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August 3, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 3rd, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 3, 2016 – Seaside Courier – Congressman Issa and others press DOE on nuclear waste disposal at San Onofre – Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) last weekend submitted comments to the Department of Energy asking for action on the nuclear waste at the decommissioning San Onofre nuclear plant and expressing the need for the department to develop and execute a plan for the storage of the nation’s nuclear waste, according to a press release from his office. Issa responded to the DOE’s invitation for public comment, submitting remarks on how the agency should proceed with a plan that would allow the 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste to be removed from the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS), the congressman’s office reported.

August 3, 2016 – Buffalo News – New York no longer needs energy from nuclear plants – New York State is a leader in the energy revolution and has made significant progress in advancing renewable energy to address the climate crisis. However, the recent proposal by the Public Service Commission on the Clean Energy Standard incorporates nuclear energy with an estimated $8 billion subsidy to the nuclear industry to keep uneconomical Ginna and FitzPatrick nuclear power plants open. New York Independent System Operator, the group responsible for meeting state energy needs, has publicly stated we do not need the energy from nuclear plants. Nuclear is also not clean: the extraction process produces over a billion pounds of radioactive mining waste per reactor each year! New York State plants use hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water daily, causing thermal and radioactive pollution.

August 3, 2016 – Santa Barbara Independent – Diablo Nuclear Plant Faces Threats and Threatens: Part I – The operator of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, PG&E, announced in June that it would close the plant by August 2025. Longtime activist Harvey Sherback wrote this letter, published in two parts and edited by The Santa Barbara Independent, to the state Public Utilities Commission prior to its vote regarding the decision. Part I follows. Open Letter to Michael Picker, president of California Public Utilities Commission; and PUC Members and Staff: The Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (DCNPP) is vulnerable and dangerous from within and without as well as from above and below. The environmental disasters that can be caused by Diablo are truly devastating. In this letter I list some of the many reasons why it’s imperative that we close down the DCNPP as soon as possible.

August 3, 2016 – Public News Service – TENORM in KY Landfills: Loopholes, Questionable Business Practices – Behind the low-level radioactive waste dumped in a Kentucky landfill are regulatory loopholes and questionable business practices, according to state and local documents. Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, obtained correspondence between Kentucky and West Virginia officials, and said it showed that regulators didn’t coordinate. In the confusion, he said, several firms run by the same person dumped “Technologically-Enhanced, Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials” from West Virginia and Ohio fracking operations into the Estill County landfill. One company, Advanced TENORM Services, came to light first. “The landfill records in Estill County, which showed a couple of other companies had shipped TENORM waste,” he said, “one being Nuverra, I believe, and another being a Cambrian Services.”

August 3, 2016 – DailyCommercialNews.com – Port Hope Sidebar: Safety first, say Canadian Nuclear Laboratories engineers – Construction of the Port Hope, Ont. long-term waste management facility (LTWMF) will follow tried and true waste-storage practices, albeit with special emphasis on worker and community safety given the nature of the waste, say engineers working on the project. A Port Hope Area Initiative official says numerous tests have shown that the health of Port Hope residents is as good as that of any other community but that protective measures are taken for workers at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories sites “because radiation exposure has the potential to cause a biological effect in living matter.” “This project is not all that unique,” said Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) manager of technical integration Walter van Veen. “These types of landfills, whether it is radioactive material or any type of waste, the types of technologies we are using are pretty common. “As an engineer, and all of the engineers on this project would agree, it is very important that we use reliable techniques. We don’t want to be out there half way and find out that, oh we thought this would work but it’s not working.”

August 3, 2016 – Mirror Daily – NASA’s NuSTAR Telescope Uses its X-Ray Vision on Andromeda – NASA’s NuSTAR telescope has just used its X-ray vision on Andromeda, the closest galaxy to the Milky Way, and the findings were surprising. The spectroscopy telescope discovered 40 X-ray binaries, i.e. highly-energetic pairs of a black hole or neutron star and a stellar neighbor. X-ray binaries are science-worthy because they are considered to be some of the most powerful sources of X-rays in the entire Universe. These objects are believed to release so much energy that they can heat up the interstellar clouds of gas and dust where galaxies form. Scientists have already obtained sharper images of Andromeda’s highly-energetic denizens via NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, but NuSTAR is currently the most accurate spectroscopy telescope the space agency has.

August 3, 2016 – PhysOrg – SLAC receives new mirrors for X-ray laser – Scientists are installing new mirrors to improve the quality of the X-ray laser beam at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The meter-long mirrors are the ultimate in flatness, smooth to within the height of one atom or one-fifth of a nanometer. If Earth had the same surface, the hills and valleys would only vary by the width of a pencil, says Daniele Cocco, engineering physicist and head of the optics group at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Right now, the mirrors are stored in a clean room to avoid dust and prevent damage. Cocco and other engineers only handle the mirrors while wearing gowns, hairnets, masks and gloves. They’re testing the mirrors to see how they will respond to heat and mechanical stress while the beam is running. Both cause tiny deformations on the surface, and even changes as small as half a nanometer can cause big problems.

August 3, 2016 – MNA – Tehran, Moscow mull over boosting nuclear ties – AEOI head and Rosatom’s deputy head have emphasized on expansion of ties to accelerate implementation of joint nuclear projects in Iran. Deputy Director General for International Affairs of Russia’s Rosatom Nikolai Spassky and his accompanying delegation met and talked with Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi today in Tehran. The Russian delegation also held a session with Behrouz Kamalvandi, Spokesperson of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). Both meetings emphasized close and friendly cooperation between the two countries in various areas of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

August 3, 2016 – Reuters – Japan agrees second reactor life extension since Fukushima – Japan’s nuclear regulator on Wednesday approved an application by Kansai Electric Power Co Inc to extend the life of an ageing reactor beyond 40 years, the second such approval it has granted under new safety requirements imposed since the Fukushima disaster. The move means Kansai Electric, Japan’s most nuclear-reliant utility before Fukushima led to the almost complete shutdown of Japan’s atomic industry, can keep No. 3 reactor at its Mihama plant operating until it is 60 years old. The regulator granted the first such approval in June to Kansai Electric’s ageing reactors No.1 and 2 at its Takahama plant.

August 3, 2016 – McKenzie County Farmer – County residents taking their concerns over radioactive waste to Bismarck – While driving her school bus, Cathy Omstead has seen blowing radon dust, she said. “I really believe that is one of the biggest problems with having the disposal right there, blowing across the land,” the Tri Township resident said of Indian Hills Disposal Solids Management’s landfill north of Alexander. Omstead lives near the landfill, a site designated for radioactive waste generated from North Dakota’s oilfields. Seven months ago, after state approval, the allowable level of radiation in disposal sites for technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material went from five to 50 picocuries. Omstead and other members of the Citizens Against Increased Radioactive Waste are planning a trip to Bismarck for a state health council meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the state capitol. Four or five people have confirmed they are going. The meeting is a do-over after the Attorney General’s office, Energy Industry Waste Coalition and Dakota Resource Council agreed that the council failed to provide adequate public notice of the meeting. A lawsuit is active against the health council for creating the waste program at the illegal meeting.

August 3, 2016 – The Republic of East Vancouver – Baby Radiation Pandawarmer Market Research Report Now Available at Research Corridor – Research Corridor has published a new research study titled “Baby Radiation Pandawarmer Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Forecast, 2015 – 2022”. The Baby Radiation Pandawarmer market report studies current as well as future aspects of the Baby Radiation Pandawarmer Market based upon factors such as market dynamics, key ongoing trends and segmentation analysis. Apart from the above elements, the Baby Radiation Pandawarmer Market research report provides a 360-degree view of the Baby Radiation Pandawarmer industry with geographic segmentation, statistical forecast and the competitive landscape.

August 3, 2016 – Thrasher Backer – Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv Market Research Report Now Available at Research Corridor – Research Corridor has published a new research study titled “Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Forecast, 2015 – 2022”. The Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv market report studies current as well as future aspects of the Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv Market based upon factors such as market dynamics, key ongoing trends and segmentation analysis. Apart from the above elements, the Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv Market research report provides a 360-degree view of the Radiation Induced Nausea Vomiting Rinv industry with geographic segmentation, statistical forecast and the competitive landscape.

August 3, 2016 – Daily Mail – Death rays from space: Bursts of energy from black holes could wipe out life on Earth WITHOUT warning – Releasing more energy in one second than the sun will in its entire ten-billion-year-lifetime, gamma ray bursts are some of the universe’s most powerful phenomena. The energy is released in a focused jet of electromagnetic waves, meaning they can travel billions of light years and still look bright to us on Earth. While all the bursts we see come from distant galaxies, there is a slight chance the same thing could happen much closer to home – and if it does, life on Earth will be wiped out without warning.

August 3, 2016 – The Japan Times – Yamaguchi Prefecture renews license for new nuclear plant project – The Yamaguchi Prefectural Government on Wednesday renewed a license for Chugoku Electric Power Co. to reclaim land for a new nuclear power plant in the western prefecture, surprising and angering local residents opposed to the project. Whether to extend the expired license for landfill work in the coastal town of Kaminoseki for the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Station had been a pending issue after the eruption of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011 led to the work being halted. The local government, however, decided to grant permission, saying that the plant is positioned “within the country’s energy policy.” Local opposition, however, is likely to prevent a quick restart of work by the utility.

August 3, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Poland announces intent to build nuclear plant – The Polish government is reviving plans to build a nuclear power plant in a bid to diversify its power mix away from coal. “Currently the ministry is preparing a plan to construct the first nuclear unit of around 1 GW, which will be built in the next 10 years,” the ministry said in a staPolish flagtement. “Modern and low-emission coal-fuelled power plants” will remain Poland’s major source of energy, the ministry also said. Poland, which generates most of its electricity from coal, initially launched the project in 2009 but it hit numerous delays due to falling power prices and Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, which drained public support.

August 3, 2016 – Tass – Ukraine transfers money for return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia – Ukraine has transferred the money for the return of spent nuclear fuel from its nuclear power plants to Russia, a source in the Russian nuclear power corporation Rosatom has said. “Ukraine has transferred an advance payment for the return of spent Russian nuclear fuel from its NPPs for recycling,” the source said. Asked about the price, the source said that it matched the world level. He added that similar services were being provided not only by Russian companies, but also by their European counterparts. The first shipment to return Russia’s spent nuclear fuel from Ukraine is expected by the end of summer 2016, the source said.

August 3, 2016 – Environmental Leader – China’s Research Into Thorium Will Have Implications for Nuclear Energy In the United States – Nuclear energy may have hit a rough patch here in the United States but at least overseas and especially in Asia, it is revving up and preparing to go faster than ever before. What’s less known, however, is just what type of nuclear reactors for which China has plans: molten salt reactors that run on thorium. On the periodic tables, thorium rests just two spots away from uranium, which is the prevailing fuel used by today’s nuclear reactors. Once uranium is used as a fuel, it becomes highly radioactive. That waste is then cooled in spent fuel pools before is stored in above-ground, concrete-encased steel caskets. As the world learned from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident, that radioactive material could escape and do a lot of potential harm.

August 3, 2016 – RT – Files linking Britain to Israel’s nuclear weapons go missing from National Archive – Official documents on Britain’s relationship with Israel, including papers on “military and nuclear collaboration” in the 1970s, have disappeared from the National Archives in the last four years. More than 400 records have gone missing from the repository in Kew, southwest London, including a 1947 letter from Winston Churchill and a Home Office document on the 1910 Suffragettes “disturbances.” The Archives reassured the public it is following a “robust” plan to find the lost files. The loss of the documents was uncovered following a BBC freedom of information (FoI) request, which found the last recorded knowledge of the 402 historical dossiers was January 2012. Among them is a Foreign Office file titled ‘Military and nuclear collaboration with Israel: Israeli nuclear armament,’ in which the British government notes Israel’s intention to purchase nuclear weapons.

August 3, 2016 – Metro.us – New York-based clothing company uses fashion to show the filth in the air – These shirts make an environmental fashion statement by reacting to air pollution. A smart clothing line, made by Aerochromics, detects either particle pollution, carbon monoxide or radioactivity. The shirts are fitted with sensors, which activate heat pads to turn the pattern on the shirt from black to white when pollution reaches 60 on the Air Quality Index (AQI). Designer Nikolas Bentel explains how his range of clothing will help save the planet. How did you come up with Aerochromics? I came up with the idea while working in my studio one late night. The main idea was to better equip the public against pollution. Is it really necessary? Pollution does not discriminate against the place it will land or who the person is nearby. Many people do not realize how much pollution is nearby. How do Aerochromics work? These shirts monitor three types of pollution: carbon monoxide, particle pollution and radioactivity. As the user walks into these pollutants, the shirt will change color, thus warning the user of the potential danger they are in.

August 3, 2016 – Union of Concerned Scientists – You Might be Operating an Unsafe Reactor If… – There are currently two empty positions on the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). If comedian Jeff Foxworthy were nominated and confirmed to become a Commissioner, you wonder how he would finish the nuclear safety equivalent of his “redneck” routine? You might be operating an unsafe reactor if … This Ending Intentionally Blank The NRC, at least during the last decade of the 20th century and so far in this 21st century, has never seen an unsafe reactor. Not once. The NRC often claims they would shut down an unsafe reactor. Perhaps they would. But they’ve not spotted an unsafe reactor in nearly three decades. They suspected they saw an unsafe reactor about 15 years ago, but changed their mind(s).

August 3, 2016 – Time Warner Cable News – Assemblywoman: Nuclear Isn’t Truly Clean, Safe or Renewable Energy – The Public Service Commission’s decision on clean energy is not sitting well with some state leaders. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton had written letters to the governor over the past few weeks calling for a move away from nuclear and natural gas infrastructure. She says over the whole life-cycle, nuclear power is not truly clean, safe or renewable energy. That, combined with the recent purchase of the coal-burning Cayuga Power Plant in Lansing, has Lifton worried that there’s not enough commitment toward clean energy. While some are concerned about job loss, Lifton says moving toward green and renewable energy will enable job growth.

August 3, 2016 – Public Citizen – Aging New York Nuclear Plants Do Not Deserve Ratepayer-Funded Handouts – On July 22, Public Citizen filed to become a legal intervenor in a New York state Public Service Commission (PSC) proceeding and filed comments (PDF) opposing the commission’s proposal to provide billions in new, ratepayer-funded subsidies to two corporations that operate an aging fleet of nuclear power plants in the state. Today, the PSC ruled against Public Citizen’s motion. As we stated in our July 22 filing, the zero emission credit (ZEC) is an inappropriate, expensive and unnecessary giveaway to the corporations that own the state’s old nuclear power plants. PSC staff proposed this new ZEC as a subsidy to support some of the state’s old, uneconomic nuclear power plants. Under the state’s deregulation experiment, the out-of-state owners of these power plants earned windfall profits for years when the market was conducive for it. Now that the market has soured for these inefficient facilities, it should be shareholders – not ratepayers – who chip in for clean, affordable and reliable energy.

August 3, 2016 – CNY Central – State approves Clean Energy Standard, bringing more hope for Oswego Co. Nuclear plants – New York State’s Public Service Commission has voted to adopt a plan which makes the future of two nuclear power plants in Oswego County much more optimistic. The commission voted to adopt the New York State Clean Energy Standard, and in doing so outlined a plan to bring the state’s usage of clean energy up to 50-percent by 2030. With that plan also comes incentives for clean energy producers to keep operating or start new endeavors. Members of the commission cited benefits to the environment and keeping jobs as primary reasons to adopt the standard.

August 3, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Exelon, Entergy Nuclear Reactors Win Subsidies From New York – Exelon Corp. and Entergy Corp. have won subsidies totaling about $500 million a year for their money-losing nuclear reactors in New York, the first state to throw such a lifeline to an industry struggling with weak demand and low prices. The state Public Service Commission voted for the funding on Monday as part of a broader plan to spur the development of clean energy. Exelon Corp. said following the decision that it would invest about $200 million in two nuclear plants next year and continue discussions to buy a third from Entergy that is slated to close.
“We’ll immediately invest hundreds of millions of dollars right back into the upstate economy, which will have a long-term positive impact across the state,” Exelon Chief Executive Officer Chris Crane said in a statement.

August 3, 2016 – NJ.com – N.J. reactor back in service after damaged bolts in reactor core replaced – The Salem 1 nuclear plant is back in service after an extended shutdown prompted by the need to replace damaged bolts inside the reactor core, officials said. The reactor began sending out electricity over the regional power grid at 10:26 p.m. Saturday, according to Joe Delmar, spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear. Salem 2 was taken off-line April 14 for what was expected to be a routine refueling outage lasting about a month, but inspectors found some of the bolts securing the metal liner inside the reactor core — known as baffle bolts — were degraded. In total, 189 of the 832 baffle bolts were replaced, according to PSEG Nuclear and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission which oversees the operation of the nation’s nuclear plants.

August 3, 2016 – Aiken Standard – SRS column displayed a fundamental misunderstanding – Five years ago, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Japanese coast triggered a massive tsunami, killing 15,000 people, destroying entire towns, and flooding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The plant’s safety systems catastrophically failed to withstand the tsunami impacts. The ensuing massive radiation release compelled the authorities to evacuate hundreds of thousands of its citizens. Today most evacuees remain in internal exile, their homeland still too contaminated to return. Neither the 2011 earthquake nor the tsunami were deemed “credible” hypothetical events by the plant designers or its government regulators. They declined to act when faced with scientific and historical evidence and warnings to the contrary.

August 3, 2016 – Nuclear Street – Georgia Power Can Spend $99 Million To Develop New Nuclear Plant – Georgia Power has been granted permission from the state’s pubic service commission to spend as much as $99 million on preliminary site work and licensing for a nuclear power plant in the southwest corner of the state. Georgia PowerCommissioner Stan Wise, who made the motion on behalf of the company, said it made sense to take a pro-active approach to nuclear plant development, as the early site work and licensing alone could take up to seven years. “I refuse to sit on my hands and defer a motion to a future commission,” Wise said.

August 2, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – Omaha VA hospital is officially out of the nuke business; secret reactor had run in the basement for 42 years – Nearly six decades after entering the atomic age with its small-scale research reactor, the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System is now officially out of the nuclear business. Effective Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission terminated the operating license for the Alan J. Blotcky Reactor Facility, which had run in the basement of Omaha’s VA Medical Center for 42 years. From 1959 until 2001, VA researchers used the reactor primarily for neutron activation of biological samples. It also was used to train operators of the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant. In Omaha, few people even knew it was there.

August 3, 2016 – Public Citizen – Lack of Trust – and a Proposed Dump in Texas – Threaten the U.S. Department of Energy’s Attempt to Restart the Federal High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Program – As it decides what constitutes community consent to a nuclear waste dump, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should acknowledge its past mistakes, be responsive to public input and disavow attempts by the private sector to site a nuclear waste storage facility in Texas, Public Citizen has told the agency. Public Citizen submitted its comments (PDF) on Sunday in response to the agency’s invitation for public input on how it should go about establishing sites for high-level nuclear waste facilities. Over the past six months, the department has been holding public hearings across the country to solicit public input on and move forward consent-based siting, a new approach to siting nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities.

August 3, 2016 – Los Alamos Daily Post – WIPP Begins Preliminary Work On New Permanent Ventilation System – Preliminary work has begun to determine the feasibility of constructing a new Permanent Ventilation System (PVS) that will include a new filter building and a new exhaust shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Activities include drilling multiple boreholes and the collection of core samples at various depths. Data collected from the drilling/coring activity will provide information for the building design team on geologic support capacity, seismic design parameters and building foundation design requirements. The design for the new PVS will include a new unfiltered exhaust shaft and a 55,000-square-foot ventilation building installed east of the existing ventilation system.

August 3, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – Fire near Hanford much larger than thought; wind a concern – The estimated size of the fire that burned through Yakima and Benton counties toward the Hanford nuclear reservation has more than doubled to 273 square miles. The fire spread little on Monday, and the perimeter also held steady through Tuesday afternoon, according to the Northwest Incident Management Team assigned to the Range 12 Fire. But once the smoke cleared enough for a helicopter to fly the perimeter of the fire with a global positioning system, a better estimate of the size of the fire was made. Fire officials increased the estimate from 110 square miles to 273 square miles late Monday.