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October 27, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 27th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 27, 2016 – The Star – Future of MOX cautiously optimistic – Last month, Russia’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. left the future of South Carolina’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility hanging in the balance. But experts say the future of the beleaguered facility at the Savannah River Site remains cautiously optimistic. U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council’s David Blee said it’s important to look at several factors surrounding the PMDA suspension. “It’s important to recognize that Russia suspended the PMDA and did not terminate the agreement, that’s an important distinction,” he said.

October 27, 2016 – Archinect.com – Ornament and Extinction in the Nuclear Era – In 1981, a group of experts from various fields—from architecture to geology to semiotics—convened to work on what is likely the most difficult and important prompt ever assigned: design the façade of a massive complex intended to house the largest stockpile of nuclear waste in the world. Rather than face a street, this façade would point towards the sky: the sole visible element of building extending deep into the ground. No mere plasterwork would do; rather, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions years, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions yearswhich is much longer than any work of architecture has ever lasted. And while most façades are designed to be inviting, the primary program for the marker system of the Yucca Mountain repository of nuclear waste was to keep people away. Since becoming the first and only country to ever unleash on other humans the force of a neutron split in two, the United States has steadily accumulated enough nuclear waste to existentially threaten life on the planet—with nowhere to safely contain it. Up until very recently, the US government was proceeding with plans to build its first long-term storage site for the waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The building complex itself—a giant artificial cavern hollowed out of the low-slung mountain—would eventually be filled in by 108,000 regular shipments of spent nuclear waste. This would take forty years, and each shipment would carry 1,000 pounds of radioactive material while passing through nearly every state. Then the whole thing would be capped with concrete.

October 27, 2016 – Northumberland Today – Court costs to be paid in Trust Fund case – Everyone in Port Hope is paying for the ongoing court action over the Federal Government Trust Fund money paid to the former Hope Township (Ward 2) to host historic, low-level, radioactive waste, says a local citizens’ group. Port Hope taxpayers in both Ward 1 (the urban area before the amalgamation in 2001) and rural Ward 2 area, as well as the Trust Fund itself, have all been ordered by the court to pay costs related to court action which found the Municipality of Port Hope misspent part of the multi-million dollar Trust Fund set up by the former Hope Township. In a decision issued Oct. 21, Mr. Justice J.R. McCarthy ordered that the former Hope Township Mayor (now Ward 2) Ian Angus,who brought the court action with the late Dean Ross, be paid almost $90,000 in court costs.

October 27, 2016 – Jalopnik – Nuclear Waste Travels With One Heck Of An Entourage – Do you compost? Rinse and separate your recycling? Yeah, getting rid of garbage is a pain. Unless your garbage is nuclear waste. Getting rid of that is apparently a production of epic proportions. YouTuber Robert Fullone couldn’t help but notice this colossal convoy and posse of dudes in orange vests taking up both lanes of his street, so he was kind enough to give the internet a little tour of what he says is a nuclear waste disposal outfit working out of “West Valley,” which I assume is referring to West Valley Nuclear Services near Buffalo, New York. After nuclear fuel has spent years in a reactor generating heat which becomes electricity, it ends up being “spent” and no longer yields power but remains very hot and radioactive. At that point it gets put into a cask like the one in this video and eventually buried at a designated dumping facility somewhere around the country.

October 27, 2016 – Times Argus – NRC gives Entergy good grades – Federal inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Entergy Nuclear good grades for its handling of the radioactive water that continues to seep into a below-grade building during the early stages of the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. There were no safety findings included in the quarter inspection report, which was released Monday by the NRC. The report states that Entergy’s handling of the slightly radioactive water, which is classified as low-level radioactive waste, was satisfactory. All other areas reviewed by the NRC inspectors, which included an inspection of the spent-fuel pool, were given approval.

October 27, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – FBG sensor improves brachytherapy accuracy – A new needle-tracking device for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has been developed by researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht. Compared with MRI-based tracking, the novel device – which uses fibre Bragg grating sensors – offers the potential for both improved accuracy and precision, as well as a lower latency and higher update rate (Med. Phys. 43 5288). Used in the treatment of cancers including breast, prostate and skin cancer, HDR brachytherapy uses small radioactive sources that are temporarily delivered to treatment sites through small needles or catheters inserted directly into, or nearby, target tumours. To optimize dose distributions, needle positions and exposure times are carefully selected before treatment, but such dose plans may be disrupted by both needle positioning errors and patient movements and/or anatomical changes.

October 27, 2016 – Herald Sun – Australia to play role in $19 billion new clean energy bid – AUSTRALIAN scientists looking for the “holy grail” of clean energy production will design vital components for a $19 billion fusion energy generator in France that seeks to mimic the sun’s power on Earth. The ITER Tokamak project in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, the world’s largest science-­engineering project, will try to generate temperatures of 150 million Celsius, 10 times the core temperature of the sun, to test the viability of large-scale fusion generation as a clean energy source. “Fusion is the holy grail for energy production and, if achieved at a large scale, would answer some of the world’s most pressing questions relating to sustainability, climate change and security,” Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation CEO Dr Adi Paterson said.

October 27, 2016 – Indian Express – Spooky! There’s a reason why the phone no 0888 888 888 has been suspended — all its users are dead – As you may know, there are a lot of hotels which do not have floor number 13 or even a room number 13 because it’s considered haunted and inauspicious. Similarly, a Bulgarian number has been suspended forever after the company observed a pattern. A pattern where all its owners died. The jinxed phone number is 0888 888 888. The first owner of the number was the CEO of the issuing company Mobitel himself, Vladimir Grashnov. Reportedly, he died of cancer in 2001. According to Mail Online, his cancer was rumoured to have been caused by a ‘business rival using radioactive poisoning’.

October 27, 2016 – Digital Journal – Portable X-Ray And CT Scan Devices Market to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020 – According to a new study by Hexa Research, the global Portable X-Ray and CT Scan Devices Market will grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020. The demand will be driven by growing cases of accidents and health conditions necessitating orthopedic, cardiovascular or brain-related investigation.

October 27, 2016 – The Standard – Nuclear terror as 12 schools evacuated over lump of radioactive uranium found in science class – Twelve schools have been evacuated after a lump of uranium was found in a science classroom sparking nuclear terror. The discovery was made when antinuclear campaigner Thomas Neff was giving a lecture to pupils about an old wristwatch from the 1960s with a radium dial. The numerals on the watch contain the material to help them to glow in the dark and were created when little was known about the damage caused by radiation. But as he passed a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils that were on display in the classroom, Neff’s Geiger counter almost “exploded”. The class was evacuated and experts called in and discovered that one of the rocks was a uranium rock.

October 27, 2016 – Indaily.com.au – Olympic Dam an “excellent” nuke storage site, inquiry told – Geologist and academic Victor Gostin, an honorary visiting research fellow at Adelaide University, gave evidence yesterday to a parliamentary committee examining the findings of the Scarce Royal Commission, which recommended the swift establishment of a high-level nuclear waste repository. Gostin noted it was a geological professional “consensus” that the Stuart Shelf region, including Olympic Dam, was an ideal place for such a facility to be based. “When it comes to the deep geological site… [Olympic Dam is] the site that I would imagine would be an excellent site,” he said.

October 27, 2016 – PhysOrg – Robots help position interventional needles – Finding the ideal position for interventional needles – as used in biopsies, for instance – is a difficult and time-consuming process. This can now be performed automatically, using a robotic arm to place a needle guide for the doctor at the optimal insertion point. With robotic assistance, doctors need five minutes to position the needle, as opposed to 30 minutes with conventional techniques. The solution will be shown at the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf from November 14 to 17, 2016 (Hall 10, Booth G05). An ultrasound shows a shadow on the liver – but is it a tumor? Often, the only way to conclusively answer this question is to perform a biopsy, a procedure in which a doctor uses a long needle to remove a piece of the suspected tissue to be sent to a laboratory for testing. However, placing the biopsy needle with precision is far from easy. On one hand, the doctor needs to be sure of reaching the suspected tissue – and not healthy tissue just millimeters to the side. On the other hand, the needle must not damage veins, nerve pathways, and organs such as the lungs, and cannot penetrate bony structures such as ribs. To obtain an overview, doctors begin by performing a com- puted tomography scan, which they use to maneuver the needle to the correct posi- tion. The same challenges arise in treatments that use needles to direct heating, cooling, or high-energy beams into the cancerous tissue, thereby destroying the tumor.

October 27, 2016 – Space.com – Dusty with a Chance of Radiation: Mars Weather Forecasting Will Be Critical – Weather on Earth is often a hazard for travelers; after all, snowstorms, hurricanes, floods and other events can make it dangerous to drive or fly. Space travelers have a similar problem when dealing with space weather. As NASA plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, work is underway to study how the space weather environment will impact their journey. Explosive “storms” that erupt from the surface of the sun regularly create showers of harmful radiation. Part of NASA’s plan for a trip to the Red Planet will have to include space weather forecasting, monitoring and safety measures.

October 27, 2016 – Russia & India Report – Russia plans to test elements of new nuclear engine on ISS – Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has announced a tender for developing proposals on testing key elements of a megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system, including aboard the International Space Station (ISS), according to the tender documentation posted on the state procurement website on Thursday. Specifically, Roscosmos expects to receive “proposals on the rational structure of key elements, systems and items of a perspective nuclear propulsion unit intended for tests in outer space, including with the use of the ISS’ Russian segment.

October 27, 2016 – Forbes – Texting While Driving Is Scary, Radiation Should Not Be – The public may not be the best judge of risk. If you ask someone what they are afraid of, they will say many things that are generally not dangerous, like radiation, fluoridated water, or vaccinations. We are only just beginning to realize that texting while driving is really a big problem, or that overuse of opioid medications are leading to a national epidemic of heroine deaths. And these two only because of a flood of advertisements and documentaries on the subjects. This is an important issue. Without understanding what real risks are, well-intentioned policies can backfire, and the real risks can go unaddressed. This is no better illustrated than in the present presidential campaign where unfounded fear and misinformation have played such a large role. An obvious example is the fear of radiation and nuclear power. This fear has jeopardized our choices to address climate change, has hurt the nuclear industry, and caused us to unnecessarily spend billions of dollars protecting against radiation at levels that are quite safe.

October 27, 2016 – Daily Star – ‘Putin testing weapons?’ Flaming green ‘meteorite’ spotted hurtling over Russia – The clip shows the eerie object hurtling over stunned motorists before landing with a huge flash. It appears to explode multiple times as it enters the planet’s atmosphere. Witnesses say it crashed to the ground near Siberia’s Lake Baikal. One social media user wrote: “The meteorite must be made up of a lot of iron and chrome. “That would be why it looked so green.” “I’m calling Putin is testing weapons on this one” The meteorite made no noise at all as it landed and the spooky silence led some to fear it was a new secret weapon. Other witnesses even went as far to think it was an attack from Russia’s enemies in the Ukraine or Syria and that a war had started.

October 27, 2016 – RTE.ie – Healy-Rae blames nuclear tests for hole in ozone layer – Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has claimed in the Dáil that the hole in the ozone layer was caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago. He said “untruths have been bandied about” about climate change for years as he addressed today’s debate on the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, an agreement that he is “very worried about”. The Kerry TD said: “There was changes in the climate way back in times when there was no industrialisation and way less animals on farms and no intensification of farming. “Yet we had intense heat, long periods of very cold, wet weather which culminated in many lives being lost in the famine in the 1740s, caused by two years of incessant rain and extremely cold winters.” “El Nino and the Gulf Stream played a significant part in climate change going back the centuries. There have been a lot untruths bandied about going back for many years. “They told us about the ozone layer and there was greenhouse gases from cans of hairspray or whatever but they never told us that it was nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago actually caused the serious damage to the Ozone layer.

October 27, 2016 – Sputnik International – Tests of Russia’s Nuclear Fuel in Dutch Research Reactor Successful – Russian nuclear fuel produced by the Rosatom successfully passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR), Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. © Photo: PixabayRussia, Egypt Could Sign Dabaa Nuclear Plant Construction Deal in DecemberMOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nuclear fuel produced at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP), which is part of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation has successfully, passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR) located in the Dutch city of Petten, Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. In 2014, the NCCP and the Dutch Nuclear Research and consultancy Group Petten signed a contract on delivery of fuel for the Dutch research HFR.

October 27, 2016 – Chicago Tribune – Nuclear-armed foes unite against a UN call to shed their weapons – For all the divisions among world powers, one concern unites Russia and the U.S., India and Pakistan, North Korea and Israel at the United Nations: Keeping their nuclear weapons. Those nuclear-armed states and the three others — China, France and the U.K. — are working to head off a resolution calling for a global conference to establish a binding “legal process” to ban the manufacture, possession, stockpiling and use of the weapons. They’re bucking a popular cause backed by 50 nations, from Ireland to Brazil, which say the measure could win as many as 120 votes in the 193-member General Assembly. While the resolution to be voted on Thursday would be non-binding, opposing its call for a nuclear-free world is awkward for world leaders, and none more so than U.S. President Barack Obama. He’s preparing to leave office seven years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in large part for what the award panel called his “vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.”

October 27, 2016 – Kyodo News – Hitachi chief hints at integrating 3 major firms’ nuclear power businesses – Hitachi Ltd. President Toshiaki Higashihara on Thursday hinted at the possible integration of the nuclear power businesses currently run by the industrial conglomerate, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Touching on the possibility of integrating the nuclear fuel businesses of the three firms, Higashihara said at a press conference, “It’s not just about (nuclear fuel). The time will come when we need to think about the whole (of the nuclear power business).” Most of the country’s nuclear power plants have been offline amid public opposition and safety concerns following the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, and companies in the nuclear power business have been facing tough times in terms of profitability.

October 27, 2016 – Business Green – Public backing for nuclear and shale gas falls to record low – Public support for nuclear energy and fracking have hit some of the lowest ever levels, according to the government’s quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker survey, released today. Support for nuclear dipped three per cent to hit its lowest level of 33 per cent, with 26 per cent in opposition. Since the survey began in 2012 support for nuclear has only dropped this low once before, in August 2015. It is the first indication of how public attitudes towards nuclear energy may have changed since the government signed the contract to build a new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in September. Last quarter’s survey, which was undertaken before Hinkley was approved, showed support for nuclear generation at 36 per cent, with 22 per cent in opposition.

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October 26, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 26th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 26, 2016 – TBO.com – Nuclear Regulatory Commission okays license to Duke Energy for mothballed Levy nuclear power plant – A decade after deciding to build new nuclear power plants in Levy County and three years after abandoning the project, Duke Energy has been issued operating licenses for the mothballed site from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While Duke won’t do anything with these licenses for now, the NRC approvals can be used for years into the future to restart the project if the economics of nuclear power once again make sense to Duke. The NRC last week announced it had approved staff members issuing two “combined operating licenses” for the site near Inglis in Levy County.

October 26, 2016 – Wired – X-Rays Are Revealing the Mysterious Writings in Mummy Coffins – It’s a sleepy summer Friday at Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. The particle accelerator operates at a constant, gentle hum—quieter than you’d expect for a synchrotron that whirls electrons to just short of the speed of light. Most of the 40 experimental beam lines lie empty. But one X-ray beam is a hub of activity—an arts and crafts session, by the look of it. The researchers crowding the narrow galley huddle over scraps of papyrus paper, streaking them with metallic paint markers, pencils, and pens. They roll the samples up onto dowels, or crumple them up, or fasten them to each other in layers. The idea? Devise creative ways to hide the ink out of sight, and see if X-rays can uncover it.

October 26, 2016 – ABS-CBN News – 12 pass radiologic technology exams in Middle East – Ten examinees passed the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, and two passed the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in the Middle East. A total of 36 took the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, while 12 took the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination, which was given by the Board of Radiologic Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Al-Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Doha, Qatar and in Kuwait in September 2016.

October 26, 2016 – Professional Pensions – MPs to debate advice given to pensioners at UK Atomic Energy Agency – MPs are to debate the quality of advice given to pensioners that transferred into a defined benefit (DB) scheme set up after part of the UK’s nuclear industry was privatised. In September 1996, the commercial arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority was floated on the stock exchange. The AEAT Pension Scheme was set up with a new company called AEA Technology as the sponsor. This scheme entered assessment for the Pension Protection Fund in November 2012 after the sponsor went bust.

October 26, 2016 – KSEBOA.org – Kudankulam is still the cheapest of all foreign-built nuclear plants – Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s unit 3 and 4, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15-10-2016 laid the foundation through video-conferencing, are expected to sell electricity at ₹3.90 a kilowatt hour (kWh), according to World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). KKNP 3 and 4, with a net capacity of 917 MW each, will cost ₹39,849 crore ($6.5 billion) to build. The first two units, the second of which was connected to the grid only in August 2016, cost ₹17,270 crore, but the cost is under revision to ₹22,462 crore. The Kudankulam plant’s equipment and fuel are supplied by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). Despite costing twice as much as the first two units, 3 and 4 will still sell their electricity at the same price.

October 26, 2016 – MarketWatch – Why Hillary Clinton sold America’s uranium – Hey — had you heard that uranium is an incredibly scarce resource and that Russia is buying it all up? No, me neither. But that’s what I’ve discovered on the campaign trail. Apparently a few years back Crooked Hillary “SPECTRE” Clinton betrayed the country — yet again — by selling 20% of our precious uranium supply to Russia in return for yet more payola. As secretary of state she “approved” a deal to sell Uranium One, a company that controlled a fifth of U.S. uranium production, to the Russian atomic agency Rosatom. In return she and Bill received vast amounts of payoffs from the Kremlin and related interests — most notably a $500,000 speaker fee for Bill from a Moscow-based investment bank, which works out at about $250,000 net of tax.

October 26, 2016 – Metro.co.uk – Pupils evacuated after rock in classroom turned out to be radioactive uranium – A radioactive rock sat as part of a classroom display without anyone noticing for dozens of science lessons. Nobody had realised that it was a lump of uranium, the metallic element which is used in nuclear reactors and even to produce atomic bombs. It was giving off thousands of millisiverts of radiation into the school, a far higher amount than occurs naturally, but teachers only found out when an anti-nuclear campaigner Thomas Neff came into the science lab at Missionaries of the Sacred Heart School in Salzburg, Austria, to give a talk. To help in his lecture, he brought a watch with him from the Sixties, which contained small amounts of radium so that its dial would light up in the dark. They were popular several decades ago, when people did not know as much about the dangers of radiation.

October 26, 2016 – New Haven Register – ‘Residual radioactive contamination’ found at former New Haven Clock Company site – Those radium painted dials on millions of wristwatches produced in the city at the New Haven Clock Company are once again a “hot” item. An environmental review of the long-closed factory, which at one point employed as many as 1,500 people, found radium-226 in parts of what is left of the sprawling campus on Hamilton, St. John and Wallace streets in the Wooster Square neighborhood. Helen Rosenberg, an economic development officer, said the report by the environmental engineering firm Fuss and O’Neill found “residual radioactive contamination present throughout portions of the building.”

October 26, 2016 – Greeley Tribune – Weld County Health Department offers free radon test kits for residents – The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is offering free radon test kits to Weld County residents with a limit of one per household, according to a news release. About 46 percent of all homes in Colorado are estimated to have high levels of radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium. It typically moves up through the ground and into homes through cracks and other holes in a house’s foundation, according to the release.

October 26, 2016 – Independent Online – Is microwave food unhealthy? Top tech experts give it the all clear – Microwave ovens allow us to bring food straight out of the freezer and have it on the table, ready to eat, in the space of a few minutes. You can quickly thaw a frozen meal or warm up something you cooked the day before, thanks to the microwave radiation inside the oven, which has a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz. It does not add anything to the food apart from heat. “Microwaved food is harmless for your health,” says nutrition expert Margret Morlo.

October 26, 2016 – OnMedica – Radiotherapy equipment to be upgraded, NHS chief pledges – Radiotherapy equipment in England is to be upgraded, thanks to a £130 million investment over the next two years, NHS chief Simon Stevens has announced. Around 4 in 10 of all NHS cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, which typically uses high-energy radiation from a linear accelerator (‘Linac’). Over the next two years, older Linac radiotherapy equipment being used by hospitals across the country will be upgraded or replaced. It is recommended that Linacs are replaced after around 10 years, but the last time there was national investment in NHS radiotherapy machines was in the early 2000s.

October 26, 2016 – utilities-me.com – UAE’s nuclear authority approves budget for 2017 – The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation’s (FANR) board of management has approved its budget for 2017 at a meeting chaired by the board chairman, Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi. The senior management provided the board with updates to key FANR activities, including the status of its review of the application for an operating license for units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which is now under construction in the western region of Abu Dhabi. The board also discussed the establishment of a decommissioning trust fund (DTF) to support the construction, operation and regulation of a radioactive waste management disposal facility in the UAE.

October 26, 2016 – Zawya – Bulgaria to pay $655 million to Russia over cancelled nuclear project – Bulgaria has agreed to pay about 600 million euros ($655 million) in compensation to Russia’s Atomstroyexport for the cancelled Belene nuclear power project, state energy company NEK said on Wednesday. An international arbitration court had ruled in June that Sofia should pay compensation for nuclear equipment it ordered from the Russian company before cancelling the 10 billion euros project in 2012.

October 26, 2016 – defenceWeb – Zimbabwe installing nuclear detectors at points of entry – Zimbabwe is installing nuclear detection devices at its ports of entry.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has struck an agreement with Zimbabwe under which the Austria-headquartered global organisation will equip the country’s four international airports and 13 border points with nuclear detection facilities. The IAEA will invest $1.5 million in the project. On October 11 a trial-run of three radio-nuclide identification devices and 21 personal radiation detection gadgets, donated by the IAEA, was conducted at Victoria Falls International Airport and Victoria Falls Border Post. A workshop attended by IAEA nuclear security officer, Noor Fitriah Bakri and security sector representatives in Zimbabwe was held from October 10 to 14 in Victoria Falls. It was part of the first phase of the implementation of the project to strengthen the nuclear security detection systems in Zimbabwe.

October 26, 2016 – TechCentral.co.za – Treasury promises to block nuclear profligacy – National treasury will ensure it protects South Africa’s fiscal integrity with regard to South Africa’s nuclear procurement plan. Deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas told media on Wednesday that treasury will continue to play a role in the planning of the nuclear procurement programme. “We take a view that whatever happens with the nuclear project, it … won’t undermine the interests of the country as a whole,” he said. “As custodians of fiscal integrity, we will continue to play a critical role.” The big question around nuclear is whether it is even required, with the rise of cheap renewable energy.

October 26, 2016 – New York Post – US official thinks getting North Korea to give up nuclear bomb is ‘lost cause’ – The U.S. policy of trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons “is probably a lost cause” and the best that could be hoped for is a cap on the country’s nuclear capability, the Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper said on Tuesday. However, underscoring conflicting views in the Obama administration, the State Department said U.S. policy was unchanged and continued to be to seek the “verifiable denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that the United States will never accept North Korean as a nuclear-armed state.

October 26, 2016 – ARY News – Radioactive leak at Norway nuclear reactor – A nuclear research reactor in Norway suffered a minor radiation leak that is not believed to pose a threat to public health or the environment, Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday. The leak of radioactive iodine happened on Monday at the Institute for Energy Technology in Halden, in the country’s southeast, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) said in a statement on its website. “The leak of radioactivity was due to a technical failure when handling nuclear fuel inside the reactor hall. The amount of radioactivity is regarded as small,” said the statement. “According to the information NRPA has received so far, this discharge will not have any consequences for health or the environment outside the plant.”

October 26, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Paper sludge that polluted sea cleans up soil in Fukushima – Charcoal from paper mill sludge that once polluted the ocean here southwest of Tokyo could be used to restore contaminated land near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. An experiment in 2011 showed that the charcoal is effective in reducing radioactive substances in soil and preventing the absorption of cesium by plants, said research leader Ai Van Tran. Tran, 68, a doctor in agricultural science, was conducting the research for the Corelex Group that includes Corelex Shin-ei Mfg. Co., which has the largest share of recycled toilet paper in Japan. “We would be delighted if our byproduct, which was once a source of environmental pollution, is useful in decontamination. It will also contribute to reducing the waste from papermaking, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” said Satoshi Kurosaki, the president of the Corelex Shin-ei.

October 26, 2016 – The Japan Times – Namie radiation evacuees fear return – Weed-engulfed buildings and shuttered businesses paint an eerie picture of a coastal Japanese town abandoned after a monstrous earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in the Fukushima nuclear plant. Namie, one of the communities hardest hit by the 2011 disaster, had 21,000 residents before they fled radiation spewing from the reactors 8 km away. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now looking to repopulate the town as early as next year, a symbolic step toward recovery that might also help soften opposition to his government’s plan to restart Japan’s mostly mothballed nuclear industry. “The national and local governments are trying to send us back,” said Yasuo Fujita, 64, a sushi chef who lives alongside hundreds of other Fukushima evacuees in a modern high-rise in Tokyo more than 200 km away. “We do want to return — we were born and raised there. But can we make a living? Can we live next to the radioactive waste?”

October 26, 2016 – Washington Examiner – Moniz: US must decide its nuclear future in the next 5 years – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz predicted Monday that major decisions about the nation’s nuclear energy sector are going to be coming in the next five years. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Moniz said there’s going to be a great wave of nuclear energy facilities retiring in about 15 years. Decisions about whether to replace them must be made much earlier than that, he said. “In the utility business to replace that power, especially to replace that low carbon power, calls for capital allocations decisions are certainly on a decadal time scale,” he said. “In other words, in the next five years, we’re going to start much more facing up to those large capital planning decisions.” Moniz has been a supporter of increased nuclear power production in recent years, seeing it as a potentially lucrative low-carbon energy source that would help the nation meet its climate change goals.

October 26, 2016 – Brattleboro Reformer – Feds endorse Vermont Yankee fuel, waste handling – Federal inspectors are satisfied with Vermont Yankee’s environmental monitoring, spent fuel storage and handling of radiological waste – including contaminated water that had accumulated at the shut-down plant. A new report from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection identifies “no findings of safety significance” at the Vernon facility. The NRC in 2015 terminated its resident inspector program at Vermont Yankee, which stopped producing power at the end of 2014. But the federal agency still conducts regular inspections at the plant, and the latest such quarterly survey ended Sept. 30.

October 26, 2016 – WAMC – NY Downstate Lawmakers Take Issue With Nuclear Subsidies – Letters have gone back and forth between seven state lawmakers and the chair of the New York State Public Service Commission. At issue is what the lawmakers say is an unfair statewide electric rate increase to subsidize upstate nuclear power plants. The issue is part of the PSC’s broader Clean Energy Standard. The PSC in August issued an order adopting the standard. Since then, seven state assemblymembers have banded together to voice their concern over the adoption of the zero emissions credit pertaining to upstate nuclear power plants. The Democrats from the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City have written to PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman with their objection. One is Hudson Valley Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who is chair of the Energy Committee.

October 26, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Future of MOX facility uncertain but optimistic, officials say – Last month, Russia’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. left the future of South Carolina’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility hanging in the balance. But experts say the future of the beleaguered facility at the Savannah River Site remains cautiously optimistic. U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council’s David Blee said it’s important to look at several factors surrounding the PMDA suspension. “It’s important to recognize that Russia suspended the PMDA and did not terminate the agreement, that’s an important distinction,” he said.

October 26, 2016 – WEKU 88.9 – Citizens Group Rep Calls Proposed Radioactive Waste Agreement “Fair” – A leader of a Central Kentucky citizens group says there remain outstanding issues regarding the illegal dumping of low-level radioactive fracking waste at the Estill County landfill. A proposed agreement announced Friday by state Energy and Environment Cabinet includes a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill. About two-thirds of that money would go for Radon monitoring and abatement at Estill County schools and at the landfill gate. Tom Hart with Concerned Citizens of Estill County says handling what he calls the “technologically enhanced natural occurring radioactive waste” or TENORN, already in the landfill remains a question. “It’s in that corrective action plan that they will propose what should be done with the TENORM,” he says.

October 26, 2016 – Power Engineering – Zion Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Project on Budget and Ahead of Schedule Six Years after the Project Started – EnergySolutions announced today that on September 30, 2016 its subsidiary, ZionSolutions, has successfully completed the 6th year of decommissioning the twin Unit Zion Nuclear Power Station with record setting performance. The project is on budget and currently reporting the decommissioning effort is 88% complete and several years ahead of the original 10 year schedule. The accelerated decommissioning schedule will directly translate into a lower overall decommissioning cost.

October 26, 2016 – Dothan Eagle – Test drilling for nuclear waste storage research proposed in Dale County – A proposed drilling site in Dale County would test the feasibility of storing nuclear waste in geologically similar areas, but no nuclear waste would be stored or used in tests on the site, according to a representative of Battelle, a private non-profit science and technology company. Steve Winberg, a program manager for Battelle, explained the proposed project at a meeting of the Dale County Commission Tuesday. Battelle wants to enter into an agreement with Southern Company to drill on about 20 acres of property owned by the company near Waterford Road. The hole would be 8.5 inches in diameter but would descend about three miles to Precambrian rock.

October 26, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – OPPD signed a $400 million contract with company that ran Fort Calhoun — terminating it will cost $5 million – OPPD began permanently shutting down the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station on Oct. 24. It will cost the Omaha Public Power District $5 million to end what was supposed to be a 20-year contract with Exelon Generation, the Chicago-based nuclear operator that has managed day-to-day operations at Fort Calhoun since September 2012. That’s a fraction of the $20 million termination fee that the utility faced if it decided to end the agreement without cause, according to OPPD financial disclosures. In general terms, “termination for cause and certain other termination events” would have gotten OPPD off the hook without having to pay anything, annual reports and bond documents stated.

October 26, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – WIPP storage plan draws concern – A nuclear watchdog group raised concerns Friday with a plan to build above-ground storage of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. The U.S. Department of Energy has applied for a permit with the New Mexico Environment Department for the new storage facility. Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the DOE should be concentrating on ongoing safety issues at WIPP, not expanding the facility with another above ground, permanent waste facility at the site. WIPP already has a similar facility for the same purpose.

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October 24, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 24th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 24, 2016 – Syracuse.com – Legislator: Saving nukes will spare NY consumers from power price spike (Your letters) – In August, the New York state Public Service Commission adopted the Clean Energy Standard which included, among other things, subsidies for the Upstate nuclear plants. Since that time, the anti-nuclear crowd has ramped up their criticism of the PSC’s forward-thinking solution and now there is an effort to get the Clean Energy Standard overturned. The criticism is baffling, particularly from so-called environmentalists considering that nuclear power is clean and generates zero carbon emissions 24/7. If the PSC had not included nuclear power in the Clean Energy Standard, it is likely that all four nuclear power plants in Upstate New York would have had to close down — never to reopen. This would be economically catastrophic for Upstate New York resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. Closure of our nuclear plants would also mean New Yorkers would have to import more of our power from out-of-state — likely coming from generators who use gas and coal, something the environmentalist crowd is demanding we become less reliant on.

October 24, 2016 – pc-tablet.co.in – International conference accepts a nonsense paper written using iOS autocompete – Christoph Bartneck is a Professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and he pulled out a prank which to many must look like utter nonsense but for many somewhat intriguing. The learned Professor was invited to a conference on atomic and nuclear physics. He and the topic were alike as cheese and chalk. You may ask why? Well, he is an authority in Human Interface Technology and did not know anything about Atomic Physics, Nuclear energy, fission, fusion or Radioactivity. Without a clue he just wrote two words- Atomic and nuclear and bingo! A suggestion popped up, courtesy to iOS auto complete feature. The learned professor wrote out his paper with the words churned out by the app and wonder in thunder, his work has been accepted by the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics.

October 24, 2016 – KNPR.org – Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close – A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It’s full of new equipment. There’s a white concrete box building that’s still under construction. It’s licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday. Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a “broken system” for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.

October 24, 2016 – PhysOrg – Modernizing the format of nuclear data – When atomic nuclei collide with other nuclei or subatomic particles, a large number of reactions can occur, resulting in many possible products. High-quality data describing these nuclear reactions are essential for many important scientific, engineering, and commercial applications. These applications include nuclear reactor design and safety, radioactive waste disposal, stockpile stewardship of nuclear weapons, medical radioisotope therapy and diagnostics, fusion energy experiments, astrophysics, nuclear forensics, and more. At Lawrence Livermore, accurate and complete nuclear data are critical for both theoretical and experimental research. Despite the importance of nuclear data to so many fields, the format for storing, evaluating, and using these data goes back to the 1960s, when computing was based on 80-column punch cards—small, stiff sheets of paper that contain information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. As a result, existing formats, principally Livermore’s Evaluated Nuclear Data Library (ENDL) and the widely adopted Evaluated Nuclear Data Format (currently in version 6, or ENDF-6), are badly outdated. In response to the long-recognized need for modernization, the Nuclear Data and Theory group at Lawrence Livermore has developed a far more capable and flexible format called Generalized Nuclear Data (GND), which takes advantage of many recent advances in computer technology. GND is readable by both computers and humans, flexible, and extensible for supporting new types of nuclear data.

October 24, 2016 – Prague Daily Monitor – Drábová says nuclear waste storage site should be close to plant – A permanent radioactive waste repository would be best located right at the nuclear power plant, whether in Dukovany, south Moravia, or Temelin, south Bohemia, Dana Drabova, chairwoman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB), said on Czech Television (CT) yesterday. The Czech Republic should build the facility by 2065. The costs are estimated at 112 billion crowns. There are currently 24 billion crowns on its account. Every entity which produces the waste sends 50 crowns to the account per megawatt-hour of generated power. At present, nuclear waste is deposited in temporary stores within the two power plants’ compounds.

October 24, 2016 – WVXU – 10 Years Since The Clean-Up Of The Fernald Site Was Completed – From 1951 until 1989, the Feed Materials Production Center in Fernald, Ohio, about 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati, was a key player in the Cold War, processing uranium for the United States nuclear weapons program. But in the 1980s you couldn’’t watch or read the news without seeing a story about the environmental issues plaguing the site and causing concern and anger among its neighbors. When production at Fernald ended, cleanup and environmental remediation began. That work was completed in 2006, and today the site is home to the Fernald Preserve, more than 1,000 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat.

October 24, 2016 – Medical XPress – Radiation method could enhance cancer-killing effect of treatment, reduce side effects – A Purdue-related startup is developing a unique nanoparticle ultraviolet radiation technology that could enhance cancer cell killing effects of radiation treatment, thus reducing radiation doses and patient side effects. You-Yeon Won, a professor in Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering, and Rachel Kim, an MBA graduate from MIT Sloan, co-founded the company Lodos Theranostics to further develop the patented technology named Radio Luminescence Therapy. “Annually in the United States about one million cancer patients receive radiation treatment and about half of those patients qualify for radio sensitization treatments where they receive additional agents to enhance the radiation effect.

October 24, 2016 – PhysOrg – New materials with photonic crystals that filter radiation designed – Research by the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre has proposed various designs for photonic crystal materials that can be used to filter radiation. Specifically, the focus has been to develop a coating comprising dielectric spheres that, applied to a window, would prevent outside heat from entering in the summer and the indoor heat from escaping in winter. The samples designed and the results obtained suggest a means for developing the right technique to obtain materials of this type in the future, although the outcome of the tests, which were carried out using low-cost, traditional techniques, were not what had been expected. This is according to a Ph.D. thesis by Paola Morales titled “Efectos de filtrado por recubrimiento de cristal fotónico” (Effects of filtering using photonic crystal coating) read at the NUP/UPNA.

October 24, 2016 – Wall Street Journal – Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up – Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities. At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back. The country recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., with what officials said were 40 million people rehearsing a response to chemical and nuclear threats. Videos of emergency workers deployed in hazmat suits or checking the ventilation in bomb shelters were prominently aired on television when the four days of drills were held across the country. Students tried on gas masks and placed dummies on stretchers in school auditoriums.

October 24, 2016 – Reuters – Bulgarian prosecutors seek to waive immunity of former energy minister over nuclear project – Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor asked parliament on Monday to strip former energy minister Delyan Dobrev of his immunity for losing over 4.5 million euros ($4.9 million) in state funds over a cancelled nuclear project. Prosecutors accuse Dobrev, who was energy minister in the first government of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, of failing to take steps to stop payments to a consultant company engaged with the Belene nuclear project after it was cancelled in 2012. “The request is based on evidence collected by Sofia City Prosecution for a crime committed by Delyan Dobrev when he was an economy and energy minister, which caused damages worth 4.56 million euros to the state energy firm NEK,” the chief prosecutor said in a statement.

October 24, 2016 – WBFO 88.7 – Canadian nuclear regulatory inspections called inadequate – Canada’s federal government watchdog is calling for the country’s nuclear regulator to beef up inspections of the country’s nuclear power plants. In a recent report, the commissioner of the environment found several serious issues. Canada has five nuclear power plants, three of them in Ontario. Of those three, two of them are on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto. Together, they supply enough energy for almost 3.5 million people. But the commissioner of the environment has found the agency that regulates the nuclear industry was not adequately inspecting those nuclear power plants. Julie Gelfand says her audit focused only on how the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission manages its site inspections.

October 24, 2016 – Reuters – Suit seeks to overturn New York nuclear power plant subsidies – A group of electrical power companies have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state commission’s plan to provide subsidies to four nuclear power plants as a means of reducing air pollution. In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, the plaintiffs claimed the New York Public Service Commission’s plan will depress wholesale electricity prices in the short term but ultimately force non-subsidized generators from the market and raise energy prices for consumers.

October 24, 2016 – Powermag.com – Generators Sue to Block Lifeline for New York Nuclear Plants – A group of generators including Dynegy and NRG Energy filed suit in federal court on October 19 seeking to block an incentive program that would help three New York nuclear power plants remain economic over the next decade. An August decision by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approving New York’s Clean Energy Standard included a provision requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities and other energy suppliers to pay for the intrinsic value of carbon-free emissions from nuclear power plants by purchasing “Zero-Emission Credits” (ZEC). Those credits are added to the wholesale price each plant receives for its power, and the costs are passed on to ratepayers.

October 24, 2016 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – Georgia Power, PSC staff reach agreement on Vogtle costs – Georgia Power Co. customers would get a rate reduction of $325 million toward construction of the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle during the next four years under a settlement agreement signed Thursday. Under the terms of the deal, reached by negotiators representing the Atlanta-based utility and Georgia Public Service Commission staff, all of Georgia Power’s spending on the project through the end of last year would be deemed “prudent,” as would costs associated with this year’s legal settlement between the utility and Vogtle prime contractor Westinghouse Electric Co.

October 24, 2016 – Palm Beach Post – FPL starts work to reduce too-salty plume at Turkey Point – Florida Power & Light Co. has embarked on a 10-year, $206 million clean up of extremely salty water from its Turkey Point plant’s cooling canal system, which poses a threat to drinking water for roughly 3 million people as far north as Boca Raton. Florida Power & Light Co. has embarked on a 10-year clean up of extremely salty water from its Turkey Point plant’s cooling canal system, which poses a potential threat to drinking water for roughly 3 million people as far north as Boca Raton. The fix is expected to cost FPL customers $206 million over the decade, FPL spokesman Peter Robbins said Thursday. This year’s portion of the cost is $50 million. Customers will pay for the remediation through environmental fees in their bills. This year the 1,000 kilowatt-hour customer is paying $2.63 a month, and next year will decrease to $2.42.

October 24, 2016 – WTVY – Dale Co. private property could host nuclear waste storage research – A major nonprofit research firm says it wants to drill a 3 mile deep hole in Dale County for research on how to store nuclear waste. Battelle based headquartered in Columbus, Ohio plans to submit a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy Monday to drill a bore-hole three miles deep beneath private property in Dale County and other locations around the country. “Everybody wants to know geologic questions, based on places that are unexplored, and this is exploring three miles beneath your feet. That combination of drilling has never been done, so, the combination, of that deep, that vertical, that cylindrical, is what we’re after, and what we are going to prove that that engineering feat can be done,” said Battelle Company Spokesperson, and Senior Media Specialist for Battelle, T.R. Massey.

October 24, 2016 – Christian Science Monitor – After 20 years of nuclear dormancy, a new reactor emerges in the US – In many American cities, nuclear power plants are rapidly shutting down. But in others, they’re just now popping up. After more than four decades of intermittent construction, a new reactor has begun commercial operation in Tennessee. Watts Bar Unit 2, built and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), is the country’s 100th nuclear generator and the first new one in 20 years. The 1,150-megawatt generator, which was originally connected to the power grid in June, is now producing electricity for to 650,000 homes and businesses in Tennessee’s southeast corner. The opening of a new nuclear power plant amid closures of existing plants is a reflection of the mixed views of nuclear energy in the United States. While opponents caution that nuclear power comes with risks of meltdown that cannot be ignored, to advocates – including some environmentalists – nuclear power represents a clean and inexpensive source of energy and a vital transitional fuel that can help the US move away from fossil fuels and achieve energy independence.

October 24, 2016 – Dothan Eagle – Rehobeth students go to the source for lesson in nuclear power – Zakary Brooks and Alexis Enfinger tore through Farley Nuclear Plant’s visitor’s center Thursday, marking down facts gathered from educational exhibits. The fact-gathering mission was part of a scavenger hunt intended to help students learn more about nuclear energy. Brooks and Enfinger were among 80 Rehobeth Middle School students who visited Farley Nuclear Plant on Thursday for Nuclear Science Week activities. Neecie Tarrant, a plant spokesperson, said the scavenger hunt is an interactive teaching tool that helps students better remember the information they learned during the visit.

October 24, 2016 – KNAU Arizona Public Radio – ADEQ Renews Air-Pollution Permits for Three Uranium Mines Near Grand Canyon – State officials have cleared three uranium mines near the Grand Canyon to continue operations. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recently approved new air-pollution permits for the mines close to the canyon’s North and South rims. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. The new permits include enhanced dust-control measures and increased soil sampling requirements. Mine operators will also have to reduce uranium stockpiles and cover any open storage areas. “We are confident that these measure, while enhanced, will be more than adequate to protect human health and the environment. We recognize the real sensitivity of the area. We not only want to make sure we’re protecting any public in the area, but certainly protecting one of the wonders of the world,” says Timothy Franquist, ADEQ’s air quality director.

October 24, 2016 – Seattle Times – Nuclear energy is the best option for a clean-energy future – In the letter “Nuclear power: Not worth the risk” [Northwest Voices, Oct. 17], the writer supported the Seattle City Council’s vote calling for City Light to replace the electricity purchased from the Columbia Generating Station. Nuclear-generating plants provide by far the greatest carbon-free electrical power in the country (approximately 60 percent), as well as reliable baseload power. Wind and solar must be paired with co-generation, which in most cases is by gas-fired plants producing carbon dioxide. Climate change may be the biggest problem facing society. Mitigation seems to require rapid replacement of fossil fuels from our energy mix. Like many environmentalists I have come to the realization that nuclear is the only currently available technology that can replace fossil fuels in any meaningful way, providing a bridge to the goals set in the Paris agreement.

October 24, 2016 – KSBY – Public hearing on impending Diablo Canyon closure – Dozens of community members attend a public hearing Thursday afternoon. For the first time, the public was able to voice concerns Thursday directly to the California Public Utilities Commission over the impending closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Eleven elected officials and 32 public members took to a microphone to help the CPUC reach an informed decision. Since PG&E announced its joint proposal back in June, it has held five public meetings to get feedback from the community. The application was filed in August. That started the state’s review process, part of which happened Thursday.

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October 19, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

October 19, 2016 – Daily Signal – What the Candidates Need to Know About Yucca Mountain – The final presidential debates take place Wednesday in Las Vegas. Given the location, a controversial issue sure to come up is that of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The repository is designed to hold spent nuclear materials from national security activities and commercial nuclear power reactors. Billions of dollars have already been spent on exploratory tunnels and other construction at the site, but it has yet to be built. Yucca Mountain has turned into a political football and a litmus test for many politicians, some of whom have built whole careers around this issue alone. In Congress and especially in Nevada, parties have dug their trenches deep—“Yucca or bust” on one side, and “over my dead body” on the other.

October 19, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – Job cuts at Fort Calhoun nuclear plant will come in six steps under tentative plan – A series of six layoffs over the next 20 months will reduce the workforce at the Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to as few as 300 employees. That’s less than half of the plant’s full staffing level of about 700 employees and a significant reduction to the 570 employees currently on site. According to a preliminary decommissioning timeline OPPD officials presented to federal regulators at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, the next round of job cuts at Fort Calhoun will happen in the first quarter of 2017.

October 19, 2016 – AllMediaNY – Germany Scientists Attempt to Measure Neutrino Mass – An experiment in Germany will attempt to measure the mass of a neutrino for the first time. Scientists with the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment, or KATRIN, will study the petite particles by observing the radioactive decay of tritium, an isotope of hydrogen with two neutrons.When tritium decays into helium, a neutrino and an electron is emitted in the process. Since the minuscule particles have a million-times less mass than an electron, a measurement has been illusive for scientists.However, the experiment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will precisely measure the energy emitted by electrons to deduce neutrino mass.

October 20, 2016 – Quartz – The world’s biggest nuclear fusion experiment may lead to endless clean energy – Thirty-five countries are working together to build the world’s first large-scale nuclear fusion reactor—and if successful, their efforts could help humans harness the “ultimate green energy.” The reactor, currently estimated to cost $20 billion, is now under construction in southern France. Nuclear fusion—when atoms’ cores collide into each other, releasing tremendous amounts of energy—is much more powerful than reactions used in current nuclear plants and produces no radioactive waste or greenhouse gasses. That’s primarily because it’s fueled by a type of hydrogen readily extractable from water, making it a limitless energy source. Sustained nuclear fusion has never been realized on a large scale before, and the project’s estimated budget has quadrupled over the decade-long planning period. While some skeptics say the project is too expensive and not scalable, the reactor’s engineers expect it to become fully operational in 20 years.

October 19, 2016 – Bloomberg News – EON, Peers Start Counting Cost of $26 Billion Nuclear Exit – EON SE and Vattenfall AB were the first two companies to provide details on the extent of utilities’ nuclear liabilities after the German government on Wednesday approved a draft law on waste storage costs. EON estimates it will pay about 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in total based on its preliminary assessment of the law, a figure in line with previous expectations, according to Carsten Thomsen-Bendixen, a spokesman for the Essen-based company. Swedish state-owned Vattenfall said it must pay 1.75 billion euros. RWE AG declined to provide a breakdown. The draft law brings closer an end to talks on who funds the country’s exit from atomic power, particularly the cost of storing the radioactive fuel, which has weighed on the companies’ shares. German reactor owners have to pay 23.6 billion euros into a fund to free them from their atomic waste storage liabilities under the legislation that includes an option to make installments until 2026.

October 19, 2016 – Westport News – Some workers at Hanford exposed to radioactive waste – Some workers at a Hanford Nuclear Reservation tank farm have had their skin contaminated with low levels of radioactive waste. The incident occurred Tuesday morning. The Tri-City Herald reports the workers were in a pit at the AX Tank Farm when contamination was detected in the pit. They backed out of the area, but a survey found low levels of radioactive contamination on their skin. Equipment is being installed in the AX Tank Farm to allow waste to be emptied from leak-prone, underground nuclear waste storage tanks.

October 19, 2016 – PhysOrg – X-ray point source discovered at the center of a distant dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10 – NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has helped astronomers to uncover a previously unidentified X-ray point source at the massive black hole in the center of a distant compact starburst galaxy known as Henize 2-10. The findings are available in a paper published Oct. 5 on the arXiv pre-print server. Located some 34 million light years away in the constellation of Pyxis, Henize 2-10 is the first dwarf galaxy found to have a supermassive black hole at its center. With a mass of less than 10 billion solar masses, it is a compact starburst galaxy hosting numerous young “super star clusters” and a candidate low-luminosity active galactic nucleus (AGN). The presence of an AGN in Henize 2-10 offers an excellent opportunity to study massive black hole accretion and star formation. This is due to the fact that active nuclei in dwarf galaxies undergoing a burst of star formation reveal essential astronomical processes. They could offer crucial insights on the interplay between a massive black hole and the stars of the galaxy in which it forms.

October 19, 2016 – Motley Fool – Why I Remain Bullish on Uranium and Cameco Corporation – Every time I look at Cameco Corporation (TSX:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ), I can’t help but feel like the bottom has been found and that the company will begin to turn around. And then another month or two goes by, I look at the company again, and it’s even lower. Despite all of this, I remain bullish on the company for a multitude of reasons. But, unfortunately, to be bullish on Cameco is to be bullish on uranium, which has experienced tremendous lows ever since the Fukushima disaster back in March 2011. For reference, the spot price of uranium that month was a little over US$60. Fast forward to September and the spot price is only US$23. Naturally, if the price of the resource is down, Cameco has to be down as well.

October 19, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Smart meter opponents rally in Albany – A group of residents from Ulster County and other parts of the state rallied in Albany on Tuesday, urging the state legislature to grant homeowners the choice of having smart electric meters or analog meters in their homes. The Stop Meter organizations object to the deployment of digital utility meters. One of the rally organizers, Weston Blelock of Woodstock, claims the smart meters have adverse effects. “They spew toxic microwave radiation in people’s homes,” Blelock said. “They cause dust, dirty electricity, and they can, upon occasion, explode, cause fires, and be hacked, so there are privacy issues.”

October 19, 2016 – Proactiveinvestors.co.uk – Kromek “dirty bomb” detector milestone bodes well – Radiation technology company Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) has completed the delivery of an initial 10,000 personal D3S radiation detectors to a US Department of Defense agency. The D3S devices were delivered in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) SIGMA programme, which is aimed at preventing attacks using so-called radiological dirty bombs, and other nuclear threats across the globe. Having completed the initial delivery, as per the company’s announcement of the contract win back in February, Kromek said the next steps are for DARPA to demonstrate SIGMA’s full city and regional-scale, continuous wide-area monitoring capability in 2017, and to make the transition of the operational system to local, state and federal entities in 2018. “We are proud to be part of the successful SIGMA programme, which has sought to increase radiation detection capabilities while lowering the costs, in order to network an unprecedented number of advanced detectors and provide a comprehensive, dynamic and automated overview of the radiological environment,” said Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive officer of Kromek.

October 19, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Russia and Paraguay agree to cooperate in nuclear energy – The Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Paraguay and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The document was signed by Eladio Loizaga, Paraguay’s minister of foreign affairs, and Nikolay Spassky, Rosatom’s deputy director-general. The signing ceremony was attended by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. In a statement, Rosatom said the memorandum – which is the first document related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to be signed between the two countries – constitutes the basis for bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including: the application of radioisotopes and radiation technology in industry, medicine and agriculture; assistance in creation and development of a nuclear power infrastructure in Paraguay; nuclear and radiation safety and security; and, development of programs aimed at raising public awareness about nuclear technologies and their applications, including organization of information centres.

October 19, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – Paediatric PET dose can be reduced – A simulation study evaluating the quality of whole-body PET/MR images of paediatric cancer patients shows that the amount of PET tracer administered can be significantly reduced while still obtaining diagnostic quality images. Researchers from the University of Tübingen, who have been investigating the feasibility of using PET/MRI in lieu of PET/CT, developed and validated a methodology to accurately create low-activity PET images from previously acquired PET scan data. The approach could allow radiologists to define optimal tracer doses for PET/MRI procedures on a patient-by-patient basis (Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging doi: 10.1007/s00259-016-3503-5).

October 19, 2016 – Sunderland Echo – Navy monitors Russian nuclear-powered vessels heading for North Sea – The Royal Navy is preparing for Russia’s flagship aircraft carrier and a fleet Norwegian surveillance teams picked up the nuclear-powered Admiral Kuznetzov and six other naval ships off coast on Monday en-route Syria. The Admiral Kuznetzov is carrying fighter jets, reconnaissance and combat helicopters and cruise missiles which will be used to bolster Russia’s bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad. It was reported earlier this month how RAF pilots had been ordered to soot down hostile Russian aircraft in the stricken Middle Eastern nation.The fleet was shadowed by a Norwegian naval frigate as it passed through international waters.

October 19, 2016 – Tasnim News Agency – Iran to Begin Building First Nuclear Hospital Soon: AEOI Chief – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said construction of the country’s first nuclear hospital will start in the near future. The construction project of the nuclear hospital has been financed and the AEOI has finalized a cooperation agreement with an Austrian company in this regard, Salehi said on Tuesday. He added that according to agreements with the Ministry of Health and Tehran’s Municipality, the construction of the hospital will begin within the next few months in the capital. According to the Iranian nuclear chief, only five countries in the world have such hospitals.

October 19, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Germany approves nuclear waste storage deal with utilities – Germany has reportedly approved a deal with its major utilities on how to cover the costs of handling and storing nuclear waste. The cabinet on Wednesday passed an agreement whereby the nation’s four largest utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – will begin paying into a €23.6bn ($26bn) fund, and in return the government will assume responsibility for the practicalities of storing nuclear waste. The utilities will continue to be responsible for the costs of shutting down their nuclear power plants by 2022. The deal, reached after intense talks, is aimed at addressing uncertainty over potential costs for the taxpayer, as well as offering financial clarity for the utilities and their investors.

October 19, 2016 – Spaceflight Insider – NASA’s JPL looks to boost power from nuclear batteries – Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) have been the power source for many of the most ambitious exploration missions in NASA’s history, powering spacecraft in areas too remote, or too impractical, for solar panels to provide sufficient electricity. A new development to this power-generating workhorse may soon substantially improve the capabilities of the RTG, possibly benefiting both interplanetary missions and daily life here on Earth. In an Oct. 13, 2016, release, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) outlined the potential to increase the efficiency of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), and make it hardier in the process. “NASA needs reliable long-term power systems to advance exploration of the solar system,” said Jean-Pierre Fleurial, supervisor for the thermal energy conversion research and advancement group at JPL. To that end, JPL engineers look to make use of a class of materials known as skutterudites. These minerals have the electrical conductivity of a metal while maintaining the thermal insulation characteristics of glass.

October 19, 2016 – Stokes Sentinel – What would happen if a nuclear bomb hit Stoke-on-Trent? – Around 300,000 people would be killed and thousands more left with horrific injuries if a nuclear blast hit Stoke-on-Trent. Renewed concerns over nuclear war resurfaced for many yesterday (Tuesday) as top North Korean official, Lee Yong Pil, insisted the communist state would launch a nuclear weapon first if they felt another nation was going to strike. The last nuclear weapon reportedly tested by the communist state was a ten kiloton blast in 2013. If such a powerful blast detonated at the ‘optimum’ 200m over Hanley the impact would be catastrophic.

October 19, 2016 – Construction News – Seddon starts work on Northern hub of National Nuclear College – Seddon has started work on the National College for Nuclear in Workington, where 7,000 people are due to receive training by 2020. The college is being built at Lakes College, Workington, and is one of two sites being developed by the National College in partnership with the government and nuclear employers, led by EDF Energy and Sellafield. As part of the Cumbrian hub, Seddon will build facilities including two laboratories, a preparation room, a digital consulting area, two virtual reality suites, and a project workspace area, with the building designed to a BREAAM Very Good standard. The southern hub of the college will be based at Bridgewater College in Somerset. The scheme forms part of the government’s £80m committment by the government towards seven new National Colleges for Industry, announced in May this year.

October 19, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Five French units to undergo steam generator checks – The French nuclear safety authority has requested five of EDF’s nuclear power units are taken offline for additional inspections on their steam generators within the next three months. The steel in parts of those components has been found to contain high concentrations of carbon. The upper and bottom heads of the reactor pressure vessel for the EPR under construction at Flamanville 3 were manufactured at Areva’s Le Creusot facility in September 2006 and January 2007, respectively. A high carbon content in those parts prompted Areva to review the company’s quality management process in 2015 for some 400 heavy steel components made at the Creusot Forge plant since 1965.

October 19, 2016 – Reuters – Bulgarian former energy minister charged over nuclear project – Bulgarian prosecutors charged former economy and energy minister Petar Dimitrov on Wednesday with losing 77 million euros ($86 million) of state money in an equipment sale to Russia’s Atomstroyexport related to a cancelled nuclear project. Bulgaria cancelled the 10-billion-euro Belene project on the Danube River in 2012, after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia. Dimitrov, 67, was economy and energy minister from 2007 to 2009. Prosecutors said he failed to stop NEK signing a deal with Russia’s Atomstroyexport that cost the state 77 million euros ($86 million) in losses.

October 19, 2016 – Daily Star – North Korea will be ‘mega nuclear power by 2020 with 80 NUKES’ – There are fears a nuclear apocalypse could be inflicted upon the world if North Korea can accumulate 80 nukes by 2020, a number predicted by an expert. Lee Sang-hyun, vice president at the research planning division of the South Korean Sejong Institute, told a forum yesterday Pyongyang is capable of building around eight nuclear weapons every year. He told a forum hosted by the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation that the secretive nation has a huge supply of plutonium and uranium, the ingredients needed to make nuclear bombs.

October 19, 2016 – Westport News – Seabrook nuclear power plant to address concrete erosion – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it will move forward with its review of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant’s license renewal process after accepting the owner’s initial proposal for addressing concrete erosion in the New Hampshire plant. The Portsmouth Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2ekJtUK) the commission required that NextEra Energy submit preliminary plans for addressing alkali-silica reaction in Seabrook Station’s structures before commencing with the review of the license renewal process. The commission’s review is now expected to be completed by August 2018. If approved, Seabrook Station’s license would be extended to 2050. It is currently set to expire in 2030.

October 19, 2016 – WNIJ – Forum Held Regarding Two Endangered Western Illinois Nuclear Power Plants – Unions co-sponsored a forum on nuclear energy in Illinois. It’s part of an effort to save two nuclear plants that Exelon is attempting to close. The company says the plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities are losing money, and it’s asking the state to increase electricity rates as a subsidy. So far, lawmakers haven’t taken up that request. Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos represents a portion of the Quad Cities. She says the nuclear plant has benefited the state since it opened roughly 40 years go. “It produces energy that help light Chicago, and many parts of the state of Illinois. It helps keep businesses running — you know exactly what nuclear power does. But it also helps reduce the carbon emissions.”

October 19, 2016 – Reuters – French spot power hits four-year high on nuclear worry – The French day-ahead power contract price on Wednesday jumped to its highest in four years on concerns that nuclear power supply from utility EDF will lag rising demand as the weather gets colder in coming weeks. Persistent doubts over EDF’s ability to meet French and wider European electricity demand for winter has roiled markets, pushing spot and forward power prices to new highs. French base load price for Thursday delivery was at 93 euros ($102.26) a megawatt hour (MWh) at 1010 GMT, up 21 euros from Tuesday’s close after briefly touching 100 euros/MWh in early trade, the highest since February 2012. “There are concerns as to how France will cope if it turns really cold. Nuclear availability will be relatively low, hydro power supplies are already low and output in surrounding countries is tight,” a London-based trader said, adding that capacity at coal and fuel power stations was also low.

October 19, 2016 – Top Yaps – Russia Agrees To Lease Second Akula-Class Nuclear Attack Submarine To India – Russia has decided to lease out a second nuclear attack submarine (SSN) of Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO: Akula-class) to India this month in a deal worth around $2 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed the deal—along with a host of other weapons purchase agreements—on the sidelines of the BRICS summit recently. However, it was not part of the announcements that were made after the talks. The Akula 2 class submarine is expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. At the moment Indian Navy operates INS Chakra (formerly known as K-152 Nerpa), leased to India by Russia for 10 years. It was commissioned on April 4, 2012 after India paid for its completion of its construction and sea-trials.

October 19, 2016 – WFLA 8 – Testing shows radioactive material in wells; unclear if Mosaic sinkhole has anything to do with it – Some residents who live near the massive sinkhole at Mosaic’s New Wales Plant are worried about their well water. Recent test results show they should be concerned because of high levels of radioactive material. What is not clear is whether the Mosaic sinkhole, which dropped 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the Florida aquifer, has anything to do with it. Mosaic – and some experts – say it’s possible the radioactivity was already present in some of these wells. They said it could have been caused by by “natural geologic processes.” Testing so far, state officials say, show the contaminated water has been captured exactly the way it should be. But resident Jennifer Psait isn’t sure she’s buying that. She points to a delay in Mosaic notifying residents about the problems. One of two wells on Bob Glaze’s property has so much radium in the brown water that he shut it off — out of fear. Psait is Glaze’s nextdoor tenant. She shares his two wells. Psait is worried about her three children who, until recently, drank and bathed in the water “I’m not a chemist, or a chemistry student,” she said. “I think that’s pretty bad.”

October 19, 2016 – Electric Light & Power – Incoming NEI chief looks to spread nuclear-friendly policy in states – The incoming Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) president and CEO Maria Korsnick spent 60 minutes talking with reporters Oct. 14 about issues ranging from the State of New York’s nuclear-friendly energy policy to the cost-cutting in her industry. On Oct. 4, NEI announced that Korsnick, currently the COO at the trade organization, would become its new chief executive on Jan. 1, 2017 with the retirement of Marvin Fertel who has spent nine years at the NEI helm. Don Brandt, NEI’s chairman of the board and the chairman, president and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital introduced Korsnick to reporters in Washington, D.C. Brandt said Korsnick was prepared to lead “particularly as the industry is under duress.” “She challenges people, she innovates … and she gets results,” Brandt said. “Her enthusiasm is contagious,” Brandt said. “Industry leaders have been widely impressed” with her work at NEI over the past 17 months.

October 19, 2016 – PRNewswire – First class of Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear operators pass NRC licensing exam – Georgia Power announced today the latest milestone in the transition to operation of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 – members of the first training class of nuclear operators have passed the initial licensing exam by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), ensuring that licensed, qualified operators are in place prior to nuclear fuel loading and plant start up. Once operational, the new units will employ approximately 75 highly trained nuclear operators as part of a permanent workforce of more than 800.

October 19, 2016 – Coastal Courier – Christmas may come early for Georgia Power – Christmas traditionally is celebrated on Dec. 25 for most Georgians. This year, one of our wealthiest corporate citizens may be celebrating that holiday a little earlier. That’s because the executives and shareholders of the Georgia Power Co. are in line to receive a Christmas gift worth more than a billion dollars when the members of the Public Service Commission convene their regular meeting on Wednesday.

October 19, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – CH2M Hill names new president for central Hanford contractor – The president of Hanford contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. announced on Monday that he will be leaving and his replacement has been named. John Ciucci is taking a job at the CH2M Hill corporate office in Colorado as part of a recent corporate reorganization, he told employees Monday morning. Ty Blackford is returning to Hanford from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina to take over as president and chief executive officer. The date in the change of leadership is yet to be determined.

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October 18, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

October 18, 2016 – Los Alamos Daily Post – How The U.S. Failed In Excess Weapons Plutonium Disposition … A Nuclear Sputnik Moment? – Putin’s withdrawal from the U.S./Russia agreement for each nation to destroy 34 tons of excess weapons plutonium, (W-Pu) enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons, is more the consequence of U.S. technical failure than the deterioration of an international relationship. Both nations agreed that the plutonium be either destroyed by fission or converted to a plutonium isotopic form that was not useful for weapons. Russia chose to build a fast-spectrum nuclear reactor in hopes of launching a new breeder technology. The U. S. chose to combine the plutonium with uranium for burning in one or more of the 100 U. S. light water reactors. Russia proceeded about as fast as their budgets could allow and finally, after 16 years, their W-Pu burning reactor is up and running through initial tests, although with substitute fuel instead of W-Pu. But no U.S. progress can be reported. Before the agreement, the U.S. W-Pu disposition effort suffered through the “out-of-sight and out-of-mind” urgency of burying W-Pu in Yucca Mountain, thought to be a solution to any and all of our nation’s nuclear waste problems. After controversy over the prospect that W-Pu could by natural means evolve to spontaneous nuclear explosions, that approach was abandoned. Because anything that can be buried can be dug up, this was never a permanent solution anyway.

October 18, 2016 – Bay News 9 – Mosaic laser mapping reveals depth of radioactive sinkhole – Mosaic has released pictures and video of its use of high-tech gear to map the inside of the Polk County sinkhole that allowed millions of gallons of slightly radioactive water to flow into the aquifer. Mosaic said it attached laser-mapping gear called LiDAR to a 1,300-foot cable strung across the sinkhole, which is in a gypsum stack near Bartow, and then lowered the gear into the hole. The technology uses laser light to make a 3-D map of an object or area. The company thinks the process was the first time the technology has been used in that way.

October 18, 2016 – Daily Energy Insider – NRC evaluates security inspection program, seeks efficiency improvements – The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) praised the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Thursday for its approval of a limited assessment of the security baseline program, including “force-on-force” evaluations that will test nuclear plants’ protective systems against design-basis threats. “The nuclear energy industry has demonstrated that it has the most hardened facilities in the U.S. infrastructure,” NEI Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo said. “The performance of U.S. nuclear facilities during four cycles of security inspections remains exemplary. The commissioners’ direction to staff on its proposed review is a recognition of the maturity of the nuclear security programs.” Security baseline inspections of nuclear facilities evaluate plant operators’ effectiveness in protecting against design-basis threat, such as radiological sabotage, or the theft or loss of special nuclear materials. An additional memorandum from Oct. 5 calls on staff to concentrate inspection efforts on areas that are most likely to yield improvements and efficiencies.

October 18, 2016 – WBTV 3 – ‘Radium Girls’ coming to Catawba College – Catawba College’s freshmen class in Theatre Arts will be putting on a production of “Radium Girls” by playwright D.W. Gregory. The show, to be staged in Hedrick Little Theatre, opens on Tuesday, October 25 at 7:30 p.m. Additional 7:30 p.m. performances will be offered on Oct. 26th and 27th, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee offered on Sunday, Oct. 30th. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students, and free for Catawba students and faculty members. “Radium Girls” is about a young woman named Grace Fryer, who works as a dial-painter to support her family during the aftermath of the Great Depression. Grace loves her job, but begins to notice her fellow employees falling ill. When she, too, becomes sick, Grace turns her attention to the company, believing it to be their fault. Everything comes to a head when the company is taken to court. There, Arthur Roeder, the president of the U.S. Radium Corporation, refuses to believe that his company is responsible for the mysterious illnesses of his former employees. Based on a true story, “Radium Girls” explores Grace’s perseverance through her trial and her illness.

October 18, 2016 – PhysOrg – Researchers road-test powerful method for studying singlet fission – Spin, an intrinsic property of electrons, is related to the dynamics of electrons excited as a result of singlet fission – a process which could be used to extract energy in future solar cell technologies. In a new study, researchers measure the spin properties of electronic states produced in singlet fission – a process which could have a central role in the future development of solar cells. Physicists have successfully employed a powerful technique for studying electrons generated through singlet fission, a process which it is believed will be key to more efficient solar energy production in years to come. Their approach, reported in the journal Nature Physics, employed lasers, microwave radiation and magnetic fields to analyse the spin of excitons, which are energetically excited particles formed in molecular systems.

October 18, 2016 – PhysOrg – How an army of engineers battles contamination and sleep deprivation to take Large Hadron Collider to new heights – The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is the world’s largest particle accelerator, and experiments like this have reached a scale where physicists are no longer able to build them alone. Instead, qualified engineers now lead the construction of these behemoths. And we are part of a team of engineers and physicists working on upgrading the LHC and eventually constructing a successor. On the surface CERN is a 1960s glass and concrete building. It’s often described as what people 50 years ago thought the future might look like. The cafeteria looks like any other, except you probably don’t get as many Nobel Prize winners in most canteens. But the real work goes on underneath the surface. The tunnel that houses the LHC is 27km in circumference, which is the same as the Circle Line in London’s underground system. But while the deepest London tube line is only 60 meters down, the LHC is 175 metres below ground. In the tunnel is also 50,000 tonnes of equipment weighing the same as six Eiffel Towers.

October 18, 2016 – army-technology.com – Kromek wins contracts from US DTRA and UK MoD – Kromek has been contracted by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to facilitate the development of an isotope radiation detector for use in military applications. Under the two-year contract, Kromek will improve DTRA’s technology platform to develop the ruggedised, high-performance detector. The company will further improve the D3S platform to offer disruptive, low-cost radiation isotope identification devices (RIID) and mini RIID devices for radiation and nuclear defence systems. “The contract wins add to the visibility of revenues underpinning our belief in the continuing growth of the business.” Kromek also received contracts to supply nuclear radiation detection products for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and a major civil nuclear partner.

October 18, 2016 – Union of Concerned Scientists – Nuclear (Information) Power – Among many lessons learned from the March 1979 core meltdown at Three Mile Island was the need to collect, assess, and disseminate relevant operating experience in a timely manner. In other words, nuclear information has the power to promote nuclear safety, but only when that information is shared so as to replicate good practices and eradicate bad ones. Both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear industry undertook parallel efforts after Three Mile Island to improve operating experience efforts. The centerpiece of the NRC’s operating experience efforts is its generic communications program. The NRC instituted this program before the Three Mile Island accident, but took steps following the accident to expand the program and to shorten the time between events and advisories. The NRC also lowered the threshold used to screen the information to share more operating experience with plant owners.

October 18, 2016 – Energy Live News – Nuclear power: Good or bad? Join the debate at #EL2016 – What should the future energy mix look like? Was it a good idea for the UK Government to give the go ahead for the Hinkley nuclear power plant in Somerset? Those questions and many more will be discussed at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London next month. Tom Greatrex, CEO of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), Dr Nina Skorupska, CEO of the Renewable Energy Association and former DECC nuclear strategist Hergen Haye will be debating on whether the UK needs new nuclear or not.

October 18, 2016 – Aljazeera – Controversial new nuclear plant ignites Belarus – Thirty years after an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station devastated the countryside on the southern border of Belarus, leaving behind lasting consequences for millions of people, the construction of a new nuclear station is stirring discord between government officials, opposition politicians, the local populace and foreign diplomats. The death of a 43-year-old Russian contractor last month, after an explosion at the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) construction site near Astravets in northern Belarus on its border with Lithuania, is only the latest in a string of little-publicised incidents that has raised concerns at home and abroad about the how the station is being constructed. On July 10 of this year, the 330-tonne reactor casing dropped from a height of between two and four metres in an incident that only came to the public’s attention two weeks later when a member of the Belarus United Civil Party, Mikalai Ulasevich, leaked the news to the local press.

October 18, 2016 – DailyExcelsior.com – Indigenous nuclear sub reportedly inducted to complete nuke triad – The Indian Navy is understood to have quietly commissioned into service the country’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant which is capable of firing nuclear weapons, completing India’s nuclear triad. The Defence Ministry and the Navy did not confirm or deny reports that the submarine was inducted in August this year to complete the nuclear weapons triad that gives the country capability to launch nukes from land, air and sea. Navy and defence officials maintained today that the matter does not come under their purview. At a press conference today, Vice Admiral G S Pabby ducked six questions on Arihant but indicated that a formal announcement might be made in the coming days. “There will soon be an opportunity to talk about it,” Pabby said when faced with persistant questions.

October 18, 2016 – Port News – HHI taps Mary Cullen as Vice President, Nuclear Propulsion at Newport News Shipbuilding – Mary Cullen has been appointed vice president of nuclear propulsion at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), the company said in its media release. Mary Gullen will assume her new role on Nov. 14 following a transition into the job with the help of Barry Fletcher, who will retire from the position after 37 years of shipbuilding service. In her new position, Cullen will be responsible for overhaul engineering, reactor services, test engineering, radiological controls, construction and process engineering, as well as refueling production and nuclear support.

October 18, 2016 – Global Construction Review – Pakistan switches on its latest made-in-China nuclear reactor – Pakistan has connected its latest nuclear reactor, largely built by China, to its national grid, marking the next step in China’s rise as a nuclear power exporter. The reactor in Chashma, in the central province of Punjab, is the third for the Chashma power station and was activated “on a trial basis” on Saturday, 15 October, reports VOA. According to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, the 340MW reactor will be subject to testing and will achieve full power in December 2016. State-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) helped build the new reactor, called Chashma-3.

October 18, 2016 – Tehran Times – Nuclear chief says Iran exports 25 radiopharmaceuticals – Iran’s atomic energy chief said in comments on Tuesday the country produces and exports 25 radiopharmaceuticals to Asian and European countries. “Currently, 25 radiopharmaceuticals are produced inside the country and exported to countries of Iraq, Egypt, and Germany,” Ali Akbar Salehi told the press on the sidelines of the 10th national talent seminar. The country has large export capacity for radiopharmaceuticals much beyond its current level, according to Salehi, but “new facilities have to be established to produce the radiopharmaceuticals on the basis of GMP standards.” GMP, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, is a quality standard which ensures the consistent production and quality of medicinal products appropriate to their intended use and as required by the product specification, according to the World Health Organization.

October 18, 2016 – South China Morning Post – Seoul residents fear terrorism, radioactivity within decade – Six out of 10 Seoul citizens think their city is vulnerable to various disasters, and cite air pollution, summer heat and yellow dust as three disaster types threatening them most, a survey shows. The respondents also said they expected terrorism would emerge as the fourth type of disaster within a decade, according to the survey of 1,344 citizens and 85 experts by the Seoul Institute, a think tank that advises the metropolitan government on policy. Only 14.7 per cent of respondents said Seoul was safe from various disasters, one-fourth the level of those who saw their city as dangerous, and far lower than the 29.4 per cent positive replies of experts.

October 18, 2016 – The Courier – Historic radioactive waste could be a factor in Dundee airport expansion – Plans to extend the runway at Dundee Airport will have to take into account radioactive waste dumped at Riverside landfill more than 20 years ago. Low-level radioactive waste was last stored at the Riverside landfill site in 1996. The site, now known as Riverside Recycling Centre, neighbours the current runway at Dundee Airport. The waste, which came from “hospitals, universities and other small users”, poses no harm to the public – according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Any plans to expand runway would need to take in to consideration the radioactive waste which was stored, according to SEPA.

October 18, 2016 – Brattleboro Reformer – Officials have authored a guide for other communities facing nuclear decommissioning – Early in a new report on Vermont Yankee’s shutdown, Windham Region officials acknowledge that the closure’s full impacts “have yet to be realized and may not necessarily be easy to quantify.” Nevertheless, they believe they’ve got a story to tell. That’s the purpose of the report, framed as “lessons learned” both before and after the Vernon nuclear plant’s December 2014 closure. The document – the result of a tri-state effort – serves as an advisory, a tutorial and a warning for other communities that may face a loss of jobs, tax revenue and residents due to a nuclear plant shutdown. The document’s perceived importance was emphasized by its release on Friday at a downtown Brattleboro gathering attended by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.; and Matt Erskine, a top official at the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

October 28, 2016 – Newburyport Daily News – Nuclear plant provides all data to NRC for license renewal review – NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant staff has provided supplemental information requested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That means that the federal agency can complete its review of the company’s license amendment related to a concrete degradation issue that’s plagued the plant in recent years. In mid-September the commission told NextEra it wanted more information before its staff could continue a review of the plant’s recently filed amendment to its 20-year license extension request. According to NRC’s letter to Seabrook Station Site Vice President Eric McCartney, the Sept. 30 submittal gives NRC staffers what they needed to complete their assessment.

October 18, 2016 – NY Daily News – EXCLUSIVE: Nuclear power company hit with federal tax penalty after deal to receive $7B subsidy from New York – An energy company set to receive a multibillion-dollar, state-approved subsidy that critics say could cost city utility ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars reported profits of $2.2 billion in 2015 and recently was hit with a massive federal tax judgment. Exelon Generation in September was ordered by U.S. Tax Court to pay the IRS $1.45 billion in back taxes, penalties, and interest stemming from an issue involving power plant leases in Illinois. The order came a little more than a month after Gov. Cuomo announced a proposed sale of the FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in upstate Oswego County to Exelon by Entergy. The sale is part of a bailout for upstate’s three nuclear facilities, which Cuomo says is key to his clean energy plan designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

October 18, 2016 – Newser – Got $36M? This Nuke Plant Could be Yours – It’s not the Brooklyn Bridge, but authorities in Alabama do have a nuclear power plant they want to sell you. Minimum bids for the never-finished Bellefonte nuke plant start at $36.4 million, which is essentially the value of the 1,400-acre patch of land on the Tennessee River in Hollywood, Ala., with a couple of reactors thrown in, reports the Times Free Press. That’s a fraction of the approximately $5 billion that authorities have spent over nearly a half-century to develop the site, once the state’s largest energy project. Work began in 1973 on two nuclear reactors—four were planned—when demand for electric power was growing by 5% a year. But as demand ebbed, the project stalled and, faced with a final price tag of $8 billion, the Tennessee Valley Authority decided to quit while it was behind.

October 18, 2016 – The Guardian – MIT nuclear fusion record marks latest step towards unlimited clean energy – A nuclear fusion world record has been set in the US, marking another step on the long road towards the unlocking of limitless clean energy. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created the highest plasma pressure ever recorded, using its Alcator C-Mod tokamak reactor. High pressures and extreme temperatures are vital in forcing atoms together to release huge amounts of energy. Nuclear fusion powers the sun and has long been touted as the ultimate solution to powering the world while halting climate change. But, as fusion sceptics often say, the reality has stubbornly remained a decade or two away for many years.

October 18, 2016 – Monticello Times – Radiological preparedness excercise scheduled this week at Monticello nuclear plant – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DPS-HSEM), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Radiological Monitoring Assessment Center (FRMAC) will conduct a radiological emergency preparedness exercise around the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant this week (Oct. 17-21). The Northern Lights exercise will involve helicopter flights between the areas of Monticello and Camp Ripley. The helicopter may also fly over Benton, Cass, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties, stated a Minnesota Department of Public Safety news advisory issued this morning (Monday, Oct. 17).

October 18, 2016 – Kansas City Star – Anti-nuke priest still is spreading the word — and red paint – When the judge called the defendant’s name for the last hearing of the day, a gruff and hearty “Here!” came from the back of the courtroom. The Rev. Carl Kabat, a Catholic priest, rose and walked to the front of Courtroom G. He’s 83, used a cane and wore white sneakers. He wasn’t looking to beat the rap. He was looking for a fight. Facing charges of trespassing and destruction of property for splashing red paint on the door of the Honeywell plant in south Kansas City on July 4, Kabat wanted to put the federal government on trial for making nuclear weapons. “Nuclear weapons are insane,” Kabat, part of the original Plowshares Eight, said outside before his appearance in Kansas City Municipal Court. “These things will kill everybody. When did we vote to have them? No one ever did.”

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