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August 4, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 4th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 4, 2016 – Texas Tribune – In Dirty Bomb Prevention, Texas Fails a Crucial Test – Large quantities of radioactive materials stored in a single location, like these at an oil well-logging storage site, are particularly vulnerable to theft for use in a dirty bomb, the Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office determined in 2014, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still allows the practice. The clandestine group’s goal was clear: Obtain the building blocks of a radioactive “dirty bomb” — capable of poisoning a major city for a year or more — by openly purchasing the raw ingredients from authorized sellers inside the United States. It should have been hard. The purchase of lethal radioactive materials — even modestly dangerous ones — requires a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a measure meant to keep them away from terrorists. Applicants must demonstrate they have a legitimate need and understand the NRC’s safety standards, and pass an on-site inspection of their equipment and storage. But this secret group of fewer than 10 people — formed in April 2014 in North Dakota, Texas and Michigan — discovered that getting a license and then ordering enough materials to make a dirty bomb was strikingly simple in one of their three tries. Sellers were preparing shipments that together were enough to poison a city center when the operation was shut down.

August 4, 2016 – Ecologist – Uranium from Russia, with love – Uranium mining is a dirty business that we didn’t clean up but sourced out to less developed countries, so why isn’t this being discussed in any debate about nuclear energy. Our EU and US based nuclear power is currently coming at the cost of poisoning people in Africa. But it begs the question: are we ready to face that reality? Amidst all the fuss about Hinkley C and other planned nuclear power plants in the EU and US, does anyone knows where the stuff that keeps these reactors buzzing comes from? Here’s a fun fact: no other country supplies so much uranium to the EU than … Russia. Putin has more than the gas valve if he wants to play games with Europe. And the degree to which the US has become dependent on non-stable foreign sources of uranium is also unprecedented.

August 4, 2016 – The Press – York scientist working on decommissioning of Chernobyl nuclear power plant – A SCIENTIST from York has returned from a visit to Chernobyl nuclear power plant – where it is hoped he will be able to assist with the decommissioning of the radioactive site. Adam Fisher, 30, was among a team invited to the site of the worst ever nuclear power plant accident, to see the progress made in decommissioning the site. Their focus is the lava-like substance created as the reactor core melted into the surrounding structural material. As a PhD student specialising in material science, and specifically nuclear waste, it is hoped Adam and the team from the University of Sheffield will be able to assist in safely decommissioning, and ultimately disposing of, the radioactive material.

August 4, 2016 – Oak Ridge Today – Demolition work on K-27, last of big 5 uranium-enrichment buildings, to be complete this month – Demolition work should be complete this month on K-27, the last of the big five buildings once used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons and commercial nuclear power plants at the former K-25 site in west Oak Ridge, officials said last week. Demolition work started on K-27 in February. Like the other four buildings that have already been demolished, the four-story, 383,000-square-foot K-27 building once used a process known as gaseous diffusion to enrich uranium. The demolition is part of Vision 2016. That’s the plan by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management, or EM, to remove all five gaseous diffusion buildings from the site by the end of the year.

August 4, 2016 – newschannel10.com – Activists to march in Los Alamos on Hiroshima anniversary – Dozens of peace activists are expected to participate in march in Los Alamos around the 71th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. The Los Alamos Monitor reports (http://goo.gl/NI3GJi) anti-nuclear activist Rev. John Dear will lead a match Saturday to the boundaries of Los Alamos National Laboratory and then to Ashley Pond Park to meditate and pray. Dear says Los Alamos National Laboratory and its employees must repent for participating in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. During the World War II-era Manhattan Project, scientists at the then-secret city of Los Alamos developed the weapon dropped on the Japanese cities.

August 4, 2016 – Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly – Cameco’s Yeelirrie project faces environmental hurdle – The Western Australia (WA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that Cameco’s Yeelirrie uranium project does not meet one of nine key environmental factors examined. Cameco is proposing to mine up to 7 500 t/y of uranium oxide concentrate from the Yeelirrie deposit, which is located about 420 km north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and 70 km south west of Wiluna. The EPA on Thursday said the company did not meet the Subterranean Fauna factor in its environmental objectives, as the proposal would threaten the viability of some species of animals that live below ground, in particular stygofauna. “The stygofauna habitat at Yeelirrie is particularly rich, with 73 species recorded – more than anywhere else in the northern goldfields,” EPA chairperson Dr Tom Hatton said.

August 4, 2016 – OncLive – Dr. Luke Nordquist on Radium-223 Retreatment – Luke Nordquist, MD, FACP, a urologic medical oncologist and CEO of the Urology Cancer Center and GU Research Network, discusses a multicenter, prospective study of radium-223 retreatment in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). There were many questions that remained unanswered after the ALSYMPCA study, which led to the approval of radium-223, said Nordquist. One area where uncertainty remains is proper dosing. While this drug is approved at 50 kBq/kg monthly for 6 months in mCRPC, a higher dose may have more benefit. To investigate this, a study was conduced with 44 patients who had mCRPC. The patients received up to an additional 6 doses of radium-223 after the original 6. The primary endpoint of the study was safety, but there were exploratory endpoints with radiographic progression and progression-free survival looking at PSA.

August 4, 2016 – The Republic of East Vancouver – Nuclear Response Robots Market Research Report Now Available at Research Corridor – Research Corridor has published a new research study titled “Nuclear Response Robots Market – Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis and Forecast, 2015 – 2022”. The Nuclear Response Robots market report studies current as well as future aspects of the Nuclear Response Robots Market based upon factors such as market dynamics, key ongoing trends and segmentation analysis. Apart from the above elements, the Nuclear Response Robots Market research report provides a 360-degree view of the Nuclear Response Robots industry with geographic segmentation, statistical forecast and the competitive landscape.

August 4, 2016 – Financial Express – Supply of nuclear reactors to Pakistan under NSG norms: China – Defending its nuclear cooperation with its close ally Pakistan, China on Thursday said its supply of reactors to Islamabad were in accordance with the principles of NSG and under the supervision of UN’s nuclear watchdog. Refuting a U.S. think tank report which said that China’s nuclear cooperation with Pakistan was in contravention with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) principles, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying said China—Pakistan cooperation is in accordance with the 48-member nuclear club, which supervises global nuclear commerce. “China has stated on many occasions that the cooperation between China and Pakistan in the civil nuclear energy sector is completely for peaceful purpose,” Hua said.

August 4, 2016 – Power-Technology.com – UK’s NuGen contracts Amec Foster Wheeler for Moorside nuclear project – British engineering company Amec Foster Wheeler has secured a continuation of contract from UK-based NuGeneration (NuGen) to offer environmental support for the proposed nuclear power station at Moorside in Cumbria. Once completed, the Moorside power station will be the largest nuclear project in the UK and will have the capacity to generate up to 3.8GW of power.

August 4, 2016 – Motherboard – Is China’s Role in a UK Nuclear Plant Really a Cybersecurity Risk? – Last week, the UK delayed plans to build the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, which would have been the first nuclear plant to be built in the UK in 20 years. While the government did not give a specific reason for the hold-up, one reason suggested is that it has reservations over China’s role in the construction. The state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation has agreed to a 33 percent stake in the project, and some suggest that the new British government may be concerned about the cybersecurity of the plant. Nick Timothy, Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff, has previously said that experts think the Chinese government could use its involvement to introduce vulnerabilities into systems, which would allow it to tamper with Britain’s energy production in the future. But is this something we really need to worry about? In conversations with Motherboard, researchers and those who work on on critical infrastructure were divided over whether Chinese financing of Hinkley Point is a legitimate concern or not.

August 4, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Alstom Power wins turbine generator order for Finnish nuclear plant – Alstom Power Systems, part of GE, will deliver a turbine generator set for Fennovoima’s Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant in Finland. The contract covers the design and supply of the turbine generator equipment package as well as advisory services for installation and commissioning works. The set will be based on Alstom Arabelle technology and the design work will start immediately. The delivery and installation schedule will allow the commissioning of the power plant to begin in 2023 and commercial operation in 2024.

August 4, 2016 – Russia & India Report – Russia, Bolivia sign first contracts on nuclear research center project – Russia’s nuclear power corporation Rosatom and the Bolivian Atomic Energy Agency (ABEN) have signed first commercial contracts on the project of construction of a center for nuclear research and technologies in Bolivia, Rosatom reported Thursday. ABEN signed two contracts – with Rosatom’s engineering subsidiary Atomstroyexport on preliminary engineering surveys regarding the construction of the center, and with Rusatom Service on estimation of the state of Bolivia’s national nuclear infrastructure, the report said.

August 4, 2016 – Interfax-Ukraine – Ukraine agrees construction of nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine with Westinghouse – Ukraine has agreed an increase in supplies of nuclear fuel with Westinghouse and building a nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine in the future to avoid dependence on Russia, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk has said. “We agreed to diversify supplies for almost half of nuclear reactors and to build a nuclear fuel plant on the territory of Ukraine,” he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

July 4, 2016 – Raw Story – Can environmentalists learn to love – or just tolerate – nuclear power? – In June, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric announced plans for phasing out its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, located on the central California coast. If the current timetable holds, late summer 2025 will see the first time in over six decades that the nation’s most populous state will have no licensed nuclear power providers. This is big news. Forty years ago, Diablo Canyon stood at the middle of an intense controversy over the safety and desirability of nuclear power. Those debates stand as part of the origin story of the anti-nuclear movement; failure to stop the plant from coming online educated and galvanized a generation of anti-nuclear activists. From this perspective, Pacific Gas and Electric’s decision to replace nuclear output with renewable energy seems to be an environmental victory, a belated vindication of the anti-nuclear efforts of the 1970s. But in the era of climate change, no decision regarding energy production is simple. California’s move away from nuclear power comes alongside a modest reappraisal of a technology that was once vilified by the vast majority of environmentalists. James Hansen, the scientist whose 1988 testimony before Congress provided climate change with much-needed visibility and political salience, has become one of a number of prominent environmentalists to support nuclear power.

August 4, 2016 – CBS Denver – Water Treatment Plant Worker With Cancer Calls Health Department Letter ‘Smoking Gun’ – Neighbors near the Charles Allen Water Filtration Plant in Englewood are telling city officials they are concerned that three workers there have died of cancer. The neighbors want to be absolutely sure there is nothing that is affecting their health. The water treated at the plant for drinking leaves a waste referred to as sludge. Some who work there and families of those who died believe it may have been responsible for causing the cancer. After CBS4’s first report, the city took action, but the controversy is not over. While much of the sludge has been removed after the first CBS4 report, still more remains, as do the concerns of those who live nearby. Neighbors have obtained a 2012 state health department letter to the city that indicated the radiation then was actually much higher than the city had stated.

August 4, 2016 – IEER Press Release – Comments on the “Design of a Consent-Based Siting Process for Nuclear Waste and Disposal Storage Facilities” – “Consent” in a democracy must always be informed consent. As the Nuclear Energy Information Service noted in its comments: INFORMED CONSENT (legal definition) is: Assent to permit an occurrence that is based on a complete disclosure of facts needed to make the decision intelligently, such as knowledge of the risks entailed or alternatives. Informed consent is all the more necessary in regard to an issue as fraught as nuclear waste, including spent fuel (which contains the vast majority of radioactivity in all nuclear waste). An experiment with a drug requires informed consent, for instance. What should be the standard of informed consent in regard to matters involving security for eons (given the plutonium-239 content of spent fuel) and involving health risks for even longer, given that the half-lives of some fission products, like iodine-129 and cesium-135 are in the millions of years? Informed consent can never be in the abstract: it is the obligation of the DOE to inform the public exactly what is involved. The DOE has fallen very far short of what is needed in its discussion of “Integrated Waste Management”. Since the DOE is seeking comment on what a “consent-based siting process” should consist of, IEER is setting forth some minimal requirements.

August 4, 2016 – Ecologist – US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s ‘enforcement’ is as fierce as the comfy chair – The NRC routinely fails to enforce its own safety codes at nuclear power plants, writes Linda Pentz Gunter – putting all of us at risk from accidents. It’s the US’s most extreme example of regulatory capture, rivalling Japan’s ‘nuclear village’ of crony agencies and feeble regulation that led to the Fukushima disaster. How long can it be before the US experiences another nuclear catastrophe? The nuclear industry has consistently challenged the NRC’s safety compliance orders to avoid the expense, putting profit well ahead of safety. The NRC has consistently and obligingly capitulated, even when the risk itself is identified as a top priority. Fetch the comfy chair! The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is in town to enforce its own safety regulations at your local nuclear power plant. Reactor owners have been duly warned. Comply or else … Or else what? Three more last chances? No, unlike Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition, the NRC isn’t bothering to read the charges. It’s handing out immunity.

August 4, 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 4, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Exelon Losing in its Own Backyard as New York Rescues Nukes – In the end, the fate of Exelon Corp.’s money-losing reactors in Illinois and New York may have come down to one governor who desperately wanted to rescue them and another who wasn’t so sure. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo laid down his marker in December when he told the chairman of the state’s utility regulator that losing two upstate nuclear plants would gut a plan to cut global warming pollution and cost jobs. On Monday, the state agreed to a bailout and within hours, Exelon said it would invest $200 million in the two plants. While Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner also worried about job losses, he said any rescue plan must protect ratepayers and taxpayers and that corporate bailouts raise red flags. In June, Chicago-based Exelon said it would close two Illinois plants after the state legislature balked at a measure to stem their financial losses.

August 4, 2016 – Business Wire – NuScale Power Hosts Advisory Board Meeting In Charlotte – 16 representatives from 13 utilities met with NuScale Power in Charlotte, N.C. last week for the small modular reactor developer’s tri-annual NuScale Advisory Board (NuAB) meeting. NuAB is currently comprised of 26 member companies including the owners and operators of nearly two-thirds of the U.S. operating fleet of commercial nuclear power plants. Highlights of the meeting included updates on the Design Certification Application (DCA) Project, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) Carbon-Free Power Project (CFPP) 12-month plan, and the NuScale Power Module (NPM) manufacturability activities.

August 4, 2016 – The Chattanoogan – Alexander Urges EPA To Ditch Proposal To Offer New Incentives To Big Wind – Senator Lamar Alexander on Monday urged the administration to reconsider a proposal to provide new incentives to wind power producers who are already benefiting from the 24-year-old wind production tax credit. Senator Alexander also pointed out that the proposal fails to provide any incentive for nuclear energy – this country’s largest source of clean electricity. “Wind developers have been getting rich on the backs of taxpayers and the wind production tax credit for over two decades, and there is no reason they should receive additional incentives to build unreliable and unsightly wind turbines,” Senator Alexander wrote in a letter to Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, urging against the program’s proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program.

August 4, 2016 – Ripon Advance – Issa presses Department of Energy for long-term nuclear waste storage solution – U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) pushed on Monday for a nationwide nuclear waste storage plan and for the removal of nuclear waste from the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS). Issa highlighted the “urgent need our nation has for the department to develop and execute a national plan to store waste” in comments submitted to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on consent-based siting processes for nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. “A 2011 Government Accountability Office report estimated over $15 billion has already been spent toward the development of a nuclear waste repository,” Issa wrote. “The department estimates an additional $11 billion will be spent. Yet, the permanent designated site of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is nowhere near opening while the nation maintains thousands of pounds of radioactive nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) scattered throughout the country.”

August 4, 2016 – Albuquerque Business First- Sandia Labs moving forward on new ‘front door’ for the public – If you’ve ever visited any part of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, you’ll probably recall having to sign in and get a badge. That could soon change as Sandia moves forward with plans for its Center for Collaboration & Commercialization (C3). The center was originally announced in 2014 as a way to connect lab research and intellectual property to the city’s growing innovation district and Innovate ABQ complex located near Downtown. Jackie Kerby Moore, executive director for the Sandia Science & Technology Park and manager of economic development at the lab, says tech transfer is a mission imperative, and the new center is critical to its plans.