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July 13, 2016 – Press Pieces

On July 13th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

July 13, 2016 – KKOH AM 780 – Money Approved To Fight Yucca Mountain Dump – Nevada’s “State Board of Examiners” has approved another 2.5 million dollars to keep pushing back against the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Dump. This extends a 7.5 million dollar contract for Egan and Associates, a Virginia law firm. This follows another congressional hearing last week about nuclear waste storage. Governor Brian Sandoval says we must be vigilant and aggressive in opposing Yucca Mountain. He says this money is well spent.

July 13, 2016 – Midwest Energy News – Nuclear advocates eye former coal plant sites for small reactors – As coal plants around the country close, utilities, elected leaders and local residents are all wondering and debating how to deal with the sites. Some plants are being retrofitted to burn natural gas. Others are being torn down or redeveloped for a host of uses including condos, parks, solar farms, big box stores or breweries. Jeff Terry, a physics professor and nuclear energy expert at the Illinois Institute of Technology, has another vision for these sites, including the former site of the State Line coal plant near his hometown in northwest Indiana. He’d like to see nuclear reactors. Specifically, small modular reactors, or SMRs, nuclear plants with a capacity of 300 megawatts or less that are prefabricated and can be shipped around the country on trucks or trains.

July 13, 2016 – Idaho Statesman – Vermont nuclear plant wants to ship radioactive water to Idaho – The owner of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is seeking to ship hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive water to an Idaho processing facility. The Rutland Herald (http://bit.ly/29vczkt ) reports that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is evaluating responses from Entergy Nuclear after asking the company earlier this year to provide more details on a plan to dispose of 200,000 gallons of radioactive water. The plan calls for the water to be disposed in a torus, a large structure located at the bottom of the reactor core that holds 1.1 million gallons of water.

July 13, 2016 – E&T Magazine – Nuclear reactor construction falls to zero globally in 2016 – Construction starts for new nuclear reactors fell to zero globally in the first half of 2016 as the atomic industry struggles against falling costs for renewables and a slowdown in Chinese building. The last time there were no new reactors started over a full year was in 1995, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016. The number of reactors under construction is in decline for a third year, with 58 being built by the end of June, down from 67 reactors at the end of 2013, the report said. The latest figures highlight the struggles the nuclear sector is facing after the Fukushima atomic disaster in Japan five years ago, as higher costs and delays take their toll while other sources of energy become cheaper.

July 13, 2016 – Axis of Logic – UK refusing to help clean up Iraq after raining down radioactive shells – Britain has no intention of cleaning up its deadly radioactive legacy in Iraq or even monitoring the terrifying impact depleted uranium (DU) shells will have on the population in the future, it has been claimed. Writing in the Ecologist on Tuesday, Doug Weir, who is coordinator of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW), says that hidden within the Chilcot report is a previously classified military document setting out the UK’s rejection of any duty to cleanse Iraq of DU of unexploded ordnance (UXO). “In it, the clearance of unexploded ordnance and DU is considered and the Ministry of Defence [MoD] argues that it has: “… no long-term legal responsibility to clean up DU from Iraq” Weir writes.

July 13, 2016 – Sputnik International – Rosatom Set to Develop Technology of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Production – Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom is planning to develop a technology of new nuclear fuel production before the end of the year, the company said Wednesday in its annual report. “The experimental-industrial technology of the dense nitride uranium-plutonium fuel will be developed in 2016,” the report said. The dense nitride uranium-plutonium fuel has the largest levels of fuel depletion, thermal conduction and compatibility with liquid metal coolant.

July 13, 2016 – Westword – Colorado’s Superfund Sites Stretch From Silverton to East Colfax Avenue – On Monday, the Navajo Nation formally endorsed a Superfund cleanup of contaminated mines in southwestern Colorado – including an Environmental Protection Agency-caused spill at the Gold King Mine site that released millions of gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River last August, tainting land stretching from Silverton down to Arizona. Many other past and present Superfund sites are tougher to spot, including the Denver radium sites. Radium, once thought to be a miracle cure for cancer, was big business in Denver before the industry went belly up in the 1920s. Years later, all that remained of the industry were the 65 properties around Denver contaminated with radioactive material, which an EPA official discovered in the late ’70s. Soil at the sites was contaminated with radium, thorium and uranium, the radioactive decay of which produces radon gas, according to a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report.

July 13, 2016 – PhysOrg – Hot electrons detected at solid-liquid interfaces – As seen in diverse applications, such as the refinement of petrol, their use in batteries and fuel cells for electric cars and to aid in the cleanup of hazardous agricultural waste, a variety of catalysts are in constant development to fulfill economic and environmental demands. To maximize the catalytic reaction, a great deal of research effort is made to reveal its mechanism. As a key to understanding catalysis, hot electrons are of great interest in the field. The IBS team led by group leader PARK Jeong Young, reported the direct detection of hot electrons generated at a solid-liquid interface during an exothermic reaction on the surface of metal-semiconductor nanodiodes. This is the first time a research team has succeeded in detecting hot electrons in a liquid interface.

July 13, 2016 – Radiation Therapy News – FDA approves MRI-guided focused ultrasound device to treat tremor – The FDA published the approval of the first focused ultrasound device for the treatment of essential tremor in people who did not respond to treatment. Magnetic resonance (MR) images are taken by ExAblate Neuro during application of focused ultrasound to kill the brain cells which are considered to cause this tremor. “Patients with essential tremor who have not seen improvement with medication now have a new treatment option that could help them to avoid more invasive surgical treatments,” said Carlos Peña, who is the director of the division of neurological and physical medicine devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “As with other treatments for essential tremor, this new device is not a cure but could help patients enjoy a better quality of life.”

July 13, 2016 – SiliconIndia – Indian Scientist To Head Germany-Based Group Of Nuclear Physicists – Noted Indian physicist Sibaji Raha has been elected as the first chairman of the Joint Scientific Council of the GSI and the upcoming FAIR facility in Germany for exploring the nature of matter and the evolution of the universe. The Department of Science and Technology had recently shared the development via Twitter. “Prof Sibaji Raha, Bose Institute #Kolkata elected Chair of Jt Inter’ional #Scientific Council of GSI & FAIR #Germany,” a tweet said.

July 13, 2016 – WWAY TV 3 – Damaged pump motor causes Brunswick Nuclear Plant alert – Officials at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant Tuesday night issued an alert after a pump motor was damaged, according to a release. They said the alert was declared just after 8:30 p.m., and it was over just after 9:15 p.m. Officials said an alert is the second of four nuclear emergency classifications. They said the classification is used to describe conditions that require emergency response agencies to be in a heightened state of readiness. They said the unit, one of two at the plant, was reduced to about 70% power because of the damage.

July 13, 2016 – Novinite – Bulgaria’s Socialists Demand Restart of Belene Nuclear Project – Lawmakers of Bulgaria’s biggest opposition party BSP have called on Parliament for a reversal of a 2012 decision that brought the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project to an end. “We extend a hand and put all of our expert potential to work to solve the problem,” the Bulgarian National Radio quotes Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) MP Tasko Ermenkov, who oversees energy issues. Ermenkov is referring the dilemma facing Bulgaria after an arbitration ruling that forces it to pay EUR 550 M to Russian company Atomstroyexport over the suspension of the Belene project. Transferring the sum, it will also receive in return a nuclear reactor and other equipment produced by Atomstroyexport for the plant’s purposes.

July 13, 2016 – Dow Jones Business News – Entergy in Talks to Sell FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in New York to Exelon – Entergy Corp. said Wednesday that it is in talks to sell its FitzPatrick nuclear power plant — an 838-megawatt facility it had flagged for sale last year — to Exelon Corp. “The discussions with Exelon are consistent with Entergy’s commitment to consider any viable option that would allow FitzPatrick to remain in operation,” the company said. Entergy’s decision to sell the FitzPatrick facility follows news that it would close its Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts by mid-2019. In addition to a more competitive environment and lower power prices it is bring in, the company has cited regulatory challenges and public policies that it says disadvantage nuclear plants.

July 13, 2016 – Niagara Gazette – City needs to answer ‘spoils pile’ questions – It’s time for some more detailed answers where the so-called “spoils pile” on North Avenue is concerned. What’s known is that the area contains material identified as radioactive by the contractor hired to construct the new North End train station. What’s still not clear is the level of radiation found in the materials at the site. The spoils pile has been surrounded by fencing, but that fencing was bowled over at some point and the plastic tarp covering the soil was allowed to become tattered. Residents and members of the media have rightly questioned whether the material poses a threat to public health.

July 13, 2016 – Northeast Today – Uranium Mining in Meghalaya: Why denying permission could benefit all – There has been a lot said on the issue of uranium mining which has been a bone of contention for most states who have tried to bring it forth. This has been clearly seen in Meghalaya which is still disputing whether it would be a good idea or not. There are numerous reasons as to why environmental groups react negatively to the idea of uranium mining. Here are a few ‘must know’ facts about Uranium Mining.

July 13, 2016 – Mo4ch – ‘Underground Chernobyl’: French parliament OKs nuclear waste facility despite protests – A controversial project of an underground facility storing the most hazardous nuclear waste in France has been recently approved by the parliament. Opponents of the law have already called the project an “underground Chernobyl.” On Monday, the National Assembly adopted the project of a nuclear waste landfill site, named Cigeo (Industrial Centre for Geological Disposal) in the town of Bure, eastern France. The site will be a part of Meuse/Haute Marne Underground Research Laboratory run by the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra). The laboratory conducts studies of the geological formation in order to evaluate its capacity for deep geological repository of radioactive waste. Andra has repeatedly stated that the deep geological storage project is designed to ensure long term management of France’s radioactive waste.

July 13, 2016 – Daily Energy Insider – Fertel fights for nuclear energy future – Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) President and CEO Marvin Fertel asserted that nuclear energy was key in supporting the increasing demand for electricity at the recent North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa, Canada. “When we look out, we see the electrification of America being the frontier we’re moving into, whether it is in transportation or it’s in industrial processes with robots, or it’s what’s been done to the Savannah port, where you’ve made everything electric driven,” Fertel said. “We’re going to use more electricity down the road. We’re going to have very stringent carbon requirements as time goes by, and we see nuclear energy as absolutely critical to helping our country, our economy and our people. Losing current plants that are really good performers is just absurd.”

July 13, 2016 – Business Wire – Westinghouse Awarded $8 Million by DOE to Advance Nuclear Technology – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Westinghouse Electric Company and its research partners to receive $8 million in research awards over the next three years to fund a series of projects. The awards support Westinghouse research in a number of areas including the area of self-powered wireless sensors and laser-based 3D printing.

July 13, 2016 – WTNH 8 – Connecticut lawmaker pushes nuclear waste bill – 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. In a statement, Courtney says in part that ‘we cannot allow small communities and municipalities across this country to fall into financial distress because of the congressional gridlock which is holding up the establishment of a federal nuclear waste storage facility’.

July 13, 2016 – World Nuclear News – New York State sets out subsidy proposals – The New York Department of Public Service has put forward a proposal to help preserve New York’s upstate nuclear power plants by valuing their zero-emissions attributes based on the social cost of carbon. The department estimates that the state will realize $5 billion in benefits in the first two years alone if the proposal is implemented. Earlier this year the State of New York Public Service Commission ruled that non-carbon-emitting generation resources including nuclear power plants must be included in the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) portfolio. It also directed that the CES must include a support mechanism for upstate nuclear power plants at risk of closure for economic reasons. The Department of Public Service’s proposal sets out such a support mechanism. The Public Service Commission has invited the public to comment on the proposal, published on 8 July. The deadline for written comments is 18 July.

July 13, 2016 – Syracuse.com – NY needs a carbon tax, not nuclear subsidies, to cut emissions – There is no way for New York state utility ratepayers to determine whether the subsidies being proposed for Upstate nuclear plants are justified based on their alleged climate benefits based on what is being published in the media (“NY regulators propose generous Upstate nuclear subsidies,” July 9, 2016). However, some additional research and “back of the envelope” calculations based on the proposed subsidies presented in The Post-Standard and GHG emissions that are avoided from natural gas-fired power plants (the predominant source of electric energy in New York state) as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest that the subsidies proposed by the Public Service Commission amount to approximately $29/ton CO2 emissions avoided in the first year, rising to almost $50/ton in years 11 and 12.

July 13, 2016 – Oswego County Today – Barclay Applauds Public Service Commission’s Proposal to Assist Nuclear Energy – Assemblyman Will Barclay released the following statement today (July 11) after the Public Service Commission proposed to value nuclear as a clean energy source. “I applaud the state Public Service Commission for proposing to financially assist upstate nuclear power plants. Without this assistance, there is a high probability that our nuclear power plants would shut down. Such a scenario would result in tremendous job losses for Central New York, jeopardize New Yorkers access to electricity that is cleanly and efficiently generated, and increase electricity costs over the long run. The PSC should be commended for proposing an innovative and forward thinking proposal and for recognizing that to do nothing is not a viable strategy in addressing New York state’s electricity needs.”

July 13, 2016 – Business Wire – Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition Applauds PSC for Proposal to Support Upstate Nuclear Power Plants in Clean Energy Standard – The Upstate Energy Jobs Coalition (UEJ), a group including elected representatives, business leaders, organized labor, education institutions, economic development organizations and community leaders, today voiced their support for the New York Public Service Commission’s (PSC) latest responsive proposal detailing the nuclear provision within the Clean Energy Standard (CES), a measure introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo that mandates 50 percent of all electricity consumed in New York by 2030 come from clean and renewable energy sources. The PSC proposal, issued on July 8th, properly values upstate nuclear plants for their contributions to the state’s clean energy goals. “Governor Cuomo and the PSC deserve to be recognized for issuing a proposal that would keep our upstate nuclear energy plants open, and in doing so, allow the state to meet its clean energy goals” “Governor Cuomo and the PSC deserve to be recognized for issuing a proposal that would keep our upstate nuclear energy plants open, and in doing so, allow the state to meet its clean energy goals,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of The County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency. “The PSC’s findings are in line with the independent findings of the Brattle Group and the Navigant Group that affirm that the value of keeping New York’s upstate nuclear plants operating is substantial and far outweighs any costs associated with the program.

July 13, 2016 – Associated Press – Officials: Nuclear plant shuts down abruptly after restart – New Jersey’s Salem 2 nuclear reactor shut down shortly after it came back in service after a generator indicated there might be a problem. PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar tells NJ.com (http://bit.ly/29v0O94 ) the plant had begun sending electricity to the regional power grid at 6:35 a.m. Monday, but automatically shut down again at 1:50 p.m. The cause of the shutdown at the Lower Alloways Creek plant is under investigation.

July 13, 2016 – CBS Chicago – Dold Proposes Fund To Reimburse Zion For Storing Nuclear Waste – An Illinois congressman has proposed legislation to compensate north suburban Zion for it years of storage of nuclear waste at a long-shuttered power plant. The Zion Nuclear Power Station closed in 1998, but a plan to permanently store nuclear waste from Zion and other nuclear plants at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has stalled, so U.S. Rep. Bob Dold has introduced a plan to reimburse communities like Zion. “We are, right now, currently storing a significant amount of spent nuclear fuel just a few hundred yards away from the greatest natural resource we have in our area, and that is the Great Lakes,” Dold said. Under his proposal – which Dold said has bipartisan support – Zion would get $15 million per year for up to seven years to make up for lost property taxes on the site, which still can’t be redeveloped.

July 13, 2016 – Illinois Public Radio – Nuclear Plant Closures – One of the two nuclear power generating facilities slated to shut down without state help has taken another step toward decommissioning. The Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Station has notified the owner of the power grid it supplies energy through that it will be shuttering the plant. The notice is one more step in Exelon’s plans to shut down both the Quad Cities plant and the Clinton Nuclear Generating Station in central Illinois. State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, said keeping the Clinton and Quad Cities power facilities open would save hundreds of jobs. “This would be an absolutely devastating impact to the local economy in central Illinois,” he said. Mitchell said the plant closures would increase all Illinoisans’ electric bills.

July 13, 2016 – Monticello Times – Xcel Energy, employees celebrate 45 years at Monticello nuclear plant – Employees at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant celebrated an important industry milestone last week with plenty of commemorative cake. Xcel Energy marked the 45th anniversary date of commercial operations at the plant June 30 by serving up 14 half-sheet cakes in three flavors that were created by Blue Egg Bakery in Elk River, said Communications Consultant Margaret Church. “We couldn’t bring in full sheets because they were too heavy and would crack.” The celebration also included a banner signing; individual employees inscribe their power-production monikers with the year they started working at the plant, Church said. “We had a really nice event,” she said. “It was wonderful to hear all of the stories people shared about their years here.”

July 13, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – Challenging year ends well for Richland nuclear power plant – The Columbia Generating Station ended its fiscal year in June tallying up the second-highest generation since it began operating in 1984, despite its most challenging 12 months in recent years. The nuclear power plant near Richland, operated by Energy Northwest, generated 9.6 million megawatt hours of electricity, just short of the 9.7 million megawatt hours generated two years ago. The refueling outage that started in May 2015 was a primary contributor to the near-record production year, said Brad Sawatzke, Energy Northwest chief nuclear officer. Not only was a third of the plant’s fuel replaced, as is done every other year, but workers used the shutdown of the plant to install a new feedwater flow meter, which measures the amount of water flowing through the reactor core. The more water that can be used, the greater potential power output.

July 13, 2016 – Las Vegas Review-Journal – 10 things we’d take in exchange for Yucca Mountain – Harry Reid has told me — repeatedly — that Yucca Mountain is dead. It’s fenced off, shut down, closed up, an empty hole in the ground that’s the site of one of the biggest wastes of federal money in the nation’s history. Then again, a House subcommittee was debating the issue last week, pondering whether to spend $150 million on a license application for the supposedly dead nuclear waste repository. The usual suspects said the usual things, but one congressman’s comments stood out. Rep. Mark Amodei said that while he didn’t think Nevada should be singled out as the only place to deposit nuclear waste in the country, Nevadans should take those nuclear lemons and make some glow-in-the-dark lemonade. “Nevadans should use this as an opportunity to dictate the terms of the repository under the best conditions for our state,” Amodei said. Now before Reid accuses Amodei of wanting Nevada to be a big, old, ugly nuclear whore, let’s actually pause for a moment to consider what we might be able to get in exchange for playing host to Yucca Mountain. Here’s a partial list:

July 13, 2016 – Daily Energy Insider – Nevada stakeholders voice input on Yucca Mountain nuclear disposal site – In a hearing held last week on “Federal, State and Local Agreements and Economic Benefits for Spent Nuclear Fuel Disposal,” the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee heard statements from Nevada stakeholders concerning a repository for spent nuclear fuel at the Yucca Mountain site. “Nevadans deserve to have honest brokers in their federal government, and they deserve to hear the unbiased, scientific results that all of their hard-earned dollars funded,” U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-NV) said. Testimonies at the hearing discussed the impact of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the adequacy of funding provided to the state of Nevada and future infrastructure needs connected to the disposal facility.