.org – NASA mission to map asteroid using lidar and spectrometers – A NASA mission to investigate an asteroid in unprecedented detail with a variety of photonics-based equipment is set to launch September 8 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Kitted out with a lidar altimeter, visible-IR spectrometers and a trio of cameras, the “OSIRIS-REx” mission (short for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) is aiming to generate new insights into planet formation and the origin of life on Earth. Arizona scientists are heavily involved in the mission, with Dante Lauretta from the University of Arizona in Tucson heading things up as principal investigator. “The launch of OSIRIS-REx is the beginning a seven-year journey to return pristine samples from asteroid Bennu,” said Lauretta. “The team has built an amazing spacecraft, and we are well-equipped to investigate Bennu and return with our scientific treasure.”

August 22, 2016 – The Guardian – Radon from fracking will not be a threat – In his letter (11 August) Dr David Lowry raised the issue of radon and shale gas quoting studies in Pennsylvania and sought to reinforce his own views by quoting from a study undertaken by Public Health England in 2014. Let me quote the same study, which states, “caution is required when extrapolating experiences in other countries to the UK since the mode of operation, underlying geology and regulatory environment are likely to be different” and “the PHE position remains, therefore, that the shale gas extraction process poses a low risk to human health if properly run and regulated”.

August 22, 2016 – PhysOrg – Scientists create method to obtain the most precise data for thermonuclear reactors – Researchers from the National Research Nuclear University, working as part of an IAEA project, have created the most accurate method to date of obtaining the data needed to reliably operate a thermonuclear reactor. The results were published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials. Thermonuclear facilities attempt to generate electricity using thermonuclear fusion reactions like those that drive the sun. The largest thermonuclear fusion project is ITER, which is currently under construction in France. Constructing thermonuclear reactors poses a number of challenges. For example, choosing the material for the most energetically tense reactor elements, which are in contact with thermonuclear plasma, is difficult. Tungsten is a material of interest, though specialists are still unsure how this metal will behave in the conditions of a working fusion reactor. In particular, researchers are interested in tungsten’s interaction with one of the components of thermonuclear fuel, the radioactive hydrogen isotope tritium. One potential problem is defects of plasma-facing reactor walls caused by tritium radiation.

August 22, 2016 – High Country News – Nuclear power divides California’s environmentalists – At the end of June, nearly 100 environmentalists marched through the streets of Oakland, California, stopping to picket an unlikely foe: the Sierra Club. While most of their comrades waved signs outside the concrete building’s expansive front windows, a small group took the elevators upstairs to the main office and began chanting: “We’re on a mission to stop all emissions!” “We love you, and we’re behind you,” declared Eric Meyer, organizer of the march. “But you’re wrong about one thing: nuclear power.” The protest followed Pacific Gas & Electric’s announcement that it would close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in 2025. PG&E executives said it would be too expensive to install the new cooling towers and seismic upgrades needed to keep it open. Both the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council pushed for the closure because they say that there’s no long-term disposal method for nuclear waste, and the plants consume too much water. But environmentalists like Meyer argue that Diablo Canyon is currently California’s single largest producer of carbon-free power, and closing it will derail the state’s ambitious efforts to phase out fossil fuels. California already leads the nation in renewable energy, with 22 percent of its electricity coming from geothermal, wind and solar. By 2030, it hopes to more than double that figure.

August 22, 2016 – Los Angeles Times – Nuclear accident in New Mexico ranks among the costliest in U.S. history – When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations. The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department’s credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste. But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

August 22, 2016 – London School of Business & Finance – Wind and solar power could challenge nuclear energy – One of Hinkley Point’s main advantages is offering continuous, “on-all-the-time” power. However, technology and its lower costs may be erasing the need for the plant to be built. One of those technologies is hi-tech battery storage. Currently being researched are lithium-air, sodium-ion and redox flow batteries. These all offer better energy options if developed, and will be cheaper than electricity. Their potential for energy storage will address complaints that wind and solar are intermittent. The green industry also believes that renewables are cheaper and that they will make the Hinkley project unnecessary. Solarcentury (a solar panel maker) Founder, Jeremy Leggett, said: “Finally the message is getting through that Hinkley, and indeed nuclear, make no sense today simply because wind and solar are cheaper. If we accelerate renewables in the UK, we can get to 100% renewable power well before 2050.”

August 22, 2016 – Sputnik International – Russia Unique in Being Able to Use Fast Breeder Reactors in Nuclear Industry – Russia is the only country able to introduce fast breeder reactors into the nuclear industry, Boris Vasiliev, chief designer of the Fast Neutron Reactors Department in Rosatom’s Afrikantov Experimental Design Bureau for Mechanical Engineering (OKBM Afrikantov) said. “Currently, Russia is the only country in the world able to introduce fast neutron reactors into the nuclear power industry. This is because only in Russia have studies of all stages of BN technologies been completed… I must mention the initiative by Russian nuclear experts to develop leading fast breeder reactors under a project named Proryv [Breakthrough]. The main aim of the next stage is to create the pilot and demonstration reactor [called] BREST-300. If it works successfully, it will give us an additional opportunity to develop components of fast breeder reactors,” Vasiliev told RIA Novosti in an interview.

August 22, 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 22, 2016 – Cape Cod Times – Challenge to nuclear waste facility heads to trial – After two years of waiting, neighbors of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will go to trial Monday in state Land Court to challenge construction of a massive storage facility for nuclear spent fuel on plant property. The lawsuit, filed in 2014 by a handful of residents who live within two miles of the plant, alleges that the nuclear waste facility will affect property values. The town of Plymouth improperly granted permits to Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner-operator, in 2013, they say. They contend a special permit process with a public hearing should have been required. Defendants in the case are Entergy; Plymouth Building Commissioner Paul McAuliffe, who issued a building permit for a concrete pad where massive dry casks would store spent fuel; and members of the Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals, who upheld the building commissioner’s actions.

August 22, 2016 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Clean energy doesn’t require a nuclear renaissance – Edward H. Klevans (“Nuclear Power’s Time Has Come,” Aug. 12 Perspectives) praises New York state for providing clean energy credits to keep its otherwise uncompetitive nuclear plants running and finds “an overwhelming case for […] reliance on, and expansion of, America’s nuclear energy infrastructure.” Market reality suggests a limited and temporary role for nuclear power. In California, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced in June that it will phase out Diablo Canyon’s two nuclear reactors over nine years, because they’re too costly to operate and not necessary. Its output will be replaced entirely by efficiency and renewables, burning no fossil fuels, emitting no carbon and costing $1 billion less (net present value through 2044) than continuing to run the high-performing plant (estimated savings according to the National Resource Defense Council).

August 22, 2016 – Amarillo Globe News – Officials, dignitaries gather for Pantex groundbreaking – National dignitaries gathered Thursday for the groundbreaking of the new Pantex Administrative Center, which will house up to 1,100 office employees. “It’s pretty remarkable that this will take roughly a third of the workforce at Pantex that work in conditions that, if anything, are unsure,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz. “It’s a new chapter, a chapter of modernization. It’s already been said that we have a great challenge ahead of us in terms of the life extension of our (nuclear stockpile).” The 343,000-square-foot building is the culmination of 16 months of planning by Consolidated Nuclear Security, the company that manages the Pantex Plant, and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Construction is expected to be finished in spring of 2018. The building will be located at the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 2373 and U.S. Highway 60.

August 22, 2016 – AlterNet – The Toxic Legacy of Racism and Nuclear Waste Is Very Much Still With Us in Los Alamos – The air is crisp, cool and fresh. The sun is warm, but not too much. Residents picnic at a pond complete with cruising swans and ducks. The vistas of the Jemez Mountains and the mesas of the Pajarito Plateau are breathtaking. Flowers are in bloom. Everything is green. The historical structures are quaint and rustic, ranch-style houses made of wood and corrugated tin. The city is quiet and peaceful, a perfect slice of small-town America. It’s difficult at times to remember that this is the part of the world where the nuclear bomb was invented. It’s hard to picture the hundreds of thousands who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki while standing in this environment, filling your lungs with fresh air; difficult to imagine the sounds of the celebrations that ensued after receiving the news via telegram from Truman while you listen to the wind rustle through the trees. No one could hear the screams of burning children halfway across the world from all the way up here.

August 22, 2016 – Deseret News – For future nuclear electric power, small is the answer – Small modular nuclear reactors, combined with renewables, are the only opportunity we have to achieve such reductions in carbon emissions and control global warming. On the horizon are U.S.-designed small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) that range from 50 megawatts to 300 megawatts electrical power output. Like renewables (wind and solar), SMRs produce no air pollution or global warming gases, but SMRs are also capable of generating base load electrical power on demand. Almost 50 companies are creating designs for SMRs using 21st-century technology and enhanced features. These designs include modularity, efficient factory construction, rapid siting and exceptional safe operation. Very important is that SMRs are less expensive and easier and faster to site and build than conventional 1,200-megawatt nuclear plants. Reliance on renewables as now pursued by Germany has resulted in 37 cents per kilowatt-hour in U.S. dollars compared with France (75 percent nuclear base) at 17 cents per kilowatt-hour and Utah at 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

August 22, 2016 – SF Gate – Scientists to examine WWII carrier that survived nuclear tests – Scientists aboard an ocean research ship moored at the Embarcadero are preparing to probe the sunken remains of an American aircraft carrier that was blasted by atom bombs at Bikini during the first postwar tests of the nation’s nuclear firepower. Marine archaeologists and biologists aboard the E/V Nautilus — its initials stand for Exploration Vessel — said Thursday that they will use a remotely operated underwater vehicle to take the first new photographs of the Independence, the famed World War II aircraft carrier that survived the first Bikini atom bomb tests in the Pacific in 1946 and was later used to train sailors for radiation readiness at Hunters Point. The ship was finally sunk by the Navy in 1951 and now lies in 2,600 feet of water near the borders of the Monterey Bay and Greater Farallones national marine sanctuaries.

August 22, 2016 – KREM 2 – Legal papers depict Hanford managers eager to cut back on safety – Legal documents filed by the Washington state attorney general, the advocacy group Hanford challenge and the local 598 pipefitters union detail a trail of decisions by managers at Hanford that, according to the records, explain why a record number of workers have been exposed to suspected chemical vapors and are suffering adverse health effects from them in the last three months. The documents paint a picture of a government contractor eager to cut back on safety protections for the workforce, even during some of the most hazardous work conducted in years. Then, the attorney general and Hanford challenge contend managers didn’t respond accordingly, but instead looked the other way as workers began getting sick in record numbers.

August 22, 2016 – USNRC Press Release (08/19/16) – NRC Makes Yucca Mountain Hearing Documents Publicly Available – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made nearly 3.7 million documents from the adjudicatory hearing on the proposed nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain publicly available in the agency’s online documents database. The documents were formerly part of the Licensing Support Network (LSN) created to allow various parties and the public access to documents needed for the hearing on the Department of Energy’s request for a construction authorization for the repository. The NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards had admitted nearly 300 contentions from various parties challenging aspects of DOE’s application. The LSN was shut down when the hearing was suspended in September 2011 after Congress reduced funding.