web analytics

Information Directory

Reference Directory

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.

News Menu

October 19, 2016 – 81 FR 72042-72043 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – National Nuclear Security Administration; Agency Information Collection Extension – The Department of Energy (DOE), pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, intends to extend for three years, an information collection request with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the extended collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

October 19, 2016 – 81 FR 72035 – APPALACHIAN STATES LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE COMMISSION – Annual Meeting – TIME AND DATE: 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. October 28, 2016. PLACE: Harrisburg Hilton and Towers, One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101. STATUS: The meeting will be open to the public. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Portions Open to the Public: The primary purpose of this meeting is to (1) Review the independent auditors’ report of the Commission’s financial statements for fiscal year 2015-2016; (2) Review the Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) generation information for 2015; (3) Consider a proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-2018; (4) Review recent regional and national developments regarding LLRW management and disposal; and (5) Elect the Commission’s Officers. Portions Closed to the Public: Executive Session, if deemed necessary, will be announced at the meeting.

read more

October 29, 2016 – On this date, the updates that that take place regularly on the Plexus-NSD web site (e.g., Press Pieces, Regulatory Action, Upcoming Events, etc.) will cease for a short period of time. Changes to the web site, its content and navigation are forthcoming, so be sure to watch this space! In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact Plexus-NSD.

read more

October 19, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more

October 18, 2016 – 81 FR 71769-71770 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – LaCrosseSolutions, LLC; La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor Partial Site Release – On June 27, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received from LaCrosseSolutions, LLC (LS) a request for approval to remove portions of the site from the operating license for the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor. Specifically, LS intends to remove and release five radiologically non-impacted portions of the site from its license. The partial site release request was submitted concurrently with the La Crosse License Termination Plan and supports ongoing decommissioning activities at the site. The NRC is requesting public comments on LS’s partial site release request and the La Crosse License Termination Plan.

October 18, 2016 – 81 FR 71770 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Advisory Committee On Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) Meeting of the ACRS Subcommittee On Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR); Notice of Meeting – The ACRS Subcommittee on ESBWR will hold a meeting on October 20, 2016, Room T-2B1, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The meeting will be open to public attendance.

October 18, 2016 – 81 FR 71713 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth – This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Portsmouth. 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: Thursday, November 3, 2016 6:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Ohio State University, Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Simonton, Alternate Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office, Post Office Box 700, Piketon, Ohio 45661, (740) 897-3737, Greg.Simonton@lex.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.

read more

October 18, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

read more