Issues pertaining to radiation and radioactivity are not static. Regulations change, an item of concern at one facility raises issues of concern at others, public perceptions influence decision-making, and new discoveries are made all the time. Once each day, Plexus-NSD reviews its various sources of information so that we can keep ourselves and our clients constantly and continuously informed.
On a periodic basis, we summarize what we have found and post it at this web site in the "Regulatory Action", the "Press Pieces", and the "Upcoming Events" categories. In the "Plexus-NSD Announcements" section you can read about what our staff has been up to lately, including a description of some of our publications and products, copies of which we would be glad to send to you at no cost. In the "Plexus-NSD e-Newsletters" section is a listing of headlines from recent editions, as well as an invitation to subscribe to this free monthly publication. We encourage you to check back frequently so that you too can keep up on the ever-changing world of radiation and radioactivity.
October 28, 2016 – Updates on Temporary Hold – On this date, the radiation-related news and regulatory updates that take place regularly on the Plexus-NSD web site will cease for a short period of time. Changes to the site, its content and navigation are forthcoming, at which time updates will resume. In the interim, if you have any questions, please Contact Plexus-NSD.read more
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74828 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Exelon Generation Company, LLC.; LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2; License Renewal – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued renewed facility operating license Nos. NPF-11 and NPF-18 to Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee), the operator of LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2. Renewed facility operating license Nos. NPF-11 and NPF-18 authorize the operation of LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2 by the licensee at reactor core power levels not in excess of 3546 megawatts thermal in accordance with the provisions of the renewed licenses and technical specifications until April 17, 2042 and December 16, 2043, respectively. The NRC prepared a safety evaluation report, a final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS), and a record of decision (ROD) that support its decision to issue renewed facility operating license Nos. NPF-11 and NPF-18.
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74818-74819 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has granted the request of the Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC–the licensee) to withdraw its license amendment application dated November 24, 2014, as supplemented on September 28, 2015; March 3, 2016; and July 25, 2016, for proposed amendments to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. NPF 2 and NPF 8 for the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, respectively, located in Houston County, Alabama. The application contained 24 requests. Twenty-three of those requests were addressed in NRC letter dated August 3, 2016. The amendments adopted previously approved Technical Specifications Task Force Travelers and made two changes not associated with Travelers. A request to incorporate TSTF-312-A, Revision 1, “Administratively Control Containment Penetrations,” has been withdrawn by SNC in a letter dated October 17, 2016.
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74819-74820 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Passive Core Cooling System (PXS) Design Changes To Address Potential Gas Intrusion – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and is issuing License Amendment No. 55 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF-91 and NPF-92. The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (the licensee); for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia. The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 information asked for in the amendment. Because the acceptability of the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently.
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74820-74822 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a January 15, 2016, request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee), from certain regulatory requirements. The exemption would permit a certified fuel handler to approve the emergency suspension of security measures for James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant (JAF) during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather. The exemption will be effective after JAF has submitted the certifications that it has permanently ceased power operation and has permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel.
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74822-74828 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Purdue University Reactor – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering renewal of Facility Operating License No. R-87, held by Purdue University (the applicant), for the continued operation of the Purdue University Reactor (PUR-1), located in West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana for an additional 20 years. In connection with the renewed license, the applicant is also seeking a power increase from 1 kilowatt thermal (kW(t)) to a licensed power level of 12 kW(t). The NRC is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) associated with the renewal of the license.
October 27, 2016 – 81 FR 74779-74780 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Office of Nuclear Energy; Request for Information on Approaches Involving Private Initiatives for Consolidated Interim Storage Facilities – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Nuclear Energy, released on its Web site a Request for Information (RFI) on Private Initiatives (PIs) for Consolidated Interim Storage Facilities. The purpose of the RFI is to gather input on the role of PIs for private consolidated interim storage facilities (ISF) services as part of an
integrated waste management system.
October 27, 2016 – The Star – Future of MOX cautiously optimistic – Last month, Russia’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. left the future of South Carolina’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility hanging in the balance. But experts say the future of the beleaguered facility at the Savannah River Site remains cautiously optimistic. U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council’s David Blee said it’s important to look at several factors surrounding the PMDA suspension. “It’s important to recognize that Russia suspended the PMDA and did not terminate the agreement, that’s an important distinction,” he said.
October 27, 2016 – Archinect.com – Ornament and Extinction in the Nuclear Era – In 1981, a group of experts from various fields—from architecture to geology to semiotics—convened to work on what is likely the most difficult and important prompt ever assigned: design the façade of a massive complex intended to house the largest stockpile of nuclear waste in the world. Rather than face a street, this façade would point towards the sky: the sole visible element of building extending deep into the ground. No mere plasterwork would do; rather, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions years, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions yearswhich is much longer than any work of architecture has ever lasted. And while most façades are designed to be inviting, the primary program for the marker system of the Yucca Mountain repository of nuclear waste was to keep people away. Since becoming the first and only country to ever unleash on other humans the force of a neutron split in two, the United States has steadily accumulated enough nuclear waste to existentially threaten life on the planet—with nowhere to safely contain it. Up until very recently, the US government was proceeding with plans to build its first long-term storage site for the waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The building complex itself—a giant artificial cavern hollowed out of the low-slung mountain—would eventually be filled in by 108,000 regular shipments of spent nuclear waste. This would take forty years, and each shipment would carry 1,000 pounds of radioactive material while passing through nearly every state. Then the whole thing would be capped with concrete.
October 27, 2016 – Northumberland Today – Court costs to be paid in Trust Fund case – Everyone in Port Hope is paying for the ongoing court action over the Federal Government Trust Fund money paid to the former Hope Township (Ward 2) to host historic, low-level, radioactive waste, says a local citizens’ group. Port Hope taxpayers in both Ward 1 (the urban area before the amalgamation in 2001) and rural Ward 2 area, as well as the Trust Fund itself, have all been ordered by the court to pay costs related to court action which found the Municipality of Port Hope misspent part of the multi-million dollar Trust Fund set up by the former Hope Township. In a decision issued Oct. 21, Mr. Justice J.R. McCarthy ordered that the former Hope Township Mayor (now Ward 2) Ian Angus,who brought the court action with the late Dean Ross, be paid almost $90,000 in court costs.
October 27, 2016 – Jalopnik – Nuclear Waste Travels With One Heck Of An Entourage – Do you compost? Rinse and separate your recycling? Yeah, getting rid of garbage is a pain. Unless your garbage is nuclear waste. Getting rid of that is apparently a production of epic proportions. YouTuber Robert Fullone couldn’t help but notice this colossal convoy and posse of dudes in orange vests taking up both lanes of his street, so he was kind enough to give the internet a little tour of what he says is a nuclear waste disposal outfit working out of “West Valley,” which I assume is referring to West Valley Nuclear Services near Buffalo, New York. After nuclear fuel has spent years in a reactor generating heat which becomes electricity, it ends up being “spent” and no longer yields power but remains very hot and radioactive. At that point it gets put into a cask like the one in this video and eventually buried at a designated dumping facility somewhere around the country.
October 27, 2016 – Times Argus – NRC gives Entergy good grades – Federal inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Entergy Nuclear good grades for its handling of the radioactive water that continues to seep into a below-grade building during the early stages of the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. There were no safety findings included in the quarter inspection report, which was released Monday by the NRC. The report states that Entergy’s handling of the slightly radioactive water, which is classified as low-level radioactive waste, was satisfactory. All other areas reviewed by the NRC inspectors, which included an inspection of the spent-fuel pool, were given approval.
October 27, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – FBG sensor improves brachytherapy accuracy – A new needle-tracking device for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has been developed by researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht. Compared with MRI-based tracking, the novel device – which uses fibre Bragg grating sensors – offers the potential for both improved accuracy and precision, as well as a lower latency and higher update rate (Med. Phys. 43 5288). Used in the treatment of cancers including breast, prostate and skin cancer, HDR brachytherapy uses small radioactive sources that are temporarily delivered to treatment sites through small needles or catheters inserted directly into, or nearby, target tumours. To optimize dose distributions, needle positions and exposure times are carefully selected before treatment, but such dose plans may be disrupted by both needle positioning errors and patient movements and/or anatomical changes.
October 27, 2016 – Herald Sun – Australia to play role in $19 billion new clean energy bid – AUSTRALIAN scientists looking for the “holy grail” of clean energy production will design vital components for a $19 billion fusion energy generator in France that seeks to mimic the sun’s power on Earth. The ITER Tokamak project in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, the world’s largest science-engineering project, will try to generate temperatures of 150 million Celsius, 10 times the core temperature of the sun, to test the viability of large-scale fusion generation as a clean energy source. “Fusion is the holy grail for energy production and, if achieved at a large scale, would answer some of the world’s most pressing questions relating to sustainability, climate change and security,” Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation CEO Dr Adi Paterson said.
October 27, 2016 – Indian Express – Spooky! There’s a reason why the phone no 0888 888 888 has been suspended — all its users are dead – As you may know, there are a lot of hotels which do not have floor number 13 or even a room number 13 because it’s considered haunted and inauspicious. Similarly, a Bulgarian number has been suspended forever after the company observed a pattern. A pattern where all its owners died. The jinxed phone number is 0888 888 888. The first owner of the number was the CEO of the issuing company Mobitel himself, Vladimir Grashnov. Reportedly, he died of cancer in 2001. According to Mail Online, his cancer was rumoured to have been caused by a ‘business rival using radioactive poisoning’.
October 27, 2016 – Digital Journal – Portable X-Ray And CT Scan Devices Market to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020 – According to a new study by Hexa Research, the global Portable X-Ray and CT Scan Devices Market will grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020. The demand will be driven by growing cases of accidents and health conditions necessitating orthopedic, cardiovascular or brain-related investigation.
October 27, 2016 – The Standard – Nuclear terror as 12 schools evacuated over lump of radioactive uranium found in science class – Twelve schools have been evacuated after a lump of uranium was found in a science classroom sparking nuclear terror. The discovery was made when antinuclear campaigner Thomas Neff was giving a lecture to pupils about an old wristwatch from the 1960s with a radium dial. The numerals on the watch contain the material to help them to glow in the dark and were created when little was known about the damage caused by radiation. But as he passed a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils that were on display in the classroom, Neff’s Geiger counter almost “exploded”. The class was evacuated and experts called in and discovered that one of the rocks was a uranium rock.
October 27, 2016 – Indaily.com.au – Olympic Dam an “excellent” nuke storage site, inquiry told – Geologist and academic Victor Gostin, an honorary visiting research fellow at Adelaide University, gave evidence yesterday to a parliamentary committee examining the findings of the Scarce Royal Commission, which recommended the swift establishment of a high-level nuclear waste repository. Gostin noted it was a geological professional “consensus” that the Stuart Shelf region, including Olympic Dam, was an ideal place for such a facility to be based. “When it comes to the deep geological site… [Olympic Dam is] the site that I would imagine would be an excellent site,” he said.
October 27, 2016 – PhysOrg – Robots help position interventional needles – Finding the ideal position for interventional needles – as used in biopsies, for instance – is a difficult and time-consuming process. This can now be performed automatically, using a robotic arm to place a needle guide for the doctor at the optimal insertion point. With robotic assistance, doctors need five minutes to position the needle, as opposed to 30 minutes with conventional techniques. The solution will be shown at the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf from November 14 to 17, 2016 (Hall 10, Booth G05). An ultrasound shows a shadow on the liver – but is it a tumor? Often, the only way to conclusively answer this question is to perform a biopsy, a procedure in which a doctor uses a long needle to remove a piece of the suspected tissue to be sent to a laboratory for testing. However, placing the biopsy needle with precision is far from easy. On one hand, the doctor needs to be sure of reaching the suspected tissue – and not healthy tissue just millimeters to the side. On the other hand, the needle must not damage veins, nerve pathways, and organs such as the lungs, and cannot penetrate bony structures such as ribs. To obtain an overview, doctors begin by performing a com- puted tomography scan, which they use to maneuver the needle to the correct posi- tion. The same challenges arise in treatments that use needles to direct heating, cooling, or high-energy beams into the cancerous tissue, thereby destroying the tumor.
October 27, 2016 – Space.com – Dusty with a Chance of Radiation: Mars Weather Forecasting Will Be Critical – Weather on Earth is often a hazard for travelers; after all, snowstorms, hurricanes, floods and other events can make it dangerous to drive or fly. Space travelers have a similar problem when dealing with space weather. As NASA plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, work is underway to study how the space weather environment will impact their journey. Explosive “storms” that erupt from the surface of the sun regularly create showers of harmful radiation. Part of NASA’s plan for a trip to the Red Planet will have to include space weather forecasting, monitoring and safety measures.
October 27, 2016 – Russia & India Report – Russia plans to test elements of new nuclear engine on ISS – Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has announced a tender for developing proposals on testing key elements of a megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system, including aboard the International Space Station (ISS), according to the tender documentation posted on the state procurement website on Thursday. Specifically, Roscosmos expects to receive “proposals on the rational structure of key elements, systems and items of a perspective nuclear propulsion unit intended for tests in outer space, including with the use of the ISS’ Russian segment.
October 27, 2016 – Forbes – Texting While Driving Is Scary, Radiation Should Not Be – The public may not be the best judge of risk. If you ask someone what they are afraid of, they will say many things that are generally not dangerous, like radiation, fluoridated water, or vaccinations. We are only just beginning to realize that texting while driving is really a big problem, or that overuse of opioid medications are leading to a national epidemic of heroine deaths. And these two only because of a flood of advertisements and documentaries on the subjects. This is an important issue. Without understanding what real risks are, well-intentioned policies can backfire, and the real risks can go unaddressed. This is no better illustrated than in the present presidential campaign where unfounded fear and misinformation have played such a large role. An obvious example is the fear of radiation and nuclear power. This fear has jeopardized our choices to address climate change, has hurt the nuclear industry, and caused us to unnecessarily spend billions of dollars protecting against radiation at levels that are quite safe.
October 27, 2016 – Daily Star – ‘Putin testing weapons?’ Flaming green ‘meteorite’ spotted hurtling over Russia – The clip shows the eerie object hurtling over stunned motorists before landing with a huge flash. It appears to explode multiple times as it enters the planet’s atmosphere. Witnesses say it crashed to the ground near Siberia’s Lake Baikal. One social media user wrote: “The meteorite must be made up of a lot of iron and chrome. “That would be why it looked so green.” “I’m calling Putin is testing weapons on this one” The meteorite made no noise at all as it landed and the spooky silence led some to fear it was a new secret weapon. Other witnesses even went as far to think it was an attack from Russia’s enemies in the Ukraine or Syria and that a war had started.
October 27, 2016 – RTE.ie – Healy-Rae blames nuclear tests for hole in ozone layer – Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has claimed in the Dáil that the hole in the ozone layer was caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago. He said “untruths have been bandied about” about climate change for years as he addressed today’s debate on the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, an agreement that he is “very worried about”. The Kerry TD said: “There was changes in the climate way back in times when there was no industrialisation and way less animals on farms and no intensification of farming. “Yet we had intense heat, long periods of very cold, wet weather which culminated in many lives being lost in the famine in the 1740s, caused by two years of incessant rain and extremely cold winters.” “El Nino and the Gulf Stream played a significant part in climate change going back the centuries. There have been a lot untruths bandied about going back for many years. “They told us about the ozone layer and there was greenhouse gases from cans of hairspray or whatever but they never told us that it was nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago actually caused the serious damage to the Ozone layer.
October 27, 2016 – Sputnik International – Tests of Russia’s Nuclear Fuel in Dutch Research Reactor Successful – Russian nuclear fuel produced by the Rosatom successfully passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR), Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. © Photo: PixabayRussia, Egypt Could Sign Dabaa Nuclear Plant Construction Deal in DecemberMOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nuclear fuel produced at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP), which is part of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation has successfully, passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR) located in the Dutch city of Petten, Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. In 2014, the NCCP and the Dutch Nuclear Research and consultancy Group Petten signed a contract on delivery of fuel for the Dutch research HFR.
October 27, 2016 – Chicago Tribune – Nuclear-armed foes unite against a UN call to shed their weapons – For all the divisions among world powers, one concern unites Russia and the U.S., India and Pakistan, North Korea and Israel at the United Nations: Keeping their nuclear weapons. Those nuclear-armed states and the three others — China, France and the U.K. — are working to head off a resolution calling for a global conference to establish a binding “legal process” to ban the manufacture, possession, stockpiling and use of the weapons. They’re bucking a popular cause backed by 50 nations, from Ireland to Brazil, which say the measure could win as many as 120 votes in the 193-member General Assembly. While the resolution to be voted on Thursday would be non-binding, opposing its call for a nuclear-free world is awkward for world leaders, and none more so than U.S. President Barack Obama. He’s preparing to leave office seven years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in large part for what the award panel called his “vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.”
October 27, 2016 – Kyodo News – Hitachi chief hints at integrating 3 major firms’ nuclear power businesses – Hitachi Ltd. President Toshiaki Higashihara on Thursday hinted at the possible integration of the nuclear power businesses currently run by the industrial conglomerate, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Touching on the possibility of integrating the nuclear fuel businesses of the three firms, Higashihara said at a press conference, “It’s not just about (nuclear fuel). The time will come when we need to think about the whole (of the nuclear power business).” Most of the country’s nuclear power plants have been offline amid public opposition and safety concerns following the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, and companies in the nuclear power business have been facing tough times in terms of profitability.
October 27, 2016 – Business Green – Public backing for nuclear and shale gas falls to record low – Public support for nuclear energy and fracking have hit some of the lowest ever levels, according to the government’s quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker survey, released today. Support for nuclear dipped three per cent to hit its lowest level of 33 per cent, with 26 per cent in opposition. Since the survey began in 2012 support for nuclear has only dropped this low once before, in August 2015. It is the first indication of how public attitudes towards nuclear energy may have changed since the government signed the contract to build a new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in September. Last quarter’s survey, which was undertaken before Hinkley was approved, showed support for nuclear generation at 36 per cent, with 22 per cent in opposition.read more
October 26, 2016 – 81 FR 74484-74485 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Independent Assessment of Nuclear Material Control and Accounting Systems – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing Revision 1 to Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.51, “Independent Assessment of Nuclear Material Control and Accounting Systems.” Revision 1 is based on experience gained since RG 5.51 was initially published in June 1975, and reflects revisions to the NRC’s material control & accounting (MC&A) regulations that have been made since 1975. Updates include use of the term “independent assessment” to replace “management review,” and use of the term “inventory difference” to replace “material unaccounted for.”
October 26, 2016 – 81 FR 74414-74415 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico – This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Tuesday, November 15, 2016–1:00 p.m.-5:15 p.m. ADDRESSES: El Monte Sagrado, 317 Kit Carson Road, Taos, New Mexico 87571. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board (NNMCAB), 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone (505) 995-0393; Fax (505) 989-1752 or Email: Menice.Santistevan@em.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.
October 26, 2016 – 81 FR 74413-74414 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel – This notice announces a meeting of the DOE/NSF High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Thursday, December 1, 2016–8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday, December 2, 2016–8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Hilton Washington DC North/Gaithersburg, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Kogut, Executive Secretary; High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP); U.S. Department of Energy; SC-25/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: 301-903-1298. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on scientific priorities within the field of high energy physics research.read more
October 26, 2016 – TBO.com – Nuclear Regulatory Commission okays license to Duke Energy for mothballed Levy nuclear power plant – A decade after deciding to build new nuclear power plants in Levy County and three years after abandoning the project, Duke Energy has been issued operating licenses for the mothballed site from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While Duke won’t do anything with these licenses for now, the NRC approvals can be used for years into the future to restart the project if the economics of nuclear power once again make sense to Duke. The NRC last week announced it had approved staff members issuing two “combined operating licenses” for the site near Inglis in Levy County.
October 26, 2016 – Wired – X-Rays Are Revealing the Mysterious Writings in Mummy Coffins – It’s a sleepy summer Friday at Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. The particle accelerator operates at a constant, gentle hum—quieter than you’d expect for a synchrotron that whirls electrons to just short of the speed of light. Most of the 40 experimental beam lines lie empty. But one X-ray beam is a hub of activity—an arts and crafts session, by the look of it. The researchers crowding the narrow galley huddle over scraps of papyrus paper, streaking them with metallic paint markers, pencils, and pens. They roll the samples up onto dowels, or crumple them up, or fasten them to each other in layers. The idea? Devise creative ways to hide the ink out of sight, and see if X-rays can uncover it.
October 26, 2016 – ABS-CBN News – 12 pass radiologic technology exams in Middle East – Ten examinees passed the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, and two passed the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in the Middle East. A total of 36 took the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, while 12 took the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination, which was given by the Board of Radiologic Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Al-Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Doha, Qatar and in Kuwait in September 2016.
October 26, 2016 – Professional Pensions – MPs to debate advice given to pensioners at UK Atomic Energy Agency – MPs are to debate the quality of advice given to pensioners that transferred into a defined benefit (DB) scheme set up after part of the UK’s nuclear industry was privatised. In September 1996, the commercial arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority was floated on the stock exchange. The AEAT Pension Scheme was set up with a new company called AEA Technology as the sponsor. This scheme entered assessment for the Pension Protection Fund in November 2012 after the sponsor went bust.
October 26, 2016 – KSEBOA.org – Kudankulam is still the cheapest of all foreign-built nuclear plants – Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s unit 3 and 4, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15-10-2016 laid the foundation through video-conferencing, are expected to sell electricity at ₹3.90 a kilowatt hour (kWh), according to World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). KKNP 3 and 4, with a net capacity of 917 MW each, will cost ₹39,849 crore ($6.5 billion) to build. The first two units, the second of which was connected to the grid only in August 2016, cost ₹17,270 crore, but the cost is under revision to ₹22,462 crore. The Kudankulam plant’s equipment and fuel are supplied by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). Despite costing twice as much as the first two units, 3 and 4 will still sell their electricity at the same price.
October 26, 2016 – MarketWatch – Why Hillary Clinton sold America’s uranium – Hey — had you heard that uranium is an incredibly scarce resource and that Russia is buying it all up? No, me neither. But that’s what I’ve discovered on the campaign trail. Apparently a few years back Crooked Hillary “SPECTRE” Clinton betrayed the country — yet again — by selling 20% of our precious uranium supply to Russia in return for yet more payola. As secretary of state she “approved” a deal to sell Uranium One, a company that controlled a fifth of U.S. uranium production, to the Russian atomic agency Rosatom. In return she and Bill received vast amounts of payoffs from the Kremlin and related interests — most notably a $500,000 speaker fee for Bill from a Moscow-based investment bank, which works out at about $250,000 net of tax.
October 26, 2016 – Metro.co.uk – Pupils evacuated after rock in classroom turned out to be radioactive uranium – A radioactive rock sat as part of a classroom display without anyone noticing for dozens of science lessons. Nobody had realised that it was a lump of uranium, the metallic element which is used in nuclear reactors and even to produce atomic bombs. It was giving off thousands of millisiverts of radiation into the school, a far higher amount than occurs naturally, but teachers only found out when an anti-nuclear campaigner Thomas Neff came into the science lab at Missionaries of the Sacred Heart School in Salzburg, Austria, to give a talk. To help in his lecture, he brought a watch with him from the Sixties, which contained small amounts of radium so that its dial would light up in the dark. They were popular several decades ago, when people did not know as much about the dangers of radiation.
October 26, 2016 – New Haven Register – ‘Residual radioactive contamination’ found at former New Haven Clock Company site – Those radium painted dials on millions of wristwatches produced in the city at the New Haven Clock Company are once again a “hot” item. An environmental review of the long-closed factory, which at one point employed as many as 1,500 people, found radium-226 in parts of what is left of the sprawling campus on Hamilton, St. John and Wallace streets in the Wooster Square neighborhood. Helen Rosenberg, an economic development officer, said the report by the environmental engineering firm Fuss and O’Neill found “residual radioactive contamination present throughout portions of the building.”
October 26, 2016 – Greeley Tribune – Weld County Health Department offers free radon test kits for residents – The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is offering free radon test kits to Weld County residents with a limit of one per household, according to a news release. About 46 percent of all homes in Colorado are estimated to have high levels of radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium. It typically moves up through the ground and into homes through cracks and other holes in a house’s foundation, according to the release.
October 26, 2016 – Independent Online – Is microwave food unhealthy? Top tech experts give it the all clear – Microwave ovens allow us to bring food straight out of the freezer and have it on the table, ready to eat, in the space of a few minutes. You can quickly thaw a frozen meal or warm up something you cooked the day before, thanks to the microwave radiation inside the oven, which has a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz. It does not add anything to the food apart from heat. “Microwaved food is harmless for your health,” says nutrition expert Margret Morlo.
October 26, 2016 – OnMedica – Radiotherapy equipment to be upgraded, NHS chief pledges – Radiotherapy equipment in England is to be upgraded, thanks to a £130 million investment over the next two years, NHS chief Simon Stevens has announced. Around 4 in 10 of all NHS cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, which typically uses high-energy radiation from a linear accelerator (‘Linac’). Over the next two years, older Linac radiotherapy equipment being used by hospitals across the country will be upgraded or replaced. It is recommended that Linacs are replaced after around 10 years, but the last time there was national investment in NHS radiotherapy machines was in the early 2000s.
October 26, 2016 – utilities-me.com – UAE’s nuclear authority approves budget for 2017 – The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation’s (FANR) board of management has approved its budget for 2017 at a meeting chaired by the board chairman, Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi. The senior management provided the board with updates to key FANR activities, including the status of its review of the application for an operating license for units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which is now under construction in the western region of Abu Dhabi. The board also discussed the establishment of a decommissioning trust fund (DTF) to support the construction, operation and regulation of a radioactive waste management disposal facility in the UAE.
October 26, 2016 – Zawya – Bulgaria to pay $655 million to Russia over cancelled nuclear project – Bulgaria has agreed to pay about 600 million euros ($655 million) in compensation to Russia’s Atomstroyexport for the cancelled Belene nuclear power project, state energy company NEK said on Wednesday. An international arbitration court had ruled in June that Sofia should pay compensation for nuclear equipment it ordered from the Russian company before cancelling the 10 billion euros project in 2012.
October 26, 2016 – defenceWeb – Zimbabwe installing nuclear detectors at points of entry – Zimbabwe is installing nuclear detection devices at its ports of entry.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has struck an agreement with Zimbabwe under which the Austria-headquartered global organisation will equip the country’s four international airports and 13 border points with nuclear detection facilities. The IAEA will invest $1.5 million in the project. On October 11 a trial-run of three radio-nuclide identification devices and 21 personal radiation detection gadgets, donated by the IAEA, was conducted at Victoria Falls International Airport and Victoria Falls Border Post. A workshop attended by IAEA nuclear security officer, Noor Fitriah Bakri and security sector representatives in Zimbabwe was held from October 10 to 14 in Victoria Falls. It was part of the first phase of the implementation of the project to strengthen the nuclear security detection systems in Zimbabwe.
October 26, 2016 – TechCentral.co.za – Treasury promises to block nuclear profligacy – National treasury will ensure it protects South Africa’s fiscal integrity with regard to South Africa’s nuclear procurement plan. Deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas told media on Wednesday that treasury will continue to play a role in the planning of the nuclear procurement programme. “We take a view that whatever happens with the nuclear project, it … won’t undermine the interests of the country as a whole,” he said. “As custodians of fiscal integrity, we will continue to play a critical role.” The big question around nuclear is whether it is even required, with the rise of cheap renewable energy.
October 26, 2016 – New York Post – US official thinks getting North Korea to give up nuclear bomb is ‘lost cause’ – The U.S. policy of trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons “is probably a lost cause” and the best that could be hoped for is a cap on the country’s nuclear capability, the Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper said on Tuesday. However, underscoring conflicting views in the Obama administration, the State Department said U.S. policy was unchanged and continued to be to seek the “verifiable denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that the United States will never accept North Korean as a nuclear-armed state.
October 26, 2016 – ARY News – Radioactive leak at Norway nuclear reactor – A nuclear research reactor in Norway suffered a minor radiation leak that is not believed to pose a threat to public health or the environment, Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday. The leak of radioactive iodine happened on Monday at the Institute for Energy Technology in Halden, in the country’s southeast, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) said in a statement on its website. “The leak of radioactivity was due to a technical failure when handling nuclear fuel inside the reactor hall. The amount of radioactivity is regarded as small,” said the statement. “According to the information NRPA has received so far, this discharge will not have any consequences for health or the environment outside the plant.”
October 26, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Paper sludge that polluted sea cleans up soil in Fukushima – Charcoal from paper mill sludge that once polluted the ocean here southwest of Tokyo could be used to restore contaminated land near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. An experiment in 2011 showed that the charcoal is effective in reducing radioactive substances in soil and preventing the absorption of cesium by plants, said research leader Ai Van Tran. Tran, 68, a doctor in agricultural science, was conducting the research for the Corelex Group that includes Corelex Shin-ei Mfg. Co., which has the largest share of recycled toilet paper in Japan. “We would be delighted if our byproduct, which was once a source of environmental pollution, is useful in decontamination. It will also contribute to reducing the waste from papermaking, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” said Satoshi Kurosaki, the president of the Corelex Shin-ei.
October 26, 2016 – The Japan Times – Namie radiation evacuees fear return – Weed-engulfed buildings and shuttered businesses paint an eerie picture of a coastal Japanese town abandoned after a monstrous earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in the Fukushima nuclear plant. Namie, one of the communities hardest hit by the 2011 disaster, had 21,000 residents before they fled radiation spewing from the reactors 8 km away. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now looking to repopulate the town as early as next year, a symbolic step toward recovery that might also help soften opposition to his government’s plan to restart Japan’s mostly mothballed nuclear industry. “The national and local governments are trying to send us back,” said Yasuo Fujita, 64, a sushi chef who lives alongside hundreds of other Fukushima evacuees in a modern high-rise in Tokyo more than 200 km away. “We do want to return — we were born and raised there. But can we make a living? Can we live next to the radioactive waste?”
October 26, 2016 – Washington Examiner – Moniz: US must decide its nuclear future in the next 5 years – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz predicted Monday that major decisions about the nation’s nuclear energy sector are going to be coming in the next five years. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Moniz said there’s going to be a great wave of nuclear energy facilities retiring in about 15 years. Decisions about whether to replace them must be made much earlier than that, he said. “In the utility business to replace that power, especially to replace that low carbon power, calls for capital allocations decisions are certainly on a decadal time scale,” he said. “In other words, in the next five years, we’re going to start much more facing up to those large capital planning decisions.” Moniz has been a supporter of increased nuclear power production in recent years, seeing it as a potentially lucrative low-carbon energy source that would help the nation meet its climate change goals.
October 26, 2016 – Brattleboro Reformer – Feds endorse Vermont Yankee fuel, waste handling – Federal inspectors are satisfied with Vermont Yankee’s environmental monitoring, spent fuel storage and handling of radiological waste – including contaminated water that had accumulated at the shut-down plant. A new report from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection identifies “no findings of safety significance” at the Vernon facility. The NRC in 2015 terminated its resident inspector program at Vermont Yankee, which stopped producing power at the end of 2014. But the federal agency still conducts regular inspections at the plant, and the latest such quarterly survey ended Sept. 30.
October 26, 2016 – WAMC – NY Downstate Lawmakers Take Issue With Nuclear Subsidies – Letters have gone back and forth between seven state lawmakers and the chair of the New York State Public Service Commission. At issue is what the lawmakers say is an unfair statewide electric rate increase to subsidize upstate nuclear power plants. The issue is part of the PSC’s broader Clean Energy Standard. The PSC in August issued an order adopting the standard. Since then, seven state assemblymembers have banded together to voice their concern over the adoption of the zero emissions credit pertaining to upstate nuclear power plants. The Democrats from the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City have written to PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman with their objection. One is Hudson Valley Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who is chair of the Energy Committee.
October 26, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Future of MOX facility uncertain but optimistic, officials say – Last month, Russia’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. left the future of South Carolina’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility hanging in the balance. But experts say the future of the beleaguered facility at the Savannah River Site remains cautiously optimistic. U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council’s David Blee said it’s important to look at several factors surrounding the PMDA suspension. “It’s important to recognize that Russia suspended the PMDA and did not terminate the agreement, that’s an important distinction,” he said.
October 26, 2016 – WEKU 88.9 – Citizens Group Rep Calls Proposed Radioactive Waste Agreement “Fair” – A leader of a Central Kentucky citizens group says there remain outstanding issues regarding the illegal dumping of low-level radioactive fracking waste at the Estill County landfill. A proposed agreement announced Friday by state Energy and Environment Cabinet includes a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill. About two-thirds of that money would go for Radon monitoring and abatement at Estill County schools and at the landfill gate. Tom Hart with Concerned Citizens of Estill County says handling what he calls the “technologically enhanced natural occurring radioactive waste” or TENORN, already in the landfill remains a question. “It’s in that corrective action plan that they will propose what should be done with the TENORM,” he says.
October 26, 2016 – Power Engineering – Zion Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Project on Budget and Ahead of Schedule Six Years after the Project Started – EnergySolutions announced today that on September 30, 2016 its subsidiary, ZionSolutions, has successfully completed the 6th year of decommissioning the twin Unit Zion Nuclear Power Station with record setting performance. The project is on budget and currently reporting the decommissioning effort is 88% complete and several years ahead of the original 10 year schedule. The accelerated decommissioning schedule will directly translate into a lower overall decommissioning cost.
October 26, 2016 – Dothan Eagle – Test drilling for nuclear waste storage research proposed in Dale County – A proposed drilling site in Dale County would test the feasibility of storing nuclear waste in geologically similar areas, but no nuclear waste would be stored or used in tests on the site, according to a representative of Battelle, a private non-profit science and technology company. Steve Winberg, a program manager for Battelle, explained the proposed project at a meeting of the Dale County Commission Tuesday. Battelle wants to enter into an agreement with Southern Company to drill on about 20 acres of property owned by the company near Waterford Road. The hole would be 8.5 inches in diameter but would descend about three miles to Precambrian rock.
October 26, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – OPPD signed a $400 million contract with company that ran Fort Calhoun — terminating it will cost $5 million – OPPD began permanently shutting down the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station on Oct. 24. It will cost the Omaha Public Power District $5 million to end what was supposed to be a 20-year contract with Exelon Generation, the Chicago-based nuclear operator that has managed day-to-day operations at Fort Calhoun since September 2012. That’s a fraction of the $20 million termination fee that the utility faced if it decided to end the agreement without cause, according to OPPD financial disclosures. In general terms, “termination for cause and certain other termination events” would have gotten OPPD off the hook without having to pay anything, annual reports and bond documents stated.
October 26, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – WIPP storage plan draws concern – A nuclear watchdog group raised concerns Friday with a plan to build above-ground storage of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. The U.S. Department of Energy has applied for a permit with the New Mexico Environment Department for the new storage facility. Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the DOE should be concentrating on ongoing safety issues at WIPP, not expanding the facility with another above ground, permanent waste facility at the site. WIPP already has a similar facility for the same purpose.read more