web analytics

Information Directory

Reference Directory

July 11, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

July 11, 2016 – Corvallis Gazette-Times – Depleted uranium at Wah Chang refinery led to decades of health woes – The ATI metals refinery in Millersburg — still widely known by its former name, Wah Chang — plays a crucial role in the U.S. nuclear energy industry, producing highly purified zirconium to contain the radioactive uranium that powers many of the nation’s civilian nuclear reactors as well as those that drive the Navy’s nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. But for two years in the early 1970s, Wah Chang played a role in the darker side of America’s nuclear history: reprocessing depleted uranium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. Most workers at the Albany area plant were never told about the uranium on the site or warned to take any extra precautions. But, according to a government analysis, hazardous levels of residual radiation from that depleted uranium remained on the site for nearly 40 years after the reprocessing job was done — and hundreds of Wah Chang employees paid for it with their health. Some may have paid with their lives.

July 11, 2016 – The Examiner – Calls for Indian Pt. Closure, Pipeline Halt Outside Cuomo’s House – Advocates of renewable energy held an early Sunday evening vigil outside of the New Castle residence of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. They called for the construction to cease on the Spectra AIM Pipeline and for Indian Point nuclear power plant to be closed. About 100 renewable energy advocates held a vigil outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s home early Sunday evening urging the governor to take immediate steps to shut down three projects and facilities they argue accelerate climate change. The roughly hour-long interfaith vigil attracted opponents of Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, the Spectra AIM Pipeline being built through northern Westchester that would transport natural gas derived from hydraulic fracturing and the CPV power plant in Orange County that is under construction.

July 11, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – Practice makes perfect for moving Hanford’s radioactive sludge – A large, but little-used Hanford building has taken on a second life, smoothing the way for the challenging task of removing radioactive sludge from underwater containers near the Columbia River. The K West Basin, where the sludge is stored, and the 28,000-square-foot Maintenance and Storage Facility, or MASF, are on opposite ends of Hanford. But MASF, built to support the defunct Fast Flux Test Facility, has been reconfigured to duplicate key areas of the K West Basin and its newly built annex for safely removing sludge from the basin. “We actually built a basin in this building,” said Neal Sullivan, director of the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. sludge treatment program, during a tour of MASF. “It was a concrete floor.”

July 11, 2016 – Eurek Alert – Observing the Pauli Exclusion Principle by Slowly Colliding Atomic Clouds – University of Otago physicist Niels Kjærgaard and his team have used extremely precisely controlled laser beams to confine, accelerate and gently collide ultracold atomic clouds of fermionic potassium. This allowed them to directly observe a key principle of quantum theory, the Pauli Exclusion Principle. This principle predicts a forbidden zone along a meridian of the spherical halo of scattered particles, which the Otago experiments indeed unveiled.

July 11, 2016 – Greenville Daily Reflector – Greene County schools test negative for radon – Greene County’s schools have tested negative for radon. One of the few school systems in the state to conduct radon testing, Greene County Schools partnered with the county health department in the 2015-16 academic year to test six of its facilities. Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally as a decay product of radium. Radon seeps from ground soil, generally in rocky regions. “High radon levels leave people at risk for lung cancer just as much as second-hand smoke,” Michael Rhodes, director of the Greene County Health Department, said.

July 11, 2016 – Motherboard – Radiation From Ancient Supernovae May Have Given Evolution an Astrophysical Push – According to new research by astrophysicists at the University of Kansas, Earth’s early biology was tested repeatedly by fierce gusts of cosmic wind originating from twin supernovae some 300 million light-years from Earth. For weeks, the night sky may have glowed with eerie blue light while Earth’s animals received radiation doses equivalent to roughly one CT scan for every creature living on land or in shallower water. The cosmic rays would have been enough to ionize the planet’s troposphere, possibly contributing to a minor mass extinction linked to global cooling. The group’s work is published in Monday’s issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. As noted by the paper’s lead author, physicist Adrian Melott, the findings were unexpected. “I was expecting there to be very little effect at all,” he offered in a statement. “The supernovae were pretty far way—more than 300 light years—that’s really not very close.”

July 11, 2016 – Jagran Josh – Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant attains criticality – Kudankulam Nuclear Power PlantThe second reactor of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) attained criticality at 8.56 PM on 10 July 2016. On commencing the First Approach to Criticality (FAC) on 8 July 2016 by withdrawing the control rods from the reactor, boron dilution started a few hours later to allow neutron concentration to go up, which eventually led to the criticality of the reactor. The KKNPP had submitted its reports to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and received the nod for criticality after the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change experts inspected the second unit. They submitted their report to the Supreme Court.

July 11, 2016 – Baystreet.ca – Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation Partners with Versant Medical Physics and Radiation Safety – Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (or “AMI”) (OTC: ADMD), a late stage radiation oncology focused medical device company today announced that it has partnered with Versant Medical Physics and Radiation Safety company to provide dosimetry expertise to support development of the Company’s brachytherapy devices. Versant, a provider of comprehensive medical physics consulting services, will provide AMI with expert scientific and technical support on dosimetry, which is the calculation and assessment of the radiation dose received by the human body, for AMI’s medical devices.

July 11, 2016 – Daily Mail – Owners of Greenham Common’s nuclear bunkers hope to swap mushroom clouds for mushrooms – It was once used to house the West’s deadly arsenal of nuclear weapons, but the new owners of Greenham Common’s bunkers are hoping to swap mushroom clouds for mushrooms. The site hit the headlines in the 1980s when hundreds of women blockaded the RAF base in protest at the storage of US cruise missiles there, with many chaining themselves to its fence. Now Flying A Services, which bought the site in 2002, is hoping to rent out the bunkers to raise money to develop a Cold War museum. Property agent Quintons is searching for occupiers for the six bunkers at the former RAF station near Newbury, Berkshire, in a bid to bring in £500,000 per year.

July 11, 2016 – ENPI-info.eu – Nuclear safety in Armenia: EU presents results of stress test – The European Nuclear Safety Regulation Group has published the results of the stress test peer review exercise conducted in Armenia in June 2016 by a team of 10 EU experts. The exercise was requested from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy by the Armenian authorities. The EU experts studied Armenia’s National Report on nuclear safety presented by the country’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority following similar nuclear stress test it conducted in 2015. The findings of the EU experts can be found here. After the Fukushima accident in 2011, the EU has been a world leader in carrying out comprehensive risk and safety assessments (stress tests) of its nuclear power reactors, the European Nuclear Safety Regulation Group report said. In 2011, three Eastern Partnership Countries (Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine) expressed their willingness to undertake on a voluntary basis comprehensive risk and safety assessments (‘stress tests’), taking into account the specifications agreed by the European Commission and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) on 24 May 2011, the report added.

July 11, 2016 -Kyodo News Service – Opponent of nuclear power elected governor of Kagoshima – Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono was elected governor of Kagoshima Prefecture on Sunday, beating incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who agreed to the resumption of reactors at a power plant in the prefecture. “I want to make Kagoshima a prefecture that takes on challenges with a positive mindset,” Mitazono, 58, said Monday. The former TV Asahi commentator ran as an independent backed by the main opposition Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party, as well as some conservatives who typically support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but were opposed to the incumbent.

July 11, 2016 – Herald Express – Children affected by Chernobyl nuclear accident have visited South Devon for recuperation break – CHILDREN whose lives have been affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986 have been given the opportunity to visit Devon for one month, with the hope of increasing their life expectancies by three years. The children from Belarus, which suffered from the fall-out caused by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, will be staying with host families in Devon for a month thanks to British charity, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.

July 11, 2016 – Orlando Sentinel – Retired nuclear worker fascinated by silent films – Richard St. Amant recalled that the single year he went to college was a good one. “It taught me that college was not for me,” said St. Amant, 77. “I went on to other types of endeavors.”
He worked at Detroit Edison for 40 years in power plants — conventional and nuclear. He retired as a shift supervisor and moved to The Villages, where he says his creative right brain caught up with the more logical left. St. Amant has been sharing his interest in the silent film era through power-point presentations, and then there’s the eight musicals he has produced in The Villages.

July 11, 2016 – BT.com – William presents awards in nuclear submarine’s ‘bomb shop’ – The Duke of Cambridge has presented newly qualified submariners with their Dolphin awards – in a nuclear submarine’s “bomb shop”. William, commodore-in-chief, submarines, last week privately toured HMS Artful, an Astute class submarine, the most advanced and powerful attack sub operated by the Royal Navy. The warship, commissioned earlier this year, had returned to the UK following a successful trial period in the western Atlantic. While on board the vessel in the Clyde estuary last Tuesday, the Duke presented 14 newly qualified submariners with their Dolphins, marking their passing of rigorous classroom and sea-based assessments, followed by a stringent examination board.

July 11, 2016 – Defense News – Russia Offers India Nuclear Aircraft Carrier – Russia has offered its nuclear aircraft carrier, dubbed “Storm,” to India for purchase, a senior Indian Navy official said. The offer comes as India and the US discuss the transfer of technology for India’s future nuclear aircraft carrier, the INS Vishal. A diplomat with the Russian Embassy confirmed that a Russian team visiting India last week made the offer. Krylov State Research Center (KSRC), a Russian shipbuilding research and development institute, is designing the carrier, also known as Shtorm or Project 23000E.

July 11, 2016 – Presna Latina – India Actives New Nuclear Reactor to Generate Electricity – The second unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu state, was successfully activated, today announced installation sources. The reactor went into operation at 20:56 local time on Sunday, told IANS news agency the director of both stations, H.N. Sahu. According to plans, the goal is to connect the reactor to the national distribution network of electric power in a period from four to six months. Like the first reactor, already in operation, the new unit will have a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

July 11, 2016 – On Line Opinion – Bill Gates and other billionaires backing a nuclear renaissance – Let’s for a second imagine a world without nuclear energy. That’s a tough one but let’s try. No nuclear bombs, of course, no Chernobyl and Fukushima, no worries about Iran and North Korea. A wonderful world, maybe? Probably not, because without nuclear energy we would have burned millions more tons of coal and billions more barrels of oil. This would have brought about climate change of such proportions that what we have today would have seemed negligible. Nuclear energy and uranium, which feeds it, are controversial enough even without any actual accident happening. Radioactivity is dangerous. Nobody is arguing against it. When an accident does take place, the public backlash is understandably huge. What many opponents of uranium forget to mention, however, are the benefits of nuclear energy and the fact that the statistical probability of serious accidents is pretty low. They focus on the “What if?” and neglect the other side of the coin. But let’s try to see both sides of the issue.

July 11, 2016 – Oracle Dispatch – Why the reactor from Indian Point was closed? – The reasons for closing the reactor are unknown. It was very unexpectedly. Westchester County has two reactors with nuclear energy in the Energy Center of Indian Point. One of them was recently closed. It was shut down just after the workers began to test the electrical systems this Wednesday. The owner of this plant is the Entergy Corp. It released an official statement just after Unit 2 closure. The spokesperson of the Corp, Patricia Kakridas has assured the press that employees do not need any medical attention and there was no radioactivity noticed. The reactor was closed by its own automatically system at 9.30 in the morning. The main mystery is this reactor is programmed to do that only if there is something unexpected happening. The spokeswoman confirmed that there is an investigation, and experts are trying to understand the reason of shutdown. It was unplanned, according to official data. And it is the first closure for this reactor in 2016 year. However, during 2015 year, Unit 3 reactor has three shutdowns during a year. Each time it has different causes.

July 11, 2016- Earth Island Journal – New Documentary Investigates Nuclear Power from New York to Fukushima – Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest that the “past is prologue.” In an irony of history, a filmmaker whose grandparents were so-called “atomic spies, and the only American civilians electrocuted by the US government during the Cold War, is now trying to shutdown a nuclear power plant in New York. Ivy Meeropol is the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for espionage on June 19, 1953 for allegedly passing A-bomb secrets to the Soviets. She is the daughter of Michael Meeropol, who — after his parents’ death — was adopted by songwriter Abel Meeropol, composer of the 1936 anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” famously sung by Billie Holiday and the pro-integration song “The House I live In.” Ivy Meeropol previously directed 2004’s Heir to an Execution, an extremely personal HBO film that examined the case of the Rosenbergs, whose contentious electrocution took place at New York’s Sing Sing prison — only 10 miles from the nuclear Indian Point Energy Center. The Brooklyn-born, Massachusetts-raised Meeropol’s absorbing, incisive, new documentary Indian Point investigates this 1960s-built nuclear power facility, which sits just 35 miles north of New York City and is currently working to relicense two of its reactors. It also probes the 2012 ousting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s chairman, Gregory Jaczko, who was accused of bullying and intimidating employees, plus the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, triggered by a 2011 earthquake and tidal wave that caused meltdowns and the release of radioactive isotopes at the Japanese nuclear power plant.

July 11, 2016 – Vineland Daily Journal – COMMENTARY: Nuke plants at risk, and that hurts climate – America’s nuclear plants are at risk. In 2013, the U.S. had 104 operating nuclear plants. Since then, a dozen have closed or announced plans to shut down. These productive nuclear plants are not closing because they’re old or unsafe, but rather for economic reasons. If we don’t act, and nuclear plants continue to close, the consequences will be significant for the economy, for customers and for the environment. Fortunately, we in New Jersey have a chance to respond before it’s too late for our nuclear fleet, which provides almost half of the state’s energy.

July 11, 2016 – Quad City Times – Exelon notifies grid operator of impending closure – Bill Stoermer, communications manager for Exelon’s Quad-Cities Generating Station near Cordova, talks in June about the company’s announcement that it will move forward to shut down the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Illinois, nuclear plants, given the lack of progress on Illinois energy legislation. Exelon Generation announced Thursday that it has formally notified grid operator PJM Interconnection of its plans to retire the Quad-Cities Generating Station in Cordova on June 1, 2018. The step is the latest of several procedural notifications that Exelon is required to make prior to closing the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Ill., nuclear stations. The notification comes two weeks after Exelon formally notified the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its decision. After a long campaign of warning the plants could be retired prematurely without legislative reform, Exelon announced June 2 it decided to close the nuclear plants given the lack of progress on the proposed Illinois legislation.

July 11, 2016 – Carlsbad Current-Argus – Exercise at WIPP provides realistic training – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant personnel were put to the test on June 22, when a day-long exercise simulated an underground fire and radiological release. The annual exercise was overseen by more than 100 external evaluators who assessed the performance of WIPP Safety Management programs, a news release from the Department of Energy said. More than a dozen federal, state and local organizations participated, including the Department of Energy Headquarters Emergency Management Team, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security, the Eddy County Emergency Operations Center, Carlsbad Medical Center and the Carlsbad Fire Department.

July 11, 2016 – Telluride Daily Planet – County readying comments on uranium ablation – The San Miguel County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday met with opposing sides in a debate over a new uranium processing technology that could be used at mines in the county. The county is readying comments on possible regulation of the new technology, called ablation, to be submitted to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment by July 22. County attorney Steve Zwick said the CDPHE is considering six options for regulating the uranium ablation technology. The first would defer regulation to the state Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety; Zwick indicated the county likely would not recommend that option. The other five options represent varying degrees of CDPHE oversight of the technology.

July 11, 2016 – Post Register – New contractor sets cleanup priorities at nuclear facility – For Fred Hughes, it’s déjà vu. Hughes, president of cleanup contractor Fluor Idaho, recently began his fourth tour living and working in eastern Idaho. His stints at the U.S. Department of Energy’s desert site began in the mid-1980s, working for a U.S. Navy contractor. He returned in the 1990s to manage several waste facilities, only to leave and return again in the early 2000s to oversee construction of a facility known as the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. Now Hughes, 61, is back once more to lead the entire $1.4 billion cleanup operation that employs roughly 1,700. Fluor’s responsibilities combine what was previously handled by two government contractors — Idaho Treatment Group and CH2M-WG Idaho, or CWI. The work includes everything from cleanup of toxic and radioactive contamination to managing and watching over spent nuclear fuel.

July 11, 2016 – Los Angeles Times – Edison calls settlement that left consumers on hook for $3.3 billion reasonable – Southern California Edison on Thursday warned that its customers could face higher costs related to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant if regulators overturn a settlement agreement. In an 80-page filing with the California Public Utilities Commission, Edison argued that the agreement reached over San Onofre’s closure should stand based on past legal precedent involving other settlement agreements and the normal process of closing power plants. The utility’s filing was its first detailed response to an order that could lead to full reconsideration of the settlement agreement, which left consumers on the hook for $3.3 billion to permanently close the nuclear plant in 2013.

July 11, 2016 – Business Wire – Nuclear Plant Settlement Ensures that SCE Customers Do Not Pay for Mitsubishi’s Faulty Steam Generators – The settlement of the San Onofre nuclear plant closure appropriately requires that Southern California Edison customers do not pay for failed equipment provided by Mitsubishi that prompted the closure, SCE said in a filing today with the California Public Utilities Commission. “We believe this public process will allow interested parties to review the settlement and confirm for themselves that it should stand” SCE’s submittal responds to a May 9 ruling to reopen the record of the San Onofre settlement reached in 2014 by SCE, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and consumer, environmental and labor advocates. “We believe this public process will allow interested parties to review the settlement and confirm for themselves that it should stand,” said Ron Nichols, president of SCE. “This process also gives SCE an opportunity to demonstrate our continued commitment to openness and transparency.”