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Issues pertaining to radiation and radioactivity are not static. Regulations change, an item of concern at one facility raises issues of concern at others, public perceptions influence decision-making, and new discoveries are made all the time. Once each day, Plexus-NSD reviews its various sources of information so that we can keep ourselves and our clients constantly and continuously informed.

On a periodic basis, we summarize what we have found and post it at this web site in the "Regulatory Action", the "Press Pieces", and the "Upcoming Events" categories. In the "Plexus-NSD Announcements" section you can read about what our staff has been up to lately, including a description of some of our publications and products, copies of which we would be glad to send to you at no cost. In the "Plexus-NSD e-Newsletters" section is a listing of headlines from recent editions, as well as an invitation to subscribe to this free monthly publication. We encourage you to check back frequently so that you too can keep up on the ever-changing world of radiation and radioactivity.

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September 26, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 26th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 26, 2016 – Utility Dive – House committee votes to lift 2020 deadline on nuclear power tax credit – The House Ways and Means Committee has voted 23-9 on a bill to remove a 2020 deadline for a nuclear power plant tax credit, The Hill reports. The credit, enacted in 2005, will likely benefit the Vogtle nuclear reactors being built by Southern Co. in Georgia and the Summer reactors being built by SCANA in South Carolina. The bill would not change the 6,000-MW cap on the tax credit. Nuclear opponents called the bill a bailout for plant owners who have failed to deliver new reactor projects on time.

September 26, 2016 – FedScoop – Nuke commission operated several systems without authorization – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission operated several national security systems without authorization, potentially making classified information vulnerable or subject to unauthorized disclosure, according to an agency watchdog. The recently released Cybersecurity Act of 2015 audit of the NRC found seven national security systems did not have authorization to operate. The problem stemmed from a “lack of clarity in the agencywide policies and procedures over the systems and no integrated process across relevant offices,” according to the NRC inspector general’s report on its audit findings.

September 26, 2016 – Cartermatt.com – ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ season 8, episode 1 review: Deeks’ proposal to Blye delayed; mole tears unit apart – In the eighth season premiere of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” fans are thrilled to see there might be wedding bells ringing at some point this season. While the unit faces serious scrutiny from the Under Secretary of Defense Corbin Duggan as the mole still hasn’t been found, it hasn’t stopped LAPD Detective Marty Deeks desire to ask Special Agent Kensi Blye’s hand in marriage. The two-hour premiere kicked off with chaos in the squad. The unit is once again under examination for the mole and is being ripped apart piece-by-piece by a Washington investigation unit. Known to keep the team together, even through the tough spots, Agent G. Callen and Agent Sam Hanna keep one eye on the investigation of their unit while focusing on a new case that includes the concerns of international security. A container full of radioactive saline was found by Homeland Security. Traced back to Ahmed Han Asakeem, the saline was being illegally sent to the Middle East.

September 26, 2016 – Medgadget – Gamma Knife Market to expand at a CAGR of 9.1% through 2015 to 2025 – Future Market Insights (FMI) announces the release of its latest report titled, “Gamma Knife Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015 – 2025”. According to the report, the global gamma knife market was valued at US$ 156.8 Mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$ 411.0 Mn by 2025, registering a compound annual growth rate of 9.0% over the forecast period. Global Gamma Knife market growth is majorly driven by rising ageing population, increasing incidence of cancer and increasing prevalence of neurological disorders. By disease indication, brain metastasis cases undergoing Gamma Knife treatment accounts for highest market share as compared to other indications. Painless and non-invasive elective surgeries with high success rate have recently become the treatment of choice. Leading Gamma Knife manufacturers are entering into tie-ups with premium healthcare organisations in developed and emerging economies for setting up Gamma Knife surgery centres and Gamma Knife installations. However, lack of awareness about Gamma Knife treatment, negative perceptions of the radioactive elements and lack of trained professionals to operate these systems are expected to hamper market growth during the forecast period.

September 26, 2016 – San Francisco Bay View – Community welcomes agreement to reexamine radiation risk at Hunters Point Shipyard – In a breakthrough for environmental health and justice, on Sept. 13, 2016, Angeles Herrera of the Superfund Division of the Region IX U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in alliance with Janet Naito, branch chief of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, directed a letter to Lawrence Lansdale, Environmental Director of Naval Facilities Engineering Command stating: “(T)he Navy will not propose any further transfers of Navy property at the HPNS (Hunters Point Naval Shipyard) without results of investigations necessary to clarify the actual potential public exposure to radioactive material at and near the HPNS.”

September 26, 2016 – CCTV – 60th atomic energy conference opens in Vienna – The 60th annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency has started in the Austrian capita, Vienna. IAEA members will deliberate the agency’s work, set priorities and review budgetary matters. At the opening session, Director General Yukiya Amano, reported on the organization’s achievements from the past 60 years. He also highlighted the agency’s role in monitoring the nuclear programs of Iraq, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

September 26, 2016 – PSNews.com.au – Booklet aglow with radiation data – The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has announced the availability of a new booklet explaining radiation and how it affects life on our planet. ANSTO said the United Nations Environment Program had just published Radiation Effects and Sources, to help people understand radiation. “The fully illustrated, 55-page guide is largely based on the findings of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation [UNSCEAR], a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly,” ANSTO said in a statement. “As the foreword explains, while the scientific community has published information on radiation sources and effects, it has tended to be technical and perhaps difficult for the general public to understand.”

September 26, 2016 – News Medical – Hypofractionated RT can reduce treatment time by half in stage II and III NSCLC patients – For patients with stage II and III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) unable to receive standard treatments of surgery or chemoradiation (CRT), hypofractionated radiation therapy (RT) results in similar overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates, limited severe side effects and shorter treatment times when compared to conventional RT, according to research presented today at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). NSCLC is responsible for the most cancer-specific deaths globally, and many of these deaths are associated with the high percentage of patients who present with stage III cancer upon diagnosis. Additionally, due to other medical issues or poor performance status (a measure that considers a patient’s quality of life and ability to function during treatment), some stage III NSCLC patients are unable to receive the standard treatment of concurrent chemotherapy and RT.

September 26, 2016 – All Africa – South Africa: The Nuclear Build Risk Is Not Yours to Take, Mr Molefe – I find it quite alarming and disturbing when Eskom’s CEO, Brian Molefe, issues statements that “South Africa’s nuclear build programme doesn’t need to be funded by the fiscus, and that there are potential financiers who would be willing to take the risk”. Add to this, Eskom’s Executive for Generation, Matshela Koko’s comments that “Eskom can pay for the nuclear programme from projected future cash pile of R150bn over the next 10 years”. We’ve seen this situation play out before, when Sanral thought it could sidetrack the need for Treasury to support the Gauteng freeway upgrades, hatching a privatised funding mechanism supported by an expensive e-toll scheme to suck money from the users to pay for the expensive (overpriced) roadway. The fact that Sanral botched their numbers and expectations has given rise to a failed scheme and this has ultimately become Treasury’s problem to fix. Our problem.

September 26, 2016 – PRNewswire – Susquehanna Nuclear Plans Brief Unit 2 Maintenance Outage – Talen Energy is planning to take a brief maintenance outage on Unit 2 at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., within the next few weeks. As the company has discussed publicly for several years, Susquehanna has been working with the manufacturer of the main steam turbines for both units at the plant to understand and address issues associated with the formation of very small cracks in the metal blades. Susquehanna generates electricity by boiling water to make steam that passes through the turbines, which have many rows of fanlike metal blades. The spinning blades turn a generator that produces electricity.

September 26, 2016 – Belaruse News – IAEA ready to assist developing countries in implementing their nuclear programs – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is ready to assist developing countries in implementing their nuclear programs, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said at the 60th regular session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna on 26 September, BelTA has learned. “Nuclear power should not be the preserve of developed countries. Developing countries should also be able to use it. Nuclear power can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy security, while delivering energy in the large and growing quantities needed for development,” Yukiya Amano said. He noted that some 30 developing countries are considering introducing nuclear power into their energy balance.

September 26, 2016 – Eurasia Review – Preparing For Radiological Emergencies And Terrorism – India is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the terrorist attack on an army camp at Uri. More names have been added to the long list of Indians who have died in incidents that have been conceived and executed with the support of elements in the ‘deep state’ of Pakistan. Given that Rawalpindi shows no inclination to abandon its strategy of inflicting terror on India, one cannot but be prepared to handle acts of terrorism that may breach new thresholds in the future. Preparedness and response for a radiological emergency is, therefore, a task that the country must plan for. A news item in the Times of India of 22 August 2016 reported the conduct of a mock drill to rehearse Indian preparedness for a radiological emergency at an airport. The news was welcome for two reasons.

September 26, 2016 – Information Nigeria – Do You Know These Interesting Facts About Bananas? – 1. Banana used for cooking is called plantain. 2. Bananas grow in at least 107 countries. 3. If you think wines are made with grapes and apples, you should know that Banana wine and Banana beer are one of the most delicious tasting alcoholic beverages. 4. Scarlet Banana, Blue Banana, Pink Banana, Snow Banana and False Banana are some of its interesting varieties. 5. Banana is naturally radioactive and in fact ‘banana equivalent dose of radiation’ is used in measuring radioactivity.

September 26, 2016 – Vermont Public Radio – State Scales Back Emergency Plan For Shuttered Vermont Yankee Plant – The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security says it is reducing its emergency planning around the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. When VY was fully operational, the department ran frequent drills in the towns surrounding the plant. But without active nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee, there’s less risk of radiation emergency, according to Glenn Herrin, the emergency planning zone planner and training coordinator for the Radiological Emergency Response Program. Herrin and Planning Section Chief Scott Carpenter talked about the state’s new emergency plans at a meeting of the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel in Brattleboro on Thursday evening.

September 26, 2016 – The State – Exclusive: Recurring problems cited at Westinghouse nuclear plant – An internal review of a Columbia nuclear fuel factory has identified multiple problems with how the site has been managed for atomic safety through the years. The report, compiled by plant operator Westinghouse, says the company wasn’t always tough-minded enough about safety and it didn’t ensure employees knew enough about nuclear safety while operating some of the factory’s equipment. Westinghouse’s report cited “long standing deficiencies’’ that led to a buildup of uranium in excess of federal nuclear safety standards in part of the Bluff Road plant.

September 26, 2016 – Augusta Chronicle – Savannah Remediation recognized for safety efforts – The liquid waste contractor at Savannah River Site has been recognized for its safety efforts. Savannah River Remediation was awarded the 2016 Star of Excellence, and two SRR employees were recognized with Safety and Health Achievement Awards at the 32nd annual National Voluntary Program Participants’ Association annual conference held recently in Kissimmee, Fla. The association is a nonprofit organization working to drive safety, health and environmental excellence.

September 26, 2016 – Fox 13 News – Class action lawsuit filed against Mosaic for sinkhole – A class action lawsuit has been filed against Mosaic after a massive sinkhole opened up, leaking 215 million gallons of “slightly radioactive” water into the Florida aquifer. Attorneys at Morgan and Morgan law firm say they are investigating and are asking those who have questions about the safety of the drinking water to contact them. The lawsuit seeks financial retribution for residents who live within a 5 mile radius of the New Wales facility.

September 26, 2016 – Fremont News Messenger – Davis-Besse back in service after shutdown – The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station returned to service Thursday morning after a rainwater leak forced the plant to shut down Sept. 10. FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young said the plant went back in service at 10:27 a.m. Thursday. Young said that during a heavy rain storm, water leaked through the plant’s turbine building roof vents into a breaker box and affected electrical components in the building. Plant workers normally open the roof vents during hot weather to keep the turbine building cool, Young said.

September 26, 2016 – Detroit News – Close nuclear plants, watch carbon emissions soar – Nuclear power accounts for more than 60 percent of the nation’s carbon-free energy, but in the past few months, due to an abundance of low-cost natural gas, utilities have announced plans to shut down six safe and efficient nuclear plants. And many other plants are at high risk of early retirement. Nationally, and in Michigan, there has been growing concern about carbon emissions and how to address the issue. While the focus has been on “renewable sources” such as emission-free solar and wind power, it is important to remember that nuclear power is not only nonpolluting but reliable, supplying electricity around the clock. In Michigan, three nuclear plants produce 26 percent of the state’s electricity. It is important to think about how to coordinate the expansion of solar and wind power with the U.S. fleet of nuclear plants.

September 26, 2016 – Idaho Statesman – Energy Department: E. Idaho radioactive cleanup moving ahead – The U.S. Department of Energy says workers have successfully removed and packaged about 10,000 cubic yards of exhumed hazardous and radioactive waste stored for decades at the department’s 890-square-mile site in eastern Idaho. The department in a statement Thursday says the waste generated from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production plant near Denver, Colorado, was buried in Idaho in the 1950s and 1960s. Removing the waste from the site that also contains the Idaho National Laboratory is part of a deal the department made with Idaho in 2008.

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September 22, 2016 – 81 FR 65412-65413 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Information Collection: NRC Form 327, “Special Nuclear Material (SNM) and Source Material (SM) Physical Inventory Summary Report,” and NUREG/BR-0096, “Instructions and Guidance for Completing Physical Inventory” – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) invites public comment on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval for an existing collection of information. The information collection is entitled, NRC Form 327, “Special Nuclear Material (SNM) and Source Material (SM) Physical Inventory Summary Report;” and NUREG/BR-0096, “Instructions and Guidance for Completing Physical Inventory.”

September 22, 2016 – 81 FR 65349-65350 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Oak Ridge Reservation – This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Oak Ridge Reservation. 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 12, 2016; 6:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Department of Energy Information Center, Office of Science and Technical Information, 1 Science.gov Way, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Melyssa P. Noe, Alternate Deputy Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, P.O. Box 2001, EM-942, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. Phone (865) 241-3315; Fax (865) 241-6932; Email: Melyssa.Noe@orem.doe.gov. Or visit the Web site at www.energy.gov/orssab. 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.

September 22, 2016 – 81 FR 65349 – DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee – This notice announces a meeting of the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register. DATES: Friday, October 28, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Hilton Washington DC/North Gaithersburg, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, (301) 977-8900. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda L. May, U.S. Department of Energy; SC-26/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: (301) 903-0536 or email: brenda.may@science.doe.gov. The most current information concerning this meeting can be found on the Web site: http://science.gov/np/nsac/meetings/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to provide advice and guidance on a continuing basis to the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on scientific priorities within the field of basic nuclear science research.

September 22, 2016 – 81 FR 65359-65360 – DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – Food and Drug Administration; Technical Electronic Product Radiation Safety Standards Committee; Notice of Meeting – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces a forthcoming public advisory committee meeting of the Technical Electronic Product Radiation Safety Standards Committee. The general function of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on FDA’s regulatory issues. The meeting will be open to the public. DATES: The meeting will be held on October 25, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and October 26, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ADDRESSES: Gaithersburg Holiday Inn, Ballroom, Two Montgomery Village Ave., Gaithersburg, MD 20879. The hotel’s telephone number is 301-948-8900. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm. Agenda: The general function of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations to the Agency on the technical feasibility, reasonableness, and practicability of performance standards for electronic products to control the emission of radiation from such products, and may recommend electronic product radiation safety standards to the Agency for consideration.

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September 22, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 22nd, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 22, 2016 – Nature World News – How the Earth’s ‘Hardiest Animal’ Could Pave Way to Radiation-Resistant Humans, Life on Mars – Researchers have discovered the secrets of tardigrades, the world’s “hardiest animal,” and how these water bears could survive extreme temperatures and radiation. Could humans one day survive X-ray and Mars? According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo has found a specific kind of protein that protects the tardigrades’ DNA. Tagged as “Dsup” (short for “damage depressor”), the said protein envelopes the animal’s DNA This breaks previous scientific assumptions that tardigrades survive radiation and extreme conditions by having the ability to repair the damage done on their DNA.

September 22, 2016 – Financial Express – Cows in Fukushima radiation zone find new purpose – In an abandoned Japanese village, cows grazing in lush green plains begin to gather when they hear the familiar rumble of the ranch owner’s mini-pickup. This isn’t feeding time, though. Instead, the animals are about to be measured for how they’re affected by living in radiation – radioactivity that is 15 times the safe benchmark. For these cows’ pasture sits near Fukushima, a name now synonymous with nuclear disaster. The area was once a haven for agriculture with more than 3,500 cattle and other livestock. Ranchers who refused a government order to kill their cows continue to feed and tend about 200 of them. The herds won’t be used as food; now science is their mission.

September 22, 2016 – NetworkWorld – Cisco: Yes, cosmic radiation could have caused router bug – Yesterday we reported on the reaction to a Cisco bug report that speculated “partial data traffic loss” on the company’s ASR 9000 Series routers was possibly triggered by “cosmic radiation causing SEU soft errors.” Reaction to that contention on a Reddit forum ranged from the obvious — acknowledgment that cosmic radiation is an issue — to sharp-tongued skepticism and tales of the cosmic radiation villain being used as a tongue-in-cheek place-holder meaning “we really don’t know what caused the problem yet.”

September 22, 2016 – All Africa – No Nuclear By 2035 Could Mean Another Power Crunch – If South Africa doesn’t have nuclear power by 2035, the country will be in the same position as in 2008 when there was a serious shortage of power supply, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said on Wednesday. Molefe was part of an Eskom delegation who briefed Parliament on the power utility’s tariff increase for 2016/17 and its amended pricing structure for municipalities. He was responding to a question from an MP, who asked him to elaborate on the cost slippage and delays of Eskom’s build programmes.

September 22, 2016 – National Review – Hillary Takes the Nuclear-Energy Option – Amid the avalanche of criticism aimed at Hillary Clinton in recent weeks about Pneumonia-gate, the Clinton Foundation, and her never-ending e-mail troubles, the Democratic nominee actually made an important policy statement, one that puts her directly at odds with America’s biggest environmental groups as well as her own party’s platform. What did Clinton do? She endorsed nuclear energy. In a candidate questionnaire published in the September 13 issue of Scientific American, she said that addressing climate change is “too important to limit the tools available in this fight. Nuclear power . . . is one of those tools.” She went on, pledging to make sure that the “climate benefits” of existing plants are “appropriately valued,” adding that she will “increase investment in the research, development and deployment of advanced nuclear power.”

September 22, 2016 – Idaho Statesman – ‘Interim storage’ of nuclear waste no real solution for Idaho – In the face of Nevada’s adamant opposition to the Yucca Mountain repository for spent nuclear fuel and the lack of needed land and water rights, in 2015 the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission declined to issue a construction permit for the disposal facility. Even if construction were to begin, working through the mountain of legal opposition would take years. So, the Department of Energy is beginning to develop a consent-based approach for siting interim and permanent disposal facilities for the nation’s spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. This year the department held meetings around the country, including one in Boise. The public input has now been summarized online at.energy.gov/ne/consent-based-approach.

September 22, 2016 – New Hampshire Union-Leader – Hazmat team called to Keene High School – A radioactive material in the science lab at Keene High School caused a scare at the school Wednesday.The Keene Fire Department was notified at 10:36 a.m. of a possible hazardous materials incident at the school. Initially, firefighters evacuated the second floor wing of the building as a precaution until the hazardous material response team evaluated the situation, city officials said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. The personnel entered the area with radiological monitoring equipment.Personnel from the NH Radiological Health Office eventually determined that the source of the radiation was Cesium 137, which was located in a science lab. Cesium 137 is used for demonstration purposes in the science labs, according to officials.“The readings at the source were found within permissible limits outside the box. The source, however, was removed from the area and taken off site to prevent any further occurrence or alarm,” officials said.

September 22, 2016 – electronics-eetimes.com – Swiss researchers develop cost-effective gamma ray detector material – A research team from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Sciences (EMPA) and the ETH Zurich university has developed monocrystals of lead-halide perovskites that can be used to measure radioactive radiation at very high accuracy. The achievement could enable significantly lower prices for gamma ray detectors – for scanners in security areas, for wearable dosimeters in nuclear power plants and for medical test and diagnosis equipment. Experiments showed that monocrystals of lead-halide perovskites made from aqueous solutions or from cost-effective solvents have the same quality like the cadmium telluride semiconductors in use today – whereas the production process for the latter is far more complex and thus expensive.

September 22, 2016 – Horizon-Magazine.eu – Augmented reality could let us see radiation – SOFT Prize winner Jonathan Naish – Engineers at the Joint European Torus (JET) nuclear fusion experiment could be using augmented reality through Microsoft’s HoloLens technology to see where radiation hotspots are, according to Jonathan Naish, at the UK’s Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, who has developed an award-winning system to check exposure using virtual reality.‘For this VORTEX project, we were concerned about the gamma radiation after the upcoming … campaign (to perform a reaction at JET in 2017). To get a better understanding of the radiation fields calculated from computational models, complex 3D radiation data has been integrated with (computer-aided design) models to form a virtual reality environment using the HTC Vive (virtual reality headset). ‘When the headset is put on and the controllers picked up, an operator can walk around a virtual model of the reactor to practice scenarios. So if there is a piece of the machine that needs fixing, or equipment needed to be retrieved from the machine whilst it’s radioactive, we can plan this procedure and see how much radiation would be received by an operator in a virtual environment.

September 22, 2016 – Sputnik International – Russian Armata Tank Becomes Impervious to Depleted Uranium Shells – A new modification of an active protection system designed by Russian scientists has effectively made the Armata tank impervious to depleted uranium armor-piercing discarded sabot (APDS) shells. © Sputnik/ Evgeny BiyatovCloak of Darkness: Russia Testing Unique Smokescreen for Armata TanksThe Afganit active protection system Russia uses to shield its tanks is capable of protecting an armored vehicle from various types of anti-tank rockets and grenades, incoming from all directions. Now however, scientists from the KBP Instrument Design Bureau have taken it to a whole new level by making the Afganit system capable of intercepting and destroying depleted uranium armor-piercing discarded sabot shells (APDS), according to the Russian newspaper Izvestia.

September 22, 2016 – The Japan News – Decommissioning of Monju reactor must not disrupt nuclear fuel cycle – The nuclear fuel cycle is a cornerstone of Japan’s nuclear energy policy. The cycle must not be derailed. The government has decided to thoroughly overhaul its plans for the development of a fast reactor. It will consider options including decommissioning the Monju fast breeder nuclear reactor. A “fast reactor development council” including representatives from electric power companies and manufacturers will be established to discuss the issue, and will make a final decision before the end of the year.

September 22, 2016 – Nikkei Asian Review – Japanese manufacturers lead the way in particle-beam cancer treatment – Responding to growing worldwide demand, Japanese companies are at the forefront of developing new types of cancer radiation therapies. In particle-beam radiotherapy protons or carbon ions are accelerated to almost light speed and focused on cancer cells. Compared with conventional X-ray radiotherapy, the new method can target a tumor precisely, with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. X-rays are at their most powerful near the surface and weaken as they move inside the body. However, they run the risk of damaging healthy organs as they pass through to malignant tissue. Particle-beam therapy systems can increase the level of precision using the distribution characteristics of the radiation dose absorbed by the body.

September 22, 2016 – Napoleon Northwest Signal – Activists: Old uranium mines polluting Angostura – Members of three activist groups say recent research shows that abandoned uranium mines are contributing to elevated uranium levels in Angostura Reservoir in the southern Black Hills. The research was recently published in the journal Environmental Earth Sciences by authors that included two South Dakota School of Mines & Technology scientists, Rohit Sharma and James Stone. The article is titled “Stream sediment geochemistry of the upper Cheyenne River watershed within the abandoned uranium mining region of the southern Black Hills.”

September 22, 2016 – NorthJersey.com – Why should radon be on my radar during my home search? – Q: Because of a job relocation, I’m considering a move to the northern New Jersey. Coming from South Jersey, radon was not an issue when I bought our first home. Now that I am looking here, I’m being told about radon. What exactly is radon and should I be concerned with high levels in this part of the state? A: Susan, northern New Jersey is a beautiful place to live and work. Welcome. Radon, which has always been a part of our environment in New Jersey, is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soil in varying concentrations. The gas typically accumulates in enclosed places, such as a house, but its presence, even in high concentrations, cannot be detected by human senses because the gas is invisible and has no odor. Hence, when buying a home in New Jersey, it is advisable to have a radon test to determine exposure levels. If levels are elevated, you would be urged to consider remediation. For the most part, communities in northern New Jersey have low potential for radon as determined by a Tier-level system put in place by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

September 22, 2016 – BDLive – Nuclear waste less lethal than solar – NEIL Overy’s long, wrong article (Where will SA put lethal nuclear waste? September 20) shows he does not understand even the basic physics of the subject. Nuclear waste presents less of a problem than the waste of any other energy technology, including solar, wind and coal. All leave “lethal” wastes that remain dangerous forever. These include arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. Only nuclear has procedures for storing its waste safely, which is easy to do since it is tiny in volume, solid and stable. Vaalputs in the Northern Cape that now takes our low and medium-level radioactive waste with complete safety, could take all our high-level waste (spent fuel) safely too. There is no technical problem; it just needs political permission.

September 22, 2016 – NewsMaker – Nuclear air filtration industry size is anticipated to exhibit potential growth from 2016 to 2023 – Nuclear air filtration market size is anticipated to exhibit potential growth from 2016 to 2023. Rising safety concerns regarding emission of radioactive particles is expected to drive industry growth over the forecast period, with the global industrial air filtration market size expected to exceed USD 6.7 billion by 2023. Nuclear power plant and equipment market is likely to exceed USD 67.3 billion by 2020. These systems play vital role in nuclear power plants, as it completely relies on proficient filtration of water, air as well as process fluids for efficient operation. Proliferating demand of these filters from nuclear industries is estimated to positively impact nuclear air filtration market growth. In addition, implementation of these filters also aids in enhancing reliability and also assures safety.

September 22, 2016 – Wall Street Journal – EDF Warns on Profit as Nuclear Plant Outages Increase – State-controlled power utility Electricite de France cut its earnings outlook on expectations of lower nuclear output from an increase of plant outages, sending its share price down. EDF, which last week got the go-ahead from the British government to build the £18 billion ($23.4 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the U.K., said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between €16.3 billion ($18.3 billion) and €16.6 billion. It previously had forecast a range of €16.3 billion to €16.8 billion. The company had already lowered its nuclear output forecast in July, but had maintained its earnings target.

September 22, 2016 – E&T – Costly Japanese prototype nuclear reactor shuts down – The Monju nuclear reactor in Japan, which has operated for less than a year in more than two decades at a cost of 1tn yen (£7.6bn), is set to be scrapped. The prototype fast-breeder reactor was designed to burn plutonium from spent fuel at conventional reactors to create more fuel than it consumes. The process is appealing to a country whose limited resources force it to rely on imports for virtually all its oil and gas needs. But Tokyo believes it would be difficult to gain public support to spend several hundred billion yen to upgrade the Monju facility, which has been plagued by accidents, missteps and falsification of documents.

September 22, 2016 – Cache Valley Daily – Nuclear power may be an option for Logan City in the future – It won’t happen right away, but there is a chance that Logan residents will someday utilize nuclear power. Members of the Logan Municipal Council agree that is a decision that would be up to the public to decide. At Tuesday’s council meeting, the group discussed a recent seminar hosted by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems where the organization’s Carbon Free Power Project was discussed. Council Chairman Herm Olsen said if Logan wants to it could become involved in a proposed development of a small modular reactor, or SMR, at the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Olsen said it would be at least nine to 10 years before anything was generated.

September 22, 2016 – Mondaq – NY Creates New Emissions Credit For Nuclear Plants – The New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Clean Energy Standard (CES), adopted in August, includes a new emissions credit—the ZEC. The ZEC, or zero-emissions credit, is the first emissions credit created exclusively for nuclear power. The ZEC is the result of a highly politicized effort to support New York’s struggling nuclear power plants. New York’s four nuclear plants account for 31 percent of the state’s total electric generation mix. According to the PSC, “losing the carbon-free attributes of this generation before the development of new renewable resources between now and 2030 would undoubtedly result in significantly increased air emissions due to heavier reliance on existing fossil-fueled plants or the construction of new gas plants to replace the supplanted energy.” The ZEC Program is intended to keep the state’s nuclear plants open until 2029 and provide an emissions-free bridge to renewable energy.

September 22, 2016 – Business Standard – India seeks loan from U.S. for nuclear reactors, snags remain – India is negotiating with U.S. Export-Import Bank for an $8-9 billion loan to finance six Westinghouse Electric nuclear reactors, two sources familiar with the talks said, although a lending freeze at the trade agency threatens progress.

September 22, 2016 – Lexology – House Committee Approves Nuclear Production Tax Credit Extension – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee approved H.R. 5879, a bill to extend the production tax credit for new nuclear power plants. It would remove any deadline on awarding the 6,000 MW of nuclear capacity available under the tax credit. The Committee commented that the bill “ensures the effective operation of the tax credit for nuclear energy production.” From here H.R. 5879 will continue to move through the legislative process, hopefully soon to the House floor.

September 22, 2016 – Asharq Al-Awsat – Argentina Looking Forward to Boosting Nuclear Energy Cooperation with KSA – Argentina is seeking to boost its cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the field of nuclear energy, transform the agreement signed between the two countries in 2011 on peaceful use of nuclear energy into action and work on increasing Saudi investment and trade exchange to build a promising future of bilateral strategic cooperation, according to an Argentine diplomat. Argentina’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jaime Sergio told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We hope our strategic relations with Saudi Arabia would reach their highest levels in different political and economic fields.” Sergio said that the agreement between the two countries on using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was signed between King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) and Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services of Argentina.

September 22, 2016 – Los Angeles Daily News – Looking for place to dump nuclear waste? Ask the public – There are barbs about “mobile Chernobyls” and “floating Fukushimas,” fears of “coerced consent” and “economic racism,” and deep philosophizing about the nature of “consent” itself. Is such a thing is possible when generations unborn will be impacted by decisions made today? “‘Consent’ to dump nuclear waste in America’s back yard is not going to be approved by the American people no matter how your PR strategists massage the lipstick on that pig,” David Osinga told the U.S. Department of Energy in an email. The DOE’s latest idea for figuring out where to stash millions of pounds of nuclear waste garnered more than 10,000 comments from concerned citizens nationwide, according to documents released last week. And while many disagree vehemently on the particulars, they are largely united on one point: After decades of dithering, the federal government must finally take action on its long-broken promise to permanently dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel.

September 22, 2016 – Newburyport Daily Press – NRC wants more information from Seabrook nuclear plant – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is requiring more information from NextEra Energy Seabrook nuclear power plant officials before it reviews the plant’s recently filed amendment to its 20-year license extension request. After years of research, the nearly 400-page Aug. 1 amendment deals with a concrete issue that has dogged the plant ever since its 2009 request to the NRC to have its operating license extended from 2030 to 2050. The condition, known as alkali-silica reaction, or ASR, was identified and reported to federal regulators by Seabrook Station staff in 2009. Discovered first in the reinforced concrete walls in a plant electrical tunnel about 40 feet below ground, ASR was later found in concrete walls throughout the plant. A slow chemical reaction between the alkaline cement and reactive silica found in some concrete aggregates when moisture is present, ASR forms a gel in the concrete that expands, causing micro-cracks that can affect concrete properties and cause deformation of walls.

September 22, 2016 – CapeCod.com – Cape Downwinders to Appeal State House Ban Restriction – On September 9, Mary Conathan, Doug Long and Diane Turco were arrested for participating in a sit-in in the Governor’s offices. The group refused to leave the office until Governor Charlie Baker addressed concerns about the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth and were charged with trespassing. The station is set to close by June 2019.

September 22, 2016 – Aiken Standard – In new letter, S.C. says DOE has no plans to ship transuranic waste out of Savannah River Site through July 2017 – A letter entered this week into the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility federal case indicates the U.S. Department of Energy has no plan for shipping transuranic waste out of South Carolina through July 31, 2017. The letter was entered into court records by the South Carolina counsel in its case against the Energy Department. In its address to the judge, the state’s counsel points to a declaration submitted during the case which expressed a potential pathway out of the Palmetto State for transuranic waste, or TRU waste, based upon the expected opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, in New Mexico. The semi-annual letter from the DOE is inconsistent with that declaration.

September 22, 2016 – Sarasota Herald Tribune – Lyons: Mosaic? You mean that environmental organization? – The Sierra Club’s Andre Mele says he has been talking for a while about filing a federal lawsuit against Mosaic, the multibillion-dollar phosphate mining company whose logo and ads he sees everywhere. That lawsuit wouldn’t necessarily be about the massive environmental degradation caused by Mosaic. It would involve the Federal Communications Commission, of all things. The suit he would love to file would charge Mosaic with flagrantly false advertising. I so get that. That company’s ads and public relations efforts are wonderfully effective. They show happy Mosaic employees proudly reciting the “I am Mosaic” mantra, often while doing something cool to protect the environment.

September 22, 2016 – WIZM 1420 AM – As nuclear plant near La Crosse gets decommissioned, residents express worries – A nuclear power plant located just 20 miles from La Crosse was shut down three decades ago but much of the Dairyland Power Cooperative reactor at Genoa is still standing. That will change over the next few years, as it is being decommissioned – something neighbors of the facility are concerned about. “People are concerned about the removal of the radioactive waste and the transportation of it,” Bruce Watson, a chief at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said.

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September 21, 2016 – 81 FR 64955-64956 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Shipping, Receiving, and Internal Transfer of Special Nuclear Material – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment Draft Regulatory Guide (DG) DG-5051, “Shipping, Receiving, and Internal Transfer of Special Nuclear Material.” This DG would consolidate in one document NRC guidance concerning the material control and accounting requirements pertaining to shipments, receipts, and internal transfers of special nuclear material. The DG is part of the NRC’s “Regulatory Guide” series. This series was developed to describe and make available to the public information regarding methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific parts of the NRC’s regulations, techniques that the staff uses in evaluating specific issues or postulated events, and data that the staff needs in
its review of applications for permits and licenses.

September 21, 2016 – 81 FR 64954-64955 – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION – Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation for Earthquakes – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment draft regulatory guide (DG)-1332, “Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation for Earthquakes.” This DG is proposed Revision 3 of Regulatory Guide 1.12, “Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation for Earthquakes.” The NRC proposes to revise the guide to incorporate advances in seismic instrumentation and operating experience since Revision 2 of RG 1.12 was issued in 1997. The proposed revision describes the seismic instrumentation criteria, including instrumentation type, locations, characteristics, and maintenance, that the NRC staff considers acceptable for nuclear power plants.

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September 21, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 21st, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 21, 2016 – BooksLive.co.za – Glowing all the way to the grave: Michele Magwood reviews The Radium Girls – It usually started with their teeth. Young female factory workers in the United States were complaining of toothache, and it being early in the last century, when cosmetic dentistry was unheard of, the problem teeth were simply removed. But their mouths didn’t heal, and more teeth were rotting. The dentist in Newark, New Jersey, was confounded, until the day he tried to remove yet another tooth from a young woman’s mouth, and her entire jawbone came away in his hand. The patient’s name was Mollie Maggia and she worked at the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation. When she died soon afterwards, the doctors insisted the cause was syphilis. In this gripping account of appalling corporate malfeasance and awing courage, Kate Moore presents a roll call of the bright young things who went to work in the factories producing luminous dials for clocks and watches and also for military instruments. The job was well-paid and glamorous. The paint they used contained radioactive radium, which made it glow.

September 21, 2016 – ABC Action News – Mosaic apologizes for not notifiying community sooner about sinkhole and radioactive water – After a massive sinkhole drained millions of gallons of radioactive water into the Floridan aquifer, Mosaic executives are coming forward saying that they handled the situation poorly. Tuesday morning, two of the company’s executives took responsibility for not notifying the public sooner of the crisis. “I deeply regret and apologize that I didn’t come forward and communicate with them sooner. Any explanation that I could provide as to why we didn’t do that, to me would ring hollow,” said Walter Precourt, Mosaic Senior Vice President of Phosphates, to the Polk County Commissioners.

September 21, 2016 – Albawaba – Rio’s Olympic X-ray machines to be reused in Brazil’s jails – X-ray machines and metal detectors used in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are set to be recycled in jails across Brazil, according to the country’s Justice Ministry. It said scanners with a total value of 44.6 million reais (13.6 million dollars) were due to be moved to jails in the coming weeks. The state of Sao Paulo alone was set to receive 66 x-ray machines and 170 metal detectors from the Games. Brazil’s jails are notorious for high levels of crime and drugs.

September 21, 2016 – Progressive.org – How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming – Supporters of nuclear power like to argue that nukes are the key to combatting climate change. Here’s why they are dead wrong. Every nuclear generating station spews about two-thirds of the energy it burns inside its reactor core into the environment. Only one-third is converted into electricity. Another tenth of that is lost in transmission. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists: Nuclear fission is the most water intensive method of the principal thermoelectric generation options in terms of the amount of water withdrawn from sources. In 2008, nuclear power plants withdrew eight times as much freshwater as natural gas plants per unit of energy produced, and up to 11 percent more than the average coal plant. Every day, large reactors like the two at Diablo Canyon, California, individually dump about 1.25 billion gallons of water into the ocean at temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the natural environment.

September 21, 2016 – HealthDay – More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there’s enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. “The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement,” said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines.

September 21, 2016 – Fuel Fix – Firing at Energy Department prompts criticism from Congress – Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, long a critic of the Obama administration’s treatment of climate change as a scientific priority, wants to know whether the Department of Energy terminated one of its scientists for going “off message” during a congressional briefing two years ago. The subject this time was not climate change, but the health impacts of low doses of radiation – something humans are routinely exposed to in everyday life and the Department of Energy had moved to cease researching. But in 2014 House Republicans were pressing the energy department to increase research into low doses of radiation – towards better understanding the impacts in the event of a “dirty bomb” containing radioactive material or to workers at nuclear plants or medical imaging facilities. When a government biologist studying radiation was terminated after giving a briefing to congressional staff that she said went against instructions to downplay the importance of the research, Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, of which Smith is chair, launched an investigation.

September 21, 2016 – Business Tech – If we don’t go nuclear, SA will face 2008-level power crisis: Molefe – If South Africa doesn’t have nuclear power by 2035, the country will be in the same position as in 2008 when there was a serious shortage of power supply, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said on Wednesday. Molefe was part of an Eskom delegation who briefed Parliament on the power utility’s tariff increase for 2016/17 and its amended pricing structure for municipalities. He was responding to a question from an MP, who asked him to elaborate on the cost slippage and delays of Eskom’s build programmes.

September 21, 2016 – WBUR 90.9 – Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Gas Release Ignites Outrage From Plymouth Fire Chief – Earlier this month, hydrogen gas built up in the generator room at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. The amount of gas was beyond the federal allowable limit and had to be released into the air. Hydrogen gas is highly flammable — and potentially explosive. It’s what blew up the reactors at Fukishima Japan. And while plant officials knew about the hydrogen release, the coastal town’s fire chief said he is outraged that he was not notified beforehand. ‘We Should Have Got An Email Or A Phone Call’ “In order to protect the public safety — which is my job — I need to have to get as much information about what is going on as I can possibly get,” said Ed Bradley, chief of the Plymouth Fire Department.

September 21, 2016 – Tech Central – Eskom’s Molefe pushes the case for nuclear – A nuclear build programme for South Africa doesn’t need to be funded by the fiscus. There are enough potential financiers who would be willing to take the risk, said Eskom CEO Brian Molefe on Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of a parliamentary meeting, Molefe said he doesn’t believe a nuclear build programme would put a significant burden on the fiscus. Molefe said he had not asked national treasury to consider making provision for any nuclear costs for the medium term. “It’s possible for nuclear to finance itself. Asking the fiscus for money is going overboard. We should be able to arrange some kind of funding for nuclear energy.”

September 21, 2016 – Newsday – Growing criticism over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to subsidize New York’s nuclear plants – In recent weeks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tirelessly defended his Clean Energy Standard plan that forces taxpayers and electric customers to bail out the state’s failing nuclear energy industry. The governor should save his breath. The controversial scheme, which Cuomo and state regulators approved in August without the consent of state lawmakers, has been hailed as a model for other states to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But critics rightly view the Clean Energy Standard (CES) a raw deal for electric ratepayers and taxpayers that amounts to little more than an indefensible corporate welfare racket.

September 21, 2016 – International Business Times – Pakistan refuses to curb nuclear programme despite US insistence – Pakistan on Wednesday reportedly refused to comply with the request by the United States to limit its nuclear programme. The development comes just a couple of days after Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja M Asif said in an interview to Pakistani channel Geo TV’s Saleem Safi that the country would not think twice before exercising nuclear option if there was any threat against it. Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Maleeha Lodhi, was quoted by Pakistani media as saying in New York that the country’s nuclear programme would not be restricted. She also said that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had, in his interaction with US Secretary of State John Kerry, impressed upon him that India should also be held to the standards being set for Pakistan.

September 21, 2016 – Sputnik International – Nukes of Hazard: 180 Mishaps Befall UK Nuclear Convoys – Anti-nuclear campaigners say that the regular transportation of nuclear weapons across the UK is putting lives at risk. Military convoys carrying nuclear materials have suffered collisions, breakdowns and brake failures.There have been at least “180 mishaps in 16 years” involving military convoys carrying nuclear bombs around the UK. That’s the startling news according to a “Nukes of Hazard” report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), published on Wednesday (September 21). The report, based on Ministry of Defense logs released due to Freedom of Information requests, reveals that materials for nuclear weapons are driven through or flown over 122 separate local councils in the UK. They include densely-populated areas in major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle.

September 21, 2016 – GBTimes – Hinkley Point nuclear plant unites China and France – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French President Francois pledged on Tuesday to ensure the implementation of the UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project, as well as enhance cooperation in third-party markets. The two countries reached the consensus on the side-lines of a series of UN conferences in New York City. The Hinkley Point nuclear project is Britain’s first nuclear power plant in two decades. It will be co-built by China General Nuclear Power Corp., which has a one-third stake, and French state-owned company EDF. During their talks, Li hoped all those concerned could work together to deliver a smooth partnership on the nuclear power program while at the same time calling for China and France to boost their cooperation.

September 21, 2016 – Penn Energy – Reporters get rare look at SC nuke reactor project – Reporters are getting a rare look at some of the first nuclear reactors of their kind to be built in the U.S. in more than 30 years. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and Santee Cooper are building two new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. The reactors are slated to come online in 2019 and 2020. Reporters get a look on Wednesday. The project has continued to cost more for SCE&G power customers. SCE&G is seeking a 3.1 percent residential raise that would be the largest single rate increase since it began charging its 700,000 customers for construction.

September 21, 2016 – The Mercury News – Storing nuclear waste: Is ‘consent’ OK when future generations can’t weigh in – There are barbs about “mobile Chernobyls” and “floating Fukushimas,” fears of “coerced consent” and “economic racism,” and deep philosophizing about the nature of “consent” itself. Is such a thing possible when generations unborn will be impacted by decisions made today? “‘Consent’ to dump nuclear waste in America’s back yard is not going to be approved by the American people no matter how your PR strategists massage the lipstick on that pig,” David Osinga told the U.S. Department of Energy in an email. The DOE’s latest idea for figuring out where to stash millions of pounds of nuclear waste garnered more than 10,000 comments from concerned citizens nationwide, according to documents released last week. And while many disagree vehemently on the particulars, they are largely united on one point: After decades of dithering, the federal government must finally take action on its long-broken promise to permanently dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel.

September 21, 2016 – Sentinel-Tribune – Latta legislation to modernize nuclear technology approved by House – Bipartisan legislation authored by Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, to modernize the nation’s nuclear technology has been approved by the U.S House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 4979, the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act, requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to establish a framework for issuing licenses for advanced nuclear reactor technology and requires the NRC to submit a schedule for the implementation of the framework by 2019. Approximately 50 companies have invested over $1 billion in nuclear power technology, but the lack of a regulatory framework to license this technology has said to threaten continued investment and implementation. “Nuclear power must play a significant role in American energy policy for our nation to become truly energy secure, and the future of the nuclear industry needs to start now,” Latta said. “It is imperative that we develop the right regulatory framework so advanced nuclear technologies can be developed, licensed, and constructed here in the United States. The Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act will help the U.S. remain a leader in the nuclear industry and continue to develop clean, reliable power.”\

September 21, 2016 – The Bahamas Weekly – IAEA Receives US $3.96 Million from the United States to Boost Fight against Zika-transmitting Mosquitoes – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will receive a contribution of US $3.96 million from the United States to step up work on a nuclear technique to suppress mosquitoes spreading Zika and other viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The United States announced the grant at a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna today. The U.S. Department of State grant will enable the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to significantly accelerate research and development activities to refine the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)—an insect birth control method—in order to assist countries affected by Zika.

September 21, 2016 – ChemEurope.com – Single crystal measures radioactivity – A research team at Empa and ETH Zurich has developed single crystals made of lead halide perovskites, which are able to gage radioactive radiation with high precision. Initial experiments have shown that these crystals, which can be manufactured from aqueous solutions or low-priced solvents, work just as well as conventional cadmium telluride semi-conductors, which are considerably more complicated to produce. The discovery could slash the price of many radio-detectors – such as in scanners in the security sector, portable dosimeters in power stations and measuring devices in medical diagnostics.

September 21, 2016 – WIZM 1410 AM – Genoa plant still has residual radioactivity needing decontamination – A nuclear power plant located just 20 miles from La Crosse was shut down three decades ago but much of the Dairyland Power Cooperative reactor at Genoa is still standing. That will change over the next few years, as it is being decommissioned – something neighbors of the facility are concerned about. “People are concerned about the removal of the radioactive waste and the transportation of it,” Bruce Watson, a chief at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said. Watson was speaking to about a dozen people at a public meeting about the project. Within a few weeks, demolition will begin on the tall smokestack next to the old reactor building.

September 21, 2016 – Tech Radar – Nuclear fusion: what’s taking so long? – It could provide a cheap, safe, clean, abundant and reliable source of energy for mankind, but nuclear fusion has so far remained tantalisingly out of reach. Despite being a theoretical replacement for both fossil fuel and nuclear fission energy production for over 60 years, nuclear fusion still hasn’t become commercially possible in power stations. So what’s taking so long?

September 21, 2016 – Tennessee Journalist – UT Science Forum tackles nuclear energy – Dr. Stephen Skutnik, Assistant Professor at UT’s department of Nuclear Engineering says that the future of nuclear energy depends on if it’s viewed as trash or a treasure. Skutnik addressed multiple forms of proposed storage methods such as geologic disposal, hydrogeologic disposal, ice sheet disposal and more outlandish solutions such as extraterrestrial and volcanic disposal. Although scientists have the ability to store used fuel for decades, it is not seen a viable permanent solution. According to Skutnik, geologic disposal is the only feasible option at this time. It involves storing the radioactive elements deep underground long enough to “run out the clock” on the materials so they are no longer radioactive.

September 21, 2016 – Beyond Nuclear – We almost lost Detroit but we’ve still got Fermi 1 – On October 5 it will be 50 years since the Fermi 1 prototype liquid metal fast breeder reactor, located near Monroe, MI, suffered a loss of coolant accident and partial meltdown that narrowly missed turning into a major catastrophe, as recounted in John Fuller’s landlmark book, We Almost Lost Detroit. But as a warning to those who think a shut down reactor then vanishes, the Fermi 1 reactor (pictured) still sits on site, essentially mothballed. Beyond Nuclear will be participating in events next month in Detroit to mark the anniversary and expose the fact that emergency planning, while no longer virtually non-existent as it was 50 years ago, remains woefully inadequate and deeply flawed.

September 21, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – Hanford whistleblowers awarded $216,000 in back pay, compensation – Two Hanford whistleblowers have been awarded $216,000 in back pay and compensation, plus interest and attorney fees, after being suspended from their jobs by Computer Sciences Corp. The decision by a U.S. Department of Labor administrative law judge followed a six-day trial in Kennewick that began in November after the company appealed an earlier decision. The whistleblowers were represented by Hanford Challenge, a Seattle-based worker advocacy group for the nuclear reservation, and an additional attorney.

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