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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.

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October 4, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 4th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 4, 2016 – ABC.net.au – Marie Curie – Marie Curie was a brilliant scientist who won the Nobel Peace Prize twice and was famous for her work with radioactivity and X-rays . She was born in Poland but spent most of her professional life in France . What was her life like, what shaped her as a scientist in the days when it was unusual for women to work in this profession? Trevor Chappell spoke with Małgorzata Ewa Rosen– who is Curator of a museum dedicated to Marie Curie (The Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum of Polish Chemical Society in Warsaw).

October 4, 2016 – Triple Pundit – Fukushima Radiation Now Covers the Pacific Ocean – Some rather disturbing news came out this weekend about the impact of the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima. While the incident took place five years ago and is no longer in the news, that does not mean it has been resolved. A recent report claims radioactive contamination from the accident has now spread across the entire Pacific Ocean, the massive body of water that covers nearly a third of Earth’s surface. Scientists now say the Pacific is at least five to 10 times more radioactive than it was when the U.S. began testing nuclear weapons there. Western Canada experienced levels of radioactive iodine-131 that were 300 times higher than normal background levels since the accident. Pacific herring have been found bleeding from their mouths, gills and eyes. As the contamination made its way across the water, Oregon tuna were found in 2013 with radiation levels triple their previous levels. Starfish began dying off. The following year, California beaches recorded radiation levels that had increased by 500 percent.

October 4, 2016 – The Recorder – Neal, in Rowe, backs federal bill for nuke fuel storage – Congressman Richard E. Neal brought good news to Heath in the form of an $88,343 grant that will pay for up-to-date breathing apparatus for a dozen members of the Heath Fire Department. But any news about how long Rowe will keep storing nuclear waste from the former Yankee Rowe nuclear plant is more complicated. Meeting with Selectmen’s Chairwoman Marilyn Wilson, Yankee Rowe’s Robert Capstick, state Rep. Paul Mark, and members of the Yankee Rowe Spent Fuel Storage and Removal Community Advisory Board, Neal said he has signed on to the Dold bill, which would provide up to $100 million for 13 communities, including Rowe, that have borne the responsibility for temporary storage of spent fuel for dozens of years.

October 4, 2016 – The Engineer – Manchester student makes thorium breakthrough – Elizabeth Wildman, a member of a Manchester research group led by Prof Steve Liddle, found compounds where unusual forms of phosphorus – known as the devil’s element – are stabilised by thorium, a radioactive chemical element named after the Norse god of thunder that can be used as a nuclear fuel. “This has been an exciting experience and I am delighted my work has been recognised in this way,” said Elizabeth. “It seems the Norse god of thunder has tamed the devil’s element.” The research examined how ‘soft’ elements such as phosphorus can interact with thorium in unusual bonding environments. It examined species with single and double thorium-phosphorus bonds, and managed to trap a naked phosphorous atom between two thorium ions. The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.

October 4, 2016 – Daily Dunkin Democrat – Tests underway on creek in Hazelwood area that turned white – Water samples from an eastern Missouri creek that turned white over the weekend are still being tested and it’s too early to conclude what caused the problem, the state Department of Resources said Monday. Coldwater Creek, which runs through the Hazelwood area of St. Louis, has been a source of concern for area residents for years after radioactive contamination was confirmed in several yards that back up to the waterway. The milky white water raised new worries on Sunday morning, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers insisted Monday that whatever is in the water has nothing to do with the agency’s remediation efforts to remove soil contaminated by remnants of the nation’s early nuclear weapons program.

October 4, 2016 – Doctors Lounge – CT Colonography May Be Useful for Aneurysm Detection – Routine assessment of the aorta during a computed tomography colonography (CTC) may aid in aneurysm detection, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. Manar Khashram, M.B.Ch.B., from Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand, and colleagues sought to determine the impact that CTC had on small aneurysm referrals and to compare baseline characteristics of those referred by CTC with those referred by other radiological modalities. The researchers found that 96 of the 566 consecutive patients with small aneurysms (17 percent) had their aneurysm detected by CTC. The rest of the patients with small aneurysms had them detected by other radiological modalities. Patients with small aneurysms detected by CTC were two years older, on average, and were less likely to have a smoking history.

October 4, 2016 – Eurasia Review – Misguided Perceptions On Nuclear Terrorism – Nuclear terrorism in real is a quite petrifying phenomenon, but there is no tangible study available that this threat is genuine in a world where nuclear technology is heavily regulated and secured. Since there is no terrorist incident have yet been reported which involves nuclear weapons, there is disagreement among the analysts that how serious the threat of nuclear terrorism could be. However, such arguments should not be a source of complacency. Few states have played this threat up for political purposes as a lever against countries that are not likeminded. For example the same approach was used after 9/11, when terrorism was being used to achieve certain interests. The main aspect of Nuclear Security Summits started from 2010 and beyond was to highlight the nuclear dangers emanating from Iran and other countries were played up. While there was a narrative against these countries, none of the forums allowed them space to appear and give their perspectives on the issue.

October 4, 2016 – EasternEye – Unease in Marshalls over controversial nuclear case taking on Pakistan, India and UK – AS the Marshall Islands awaits an international court ruling on October 5 over whether its lawsuit against three nuclear powers can proceed, many in the western Pacific nation question the merit of the David-versus-Goliath legal battle. The country of 55,000 people is taking on India, Pakistan and Britain in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), arguing they have failed to comply with the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Initially the lawsuit was even more ambitious – also including China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia and the United States – none of which recognised the ICJ’s jurisdiction on the matter. The Marshalls has a long, bitter history with nuclear weapons, making it one of the few nations that can argue with credibility before the ICJ about their impact.

October 4, 2016 – Deseret News – Students encouraged to submit artwork for the 2016 National Radon Poster Contest – The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging schoolchildren to submit artwork for the 2016 National Radon Poster Contest by Oct. 20. Children ages 9-18 enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school are eligible to participate. Members of a sponsoring club, such as a Scouting organization or an art, computer, science or Four-H, also are eligible. The contest focuses on raising awareness of radon, an invisible gas that can cause lung cancer. According to the Department of Environmental Quality, 1 in 3 homes in Utah have elevated levels of radon gas. All posters will be subject to the following judging criteria: content-accuracy, visual communication of topic, reproducibility and originality.

October 4, 2016 – NDTV – Supreme Court to Scrutinise Impact of Mobile Tower Radiation; Seeks Centre’s Report – The Supreme Court Monday initiated a scrutiny of “deleterious” effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers and sought a report from the Centre on several aspects including steps taken to enforce standards for such emissions. “What are adverse impacts of such mobile towers? Is there any agency to monitor? Have you (Department of Telecom) got a system in place to enforce the standards, if any, for radiation from such towers,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices C Nagappan and A M Khanwilkar asked. The bench directed Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, appearing for the DoT, to file a report apprising the court about issues including the effects of radiation and steps taken to contain them.

October 4, 2016 – Gas to Power – China to account for over 50% of world nuclear growth through 2040 – Keen to clean up hazardous air pollution, the Chinese government is embracing nuclear power and seeks to shift from coal to gas generation – although fuel costs still make operators favour coal. As for new nuclear, China has an additional 20 reactors under construction, which, if completed, will add more than 22 GW to its existing base.

October 4, 2016 – The Herald-Palladium – Cook Unit 2 offline; $250 million project planned – The Unit 2 reactor at the Cook Nuclear Plant was shut down this morning for a planned refueling and maintenance outage. Work during the outage will include a $250 million project to replace the reactor’s high-pressure turbine and all three low-pressure turbines, said plant spokesman Bill Schalk. That work has been in planning stages for more than five years, he said. The reactor is expected to return to service by the end of the year. The reactor was scheduled to be shut down at midnight. In advance of the outage, power for Unit 2 was reduced to 50 percent Sunday night, he said.

October 4, 2016 – NL Times – Report: Keeping Borssele nuclear plant open can cost €500 mil. – If electricity prices stay at their current level or decline further, losses suffered from the struggling Borssele nuclear plant can amount to 500 million euros, according to an investigation done by consultancy Spring Associates, ANP reports. Only a doubling in the electricity prices would make it worthwhile to keep the plant running, according to the consultancy. They believe the best option is to close the nuclear power plant now and dismantle it later. This would keep the losses from increasing. The dismantling can happen once there is money for it. According to Spring Associates, the same was done with the Dodewaard nuclear power plant. It was closed down and the costs for deconstruction were postponed indefinitely.

October 4, 2016 – The Standard – Kenya not ready to generate nuclear energy – Six years ago, Kenya announced it was going to build a nuclear power plant, which would generate 1,000MW (1GW) of electricity. By 2030, the country hopes to produce 4GW from nuclear sources. This implies that nuclear will at that time account for 19 per cent of Kenya’s total energy output, second to hydroelectric power. I am highly pessimistic about Africa’s largest geothermal energy producer’s capacity to harness and safely utilize nuclear energy.

October 4, 2016 – MassLive – Rowe seeks federal compensation for hosting nuclear waste at former atomic power plant – Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Station shut down in 1992, and was demolished and decommissioned by 2007, but the fenced and isolated site on the upper Deerfield River still hosts 127 tons of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste in 16 concrete casks under 24-hour security. The tiny town of Rowe is one of about a dozen communities nationwide affected by the presence of nuclear waste, but no longer benefiting economically from the presence of a functioning reactor. On Monday, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and state Sen. Paul Mark (D-Peru) toured the site as guests of the Rowe Board of Selectmen. Mark is a member of the Yankee Rowe Spent Fuel Storage & Removal Citizens Advisory Committee. Neal, who represents the state’s 1st Congressional District, assured local officials that he supports bipartisan legislation in Washington that would compensate communities that are forced to store nuclear waste.

October 4 ,2016 – Inquisitr – Russia Preparing Its Citizens For A Nuclear War With The West As The US Suspends Ceasefire Negotiations – Russia is reportedly preparing its citizens for a full blown nuclear war against the West. The country’s officials and its media have claimed that the West, led by the United States of America, is planning to launch a nuclear attack against Russia, Mirror reports. Russian officials are now trying to prove that they are ready for whatever is to come, as they announced on Friday that Moscow already has enough underground shelters for its 12 million people and the rest of the nation will soon follow on its footsteps. Zvezda, a channel of the country’s defense ministry, had released a headline last week that said “Schizophrenics from America are sharpening nuclear weapons for Moscow.” Also as part of their preparation for war, the country’s officials have announced that a staggering 40 million of its citizens are set to take part in a nuclear disaster drill between October 4 and 7. That is almost a third of Russia’s population. Along with them, almost 200,000 specialists from the “emergency rescue divisions” with 50,000 different equipment are set to be involved in the four-day drill. The Russian Ministry for Civil Defense made the announcement via its official website and has called the 4-day long program a “civil defense, emergency evacuation and disaster preparedness drill”.

October 4, 2016 – The Daily Progress – Reactor at Cook Nuclear Plant getting refueling, maintenance – Officials say a nuclear reactor in southwestern Michigan is being shut down for a refueling and maintenance outage. Cook Nuclear Plant spokesman Bill Schalk says work during the outage for the Unit 2 reactor will include a $250 million project to replace the reactor’s high-pressure turbine and all three low-pressure turbines. The reactor is expected to return to service by the end of the year. Indiana Michigan Power says the work will ensure reliable power generation for decades.

October 4, 2016 – Los Angeles Times – 50 years after ‘we almost lost Detroit,’ America’s nuclear power industry faces even graver doubts – The history of nuclear power in the United States has been marked by numerous milestones, many of them bad — accidents, construction snafus, engineering incompetence, etc., etc. One anniversary of an incident that has cast a long shadow over the nuclear power industry’s claim for safety will be marked this week. On Oct. 5, 1966 — that’s 50 years ago Wednesday — Detroit Edison’s Fermi-1 nuclear plant suffered a partial meltdown, caused by a piece of floating shrapnel inside the container vessel.

October 4, 2016 – ScientistLive – 3D-printed ‘AbdoMan’ could transform radiotherapy – A 3D-printed human torso is helping doctors safely and reliably model ‘internal radiation’ treatments for cancer. AbdoMan, created by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, replicates the uptake of radioactivity within the abdomen of a human patient. Researchers fill AbdoMan with a radioactive solution to replicate the complex distribution of radioactivity in tumours and normal tissue within a body organ, such as the liver. This allows them to create images that simulate the distribution of the radiation doses delivered by internal forms of radiotherapy. Researchers at the University of Oxford, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the company Sirtex Medical Limited will use AbdoMan to model radiation doses from Y-90 resin microspheres – an internal radiation therapy that delivers radiation directly to liver tumours.

October 4, 2016 – New York Daily News – Sen. Schumer pushes feds to fix lax laws that allow almost anyone to get radioactive bomb-making materials – The feds need to revamp nuclear licensing rules to restrict terrorists from getting their hands on radioactive materials that can be used to make a dirty bomb, Sen. Schumer said Sunday. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission currently has rules that are so lax almost anyone can buy dangerous amounts of radioactive materials, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report cited by Schumer. “The GAO did the right thing by exposing this ‘dirty bomb’ secret and now we must finish the job by pushing to close this loophole while taking a hard look at just who is being granted access to these dangerous materials,” Schumer said. The call for better nuclear oversight comes a little over two weeks after suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, detonated bombs in Seaside Park, N.J. and in Chelsea 11 hours later on Sept. 17.

October 4, 2016 – WRDW 12 – Nuclear waste shipment from Canada to Savannah River Site have been suspended – A shipment of liquid high-level nuclear waste from Canada to the Savannah River Site was postponed. Officials with the SRS said several environmental groups filed a lawsuit in August 2016 seeking a full Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed waste shipments from Ontario to SRS. The DOE did not prepare the statement and only prepared a supplement analysis that was conducted without public input. “For over three years since our initial request, DOE has staunchly refused to allow formal public input into a full EIS on the unnecessary import of highly radioactive waste liquid waste from Canada and we are optimistic that our initial victory in halting the shipments will yield the EIS we are seeking,” said Tom Clements, director of SRS Watch.

October 4, 2016 – Key West News – FPL starts plume work at Turkey Point – Florida Power & Light has started the process to draw back hyper-saline water generated from the Turkey Point nuclear power plant cooling canals that is threatening the Florida Keys water supply. Several years ago, FPL dug a deep well at the plant just north of the Keys and the company, starting last week, began using it to draw back the saltwater plume from the Biscyane Bay.

October 4, 2016 – MIT News – Benoit Forget: Unraveling complexities of nuclear reactors – In order to devise new designs for safer, more efficient nuclear reactors, it is essential to be able to simulate the reactors’ performance at a very high level of detail. But because the nuclear reactions taking place in these reactor cores are quite complex, such simulations can strain the capabilities of even the most advanced supercomputer systems. That’s a challenge that Benoit Forget has been tackling throughout his research career: how to provide efficient, high-fidelity simulations on modern computing architectures, and thus enable the development of the next generation of reactors. Addressing those challenges has earned Forget tenure in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, where he is now an associate professor.

October 4, 2016 – San Antonio Express News – Do nuclear plants have a future in low-carbon world? – Nuclear power is not only emissions-free, but also generates constant streams of electricity, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. And with pressure building to cut carbon emissions, the threat of nuclear power plants going out of business is prompting government regulators to tinker with power markets and look at direct subsidies.

October 4, 2016 – KRWG – Trinity Test Site Tour Met With Protest – New Mexico residents living near the site of the first atomic bomb have held their annual demonstration as visitors caravanned into the Trinity Test Site for a tour. The Alamogordo Daily News reports Tularosa Basin Downwinders protested Saturday as caravanners enter the site that is opened twice a year to visitors. The group says the 1945 Trinity Test irreparably altered the gene pools of residents in surrounding communities such as the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa. Members say descendants have been plagued with cancer and other illnesses.

October 4, 2015 – Albuquerque Journal – Ground fall at WIPP – Worker safety at WIPP is at front and center after a collapsed portion of the ceiling was discovered earlier this week.
According to a letter sent to WIPP employees from Nuclear Waste Partnership president Phil Breidenbach on Friday, the ground fall occurred at the entrance to Panel 4, which has been sealed since 2010. A U.S. Department of Energy spokesman said the ground fall was discovered on Sept. 27 during an inspection, but it is unknown when the collapse actually occurred.

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October 3, 2016 – 81 FR 68066-68067 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Sunshine Act Meeting – DATE: October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, November 7, 2016. PLACE: Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and Closed. Week of October 3, 2016 Wednesday, October 5, 2016 9:00 a.m. Hearing on Combined Licenses for William States Lee III Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2: Section 189a. of the Atomic Energy Act Proceeding (Public Meeting); (Contact: Brian Hughes: 301-415-6582) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address–http://www.nrc.gov/. Thursday, October 6, 2016 10:00 a.m. Meeting with Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) (Public Meeting); (Contact: Mark Banks: 301-415-3718) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address–Http://www.nrc.gov/. Week of October 10, 2016–Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 10, 2016. Week of October 17, 2016–Tentative Tuesday, October 18, 2016 9:30 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Decommissioning and Low-Level Waste and Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Business Lines (Public Meeting); (Contact: Janelle Jessie: 301-415-6775)

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October 3, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 3rd, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 3, 2016 – Olean Times Herald – Plan for radioactive liquid over Peace Bridge raises concern – New York lawmakers say more review is needed before liquid radioactive waste is trucked over the international Peace Bridge and driven across New York’s highways. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Brian Higgins have asked the U.S. Energy Department for a new environmental impact statement on plans for tractor-trailers to carry nuclear waste from Ontario, Canada to the Energy Department’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The trucks would cross from Canada into Buffalo by way of the Peace Bridge before continuing their 1,100-mile trip. The lawmakers say more than 150 shipments are planned between Dec. 1 and January 2018. They say a new review is needed because one done previously evaluated only solid, not liquid, material.

October 3, 2016 – Australian Broadcasting Corporation – Why does the NT need a PET scanner and how do they work? – Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are used to diagnose and detect a host of diseases and are particularly useful for patients with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other neurological diseases. They are often used in conjunction with computed tomography (CT) scanners. The Northern Territory currently has no PET scanner, although during this year’s federal election campaign both the Coalition and Labor promised to provide one for Darwin. President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in the Northern Territory, Dr Robert Parker, said a PET scan would be welcomed by doctors in Darwin. “We are always interested in better health outcomes in the NT,” he said.

October 3, 2016 – NewKerala.com – Method to control ‘hot’ electrons comes a step closer – In a promising step towards being able to manipulate and control the behaviour of high energy, or ‘hot’, electrons, scientists have, for the first time, identified a method of visualising the quantum behaviour of electrons on a surface. Hot electrons are necessary for a number of processes and the implications of being able to manipulate their behaviour are far-reaching — from enhancing the efficiency of solar energy, to improving the targetting of radiotherapy for cancer treatment. “Hot electrons are essential for a number of processes — certain technologies are entirely reliant on them. But they’re notoriously difficult to observe due to their short lifespan, about a millionth of a billionth of a second,” said one of the researchers Peter Sloan from University of Bath in England.

October 3, 2016 – The Founders Daily – Cameco Corporation (CCJ) Shares are Down -3.17% – Cameco Corporation (CCJ) : During the past 4 weeks, traders have been relatively bearish on Cameco Corporation (CCJ), hence the stock is down -7.46% when compared to the S&P 500 during the same period. However, in the past 1 week, the selling of the stock is down by -3.33% relative to the S&P 500. The 4-week change in the price of the stock is -7.96% and the stock has fallen -3.17% in the past 1 week.

October 3, 2016 – Daily Mail – North Korea sees a surge in deformed babies and radiation deaths as Kim Jong-un’s nuclear bomb tests claim their first lives – his own people – North Korea has reportedly seen a surge in incurable diseases and radiation deaths after it carried out its fifth nuclear test. Last month the secretive state triggered a magnitude 5.3 earthquake with a successful explosion which drew immediate condemnation from North Korea’s neighbours and Washington. Now those living close to the Punggye-ri nuclear site, in the north-east of the country, are paying the price for the nuclear tests, a defector has claimed.

October 3, 2016 – Business Standard – SC scrutinises impact of mobile towers; seeks Centre’s report – The Supreme Court today initiated a scrutiny of “deleterious” effects of radiation emanating from mobile towers and sought a report from the Centre on several aspects including steps taken to enforce standards for such emissions. “What are adverse impacts of such mobile towers? Is there any agency to monitor? Have you (Department of Telecom) got a system in place to enforce the standards, if any, for radiation from such towers,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices C Nagappan and A M Khanwilkar asked.

October 3, 2016 – PS News – Graduates invited to go nuclear – The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) graduate program for engineers is open for applications. Successful candidates will be offered a two-year placement to work alongside Australia’s only nuclear multi-purpose reactor and leading science infrastructure. Lucy Griffith (26) joined ANSTO in February 2015 after studying for a double degree in electrical and electronic engineering, and mathematics and computer science, at The University of Adelaide. “I was looking at a whole bunch of engineering graduate programs towards the end of my degree, but there were a couple of things that really drew me to ANSTO,” Ms Griffith said. “Firstly of course, was the chance to work with unique nuclear technology, and secondly, were the structured rotations and development opportunities across the organisation.”

October 3, 2016 – Business Day – Another delay for SA’s contentious nuclear programme – SA will have to wait a little longer before pressing ahead with a highly contentious and very costly expansion of its ageing nuclear power fleet. Last week was supposed to mark a key step forward in plans formulated back in 2010, but at the 11th hour the government balked. Early in September, the Department of Energy announced it would finally issue a tender for the construction of between six and eight power stations with a combined capacity of 9,600MW on September 30.

October 3, 2016 – Twst.com – AZZ Inc. Announces the Divestiture of its Nuclear Logistics LLC Operating Unit to Westinghouse Electric Company – AZZ Inc. (NYSE:AZZ), a global provider of galvanizing, welding solutions, specialty electrical equipment and highly engineered services to the power generation, transmission, distribution and industrial markets, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to divest its Nuclear Logistics LLC (“NL”) operating business unit to Westinghouse Electric Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and are subject to customary terms and conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the fall of 2016.

October 3, 2016 – PressTV – Putin suspends plutonium disposal deal with US – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the suspension of a plutonium disposal agreement with the United States due to Washington’s “hostile actions” against his country. The Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PDMA) was suspended for “a threat to strategic stability posed by the hostile actions of the US against Russia,” according to a document signed by Putin on Monday. Among other reasons mentioned in the document are “the radical change in the environment, and the inability of the US to deliver on the obligation to dispose of excessive weapons plutonium under international treaties, as well as the need to take swift action to defend Russian security.” Russia stressed that it would not use its fissile material for any military purpose.

October 3, 2016 – LongIsland.com – Governor Cuomo Inspects Indian Point Nuclear Facility By Boat and Provides Update on Oil Spill – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today inspected Indian Point Nuclear Facility by boat and provided an update on the State’s response to an oil spill reported at the facility. On Friday, September 30, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation immediately responded after being notified by Entergy that an unspecified amount of oil leaked from a heat exchanger into a cooling water discharge canal inside the facility.

October 3, 2016 – iNews.co.uk – Meet ‘AbdoMan’ – whose radioactive torso could help researchers treat cancer – Cancer researchers have created a replica human torso they hope will lead to personalised treatments for patients. Dubbed ‘AbdoMan’, the sophisticated 3D printed model allows experts to safely and reliably improve radiation therapies. Created by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, AbdoMan replicates how radioactivity is distributed within the abdomen of a human patient. The researchers fill the model torso with a radioactive solution to replicate the complex distribution of radioactivity in tumours and normal tissue within a body organ, such as the liver. This allows them to create images that simulate the distribution of the radiation doses delivered by internal forms of radiotherapy.

October 3, 2016 – WRDW 12 – Aiken SFR Group wants to bring nuclear waste and solutions – A question many in South Carolina are trying to answer. “What are we going to do with spent fuel?” said Mike Stake. A letter sent to the Nuclear Regulatory Committee says bring it to Barnwell, basically says putting all the waste in the state in one spot is the best bet for everyone. “It really has no benefits for the people from Aiken and Augusta,” Tom Clements said, Director of SRS Watch. Clements says moving the waste here only exposes more workers to radiation and opens up the risk of transportation problems. Further more, he says moving it around solves nothing.

October 3, 2016 – Statehouse Report SC – COUICK: Best decision made for two nuclear units – The consumers’ advocates at the state Office of Regulatory Staff negotiated an important settlement that could have a positive effect on millions of South Carolina electricity users, and we hope the state Public Service Commission will agree. The agreement was reached between SCE&G and a number of parties, including electric cooperatives, that intervened in an SCE&G request to the PSC about construction contract changes for two nuclear power units being built near Columbia. The agreement grew out of SCE&G’s request for a so-called “fixed price option,” which the utility claimed would provide more cost-certainty for a project that has gone several billion dollars over budget so far.

October 3, 2016 – Business Wire – U.S. Department of Energy Selects Fluor Joint Venture to Operate the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facilities – Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected Mid-America Conversion Services, LLC (MCS), a joint venture comprised of Atkins, Fluor and Westinghouse, to operate the depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facilities at DOE’s Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Kentucky, and the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon, Ohio. The contract is valued at $318 million for the joint venture over a five-year period of performance beginning in 2016. Work will begin in the first quarter of 2017. The project includes the operation of DUF6 conversion facilities for the purpose of processing DOE’s inventory of stored DUF6, a co-product of the uranium enrichment process. The facilities convert DUF6 to depleted uranium oxide for possible future reuse, storage or disposal. A co-product of the conversion process is hydrofluoric acid, which can be reused in industrial processes.

October 3, 2016 – Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise – OPPD offers performance plans at nuclear plant – Since the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Board of Directors voted June 16 to close the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station (FCS), 141* employees so far have signed Key Employee Performance Plan (KEPP) agreements totaling approximately $12.7 million** if they all meet their conditions. All incentive payments are in addition to each exempt and union employee’s current salary, usual incentives or pay opportunities, benefits and severance pay. The figures were tallied at the end of August. OPPD will update its numbers at the end of each month. According to OPPD, KEPPs are “an effective and industry-proven tool to assist in retaining talent.” OPPD says the plans are a nuclear industry “standard for utilities faced with decommissioning.”

October 3, 2016 – KOB 4 – Coalition opposes tax exemption for LANL, Sandia – A New Mexico coalition is pushing to prevent tax-exempt operators from taking over the Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories and depriving the state of the labs’ hefty tax contributions. The Los Alamos Monitor reports that the Regional Coalition of Los Alamos National Laboratory Communities has asked state lawmakers to consider eliminating the exemption status for any potential future nonprofit contractors at the laboratories. The coalition wants the state to continue to receive the roughly $200 million in annual gross receipts tax, even if nonprofit management takes over.

October, 3, 2016 – NBC San Diego – Critics Question Plans For Nuclear Waste Storage At San Onofre – The threat of a nuclear meltdown is no longer a concern at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station because it’s shut down. A shuttered nuclear plant does present another potential threat to public safety, according to an editorial in the April 2016 edition of Scientific American Magazine. The article warns of a greater danger, and says “more threatening than a meltdown, it’s the steady accumulation of radioactive waste.” The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was permanently retired by its owners, Southern California Edison, SCE, and SDG&E in 2013. The plant’s operations left 3.6 million pounds of radioactive waste behind. If all goes as planned that radioactive waste is headed to bluffs just north of the dead reactors above San Onofre State Beach. It will sit near Interstate 5 in Southern California between two major metropolitan areas, San Diego and Los Angeles, where 17 million people call home.

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September 29, 2016 – 81 FR 67014 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Talen Energy Combined License Application for Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting the Talen Energy request to withdraw its application for a combined license (COL) for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant (BBNPP). This new reactor would be identified as the BBNPP located adjacent to the existing Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. DATES: The effective date of the withdrawal is September 22, 2016.

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September 29, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 29th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 29, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – Reference dosimetry for hadron therapy – Clinical reference dosimetry of high-energy radiation is performed using methods such as water calorimetry, which measures the temperature rise when radiation interacts with matter at a point in water. Currently, however, dose standards only exist for high-energy photons and electrons. For proton and heavy-ion beams, and lower-energy radiation, no primary absorbed dose standard exists. To address this shortfall, a team headed up by James Renaud at McGill University has designed a portable water calorimetry system for use with non-standard particle beams with reference depths of 6–20 mm. The short-range water calorimeter (SHREWcal) operates without a large water phantom, instead using a small glass vessel filled with pure water as the absorber. As a result, SHREWcal requires collimated radiation fields with diameters no greater than 70 mm and can accommodate electron energies as low as 6 MeV.

September 29, 2016 – 9&10news.com – Healthy Living: High-Dose Brachytherapy – Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men. Patients have several different treatment options, including two types of internal radiation therapy — a low dose option, and a high dose option. Both involve having radioactive seeds implanted near the tumor. For years, very few patients took advantage of the high-dose option, but that may begin to change. A study by the Cleveland Clinic found that brachytherapy was the cheapest of all treatments for prostate cancer, with an average cost of $2,500. It is used only in patients whose cancer has not spread to other organs.

September 29, 2016 – Greenwood Democrat – HISTORY MINUTE: Dick Powell, a 1940s and 1950s noted actor – Though often forgotten today, Stone County native Dick Powell was one of the most familiar faces in Hollywood in his 30-year film career. His hard work and talent led him from Arkansas to tour the world and work with some of the most famous actors of the day. Richard Ewing Powell was born in Mountain View in 1904. His father was a salesman, and his mother taught him music. In 1914, his family moved to Little Rock, where Powell’s interest in performing expanded as he sang in church choirs and local bands. In 1957, Powell directed The Enemy Below, a story set in World War II that pit the captain of an American destroyer against a German submarine commander. The film won an Academy Award in 1958 for special effects. Powell later developed cancer. Some film historians have theorized that that he contracted it while on the set of The Conquerors, as the Utah set was near the site of an above-ground test detonation of eleven nuclear warheads. The test had been two years before filming, but the ground was apparently still contaminated in spite of reassurances from the army that the area was safe. Cancer rates of those on the set were reportedly three times higher than normal in the ensuing years, and producer Howard Hughes allegedly blamed the illnesses on the radioactive fallout. Whether these cancer cases were related, however, may never be known.

September 29, 2016 – Korea Herald – World’s first permanent nuclear waste disposal site under construction – The world’s first permanent nuclear waste repository is under construction on the small and tranquil island of Olkiluoto here. This storage facility, named Onkalo, which means cave or cavity, is being built in the granite bedrock deep underground about five kilometers from the two nuclear power plants at Olkiluoto just off the southwest coast of Finland. It is designed to keep high-level radioactive waste, the most worrisome by-product of nuclear power generation, secure for at least 100,000 years. High-level nuclear waste, which consists of spent fuel and some of the fuel’s decay products, can emit dangerous radiation for tens of thousands of years. To date, high-level waste has mostly been stored in water-filled pools at the atomic power plants where it was produced or in temporary offsite dry storage facilities. But these are impermanent and insecure solutions. Many experts say the only fundamentally viable solution may be facilities like Onkalo.

September 29, 2016 – Korea JoongAng Daily – Korea builds advanced particle accelerator – Researchers at Pohang University of Science and Technology have built a fourth-generation synchrotron radiation facility, a type of particle accelerator that emits incredibly bright X-rays. Korea has become the third country, after the United States and Japan, to design and produce the cutting-edge facility. Postech as well as the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning celebrated its completion on Thursday at the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory in the North Gyeongsang port city. The facility, otherwise called the X-ray Free Electron Laser, is capable of emitting X-rays at 0.1-nanometer wavelengths, which are 10 billion times brighter than third-generation facilities.

September 29, 2016 – PhysOrg – Superconducting part of the European XFEL accelerator ready – An important milestone in the construction of the X-ray laser European XFEL has been reached: The 1.7-km long superconducting accelerator is installed in the tunnel. The linear accelerator will accelerate bunches of free electrons flying at near-light speed to the extremely high energy of 17.5 gigaelectronvolts. The bunches are accelerated in devices called resonators, which are cooled to a temperature of -271°C. In the next part of the facility, the electron bunches are used to generate the flashes of X-ray light that will allow scientists new insights into the nanocosmos. The European XFEL accelerator will be put into operation step by step in the next weeks. It will be the largest and most powerful linear accelerator of its type in the world. On 6 October, the German Minister for Education and Research, Prof. Johanna Wanka, and the Polish Vice Minister of Science and Education Dr Piotr Dardziński, will officially initiate the commissioning of the X-ray laser, including the accelerator. User operation at the European XFEL is anticipated to begin in mid-2017.

September 29, 2016 – heraldextra.com – Childhood cancer and radon gas awareness – SWAT Environmental, a leading radon mitigation service provider, has compiled key facts and advice about radon risks for concerned families. Since its discovery as a cause of lung cancer among uranium miners, scientists have found that the risks of radon gas are widespread and can be increased by modern housing trends. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is found in soil and water, and makes its way into homes through cracks and openings in the foundation. Radon is an extremely dense gas and the heaviest concentrations can be found close to the ground. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

September 29, 2016 – PhysOrg – Making the world’s best radon detectors even better – The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) recognises ANSTO radon detectors as the best in the world for global and regional atmospheric composition and baseline studies. However, ANSTO researchers are making computational refinements to data collected by its instruments in less than ideal conditions. Until now, to achieve high-sensitivity measurements with ANSTO detectors required a 45-minute response time, which has slightly compromised the usefulness of the two-filter dual-flow-loop style of detector under conditions of rapidly-changing radon concentrations. This is all about to change. With the help of an algorithm, inspired by methods used on early images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Alan Griffiths and a team of ANSTO researchers have developed a novel deconvolution method to computationally correct for the radon instrument’s relatively slow time response.

September 29 2016 – Gizbot – Here Are Battery Radiation Effects on Human Body and Ways to Avoid Them – The more we use our smartphone, the more we tend to affect our health. Thanks to the increasing amount of mobile phone radiation.The increasing usage of wireless mobile telephony is the reason behind the rise of phone battery radiation, which in turn causes serious health hazards.SEE ALSO: Amazon Deals: Top 10 Devices For Audiophiles to Buy in September 2016In case a person is on a call for hours together, it is common that the smartphone will tend to heat up. The heating effect will the ear pinna, internal ear, head surface and in turn, the brain to a great extent.SEE ALSO: Reliance Jio Offers Free International Calls? Check OutWe at GIZBOT have come up with the effects of mobile battery radiation, and the ways to avoid the same.

September 29, 2016 – Belaruse News – IAEA-compliant system to monitor radiation around Belarusian nuclear power plant – The automated radiation situation monitoring system in the Belarusian nuclear power plant area will work taking into account recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The information was released by Maria Germenchuk, Head of the National Center for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Pollution Control, and Environmental Monitoring of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, during an online conference hosted by the BelTA website. The official remarked that the monitoring system is fully compliant with the IAEA requirements and recommendations. “Our leading specialists, who work in this field, are IAEA experts, this is why we put all the recommendations of the agency into practice right away,” remarked Maria Germenchuk.

September 29, 2016 – Courier-Gazette – DOC groping for alternatives after ditching X-ray body scanners – Maine Department of Corrections is considering new ways to detect contraband at correctional facilities after discontinuing use of transmission X-ray scanners, possibly because of concerns about radiation exposure. The Bureau of Labor Standards cited DOC earlier this year for “serious” safety violations related to operation of a body scanner at Maine Correctional Center. The scanners were introduced by former Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte and were used in at least two facilities, Maine Correctional Center and Maine State Prison, for two to three years starting around 2013, according retired MCC correctional officer Don Piper, who serves as the central Maine union chairman for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union.

September 29, 2016 – The Straits Times – Britain’s Hinkley Point contract set to be signed – The contract with a French-Chinese consortium to build Britain’s first nuclear power plant in a generation is to be signed in London on Thursday (Sept 29) at a ceremony that is being kept low key, sources said. Following a delay over concerns about China’s involvement in the deal, Britain earlier this month gave the green light for the construction of the £18 billion (S$31.9 billion) complex. But it set the condition that EDF pledge not to cede majority control of the project.

September 29, 2016 – Bloomberg – French Power Surges Amid Low Availability at EDF Nuclear Plants – French power prices jumped amid concerns that reduced availability at Electricite de France SA’s nuclear plants may limit supplies as the winter heating season starts. Year-ahead prices surged to a 13-month high while the October contract rose to a record Thursday. EDF has 64 percent of its 58 reactors available compared with 76 percent a year ago, according to data from French grid operator RTE. Several halts have been extended as the French nuclear regulator inspects steam generators for potential anomalies.

September 29, 2016 – The Guardian – Mini-nuclear reactors could be operating in the UK by 2030 – report – The first small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) could be operating in the UK by 2030 with the right government support, according to a new report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The analysis, released today by the government and industry-backed energy research body, examined the steps needed to support the first SMR in the UK and concluded a credible schedule for implementation can be set out – as long as a policy framework is developed to reduce risks for SMR developers and increase investor confidence.

September 29, 2016 – PhysOrg – Student’s surprise finding could improve future handling of nuclear waste – A researcher at The University of Manchester has made a surprise finding after observing variations of a chemical bond with a radioactive metal called thorium – and this newly revealed relationship could one day contribute to improving nuclear fuel management. Elizabeth Wildman, a PhD student in the research group led by Professor Steve Liddle, has reported compounds where unusual forms of phosphorus – known as the Devil’s element – are stabilised by thorium, a radioactive chemical element named after the Norse god of thunder which can be used as a nuclear fuel in the nuclear power industry.

September 29, 2016 – The Japan News – Hitachi, Toshiba, MHI seek to merge nuclear fuel units – Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) have started talks on merging their nuclear fuel units, with the aim of reaching an agreement by the end of this year, it has been learned. The most likely plan would be to establish a new holding company — with each firm investing one-third of the required capital — and place each nuclear fuel business under its wing. As momentum for constructing new nuclear power plants has slowed globally since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, the government ultimately aims to merge the nuclear power plant businesses of Hitachi, Toshiba and MHI.

September 29, 2016 – Cancer Network – I-131 for Thyroid Cancer Metastases – Cancer Network: How do you determine whether distant metastases are appropriate targets for I-131 treatment? Can you describe the strengths and limitations of whole-body radioiodine imaging as a staging tool before radioiodine treatment? Dr. Van Nostrand: I think that there are several ways, but at this point there are a lot of controversies, as well. The most appropriate approach is a radioiodine scan to see if metastatic tumors are taking up I-131 and are thus I-131 functioning cancer. The problem with the scan is that at lower doses, scans don’t pick up all functioning metastases. The dilemma becomes whether or not the patient should be considered to be radioiodine-refractory. Some proponents say when the scan is negative, the patient is refractory. But nobody really knows at that point that they are refractory. There is literature suggesting that if you treat with radioiodine therapy 20% to 64% will have I-131 uptake on a post-therapy scan. Hence, they are radioactive iodine functioning. Now, that doesn’t mean they would get a therapeutic benefit—but it implies they would have that possibility.

September 29, 2016 – UVA Today – UVA Scientists Create 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 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.” A paper detailing the new imaging modality and related spectroscopic techniques, for which a patent is pending, appears in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature.

September 29, 2016 – Fox 13 News – Results are in from first round of Mosaic water testing – The first round of radioactivity well water test results stemming from the Mosaic sinkhole came back Wednesday and, while the news was good, neighbors weren’t convinced they’re totally out of the woods. According to Environmental Consulting and Technology, a private company hired by Mosaic to test private well water, there were only trace amounts of Uranium, which is normal in Florida. The results indicate that for these nine wells, all nine of the wells meet EPA drinking water standards,” said Gary Uebelhoer, a Vice President for ECT. “The land and the limestone beneath us naturally contains Uranium at some level, literally from Pinellas County to Orange County.”

September 29, 2016 – Science Magazine – Protests spur rethink on deep borehole test for nuclear waste – Along the way to testing an old-but-new concept in nuclear waste storage—burying spent fuel in a hole drilled kilometers below the surface—the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors relearned a lesson that seems frequently forgotten: Get the locals on board first. Failure to gain the trust and approval of residents in rural North and South Dakota doomed the start of a $35 million project that would have drilled a borehole 5 kilometers beneath the prairie into crystalline basement rock. Early this year, the agency tapped Battelle Memorial Institute, a large research nonprofit based in Columbus, to lead the effort. The hole would not have been used for radioactive material, but was rather intended to garner insight to the geology and technical challenges of such drilling. That message would not be heard by residents of Pierce County in North Dakota or Spink County in South Dakota said Mark Kelley, the Battelle project manager who had the “dubious honor” of leading the effort for only half a year, at a presentation yesterday at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “They were not to be convinced,” he said. “They were quite opposed to it.”

September 29, 2016 – Patriot Ledger – Pilgrim nuclear power plant braces for sweeping inspection – Entergy Corp., owner-operator of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, notified federal regulators Sept. 2 that the plant was ready to undergo a huge, comprehensive inspection of its equipment, staff and procedures. But just four days later, operators were forced to shut down the Plymouth plant for nearly two weeks when a faulty valve caused a water leak in the reactor containment building. Time will tell if the plant is truly ready for a swarm of 20 experts from all over the country, sent by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to scrutinize Pilgrim’s systems, starting Nov. 28. The event marks the third and final special inspection in a three-phase process that began in January.

September 29, 2016 – CapeCod.com – Mass. Congressional Delegation Urges NRC to Reject Pilgrim Request – The full Massachusetts congressional delegation has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to deny a request by the owners of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant to delay the implementation of federally-mandated post-Fukushima safety requirements. Earlier this year, plant-owner Entergy asked the NRC for an extension on its requirement to upgrade boiling-water reactors to include hardened containment vents. Following the Fukushima disaster, federal regulators issued a new policy mandating plants in the U.S. with similar designs to make safety upgrades.

September 29, 2016 – Wayne Post – Wayne County supervisors participate in nuclear exercise – In August, I participated in the annual Ginna nuclear power plant exercise along with supervisors John Smith, Ontario; Laurie Crane, Huron; Monica Deyo, Marion; and Ken Miller, Palmyra, and over 100 well-trained Wayne County, Monroe County, New York State and Ginna employees and several volunteers. Each year, a select number of our county staff shift around their busy schedules to participate in these exercises. This is to ensure that Wayne County is ready to act and protect the public in the event of an emergency at the Ginna nuclear power plant located in Ontario. I am very impressed with the investment of time and energy that our employees and volunteers put into these trainings and response exercises. George Bastedo, Wayne County emergency management director, and staff take these drills very seriously and our public can rest assured that every precaution has been taken to ensure their safety in the event of serious emergency.

September 29, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Efforts to stop widening of AIM pipeline near Indian Point are fear tactics, says spokesman – The efforts to have the courts put a halt to the project to enlarge the AIM pipeline as it runs past the Indian Point nuclear power plant is nothing more than “fear-mongering,” according to an official of plant owner Entergy. The group said if an enlarged natural gas pipeline was to fail and explode, it would take Indian Point with it. Indian Point spokesman Jerry Nappi said that claim has no basis in science or engineering. Nappi said independent studies demonstrate Indian Point is safe, even from the worst-case pipeline accident. And he said additional safeguards are going to be put in place. He said Indian Point owner Entergy has requested and the owners of the pipeline have made a number of enhancements to the pipeline in the village where it goes by Indian Point.

September 29, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Barnwell potential new home for additional nuke facility – Barnwell County could become the home of yet another nuclear waste repository, if an Aiken group sees its plans come to fruition. Mike Stake, president of the Spent Fuel Reprocessing Group in Aiken, penned a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in July. In the letter, Stake officially announced intentions to apply for licensure that would allow the group to construct and operate a processing and disposition facility near Savannah River Site, just outside of Barnwell.

September 29, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Nuclear watchdog lawsuit against DOE stalls in court after attorney withdraws – A lawsuit filed against the Department of Energy over proposed shipments of liquid nuclear waste to the Savannah River Site has stalled in court. Legal counsel recently withdrew from a coalition of environmental and nuclear watchdog organizations that filed suit against the Department of Energy over proposed shipments of liquid nuclear waste from Chalk River in Ontario, Canada, across American roadways to SRS. Washington, D.C.-based attorney Diana Curran, legal counsel for the coalition, submitted a notice of withdrawal last week, notifying the judge in the case, Tayna S. Chutkan.

September 29, 2016 – World Nuclear News – L-3 MAPPS to upgrade Fermi 2 simulator – As part of the upgrade, the simulator’s plant models will be updated to account for FLEX modification. The “diverse and flexible coping capability” (or FLEX) strategy was an industry initiative announced in February 2012 to implement the NRC’s Fukushima task force recommendations. The FLEX update on the simulator includes the addition of an alternative source of cooling water and an external compressor to drive the non-interruptible air supply system. The simulator’s off-gas control system will also be modified to reflect updates performed at the plant. September 29, 2016 – Seattle Times – Report says NW nuke plant not ‘chilled’ workplace but still has issues – The Pacific Northwest’s only nuclear-power plant does not appear to have a chilled work environment where employees are afraid to raise safety concerns, according to a report released Monday by independent investigators. But the report did find some workplace problems at the Columbia Generating Plant north of Richland, including tensions between some employees and some managers who made sarcastic or demeaning comments, and behaved “in an intimidating matter.” The report by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was spurred by whistleblower allegations that employees were afraid to report safety concerns for fear of retaliation.

September 29, 2016 – Public News Service – Bill in U.S. Senate Would Protect Whistleblowers at Nuclear Sites – A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would further protect whistleblowers at nuclear sites. Senate Bill 3394 is designed to level the playing field in cases where employees bring forward safety concerns, and even expands the definition of whistleblower to include anyone who reports on fraud, waste or abuse. Jeff Sprung, a lawyer in Seattle who specializes in representing whistleblowers, said the bill has particular significance in Washington state because of the Hanford Site, a contaminated nuclear reservation currently being cleaned up. Sprung said employees have voiced their concerns about the cleanup. “There has been a series of employees who have come forward to complain about particular problems with the cleanup at Hanford, and they’ve charged that they’ve been retaliated against,” he said. “This bill is designed to make sure that those people can come forward and give you and me, the public, information about what’s really going on.”

September 29, 2016 – San Luis Obispo Tribune – SLO County leaders should support Diablo nuclear plant’s retirement – Gene Nelson wants our local elected officials to follow the lead of New York in propping up the continued operation of an aging nuclear power plant (“SLO County leaders should save Diablo,” Sept. 14). Bad idea. They should support Diablo’s retirement. In the words of former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Peter Bradford, New York is “committing at least $7.6 billion in above-market payments to three of its six plants to assure that they operate through 2029 … Long-term subsidies for uneconomic nuclear plants also will crowd out penetration of these markets by energy-efficiency and renewables.” (“Compete or suckle: Should troubled reactors be subsidized?” www.theconversation.com)

September 29, 2016 – Bipartisan Policy – Moving Forward with Consent-Based Siting for Nuclear Waste Facilities – For decades, the United States has been grappling with the problem of what to do with the tens of thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste generated by the nation’s commercial nuclear power industry and defense programs. Despite many efforts by the executive branch, Congress, industry, citizen groups and others—and despite the expenditure of billions of dollars, the United States still has no workable, long-term plan for permanently disposing of these wastes. Meanwhile, the federal government’s financial liability for failing to meet its contractual obligation to accept spent fuel from the nation’s commercial nuclear power reactors—a liability that is already in the billions of dollars—increases with every year of continued paralysis and delay.

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