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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 24, 2016 – 81 FR 73153-73154 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – United States Department of the Interior; United States Geological Survey TRIGA Research Reactor – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a renewal of Facility Operating License No. R-113, held by the United States Geological Survey (USGS or the licensee), for the continued operation of its USGS Training, Research, Isotope Production, General Atomics (TRIGA) research reactor (GSTR or the reactor) at a steady-state power level of 1.0 megawatt (MW) and a pulse power level as provided in the licensee’s Technical Specifications, for an additional 20 years. The GSTR facility is located on the property of the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado.

October 24, 2016 – 81 FR 73148-73153 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission; Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center Reactor – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering an application for the renewal of Facility Operating License No. R-95, which currently authorizes the Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission (RIAEC or the licensee) to operate the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center (RINSC) reactor at a maximum steady-state thermal power of 2 megawatts (MW). The RINSC reactor is a plate type fueled research reactor located at the University of Rhode Island Narragansett Bay Campus, in Narragansett, Rhode Island. If approved, the renewed license would authorize the licensee to operate the RINSC reactor up to a steady-state thermal power of 2 MW for an additional 20 years from the date of issuance of the renewed license. Because the license renewal application contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI), an order imposes procedures to obtain access to SUNSI for contention preparation.

October 24, 2016 – 81 FR 73144-73147 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – In the Matter of Tetra Tech EC, Inc. – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a Confirmatory Order (CO) to Tetra Tech EC, Inc. (TtEC) to memorialize the agreements reached during an alternative dispute resolution mediation session held on September 7, 2016. This Order will resolve the issue that was identified during an NRC Investigation of TtEC employees at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard site in San Francisco, California. The Confirmatory Order is effective upon issuance.

October 24, 2016 – 81 FR 73154-73155 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Performance Review Boards for Senior Executive Service – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced appointments to the NRC Performance Review Board (PRB) responsible for making recommendations on performance appraisal ratings and performance awards for NRC Senior Executives and Senior Level System employees and appointments to the NRC PRB Panel responsible for making recommendations to the appointing and awarding authorities for NRC PRB members.

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October 24, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 24th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 24, 2016 – Syracuse.com – Legislator: Saving nukes will spare NY consumers from power price spike (Your letters) – In August, the New York state Public Service Commission adopted the Clean Energy Standard which included, among other things, subsidies for the Upstate nuclear plants. Since that time, the anti-nuclear crowd has ramped up their criticism of the PSC’s forward-thinking solution and now there is an effort to get the Clean Energy Standard overturned. The criticism is baffling, particularly from so-called environmentalists considering that nuclear power is clean and generates zero carbon emissions 24/7. If the PSC had not included nuclear power in the Clean Energy Standard, it is likely that all four nuclear power plants in Upstate New York would have had to close down — never to reopen. This would be economically catastrophic for Upstate New York resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. Closure of our nuclear plants would also mean New Yorkers would have to import more of our power from out-of-state — likely coming from generators who use gas and coal, something the environmentalist crowd is demanding we become less reliant on.

October 24, 2016 – pc-tablet.co.in – International conference accepts a nonsense paper written using iOS autocompete – Christoph Bartneck is a Professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and he pulled out a prank which to many must look like utter nonsense but for many somewhat intriguing. The learned Professor was invited to a conference on atomic and nuclear physics. He and the topic were alike as cheese and chalk. You may ask why? Well, he is an authority in Human Interface Technology and did not know anything about Atomic Physics, Nuclear energy, fission, fusion or Radioactivity. Without a clue he just wrote two words- Atomic and nuclear and bingo! A suggestion popped up, courtesy to iOS auto complete feature. The learned professor wrote out his paper with the words churned out by the app and wonder in thunder, his work has been accepted by the International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics.

October 24, 2016 – KNPR.org – Waste, Families Left Behind As Nuclear Plants Close – A drive 30 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., leads to the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. It’s full of new equipment. There’s a white concrete box building that’s still under construction. It’s licensed until 2033. But the plant is closing Monday. Nuclear power is expensive, especially when compared to some of the alternatives, so the U.S. nuclear power industry is shrinking. As more plants go offline, industry leaders are forced to reckon with what critics call a “broken system” for taking plants out of service and storing radioactive waste.

October 24, 2016 – PhysOrg – Modernizing the format of nuclear data – When atomic nuclei collide with other nuclei or subatomic particles, a large number of reactions can occur, resulting in many possible products. High-quality data describing these nuclear reactions are essential for many important scientific, engineering, and commercial applications. These applications include nuclear reactor design and safety, radioactive waste disposal, stockpile stewardship of nuclear weapons, medical radioisotope therapy and diagnostics, fusion energy experiments, astrophysics, nuclear forensics, and more. At Lawrence Livermore, accurate and complete nuclear data are critical for both theoretical and experimental research. Despite the importance of nuclear data to so many fields, the format for storing, evaluating, and using these data goes back to the 1960s, when computing was based on 80-column punch cards—small, stiff sheets of paper that contain information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. As a result, existing formats, principally Livermore’s Evaluated Nuclear Data Library (ENDL) and the widely adopted Evaluated Nuclear Data Format (currently in version 6, or ENDF-6), are badly outdated. In response to the long-recognized need for modernization, the Nuclear Data and Theory group at Lawrence Livermore has developed a far more capable and flexible format called Generalized Nuclear Data (GND), which takes advantage of many recent advances in computer technology. GND is readable by both computers and humans, flexible, and extensible for supporting new types of nuclear data.

October 24, 2016 – Prague Daily Monitor – Drábová says nuclear waste storage site should be close to plant – A permanent radioactive waste repository would be best located right at the nuclear power plant, whether in Dukovany, south Moravia, or Temelin, south Bohemia, Dana Drabova, chairwoman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB), said on Czech Television (CT) yesterday. The Czech Republic should build the facility by 2065. The costs are estimated at 112 billion crowns. There are currently 24 billion crowns on its account. Every entity which produces the waste sends 50 crowns to the account per megawatt-hour of generated power. At present, nuclear waste is deposited in temporary stores within the two power plants’ compounds.

October 24, 2016 – WVXU – 10 Years Since The Clean-Up Of The Fernald Site Was Completed – From 1951 until 1989, the Feed Materials Production Center in Fernald, Ohio, about 20 miles northwest of Cincinnati, was a key player in the Cold War, processing uranium for the United States nuclear weapons program. But in the 1980s you couldn’’t watch or read the news without seeing a story about the environmental issues plaguing the site and causing concern and anger among its neighbors. When production at Fernald ended, cleanup and environmental remediation began. That work was completed in 2006, and today the site is home to the Fernald Preserve, more than 1,000 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat.

October 24, 2016 – Medical XPress – Radiation method could enhance cancer-killing effect of treatment, reduce side effects – A Purdue-related startup is developing a unique nanoparticle ultraviolet radiation technology that could enhance cancer cell killing effects of radiation treatment, thus reducing radiation doses and patient side effects. You-Yeon Won, a professor in Purdue’s School of Chemical Engineering, and Rachel Kim, an MBA graduate from MIT Sloan, co-founded the company Lodos Theranostics to further develop the patented technology named Radio Luminescence Therapy. “Annually in the United States about one million cancer patients receive radiation treatment and about half of those patients qualify for radio sensitization treatments where they receive additional agents to enhance the radiation effect.

October 24, 2016 – PhysOrg – New materials with photonic crystals that filter radiation designed – Research by the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre has proposed various designs for photonic crystal materials that can be used to filter radiation. Specifically, the focus has been to develop a coating comprising dielectric spheres that, applied to a window, would prevent outside heat from entering in the summer and the indoor heat from escaping in winter. The samples designed and the results obtained suggest a means for developing the right technique to obtain materials of this type in the future, although the outcome of the tests, which were carried out using low-cost, traditional techniques, were not what had been expected. This is according to a Ph.D. thesis by Paola Morales titled “Efectos de filtrado por recubrimiento de cristal fotónico” (Effects of filtering using photonic crystal coating) read at the NUP/UPNA.

October 24, 2016 – Wall Street Journal – Russians Conduct Nuclear-Bomb Survival Drills as Cold War Heats Up – Russian authorities have stepped up nuclear-war survival measures amid a showdown with Washington, dusting off Soviet-era civil-defense plans and upgrading bomb shelters in the biggest cities. At the Kremlin’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Cold War is back. The country recently held its biggest civil defense drills since the collapse of the U.S.S.R., with what officials said were 40 million people rehearsing a response to chemical and nuclear threats. Videos of emergency workers deployed in hazmat suits or checking the ventilation in bomb shelters were prominently aired on television when the four days of drills were held across the country. Students tried on gas masks and placed dummies on stretchers in school auditoriums.

October 24, 2016 – Reuters – Bulgarian prosecutors seek to waive immunity of former energy minister over nuclear project – Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor asked parliament on Monday to strip former energy minister Delyan Dobrev of his immunity for losing over 4.5 million euros ($4.9 million) in state funds over a cancelled nuclear project. Prosecutors accuse Dobrev, who was energy minister in the first government of Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, of failing to take steps to stop payments to a consultant company engaged with the Belene nuclear project after it was cancelled in 2012. “The request is based on evidence collected by Sofia City Prosecution for a crime committed by Delyan Dobrev when he was an economy and energy minister, which caused damages worth 4.56 million euros to the state energy firm NEK,” the chief prosecutor said in a statement.

October 24, 2016 – WBFO 88.7 – Canadian nuclear regulatory inspections called inadequate – Canada’s federal government watchdog is calling for the country’s nuclear regulator to beef up inspections of the country’s nuclear power plants. In a recent report, the commissioner of the environment found several serious issues. Canada has five nuclear power plants, three of them in Ontario. Of those three, two of them are on the north shore of Lake Ontario, just east of Toronto. Together, they supply enough energy for almost 3.5 million people. But the commissioner of the environment has found the agency that regulates the nuclear industry was not adequately inspecting those nuclear power plants. Julie Gelfand says her audit focused only on how the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission manages its site inspections.

October 24, 2016 – Reuters – Suit seeks to overturn New York nuclear power plant subsidies – A group of electrical power companies have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state commission’s plan to provide subsidies to four nuclear power plants as a means of reducing air pollution. In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, the plaintiffs claimed the New York Public Service Commission’s plan will depress wholesale electricity prices in the short term but ultimately force non-subsidized generators from the market and raise energy prices for consumers.

October 24, 2016 – Powermag.com – Generators Sue to Block Lifeline for New York Nuclear Plants – A group of generators including Dynegy and NRG Energy filed suit in federal court on October 19 seeking to block an incentive program that would help three New York nuclear power plants remain economic over the next decade. An August decision by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) approving New York’s Clean Energy Standard included a provision requiring the state’s investor-owned utilities and other energy suppliers to pay for the intrinsic value of carbon-free emissions from nuclear power plants by purchasing “Zero-Emission Credits” (ZEC). Those credits are added to the wholesale price each plant receives for its power, and the costs are passed on to ratepayers.

October 24, 2016 – Atlanta Business Chronicle – Georgia Power, PSC staff reach agreement on Vogtle costs – Georgia Power Co. customers would get a rate reduction of $325 million toward construction of the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle during the next four years under a settlement agreement signed Thursday. Under the terms of the deal, reached by negotiators representing the Atlanta-based utility and Georgia Public Service Commission staff, all of Georgia Power’s spending on the project through the end of last year would be deemed “prudent,” as would costs associated with this year’s legal settlement between the utility and Vogtle prime contractor Westinghouse Electric Co.

October 24, 2016 – Palm Beach Post – FPL starts work to reduce too-salty plume at Turkey Point – Florida Power & Light Co. has embarked on a 10-year, $206 million clean up of extremely salty water from its Turkey Point plant’s cooling canal system, which poses a threat to drinking water for roughly 3 million people as far north as Boca Raton. Florida Power & Light Co. has embarked on a 10-year clean up of extremely salty water from its Turkey Point plant’s cooling canal system, which poses a potential threat to drinking water for roughly 3 million people as far north as Boca Raton. The fix is expected to cost FPL customers $206 million over the decade, FPL spokesman Peter Robbins said Thursday. This year’s portion of the cost is $50 million. Customers will pay for the remediation through environmental fees in their bills. This year the 1,000 kilowatt-hour customer is paying $2.63 a month, and next year will decrease to $2.42.

October 24, 2016 – WTVY – Dale Co. private property could host nuclear waste storage research – A major nonprofit research firm says it wants to drill a 3 mile deep hole in Dale County for research on how to store nuclear waste. Battelle based headquartered in Columbus, Ohio plans to submit a proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy Monday to drill a bore-hole three miles deep beneath private property in Dale County and other locations around the country. “Everybody wants to know geologic questions, based on places that are unexplored, and this is exploring three miles beneath your feet. That combination of drilling has never been done, so, the combination, of that deep, that vertical, that cylindrical, is what we’re after, and what we are going to prove that that engineering feat can be done,” said Battelle Company Spokesperson, and Senior Media Specialist for Battelle, T.R. Massey.

October 24, 2016 – Christian Science Monitor – After 20 years of nuclear dormancy, a new reactor emerges in the US – In many American cities, nuclear power plants are rapidly shutting down. But in others, they’re just now popping up. After more than four decades of intermittent construction, a new reactor has begun commercial operation in Tennessee. Watts Bar Unit 2, built and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), is the country’s 100th nuclear generator and the first new one in 20 years. The 1,150-megawatt generator, which was originally connected to the power grid in June, is now producing electricity for to 650,000 homes and businesses in Tennessee’s southeast corner. The opening of a new nuclear power plant amid closures of existing plants is a reflection of the mixed views of nuclear energy in the United States. While opponents caution that nuclear power comes with risks of meltdown that cannot be ignored, to advocates – including some environmentalists – nuclear power represents a clean and inexpensive source of energy and a vital transitional fuel that can help the US move away from fossil fuels and achieve energy independence.

October 24, 2016 – Dothan Eagle – Rehobeth students go to the source for lesson in nuclear power – Zakary Brooks and Alexis Enfinger tore through Farley Nuclear Plant’s visitor’s center Thursday, marking down facts gathered from educational exhibits. The fact-gathering mission was part of a scavenger hunt intended to help students learn more about nuclear energy. Brooks and Enfinger were among 80 Rehobeth Middle School students who visited Farley Nuclear Plant on Thursday for Nuclear Science Week activities. Neecie Tarrant, a plant spokesperson, said the scavenger hunt is an interactive teaching tool that helps students better remember the information they learned during the visit.

October 24, 2016 – KNAU Arizona Public Radio – ADEQ Renews Air-Pollution Permits for Three Uranium Mines Near Grand Canyon – State officials have cleared three uranium mines near the Grand Canyon to continue operations. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recently approved new air-pollution permits for the mines close to the canyon’s North and South rims. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. The new permits include enhanced dust-control measures and increased soil sampling requirements. Mine operators will also have to reduce uranium stockpiles and cover any open storage areas. “We are confident that these measure, while enhanced, will be more than adequate to protect human health and the environment. We recognize the real sensitivity of the area. We not only want to make sure we’re protecting any public in the area, but certainly protecting one of the wonders of the world,” says Timothy Franquist, ADEQ’s air quality director.

October 24, 2016 – Seattle Times – Nuclear energy is the best option for a clean-energy future – In the letter “Nuclear power: Not worth the risk” [Northwest Voices, Oct. 17], the writer supported the Seattle City Council’s vote calling for City Light to replace the electricity purchased from the Columbia Generating Station. Nuclear-generating plants provide by far the greatest carbon-free electrical power in the country (approximately 60 percent), as well as reliable baseload power. Wind and solar must be paired with co-generation, which in most cases is by gas-fired plants producing carbon dioxide. Climate change may be the biggest problem facing society. Mitigation seems to require rapid replacement of fossil fuels from our energy mix. Like many environmentalists I have come to the realization that nuclear is the only currently available technology that can replace fossil fuels in any meaningful way, providing a bridge to the goals set in the Paris agreement.

October 24, 2016 – KSBY – Public hearing on impending Diablo Canyon closure – Dozens of community members attend a public hearing Thursday afternoon. For the first time, the public was able to voice concerns Thursday directly to the California Public Utilities Commission over the impending closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. Eleven elected officials and 32 public members took to a microphone to help the CPUC reach an informed decision. Since PG&E announced its joint proposal back in June, it has held five public meetings to get feedback from the community. The application was filed in August. That started the state’s review process, part of which happened Thursday.

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

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

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

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October 19, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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