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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.

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October 12, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 12th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 12, 2016 – Live Science – Alien Life May Munch on Galactic Cosmic Rays – Extreme microbes that live in hostile places on Earth may feed off of cosmic rays that zip through space, according to a study of a bizarre bacterium thriving deep in a dark gold mine. If life exists on other planets such as Mars, it too could be gobbling up cosmic rays in order to survive, the new study suggests. “When you have radiation penetrating deep below the surface, where there might be water on Mars or [Jupiter’s moon] Europa, then it could start chemical reactions that life could use,” said study author Dimitra Atri, a research scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle. Organisms that live off of galactic cosmic rays could even dwell on rogue planets that are not bound to any star and instead drift throughout interstellar space, Atri added.

October 12, 2016 – Dataconomy – How An App Could Be The Key In Avoiding The Risks of Radiation – Whether it be diagnostics, treatment, or even a rehabilitation process, all medical procedures have an obvious goal: bringing benefits to patients. For instance, sonography requires using ultrasound waves for examining soft tissues; magnetic resonance, in turn, involves magnetic fields to make images. Neither waves nor magnets have negative influence on a person’s organism. Biopsies, for example, which are procedures to take person’s cells, are also harmless. However, some medical operations have adverse effects. I’m referring to computed tomography, fluoroscopy (chest X-ray, dental X-ray, mammography, angiography), as well as the usage of radionuclide pharmaceuticals to diagnose and treat patients within nuclear medicine imaging. These procedures expose the patient to ionizing radiation, putting them at risk of developing carcinogenic tumors. And if we speak about fluoroscopy procedures, in particular, here there are also risks for patients to suffer from serious X-ray induced skin injuries.

October 12, 2016 – Update.ph – China donates modern X-ray baggage scanner to Philippine airport – A modern X-ray baggage scanner is now in place at the Laoag International Airport courtesy of the Peoples Republic of China. In a simple ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Laoag Airport on Wednesday, Zhiao Quiaoliang, head of the Chinese Consulate Center in Laoag City, officially turned over the machine to Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos, representing the province of Ilocos Norte. Pegged at an estimated amount of PHP1million, the X-ray baggage scanner is a great help for the Laoag airport to intensify its security measures while in the process of upgrading its facilities to cater to its growing visitors.

October 12, 2016 – CRIEnglish – Radiation risks found in Chengdu’s airport scanners – China’s top environmental authority has called an emergency halt on some full-body scanners in the southwestern city of Chengdu that allegedly have exposed people to excessive doses of radiation. The authority said in a statement that this type of X-ray scanners in Chengdu’s airport should not be used in public spaces or for the general population. The statement also said that scanners with such high doses of X-ray radiation should register and apply for licenses at the authority before being produced, sold or used. They are also demanding local authorities in Sichuan to probe for possible illegal conduct by producers and other related companies. The full-body scanners in question were first reported to be found at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport for security checks. Called the “Ultra-weak Photon Full-body Scanner”, reports questioned about the level of radiation dose it has, and also pointed out that there were not enough warnings given to passengers, especially to pregnant women and children, about ionizing radiation.

October 12, 2016 – Creamer Media – South African toxic mine dumps fail citizens, Harvard Body says – South Africa is failing to uphold citizens’ human rights by allowing toxic waste from huge mine dumps in and around Johannesburg to seep into rivers, according to Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. The government hasn’t done enough to mitigate the impact of contaminated water from abandoned mines and dust storms from radioactive waste dumps, the IHRC said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. While a long-term plan announced in May to spend R12-billion ($843-million) cleaning water from mines is a positive, it came more than a decade after polluted water began seeping out west of Johannesburg, the clinic said.

October 12, 2016 – Daily Northshore – ‘Radium Girls’ Opens Oct. 13 at LFHS – Based on a true story that sets American capitalism and the commercialization of science against the question of conscience, Radium Girls opens at Lake Forest High School on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The two-act play by D. W. Gregory kicks off LFHS Theatre’s 2016-17 season. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15 in the Raymond Moore Auditorium at LFHS. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Business Education faculty member Joseph Pulio directs the play while Director of Theater Dennis Mae provides technical direction and designed the set.

October 12, 2016 – Standard Digital – Innocent food items in your home that are ‘glowing’ with radiation – We interact with – and eat – radioactive materials. But how much radiation are we taking in? Bananas may be an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6, and avocados may provide good levels of pantothenic acid and dietary fibre, but that’s not all these items bring to the party. The term ‘radioactive’ may prompt images of sickness and disaster to mind, but radiation is being, well, radiated happily away from our own fruit bowls. However, before you vow to never upload another Insta-worthy shot of your avocado on toast ever again, it’s not actually a reason to panic. There are plenty of innocent objects (such as bananas and avocados) which give off radiation.

October 12, 2016 – The Engineer – Marconi inspires pursuit of 1 terabit data transfer – Researchers at Rice University are taking inspiration from radio-pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, as they seek to develop a wireless system capable of transferring 1 terabit of data per second. The team is panning on using pulse-based technology, first demonstrated by Marconi in the early 1900s when he used an antenna connected to a large capacitor. By charging that, he could cause the power to build up until the voltage difference ionised the air gap, causing all the power to be sent to the antenna at once. “Our pulse-based system is inspired by Marconi’s invention, but instead of the power going to a large antenna through an air gap, like Marconi’s, ours goes to an on-chip antenna through a high-speed bipolar transistor,” said research co-lead Aydin Babakhani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice. The silicon-germanium chip converts a digital trigger to a 5-picosecond pulse of radiation with a frequency spectrum exceeding 1 terahertz. The chip supports a repetition rate up to 10 gigahertz, provides beam-steering capability and contains a two-by-four array of transmitters with antennas that can each be independently programmed with resolution steps of 300 femtoseconds.

October 12, 2016 – The Point – Lawmakers ratify membership of Int’l Atomic Energy Agency – Lawmakers Thursday ratified the country’s membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a motion tabled by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Pa Ousman Jarju. He said the IAEA is a specialised agency of the United Nations, created in 1957 as the ‘world’s Atom for Peace’ organisation to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. He said it comprises 167 member states as of November 2015, although established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute. The IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, he said.

October 12, 2016 – LSE – Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process – One of the first decisions taken by Theresa May as prime minister was to delay deciding on the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Because it was a centrepiece project as part of former Chancellor George Osborne’s “Golden Age” of closer bilateral ties with China, the issue was instantly politicised, provoking an intense debate in Parliament and across government departments. Defenders of the deal included the Chinese embassy and foreign ministry, which came out publicly to apply pressure on May over the issue. Meanwhile, those close to the Prime Minister pointed out the security risks to Britain’s critical national infrastructure and national security. In the end, a face-saving compromise was reached: the Sino-French consortium would go ahead with the deal with Her Majesty’s Government keeping a majority stake in the company to calm nerves within the security agencies.

October 12, 2016 – IT-Online – More questions around new nuclear build – Eyebrows have been raised at the announcement by Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson that makes Eskom the designated procuring agent for South Africa’s proposed new nuclear build. In fact, Gordon Mackay, shadow minister of energy, calls it “nothing short of an elaborate sleight of hand aimed at muddying the water and subverting effective parliamentary oversight over the R1 trillion nuclear deal.”

October 12, 2016 – Global Times – Vietnam to finalize action plan to mitigate nuclear risks – A workshop concluded Hanoi on Wednesday, representing one of the final steps in drafting Vietnam’s national action plan to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks. At the three-day workshop, Duong Quoc Hung, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, reiterated the country’s engagement in mitigating the risks, which was welcomed by delegates from the European Union (EU). The plan’s overall purpose is to articulate a national vision for the risk mitigation and to identify priorities for building capacity in this area. The plan is part of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centers of Excellence Risk Mitigation Initiative.

October 12, 2016 – ABC 27 – Don’t be alarmed: Peach Bottom nuclear plant to test siren Wednesday – People living near a York County nuclear power plant shouldn’t worry if they hear sirens. Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station on the Susquehanna River is testing one of its sirens Wednesday, October 12th at 10 a.m. The siren is located in Lancaster County and is a part of the emergency warning siren system surrounding Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. The siren will sound for three minutes, following maintenance, to confirm that it is working. The three-minute blast is a part of a test conducted by the plant’s owner, Exelon Generation.

October 12, 2016 – Wigan Today – Is Lancashire ‘at risk of nuclear contamination’? – Nuclear convoys carrying warheads routinely drive on the M6. If one crashed, or was attacked by terrorists, more than 260,000 people could be in danger of contamination, according to a new report. Nuclear bomb convoys on the M6 are putting more than a quarter of a million people at risk from radioactive contamination in Lancashire, according to a report by campaigners. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons UK, which compiled the report, is demanding an end to the road convoys which routinely pass close to the city en route from the South of England to Scotland. It claims an accident or an explosion could pose a serious threat to people in a 10-kilometre radius.

October 12, 2016 – Common Space – Hinkley nuclear power station is a Trident weapons “stealth initiative”, expert claims – WESTMINSTER is pouring billions into a dodgy nuclear power project to hide the mammoth development costs of Trident weapons of mass destruction, an Oxford academic has claimed. Peter Wynn Kirby, a nuclear and environmental specialist at the University of Oxford, has accused the UK Government of backing the Hinkley weapons plan “at almost any price” as a means of “hiding the true costs” of Trident nuclear weapons renewal. Kirby, writing for the New York Times, cites a University of Sussex report that considers corporate nuclear development in the energy and military sectors as a means of combining development costs. The claim combines two of the most contentious and unpopular spending decisions of the current UK Government – one to spend beyond £100bn on more weapons of mass destruction, the other to build a costly nuclear power station despite cheaper renewable alternatives.

October 12, 2016 – Express.co.uk – China going NUCLEAR in disputed sea: Atomic reactor to be hidden inside SHIPPING CONTAINER – A nuclear plant is under development in China that would be the world’s smallest – capable of fitting inside a small steel box. Experts say the technology – dubbed the “portable nuclear battery pack” – could be ready within five years. At just 6.1 metres long and 2.6 metres high, the lead-cooled reactor could generate around 10 megawatts of power, enough to power 50,000 homes. Well-suited to the maritime environment of the South China Sea, the reactor is capable of desalinating large quantities of seawater to be used in the plant. However, critics warn that hosting a nuclear reactor at sea would make it vulnerable to catastrophic environmental disasters, including leaks into the ocean which would then spread around the world.

October 12, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Germany, Utilities Said to Agree Nuclear Deal From Feb. 2017 – The German government has reached an agreement in principle with utilities on a nuclear decommissioning pact that will probably go into effect in February, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Utilities from RWE AG to EON SE would have to stump up a combined initial payment of 23.3 billion euros ($25.8 billion) that was proposed by a government commission in April, as well as interest, to free them from their nuclear waste storage liabilities, the person said. A contract has yet to be drawn up, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

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October 11, 2016 – 81 FR 70004-70011 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM 100 Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1014, Amendment No. 10 – On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) confirmed the effective date of May 31, 2016, for the direct final rule that was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2016. The direct final rule amended the NRC’s spent fuel storage regulations by revising the Holtec International (Holtec) HI-STORM 100 Cask System listing within the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks” to include Amendment No. 10 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1014. The NRC confirmed the effective date because it determined that none of the comments submitted on the direct final rule met any of the criteria for a significant adverse comment. The purpose of this document is to provide responses to the comments received on the direct final rule.

October 11, 2016 – 81 FR 70190-70191 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Tennessee Valley Authority, Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has granted the request of Tennessee Valley Authority (the licensee) to withdraw its application dated July 3, 2013, for a proposed amendment to DPR-77 and DPR-79. The proposed amendment would have revised Units 1 and 2 Technical Specification \3/4\.6.5, “Ice Condenser.”

October 11, 2016 – 81 FR 70175-70190 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations – Pursuant to Section 189a. (2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this regular biweekly notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person.

October 11, 2016 – 81 FR 70172-70175 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – In the Matter of Southern Nuclear Operating Co., Inc.; Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a confirmatory order (Order) to revise the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Hatch) National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 805 License Amendment Request submittal date of October 4, 2016 to April 4, 2018. This new submittal date extends enforcement discretion until April 4, 2018, and supports the Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (the licensee) continued progress in activities related to the transition to NFPA 805.

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October 11, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 11th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 11, 2016 – Courthouse News Service – US Owes Entergy $13M More for Breach on Fuel – A federal judge handed Entergy a 67 percent boost to its $20 million judgment against the Department of Energy for not accepting spent nuclear fuel from a Michigan plant. The department is supposed to remove nuclear waste for a fee and store it in Yucca Mountain, Nev., as part of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. Despite a 1998 contract to do so, however, the agency has not accepted any fuel waste from the Palisades nuclear power plant in Covert, Michigan. Entergy and Consumers Power Co., the company that sold Palisades to Entergy in 2007, meanwhile have the Department of Energy $279 million in fees over the life of the contract. The agency settled with Consumers after a federal judge found it liable for breach of contract, but Entergy filed its own suit to recover the costs it has spent related to the breach.

October 11, 2016 – The Nation – N-power plant was hit by cyber attack: IAEA chief – A nuclear power plant became the target of a disruptive cyber attack two to three years ago, and there is a serious threat of militant attacks on such plants, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Yukiya Amano also cited a case in which an individual tried to smuggle a small amount of highly enriched uranium about four years ago that could have been used to build a so-called “dirty bomb”. “This is not an imaginary risk,” Amano told Reuters and a German newspaper during a visit to Germany that included a meeting with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

October 11, 2016 – Santa Fe New Mexican – LANL makes progress on Area G cleanup, but doubts remain – For more than 70 years, Los Alamos National Laboratory dug thousands of deep and shallow graves across mesas and filled them with the radioactive waste, chemicals and solvents used to make nuclear weapons. Workers disposed of the waste in these unlined pits before the widespread contamination that would follow was fully understood or governed by environmental laws. Radioactive particles that live longer than some civilizations mixed freely with the red soil.

October 11, 2016 – CNBC – Could China build the world’s smallest nuclear power plant and send it to the South China Sea? – A top mainland research institute is developing the world’s smallest ­nuclear power plant, which could fit inside a shipping container and might be installed on an island in the disputed South China Sea within five years. Researchers are carrying out intensive work on the unit – dubbed the hedianbao, or “portable nuclear battery pack”. Although the small, lead-cooled reactor could be placed ­inside a shipping container ­measuring about 6.1 metres long and 2.6 metres high, it would be able to generate 10 megawatts of heat, which, if converted into ­electricity, would be enough to power some 50,000 households.

October 11, 2016 – PhysOrg – Highly sensitive X-ray scattering shows why an exotic material is sometimes a metal, sometimes an insulator – Some materials hold surprising – and possibly useful – properties: neodymium nickel oxide is either a metal or an insulator, depending on its temperature. This characteristic makes the material a potential candidate for transistors in modern electronic devices. To understand how neodymium nickel oxide makes the transition from metal to insulator, researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the University of Geneva UNIGE have precisely probed the distribution of electrons in the material. By means of a sophisticated development of X-ray scattering, they were able to show that electrons in the vicinity of the material’s oxygen atoms are rearranging. The researchers have now published their study in the journal Nature Communications.

October 11, 2016 – PRNewswire – Explosive Novel Of Espionage Based On Shocking True Story – Author Ruth Anderson drew heavily from real life experience in creating her debut novel, Whistle Blower and Double Agents, a shocking spy thriller penned by a writer who worked intimately for the U.S. Government during a crisis long forgotten. Centered on what Anderson calls “a cover-up of epic proportions,” Whistle Blower and Double Agents is an explosive international thriller inspired by actual events. But what makes Whistle Blower and Double Agents positively combustible is the story behind the story: Anderson didn’t have to look far for a plot: she was working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the 1970s when 200 pounds of uranium was declared missing or unaccountable at a U.S. nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. Resplendent with intrigue, action, romance, and drama, Whistle Blower and Double Agents teems with authenticity. When asked why she wrote the novel, Anderson stated: “The novel is inspired by actual incidents around the 200 pounds of uranium missing, or unaccountable, from a US nuclear power plant. The question of responsibility pointed in many directions–the man who operated the nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the CIA, and even the President. I’m often asked why I believe there was a cover-up. I interviewed the whistleblower at my house and was haunted by the stories for years. You see, the ‘whistleblower’ found out exactly what happened to the uranium, who was involved—and who received the ‘missing’ uranium. Ultimately, I felt that this was a story that needed to be told.”

October 11, 2016 – Haaretz – 1939: Einstein Makes His Biggest Mistake – On October 11, 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt received a letter warning him of the possibility that Nazi Germany might develop a nuclear bomb. The letter, signed by Albert Einstein, urged the U.S. president to take action. The result was the “Manhattan Project”, America’s own secret wartime drive that did, in fact, develop the first atom bomb. It was a month after Germany had invaded Poland, triggering World War II. Einstein had signed the letter but it was actually the initiative of a Jewish Hungarian physicist, Leo Szilard, who, like Einstein, had fled the Nazis to America. It was Szilard, a former student of Einstein’s, who is credited with first conceiving of nuclear chain reactions, in 1933. Fearing Germany could obtain Congo’s uranium reserves and utilize his and other discoveries to make a nuclear bomb, Szilard and fellow Hungarian physicist Eugene Wigner felt they had to warn the world. Szilard then thought of his former teacher, who was renowned enough to be taken seriously. (Though Sziland and Einstein had also collaborated in the 1920s on a new design for a refrigerator, which failed miserably.)

October 11, 2016 – STAT – What radiation-resistant space fungus can do for drug discovery – On Aug. 26, the Dragon space capsule dropped into the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Onboard were payloads containing fungi that had now grown in two of the most extreme conditions known to man: outer space and the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station. These fungi are radiation resistant. Thirty years ago, they survived when a routine test led to an explosion that blasted radioactive material throughout northern Ukraine. By sending these fungi to the International Space Station, Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and Clay Wang, a professor at the USC School of Pharmacy, have tried to push them to adapt again.

October 11, 2016 – Prostate Cancer News Today – PET, MRI Combination Helps Map Prostate Cancer Relapses – Combining two imaging techniques has allowed researchers to study the patterns of prostate cancer recurrence following radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate). Titled “Contemporary Mapping Of Post-Prostatectomy Prostate Cancer Relapse With C-11 Choline PET And Multiparametric MRI,” the research report was published in the Journal of Urology by Ilya Sobol and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. “This study has important implications for men who have a rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, also known as biochemical recurrence, after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer,” Dr. Jeffrey Karnes, from Mayo Clinic, said in a news release. “In men with biochemical recurrence, determining where the disease has recurred is quite challenging, especially when the PSA level is low.”

October 11, 2016 – Slash Gear – Mars astronauts risk brain damage says new study – We know that the magnetosphere of the Earth protects us all from all sorts of damaging radiation that comes from the sun and other celestial bodies in space. In fact we have known for years that astronauts on missions to Mars would face much higher risks for cancer. A new study reports that the astronauts on future Mars missions may also face brain damage in addition to increased risk of cancer. The study used rodents and exposed the rodents to charged particles and then analyzed the results of the experiments. The scientists found that the rodents in the experiments had brain damage, neural inflammation,and impaired memory among other issues. “This is not positive news for astronauts deployed on a two-to-three-year round trip to Mars,” Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, said in a statement.

October 11, 2016 – NJ.com – Nuclear emergency sirens to sound in South Jersey – Emergency sirens in the 10-mile radius around the Artificial Island nuclear generating complex will be tested Tuesday morning. The test will take place at approximately 10:20 a.m. and the sirens will sound for three minutes. The sirens are part of the alert system that would inform those who live near the Artificial Island complex of an emergency — especially the release of a large amount of radiation at one of the nuclear plants.

October 11, 2016 – TheLocal.ch – Swiss ‘need more time’ to close nuclear plants – The popular initiative ‘For an orderly withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme’, backed by the Green Party, will be put to the public vote in a referendum on November 27th. If passed, three of Switzerland’s nuclear power reactors – Mühleberg and Beznau 1 and 2 – will be closed as soon as 2017, with the remaining two being decommissioned in 2024 and 2029. Supporters say Switzerland’s ageing reactors – Beznau 1 is the oldest in the world, in service since 1969 – pose a threat to the country and the older they get the more risk there is of a major nuclear accident.

October 11, 2016 – Korea Herald – Nuclear-powered submarine can help S. Korea: navy chief – The chief of South Korea’s Navy said Tuesday acquiring nuclear-powered submarines can help the country better counter growing threats from North Korea. In a parliamentary audit, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Um Hyun-seong said that having such assets in the fleet will be “helpful in multiple aspects.” He, however, made it clear that no decision has yet been made on the matter. His remarks came in response to a question by Rep. Kim Hack-yong from the ruling Saenuri Party about the argument for the government to build nuclear submarines to trail and keep close tabs on North Korean ballistic missile subs that can pose serious challenges to national security down the line.

October 11, 2016 – pv Magazine – Nuclear fallout: Vattenfall sues Germany – Swedish energy group Vattenfall is suing the German government for 4.7 million euros in compensation in connection with the country’s phase-out of nuclear energy. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) began hearings on Monday in the €4.7 billion ($5.21 billion) lawsuit by Swedish utility giant Vattenfall against the German government for its 2011 decision to accelerate the phase-out of nuclear energy. Vattenfall is demanding compensation from the German government for lost earnings and investments made when nuclear power still appeared to have a future in Germany.

October 11, 2016 – Cape Talk – Energy department: Eskom will fund nuclear build on its own – Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson has told the Portfolio Committee on Energy that Eskom will be recommended to become the entity in charge of procuring the nuclear programme. EWN reporter Gaye Davis says the minister said Eskom fund the nuclear build programme off its own balance sheet because the Treasury has no money. Members of Parliament from the opposition parties and chairperson of the Committee Fikile Majola raised concerns about transparency if Eskom takes responsibility. “He [Majola] says what does this mean for Parliamentary oversight, and what does it mean for the role of this Committee in putting in place the role of check and balances that are needed to ensure that this process is fair, and just and transparent one.”

October 11, 2016 – The Japan News – Cyber-attacks ‘targeted nuclear lab’ – A research center at the University of Toyama famous for its work on tritium (see below), a substance used to fuel nuclear fusion reactors, is feared to have been targeted by cyber-attacks over a period of about six months, according to an internal investigation by the university and other sources. The possibility of cyber-attacks was discovered in June of this year. Information is feared to have been stolen from the computer terminal of a researcher at the university’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Center. An expert on cybersecurity said: “Pieces of information important to national security were among the data targeted. It is urgent to improve the level of security at universities that store information assets.”

October 11, 2016 – The Guardian – Wind direction is critical in devising response to nuclear disaster – The way the wind is blowing at the time of a nuclear disaster is crucial to the action the authorities need to take to protect the civilian population. Among the first priorities is issuing iodine tablets to protect people’s thyroid from absorbing the radioactive particles from the fallout that may later cause cancer. But in October 1957, when a plume of radioactivity spread out from the burning pile at Windscale in Cumbria, the reaction of the authorities was not to warn the public but to reassure them. Everything was under control. Children continued to pick potatoes in the fields surrounding the plant while the radioactivity showered down on them. While this disaster was not quite on the scale of Chernobyl or Fukushima, there was a radioactive plume that spread for hundreds of miles on a westerly wind across the north of England and deep into Europe. However, on the first day of the disaster, the wind was said to be blowing from the east, across the Irish Sea and dusting Ireland in radioactive fallout.

October 11, 2016 – Business Insider – Militant interest in attacking nuclear sites stirs concern in Europe – Metre-thick concrete walls and 1950s-style analog control rooms help protect nuclear plants from bomb attacks and computer hackers, but Islamist militants are turning their attention to the atomic industry’s weak spots, security experts say. Concerns about nuclear terrorism rose after Belgian media reported that suicide bombers who killed 32 people in Brussels on March 22 originally looked into attacking a nuclear installation before police raids that netted a number of suspected associates forced them to switch targets. Security experts say that blowing up a nuclear reactor is beyond the skills of militant groups, but that the nuclear industry has some vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

October 11, 2016 – Tuoitrenews.vn – Vietnam seeks crisis response to Chinese border nuclear plants – As China operates the first units of three nuclear power plants located as close as 50 kilometers from Vietnamese borders, Hanoi is seeking measures to detect and respond to possible future crises related to the facilities. China currently has three nuclear power plants built near Vietnamese territory, Fangchenggang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangxi, Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Hainan Province, and Yangjiang Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong Province. Fangchenggang is located only 50 kilometers from the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, while Changjiang lies 100 kilometers off Vietnam’s Bach Long Vi Island in the Gulf of Tokin. The farthest among the three, Yangjiang, is 200 kilometers from Vietnamese borders.

October 11, 2016 – Red Flag – South Australia to become global nuclear waste capital – Sixty years ago, Maralinga went up in a mushroom cloud. The British government had been given permission to test atomic weaponry in South Australia. That is to say, they had been given permission by the right wing Menzies government. The local Maralinga Tjarutja people had no say in it at all. Many of them were not even forewarned of the first blast. Thunderous black clouds condemned them to radiation exposure, illness and death, the survivors being driven from their homeland during the long years of British testing and fallout. South Australia has a dark history with the nuclear industry. Maralinga remains contaminated, despite cheap clean-up efforts. Uranium tailings have leaked from BHP’s Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs. Fukushima’s reactors held South Australian uranium when catastrophe struck in 2011.

October 11, 2016 – Daily News & Analysis – Delhi N-leak: Clamour for safety regulator grows – On Sunday, it was suspected that a radioactive leak had taken place, however, later the government issued a statement denying such reports and said the emission was ‘within permissible’ limits’. A suspected radioactive leak reported on Sunday—in the cargo area of Delhi’s international airport Terminal 3, from a shipment—has once again lent voice to the clamour to adopt legislation to put in place a nuclear safety regulator. A bill in this regard was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, but has since lapsed with its dissolution. Even though an inter-Ministerial group last year gave its nod to introduce the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) Bill in order to set up a Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority to replace the existing Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB); the bill seems to have gone into hibernation. This is despite the government, during the last two parliament sessions, hurriedly adopting amendments to other bills relating to the commercial use of nuclear energy.

October 11, 2016 – Eurasia Review – Russia Withdraws From US Nuclear Cooperation – The Russian government has “suspended” a 2013 agreement with the USA on nuclear energy research and development and “terminated” another, signed in 2010, on cooperation in the conversion of Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel. The decisions were issued in separate documents signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published on the government’s website on 5 October. The decisions follow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order earlier this week to suspend a 2000 agreement with the USA on the disposal of plutonium from their respective nuclear weapons programs.

October 11, 2016 – AA.com – Nuclear power: its future debated at World Energy Cong. – Nuclear power investments and regulations along with the necessity in taking safety precautions in this industry were argued by a prominent group of speakers at the 23rd World Energy Congress (WEC) in Istanbul on Monday. Speaking at WEC, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for 2016, Wang Binghua, chairman at State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) in China, said that the decision process in choosing the best technology, appropriate design and correct location were paramount. “Nuclear power has no frontiers. Security of a nuclear plant has no frontiers either. Any country which intends to develop nuclear energy needs to manage security problems and must consider the others [countries],” he said.

October 11, 2016 – Daily Caller – New ‘Supermolecule’ Could Solve Nuclear Waste Problem – A new “supermolecule” could allow nuclear waste to easily be stored and disposed of, according to a new study published by scientists from Indiana University. Nuclear waste could be transformed using the “supermolecule” into easily held solids through a process called vitrification. The molecule contains two negatively charged ions, which was originally regarded as impossible since it defied a nearly 250-year-old chemical law, and has only recently come under new scrutiny. The “supermolecule” could also be used to neutralize other environmentally hazardous waste. “An anion-anion dimerization of bisulfate goes against simple expectations of Coulomb’s law,” Dr. Amar Flood, an Indiana University chemistry professor who was the study’s senior author, said in a press statement. “But the structural evidence we present in this paper shows two hydroxy anions can in fact be chemically bonded. We believe the long-range repulsions between these anions are offset by short-range attractions.”

October 11, 2016 – Helena Independent Record – A nuclear reactor in Colstrip would be a win for Montana – It has become tiresome to hear people like Bob Lake, Eric Moore and Greg Gianforte talk about saving Colstrip 1 and 2 from the environmentalists and Steve Bullock. Apparently they do not realize, or want to admit, that coal is a declining industry because it is now universally recognized as a dirty fuel. Here is what China is doing to transition away from coal “due to air pollution from coal-fired plants” according to the World Nuclear Association: Mainland China has 35 nuclear power reactors in operation, 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world’s most advanced, to give a doubling of nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020-21, then up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.

October 11, 2016 – Energy Collective – U.S. Navy Sets Plans to Upgrade Idaho Spent Fuel Facility – The Associated Press reported October 3 that the Navy and U.S. Department of Energy want to build a $1.6 billion facility at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho that would handle fuel waste from the nation’s fleet of nuclear-powered warships through at least 2060. According to the wire service, the new facility would be built at the Energy Department’s 890-square-mile Idaho National Laboratory, the nation’s primary lab for commercial nuclear energy research. The Navy’s plan is sure to set off a significant response from anti-nuclear groups and two ex-governors who have stridently opposed any new spent nuclear fuel, from any source, being brought to the state.

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October 10, 2016 – Holiday. No entries.

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October 10, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 10th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 10, 2016 – VietNamNet Bridge – Devices monitoring radioactive sources in place by Oct 30 – Vuong Huu Tan, head of Viet Nam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, said the monitoring devices would help authorised agencies keep a close watch on radioactive sources and raise alerts if they are moved, or in case of emergencies. At a press conference held yesterday by the ministry of science and technology, Tan also said the installation started on October 1. Each monitoring device, made by the Ha Noi University of Science and Technology, costs around VND30 million (US$1,340). That is just half the price of such devices built by other countries. The decision to install monitoring devices was taken after several radioactive sources were reported missing earlier this year.

October 10, 2016 – Kalamunda Reporter – Testing time for Kalamunda veteran involved in nuclear test – KALAMUNDA resident Robin Lyons is eagerly awaiting the outcome of a meeting in Canberra between former national servicemen and the Department of Veterans Affairs for men who served in the Monte Bello Islands, north of Onslow. Mr Lyons was one of a number of seamen in the Navy at HMAS Leeuwin who were asked as part of their national service in the 1950s to travel on the HMAS Fremantle and HMAS Junee to the British test site, 70km off the WA coast, after the first atomic bomb test. “The HMS Plimb was anchored off the islands and a bomb located with the ship had vaporised it,” he said. “We were to anchor quite near this site. “When we were not involved with the stores run (replenishing supplies), we were able to volunteer to carry out work details on the island and some went ashore for recreation. “But at no time were we advised on how ‘hot’ the island was and we certainly were not given any preventative clothing.”

October 10, 2016 – Nature World News – Aliens Could Be Feeding on Cosmic Rays for Survival, Scientists Found – The rod-shaped bacterium called Desulforudis audaxviator was found 2.8 kilometers beneath a gold mine in South Africa. A scientist has found that the microbe survives on byproducts of radioactive uranium, thorium, and potassium in the depths of the mine since it doesn’t have access to light, oxygen, and carbon. The discovery led to the theory that alien life might be living in uninhabitable environments in the universe, feeding on cosmic radiation to survive. “It really grabbed my attention because it’s completely powered by radioactive substances,” Dimitra Atri, an astrobiologist and computational physicist from the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle, Washington and author of the study, said in a report by Science.com.

October 10, 2016 – Renal and Urology News – ALP Decline in Radium-223 Recipients Predicts Better Outcomes – Declines in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) may predict better outcomes in patients receiving treatment with radium-223 for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), according to study findings presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2016 congress in Copenhagen. As part of a prospective single-arm phase 3b study, investigators led by Daniel Heinrich, MD, of Akershus University Hospital in Lorenskog, Norway, studied 696 mCRPC patients who received at least 1 radium-223 cycle in an international early access program. At week 12, 398 patients (57%) had a confirmed decline in ALP from baseline and 298 (43%) did not.

October 10, 2016 – Parent Herald – Is there radon in your child’s school? What parents need to know – Back-to-school is in full swing. For parents, it means equipping children with the lessons and tools they need to stay safe. But there is one hidden danger that many parents are unaware of- radon, a colorless, odorless and radioactive gas. Recently, Portland Public Schools have been attracting national media with a report that officials found alarmingly high radon levels in more than 100 of its classrooms. This case is unfortunately too common. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 70,000 schoolrooms in use today have high short-term radon levels. Despite these alarming facts, only about 20 percent of schools nationwide have done some form of testing for the deadly gas. So what exactly is radon, and how can parents protect their children against it?

October 10, 2016 – Ecns.cn – China to launch world’s first X-ray pulsar navigation satellite – The China Academy of Space Technology has announced plans to launch the world’s first X-ray pulsar navigation satellite (XPNAV-1) in November, Xinhua reported. The move brings autonomous spacecraft navigation and a more precise deep-space GPS one step closer to reality. X-ray pulsar navigation is an innovative navigation technique wherein periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars are used to determine the location of a spacecraft in deep space. Current ground-based navigation methods are limited by the time delay between spacecraft and the Earth. However, for certain type of pulsars, called “millisecond pulsars,” pulses of radiation occur with the regularity and precision of an atomic clock. As a result, in some scenarios, the pulsar X-ray can take less time to estimate a location. This leads to more precise measurements of a spacecraft’s location. However, since X-rays from pulsars are absorbed by the atmosphere, scientists must launch satellites to continue research of the new technology.

October 10, 2016 – PhysOrg – How deadly would a nearby gamma ray burst be? – Despite the obvious doom and gloom associated with mass extinctions, they have a tendency to capture our imagination. After all, the sudden demise of the dinosaurs, presumably due to an asteroid strike, is quite an enthralling story. But not all mass extinctions are quite as dramatic and not all have an easily identified culprit. The Ordovician extinction—one of the “big five” in Earth’s history—occurred around 450 million years ago when the population of marine species plummeted. Evidence suggests that this occurred during an ice age and a gamma ray burst is one of several possible mechanisms that may have triggered this extinction event. Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are the brightest electromagnetic blasts known to occur in the Universe, and can originate from the collapse of the most massive types of stars or from the collision of two neutron stars. Supernovae are stellar explosions that also can send harmful radiation hurtling towards Earth.

October 10, 2016 – Astronauts heading to Mars risk developing dementia from cosmic rays – International Business Times – NASA astronauts who will travel to Mars may risk developing cognitive impairments and symptoms of dementia, due to cosmic radiation exposure. More immediately, the brain damages they sustained during deep space travel may also compromise critical decision making during their mission. NASA’s plan to send humans to Mars within the next two decades is arguably one of the most exciting goal for space exploration in the near future, but it will be a challenging one. The vast distances between Earth and the Red Planet and the dangers of such a long journey into space have been repeatedly highlighted, but less has been said about the adverse health effects of exposure to cosmic rays. In a study published in Scientific Reports, research has looked into the impact of such radiation on rodents, to learn more about the health risks astronauts may face on an extra-terrestrial adventure to Mars.

October 10, 2016 – Deutsche Welle – Hearing against Germany begins as investors seek damages for nuclear phase-out – An international arbitration court has begun a two-week hearing against the German government. A two-week hearing against the German state over its decision to phase out nuclear energy begins in front of an international arbitration court in the United States on Monday. The Swedish state-owned energy company, Vattenfall, is seeking around 5 billion euros in damages after the German parliament decided to shut down all nuclear plants by 2022 in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

October 10, 2016 – WZZM 13 – Did we really ‘almost lose Detroit’ in nuclear mishap 50 years ago? – As Michigan and the nation’s energy profiles are poised to change dramatically in the coming decade, the 50th anniversary last week of the Fermi 1 nuclear plant mishap in Monroe County — the genesis for the book and song “We Almost Lost Detroit” — is a stark reminder that decisions on how to meet the economy’s energy needs are nearly always controversial and may bring unanticipated consequences. Fermi 1 was the worst nuclear accident at a U.S. commercial power plant in the years before Three Mile Island jolted the nation. There were no injuries or hazardous radiation released, but the incident provided an early argument against nuclear power as too dangerous, including speculation at the time that a crushed beer can in the works had caused the partial meltdown. The Fermi accident had many of the trappings of a Hollywood drama, including shadowy informants and a purported cover-up. Even then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey was in town at the time of the partial meltdown to dedicate the new Monroe County Public Library.

October 10, 2016 – i24News – Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor to be renamed after late former President Peres – The Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel will be renamed in honor of the late former president Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday, in recognition of his contribution to Israel’s nuclear knowledge. “Shimon Peres worked greatly to establish this important enterprise, an enterprise which is important to the security of Israel for generations,” Netanyahu said, announcing the renaming of the Nuclear Research Center-Negev after Peres. “I think that it would be right and proper to rename the center after him,” Netanyahu said.

October 10, 2016 – airforcetechnology.com – USAF and NNSA conduct flight tests of mock nuclear weapons – The US Air Force (USAF) Global Strike Command and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have successfully conducted flight tests of mock nuclear weapons. The tests saw two separate B-2A Spirit stealth bombers from the 509th Bomber Wing drop joint test assemblies (JTA) of the B61-7 and B61-11. These trials were conducted to validate the performance of the JTAs in operationally representative conditions. NNSA military application principal assistant deputy administrator brigadier general Michael Lutton said: “The B61 is a critical element of the US nuclear triad and the extended deterrent. “The recent surveillance flight tests demonstrate NNSA’s commitment to ensure all weapon systems are safe, secure, and effective.” JTAs are mock weapons that contain no nuclear materials and are not capable of nuclear yield.

October 10, 2016 – Reuters – Belgian nuclear power reactor outages – Belgium has seven nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of almost 6 gigawatts, which are operated by Electrabel, part of France’s Engie (formerly known as GDF Suez). Two of those reactors, Doel 1 and Doel 2, were scheduled to shut down at the end of this year but their lifespan has been extended to 2025. Nuclear power plants regularly stop production for maintenance or to refuel. They cut capacity gradually and it can take a few hours until output reaches zero. Unplanned outages can also occur when the operator takes the reactor offline or it shuts itself down.

October 10, 2016 – aa.com.tr – Nuclear power: its future debated at World Energy Cong. – Nuclear power investments and regulations along with the necessity in taking safety precautions in this industry were argued by a prominent group of speakers at the 23rd World Energy Congress (WEC) in Istanbul on Monday. Speaking at WEC, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner for 2016, Wang Binghua, chairman at State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) in China, said that the decision process in choosing the best technology, appropriate design and correct location were paramount. “Nuclear power has no frontiers. Security of a nuclear plant has no frontiers either. Any country which intends to develop nuclear energy needs to manage security problems and must consider the others [countries],” he said.

October 10, 2016 – Forbes – Trump Correctly States U.S. “Nuclear Program Has Fallen Behind” Russia’s – After the first hour of the second Trump-Clinton debate, I was beginning to worry that I wouldn’t be able to fulfill my assignment to write about the way that the candidates spoke about my coverage area. There was no mention of energy, clean energy, nuclear energy or climate change. Finally, at 1:02:40 on the YouTube video titled FULL: Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton – Second Presidential Debate – Washington University 10/9/2016, Donald Trump made the following statement. “ …our nuclear program has fallen behind and they’ve gone wild with their program. Not good. Our government should not have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old, we’re tired we’re exhausted in terms of nuclear. A very bad thing.

October 10, 2016 – Daily Times – Radiation leak briefly halts operations at Delhi airport – A suspected radioactive leak occurred on Sunday at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport from cancer medicines that were being transferred by an Air France Aircraft. However, officials confirmed that the leas was minor and within permissible limits and there had been no injury to anyone. Earlier, teams of the Indian National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed to the spot after police were informed. Additionally, seven fire tenders and a HazMat (hazardous material) van were pressed into service, Indian media reported. The cargo area at the airport was cordoned off.

October 10, 2016 – Pickle – Avocados and bananas are radioactive — but it’s not anything to worry about – You might read new research measuring radiation emissions from everyday foods and panic that eating them will turn you into the Hulk. The study identified both avocados and bananas as radioactive — but you shouldn’t turf them out of your fruit bowl just yet. For starters, avos are way too expensive to just throw away. And more importantly, the point of the North Carolina State University study wasn’t to scare people — but rather to demonstrate that a teeny bit of radiation is nothing to worry about. “If you’re surprised that your fruit is emitting gamma radiation, don’t panic,” said Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at North Carolina State University. “We did this study because understanding how much radiation comes off of common household items helps place radiation readings in context – it puts things in perspective.”

October 10, 2016 – VN Express – Vietnam wary as China commissions nuclear power plants near border – With the closest one less than 500 kilometers from Hanoi, experts urge Vietnam to keep an eye on what’s going on the other side. The Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute is calling for the development of a radioactivity surveillance system in northern Vietnam after China started operation at three new nuclear power plants close to the border. Nguyen Hao Quang, the vice director of the institute under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said at a meeting last week that his organization has struggled to find funding for the system even though the government gave a nod to the project in 2010. The Chinese plants demand “emergency” actions, he said. “With the very strong nuclear activity in China across the border, we suggest that checkpoints be set up in the area to promptly detect any impacts,” Quang said.

October 10, 2016 – Daily Caller – Gov’t Red Tape Is Strangling American Nuclear Power – Government red tape is preventing the construction of new nuclear reactors and causing existing ones to shut down. Heavy government regulations combined with polices intended to support wind and solar power make it incredibly difficult to profitably operate a nuclear power plant, according to a study published Thursday by R Street Institute. Eventually, these regulations will cause nuclear reactors to shut down, which would increase carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. “Nuclear energy has been a historically low-cost, reliable source of energy,” Catrina Rorke, the study’s author, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “What we’re seeing now are closures prompted by market signals, but layered over an industry that is substantially more burdened by regulatory requirements than in decades past.”

October 10, 2016 – Vermont Business Magazine – Vermont Yankee kicks off $143 million project for fuel storage – Vermont Yankee administrators waited two years for the state’s permission to build a new storage facility for nuclear waste at the defunct Vernon plant. When they finally received that permit in late June, they didn’t waste any time getting started. Entergy administrators last week said the construction of a spent fuel storage facility is well under way, with a few dozen contracted workers having recently installed a massive generator that will provide emergency power to the complex. Construction will continue into 2017. But officials say getting the generator in place was a “major milestone” as crews begin a $143 million effort to transfer all of the plant’s radioactive spent fuel into sealed casks.

October 10, 2016 – Philadelphia Inquirer – Judge rules in favor of Penn vs. brain-cancer victim; family plans appeal – A federal judge has found in favor of the University of Pennsylvania in a lawsuit brought by the estate of Jeffrey H. Ware, a neuroscientist who died of a rare brain cancer after exposure to radiation during his research at Penn. But his family’s attorneys say the case never belonged in federal court, arguing that Penn improperly invoked a law that governs nuclear power plants, not research laboratories, and has filed a notice of appeal. The family of Jeffrey Ware contends his brain cancer was caused by radiation exposure in his research job at the University of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit also contends that Ware was enrolled in a clinical trial at Penn without his informed consent, subjecting him to painful side effects well after there was any hope of remission. Ware, who studied the effects of radiation on animals to guide efforts to prevent cancer in astronauts, died of gliosarcoma in October 2011 at age 47. He lived in Haddonfield with his wife, Barbara Boyer, an Inquirer reporter, and their two daughters.

October 10, 2016 – Athens News Courier – BROWNS FERRY NUKE PLANT: Power increase request still under consideration – A request by the Tennessee Valley Authority to increase power being generated by three reactors at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is still under consideration, an official said Tuesday. TVA submitted a license amendment request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in September 2015. The request seeks an increase of approximately 20 percent above the original licensed thermal power level and an increase of about 14.3 percent above the current power level. NRC Spokesman Scott Burnell said opposing groups have sought a hearing to voice opposition to the proposal and that NRC legal staff and TVA are in the process of filing a response. He explained the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is just now beginning the process of examining all the legal points raised by all the parties. He said it would be “some time” before the board decides whether requirements for a hearing have been met.

October 10, 2016 – Reuters – FPL says Saint Lucie 2 Florida reactor shut ahead of Matthew – Florida Power and Light Co [NEEPWR.UL] said its 839-megawatt Unit 2 at the Saint Lucie nuclear power plant in Florida was shut Thursday morning as a precaution against Hurricane Matthew. The company did not specify when the unit would be back at full power. Meanwhile, the Turkey Point reactor was at 100 percent, according to the company. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has dispatched additional inspectors to the facilities and will activate its regional incident response center in Atlanta later on Thursday, the NRC said in a release on Thursday.

October 10, 2016 – Medhill Reports Chicago – Hiroshima exhibit documents the innocent victims of the atom bomb – Three colorful origami cranes made by school girl Sadako Sasaki, a survivor of the U.S. strike on Hiroshima, sit on display for the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition in Chicago. She folded nearly 1,000 cranes as a traditional prayer for healing before she died of leukemia 10 years after the bomb strike. She was 12 years old. Undergarments worn by 2-year-old Hiroo Taoda on the day of the 1945 bombing offer a stirring reminder of the thousands of innocent victims. Taoda was exposed to the bomb blast in front of Hiroshima Station and he died the same night.

“It is precisely those who had little to do with the war that lost their lives in the blink of an eye because of the atomic bomb,” said Kenji Shiga, director of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, at the opening of the exhibit here on October 1. He fervently hopes people who live in countries that currently possess nuclear bombs can be aware of this, he said.

October 10, 2016 – Fort Bliss Bugle – White Sands Missile Range holds Trinity Site open house – Judging by the license plates on vehicles at the Trinity Site open house at White Sands Missile Range Saturday, people came from all over the United States to see where the world’s first nuclear bomb explosion took place July 16, 1945. Barry and Dianne Lennox of New Zealand, however, might have traveled the farthest – more than 7,000 miles – and their visit was no spur of the moment side trip.

October 10, 2016 – Albuquerque Journal – Second rock fall discovered at WIPP – For the second time in a week, a section of collapsed roof was discovered in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant underground. Both the first rock fall, discovered last Tuesday, and the one discovered yesterday were found in prohibited areas — meaning no personnel were allowed to enter — in the south area of the mine. The most recent incident was near Panel 3, which has been closed since February 2007. The rock fall was found during a weekly routine inspection that involves making visual observations from outside the prohibited area to ensure worker safety.

October 10, 2016 – CBS Denver – Debate Over Public Trails On Former Nuclear Weapons Site – Despite opposition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finalizing its plans to open up the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge to the public. Multiple trailheads, crossings, and parking lots have been funded as well as more than five miles of trails encircling the Department of Energy Legacy Site. “We’re really concerned about the amount of plutonium that’s in the environment from the former weapons plant,” said Alesya Casse a Board Member of the Rocky Flats Downwinders. About 100 people filled a community room in the controversial Candelas neighborhood to hear the FWS plans for moving forward with the opening of the wildlife refuge.

October 10, 2016 – KSL.com – Lambing bighorns, radiation and rocky terrain part of mine closure project – Helicopters and pack horses navigating the steep cliff faces of the San Rafael Swell were part of an ambitious effort carried out by state mining authorities to close more than 170 Cold War-era uranium mines. The effort by the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining earned it the nation’s highest achievement award for eliminating physical safety hazards, recognition given by the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs. “This is an honor to be recognized for our hard work,” said program administrator Steve Fluke. “It is the goal of the program to protect the public from the hazards of old mines.” The agency partnered with the Bureau of Land Management and the Emery County Public Lands Council in its initiation of the project, which also faced obstacles from lambing bighorn sheep, constraints imposed by designated wilderness areas and challenges from radiation safety protocols.

October 10, 2016 – San Luis Obispo Tribune – Diablo Canyon closure proceedings begin in San Francisco – State proceedings for the application to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant started off with a bang Thursday — or more appropriately, a gripe. Judge Peter Allen, the administrative judge handling the California Public Utilities Commission proceedings, criticized PG&E for “getting a little ahead of itself here and attempting to get ahead of this commission” by holding an “all-party meeting” Tuesday to discuss the schedule and scope of the CPUC proceedings. Although PG&E may recommend ways to proceed, “this commission sets the schedule and the scope of this proceeding,” he said.

October 10, 2016 – NBC Bay Area – Firefighters Clean Up Small Radioactive Spill That Prompted Evacuations in Antioch – Crews have successfully contained and cleaned up a small radioactive material spill that forced the evacuation of several apartments next to a construction site in Antioch Thursday morning, according to Contra Costa County fire officials. At about 9 a.m. crews responded to a report that a piece of equipment used by surveyors was run over by a construction vehicle and spilled out a very small amount of radioactive material, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said. “There is zero contamination on the site at this point” and no one was injured or exposed to the material, Marshall said.
The material — cesium and americium — are common in medical and industrial uses and are found in certain types of smoke alarms, Marshall said.

October 10, 2016 – KVEW TV – Trump drummed about Yucca Mountain during stops in Nevada – Donald Trump told reporters in Nevada Wednesday that he has not taken a stance on whether nuclear waste from sites like Hanford should be stored at a Yucca Mountain repository. Trump was asked whether he was familiar with the ongoing debate over Yucca Mountain and responded, “I do.” He declined to take a position for or against storing waste there. Trump said he was sensitive to concerns about safety and the impact on the Las Vegas tourism industry, but once again refused to take a firm position on Yucca Mountain. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton told the Las Vegas Sun that Yucca Mountain should be off the table because of questions about its suitability as a site and existing opposition to the idea.

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