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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 13, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2016 – 81 FR 70401-70402 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory – This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Idaho National Laboratory. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Thursday, October 27, 2016–8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The opportunity for public comment is at 3:15 p.m. This time is subject to change; please contact the Federal Coordinator (below) for confirmation of times prior to the meeting. ADDRESSES: Sun Valley Inn, 1 Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley, ID 83353. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS-1203, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415. Phone (208) 526-6518; Fax (208) 526-8789 or email: pencerl@id.doe.gov or visit the Board’s Internet home page at: http://inlcab.energy.gov/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

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October 12, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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October 11, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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