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July 12, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

July 12, 2016 – Chicago Tribune – House bill would compensate Zion for storage of ‘stranded’ nuclear waste – U.S. Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., has introduced a bill that would compensate Zion and other communities that have served as storage facilities for nuclear waste. Exelon’s Zion Nuclear Power Station has housed about 1,020 metric tons of used nuclear fuel since it closed in 1998, according to a news release from Dold. In 2002, it was determined the fuel would be moved to the Yucca Mountain storage facility, which has not yet opened. Dold said Zion is one of 13 communities across the country storing nuclear fuel from a closed power plant. The Stranded Nuclear Waste Accountability Act would compensate Zion more than $15 million annually for seven years, an expiration date Dold said he hopes will push elected officials to find a long-term solution.

July 12, 2016 – Northumberland Today – Ground broken on storage mound in Port Hope – The Port Hope Area Initiative joined with its governmental and corporate partners last week for the official ground breaking on the construction of the storage mound at its long-term low-level radioactive waste-management facility. This occasion marked the start of construction of the first cell of the engineered above-ground mound where historic low-level radioactive waste will be safely stored for hundreds of years, the PHAI press release said.

July 12, 2016 – IConnect007 – Supercomputers Fire Lasers to Shoot Gamma Ray Beam – Ever play with a magnifying lens as a kid? Imagine a lens as big as the Earth. Now focus sunlight down to a pencil tip. That still wouldn’t be good enough for what some Texas scientists have in mind. They want to make light even 500 times more intense. And they say it could open the door to the most powerful radiation in the universe: gamma rays. Comic book readers might know about gamma rays. The Incredible Hulk was transformed from mild scientist into wild superhero by gamma rays from a nuclear explosion. The real gamma rays form in nature from radioactive decay of the atomic nucleus. Besides hazardous materials, you’d have to look in exotic places like near a black hole or closer to home at lightning in the upper atmosphere to find natural forces capable of making gamma rays. Scientists have found that gamma rays, like the Hulk, can do heroic things too — if they can be controlled. Hospitals now eradicate cancer tumors using a ‘gamma ray knife’ with surgical precision. The rays can also image brain activity. And gamma rays are used to quickly scan cargo containers for terrorist materials.

July 12, 2016 – Times & Star – Nuclear submarine waste is not going to Sellafield – Campaigners are celebrating the news that large amounts of radioactive waste from nuclear submarines will not be heading to West Cumbria. The Ministry of Defence has announced that the Sellafield site will not be selected from a shortlist to store intermediate-level waste from 27 soon-to-be-dismantled Royal Navy subs. Both Copeland Council and the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholders Group (WCSSG), which scrutinises the nuclear industry locally, had objected to Sellafield being chosen, claiming that the move would have produced “no benefits for the site or the local community”. Capenhurst, in Cheshire, has instead been named as the MoD’s preferred site.

July 12, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Radioactive chemical found in Washington Lake – There are apparently more than just PFOS and PFOA contaminants in Washington Lake, Newburgh’s main water supply. City Manager Michael Ciaravino revealed at Monday night’s city council meeting that a radioactive chemical has also been found in the lake. “What I have learned is that when you cut granite, certain radioactive emissions occur in the granite. There is one called strontium, which has been detected in previous water samples,” he said. “We have asked the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to examine the relationship between this granite cutting concern and some of the other contaminants that have yet to be identified in our drinking water.”

July 12, 2016 – RnR Market Research – Global Nuclear Decommissioning Market 2016 Analysis and Forecast to 2020 – According to the nuclear decommissioning market report, a key growth driver is the worldwide shutdown of older reactors. At times, the upgradations asked to run the reactors tend to be too expensive to keep the reactors working. This normally is the case with older nuclear reactors that are already nearing the end of their lifetime. The research analyst predicts the global nuclear decommissioning market to grow at a CAGR over 2% during the forecast period. The global nuclear decommissioning market analyst says continuing trend which will have a positive impact on market growth is international cooperation to ensure nuclear safety. The dependence on nuclear power plant is reduced over a period owing to the disasters such as Fukushima and Chernobyl. Organizations such as the IAEA, the OECD’s NEA, and the commission of the European communities share the experience, technology, and the knowledge about decommissioning among various countries.

July 12, 2016 – Associated Press – Workers at some Hanford tanks stop in dispute over vapors – A coalition of labor unions on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state stopped work Monday at some of the radioactive waste tank farms because of health concerns over chemical vapors. The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council issued a “stop work” order at the double-walled tanks that contain dangerous wastes from the past production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Dave Molnaa, president of the council, said workers are demanding that they be supplied with bottled air when they perform work at any of the tank farms. Currently, bottled air is required only when working among the older, single-walled underground tanks where most of the vapor episodes have occurred.

July 12, 2016 – AzoOptics.com – The T1030sc thermal imaging camera from FLIR Systems offers a unique combination of top performance, accuracy and a wide array of advanced features – The T1030sc features a rich set of hardware, software, and optical innovations each tailored to take advantage of its extraordinarily sensitive 1024 X 768 HD-IR detector. High fidelity images are created using FLIR’s OSX™ Precision HDIR optics which features a precision ultrasonic autofocus capability. The combination of the high resolution detector and the variety of OSX lenses available allow users to view problems from longer distances and with greater accuracy, promoting better safety and more efficient workflow. The T1030sc offers a thermal sensitivity of < 20 mK (NETD), more than twice the industry standard and wide temperature operating ranges with calibrations up to 2000°C. Its FLIR OSX™ Precision HDIR Optical System features an ultrasonic drive, ambient temperature drift compensation, and parasitic radiation protection. July 12, 2016 - Knoxville News-Sentinel - Provision wins certificate of need battle for Dowell Springs radiation center – For more than four years, Provision Radiation Therapy has treated patients in the Dowell Springs medical complex off Middlebrook Pike — while various courts considered whether the practice was fulfilling a valid need in the area. Now the Tennessee Court of Appeals has affirmed Provision’s state-granted certificate of need, overturning a 2014 Davidson County Chancery Court decision that reversed the state’s decision to grant the certificate of need to the center, legally “East Tennessee Radiation Therapy Services” and owned by the nonprofit Provision Trust. Provision applied for the original certificate of need to install a linear accelerator in August 2011; it was granted in December 2011, and the center began treating patients in August 2012.

July 12, 2016 – City A.M. – EDF takes big bite out of Chinese wind energy developer – Embattled French utility giant EDF has taken a majority stake in UPC Asia Wind Management. The firm’s renewables unit, EDF Energies Nouvelles, paid an undisclosed amount for a stake in the Chinese company which develops and builds wind projects. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that EDF is selling its coal trading operation, which helps supply coal-fired power stations across Europe. It follows earlier reports that the company was mulling a sale of its British gas and coal plants to invest more in nuclear energy.

July 12, 2016 – Wales Online – Developers of Wylfa Newydd nuclear station have a ‘desire’ to use the local supply chain and workforce – The joint venture behind the development of Wylfa Newydd has said there is a “desire” to use the local supply chain and workforce. Horizon Nuclear Power contracted Menter Newydd as the joint venture created to help deliver its lead nuclear build project on the Island. Comprising Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Bechtel Management Company, and JGC Corporation (UK) it boasts a wealth of experience and expertise in nuclear construction.

July 12, 2016 – Defense World Net – India To Lease Second Akula-Class Nuclear-Sub From Russia – India has agreed to lease a second Akula-class nuclear powered submarine Nerpa from Russia. “India agreed to lease a project 971 submarine which will be withdrawn from the Russian Navy,” Sputnik cited an unnamed source as saying to Kommersant Tuesday. The official confirmation about the lease of second nuke submarine even though speculation is rife about India seeking another one from Russia after the success of INS Chakra, the Akula Class submarine that has been on lease from Russia for ten years came up only in February this year. “The hull of the submarine is ready but it has to be refurbished as per Indian needs after the talks are concluded,” Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin had said.

July 12, 2016 – Union of Concerned Scientists – Nuclear Plant Accidents: Fermi Unit 1 – Jorge Agustin Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, also known as George Santayana, wrote that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #39 described the partial meltdown of the reactor core at the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) in California. Workers at the Fermi Unit 1 reactor in Michigan must have remembered this accident pretty well, since they duplicated almost every key aspect of it just seven years later. So, perhaps a companion to Santayana’s point is “Those who remember the past are condemned to repeat it, unless they take steps to prevent it.” Had SRE’s owners copyrighted their accident script, Fermi Unit 1’s owner would probably have had to mail them a royalty check.

July 12, 2016 – Sputnik International – Operator of Japan’s Takahama Nuclear Plant to Fight Court-Mandated Shutdown – Kansai Electric Power, operating Takahama nuclear power plant in western Japan, vowed on Tuesday to appeal a court ruling ordering the shutdown of two reactors at a higher court. Earlier in the day, Otsu District Court upheld its March decision to shut down Reactors 3 and 4, in what was the first such ruling against an operating power plant. “We will make an all-out effort to claim and substantiate the safety of Units 3 and 4 of Takahama Nuclear Power Station…after reviewing the details of the [court] decision statement and subsequently filing a petition or objection to Osaka High Court without delay,” the operator’s statement read.

July 12, 2016 – WTNH – Connecticut lawmaker pushes nuclear waste bill – Connecticut congressman Joe Courtney is part of a bi-partisan group of house lawmakers to introduce a bill to help communities that are struggling with the cost of storing what’s known as ‘stranded nuclear waste’. The legislation is important to people in Courtney’s district, which includes the former home of the Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant. The Stranded Nuclear Waste Accountability act of 2016 would help communities cover any losses they’ve racked up associated with the storage of nuclear waste.

July 12, 2016 – Crain’s – New Yorkers express fears of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant at documentary screening – The start of a two-week-long Lincoln Center film screening of Indian Point, a documentary about the controversial nuclear power plant in Buchanan, N.Y., gave New Yorkers an opportunity to share their concerns about their safety five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. The film offers a look inside the power plant, located 35 miles from midtown Manhattan on the Hudson River. In addition to speaking with several anti-nuclear advocates, director Ivy Meeropol gained unprecedented access inside the highly guarded plant for her 94- minute documentary. On July 8, Meeropol and the film’s subjects, including Indian Point senior control room operator Brian Vangor and activists Roger Witherspoon, Marilyn Elie and former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko answered New Yorkers’ anti-plant questions after the first screening of the film at Lincoln Center’s 85-seat Howard Gilman Theater. The film will have five showings daily until July 21.

July 12, 2016 – Portland Mercury – A New Lawsuit Says Covered Water Reservoirs Will Poison Portlanders – As the city moved ever closer to shutting down its open air drinking water reservoirs in recent years, lots of opponents offered a steady refrain: They argued the shift to covered reservoirs would result in the harmful gas radon being released via Portlander’s tap water. Now, with the reservoirs formally disconnected from the water system, those claims are poised to get a day in court for the first time. Scott Fernandez, a credentialed microbiologist who’s long railed against closed reservoirs, has sued to get the reservoirs at Washington Park and on Mt. Tabor back into use—or at least disrupt their demise. In a 10-page complaint [PDF] filed last week, Fernandez argues the city is trespassing against him by potentially forcing radon—a radioactive gas and carcinogen—into his home. And he argues the city’s causing a public nuisance by doing the same thing citywide.

July 12, 2016 – KVEW-TV – Hanford cleanup continues after more than 25 years – The site has completed 1,614 milestones, but has about one hundred more projects to finish. Of the finished cleanup projects, 25 percent were completed on or ahead of schedule. One of the most important projects is removing about 7,000 gallons of highly radioactive sludge in a basin near the Columbia River. The Maintenence and Storage Facility is testing the equipment that will be used to vacuum and transfer those waste particles in 20 large vessels. “The hardware that you see that we’ve walked-through today is on schedule to be pumping sludge within two years,” said Neal Sullivan during a tour of the site. Last week the employees were able to test the equipment and practice retrieving material. “While we were confident that it would work the proof is in the pudding and so we actually did that, we moved the simulant,” said Sullivan.

July 12, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Nuclear is strategic imperative for USA, says NEI – Preserving existing nuclear capacity and preparing to build large amounts of new nuclear capacity in the next decade are strategic imperatives for the USA, the Nuclear Energy Institute has told the US Department of Energy. The NEI called for reforms to electricity markets and a systematic effort to create the conditions necessary to deploy advanced reactor technologies in comments submitted to the DOE, as it prepares the next instalment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). “A continuing, growing contribution from nuclear energy is essential to produce needed baseload electricity at stable prices and to sustain reductions in emissions of carbon and other pollutants,” it said. The QER process was established by presidential memorandum in 2014 and aims to engage federal agencies and outside stakeholders while enabling federal government to translate policy goals into a set of analytically based, integrated actions for proposed investments over a four-year planning horizon. The first QER, published in 2015, examined the USA’s infrastructure for energy transmission, storage, and distribution, including liquid and natural gas pipelines, the electricity grid, and transport links. The second instalment will focus on the electricity system to produce a set of findings and policy recommendations to help guide modernization of the grid and ensure its continued reliability, safety, security, affordability, and environmental performance in the period to 2040. It is due to be released later this year.

July 12, 2016 – US News and World Report – The New Nuclear Renaissance – There has been a groundswell of activity and investment in recent years surrounding advanced nuclear reactors. A dynamic group of nuclear engineers and scientists are chasing the future – and racing against China and Russia – to develop innovative reactor designs. These technologies hold enormous promise to provide clean, safe, affordable, and reliable energy, not just for our country, but for the world. These innovators have a vision for the future, and they charge ahead backed by more than $1 billion in private capital. The future of nuclear energy is bright. Some would argue that we have been here before. In 2005, Congress passed incentives to encourage a “nuclear renaissance” amid high natural gas prices. The industry stood ready to build a large number of modern light-water reactors, improved versions of existing nuclear technology. But reality fell short of expectations and the result was only five new nuclear plants, with a price tag of $8 billion to $10 billion each. Now, in an age of low-cost natural gas, it is becoming harder for the nearly 100 existing reactors to compete.

July 12, 2016 – PRNewswire – Americas Set to Dominate Spent Nuclear Dry Storage Cask Market, Surpassing $1 Billion by 2020 – The market for spent nuclear dry storage casks in the Americas is set to rise from $602.5 million in 2015 to over $1 billion by 2020, as the region continues to generate the highest demand for nuclear fuel storage globally, according to Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Casks, Update 2016 – Global Market Size, Market Volume, Market Share and Key Country Analysis to 2020 research report now available with RnRMarketResearch.com. Complete report on spent nuclear fuel dry storage casks market spread across 164 pages supported with 58 data tables and 46 figures is available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/spent-nuclear-fuel-dry-storage-casks-update-2016-global-market-size-market-volume-market-share-and-key-country-analysis-to-2020-market-report.html.

July 12, 2016 – Niagara Gazette – City officials consulting with DEC on excavated material piled on North Avenue – Questions remain about the strength of radioactivity identified by city contractors in a pile of excavated material waiting for disposal on North Avenue. The Niagara Gazette sought answers from city hall after an Investigative Post story this week identified similarly described “gravel”-like radioactive material at a minimum 60 properties in Niagara County and Grand Island. Requests to identify how far above typical background radiation levels the pile tested were not answered by city officials. Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis and Alan Nusbaum, the city’s environmental assistant in DeSantis’ office, said they were not the “appropriate” people to speak to the matter. “The city will be consulting with the Mr. Thomas Papura, environmental tradition specialist with the DEC on Monday,” DeSantis said on Friday.

July 12, 2016 – Scranton Times-Tribune – Other nuke meltdown costly – We’re now getting an idea of just how expensive shutting down a nuclear power plant like Three Mile Island can be. According to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts, Pacific Gas & Electric’s plan to shutter California’s last nuclear plant by 2025 would cost $15 billion if all of its output is replaced with solar-produced electricity at current prices. PG&E says it will rely heavily on solar energy, along with conservation, in place of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. The news of its planned closing came even though a new study showed that the shutdown of California’s other nuclear plant, San Onofre, triggered a sharp increase in electricity costs and a spike in carbon emissions.

July 12, 2016 – Modesto Bee – Treatment of some veterans is radioactive – I am an “Atomic Veteran.” This is now an official veteran status conveyed both by Congress and the Department of Defense. Impressed? Well, don’t be envious, because it is definitely not something I would wish upon my worst enemy. Our military branches have been extremely careless over the years and have exposed many servicemen and -women to unnecessary and undisclosed hazards, in many cases related to radiation and nuclear fallout.