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January 11, 2016 – Press Pieces

On January 11th, 2016, posted in: Uncategorized

January 11, 2016 – Yahoo News 7 – The NSW Fire Commissioner has said Australia’s most common smoke alarm should be banned; Other experts have claimed the flawed alarms have failed to save thousands of lives – In the last year more than 4000 NSW homes have caught alight. Now experts are ringing alarm bells about our first line of defence – the smoke alarm. “The ionisation alarm should immediately be banned,” said Adrian Butler from the World Fire Safety Foundation. There are two types of alarm: photoelectric and ionisation.

January 11, 2016 – The Recorder – Deadline near to join Vt. Yankee challenge – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given Massachusetts and two neighboring states more time to make the case about why they should be allowed to join Vermont and its largest electric company in challenging how Entergy Nuclear is spending the Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund. The NRC gave Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut until Jan. 15 to respond to counter-challenges filed late last month by Entergy and by extension, NRC staff members. The states say they are worried about nuclear power companies using decommissioning funds to pay normal expenses such as property taxes and legal bills, thus shifting responsibility for radiological cleanup of nuclear power plants to the states and their electric ratepayers.

January 11, 2016 – Agenda.ge – State Security Department: “Criminal group detained for selling of radioactive material” – Georgia’s State Security Department has detained an alleged criminal group for possible illegal handling and selling of radioactive substances. According to the body the criminal group, consisting of three Georgian citizens, was planning to sell nuclear material Cesium 137, worth of $100, 000 USD, and were detained on the fact. The nuclear material has been seized.

January 11, 2016 – AzoOptics.com – Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer Successfully Integrated Onboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft – Who can say they’ve been to an asteroid and back? In 2023, more than 50 MIT students may claim this feat, at least through the activities of a small, shoebox-sized instrument named REXIS (Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer). The instrument, which was designed and built by students from MIT and Harvard University, will be one of five instruments flying aboard NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), the first U.S. mission to retrieve and return an asteroid sample to Earth. This week, NASA announced that REXIS was successfully integrated onboard the spacecraft, bringing the mission one step closer to its scheduled launch next September.

January 11, 2016 – medGadget – Atomic Spectroscopy Market Expected to Expand at a Steady CAGR through 2025 – Future-Market-Insights79Study of electromagnetic radiations that is emitted or absorbed by atoms is known as atomic spectroscopy.When electrons are excited, they move from higher valence bond to lower valence bond and emit radiations (emission). However, a relaxed electron moves from lower valence bond to higher valence bond resulting in absorption of energy.

January 11, 2016 – Corvus Business – Scotiabank Analysts Reduce Earnings Estimates for Cameco Co. (CCJ) – Cameco logoCameco Co. (NYSE:CCJ) – Stock analysts at Scotiabank decreased their FY2016 EPS estimates for Cameco in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, according to Zacks Investment Research. Scotiabank analyst O. Wowkodaw now expects that the firm will earn $1.13 per share for the year, down from their previous forecast of $1.22. The consensus estimate for Cameco’s FY2016 earnings is $1.11 per share. Scotiabank also issued estimates for Cameco’s Q4 2016 earnings at $0.31 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $1.30 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $1.31 EPS.

January 11, 2016 – KUNC – Colorado Doesn’t Require Radon Testing, But You Should Consider It – Only one of the fastest growing counties in Colorado requires new homes to be built with a system to mitigate a cancer causing gas. “Surprisingly the entire state of Colorado is what we call red zone for radon. Typically statewide about 50 percent of homes test above the [Environmental Protection Agency] action level of 4 picocuries per liter, so we’re pretty high risk all around the state,” said Colorado radon program manager Chrystine Kelley. Health officials estimate that about 500 Coloradans die every year from radon induced lung cancer.

January 11, 2016 – Daily Mail – Black hole mystery solved? Stephen Hawking claims ‘soft electric hair’ could explain how information escapes from the abyss – Just when you thought the world of black holes couldn’t get any more bizarre, Professor Hawking has claimed the destructive chasms may contain coatings of what he has called ‘soft electric hair’. Last year, the physicist revealed black holes were not the ‘eternal prisons’ many think them to be, and it is possible for data to escape from the abyss. The 74-year-old has now expanded this theory in a recently published scientific paper, and said the answer lies in the zero-energy particles, or ‘soft hair’, that sit on the black hole’s horizon.

January 11 2016 – PRNewswire – Varian ProBeam Proton Therapy System First to Receive Saudi FDA Authorization – Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has announced today its ProBeam® proton therapy system is the first such system to receive Saudi FDA medical devices marketing authorization. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to make life-saving proton therapy treatments available to cancer patients in this region,” said Moataz Karmalawy, general manager of Varian’s particle therapy business. Proton therapy makes it possible to treat certain types of cancer more precisely and with potentially fewer side effects than with conventional radiation therapy. With proton therapy, the risk of damage to healthy tissues is reduced. The method can be applied for many of the most common types of cancer and offers advantages when treating tumors close to radiosensitive tissues. In pediatric patients the risk of developing a new, radiation-induced cancer later in life can be reduced.

January 11, 2016 – Executive.gov – DOE National Lab Seeks to Address CBP Radiation Detectors’ Nuisance Alarms – The Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a new method to help the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency reduce the number of nuisance alarms that radiation portal monitors produce at various U.S. ports of entry. PNNL said Jan. 4 the Revised Operational Settings approach works to optimize the settings of RPMs through the use of alarm algorithms that are considered to be selective energy-sensitive. CBP uses RPMs at various ports of entry to screen bags, cargo and mail for threatening radiological materials.

January 11, 2016 – World Nuclear News – IAEA to review Japan’s regulatory system – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today started a peer review mission in Japan to assess its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. The IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission to Japan will take place between 11 and 22 January, the IAEA said in an 8 January statement. At the request of Japanese authorities, the 24-member team meet with staff of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), observe regulatory activities and visit nuclear-related sites. They will also meet with other Japanese officials. IRRS missions are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the national radiation safety regulatory infrastructure, while recognizing the responsibility of each member state to ensure nuclear and radiation safety. The missions compare regulatory technical and policy issues with IAEA safety standards and, where appropriate, good practices elsewhere.

January 11, 2016 – Mirror.co.uk – China checking hundreds of people for radiation poisoning after North Korean nuclear bomb tests – China is testing hundreds of people for radiation poisoning following North Korean nuclear bomb tests. More than 500 government examiners were mobilised along the country’s border with Kim Jong-Un’s rogue state. North Korea said it had carried out a fourth nuclear test last week – but so far China has found nothing untoward. The secretive country’s testing angered both the United States and China, which was not given prior notice, though the US government and weapons experts doubt the North’s claim that the device it set off was a hydrogen bomb.

January 11, 2016 – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – $12.8 billion Darlington nuclear refurbishment to be announced today – Ontario Power Generation will unveil plans today for a $12.8-billion refurbishment of four nuclear reactors at the Darlington generating station east of Toronto. The Canadian Press has learned the Liberal cabinet has given approval to start the rebuild of the first reactor this fall, and OPG will have to come back to the government for approval of each subsequent reactor refurbishment project. Sources familiar with the announcement say the final budget includes a $1.7 billion contingency fund in case of cost-overruns on the $4.5 billion portion of the project done inside the reactor itself — the nuclear science work deemed as “subject to execution risk” versus the fixed contracts for the majority of the supporting infrastructure.

January 11, 2016 – The Independent – Kim Jong-un asks North Korean scientists to make better Nuclear bombs – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looked Monday to milk his country’s recent nuclear test as a propaganda victory, praising his scientists and vowing more nuclear bombs a day after the U.S. flew a powerful nuclear-capable warplane close to the North in a show of force. A standoff between the rival Koreas has deepened since last week’s test, the North’s fourth. Seoul on Monday continued anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts across the border and announced that it will further limit the entry of South Koreans to a jointly run factory park in North Korea.

January 11, 2016 – GreenTechMedia – After Nuclear Plant Closure, Natural Gas Fills in the Gap: A Worrying Sign of Things to Come? – ISO-New England (the nonprofit independent entity that ensures the reliability of the electric grid in New England) publishes data that shows daily generation by fuel type. That data shows that in 2014 (the last year of Vermont Yankee’s operation), natural-gas-fired generators supplied 43.1% of the energy in New England, while nuclear provided 34%. In 2015 (the first year since 1972 without Vermont Yankee), natural-gas-fired generators supplied 48.6% of the energy in New England, while nuclear provided 29.5%. The bottom line is that without Vermont Yankee, nuclear’s carbon-free contribution to the New England electric grid fell by 5.3 million megawatt-hours in 2015 compared to 2014.

January 11, 2016 – Syracuse.com – Nuclear plants aren’t as ‘green’ as industry claims – It is easy to see the nuclear power industry is desperate. Their latest deception is that running nuclear stations does not contribute to climate change. Increasingly we see commentaries in newspapers from representatives of the industry asserting that nuclear power is some sort of a green energy. This is nonsense. The entire nuclear fuel cycle from mining and milling uranium, transportation of radioactive materials, uranium enrichment, and fuel fabrication, all involve heavy use of fossil fuels. Constructing nuclear stations is also fossil fuel intensive as are stabilizing and cleaning up nuclear catastrophes (Chernobyl and Fukushima). Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent directive that the state Public Service Commission should consider treating nuclear power as renewable electricity is ridiculous. Doing so would retard the much-needed transition to increased conservation and energy efficiency. and safe, renewable electricity sources.

January 11, 2016 – WBFO – Ignoring security concerns, nuclear waste shipments will proceed over Peace Bridge – Federal regulators are moving ahead with plans to ship nuclear waste from Canada across the Peace Bridge, drawing outrage from Congressman Brian Higgins. Higgins, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, calls the Department of Energy’s disregard for the potential impact on the Buffalo area “astonishing.” He says the DOE is using outdated information to determine the threat assessment. “In the post-9/11 era the Peace Bridge is high-impact target for potential terrorist activity. And when you’re carrying 150 truck shipments between Canada and the United States of highly enriched uranium it becomes that much bigger of a target,” Higgins said.

January 11, 2016 – Knoxville News-Sentinel – A boost for Oak Ridge cleanup – There’s good news for the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program in Oak Ridge. After the dust settled on the federal budget for the rest of Fiscal Year 2016, it looks like Oak Ridge will get a significant boost in funding for cleanup activities. Mike Koentop, executive officer of DOE’s Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management, said the Oak Ridge allotment is $473.8 million. That’s up significantly from the 2015 spending level of around $430 million and way above the Obama administration’s initial request of about $365 million for FY 2016.

January 11, 2016 – Oil Price – Nuclear Power Plants Appear Safe From Flooding In Midwest And South – Heavy rains have brought historic floods to the St. Louis region on the eve of the New Year, causing the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers to overflow. The high water levels are traveling south, potentially bringing major flooding to Mississippi and Louisiana. That raises the question about the safety of the nuclear power plants located in the vicinity of the floods. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is closely watching the situation, but the nuclear watchdog said that it does not expect the floods to adversely affect any of the plants. In a January 5 update, the NRC ran through some of the specific reactors located in the flooding zone.

January 11, 2016 – Midwest Energy News – Vote expected next week on lifting Wisconsin nuclear moratorium – NUCLEAR: Wisconsin lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill next week to lift the state’s moratorium on new nuclear plants.

January 13, 2016 – Albuquerque Journal – WIPP to reopen in 2016, DOE official says – An Energy Department official says a southeast nuclear waste repository could reopen by the end of the year. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has been shut to waste emplacement since an underground fire and unrelated radiation release in February 2014. WIPP is the final burial ground for certain Cold War era defense nuclear waste. Todd Schrader, manager of DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office, said at a Carlsbad town hall meeting on Thursday that WIPP operations could restart in “late 2016.” Jim Blankenhorn, recovery manager for site contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership, said WIPP plans a “cold start” in February in which employees will practice working under new safety regulations established in the wake of the February 2014 incidents.

January 11, 2016 – Wyoming Business Report – Lance Project makes first uranium delivery – Penninsula Energy’s Lance Projects, an in situ recovery (ISR) uranium operation on the north-east flank of the Powder River Basin, has completed its first delivery of uranium oxide. In-situ uranium recovery operations began from the Ross Permit Area of the Lance Projects after the company received authorization from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Dec. 2, 2015. According to a company release, production well flow-rates continue to be very good, uranium is being recovered and a second header house is being commissioned. Phase One full production will see a total of seven header houses in operation. “Penninsula has four significant uranium concentrate sale and purchase agreements in place for a major portion of production over the first five years of operations,” said John (Gus) Simpson, Penninsula’s managing director and CEO.

January 11, 2016 – Idaho Statesman – Former Idaho nuke exec sentenced to 30 months – A Meridian woman was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in federal prison for securities fraud involving an Eagle company that purported to be a nuclear power-plant developer. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Jennifer R. Ransom, 41, to forfeit $580,780 and pay $116,138 in restitution to victim-investors. A federal grand jury in November 2014 indicted Ransom, the former vice president of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., and her business and romantic partner, AEHI founder and president Don Gillispie, on 14 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, filing false tax returns and making false statements to federal agents.