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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 10, 2016 – Holiday. No entries.

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October 10, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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October 6, 2016 – 81 FR 69446-69448 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Risk-Informed Changes to Loss-of-Coolant Accident Technical Requirements – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is discontinuing a rulemaking activity titled, “Risk-Informed Changes to Loss-Of-Coolant Accident Technical Requirements.” The purpose of this action is to inform members of the public of the discontinuation of this rulemaking and to provide a brief discussion of the NRC’s decision to discontinue it. This rulemaking activity will no longer be reported in the NRC’s portion of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the Unified Agenda).

October 6, 2016 – 81 FR 69554-69555 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Strata Energy, Inc.; Ross Uranium In-Situ Recovery Facility; Source and Byproduct Materials License – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued an updated Record of Decision (ROD) related to the license for Strata Energy, Inc. (Strata), Ross Uranium In-Situ Recovery (ISR) Facility in Crook County, Wyoming. Strata’s request for a source and byproduct materials license for the Ross ISR facility was contested through the NRC’s adjudicatory process. On June 29, 2016, the Commission denied a petition for review of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board’s (ASLB) decision. The ROD has been updated to account for the ASLB’s decision and the Commission’s ruling.

October 6, 2016 – 81 FR 69553-69554 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has determined that the inspections, tests, and analyses have been successfully completed, and that the specified acceptance criteria are met for multiple inspections, tests, analyses, and acceptance criteria (ITAAC) for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4.

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October 6, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 6th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 6, 2016 – Focus Taiwan News – Ban on food from Japan’s radiation-affected areas remains – The food and Drug Administration (FDA) reaffirmed Thursday that there is no timetable for any lifting of a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by radiation fallout from a nuclear power plant meltdown following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. “There is no timetable for any such opening,” FDA Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) told CNA. She declined to comment on reports that Taiwan and Japan have reached an initial consensus on Taiwan’s opening to food imports from the five prefectures. Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011.

October 6, 2016 – Parent Herald – Aliens Survive On Galactic Cosmic Rays Like Bacteria In Radioactive Mines? – Recent studies have revealed that a bacterium named Desulforudis audaxviator can survive on Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs). GCRs are cosmic rays, which originate from sources outside the solar system and distributed throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists predict GCRs can be the source of energy for Aliens. According to new research in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the bacteria miles below the earth in abandoned mine shafts off the radioactive rocks. Author Dimitra Atri, research scientist said D. audaxviator is the only known organism to live as a result of radiolysis. In this a substance decomposes as a result of radiation. The bacteria lives under such extreme conditions is the only of its kind and called an “extremophile” – eats radioactive rocks extracting carbon and other essential chemicals from them.

October 4, 2016 – The Japan News – Is medical radiation exposure being curbed? – In June last year, standards for exposure to medical radiation — dubbed diagnostic reference levels, or DRLs — were established. The DRLs serve as yardsticks to ensure patients are not exposed to unnecessarily high doses of radiation during radiological exams at hospitals. To find out whether levels of medical exposure have decreased over the last year, I spoke with Reiko Kanda, an expert at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, which is leading efforts in that area.

October 6, 2016 – University of Copenhagen News – Robert Feidenhans’l resigns as head of the Niels Bohr Institute – Robert Feidenhans’l, professor and head of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen has been appointed as the Chairman of the Management Board of the large European research facility XFEL in Hamburg. Robert Feidenhans’l will take up the new position on 1 January 2017 and will step down from his position as head of the Niels Bohr Institute at the end of the year. The European X-ray Free Electron Laser, European XFEL, is a research facility that produces extremely intense X-rays that are a billion times stronger than the best traditional X-ray sources. X-ray radiation is a super tool that opens up entirely new opportunities for research in materials and proteins and to be able to carry out advanced experiments with the structure and dynamic of individual particles.

October 6, 2016 – Ecologist – Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream – ‘Fast breeder’ reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan’s decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? Monju reached criticality in 1994 but was shut down in December 1995 after a sodium coolant leak and fire. The reactor didn’t restart until May 2010, and it was shut down again three months later. Decommissioning Monju will cost an estimated $3 billion. 1956 US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover summarized his experience of these reactors by saying they are ‘expensive to build, complex to operate, susceptible to prolonged shutdown as a result of even minor malfunctions, and difficult and time-consuming to repair.’ Sixty years later, this summary remains apt.

October 6, 2016 – Right Side News – Obama Aids Iranian Nuclear Terror – Senator Obama opposed naming Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terror group even while it was closely involved in organizing attacks against American soldiers in Iraq. Then, as part of his dirty deal with Iran, he secretly sent a fortune in foreign cash on airplanes linked to the IRGC. And, as another part of the secret ransom deal with Iran, he lifted UN sanctions on Bank Sepah. The United States has gone after plenty of banks for aiding terror finance, but Bank Sepah is somewhat unique in that it is a financial institution actually owned and operated by Islamic terrorists. Bank Sepah is an IRGC bank. The IRGC, despite Obama’s denials, is an Islamic terror group with American blood on its hands. It is to Shiite Islam what ISIS is to Sunni Islam. And even the Democrats know it.

October 6, 2016 – The Japan News – Russia suspends N-agreement with U.S. – Russia further curtailed its cooperation with the United States in nuclear energy on Wednesday, suspending a research agreement and terminating one on uranium conversion, two days after the Kremlin shelved a plutonium pact with Washington. The Russian government said that as countermeasures to the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, it was putting aside a nuclear and energy-related research pact with the United States. It also said it was terminating for the same reasons an agreement between its nuclear corporation Rosatom and the U.S. Energy Department on feasibility studies into conversion of Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium.

October 6, 2016 – Broadway World – Limelight Performing Arts Presents D.W. Gregory’s RADIUM GIRLS – In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage-until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by historical events, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.

October 6, 2016 – Construction Index – Milestone reached in construction of Chernobyl enclosure – A key task has been completed ahead of schedule in the project to build a new safe containment (NSC) to enclose the nuclear plant in Chernobyl, which was destroyed in the disaster of 1996. The US$40m (£31m) project has built the arch end walls that will allow the main arch structure to be slid into its design position. Deputy project and program manager Viktor Popovskyi said that 9,600m3 of concrete and about 1,500t of rebar were used during the work to build the end walls. The scope of work included the reinforcement and sealing of existing power units structures – upon which the arch end walls will be abutted – as well as the design and construction of new dividing walls within existing structures. Preparatory work has also taken place for the installation and attachment of sealing anchors.

October 6, 2016 – Manilla Bulletin – Japan nuclear reactor shuttered for safety work – Utility Kyushu Electric is shutting down the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai plant in southern Sendai plant for a few months of inspections and maintenance, leaving Japan with just two operating reactors. But there is speculation that the reactor’s safety work could drag on longer. Thursday’s shutdown follows demands from the region’s top politician that Kyushu Electric conduct extra safety inspections at its two operating reactors in the Sendai plant — after deadly quakes hammered a neighbouring prefecture in April. Last month, the company refused governor Satoshi Mitazono’s demands to immediately shut down the reactors over safety concerns.

October 6, 2016 – Drowned In Sound – “It’s difficult to get these powerful stories across” – It’s been just over 30 years since the Ukrainian city of Pripyat suffered the devastating consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It’s one of only two nuclear meltdowns classified as a maximum level event, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi disaster of 2011. During the incident, 400 times more radioactive material was released from Chernobyl than was dropped in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The effects are still being felt in Ukraine and Belarus. Charities such as the Chernobyl Children’s Project, based in Glossop, have been helping young people from the area take recuperative holidays, allowing them to escape the rising dust radiation levels in the summer months.

October 6, 2016 – CaliforniaHealthline – Pricey New Treatment Roils Issues Of How To Treat Prostate Cancer – Men hoping to avoid some side effects of prostate cancer treatment are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a procedure whose long-term effects are unknown and insurers, including Medicare, won’t pay for. Proponents say high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can have fewer negative side effects than surgery or radiation, while giving some patients another option between actively watching their cancer and those more aggressive steps. Critics, however, say the procedure is being oversold, leading some patients to get a treatment they don’t need. Device makers are busy selling the $500,000-and-up machines to doctors around the country and offering training courses. Billboards advertising this “new non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer” are springing up, while treatment center websites promise “a safer method” with benefits such as “no erectile dysfunction and no incontinence,” although studies show those side effects can occur, but less often than with other types of more aggressive treatments. The treatment can range in cost from $15,000 to $25,000.

October 6, 2016 – Medical XPress – Incidence of thyroid cancer on the rise – The incidence of thyroid cancer has tripled in the past three decades, yet the reason for this is not clear. Dr. David Goldenberg, chief of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, notes the diagnostic tools are better, but he can’t get behind recent talk of overdiagnosis as the sole cause for the increase. Thyroid cancer occurs about three times more often in women than men, but Goldenberg said the jury is still out on whether reproductive hormones play a significant role in that. Risk factors for the disease include family history, being a woman, a low-iodine diet and exposure to ionizing radiation. Some theories include obesity as a possible risk factor, as well.

October 6, 2016 – Time – The Marshall Islands Cannot Sue Nuclear Powers for Proliferation, U.N. Court Rules – Dozens of nuclear tests took place at the island nation, sometimes wiping out entire atolls. The Marshall Islands — home to Bikini Atoll, where the first postwar U.S. nuclear test was conducted in 1946 —has been told by a top international court that its lawsuit against three nuclear powers over their alleged failure to stop nuclear proliferation cannot proceed. Agence France-Presse reports that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) “upholds the objection to jurisdiction” by the U.K., India and Pakistan, ruling that it “cannot proceed to the merits of the case” as there was no evidence the Pacific island nation ever had disputes or sought to negotiate with any of these countries over the nuclear issue.

October 6, 2016 – thedailystar.com – Nuclear plan gets backlash from left, right – A coalition of environmental and consumer activists warned Wednesday that New York electricity customers will be jolted by a “huge tax” stemming from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to subsidize aging nuclear power plants. Customers of National Grid, NYSEG and other state-regulated utilities will see bills climb by more than $2 per month beginning next year — and even more in subsequent years — if the plan stays on track, the critics said. The proposal is part of Cuomo’s plan to ensure New York gets at least 50 percent of its power from renewable sources, including solar and wind, by 2030. He contends the plan makes New York a national leader in the push to curb climate change linked to greenhouse gases.

October 6, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Japan bolsters reprocessing work, reports on Fukushima radiation – Japan has established a new organisation tasked with managing its reprocessing of used fuel, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has announced. In a statement on 3 October, the ministry said the Nuclear Reprocessing Organisation of Japan will be funded by the country’s power utilities to cover the cost of the reprocessing work. This is a mandatory requirement that replaces the previous expectation that utilities would voluntarily contribute to the reprocessing program. Separately, Japan has reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that tests last month on discharges from the sub-drain and groundwater drainage systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have confirmed that the radiation levels of sampled water were “substantially below” the operational targets set by operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

October 6, 2016 – Newswire – UChicago Site of Radiocarbon Dating Discovery Named Historic Landmark – It was while working in the Kent Laboratory building in the 1940s that Prof. Willard Libby and his UChicago associates developed radiocarbon dating—an innovative method to measure the age of organic materials. Scientists soon used the technique on materials ranging from the dung of a giant sloth from a Nevada cave; seaweed and algae from Monte Verde, Chile, the oldest archaeological site in the Western Hemisphere; the Shroud of Turin; and the meteorite that created the Henbury Craters in northern Australia. Now the American Chemical Society has designated the discovery of radiocarbon dating as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The society will officially recognize the achievement at 4 p.m. Oct. 10, with the unveiling of a plaque in the foyer of the Kent Chemical Laboratory building at 1020 E. 58th St. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Libby’s first publication on radiocarbon dating, which appeared in the June 1, 1946 issue of Physical Review. The work earned Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in chemistry “for determinations in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other branches of science.”

October 6, 2016 – Nuclear Energy Insider – Operators urged to prioritize labor plans to control decommissioning costs – Nuclear operators planning to close reactors must set out detailed plans for labor reductions and other regulation-driven decisions to ensure decommissioning funds cover rising cost estimates, Tom Magette, PWC’s Managing Director, Nuclear Capital projects & infrastructure, told the 2016 Nuclear Decommissioning & Used Fuel Strategy Summit on October 4. There are currently 18 U.S. nuclear power plants being decommissioned and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements due to sustained low power prices. The majority of current decommissioning projects are being carried out under the SAFSTOR method of deferred decontamination as operators expect Decommissioning Trust Funds (DTFs) to rise to cover future decommissioning spending. However, Rates of Return for DTFs have been lower than some expectations and current dollar estimates for decommissioning costs have risen while actual costs have varied widely.

October 6, 2016 – Nuclear Energy Insider – US utilities warn new rules could impact reactor closures – Operators have accelerated decommissioning plans following early plant closures and proposed changes to licensing rules are raising project risks, leading utility executives said at the 2016 Nuclear Decommissioning & Used Fuel Strategy Summit on October 3. There are currently 18 U.S. nuclear power plants being decommissioned and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements due to sustained low power prices. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is developing new rules to reduce the number of licensing amendments required post-shutdown but significant changes to existing regulatory frameworks could impact project timelines, Jim Madigan, CNO Technical Advisor and Director of Oversight, Regulatory Affairs & Nuclear Safety Culture, Southern California Edison (SCE), told conference attendees.

October 6, 2016 – Enformable – Uranium mining industry in survival mode after Fukushima – The hot word in the uranium mining market is “staying power”, as in who will have the staying power to survive the collapse of the uranium mining industry. The uranium mining industry is in an awful state while trying to recover from the effect that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan had on the global nuclear industry. The simple fact is that there is a glut of uranium available and no real need to explore new deposits or mine existing ones. The shutdown of nuclear power plants in the wake of the disaster generated a large surplus of uranium – combined with the rise of fracking and natural gas, drove uranium prices to record lows, and forced most of the few mining companies to shut down mines, lay off workers and reduce debt in a struggle just to survive. This could have long-term implications because it is expensive to shut down a uranium mining operation, and difficult to reverse.

October 6, 2016 – Athens Post – For What it’s Worth: Nuclear energy is the future of clean energy – In last week’s presidential debate, there was much discussion regarding energy policy. This discussion focused on issues such as climate change, investment in renewable energy resources and the role of fossil fuels going forward. As can be expected in a US presidential debate, this discussion was shallow, yielding only a few opportunities for the candidates to take pot shots at each other. The debate also touched on nuclear issues; specifically, proliferation and the Iran nuclear deal. However, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton even breathed a mention of the most important nuclear issue: nuclear energy. We are living in an age characterized by rising levels of greenhouse gases, shrinking reserves of fossil fuels, limited technological capabilities in regards to renewable energy resources and an expanding global population with growing energy demands. Given the challenges of such an era, it seems our only salvation will be found in the power of the atom. Nuclear power offers an alternative energy source that is not only cheap, bountiful, but also relatively safe and clean.

October 6, 2016 – Ruidoso News – Rising interest seen in Downwinders story – Demonstrators at the Stallion Gate during Saturday’s open house at the Trinity atomic test site said more people stopped to hear their story than at any protest in recent years. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders have been fighting for more than a decade to have victims of radiation exposure from the first-ever nuclear explosion in 1945 included in a federal law that later awarded compensation to military service members and others exposed during Nevada test explosions in the 1950s. Members of the group say more than 700 people have died of cancer and other causes related to the Trinity exposure, and the illnesses have continued to afflict many genetic descendants of those who were living and working in the basin and adjacent mountains when the blast went off and fallout drifted over the region.

October 6, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Report: LANL to end on-site radioactive waste disposal at Area G in 2017 – A Los Alamos National Laboratory environmental report released has revealed that by Oct. 1, 2017, the lab will cease disposing of low-level radioactive waste on site. “The strategy for both low-level radiological waste and mixed low-level waste is to minimize its generation and to dispose of all newly generated waste off-site… No new, on-site disposal capacity will be developed,” read a statement in the report. The report also mentioned that the lab plans to dispose of low-level waste at “Area G” by Oct. 1, 2017. The report also indicated that for 2015 the amount of plutonium detected in the air was nine attocuries per cubic meter, which the lab categorized as the lowest it’s been in recent years, because there was not much soil activity at the site. The lab was shipping the low-level waste from Area G to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. That stopped when an improperly packed barrel shipped from the lab exploded at the plant in February 2014. The WIPP plant is due to resume partial operations in December.

October 6, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant cave-in adds to safety questions – A recent cave-in at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, near Carlsbad, New Mexico, brings facility safety and operational readiness back under the microscope. WIPP is a deep underground salt mine repository meant to store some of the nation’s nuclear waste. The facility has been closed since a truck fire in February 2014. Crews have been working to address safety concerns, including potential issues with storage canisters. Those concerns played a role in the operational shut-down and have led to new requirements for sites, such as Savannah River Site in South Carolina, that send material to WIPP.

October 6, 2016 – Denver Post – Feds seek balance in converting Cold War plutonium trigger plant west of Denver to wildlife haven – The Cold War-era Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, long reviled as a source of plutonium dust, is becoming more of a haven for wildlife. A bear raised three cubs. Mountain lion tracks can be seen. A bull moose recently wandered across the 6,000-acre prairie and wetland refuge. A herd of elk, numbering 130 last year, grew to 150. This week, the feds are launching a planning process to allow for more people. “A wildlife refuge is not a park,” Rocky Flats manager Dave Lucas said, but the government in four “sharing sessions” seeks ideas for future trials for hiking, cycling and horse-riding where hundreds of military-industrial structures once stood.

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October 5, 2016 – 81 FR 69010-69011 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Processing Fitness-for-Duty Drug and Alcohol Cases – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is requesting public comments on proposed revisions to its Enforcement Policy (the Policy). The NRC is proposing to revise Section 4.1, “Considerations in Determining Enforcement Actions Involving Individuals,” of the Policy to indicate that the NRC typically will not consider Fitness-for-Duty (FFD) Drug and Alcohol (D&A) related violations for enforcement unless the licensee’s FFD program has apparent deficiencies.

October 5, 2016 – 81 FR 69088-69089 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – General Use of Locks in the Protection and Control of: Facilities, Radioactive Materials, Classified Information, Classified Matter, and Safeguards Information – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing Revision 1 to Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.12, “General Use of Locks in Protection and Control of: Facilities Radioactive Materials, Classified Information, Classified Matter, and Safeguards Information.” This RG describes methods and procedures that the staff of the NRC considers acceptable for the selection, use, and control of locking devices in the protection of areas, facilities, certain radioactive materials, and specific types of information (e.g. classified matter, National Security Information (NSI), Restricted Data (RD), Formerly Restricted Data (FRD), Safeguards Information (SGI)).

October 5, 2016 – 81 FR 69054-69055 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico – This notice announces a combined meeting of the Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Committee and Waste Management Committee of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico (known locally as the Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board [NNMCAB]). 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: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: NNMCAB Office, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque, NM 87506. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens’ Advisory Board, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone: (505) 995-0393; Fax: (505) 989-1752 or Email: menice.santistevan@em.doe.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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