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July 25, 2016 – Press Pieces

On July 25th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

July 25, 2016 – Sonoma County Gazette – Nuclear Power and Health – Climate change, potentially the biggest health issue of our time, is upon us, and efforts have begun to limit the release of greenhouse gases. The most important steps at this point are going to involve transitioning away from burning fossil fuels as our primary energy source. That will mean leaving large oil and coal reserves in the ground and finding renewable energy sources. After a long hiatus due to safety concerns and huge cost over-runs, nuclear power has reappeared on the list of options. What are the health risks from nuclear power? Unfortunately, this topic will take two columns to cover. This month, I will discuss the current status of nuclear plants and some issues about our contact with radiation. Next column will discuss how this exposure affects human health.

July 25, 2016 – Scoop.co.nz – Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group Reply to Radiation Report – The Mururoa Nuclear Veterans Group (MNVG Inc) has unequivocally rejected the findings of last year’s report commissioned by Veteran Affairs and undertaken by Crown research agency Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR) which was released in October 2015. After a year long consultation with Mururoa veterans, a reply to the ESR authored “The Pilaster Deployment: A Radiological Review” report has been compiled and sent to the Right Honourable Craig Foss, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Right Honourable Phil Goff, Labour Spokesperson on Veterans Affairs and Jackie Couchman, Head of Veterans Affairs New Zealand. As stated in the reply, “The majority of the members of the MNVG … do not believe the Minister’s issues which are outlined in a letter to (former President) Wayne O’Donnell dated 26 August 2015 have been met and the report severely clouds the areas of concern”.

July 25, 2016 – PRNewswire – Department of Health Distributing Free Potassium Iodide on August 4 to Pennsylvanians Near the State’s Five Nuclear Power Plants – The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets Thursday, August 4, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of one of the state’s five nuclear power plants. “KI tablets are an important part of emergency preparedness plans and go kits for residents who live or work within 10 miles of a nuclear facility,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “KI can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine when taken as directed during certain radiological emergencies. It’s important to remember that you should only take KI when told to do so by the governor or state health officials.”

July 25, 2016 – Tass – Iran may join international thermonuclear experimental reactor project – Iran may join the international project for the creation of the ITER reactor (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which is being built in the French town of Cadarache, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi is quoted by the IRNA agency on Monday. “ITER has 27 members comprising European Union countries, the US, Russia, China, India, South Korea and Japan and during recent visit the grounds were prepared for Iran to join the plan,” he said. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in west Asia to be admitted in the project and all parties with good knowledge on capabilities of the Iranian experts are to welcome it, Salehi said, according to IRNA.

July 25, 2016 – TheLocal.it – Turin could slash Wi-Fi over ‘radiation’ concerns – Turin is planning to cut back on Wi-Fi in state schools and government buildings over concerns that radiation might damage people’s health. The plans were outlined last week as the city’s new new Five Star Movement (M5S) mayor, Chiara Appendino, presented her council’s five-year political plan. “We’re aware that we need to consider electromagnetic radiation when we speak about pollution,” reads page 23 of the council’s programme. “We would like to take all precautions necessary and ask all public structures to work to reduce the volume of emissions and while guaranteeing connectivity for citizens.” Details of the plans emerge just days after Appendino hit headlines for her proposals to reduce citizens meat consumption over he next five years, by teaching the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet in Turin’s schools.

July 25, 2016 – Sputnik UK – Russia Lays Down Nuclear-Powered Ural Icebreaker at Baltic Shipyard – The Arktika, the first project 22220 class ship and the first nuclear icebreaker to be fully built in modern-day Russia, was successfully launched at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg on June 16. The second ship, the Sibir, was laid down at the shipyard in May 2015. “We are laying the icebreaker ahead of schedule, since the Ural was supposed to be laid down approximately two months later. But it is fundamentally important that the impetus gained by the plant and the team engaged in the construction of new icebreakers is maintained,” Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom that ordered the icebreaker, said at the keel-laying ceremony.

July 25, 2016 – ConstructionWeekOnline.com – South Korea inks $920m deal for UAE reactors – State-owned Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) signed a $920m deal with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) to operate four nuclear reactors, currently under construction, in Barakah in Abu Dhabi. It is the first time for the firm that has been providing nuclear components and construction services to be in charge of maintenance and operation of a nuclear operation overseas. Based on the agreement signed, KHNP will dispatch a total of 3,000 employees to the UAE until 2030 – about 210 every year – starting May, next year. They will be responsible for the operations of four advanced power reactor (APR)-1400 nuclear reactors that are under construction as part of UAE’s project to build its first nuclear power station.

July 25, 2016 – Forbes – British Nuclear Power Stations May Be Too Big A Risk For French EDF – French state-controlled power group EDF is set to hold a supervisory board meeting on July 28 to decide whether to go ahead or not with a project to build and operate two nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Britain. It might be wise to call the 22 billion euro investment off due to the many risks and the weak financial situation of the power group that also needs to phase out and replace ageing stations in France. The project has already cost more than two billion euros and two initial partners have dropped out – Britain’s Centrica and French nuclear power station builder Areva . Areva, in financial dire straits, is facing serious problems with the construction of EPR stations in Finland and in France.

July 25, 2016 – PhysOrg – Linear deutron and light ion accelerator successfully tested in Dubna – The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research has successfully launched a new linear deuteron and light ion accelerator developed in MEPhI for the NICA collider. The injector successfully accelerated a beam at the design energy of 5 MeV/nucleon. The development of the linear accelerator started in 2011, seeking to inject protons, polarized deuterons and light ions into the collider NICA, which is under construction. Its will replace a high-voltage electrostatic pre-injector, developed more than 40 years ago, with a modern accelerator capable of spatially uniform quadrupole focusing. The project is being realized by a team of specialists from JINR, MEPhI and Kurchatov Institute. After two years of construction, the Russian Federal Nuclear Center – VNIITF (Snezhinsk) has made the accelerator cavity. Kurchatov Institute has also developed and built a high-frequency supply system. The physical start-up of the new accelerator was conducted in December, 2015.

July 25, 2016 – Islington Gazette – A trip to Chernobyl: a haunting tour of Ukraine’s radioactive crumbling ghost town – I first went to Kiev, the elegant 19th Century capital of Ukraine, 15 years ago and saw the Chernobyl Museum. That was 15 years after the nuclear disaster when several blasts brought down Reactor No. 4 of the nuclear power plant. It was the 20th Century’s gravest technological catastrophe with 50 million curies (Ci) of radioactivity released into the atmosphere. Four hundred and eighty five villages and towns were wiped out. The number of people dead is still uncalculated. Now, 30 years after the disaster, you can go into the toxic wasteland that is the ‘radio active exclusion zone’ but not alone. You have to join a tour. And so I did, travelling with nine others, to the Zone 60kms north of Kiev. We went through various checkpoints (12 in all) and through contamination machines to check radiation exposure.

July 25, 2016 – Kallanish Energy – Radiation, toxicity levels low at WVU’s Marcellus research wells – Drilling wastes from two research wells in northern West Virginia are well below federal guidelines for radioactive and hazardous wastes, Kallanish Energy reports. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University, presented those findings last week from the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory at the Appalachian Basin Technology Workshop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, the university announced. Ziemkiewicz and his research team have been studying solid and liquid wastes that are produced in shale drilling from the two wells near Morgantown. That includes drill cuttings, muds and produced water. Drilling a horizontal well in the Marcellus Shale will generate about 500 tons of rock known as cuttings. Cuttings that exceed a federal transportation limit of 2,000 pico curies per gram require special permitting and handling because that waste is classified as low-level radioactive.

July 25, 2016 – Times Leader – Talen Energy to lay off 53 workers at nuclear power plant in Salem Township – Talen Energy will be eliminating 53 positions at the Susquehanna Power Plant, according to company officials. Todd L. Martin, manager of media relations for Talen Energy, confirmed the layoffs Friday, saying the company sent a “staffing plan” letter to the leadership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1600, in Allentown, on Thursday. The company is laying off more than 131 “excess” employees at three plants — Susquehanna in Salem Township, Montour Power Plant in Washingtonville and Brunner Island in York County — and an office in Allentown.

July 25, 2016 – New City Patch – Jaffee Opposes NY Nuclear Plant Subsidy Plan – Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) has sent a letter to the Public Service Commission (PSC) calling the latest proposal to give nuclear power plants nearly $8 billion in taxpayer subsidies “unacceptable, largely out of public view, and in undue haste.” The PSC plan includes subsidies for upstate nuclear power plants including the FitzPatrick plant, which its owner Entergy plans to shut down by the end of the year because it is losing money. See all the documents connected to the PSC’s Motion to Implement a Large-Scale Renewable Program here. The comment period ends July 22. Jaffee is Chair of the New York State Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation and a member of the Committee on Environmental Conservation.

July 25, 2016 – Los Angeles Times – Review ‘Indian Point’ sagely examines the nuclear power debate from all sides – In a world where unabashed advocacy documentaries are thick on the land, Ivy Meeropol’s expert “Indian Point,” an evenhanded look at the issues surrounding nuclear power, is a welcome exception. With no end in sight to global energy demands, questions about nuclear’s place as a possible solution become increasingly urgent, with anger and rigidity on all sides of the issue often the end result. Taking a different approach, Meeropol, whose work includes 2003’s excellent “Heir to an Execution,” examines New York’s controversial Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant from multiple points of view, including the perspectives of its advocates, its enemies, the people who work inside it and the public servants who are in charge of regulation. One of more than 100 American nuclear facilities currently operating, Indian Point is especially controversial because of its location in Westchester County, just north of New York City.

July 25, 2016 – NJ.com – What if there were a nuclear plant emergency and you didn’t know? – What if there’s an emergency at a nearby nuclear power plant that requires you to take action but you are never informed? That was the fear expressed by speakers this week during the state’s annual review of the plan that would be put into action in case of a large-scale accident at one of New Jersey’s four nuclear reactors. “The deteriorating telecommunications infrastructure throughout in South Jersey will have a disastrous impact in executing this plan,” said Barbara Stratton who lives in Stow Creek Township in Cumberland County within the 10-mile emergency planning zone around PSEG Nuclear’s Artificial Island generating complex. Without reliable service how would a person in harm’s way receive a call alerting them of an emergency, she asked.

July 25, 2016 – New Mexico Pollitical Report – Lowered deadline standards on new nuclear cleanup plan worries some – Criticism of a controversial new agreement between the state and the federal government on how to clean up legacy waste in and around Los Alamos National Laboratory often has one thing in common—deadlines. Most agreements between states and the federal government to clean up nuclear waste have fixed deadlines set for benchmarks. If the federal Department of Energy misses one of these deadlines, it can then be sanctioned and penalized by the state. “The Department of Energy hates penalties,” Scott Kovac, a research and operations director with Nuclear Watch New Mexico, said in an interview. “A deadline might shake out some funding from its budget.”

July 25, 2016 – Salt Lake Tribune – Utah court ruling kills environmentalists’ appeal, OKs Green River nuclear plant – A court ruling, unless appealed, has removed the final state hurdle for a Utah company planning to build a nuclear power plant near Green River, putting the fate of the $20 billion project in the hands of federal regulators. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed Thursday an earlier court ruling allowing Blue Castle Holdings’ plan for a nuclear site in Emery County to continue. The unanimous opinion affirms the 7th District Court’s 2013 ruling that the company’s bid would not overly tax the river by diverting water to cool a pair of nuclear reactors. The decision nullifies an appeal from the environmental advocacy group HEAL Utah, which contended that Blue Castle Holdings’ nuclear site would significantly reduce water levels for the Green River, adversely affecting wildlife and the public welfare.

July 25, 2016 – KING 5 Seattle – AG files emergency action to force end to Hanford safety ‘crisis’ – Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday filed an emergency legal motion to force improvements in worker safety at the Hanford Site, the 586-square-mile former plutonium production facility. Ferguson called the action “as serious as it gets.” The motion for injunctive relief asks a federal judge intervene in the operations at the site to protect workers from continued exposure to toxic chemical vapors. It names as defendants the U.S. Department of Energy and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), the private company that manages the nuclear waste storage tanks at Hanford.

July 25, 2016 – San Luis Obispo Tribune – Diablo Canyon engineers work hard to keep plant up to date – As a proud engineer at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the Mothers for Peace commentary (“Diablo Canyon is not needed, SLO Mothers for Peace says,” July 15) on our supposedly outdated and not-needed plant struck a cord. The MFP stated that they value our professional well-trained work force; then go on to say that the plant is outdated, aged, damages the ocean and is not adequately designed. Does anyone really believe we would allow this condition to exist? All I know is that we work tirelessly to maintain our plant in like-new condition — monitoring conditions and continuously upgrading and replacing equipment well before it reaches end of life.

July 25, 2016 – San Diego Union-Tribune – Pro-nuclear green group: Bring back San Onofre – It may be a long shot, but a pro-nuclear environmental organization based near San Luis Obispo wants to bring the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station back to life. “I think it can happen if we’re allowed to make our case,” said Gene Nelson, government liaison for Californians for Green Nuclear Power, which contends that nuclear power is essential for the state to meet its clean energy targets in the coming years. But can San Onofre, which has not produced electricity since January 2012 and is well into the third year of a 20-year decommissioning process, realistically get back up and running? “I’ve heard from far too many people (who say), ‘Once we’ve flipped the switch, it’s irreversible,’” Nelson said. “I don’t think that’s true.” CGNP’s members see the recent decision by the California Public Utilities Commission to reopen the controversial $4.7 billion San Onofre settlement as a potential opening.\

July 25, 2016 – San Diego Union Tribune – Wjy San Onofre’s nuclear waste stays on the beach – Some 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is all stored up with no place to go. The plant has not produced electricity since January 2012 for the nearly 19 million people served by Southern California Edison, the majority owner of the facility, and San Diego Gas & Electric, which owns 20 percent. Edison officials overseeing the plant’s decommissioning have set a target date of the end of 2032 to remove nearly every remnant of the generating station, which hugs the Southern California coastline at the northern tip of San Diego County in Camp Pendleton. The operative word is “nearly” because, in all likelihood, the waste — also called spent fuel or used fuel — will stay behind for years to come, stranded until a long-term solution is reached on what to do with it.

July 25, 2016 – Huffington Post – There are good reasons for California to phase out nuclear power – Of course California, like the USA, like Germany, like the European Union and like the whole world, needs carbon-free electricity. Global warming and the resulting consequences do not stop at borders; they are global. And these global and devastating consequences and their costs are the second part of a bill which we were given years and even decades ago and which we thought we had paid a long time ago – the second part of our electricity bill and that of our parents and grandparents. In contrast to renewable energies, electricity generation leaves something behind which has to be disposed of – not buried in rock but blown invisibly into the atmosphere: CO2, which warms our climate and triggers catastrophic (weather) events. Just imagine if CO2 were not odourless. Would we really have disregarded the potential of renewable energies to such an extent for decades? Would not more people have stood up and demanded another type of power generation? California needs carbon-free electricity, but not from nuclear power stations. That is why it is good and right that PG&E plans to finally decommission the 2-gigawatt Diablo Canyon nuclear power station by the end of 2025.