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 17, 2016 – 81 FR 71543-71544 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Procedures for Meetings – This notice describes procedures to be followed with respect to meetings conducted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). These procedures are set forth so that they may be incorporated by reference in future notices for individual meetings. The ACRS is a statutory advisory Committee established by Congress to review and report on nuclear safety matters and applications for the licensing of nuclear facilities. The Committee’s reports become a part of the public record. The ACRS meetings are conducted in accordance with FACA; they are normally open to the public and provide opportunities for oral or written statements from  members of the public to be considered as part of the Committee’s information gathering process. ACRS reviews do not normally encompass matters pertaining to environmental impacts other than those related to radiological safety. The ACRS meetings are not adjudicatory hearings such as those conducted by the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel as part of the Commission’s licensing process.

October 17, 2016 – 81 FR 71331-71348 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Procedures for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Matter or Special Nuclear Material – The Department of Energy (DOE) is amending its regulations which set forth the policies and procedures for resolving questions concerning eligibility for DOE access authorization. The revisions update and provide added clarity throughout the regulations, and streamline the process for resolving access authorization eligibility determinations. Additionally, DOE is updating references to DOE Offices and officials to reflect the current DOE organizational structure.

read more

October 17, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 17th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 17, 2016 – Clarkesville Online – NASA looks to use New Material to boost power in Spacecraft Nuclear Cells – No extension cord is long enough to reach another planet, and there’s no spacecraft charging station along the way. That’s why researchers are hard at work on ways to make spacecraft power systems more efficient, resilient and long-lasting. “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 NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “This is particularly important for the outer planets, where the intensity of sunlight is only a few percent as strong as it is in Earth orbit.” A cutting-edge development in spacecraft power systems is a class of materials with an unfamiliar name: skutterudites (skut-ta-RU-dites). Researchers are studying the use of these advanced materials in a proposed next-generation power system called an eMMRTG, which stands for Enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.

October 17, 2016 – The Australian – Australia joins international search for fusion energy – Australia has avoided paying $346 million to join the world’s biggest physics project by trading our expertise for entry into a program to create the carbon-free ­energy of the sun and stars. It is the first time in 35 years a nation outside the founding nine members has been admitted to the global collaboration to produce energy from fusion. It is also the first time a member has been admitted without paying at least €240m ($346m) as an entry fee to finance the research and development of a fusion ­reactor. Instead of paying the fee, Australia is providing its expertise and technology in analysing the ­behaviour of plasma, which draws energy from the conversion of ­hydrogen to helium. The first plasma for the basis of a fusion reaction is timed to be produced in 2026, with the first power expected about 2033.

October 17, 2016 – EarthIsland.org – No Justice for the Marshall Islands In Nuclear Weapons Contamination Caseby Tom Arms – The residents of the Marshall Islands are the ultimate modern age victims. If they don’t die from cancer inflicted by nuclear testing they will drown from rising sea levels caused by climate change. Like most victims, they sought justice. But the International Court of Justice at The Hague refused it on what was effectively a diplomatic-cum-legal technicality. The Marshall Islands — population 54,000 — are two parallel strings of islands covering 750,000 square miles of the South Pacific. Their best known piece of real estate is Bikini Atoll. In the aftermath of World War Two, the United States was given responsibility for administering and looking after the welfare of the islanders. It did this by exploding 67 nuclear devices on Bikini Atoll and other parts of the Marshall Islands. Over a 12-year period the US exploded the equivalent of 200 kilotons a day. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons.

October 17, 2016 – domain-B.com – Poof! The weird case of the X-ray that came out blank – Imagine getting a medical X-ray that comes out blank – as if your bones had vanished. That’s what happened when scientists cranked up the intensity of the world’s first X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, to get a better look at a sample they were studying: The X-rays seemed to go right through it as if it were not there. This result was so weird that the leader of the experiment, SLAC Professor Joachim Stöhr, devoted the next three years to developing a theory that explains why it happened. Now his team has published a paper in Physical Review Letters describing the 2012 experiment for the first time. What they saw was a so-called non-linear effect where more than one photon, or particle of X-ray light, enters a sample at the same time, and they team up to cause unexpected things to happen.

October 17, 2016 – iTV News – 60th anniversary of world’s first nuclear power station – Today marks 60 years since the opening of the world’s first commercial nuclear power station at Calder Hall in west Cumbria. The Queen carried out the ceremony on October the 17th 1956. The plant produced electricity for the national grid for almost 50 years. On that day the Queen announced: “It is with pride that I now open Calder Hall, Britain’s first Atomic power station.” It was the first time the immense power of nuclear energy was to be harnessed for a peaceful use – to produce electricity on a commercial scale for homes and businesses around Britain. The first town to receive electricity direct from Calder Hall was Workington. The opening of the four reactors followed a huge construction process over the previous three years involving thousands of workers.

October 17, 2016 – Daily Mail – Atomic-sized ‘MRI scanners’ may lead to new drugs: Quantum bits will pick up the structure of single molecules – MRI scanners use magnetic fields to produce 3D views of structures. But quantum bits, or qubits, could also be used to sense magnetic fields. Researchers hope to use them as highly sensitive quantum scanners. This could reveal the atomic structures of samples, leading to new drugs.

October 17, 2016 – Greek Reporter – Using X-Rays and Periodic Table to Reveal Techniques That Created Ancient Greek Pottery – Art experts are using science to uncover the special methods used by artists who created pottery in Ancient Greece. In a joint effort, the Cantor Arts Center’s Art + Science Learning Lab, art and science faculty, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have teamed up to reveal some surprising techniques by using X-rays and elements of the periodic table. The pottery is being scanned in such a way that it is literally being read in elements from iron, potassium, calcium and zinc- all identified in neon colors. This discovery is not only exciting, but shows that there is much more than meets the eye in many pieces of art. Director of the Learning Lab, Susan Roberts-Manganelli is thrilled about the new breakthroughs and joint efforts in discovery, as she commented to phys.org: “You can’t do science, art history or conservation in isolation. We all thought we could at one time, but now we realize we are stronger and better as a group.”

October 17, 2016 – The Pioneer – China decommissions its 1st nuclear submarine – China’s first nuclear-powered submarine has been decommissioned after more than 40 years of military service, media said on Sunday. After undergoing a thorough denuclearisation process, the submarine was towed to a wharf belonging to the Chinese Navy Museum in Qingdao, a port city in east China’s Shandong province where it will be a public exhibit, State- run Xinhua news agency reported. The submarine’s release from military service and the safe, thorough and reliable handling of related nuclear waste, nuclear reactor and other devices showed China’s life-cycle maintenance ability, the report quoted the naval authorities as saying.

October 17, 2016 – Toronto Star – Canada’s euphemistic search for a place to bury nuclear waste: Walkom – The headline in the Lucknow Sentinel said it all. “Conversations begin to explore connections between APM project and community well-being,” it read. Indeed they have. As the full-page ad in the Southwestern Ontario weekly reported this month, such “conversations” have been going full-tilt in eight small Ontario communities as a federal agency searches for a place willing to store highly radioactive spent-fuel rods from Canada’s nuclear power plants. Four of the eight are on or near Lake Huron, including the township of Huron-Kinloss, which is where Lucknow is situated. An observer from, say, Mars might think a highly radioactive nuclear dump would be a hard sell.

October 17, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Brexit could hurt Hinkley nuclear progress – Brexit could have damaging implications for the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. The project has already overcome legal obstacles, conflict within the EDF board, delayed UK government approval and other various issues, but Brexit now threatens the ability of the project’s developers to bring in the skilled personnel it needs to produce the facility. City AM reports that the engineering industry, which contributes £280bn to the economy, has said that a restriction on access to skills could delay the building of major infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point C as it increases the expense for projects if demand for skilled engineers outstrips supply.

October 17, 2016 – Daily Mail – Bulgarian prosecutors charge two former executives over nuclear project – Bulgaria’s prosecutors have charged two former directors of state electricity firm NEK with causing financial damage by signing a nuclear deal that cost the business more than 77 million euros ($86 million). Bulgaria cancelled its 10 billion euro Belene project with Russia’s Atomstroyexport in 2012 after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia. NEK now has to pay over 620 million euros ($695 million) in compensation to Atomstroyexport over the project, which analysts and politicians say reflects widespread corruption. On Friday, Sofia City Prosecution accused Ludomir Velkov and Madrik Papazian of signing a 205 million euro deal to sell the ageing nuclear equipment to Atomstroyexport in 2007 and agreed to take all transport and tax expenses.

October 17, 2016 – The Japan News – New governor should calmly discuss Niigata nuclear plant reactivation – It is necessary to steadily reactivate nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed. The newly elected Niigata governor should calmly consider this. Ryuichi Yoneyama, a medical doctor recommended by three opposition parties —the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party (previously known as the People’s Life Party) and the Social Democratic Party — has been elected for the first time in the Niigata gubernatorial election. He defeated, among others, Tamio Mori, a former Nagaoka mayor endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

October 17, 2016 – Fossbytes – Hackers Successfully Attacked A Nuclear Power Plant — Is Anything Safe Anymore? – The International Atomic Energy Agency Director, Yukiya Amano, has revealed that a nuclear power plant was attacked by the hackers about 2-3 years ago. While Mr. Amano declined to reveal the name of the exact power plant, he said that hacking risk is not imaginary and more stringent measures should be take to safeguard the nuclear facilities. The notorious hackers surely know how to leave an impact and create a tensed environment. Unlike the regular dose of data breach news, seldom we read about a nuclear power plant getting hacked. Yukiya Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director, has told Reuters that a nuclear power plant was successfully attacked by the hackers about 2-3 years ago. While it didn’t cause the plant to completely shut down, it disrupted the power plant. He declined to mention which particular nuclear power plant was involved in the attack.

October 17, 2016 – WTVC 9 – TVA sets auction date for unfinished nuclear plant – The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up on a project that was supposed to become one of its biggest nuclear power plants. TVA is selling the 1,400-acre site in northeast Alabama. TVA said Friday it set a Nov. 14 auction date to sell its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear power plant. TVA directors declared the unfinished nuclear plant to be surplus property earlier this year – 43 years after construction began on the complex. The utility says the primary goal in selling the site is to provide the best long-term economic return to surrounding communities.

October 17, 2016 – 24 News HD – Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant operational – Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant has started the production. reported 24 News. “340 MW will be included in the national grid through this plant.” “Congratulation to the nation that Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant Chashma Unit-3(C-3) has been connected to the national grid,” the PAEC sources said and added that supply of electricity generated by this unit to the national grid had been started on trial basis. The spokesperson of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) told media that after phasing through functional and safety measures, the plant will be fully functional by early December. “Henceforth the formal inauguration ceremony will be held in December,” he added. On achieving the mile stone, the head of PAEC Muhammad Naeem re-affirmed that the scientists, technicians and engineers were working hard to achieve all the targets to ensure nuclear security of Pakistan.

October 17, 2016 – ABC.az – Czech Republic displays an interest to Azerbaijan’s nuclear research – The Institute of Physics under the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (AMEA) informs that Ivan Ştekl, the director of the Institute of Applied & Experimental Physics at the Czech Technical University, paid a visit to the Institute of Physics. He was familiarized with the equipment and activities of the Azerbaijani Institute and gave high estimate to them. The visit took place within the framework of the Days of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Baku.

October 17, 2016 – News 24 – Clear on Nuclear? – I’m not a power generation expert, nor an economist, so I’m in no position to give any authoritative view on whether our country should invest in nuclear power. I don’t know what our future power needs will be and the short fall we will have once our “new” coal-powered stations are delivered. I don’t know of the real dangers of nuclear but so-called experts tell us they’re actually safer than coal power stations. Who to believe? What I can do is express observations and an armchair critic opinion on those things which concern me. Surely that is all the populace can do and hope the powers-that-be who love to silence our voices and drive their own agendas actually listen to us for once. Are my views worth more than my neighbours? Surely not, we all have a voice, an equal voice called democracy.

October 17, 2016 – WRVO – When it comes to nuclear power, does Cuomo favor politics over policy? – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent the past year walking a fine line between environmentalists who believe nuclear power is a necessary evil in reducing the state’s carbon dioxide emissions and those who think the plants pose too great a danger. But, Cuomo is no stranger to this kind of juggling act on nuclear policy. When the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant experienced a recent oil leak that could have made its way into the Hudson River, Cuomo seemed to fall into what’s become a standard routine: issue a statement, visit the plant and express grave concern about Indian Point’s continued operation. “This plant, since 2011, there have been over 40 extraordinary incidents,” Cuomo said. “We have had tritium leaks, we have had steam leaks, we have had a fire in a transformer, we’ve had turbine failures, pump failures, weld failures, high levels of radioactivity in groundwater. So, this plant is no stranger to dangerous situations.”

October 17, 2016 – Daily News & Analysis – Bacteria may help prevent radioactive leaks: Study – Naturally occurring bacteria could consume pent-up hydrogen gas in nuclear waste repositories to prevent radioactive leaks, a new study has found. A research team led by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland discovered a microbial community made up of seven species of bacteria that live naturally hundreds of meters underground in the very rock layers that have been chosen to host Swiss nuclear waste.

October 17, 2016 – ABC News – Washington State Seeks to Protect Nuclear Site Workers – Washington state asked a federal judge Wednesday to issue an injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to take steps to protect workers at a major nuclear waste storage site. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says more than 50 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been exposed to toxic vapors and the “culture of indifference to worker safety must end.” From January through July, Hanford workers reported suspicious smells or symptoms that indicate exposure to chemical vapors, according to The Tri-City Herald. ( http://bit.ly/2dVsCtf ) U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane heard arguments on the safety issue and the federal agency’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Rice said he would rule at a later date.

read more

October 13, 2016 – No relevant citations.

read more

October 13, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 13th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 13, 2016 – Columbus Dispatch – Film pulls back the curtain on Arkansas nuke disaster that wasn’t – On Sept. 18, 1980, Air Force officials struggled desperately to prevent an American thermonuclear warhead from blasting Arkansas off the map. “Before Sept. 18, the only warheads that we thought would go off in the United States were Soviet warheads,” Allan Childers, a former missile-complex crew member, says in the documentary “ Command and Control,” which chronicles the events of that day. “We never considered that our warheads could detonate on our own continent.” The film, directed by Robert Kenner and based on the book by Eric Schlosser, will open on Friday at the Gateway Film Center. It centers on a critical moment in American history that few people know about. If the warhead had detonated, the blast and radioactive fallout would have killed millions of Americans.

October 13, 2016 – The Japan News – Accelerate water-purifying work at Fukushima plant to cut leakage risk – The volume of contaminated water continues to increase at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Efforts to deal with this problem must be reinforced. TEPCO has compiled a new set of measures to deal with the radioactive water. The steps are aimed at reducing to nearly zero the contaminated water inside reactor buildings, the prime source of the tainted water. Under the new measures, the contaminated water accumulated in the basements of reactor buildings is to be purified and then transferred to storage tanks. At the same time, facilities exclusively used for purifying the tainted water are to be doubled, and the existing storage tanks will be replaced with larger ones, increasing the overall storage capacity.

October 13, 2016 – Business Wire – Carestream Ultrasound Systems Receive Health Canada License – CARESTREAM Touch Prime and Touch Prime XE Ultrasound Systems (video link) have received a Health Canada license and are currently available for sale in Canada as well as the United States. “Our ultrasound systems provide exceptional image quality and streamline measurements to expedite clinician access to critical imaging information while boosting staff productivity” The Touch Ultrasound platform’s design is based upon recommendations by sonographers and ultrasound professionals across the world and offers an all-touch user interface, compact profile, easy maneuverability and adjustable features. Swipe-and-go system activation configures the interface to each user’s preferences and a bar code reader reduces key strokes to save time. Its glass console is easy to clean and wireless connectivity provides rapid transfer of images and data to PACS, RIS or other systems. Carestream offers specialized transducers for radiology, OB/GYN, musculoskeletal and vascular imaging.

October 13, 2016 – Vanguard – China bans X-ray scanners at airports – China has ordered the removal of full-body X-ray scanners at airports and railway stations due to radiation risks. In an urgent document sent to the Department of Environmental Protection of Sichuan Province (DEPSP) on Monday and published on Wednesday, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) urged DEPSP to strengthen law enforcement and stop producing, selling and using full-body X-ray scanners without authorisation to ensure the safety of the people. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The document came after some travellers complained about radiation hazards and the use of full-body security scanners at airports and railways stations in Sichuan’s capital city Chengdu and other areas.

October 13, 2016 – Scicasts – New Atomic-Scale MRI System Holds Promise for New Drug Discovery – Researchers at the University of Melbourne have developed a way to radically miniaturise a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine using atomic-scale quantum computer technology. Capable of imaging the structure of a single bio-molecule, the new system would overcome significant technological challenges and provide an important new tool for biotechnology and drug discovery. The team propose the use of atomic-sized quantum bits (qubits) normally associated with the development of quantum computers, but here would be employed as highly sensitive quantum sensors to image the individual atoms in a bio-molecule.

October 13, 2016 – New Haven Independent – Nuke “Safety” – In 1958, officials at the new Fire Department training school reported on how they’d handle “peace-time radiation which will develop when atomic power is used in local industries.” Welcome to This Day In Fire Prevention History, as your host Allan Appel and the New Haven Museum’s Jason Bischoff Wurstle travel back in time.

October 13, 2016 – RTT News – Denison Acquires 80% Ownership In Hook-Carter Property – Denison Mines Corp. (DML.TO,DNN) announced it has executed a definitive agreement with ALX Uranium Corp. (AL.V) to acquire an immediate 80% ownership of the entire Hook-Carter property in exchange for the issuance of 7.5 million common shares of Denison. The Property consists of 28 claims, totaling 16,805 hectares, and is located near the southwestern margin of the Athabasca Basin, in northern Saskatchewan. Denison’s CEO, David Cates, stated: “While this transaction expands Denison’s project portfolio into the western side of the Athabasca Basin, Denison remains focused on advancing our flagship Wheeler River property in the infrastructure rich eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin. The acquisition of the Hook-Carter property is about building our project pipeline and generating our own success in the very exciting western portion of the Athabasca Basin. We believe the western Basin has the potential to emerge as a mining camp in the long-term, and could eventually represent an important part of the uranium mining industry in Canada.”

October 13, 2016 – Can-India.com – Homes should be tested for cancer gas Radon – In North American homes, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are common devices. But while homeowners may think that these monitors are sufficient for ensuring their families’ wellness and safety, there is another gas that needs to be detected which is equally as important for health and wellness: radon. Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause for smokers, claiming the lives of approximately 21,000 Americans each year. That’s more than five times the number of deaths attributed annually to carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires.

October 13, 2016 – Quartz – Want to go to Mars? Be prepared for irreversible damage to your brain – You can’t go many days without someone talking about going to Mars. Just in the last few weeks: Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, laid out his plans to sell tickets to the red planet for $200,000; Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, vowed to get there before Musk; and US president Barack Obama reiterated his plans to send humans to Mars by 2030. Before these fantasies become reality, there are many problems to overcome. One of them might be the most difficult: how to stop astronauts from suffering irreversible damage to brain functions that are crucial to completing a space mission? This damage is predicted to be caused by space radiation. When we’re on Earth, the planet’s magnetic field shields us from most of it. A spacecraft’s hull can’t provide that level of protection. The result, a 2015 study predicted, would be brain damage that would affect astronauts’ cognitive powers.

October 13, 2016 – dprem.com – Proton therapy: A new hope for cancer treatment – Proton Therapy, alternative of Proton Beam Therapy, is a form of radiation treatment highly effective in treating different types of cancer. As the name implies, it involves a beam of protons (positively charged particles) instead of X- Ray beam. Protons at a high energy state have immense ability to destroy the cancer cells. Our body tissues are comprised of innumerable molecules with atoms being the basic building blocks. Negatively charged electrons orbit around the nucleus of each atom. High energy protons while passed through the electrons cause ionization of those atoms pulling electrons off their orbits. Ionization causes a considerable change in the characteristics of the atom and consequently the molecules too undergo subsequent changes that ultimately damage the genetic constituent of the tissues. It has a beneficial aspect in destroying the cancer cells but care should be taken not to cause any damage to the surrounding cells and tissues. Radiation therapy of any kind is based on this cell ionization principle.

October 13, 2016 – DC Velocity – CERN Uses Automatic Hook to Lift Concrete Beam During Irradiation Tests – CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is using an automatic hook from Barcelona, Spain-based manufacturer Elebia to lift and lower a 750kg concrete beam used for radiation tests at the Franco-Swiss site. At CERN, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter—the fundamental particles. The 2.5t capacity e2 automatic hook works beneath a 25t capacity overhead crane with a 10t capacity hoist, which combine to lower the beam that contains samples for irradiation (a process by which an object is exposed to radiation) at the shielding benchmark facility.

October 13, 2016 – Indian Express – India, Russia ink pact to set up 25 irradiation centers for perishable food – India and Russia Thursday signed a pact to set up 25 integrated infrastructure centers for irradiation treatment of perishable food items to improve shelf life and cut post-harvest losses. At least 7 centers will be set up in Maharashtra, with the first centre near Shirdi to be ready next year. Perishable items ranging from flowers to fish will be treated there on a commercial scale. The agreement was signed between Russia’s United Innovation Corporation (UIC) — a subsidiary of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation — and Hindustan Agro Co-op Ltd on the sidelines of the BRICS Business Forum here.

October 13, 2016 – Independent – University of Malta researchers contribute toward world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor – Researchers at the University of Malta are contributing toward the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a €20 billion nuclear fusion reactor that aims to ‘ignite a star on Earth for energy’. The reactor, known as a tokamak, is being constructed in Cadarache, France and it will be the world’s largest machine of its kind. The European Union, the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan and South Korea have all joined forces to build this international experimental magnetic confinement machine to prove the feasibility of nuclear fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars. ITER is designed to produce net energy and maintain fusion reactions for long periods of time. It will be the first fusion device to test the integrated technologies, materials and physics regimes necessary to build power plants for the commercial production of fusion-based electricity.

October 13, 2016 – Daily Mail – EDF CEO says hopes more nuclear reactors will return online by year-end – The chief executive of French utility EDF said on Thursday he hoped more offline nuclear reactors could return to production before the end of the year, following reports that France could face tight supplies this winter. “We are working to make sure reactors that are on outage resume production,” EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters. “We are still carrying out demonstrations with ASN and we hope that some of these reactors will resume production by the end of the year,” he said.

October 13, 2016 – Novinite – Bulgaria Mulls Completing Belene Nuclear Plant through Privatization – Bulgarian authorities are exploring options to privatize Belene nuclear power plant (NPP) project, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev has said. Russia has given its consent in principle, the Bulgarian National Radio quotes him as saying. Donchev has underlined the need to “halt the clock of interest,” in a reference to the EUR 0.167 M piled up on the EUR 620 M principal on a daily basis since June. The controversial project, on which Bulgaria was working with Russia, was abandoned during Boyko Borisov’s first term as Prime Minister. In June, however, Bulgaria was told by an arbitration court to pay hundreds of millions of EUR to Atomstroyexport, the Russian company which had already produced a reactor and some equipment for the plant.

October 13, 2016 – Times Live – ‘Zuptas’ insisting on nuclear build programme because they have taken a bribe from Russia – “Zuma and the Guptas – or the Zuptas as we call them – are primarily responsible for the insistence on the nuclear building programme which will cost South Africa more than R1 trillion because they have already accepted a bribe from the Russians. “The recent announcement by Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and a Gupta agent that Eskom will implement a nuclear building programme is part of the corrupt insistence of the Gupta family to make corrupt gains out of the programme. “The reality is‚ if the programme continues to go ahead‚ South Africa will be deprived of all the resources needed for basic services‚” Malema said.

October 13, 2016 – Richmond Times-Dispatch – Va. man, woman who entered Pa. nuclear plant property enter pleas – A Virginia couple who entered the property of a Pennsylvania nuclear plant after they say they got lost pleaded guilty to some charges in exchange for no additional jail time. Timothy Stewart, 29, and Jenilee Simpson, 33, both of Chesapeake, entered the pleas Tuesday in York County Court. Authorities said they were driving to New York on May 27 and cut the chain at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station while trying to get on the right road. Stewart told the court he was lost and had not gotten a lot of sleep. He had bolt cutters because he was “going to use them to work at a carnival,” the York Daily Record reported.

October 13, 2016 – IOL – When a ‘radiological hotspot’ is your home – Thandeka Mkhehlane pushes her twins in their dusty second-hand pram, navigating the dirty, narrow alleys that separate the shacks of Tudor Shaft, an informal settlement on the forlorn fringes of Krugersdorp. She would rather be anywhere but here. The bleak shack where she is raising her three sons – the eldest is nine – is less than 10m from the yellow mine dump that encircles Tudor Shaft, and which she blames for her children’s near-constant poor health. The Tudor Shaft community in Krugersdorp is living in terrible danger. Some of the residents have been relocated, while those remaining believe they’ve been forgotten. When it rains, the tailings from the mound of toxic soil pour into her and her neighbours’ homes. And there’s nowhere to escape when the dust billows. “My children are always sick,” says Mkhehlane, looking worried. “They have runny noses and rashes that don’t go away. They struggle to breathe. I need to leave this place for the sake of my children’s health. It’s a disaster.”

October 13, 2016 – The Recorder – In ‘Power Struggle,’ filmmaker explores efforts to shut down Vt. Yankee – When Entergy Corp. announced plans to shut down its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in August 2013, Wendell filmmaker Robbie Leppzer had already been filming his documentary for 3½ years. Leppzer, whose latest film, “Power Struggle” chronicles the conflicts over the Vernon, Vt. reactor’s relicensing, will be screened in an Oct. 23 “sneak preview” 2 p.m. showing at the Academy of Music in Northampton, as well as a Nov. 3 showing at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, Vt. The 104-minute film, for which Leppzer is trying to raise $10,000 for post-production work, will be aired on HBO sometime next year, says the documentary filmmaker. He also received support from NHK, the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation.

October 13, 2016 – Science Daily – Novel imaging technique with potential for medical diagnostics – A unique new imaging method, called “polarized nuclear imaging” — combining powerful aspects of both magnetic resonance imaging and gamma-ray imaging and developed by two physicists in the University of Virginia’s departments of Physics and Radiology — has potential for new types of high-resolution medical diagnostics as well as industrial and physics research applications. “This method makes possible a truly new, absolutely different class of medical diagnostics,” said Wilson Miller, who, along with his colleague Gordon Cates, directed the research. “We’re combining the advantages of using highly detectable nuclear tracers with the spectral sensitivity and diagnostic power of MRI techniques.”

October 13, 2016 – GCR – China designs “baby reactors” to power islands in South China Sea – A Chinese research institute has developed a nuclear reactor small enough to transport in a shipping crate, with the aim of deploying it on islands in the South China Sea in the next five years. Just 6.1m long and 2.6m high, it can generate 10MW of electricity, enough to run 50,000 households and provide heat to desalinate seawater, reports The South China Morning Post. Called the hedianbao, or “portable nuclear battery pack”, the “baby” reactor is being developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology. The design is derived from reactors installed in Soviet nuclear submarines in the 1970s. It uses fast neutrons to minimise waste and molten lead as a coolant, and if it meets its goals, it will be able to produce power continuously for decades without refuelling.

October 13, 2016 – NewsInEnglish.no – Nuclear reactors closing down – Norway’s two aging nuclear reactors, located in Halden and Kjeller, are being shut down in what officials are calling a “temporary” move but one that has set off speculation over whether they’ll ever be reopened. Magazine Teknisk Ukeblad reported this week that the reason for the shutdown was largely financial, after lower oil prices led to a slowdown in the energy industry and a fall in the number of research assignments coming in to Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which operates them. Companies using nuclear energy are also struggling as a result of more use of alternative and renewable energy, reported the magazine.
A total of 127 IFE employees will be laid off or furloughed in the coming weeks, 72 in Halden and 55 in Kjeller. Some will be kept on to work 50 percent at the reactors, both of which date from the 1950s and have been dedicated to international research projects under the OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency.

October 13, 2016 – Blue & Green Tomorrow – Risky Move Toward Nuclear Energy Taken At Hinkley Point – Following a final six-week review and after agreeing a ‘golden share’ deal, the UK Government has given the green light to two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The controversial move will see the first new nuclear plant built in the UK for 20 years. As a leader on tackling climate change, the decision can be viewed as a major milestone to achieving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80% by 2050. Low and zero carbon sources represented slightly less than 50% of the UK energy mix in 2015. At 20%, nuclear power is the fourth biggest source of energy after gas, renewables and coal – contributing significantly to the 38% drop in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. So why do I have reservations?

October 13, 2016 – KOMO News – Washington state seeks to protect Hanford workers – Washington state wants a federal judge to issue an injunction requiring the Department of Energy and its contractor to take steps to protect workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The Tri-City Herald reports that from January through July, Hanford workers reported suspicious smells or symptoms that indicate exposure to chemical vapors.
The Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says more than 50 workers have been exposed to toxic vapors and the “culture of indifference to worker safety must end.” The state plans to make that argument during a federal hearing set for Wednesday morning in Spokane. The agency has claimed that the plaintiffs in the case have not shown harm to Hanford workers from vapors. It has argued that symptoms like headaches are common and don’t necessarily indicate exposure to vapors.

read more

October 12, 2016 – 81 FR 70444-70446 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – In the Matter of AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC, AREVA, Inc.; Order Approving Change of Control of Licenses and Conforming Amendments – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an Order approving a request, submitted by AREVA Inc., seeking the NRC’s consent to the following license transfers: (1) The indirect transfer of control of special nuclear material (SNM) License SNM-2015, regarding the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, that authorizes the future construction and operation of this uranium enrichment facility in Bonneville County, Idaho, (2) the direct transfer of control of source material License SUA-672, regarding the former Lucky Mc uranium mill, and its existing tailings site, in Fremont County, Wyoming, and (3) the direct transfer of control of Export Licenses XSNM3643, XSNM3722, and XSOU8780. In addition, AREVA Inc. requested approval of conforming license amendments to reflect the new names of AREVA corporate entities associated with the license transfers due to the reorganization of the AREVA family of companies. AREVA Inc. also requested NRC confirmation that the proposed reorganization would not involve any transfer of control of Construction Authorization (CA) Number CAMOX-001, for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility that is being constructed on a site near Aiken, South Carolina.

October 12, 2016 – 81 FR 70401-70402 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory – This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Idaho National Laboratory. 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, October 27, 2016–8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The opportunity for public comment is at 3:15 p.m. This time is subject to change; please contact the Federal Coordinator (below) for confirmation of times prior to the meeting. ADDRESSES: Sun Valley Inn, 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, ID 83353. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS-1203, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415. Phone (208) 526-6518; Fax (208) 526-8789 or email: pencerl@id.doe.gov or visit the Board’s Internet home page at: http://inlcab.energy.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