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September 7, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 7th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 7, 2016 – E&E Publishing – ‘Dead Plant Society’ lobby group booms as reactors close – When utility executives gathered over dinner in 2001 to commiserate about looming reactor closures and start lobbying Congress for help, their first order of business was picking a name for their advocacy group. “The Dead Plant Society,” lobbyist Tim Smith offered. His tongue-in-cheek reference to “Dead Poets Society,” a 1980s movie about a secret group of poetry lovers at an all-boys prep school, landed with a thud. “Nobody,” Smith recalled recently, “wanted to write a check to a group called the Dead Plant Society.” But 15 years later, the name lives — and is more fitting than ever. Reactors are closing as nuclear utilities struggle to compete with cheap natural gas, low demand for power and no national energy policy. And when the behemoth nuclear plants close, the Dead Plant Society grows.

September 7, 2016 – The Spectrum – Downwinders documentary screens during DOCUTAH – DOCUTAH began in earnest with a full roster of films Tuesday, including “Radioactive Veteran,” which focuses on the above-ground nuclear testing in Nevada during the Cold War. It was the first time a full audience had seen the 24-minute documentary, which was screened in the Eccles Main Stage Theater at Dixie State University — host of the annual documentary film festival in St. George. “Radioactive Veteran” is one of 69 films in this year’s festival. Most Southern Utahns are probably familiar with our own “Downwinders,” those who lived through the nuclear testing and were later diagnosed with certain types of cancer attributed to the testing. However, “Radioactive Veteran” tells the story of the late Donald Guy, a North Carolina resident, and his widow Mary. Guy was stationed at the test site while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

September 7, 2016 – BBC News – Radioactive liquid waste at Dounreay ‘made safe’ – Radioactive liquid waste at the Dounreay nuclear power site has been made safe, according to a team working on decommissioning the plant. The liquid called raffinate was drained from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) at the complex in Caithness. It was immobilised by mixing it with cement powder inside 875 500-litre drums, which will be stored on-site. The team has now begun preparations to deal with raffinate in Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has described the completion of the DFR work as “a milestone” in the wider project to decommission the power plant near Thurso. The drums of cemented waste will be stored at Dounreay until a decision is made in the future on how it should be disposed of.

September 7, 2016 – EOS – Melting Ice Could Reveal Toxic Cold War Era Waste in Greenland – In 1959, during the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Camp Century, a military base in northwestern Greenland encased completely within the Greenland Ice Sheet. The camp’s official purpose was to test construction techniques in the Arctic and conduct scientific research, but it doubled as a top secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles that could reach the Soviet Union in case of nuclear war. Greenland is a Danish territory, and although the United States had Denmark’s approval to build Camp Century, the missile launch program, known as Project Iceworm, was kept secret from the Danish government. Several years after the camp became operational, however, Project Iceworm was rejected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the camp was decommissioned in 1967. The Army Corps of Engineers removed the nuclear reactor that powered the camp but left the camp’s infrastructure and waste behind, under the assumption they would be frozen and buried forever by perpetual snowfall.

September 7, 2016 – Prostate Cancer News – Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients in UK Can Now Have Routine Radium-223 Therapy – The U.K.’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved radium-223 to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones for routine National Health Service (NHS) use. The approval comes in the wake of new information about how the effectiveness of radium-223 internal radiation therapy compares with treatments currently available for this type of prostate cancer, according to a news release.

September 7, 2016 – Utah Public Radio – Citing Spills, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Halts Uranium Waste Shipments to SE Utah – Twice a year, the Cameco uranium mine in central Wyoming sends a truckload of a mining byproduct known in the trade as “barium sludge” to the White Mesa uranium mill south of Blanding. The last two truckloads have resulted in highway spills. The most recent was on March 29th. Ken Vaughn is a Cameco spokesman for the Smith Ranch uranium mine, which is near Casper, Wyoming. “We’re at work to make sure we address all the issues directed by the NRC. We’re not aware of any impacts to environment or public health. I think we need to let the process work through and then we’ll know what actions to take that both we and the NRC are comfortable with and feel appropriate. It’s more important to us that we get it right than we worry about how long it’s going to take.”

September 7, 2016 – Telecompaper – Nkom finds 4G technology has not led to more radiation – Norwegian telecoms regulator Nkom and national radiation protection agency Statens stralevern have presented a report on their long-term test at the Nkom Frequency Forum. The report concludes that when it comes to outdoor radiation, levels are consistently below three permille of permitted levels. They said the introduction of new systems, such as 4G technology, does not necessarily lead to an overall rise in radiation. Measurements were taken from June 2013 until June 2015 in Kristiansand, which was chosen as it was considered to be a typical, largeish Norwegian town with plenty of activity. Measurements were taken every three months in the same spot and the same way. The project will continue for several more years.

September 7, 2016 – Digital Journal – US Nuclear Corp. UCLE Makes Third Acquisition as Part of Aggressive Growth-Through-Acquisition Strategy – US Nuclear Corp. (OTCBB: UCLE) announces the acquisition of Electronic Control Concepts. ECC makes test equipment; kVp, mAs and exposure time meters so x-ray techs can fine tune the performance of the world’s many x-ray machines. This is US Nuclear’s third acquisition which is part of their growth-through-acquisition. Overhoff Technology and Optron Scientific are the previous two. ECC complements Overhoff and Optron since ECC products go to the same markets, same specialties, and same customer base

September 7, 2016 – YLE.fi – STUK still waiting on documents from Russian-owned nuclear plant – Finland’s nuclear regulators are still waiting for documents from the Russian nuclear firm Rosatom that should have arrived at least six months ago. The papers relate to a plant Rosatom is slated to build for the Finnish company Fennovoima in Pyhäjoki, north Ostrobothnia. Key documents relating to Fennovoima’s planned nuclear reactor at Pyhäjoki are more than six months late in arriving at Finland’s nuclear regulator, STUK. The supplier of the reactor, the Russian state-owned firm Rosatom, has not provided the papers required according to a timetable proposed by Fennovoima in 2015. The plan had suggested that the documents would arrive in tranches, deliveries starting at the start of this year and continuing until 2017. Construction would–according to this timetable–begin in 2018.

September 7, 2016 – Reuters – Norway’s fund barred from investing in U.S. firm Duke Energy – Norway’s $900-billion wealth fund can no longer invest in Duke Energy, the biggest U.S. power firm by generation capacity, due to alleged breaches of environmental law at its coal-fired plants, Norway’s central bank said on Wednesday.
The fund, which owns 1.3 percent of the world’s listed company equity with stakes in some 9,050 firms, is barred from investing in companies that make nuclear weapons, anti-personnel landmines or tobacco, among other ethical criteria. Duke Energy and its subsidiaries Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress and Energy Progress Inc were excluded “based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage”, the central bank’s board said in a statement.

September 7, 2016 – Inside Cybersecurity – Nuclear regulators model cyber reg guidance after NIST framework, manufacturing ‘profile’ – New Nuclear Regulatory Commission draft guidance cites the federal framework of cybersecurity standards and a related, industry-specific manufacturing “profile” as a model for a nuclear fuel-cycle facility cybersecurity programs that will be required under a forthcoming regulation. “The [regulatory guide] offers a licensee guidance on addressing the necessary cyber security controls for an existing or new digital asset,” the document states.

September 7, 2016 – Sputnik International – Russian Scientists Develop Nuclear-Powered Underwater Drone Carrier – Russian scientists have unveiled the latest concept in UAV warfare: a nuclear-powered carrier platform which would serve as a ‘mothership’ for unmanned subs.Vladimir Dorofeyev, chief of Malakhit Design Bureau, has announced this new design at the Army-2016 international military forum that kicked off in Moscow on September 6. He explained that the new platform is expected to perform as both a carrier unit and a recharge station for underwater drones, according to RIA Novosti. “Students and young specialists at Malachite came up with this concept, the goal of which is to create a universal platform that could facilitate the use of unmanned underwater vehicles,” Dorofeev said.

September 7, 2016 – GCR – Russia offers to build Saudi Arabia’s $100bn nuclear industry – As the Syrian war grinds on Russia has stepped up diplomatic overtures to Saudi Arabia by offering to build all 16 reactors in the kingdom’s intended nuclear programme over the next 20 years. Yury Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the offer last week (30 August) ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s young, reformist second deputy prime minister, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China, Russian state news agency Sputnik reported. Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, was ready to help with the ambitious construction programme, which has been costed at $100bn, said Ushakov. “Our company, which has the most advanced technologies, is ready to join the project to construct 16 nuclear power reactors in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

September 7, 2016 – The Japan Times – Japan to start background checks of nuclear workers in anti-terrorism effort – The nation’s nuclear watchdog decided Wednesday to require background checks for workers at nuclear power plants and other facilities as part of its anti-terrorism measures. Following recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will introduce the measure in late September. Still, actual implementation is expected to begin next year or later due to necessary regulation changes needed in regards to handling nuclear materials. It is also unclear how the new measure will be effective in improving security as the operators will conduct the background checks based on information provided by the workers rather than in cooperation with police or other law enforcement authorities.

September 7, 2016 – The Japan Times – Despite dwindling momentum, Koizumi pursues anti-nuclear goals – While Japan’s once-charged anti-nuclear movement struggles to retain its momentum five years after the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi remains doggedly determined to attain his goal of ending the country’s reliance on atomic energy. On Wednesday, he renewed his pledge to help ill U.S. veterans whose conditions they claim are linked to the release of radioactive plumes from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Koizumi, who is opposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear stance, says Japan can be put on a sustainable path without atomic power.

September 7, 2016 – WIBW News – Source of Water Leak at Nuclear Plant Near Burlington Found – Staff members at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation near Burlington have located the source of a minor water leak and are working to repair it. Communications director Jenny Hageman says Wolf Creek personnel identified a cracked weld as the source of the water leak in the reactor cooling system. Staff members are finalizing a repair plan. The Emporia Gazette reports that the plant was manually shut down Friday due to the leak. Hageman says officials had planned to shut down the nuclear plant on September 24 for a maintenance and refueling outage.

September 7, 2016 – Boston Globe – Pilgrim nuclear plant temporarily shut down over mechanical issue – The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was shut down Tuesday morning because of a mechanical issue, the second such incident in recent weeks, officials said. Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, wrote in an email that the Plymouth facility “experienced an unplanned shutdown” around 8:35 a.m. Sheehan said the reactor shut down “due to a high water level resulting from an oscillating (fluctuating) feedwater regulating valve.” Water is pumped into the reactor vessel so it can be boiled, converted to steam, and sent to the turbine to generate electricity, Sheehan said. Commission inspectors “will continue to keep a close eye on Entergy’s troubleshooting activities and any repair plans,” he said.

September 7, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Decision on Indian Point relicensing could take another year or more – The decision on whether to grant new operating licenses for the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan may be another year or more off. Proceedings are continuing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with the issues being examined, but the issue of broken or missing baffle bolts may push the process back further, said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. “They are seeing some progress on some of the other outstanding issues, but because of the baffle bolts issue and the expectation that there will be some contentions related to that, that is going to ensure that the proceeding is pushed at least into 2017 if not farther down the road,” Sheehan said.

September 7, 2016 – Toledo Blade – Fermi plant’s license topic of talks in D.C. – The future of DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear plant will be discussed in Washington on Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an independent body of nuclear experts that is a key NRC advisory group. The ACRS has a lengthy talk about the plant’s application for a 20-year license extension on its agenda for that afternoon at the NRC’s national headquarters in Rockville, Md.

September 7, 2016 – Courthouse News Service – Ohio Sues to Contain High Levels of Radiation – The Ohio Department of Health says that a repeatedly vandalized Cleveland business must secure its radioactive material to prevent ground contamination. The department filed an injunctive action against Advanced Medical Systems Inc. and owner Seymour Stein on Aug. 30 in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. According to the lawsuit, AMS was licensed to manufacture Cobalt-60 medical radiation devices until its license was not renewed in 2001. After unsuccessfully appealing the decision, AMS was ordered to decontaminate its facility. However, the health department alleges that AMS has failed to comply with the order.

September 7, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Creating the ‘Secret City’ app – When the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) team that developed the “Secret City” app heard I was stuck trying to get into 109 East Palace, they asked if they could meet with me to help me out. As Team Leader Travis Burkett and Lead Programmer Jeff Wauson coached me through the ins and outs of using the app, I learned how they went about developing this complex piece of programming. The two walked me through unlocking security clearances that let me access the Los Alamos town site, the tech area around Ashley Pond, V-Site and Gun Site and finally the Trinity Site itself. The tour is structured to give the user the experience of being a scientist recruited to the project.

September 7, 2016 – State Press Tempe – ASU researchers analyze emotional meltdowns at nuclear plants – Students done letting that Xbox Kinect in the far corner of their dorm rooms collect dust might just want to donate it to a new research project at the Del E. Webb School of Construction. The Kinect devices are being used in an unconventional way. Cheng Zhang, a graduate student in the school of engineering, is using the 3D imaging capabilities of the Kinect sensor to analyze the emotions of nuclear power plant employees during outages. “A refueling outage is a certain amount of time when we need to shut the power plant down and do the refueling, replacing the nuclear fuel for the power plant,” Zhang said. Outages are times when plant workers will conduct repairs on plant equipment, replace about a third of reactor fuel, and perform routine inspections. The period also requires employees to work on maintenance quickly and efficiently.

September 7, 2016 – Sublette Examiner – Lawmakers warm to nuke waste storage site – Wyoming lawmakers and regulatory officials said earlier this month that they’re ready to consider revising laws and possibly take part in a federal effort to build temporary and permanent storage for highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee kept alive the possibility of participating in what the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says would be a voluntary and “consent-based” approach. The committee heard testimony and public comment on the topic in Casper, resurrecting a controversial idea for Wyoming.

September 7, 2016 – San Diego Free Press – Nuclear Shutdown News – US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year. On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.” The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while. US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

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September 6, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 6th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 6, 2016 – OH&S – DARPA Hails Smartphone-Sized Radiation Detectors – DARPA recently announced that its SIGMA program has facilitated the development of a new tool to help in preventing “dirty bomb” attacks and other nuclear threats — a network of smartphone-sized mobile devices that can detect the tiniest trace of radioactive materials. Used along with with larger detectors, these new devices “promise significantly enhanced awareness of radiation sources and greater advance warning of possible threats,” according to DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). SIGMA began in 2014 with the goal of creating a cost-effective, continuous radiation-monitoring network that can cover a large city or region. And more than 100 of the networked devices have been successfully tested at one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs. Besides being up to 10 times faster in detecting gamma and neutron radiation, they are one-tenth the cost of conventional sensors. The program achieved its price goal of 10,000 pocket-sized detectors for $400 per unit, according to DARPA’s announcement.

September 6, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Tepco adviser says treated Fukushima water safe for release into Pacific – Treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is safe to be released under controlled circumstances into the Pacific Ocean, according to an independent Tepco adviser. “It is much better to do a controlled release in my view than to have an accidental release,” Dale Klein, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an interview in Tokyo. “I get nervous about just storing all that water when you have about 1,000 tanks. You have all the piping, all the valves, everything that can break.”

September 6, 2016 – MetroNews.ca – Capitol Hill residents unhappy about proposed cell tower – Plans to build a cell tower in the city-owned Confederation Park Golf Course is meeting resistance from some people in the neighboring community of Capitol Hill. Vera Gartley received a pack of information in mail because she lives within 300 metres of where the proposed tower could be. She’s now hoping to rally others in her community to attend the community meeting on Sept. 15. Gartley said she already suffers from wi-fi sensitivity, and has read lots of information online about potential health hazards from cell towers. Information on the federal government’s website notes that it has created safety regulations with built-in margins to protect the public from any possible radiation hazards.

September 6, 2016 – Novus Light – Radiation Resistant Lens Enables Precision Radiotherapy – Resolve Optics reports that it has developed and is supplying a 24mm diameter fixed focus non-browning lens to a market leader in radiotherapy equipment. The radiotherapy equipment supplier sought a high resolution lens able to withstand, and precisely focus, the high levels of radiation produced by their synchrotron device onto tumours. As increasing numbers of people require radiotherapy as a key part of their cancer treatment, there is a need for treatment delivery systems that can deliver precise and accurate care quickly. Using cerium-doped glasses, Resolve Optics produced a compact f/2.8 lens able to withstand long-term exposure to radiation up to a dose of 100 million radians without discoloration. This new lens is enabling the customer to improve the precision radiotherapy treatment of tumours that its equipment provides.

September 6, 2016 – Science 2.0 – Whole Brain Radiotherapy Offers Little Benefit When Lung Cancer Has Spread To The Brain – People with the most common type of lung cancer whose disease has spread to the brain could be spared potentially harmful whole brain radiotherapy, according to new research published in The Lancet. The phase 3 randomized trial found that whole brain radiotherapy had no beneficial effect on length or quality of survival over treatment with steroids and other supportive care. Despite its widespread use, until now there has been no robust evidence to determine whether whole brain radiotherapy, which can have substantial side effects (eg, fatigue, nausea, neurotoxicity), is better than best supportive care alone in terms of prolonging life or improving quality of life. The authors say that while whole brain radiotherapy may be beneficial in patients who are younger than 60 years old, it should no longer be considered standard treatment for the majority of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to the brain.

September 6, 2016 – Union of Concerned Scientists – Nuclear Reactors and Flood Protection – In August 2006, NRC inspectors identified a deficiency in a flood protection measure at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. Specifically, the inspectors discovered that workers removed a 6-inch by 10-inch panel in the 5-foot tall flood wall around the Standby Shutdown Facility (SSF) to allow temporary cables to be used during a modification. When the work was completed and the cables removed, the panel was not re-installed. The SSF houses power supplies and emergency equipment that provide core cooling for all three Oconee reactors during certain accidents. The opening in the flood wall could have allowed water to enter the SSF and submerge the equipment, disabling it. The NRC’s preliminary determination was that the problem warranted a white finding. The owner contested the white finding in October 2006 on grounds that the lower end of the opening is 4.71 feet above the ground and no credible flood could cause water to rise high enough to flow through the opening to threaten the equipment inside the SSF. The NRC considered the argument, then decided against it and issued the white finding in November 2006.

September 6, 2016 – WhaTech – Research details developments in the nuclear medicine therapeutics market 2016 – Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics Market 2016 is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics worldwide. First of all, ” Global Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics Market 2016 ” report provides a basic overview of the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry including definitions, classifications, applications and Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry chain structure. The analysis is provided for the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics international market including development history, Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry competitive landscape analysis.

September 6, 2016 – E&T Magazine – Sellafield nuclear plant is understaffed and dangerous BBC alleges – Sellafield nuclear plant is being operated dangerously by its workers as the nuclear material is handled improperly, according to an upcoming BBC Panorama documentary. It is alleged that parts of the nuclear facility regularly have too few staff to operate safely and radioactive plutonium and uranium have been stored in plastic bottles. The BBC said the investigation was prompted by a former senior manager turned whistleblower who was worried about conditions at the site in Cumbria. The company that runs Sellafield has said the site is safe and has been improved with significant investment in recent years, the BBC reported. The whistleblower is reported to have told the programme that his biggest fear was a fire in one of the nuclear waste silos or in one of the processing plants.

September 6, 2016 – The Northlines – Pakistan selling nuclear materials to North Korea – America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has apprised India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) that Pakistan is supplying nuclear material to North Korea. According to reports, Pakistan has been sending nuclear materials to North Korea through sea route. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) supplied Monel and Enconel (nuclear substances) to Pyongyang in clear violation of United Nations sanctions. Notably, Islamabad was supplied such materials by Chinese company named Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited. The supplies of the Chinese company to Pakistan were being diverted to North Korea by the Pakistani authorities through cargo ship, it claimed.

September 6, 2016 – The Bahamas Weekly – IAEA holds workshop in Asia on using nuclear technique to fight disease-spreading mosquitos – The IAEA is holding a workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week on the potential use of a nuclear technique to help suppress mosquitos spreading Zika and other viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Organised in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the week-long meeting brings together more than 50 scientists and public health experts from around 40 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas to learn about the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) – an environmentally friendly birth control method for insect pests.

September 6, 2016 – ANTARA News – Nuclear experts from Indonesia, Australia, Japan meet in Bali – As many as 15 nuclear experts from Indonesia, Australia and Japan are holding a meeting in Bali to discuss new standards in measuring the effect of radiation from research, natural processes and human activities. The meeting, taking place in Sanur from September 5 to 9, 2016, is being organized by the National Nuclear Power Agency (Batan), in cooperation with the South Pacific Environmental Radioactivity Association (SPERA). The meeting is expected to recommend new standards in order to protect the public from radiation, Batan Chairman Djarot S. Wisnubroto said.

September 6, 2016 – AIJAC – Radioactive Terrorism – the next big threat? – Concerns about nonconventional terrorism at the Rio Summer Olympics, and reports that persons involved in the November 2015 Islamic State (IS) attack in Paris had conducted video surveillance of a scientist employed at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, have revived fears that terrorist groups may be interested in building a “dirty bomb” using radioactive materials – also referred to as a radiological weapon or an explosive radiological dispersal device (RDD). Explosive RDDs are the type of radiological weapon most frequently mentioned in the media. They rely on an explosive charge to disperse radioactive materials to contaminate personnel and facilities in the vicinity of the blast and downwind, to disrupt lives and livelihoods, and to instil fear. Conversely, non-explosive RDDs could involve the contamination of food, water or air with radioactive material (for instance, via a building’s ventilation system). This piece focuses on the threat posed by explosive RDDs.

September 6, 2016 – The Ecologist – Sellafield exposed: the nonsense of nuclear fuel reprocessing – Last night’s BBC Panorama programme did a good job at lifting the lid on Britain’s ongoing nuclear disaster that is Sellafield, writes David Lowry. But it failed to expose the full scandal of the UK’s ‘reprocessing’ of spent fuel into 50 tonnes of plutonium, enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs – while leaving £100s of billions of maintenance and cleanup costs to future generations. Perhaps the most eye-watering revelations in the BBC programme were that, although reprocessing was going to cease, the waste containment functions of Sellafield would continue for another 110 years at an estimated cost of up to £162 billion. The BBC press release stated this was a “special investigation into the shocking state of Britain’s most hazardous nuclear plant” – and it certainly was.

September 6, 2016 – Newnan Times-Herald – What water bottles, Coke cans, and nuclear material have in common – We put newspapers, water bottles, aluminum cans and all sorts of plastics on the curb in front of our house each week because it extends the life of our landfills, saving us all money. It also is the right thing to do. But when it comes to the used nuclear fuel from our commercial reactors, our long-range plan is simply to bury it. That has been our policy for decades, but changing the policy may be something the next president can bring about. We have in this country more than 70,000 tons of used fuel stored at more than 75 sites in 33 states, and the 100 U.S. commercial reactors produce about 2,000 additional tons of used fuel each year. Because we don’t recycle this nuclear material, it would take nine Yucca Mountain repositories by the turn of the next century to house all of the used fuel being produced.

September 6, 2016 – Eugene Register Guard – Energy Department ending probe into Idaho radiation leak – The U.S. Department of Energy says it’s concerned about a radiation leak two years ago at an eastern Idaho nuclear facility that contaminated nine workers, but the agency says it will not begin a formal investigation. The federal agency’s Office of Enforcement in a letter told Battelle Energy Alliance, a research contractor, that it would continue to monitor the company’s efforts to improve nuclear safety at the Idaho National Laboratory but no additional requirements were being imposed. “The actual nuclear safety consequences of this event were low, but DOE views seriously any event in which workers receive unplanned radiological uptakes,” the letter states.

September 6, 2016 – Daily Evergreen – A radioactive attraction – Entering into the Dodgen Research Facility, all guests are required to clip on a dosimeter, a small device worn with the intent of measuring exposure to radiation. That’s because just up the stairs from the lobby, through a number of secured doors, at the bottom of a 25-foot-deep pool, and surrounded by 65,000 gallons of water, is WSU’s very own nuclear reactor. Despite wearing the sensitive dosimeters, guests should not expect to see the device read above 0.0 millirems, the measure of radiation’s effect on the human body, during their visit. Even operators at the Nuclear Radiation Center never receive more than a tenth of the legal limit, said Senior Reactor Operator Kaitlyn Restis. The reactor fuel at the bottom of the pool gives off an ominous dark-blue glow due to Cherenkov radiation, an interaction between electrons and the surrounding water.

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September 1, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 1st, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 1, 2016 – Las Vegas Review-Journal – US rescinds contract to operate Nevada National Security Site – The National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday rescinded a $5 billion, 10-year contract it awarded last week to a Lockheed Martin subsidiary to manage and operate the Nevada National Security Site because the company did not tell the agency it had sold the unit. “This change in ownership raises substantial questions about the information in the NVS3T proposal, which could significantly impact the evaluation of the proposal and award decision,” said a statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy. The decision to rescind the contract to NVS3T — short for Nevada Site Science Support and Technologies Corp. — has prompted the federal agency to “reconsider all offers previously received in response to the request for proposals,” the statement said.

September 1, 2016 – Dickinson Press – Western ND landfill operator found with radioactive waste – The State Health Department ordered IHD Solids Management to remove nearly 950 tons of material and undergo a third-party inspection of the landfill after the radioactive waste was detected in separate inspections in May and June. Two other oil field waste companies also were found to have illegal materials on site, though in much smaller quantity. Both of those — Secure Energy Services and Gibson Energy WISCO — are applying for expanded permits under North Dakota’s new rules that allow up to 50 picocuries of radioactive oil field waste in specially permitted landfills.

September 1, 2016 – Power Magazine – Lloyd’s Register on Current Nuclear Power Challenges – POWER Editor Gail Reitenbach interviewed King Lee of Lloyd’s Register on June 29 at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Le Bourget, France. The firm is a “non-profit distributing charity with a public benefit mandate,” which means that it is independent from shareholders, and profits are distributed to a variety of educational and other charities. Its nuclear group has provided independent, expert technical advice on safety and risk management for more than 60 years, beginning with the UK’s Calder Hall reactors in the 1950s. The UK vote to exit the European Union (EU), known as “Brexit,” had taken place the previous week. Questions and answers have been edited for length and style. [Click here for interview.]

September 1, 2016 – Bloomberg News – How new nuclear could lift renewables at a third of Hinkley cost – A former chief scientist for one of the world’s biggest consumer-goods companies says he can make nuclear power cheaper and safer and wants $30 million so that he can prove it. After working 25 years at Unilever PLC, Ian Scott came out of retirement in 2013 to found Moltex Energy LLP. Three years later, the biochemist says he has come up with an atomic-reactor design that produces more power for less money than standard pressured-water unit like the ones planned at Hinkley Point in Somerset, England. “The Stable Salt Reactor is a U.K.-developed technology that can produce electricity at a third of the Hinkley-C strike price,” Scott said in an interview in London. “It can store energy at grid scale — catalyzing the further rollout of renewables — and can be powered by the country’s existing nuclear waste.”

September 1, 2016 – OneIndia – Ahead of Bharat Bandh, radiologists go on nationwide strike from Sept 1 – Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (IRIA) which has more than 20,000 radiologists has given a call for a nationwide indefinite strike starting from September 1.Scores of radiologists will hold a protest at the Jantar Mantar on Thursday to press for their demand to amend a legislation that “equates” even minor clerical mistakes committed during their jobs to sex determination.

September 1, 2016 – Newsmaker – Research report explores the United States X-Ray Machine Industry – The United States X-Ray Machine Industry 2016 Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the X-Ray Machine industry. The report provides a basic overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The X-Ray Machine market analysis is provided for the United States markets including development trends, competitive landscape analysis, and key regions development status.

September 1, 2016 – Al Manar – Iran to Build Two Nuclear Plants with Russia: Salehi – Iran will build two new nuclear power stations with assistance from Russia, the head of its Atomic Energy Organization said late Wednesday. “Operations to build two new nuclear power plants in Bushehr will start on 10 September and it will take 10 years for the power plants to be completed,” Ali Akbar Salehi said, according IRNA news agency. “We will save 22 million barrels of oil per year by building these two power plants,” said Salehi, who is also a vice-president, adding that the project would cost an estimated $10 billion. He pointed to Russia’s cooperation saying: “In the cooperation contract with the Russians, the emphasis has been laid on making use of technical capabilities of Iran for implementation of the project.”

September 1, 2016 – AllGov – Uranium Firm to Fix Leaks onto Utah Highway of Radioactive Sludge Used to Make Yellowcake – A uranium mining company has agreed to corrective measures after two spills of radioactive sludge, the most recent on March 29 when some of the material from a Wyoming mine leaked from a truck onto a highway, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday. The low-level radioactive sludge leaked onto U.S. 191 outside a radioactive waste disposal facility in Utah, the NRC said in a letter Tuesday to Brent Berg, the president of mine owner Cameco. The company isn’t aware of any danger to the environment or people, Cameco spokesman Kenneth Vaughn said Wednesday. Besides failing to prevent the spill, Saskatchewan-based Cameco failed to accurately determine the amount of radioactive material in the sludge and adequately document the material in shipping papers, according to the NRC.

September 1, 2016 – Huffington Post – The link between uranium from the Congo and Hiroshima: a story of twin tragedies – I participated in a groundbreaking event at the South African Museum in Cape Town entitled The Missing Link: Peace and Security Surrounding Uranium. The event had been organised by the Congolese Civil Society of South Africa to put a spotlight on the link between Japan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): that the uranium used to build the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima came from the Shinkolobwe mine in the province of Katanga. This was the richest uranium in the world. Its ore had an average of 65% uranium oxide compared with American or Canadian ore, which contained less than 1%. The mine is now closed, but its existence put it at the centre of the Manhattan Project in the second world war. The Congo was a Belgian colony at the time and the Congolese suffered from the harsh colonial reality of racism, segregation and extreme inequities.

September 1, 2016 – Korea Times – N. Korea leader treats nuclear scientist well despite reign of terror – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is exceptionally favoring scientists and engineers tasked with nuclear development despite his growing reign of terror. The young leader has been providing “all possible assistance” to nuclear researchers, including employees of a think tank under Pyongyang’s Second Economic Commission and also the ruling Workers’ Party’s Munitions Industry Department. The commission oversees the development of military technology in general, while the department is in charge of nuclear programs. This is in contrast to the latest revelation that North Korean Vice Premier Kim Yong-jin was executed while two other senior officials ― Kim Yong-chol and Choe Hwi ― were banished to re-education farms.

September 1, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Ban to be lifted on Fukushima’s worst-affected zone in 2022 – Some of the most contaminated areas of Fukushima Prefecture rendered uninhabitable by the 2011 nuclear disaster will be declared safe to live in again in 2022. The government’s decision to lift the partial ban on repatriation to the “difficult-to-return zone” was announced Aug. 31 after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a joint meeting of the government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters and Reconstruction Promotion Council. By 2022, the area’s 24,000 or so residents will have been displaced for more than a decade and there is no way of knowing how many will choose to return to their hometowns. The difficult-to-return zone encompasses seven municipalities situated in a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as well as a spur of land northwest of the radius.

September 1, 2016 – Counter Punch – The Dangerous Nuclear Plant Rising on DC’s Doorstep – Dominion Virginia Power, a section of the giant utility Dominion, is proceeding unlawfully with construction of its $19-billion-plus power reactor 80 miles from Washington, DC — called North Anna 3 — and must get formal approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) before it can continue, according to a petition filed August 30th by the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (VCCC; ), a nonprofit group based in Elliston, Va. The group’s “Petition for a Declaratory Judgment” says in part: “At an estimated total cost of at least $19.2 billion, North Anna 3 would be the most expensive power [reactor] ever built in the United States and could raise customers’ rates by 26 % or more according to the Virginia Attorney General. While Dominion claims that North Anna 3 is needed for compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan, it would be far costlier than the low-carbon alternative of combined renewables, demand-side management, and efficiency.

September 1, 2016 – Arutz Sheva – Report: US secretly agreed to waive Iran nuclear restrictions – The Obama administration may have secretly agreed to waive restrictions placed on the Iranian regime’s nuclear program as part of the landmark 2015 deal. According to a soon-to-be-published report by the Institute for Science and International Security, the US and fellow negotiating partners secretly agreed to permit the Islamic regime to ignore some restrictions on its nuclear program, thereby paving the way for the removal of economic sanctions against the rogue state. The report, which was reviewed by Reuters, was co-authored by the institute’s president, David Albright, cites government officials who participated in the negotiation process prior to the signing of the deal last July. Albright, himself a former United Nation’s weapons inspector, told Reuters the US and its allies had colluded to create “loopholes” for the Iranian regime.

September 1, 2016 – Mondaq – Nuclear power under consideration by South Australian government – Using nuclear fuels to generate base load electricity to address increasing electricity prices, as well as the need to reduce carbon emissions, is being considered by the South Australian government who established a Royal Commission to investigate the possibilities. The Commission has found that while expanding the nuclear fuel cycle in that state may be possible, bipartisan support federally for making the necessary legislative changes will be a crucial factor.

September 1, 2016 – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader – Talen Energy withdraws application for Bell Bend power plant – A local power plant company announced Wednesday it is withdrawing an application to build a second proposed nuclear power plant. Talen Energy, which owns the Susquehanna plant, has sent a written request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) withdrawing a license application for the Bell Bend nuclear power plant project. The Bell Bend plant would be adjacent to the existing Susquehanna site. According to a press release issued by Talen, the company sees “no viable path” to obtaining the license.

September 1, 2016 – WVVA – Group asks regulators to stop work on proposed nuclear plant – A consumer group wants electric utility Dominion Virginia Power to get explicit approval from state regulators before it spends any more money prepping for a potential new $19 billion nuclear plant. The Virginia Citizens Consumer Council filed a motion Tuesday arguing that Dominion is currently in violation of state law because it’s started doing preliminary construction on a new nuclear plant, known as North Anna 3, without permission from state regulators. Dominion has not committed to build the new plant, but plans to have spent at least $647 million by next year preparing for a potential build. The company says such preparations are prudent and ratepayers will benefit from having the option to build a reliable, long-lasting and carbon-free power source.

September 1, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Reactor vessel in place at Summer unit 2 – The steel vessel, which is over 10 metres tall and weighs 278 tonnes, will lie at the heart of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor currently under construction at the South Carolina site. It was transported from the Port of Charleston on a special rail car and lifted into place by one of the largest cranes in the world. The vessel will house the reactor core and all associated components including the reactor vessel internals which support and stabilize the core within the reactor vessel, as well as providing the path for coolant flow and guiding movement of the control rods. September 1, 2016 – WTVC News Channel 9 – Transformer causes fire at Watts Bar nuclear plant – Several fire crews responded to a fire at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on Tuesday night. Authorities tell us the fire was caused by a failed transformer, and the nuclear reactor was not affected.

September 1, 2016 – Dyersburg State Gazette – TVA surcharge leaves residents feeling the heat – Many residents in both the city as well as the county, when receiving their electric bills, have questioned the excessive TVA surcharge on their monthly statement. When questioned about the surcharge, Dyersburg Electric System President and CEO Stephen M. Lane responded, “Around 2007 TVA elected to break out the pricing for their generation fuel from the base charges for power. Each TVA distributor was allowed the option to list the Fuel Cost Adder (FCA) as a separate line item or embed the charge into the base. DES elected to show our consumers the TVA fuel price in an effort of transparency. This charge is collected by DES and all other TVA distributors and forwarded to TVA on our power bill each month.” According to the TVA, fuel and purchased power costs are their largest single expense, and they are subject to change. The expense rises and falls with the weather, global supply and demand, and other factors.

September 1, 2016 – Nuclear Energy Insider – US waste facility developer acts on local impact queries to avoid delays – Texas’ Waste Control Specialists (WCS) has responded to all of the NRC’s Environmental Report questions following its application to build the U.S.’ first Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) as it looks to speed development ahead of an expected surge in plant closures, Scott Kirk, WCS’ Vice President of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, said. WCS submitted April 28 a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a 5,000 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) above-ground storage facility on its 14,000 acre site in Andrews, West Texas. NRC then sent WCS a formal Request for Supplemental Information (RSI) and WCS responded to 50% of these items on July 20, including the two items related to the Environmental Report, Scott Kirk, WCS’ Vice President of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, told a webinar hosted by Nuclear Energy Insider on July 27.

September 1, 2016 – Pueblo Chieftain – No nuclear reactor – In New Mexico with the fires in the past few years, they nearly took out a site that handles nuclear materials. The site was caught off guard and it was NOT located near a river, which is a must to cool a reactor. In the Northeast a few years back during the heavy flooding, the intake cooling waters from the river got blocked from debris and were a huge concern for the nuclear reactor. Rocky mountains are “new” mountains and earthquakes can happen anywhere in the next 1,000 years. To not build a facility to dispose of a nuclear failure first is like buying a home, getting a mortgage and not having the job to pay for it.

September 1, 2016 – Rexburg Standard Journal – INL partners with other labs to outline advanced reactor technology needs – In a report announced Monday, INL’s nuclear experts, in collaboration with their counterparts at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Labs, presented pathways to deployment for advanced test and demonstration reactor concepts to support key national nuclear energy needs. This collective effort reflects the growing sense of urgency and the groundswell of support for developing advanced reactor technologies. “To meet the objectives of the nation’s energy policy — and meet energy demand without emissions — we must realize the promise of innovative nuclear technologies,” said Dr. Kemal Pasamehmetoglu, director of INL’s Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate. “Deployment of an advanced test reactor and demonstration of new nuclear power plant technologies are necessary to achieve these objectives.”

September 1, 2016 – Long Beach Post – Cal State Long Beach Professors Talk Fukushima Radiation Disaster and Impact on Coastline – Recent samples collected by researchers from Kelp Watch and Cal State Long Beach professors have determined that no detectable radiation has entered the ecosystem along the West Coast since the disaster, which occurred in 2011. Scientists collected samples from sites ranging from Baja Mexico to Alaska, including locations in Long Beach, according to a release. “Results from our fifth sampling period from March through June of this year were very similar to the previous sampling periods obtained over the past two years and demonstrate no detectable amounts of Cesium 134 or elevated Cesium 137 levels in kelp that could be attributed to the Fukushima disaster,” said CSULB’s Dr. Steven Manley, a professor in Department of Biological Sciences.

September 1, 2016 – Half Moon Bay Review – Radioactive waste found on ship – When the USS Independence was scuttled in 1951, Navy records show it carried an unspecified number of barrels of radioactive waste in 50-gallon drums filled with concrete and sealed in an engine room. The barrels contained the protective gear and cleaning tools that workers used to decontaminate the radioactive ships when they returned to Hunters Point from atomic testing. The practice was not unusual: Between 1946 and 1970, approximately 47,800 barrels, concrete blocks and other containers of low-level radioactive waste were dumped into the waters near the Farallon Islands.

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August 31, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 31st, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 31, 2016 – Stars & Stripes – Former senator pledges to support vets in Fukushima lawsuit – Former Sen. John Edwards has pledged to support hundreds of U.S. sailors, Marines and airmen who say they were sickened by radioactive fallout from the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. U.S. forces participated in relief efforts after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that battered swaths of northeastern Japan, including the plant. Edwards — the 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president who ran for president that year and in 2008 — has offered his “legal and personal assistance” to the plaintiffs after hearing about their lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, according to a statement from the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

August 31, 2016 – MRT.com – Procedure can shrink cancerous tumors of the liver – Radioembolization is a procedure that is used to treat cancers of the liver. In the procedure, small particles are delivered via the arteries supplying the liver. The particles contain a radioactive element –Yttrium-90 — that delivers radiation over a small distance. Because the particles are delivered directly to the tumor, a larger dose can be given to the tumor than with standard radiation therapy.

August 31, 2016 – WebIndia123 – Radiologists and Imaging Centres to shut shop tomorrow – Radiological and Imaging Centres across the country will shut shops from tomorrow in protest against the victimisation and harassment by authorities in the implementation ofPre Conception and Pre National Diagnostic Test (PC and PNDT) Act. Indian Radiological and Imaging Association Prsident Dr Balakrishna Shetty told UNI here today that though the provisions of the Act was nobel and most of the Centres were strictly following them. Many honest Radiologists who do not have even remote connection with sex determination have been victimised by the authorities even for simple clerical errors. Dr Shetty said that all ultrasound services would be suspended till justice was served.

August 31, 2016 – Healio – Study showed low patient, surgeon radiation exposure during direct anterior approach THA – Researchers performed a retrospective chart review of 157 patients who underwent direct anterior approach total hip arthroplasty (THA) between 2012 and 2014. Of these, 117 cases were included in the analysis. Researchers collected exposure time, radiation emittance and peak kilovoltage (kVp) from patients’ electronic medical records. Results showed an average absorbed dose of radiation of approximately 2.97 milligray, with an average exposure time per procedure of 23.74 seconds. To create the image, researchers found an average amount of maximum energy of 75.38 kVp was used. Although kVp and BMI had a significantly strong correlation, researchers noted a positive but weak linear relationship with radiation dose and BMI and a weak correlation between fluoroscopy time and BMI.

August 31, 2016 – Nuclear Street – ROSATOM Meets With Ghana’s Nuclear Power Team – Russian nuclear corporation ROSATOM reported Tuesday that representatives of relevant agencies of the Republic of Ghana held the first meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) as part of implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The meeting was a follow up to the agreement signed on June 2, 2015. ROSATOMROSATOM sent its own delegation to the meeting, headed by Victor Polikarpov, regional vice-president of Sub-Saharan Africa. The lead delegate from Ghana was Benjamin Botwe Nyarko, director of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC). Various other departments of ROSATOM, the Ministry of Energy and GAEC were present.

August 31, 2016 – San Luis Obispo Tribune – When nuclear plants close, communities get little help for their ailing economies – Closures of nuclear power plants are taking an economic toll on communities across the nation, leading those left to pick up the pieces to ask: What about us? There’s been a growing call for more economic development assistance for host communities that face years of financial decline from the loss of jobs, tax revenue and charitable donations. The effects are especially hard on small, rural communities such as Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, where the nuclear power plant owned by Dominion Resources contributed an estimated $630 million per year to the regional economy.

August 31, 2016 – WDEF – Fire at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant facility – TVA officials say the public was never in danger from a fire Tuesday night at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant near Spring City. Fire crews from Rhea and Meigs County battled a transformer fire at the switch yard. TVA declared an unusual event at the plant, but officials say neither nuclear reactor was threatened by the fire. The exact cause of the transformer malfunction is under investigation.

August 31, 2016 – Rappler – Philippines eyes reviving mothballed nuclear plant – The Philippines may revive a nuclear power plant that was completed 32 years ago but never switched on due to safety fears, the government said on Wednesday, August 31. The spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte said the government is considering brining the $2.3 billion plant into operation to meet the country’s growing power needs, despite entrenched opposition from activists and environmentalists. The 620-megawatt plant, built in Bataan province during the notoriously corrupt regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has been a subject of controversy for decades. “(Officials) are considering all options for sustainable and affordable energy, and reviving the Bataan Nuclear Plant is being considered,” spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

August 31, 2016 – IHS Jane’s 360 – South Korean politicians demand nuclear-powered submarine fleet – Politicians from South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party on 29 August called for the government to respond to the increasing threat posed by Pyongyang’s military provocations by developing nuclear-powered submarines, Yonhap news agency reported. A total of 22 party members, led by Won Yoo-chul, said in a statement that North Korea’s test-firing on 24 August of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) demonstrated that the South needs to be better equipped to counter the threat.

August 31, 2016 – Nuclear Street – AREVA Initiates Transfer Of Nuclear Fuel Activities To NewCo – French nuclear power company AREVA, reeling from heavy losses over the past several years, including a $2.2 billion net loss for 2015, announced the initiation of the process for transferring its nuclear fuel cycle activities to NewCo, a new AREVA holding company, as part of its restructuring process. AREVAIn line with the announcements made during the presentation of its 2016-2020 roadmap on June 15, 2016, AREVA SA announces that it has settled, on August 29, 2016, on a draft partial transfer agreement governed by the regime for demergers, with one of its subsidiaries, the New AREVA Holding company (“NewCo”), which provides for the transfer by AREVA SA to NewCo of all assets and liabilities related to its nuclear fuel cycle activities (including Mining, Front End and Back End activities) as well as all bondholder debt, the company said.

August 31, 2016 – KIOS 91.5 FM – Letter from OPPD says nuclear plant to close Oct. 24 – A letter from the chief executive of Omaha Public Power District says the utility will permanently shut down its nuclear plant at Fort Calhoun this fall. The Omaha World-Herald says that comes from correspondence it obtained from OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The letter, dated Thursday, says the Fort Calhoun plant will be shuttered Oct. 24. The utility’s board voted in June to permanently close the plant. Once closed, a nuclear plant must undergo a decommissioning process to remove or decontaminate materials and equipment that have been exposed to radioactivity. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires decommissioning to be completed within 60 years of a plant’s closure.

August 31, 2016 – BBC News – Civil nuclear police lose pension battle – A police force which protects British nuclear sites and materials has lost a High Court challenge over a new pension scheme which could see its officers work until they are 65. Most UK police can retire at 60, but Whitehall rules mean Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers must work to 65. Their representatives said officers could not fully protect the public from terrorism if they worked beyond 60. There are some 1,250 CNC officers guarding nuclear sites around Britain.

August 31, 2106 – pahomepage.com – Talen Energy abandons Bell Bend nuclear plant project – Talen Energy announced Wednesday it’s withdrawing its license application for a second proposed nuclear power plant in Luzerne County. The company sent a written request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, saying it sees no “viable path” to obtaining a license for its proposed Bell Bend nuclear power plant. The company first filed an application in October 2008 to build the plant adjacent to the company’s existing Susquehanna nuclear power plant. In it’s letter to the NRC, Talen Energy says the project became unworkable when AREVA, the company that developed the reactor design for Bell Bend, asked the NRC in February 2015 to suspend the design certification process.

August 31, 2016 – BBC News – Public input ‘important’ for Wylfa Newydd nuclear project – The company behind the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station on Anglesey has said it is “important” to get feedback from the public. Horizon Nuclear Power has launched its second formal public consultation on the project, which it says will bring significant investment to the island. People will have until 25 October to respond to the latest plans, which will be on display at exhibitions across north Wales.

August 31, 2016 – Marines.mil – CBIRF responds to simulated nuclear detonation during Scarlet Response 2016 – On the morning of Aug. 22, 2016, a nuclear bomb detonated near Houston. The explosion rendered massive damage to the infrastructure of the city including a complete shutdown of a highway leading to Houston forcing part of the city into isolation. This was a simulated detonation during a training exercise, in which Marines and sailors with Chemical Biological Incident Response Force deployed as part of an Initial Response Force as part of Exercise Scarlet Response 2016 at Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., Aug. 22-26, 2016. During Scarlet Response 2016, the unit participated in three days of section-specific training. Each element of the IRF responded to different scenarios under instructor supervision to simulate a real world event, all leading to a final 48-hour, non-stop simulated response to a nuclear detonation.

August 31, 2016 – Camping Canuck – Wood Ants Thriving In Nuclear Bunker – A colony of ants built their nest over the vertical ventilation pipe of an old nuclear weapon bunker in Poland. According to a new study, every year a large number of wood ants fall down the pipe to never return back to their colony. This unique population is described in the open access Journal of Hymenoptera Research by the team of Polish scientist Wojciech Czechowski, Polish Academy of Science. “Judging from the huge deposits of wood-ant corpses in the bunker, the ‘colony’ has survived for years,” the researchers write. Yet, with conditions so severe, reproduction in the bunker is deemed to be highly unlikely. Rather, the colony appears to receive constant input of new worker ants that fall down the ventilation pipe. In fact, these newcomers are outpacing bunker worker deaths, resulting in a growing colony.

August 31, 2016 – Deutsche Welle – Puzzling path to new UK nuclear power stations – Over the past several years, a number of companies have put forth applications to build new nuclear reactors in the UK. But none have started construction, and now, there’s some doubt whether any of them will go forward. At the end of July, the new UK government led by Theresa May announced a delay in the approval of Hinkley Point C, the new-build nuclear power reactor project currently closest to going ahead, pending a review. Mycle Schneider, an anti-nuclear analyst who is convening lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Reports, said he doubts any new UK reactors will actually get built. And if any are built, he doubts they’ll ever be put into service: “There have been at least 92 nuclear reactors construction projects around the world that were abandoned at various stages of completion.”

August 31, 2016 – Interfax – Ukraine plans to hire South Korean nuclear operator to finish Khmelnytsky plant – Ukraine’s NNEGC Energoatom plans to hire South Korean nuclear plant operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) to complete construction of the N3 and N4 blocks at the Khmelnytsky nuclear power plant and implement the Ukraine-EU Energy Bridge project, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry said in a statement. Energoatom and KHNP signed a memorandum of understanding in Kyiv on Wednesday to expand cooperation in the nuclear energy sector, focusing on cooperation in completing the Khmelnytsky plant and implementation of the energy bridge.

August 31, 2016 – Commonsnews.org – VY puts ‘on hold’ proposal to discharge tainted water into river – Vermont Yankee administrators say they’re getting a stubborn groundwater-intrusion problem under control, and they’re no longer actively pursuing a proposal to discharge tainted water into the Connecticut River. While liquid continues to seep into the shut-down nuclear plant’s turbine building, that is happening at a greatly reduced rate, spokesman Marty Cohn said. So there is no current need to consider discharging the water, Cohn said. In fact, he said Vermont Yankee is cutting back on tanker-truck shipments that had been carrying the contaminated liquid out of state for the past several months.

August 31, 2016 – National Post – B.C. ‘underwater’ pilots explore scuttled atomic bomb test ship, its first visit in 65 years – Two underwater technologists from B.C. and a former Vancouver Maritime Museum executive director are playing a key role in the rediscovery and examination of an atomic-bomb test ship scuttled off the California coast. Last week, as thousands of viewers watched online, Josh Chernoff and Rueben Mills gently manoeuvred the remote underwater vehicle Hercules around the wreck of the former USS Independence, while James Delgado, the director of maritime heritage for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration narrated the visit. It was the first time since it was scuttled 65 years ago that subsea mariners and historians had visited the Independence.

August 31, 2016 – Business Daily – Radiation agency gets House team backing in inspection row with Kebs – Public Investments Committee has directed the Health ministry to harmonise or strike out a Kenya Gazette notice that gave Kebs the power to check radiation in imported goods “contrary to the powers given to the Radiation Protection Board (RPB)”. Committee’s chairman Adan Keynan gave Health PS Nicholas Muraguri seven days to issue a harmonised notice recognising the RPB as sole body mandated in law to check radiation at the country’s ports of entry.

August 31, 2016 – Pottstown Mercury – Limerick nuke plant holds open house Wednesday – Local residents are invited to attend to learn more about the role nuclear power plays in supplying electricity to Pennsylvania and the benefits it provides to the tri-county area. Visitors can tour the main control room simulator to see first-hand how Limerick operators provide electricity to two million homes and businesses. The family-friendly event will be held at the main facility located at 3146 Sanatoga Road.

August 31, 2016 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – After New York props up nuclear power generation sector, is Pennsylvania next? – Early in August, nuclear operators in New York got the breather they’ve been wishing for in other states: a way to keep struggling nuclear reactors afloat in a tough market by paying subsidies to the plants for not emitting carbon dioxide. As part of that state’s Clean Energy Standard, utilities will be required to buy “zero emission credits,” providing what is estimated to be a $500 million annual subsidy to keep the nuclear plants open. Nuclear power comprises nearly 30 percent of New York’s electricity supply. The move came after nuclear operators warned they might be forced to shut down reactors early if they didn’t receive financial support for the zero-carbon fuel. Already, more than half a dozen nuclear plants across the country have been pegged for early retirement because they are losing money. With victory in New York, it’s only natural for nuclear operators to use the momentum to go after subsidies in other states, wrote Kit Konolige, a senior utility industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, in a recent note.

August 31, 2016 – PRNewswire – Virginia Consumer Group Says Dominion Nuclear Reactor Project Proceeding Unlawfully And Must Get State Approval – The utility Dominion Virginia Power is proceeding unlawfully with plans for the more than $19-billion North Anna 3 reactor and must get formal approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission (VSCC) before it can continue, according to a petition filed today with the Commission by the Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (VCCC). The VCCC petition for a declaratory judgment states: “At an estimated total cost of at least $19.2 billion, North Anna 3 would be the most expensive power plant ever built in the United States and could raise customers’ rates by 26 percent or more according to the Virginia Attorney General. While Dominion claims that North Anna 3 is needed for compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan, it would be far costlier than the low-carbon alternative of combined renewables, demand-side management, and efficiency … Dominion has not complied with Virginia law by failing to seek SCC approval before making expenditures on project development and beginning preliminary construction of North Anna 3.”

August 31, 2016 – Knoxville News-Sentinel – Final wall of old K-27 building in Oak Ridge, built as part of Manhattan Project, comes down – The official end came at 10:33 a.m. on Tuesday. Demolition workers took down the final wall of the old Building K-27, signaling the milestone last gasp of the massive gaseous diffusion complex, built more than 70 years ago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. National, state and local officials joined U.S. Department of Energy representatives and 1,500 project employees in a send-off to the last of five main buildings slated for demolition at the former K-25 site. Many cheered as a mammoth High-Reach machine pulled over the last remnant of the iconic building, which employed 25,266 people at its peak.

August 31, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Latina Style ranks LANL as one of the best places to work – Latina Style magazine Monday named the Los Alamos National Laboratory as one of the 50 best places for Latinas to work. The magazine based its rankings on companies that have actively provided career opportunities for Latinas, especially when first starting out in the workplace. LANL was ranked 43 on the list. Over 800 companies were reviewed. Marriott International was ranked No.1. Latina Style congratulated LANL for making major gains since the last survey, for having Latinos on its board of directors, and for having recruitment programs that specifically targeted Latinas for careers at the lab. LANL Director Charlie McMillan said the lab’s commitment to Latinas is strong and will continue to grow.

August 31, 2016 – Independent – Grand Canyon tribe fears for its future amid battle against uranium mining – Coleen Kaska points over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon towards the rocks and scrub below, where a dark shadow marks the entrance to the old Orphan Mine. “There’s a big old hole down there that is evidence they can’t clean up an area after mining it,” says Kaska, 51, a member of the Havasupai tribe. “The Orphan Mine was here before I was born, and it’s still here to this day.” First mined for copper at the turn of the 20th Century, the Orphan Mine became a source of uranium to supply the nuclear arms race in the 1950s. It was closed in 1969, but not before contaminating the water in nearby Horn Creek with enough uranium that passing hikers are warned not to drink it. The US National Park Service has already spent millions on a clean-up effort that is still in its early stages. “It proves not everything you dig up can be covered again,” says Kaska.

August 31, 2016 – San Luis Obispo Tribune – Nuclear plant’s closure leaves Wisconsin town fighting for its life – Once the plug is pulled on a nuclear power plant, how much is the behemoth worth? Next to nothing, according to Dominion Resources, which owns the now-shuttered Kewaunee Power Station located on 900 acres on Lake Michigan’s shore. The plant was the major source of tax revenue for the town of Carlton, Wisconsin — a farming community of about 1,000 residents. Dominion paid utility taxes to the state, which were shared with Carlton and other local agencies. But when the plant closed in 2013 and was no longer producing energy, Dominion stopped paying the utility taxes that had covered nearly all of Carlton’s expenses for services such as road repair, snow removal and emergency services.

August 31, 2016 – Utility Dive – Decommissioning costs: A blind spot in the nuclear power debate – The following is a viewpoint article from Christina Simeone, director of policy and external affairs at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please review these guidelines. With over 10 GW of nuclear capacity at risk for premature retirement – defined as retirement before license expiration – many states are considering subsidy policies to keep these economically struggling reactors operating. Arguments for subsidies focus on protecting local jobs, keeping low-cost baseload power, maintaining reliability, and preserving the zero-carbon resources needed to address climate change. Opponents argue that out-of-market subsidies distort competitive markets and amount to ratepayer bailouts of uneconomic generation. Absent from the debate, however, is a focus on what happens to nuclear power plants when they retire and decommission. Specifically, how Americans like you and I will continue to pay more and be subjected to greater risks as nuclear power plants are converted to interim waste storage facilities.

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August 30, 2016 – Press Pieces

On August 30th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

August 30, 2016 – Lower Hudson News – NY’s heat waves test electric power grid, but not nuclear energy – With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s and suffocating humidity pushing heat indices upwards of 110 degrees, New Yorkers are doing anything they can to stay cool this summer. Senior citizen centers, Salvation Army branches and even libraries are transformed into cooling shelters, where people huddle in front of air conditioners to get relief. Swimmers flock to the city’s public pools and beaches, grateful for extended hours. As New York residents brace for the extreme heat – so does its electric grid. Con Edison has repeatedly asked people to forgo doing laundry, to close blinds and to turn off lights. The company has even reduced voltage in several key neighborhoods to make sure electricity demand can be met.

August 30, 2016 – Santa Fe New Mexican – Workers at WIPP practice handling nuclear waste – Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository are undergoing training as they prepare to handle radioactive waste for the first time since a leak shut down the New Mexico facility two years ago. Department of Energy experts kept an eye on radiation control technicians and waste handlers during the exercise last week at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and workers wore a layer of protective clothing, the Current-Argus newspaper in Carlsbad reported Friday. An inappropriately packed container of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory ruptured and contaminated part of the facility in February 2014. The closure derailed cleanup at federal sites around the nation, and recovery is costing the Energy Department hundreds of millions of dollars.

August 30, 2016 – Victoria Harbor Times – Fleurieu protesters stand against nuclear storage – “Nuclear waste, what a disgrace,” was chanted loud and clear by more than 100 participants in the Walk Against Nuclear Waste Importation as they gathered on the steps of the Willunga Hub on August 24. Inside was a consultation team who welcomed the walkers with feedback forms and Know Nuclear information packs, taking an opportunity to inform the community about what the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission recommendation on storing international radioactive waste. “The proposal before us is an economic one: $5.5 billion per annum, $445 billion over the life of the facility,” said John Phalen, Director, Engagement, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency. “What we are asking people to do is examine the opportunity,” he said.

August 30, 2016 – Oil Voice – Eiffel Towers in the North Sea – Shell’s decommissioning plans another Brent Spar PR disaster? – Shell is preparing to start the decommissioning of its four gigantic oil platforms in the famous Brent field in the Scottish part of the North Sea – a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, write Professor Alex Russell of the Oil Industry Finance Association and Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University, the company plans to dismantle only the topsides of the platforms. It wants to leave the Eiffel-tower sized legs, including 64 giant storage cells at the base of these structures, in place. They will take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Russell and Strachan call on the UK government and other North Sea governments to call a halt to these plans. They also demand that the Scottish government will have a say in the project. Fancy a night or two in a police cell? If so, change your car oil, mix it up with mud, add some carcinogenic radioactive sludge and a menu of other waste products, wrap it in concrete, and then dump it in the North Sea. And when you are undergoing questioning by Mi5 to ensure you are not a terrorist, tell them the concrete is thick enough to last 1000 years and there’s nothing to worry about!

August 30, 2016 – RegistrarDaily – Global Radiological Detection Equipment Market 2016 – Global Radiological Detection Equipment Market 2016The Global Radiological Detection Equipment Industry 2016 Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Radiological Detection Equipment industry. Firstly, Radiological Detection Equipment Market report provides a basic overview of the Radiological Detection Equipment industry including definitions, classifications, applications and Radiological Detection Equipment industry chain structure. Global Radiological Detection Equipment Market analysis is provided for the international market including development history, Radiological Detection Equipment industry competitive landscape analysis, and major regions development status on Radiological Detection Equipment Market scenario.

August 30, 2016 – Manilla Times – DOE sees nuke energy potential – The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking at the viability of nuclear energy as the Philippines intensifies its electrification programs amid increasing population and strong economic growth. DOE data showed that demand for electricity is expected to grow by an average of 5 percent per year until 2030, or around 126 terrawatthours (TWh) from the 2015 level of 82 TWh. “To meet this requirement, we have to weigh all our options, with emphasis not just on meeting capacity requirements, but sustainability and environmental obligations as well,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Tuesday during the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Conference on the Prospects of Nuclear Power in the Asia-Pacific Region. “Given its known characteristics, nuclear technology can be a viable choice for the country. We are told that on a [level]basis, nuclear power is an economical source, high on productivity and reliability, and low on costs and emissions. It is also said that the nuclear infrastructure and system is more cost-efficient in the long-term,” Cusi noted.

August 30, 2016 – Photonics.com – Testing the Limits of Excimer Lasers: Annealing for Advanced Displays – Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) is increasingly used as the thin-film transistor material on the glass backplanes of high-performance displays, particularly for smartphones. These thin films are fabricated on large glass panels that then are singulated into hundreds of individual screens. Mass production of LTPS on these panels is uniquely enabled by excimer lasers, moreover excimer lasers with extremely high pulse energies. These high pulse energies are needed in order to reach the requisite high process threshold intensity over a large area. There is a fast-growing interest in extending LTPS to process larger area panels for several reasons: greater economy of scale, better and brighter mobile LCD screens, and the adoption of active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) smartphones and tablets. But as processes evolve to support ever-larger panels, new requirements are placed on the ultrapowerful excimer systems and the associated beam delivery and beam shaping optics used in the process. In what follows, the authors examine why excimer systems (laser, optics and internal diagnostics) are using modular architecture to deliver higher and higher energies with improved pulse-to-pulse stability and beam uniformity. For display manufacturers this means faster process throughput (screens per minute) and even better process consistency.

August 30, 2016 – Neonnettle – Russia Launched A Complete Ban Microwave Ovens, Here’s Why – The Health hazards of microwave food seems to go generally unchecked in the west, but a study in Berlin dating back to 1942 found some disturbing results, so much so it lead Russia to launch a complete ban in 1976. The ban was lifted, not because of a green light for health, but because the country needed to promote free trade with the west – so the problems still exist today and Russia still issues warnings for microwaves and cell phones.

August 30, 2016 – Belleville News Democrat – Don’t Miss This: Stereotactic radiosurgery now available in metro-east – Two metro-east radiation oncologists are tailoring cancer treatments for their patients and offering radiation technology that was once available only at cancer treatment centers in St. Louis. The cancer treatment — stereotactic radiosurgery — has proven effective, according to Dr. Jason Lee and Dr. Susan Laduzinsky, radiation oncologists at the Memorial and St. Elizabeth’s Cancer Treatment Center in Swansea. Stereotactic radiosurgery is a highly precise form of radiation therapy initially developed to treat small brain tumors and functional abnormalities of the brain. However, Laduzinsky said the technology can be used to treat a variety of cancerous lesions, including in the brain, lungs, prostate and liver.

August 30, 2016 – PhysOrg – MEPhI tests detector prototypes for future experiments at Large Hadron Collider – In June and July 2016, a group of young scientists at MEPhI tested detector prototypes for future experiments at the Large Hadron Collider with the participation of colleagues from LPI (Russia), MSU (Russia), the University of Bonn (Germany) and the University of Bari (Italy). The prototypes should accomplish the division of various particles, including protons and kaons, at energies of several teraelectron volts (TeV). A sharp growth in high-energy particle production in proton collisions on the LHC is connected with increased energy of colliding particle beams. Since 2015, the collision energy on the accelerator has grown up to 13 TeV. Together with the decrease of the interval between collisions, this change should expand the horizons of existing research up to the scale of energies and conditions achievable only during the Big Bang.

August 30, 2016 – Pollstarpro.com – Nuke Festival Canceled – Nuke festival was to take place Sept. 3, in Graz, Austria. Promoter Arcadia Live spoke of an “ill-starred” festival season. The “summer of 2016 was a tough one from a promoter’s perspective, and we weren’t spared,” an official statement cancelling the event translates. Nuke relaunched last year after a five-year break from 2010-2014. Since 1999 it had taken place at different sites, starting out at the unused nuclear power plant in Zwentendorf, which gave the festival its name. Arcadia Live took over the festival in 2015, attracting some 25,000 visitors. This year, Fritz Kalkbrenner, AnnenMayKantereit and German rap veterans Die Fantastischen Vier were on the bill.

August 30, 2016 – Energy Business Review – NPCIL’s second 1GW unit at Kudankulam nuclear plant in India connected to grid – The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has synchronized the unit 2, with 1GW capacity, at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) located in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, a state in India, to the grid. The unit, which achieved criticality on July 2016, has been synchronized to the southern power grid situated at Abhishekapatti. Currently generating 245MW of power, the unit 2 synchronization follows completion of several successful tests and also received approval from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Power generated by the power plant will be supplied to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Pondicherry.

August 30, 2016 – Middle East Monitor – Iran deploys defence system to protect its nuclear facilities – Iran has deployed S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system which it received from Russia, at its Fordow nuclear facility, Iran’s state TV reported. The TV aired a video report showing the S-300 rockets. “Our main priority is to protect Iran’s nuclear facilities under any circumstances,” the Commander of the Iranian Air Defence Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said. “Today, Iran’s sky is one of the most secure in the Middle East.”

August 30, 2016 – Inquirer.net – Pimentel: Law needed before gov’t pursues nuclear energy – Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Tuesday it is preferable for the Philippine government to pass a law first before constructing nuclear power plants. “Wala po tayong problema dyan but because of the huge expenditure involved, plus the controversial nature of the decision, I believe we need a law to be in place before we can pursue a nuclearization of our energy sector,” Pimentel said at the sidelines of the Conference on the prospects of nuclear power in the Asia-Pacific region.

August 30, 2016 – Power-Technology.com – AEOI to commence construction of nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran – The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) expects to commence construction of its second nuclear power plant in Bushehr in October. AhlulBayt News Agency quoted AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying: “We try to start construction of the next nuclear power plant in Bushehr within the next one and a half months.” Being constructed by Rosatom, the facility is expected to be in operation by October 2024. Sputnik reported Rosatom intends to launch the plant’s third unit by 2026. The first nuclear plant in the province commenced operations in 2011 and achieved full capacity in 2012.

August 30, 2016 – KVOA Tucson – Utility wants New Mexico regulators to act on rate request – New Mexico’s largest electric provider wants state regulators to act on a proposed rate increase rather than delay a decision with more hearings. Public Service Co. of New Mexico filed a response Monday with the state Public Regulation Commission, saying extensive testimony and exhibits submitted over the course of the yearlong case provide enough information for commissioners to make a decision. The commission last week indicated it would reopen hearings if PNM agreed to provide more information regarding transactions related to an Arizona nuclear power plant and pollution controls at its coal-fired plant in northwestern New Mexico.

August 30, 2016 – Reuters – Philippines may open mothballed Marcos-era nuclear power plant – The Philippines is looking into operating the country’s only nuclear power plant, built four decades ago at more than $2 billion but never used, to ensure the long-term supply of clean and cheap electricity, its energy minister said. The Southeast Asian country is joining more than two dozen other countries looking to add nuclear power to their energy mix, including neighbors Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said on Tuesday reviving the mothballed 620-megawatt nuclear plant in Bataan province, northwest of Manila, will require a $1 billion investment. Nuclear generation is one of the options for the Philippines to meet its growing power needs, with annual electricity demand expected to rise by an average 5 percent until 2030, he said.

August 30, 2016 – Power Engineering International – De Rivaz urges UK government to back Hinkley nuclear – Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of EDF, has used a newspaper article to appeal to the British government to grant approval to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. A decision is due in a matter of weeks following Prime Minister Theresa May’s time out to consider the deal in greater detail. There has been much negative publicity in the media about the strike price agreed for the plant’s power, it being deemed too expensive. “Hinkley Point will have a lasting impact on our industrial capacity and will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships. Billions of pounds will be invested into the economy of south-west of England. Across Britain, dozens of companies and our own workforce are ready to deliver this project. Their motivation remains high and they are looking forward to getting on with the job.”

August 30, 2016 – Daily Post North Wales – Theresa May urged to show Wylfa Newydd commitment by nuclear boss – Prime Minister Theresa May has been urged to show her commitment to Wylfa Newydd. Hitachi is concerned that Theresa May might pull the plug on the project after her surprise last-minute decision to call in the Hinkley Point project for review. Now they have asked her to release a statement on the Government’s position on the multi-billion pound nuclear project on Anglesey. Talking to the Sunday Times, Horizon’s chief executive Duncan Hawthorne said: “We’ve spent £1.2bn on this project that we may never see again if we don’t get a successful conclusion.

August 30, 2016 – International Business Times – North Korea reportedly setting up special military units with ‘nuclear backpacks’ – The North Korean military is reportedly setting up special military units which carry “nuclear backpacks”. Top performing North Korean soldiers are claimed to be handpicked from several military divisions to form the special battalion-sized units. A North Korean source, who knows about the developments, told Radio Free Asia (RFA): “Outstanding soldiers were selected from each reconnaissance platoon and light infantry brigade to form the nuclear pack unit the size of a battalion.” Pyongyang is thought to have been building this division since March 2016. It is close to impossible to independently verify any of this information in the highly isolated and secretive country.

August 30, 2016 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Suit seeks to block nuclear waste from trucking through Western Pa. – Approximately 150 truckloads of unstable, liquid nuclear waste may soon roll from Canada through Western Pennsylvania on Interstate 79, unless a federal lawsuit by seven environmental organizations stops them. The lawsuit, against the U.S. Department of Energy, claims that the first-ever long-distance shipment of weapons-grade enriched uranium in liquid form is very dangerous. The suit also claims that the department failed to conduct a required environmental impact study, circumvented public notice and comment requirements, and didn’t consider safer alternative waste disposal options. The suit, filed Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C., seeks an injunction to stop the waste shipments, which will originate from the Chalk River Laboratories in southeast Ontario and travel 1,100 miles to the DOE’s Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C., for reprocessing and recycling.

August 30, 2016 – Los Alamos Daily Post – NNSA Announces Elimination Of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) From Indonesia – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), Indonesian Nuclear Industry, LLC (PT INUKI), the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN), and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (BAPETEN) of the Republic of Indonesia announced the completion of a collaborative effort to down-blend Indonesia’s stocks of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). With the completion of this operation, Indonesia becomes the 30th country plus Taiwan to be declared free of HEU (defined as possessing less than 1 kilogram of HEU in-country), joining fellow Southeast Asian countries Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines in working with DOE/NNSA to eliminate all of its weapon-usable nuclear material. With this most recent milestone, the entire region of Southeast Asia is now free of HEU.

August 30, 2016 – Public News Service – N.M. Nuclear Safety Group Blasts Results of Government Reports – A local nuclear safety group is speaking out after four government reports released in August on the country’s nuclear stockpile show management issues, delays and cost overruns at eight labs across the country, including two in New Mexico. The audit reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Energy’s Inspector General were part of a program which will spend a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize the nation’s nuclear weapons. Joni Arends, executive director of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety in Santa Fe, questioned the need for such a massive investment in nuclear technology. “The Department of Energy and its contractors want to move forward with programs that will provide profit to the private corporations that run the Department of Energy sites such as Los Alamos National Laboratory or Lockheed Martin at Sandia National Laboratory,” Arends said.

August 30, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – CH2M Hill adds 300 employees, takes on more Hanford work – About 300 Hanford workers become employees of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. or its subcontractors Aug. 29. After 11 years, Hanford Washington Closure is wrapping up its contract at the Hanford nuclear reservation at the end of September and has done its last work in the field. At its peak in 2012, with the help of economic stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Washington Closure employed about 1,200 workers. On Aug. 29, its work force drops to just fewer than 100. The number of employees is expected to decline through September to about 30 people, who will remain for several months in a contract closeout office working on audits, documenting completed projects and finishing up other paperwork.

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