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July 28, 2016 – Press Pieces

On July 28th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

July 28, 2016 – Grist.org – Chernobyl site could become a solar farm – Chernobyl — site of the 1986 nuclear disaster that sent 10 tons of radioactive material flying and left the surrounding area uninhabitable for the next 20,000 years — isn’t exactly known for sustainability. That, however, could soon change. The Ukraine government is currently seeking investors to build a solar farm in the Chernobyl wasteland. The exclusion zone, 1,000 square miles in size, is off-limits to all but guards and workers, but it does get enough plenty of sun. “The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy,” Ukraine’s environment minister, Ostap Semerak, told Bloomberg. “We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants.”

July 28, 2016 – Blackburn News – Concerned Citizen Calls OPG Nuclear Waste Studies A Sham – A concerned participant in the process to build a deep Geologic Repository (DGR) at Bruce Power is amazed with Environment Minister Katherine McKenna’s response to a plan by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to look at other sites for nuclear waste burial. In February, McKenna ordered OPG to look at alternate sites before burying low and medium level nuclear waste underground in Kincardine near Lake Huron. In April, OPG responded to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with a plan to look at other sites through computer simulations, instead of through actual site studies. Port Elgin Lawyer John Mann says this month, McKenna told Northwatch OPG will file it’s response to her request for additional information by the end of the year, and she will then plan the next step.

July 28, 2016 – Business Wire – Studsvik AB: Studsvik completes sale of its Waste Treatment operations to EDF – In accordance with the agreement made in April, Studsvik today completed the sale of its Waste Treatment operations to EDF. A world-wide, long term cooperation agreement in the fields of decommissioning and waste management has also been signed between Studsvik and EDF. After the transaction Studsvik has cash funds of more than SEK 350 million. Under the terms of Studsvik’s bond loan totaling SEK 300 million, SEK 100 million will therefore be repaid in advance in connection with the interest payment to be made in November 2016.

July 28, 2016 – AzoSensors.com – Clemson Scientists to Develop New Sensor and Imaging Technique to Monitor Implant-Associated Infections – Approximately one in 25 patients admitted to a hospital in the U.S. will acquire an infection, leading to a reported 99,000 deaths per year. The majority of these hospital-acquired infections involve bacteria growing on implanted medical devices. These devices include metal plates and rods for bone fracture repairs; artificial knees, ankles and hips; prosthetic heart valves, pacemakers and artificial hearts; and urinary and intravascular catheters. Though infections are rare in most implant surgeries, implant-associated infections are difficult and expensive to cure. “Bacterial colonization of medical implants is a major cause of device failure and often requires device removal coupled with long-term antibiotic treatment,” said Anker, associate professor of chemistry in Clemson University’s College of Science, with a joint appointment in bioengineering. “However, detection is challenging at early stages when the bacteria are localized to inaccessible regions of the implant. Our research will focus on developing sensors that will coat the implant. Then we’ll use X-ray beams to scan the sensors, enabling us to detect and monitor the infection.”

July 28, 2016 – Gadgets360 – Hiroshima Urges Pokemon Go Ban in Memorial – Authorities in Japan’s Hiroshima city on Thursday urged the creators of the highly popular augemented reality game Pokemon Go’s creators to keep its virtual monsters out of memorials to victims of the atomic bomb. In a statement, the authorities said they wanted the monsters removed by August 6, when an annual ceremony is held on the anniversary of the 1945 bombing, BBC reported. It follows a request by the operators of the Fukushima nuclear plant – highly radioactive after its 2011 meltdown – to keep Pokemon out of its plants.

July 28, 2016 – NunatsiaqOnline – “Disappointed” by Ottawa’s decision, Areva suspends Nunavut uranium project – Areva Resources Canada Inc.‘s Kiggavik uranium project is officially suspended, and the company says it has no immediate plans to re-submit a proposal to Nunavut regulators. Earlier this week, the federal government accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s 2015 recommendation, which advised that the project not proceed for the time being due to the absence of a firm start date.

July 28, 2016 – The Globe and Mail – Cameco posts loss on weak uranium prices, impairment charge – Cameco Corp., the world’s No.2 uranium producer, reported a quarterly loss due to weak uranium prices and a charge related to the suspension of its Rabbit Lake operation in northern Saskatchewan. The company posted net loss of $137-million, 35 cents per share, attributable to shareholders for the second quarter ended June 30. This included an impairment charge of $124.4-million.

July 28, 2016 – The Advertiser – SA’s nuclear debate: The myths and facts about radiation and human health – TALK of radiation strikes fear into the hearts and minds of many, conjuring images of death and destruction, or three-eyed fish that glow in the dark. But radiation is all around us, in the cosmic rays raining down on us from space, in the brick walls that house us and the earth beneath our feet. We shudder at the thought of atomic bombs and meltdowns at nuclear power plants, but gratefully accept medical scans, diagnostic tests or radiotherapy to cure cancer. Director of Radiation Oncology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Associate Professor Michael Penniment, welcomes the opportunity to talk in “a fairly impassionate, straightforward way”. “We are actually already exposed to radiation just sitting here,” he says.

July 28, 2016 – OpenPR – Cardiovascular Segment to Dominate Medical Laser Systems Market – Transparency Market Research has published a research report to point out the key trends and dynamics impacting the global medical laser systems market. This research report, titled “Medical Laser Systems Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2012 – 2018,” details the overall laser systems market with SWOT analysis and Porter’s five forces analysis. These market measurement tools have enabled the research reporters to compile an accurate and exact report charting the trajectory of this market for the coming years. According to the research report, the global medical laser systems market was valued at of US$0.9 bn in 2011 and is expected to reach US$2 bn by 2018, registering a CAGR of 12.50% from 2012 to 2018. The growth of the global medical laser systems market is attributable to the high incidence of age-related ophthalmic disorders, rise in disposable incomes, and an increasing awareness of medical aesthetics.

July 28, 2016 – Malaysiakini – Lynas operation safe, generates only low-level radiation, says minister – The operation of the Lynas project by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd in Gebeng, Kuantan, is safe and does not affect the environment. International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said he was informed of this in a briefing on the company’s operations. He said the company had been in operation for three years. “Its operations are monitored round the clock and shows to be safe with no increase in radiation readings within one to 20 kilometres from the Lynas plant. “If the allegations on radiation are true, the industrial area in Gebeng will not grow or be the choice of multi-national companies,” he said.

July 28, 2016 – Canada Journal – Exotic White Dwarf strikes companion star with high-energy pulse – Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a new type of binary star, in which a rapidly-spinning white dwarf star sweeps powerful beams of particles and radiation over its companion red dwarf star, causing it to pulse across almost the entire electromagnetic spectrum from the UV to radio. This star system, called AR Scorpii, lies in the constellation of Scorpius, approximately 380 light-years from Earth. The white dwarf is approximately the size of the Earth but contains nearly 200,000 times more mass than our planet, while the red dwarf is only one-third the mass of the Sun; they orbit each other every 3.6 hours. As the white dwarf spins very rapidly, its incredibly strong magnetic field accelerates electrons nearly to the speed of light. As the electrons whip through space, they emit radiation in a beam similar to that of a lighthouse which lashes across the red dwarf every 1.97 minutes. This causes the entire system to seemingly pulse every two minutes. These pulses are so powerful, radio signals are emitted, which has never before been detected in a white dwarf system.

July 28, 2016 – Blackburn News – Bruce Power Mobilizes Ontario Nuclear Supply Chain – Over 200 participants took part in a supplier summit in Kincardine Wednesday, hosted by Bruce Power. Bruce Power and the Independent Electricity System Operator entered into an amended, long-term agreement last December to secure 6,300 megawatts of electricity from the Bruce Power site, through a multi-year investment program. The amended agreement will allow Bruce Power to immediately invest in life-extension activities for Units 3-8 to support a long-term refurbishment program. The program will secure thousands of jobs directly and indirectly from operations, and thousands more throughout the annual investment program.

July 28, 2016 – WXXI News – Wind, nuclear advance as NY moves ahead with energy plan – New York state committed last year to generating half of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2030. Now comes the hard part: figuring out how to do it. Several big decisions in the next few weeks could fill in some of the details about how the state will meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s renewable energy standard and decide where New Yorkers will get their energy in the years to come. On Long Island, regulators will soon vote on a plan to authorize the largest offshore wind farm in the United States. In Albany, the state’s Public Service Commission is considering a series of big subsidies for upstate nuclear power plants to allow them to continue operating. Cuomo, a Democrat, directed state energy officials to create a plan to produce 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030. While he’s pushing for big investments in wind and solar energy, he argues that nuclear power should serve as a “bridge” as the state ramps up its use of solar and wind energy, which, along with other renewable sources, now generate about a quarter of the state’s energy.

July 28, 2016 – East Anglian Daily Times – Nuclear safety review satisfied with power station procedures – A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that the station was well prepared in the event of an emergency. The publication follows a three-week review last October by an operational safety team made up of 15 experts from the UK, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Russia, South Africa and the United States. After assessing safety at the plant operated by EDF Energy on the Suffolk coast near Leiston, the team decided that processes were well developed and documented to ensure emergency exercises covered all situations that could arise during emergencies. The report commended the station’s prompt delivery of training on important nuclear leadership principles and behaviour.

July 28, 2016 – Express.co.uk – Go nuclear – it is the best way to keep the lights on … and lower greenhouse emissions – Nuclear power is a proven and reliable low-carbon technology. But many environmentalists believe nuclear reactors are expensive and potentially dangerous, and want investment in renewables, more localised energy systems and power storage technology to cut carbon while securing electricity supplies. The UK’s legally binding targets to tackle climate change by 2050 require slashing carbon pollution from the power sector by 2030. At the same time, electricity demand will be pushed up by switching much of the country’s transport and heating to electric vehicles and heat pumps to cut emissions. One of the attractions of nuclear is that its “lifecycle emissions” – the total amount of greenhouse gas caused by building and running the technology – are very low compared with coal and gas-fired power stations and in the same range as wind power. The Government says new nuclear is “the only proven low-carbon technology” that can provide power continuously, as wind and solar are intermittent.

July 28, 2016 – Economic Times – India seen as responsible nuclear technology country, says Anil Kakodkar – Batting for nuclear energy as key to delivering on the Paris Climate Change Summit commitments, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar on Thursday expressed optimism over India being included in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). “We have to negotiate with all countries because international cooperation in technology is always in mutual interest. So I am sure they will come around. Internationally, India is seen as a responsible country with advanced nuclear technology so that advantage has to be leveraged somewhere,” Kakodkar told the media here when asked about China’s opposition to its NSG membership.

July 28, 2016 – The Avertiser – Should South Australia be home to the world’s largest nuclear waste dump? – I’M an environmentalist. I commute by bike to reduce my carbon footprint, I put in a rainwater tank at home to conserve water, I minimise packaging, buy local, loathe gas-guzzling urban 4WDs and energy-ravenous McMansions and … I am 100 per cent, passionately in favour of a nuclear waste repository for South Australia. Because I am an environmentalist. Because to be a true environmentalist means to care about the health of the whole planet Earth, the whole biosphere and everyone and everything that depends absolutely on it. Every possible safeguard should be taken in dealing with these dangerous, deadly materials. And the scientists — scientists mind you, not politicians or profit-driven corporate bully boys — have already told us more than once that the SA Outback is the best, the safest, the most geologically and environmentally stable place on the planet to store the nuclear waste that already exists in stockpiles around the globe. Stockpiles that, by definition, are in far less safe places than we can provide here.

July 28, 2016 – Gizmag – Pattern-changing shirts react to pollution and radiation – As air pollution becomes a bigger concern in communities around the globe, creative ways to detect it are beginning to proliferate. We’ve seen smartphone sensors proposed, as well as portable personal pollution monitors and even backpack-wearing, pollution-monitoring pigeons. Now, a designer out of New York City has released a line of shirts that change to solid black when they are contaminated by pollutants. But they’re not cheap. The shirts, called Aerochromics, have been created by Nikolas Bentel, who refers to himself as an “artist/designer/performance artist.” Bentel worked with the Autodesk Applied Research Lab – the R&D outpost of 3D software maker Autodesk – to develop three different shirts: one that changes in the presence of carbon monoxide, one that changes when particle pollution (like excessive dust) is present, and one that reacts in the presence of radioactivity.

July 28, 2016 – Highlands Today – SFSC graduates new class of radiologic technologists – On July 21, South Florida State College honored five radiography program graduates in a traditional pinning ceremony on the college’s Highlands campus in Avon Park. Those honored were Glenda Hernandez, Beverly Slaughter, Kiara Morales, Angela Salinas, and Heidi South. The graduates had completed SFSC’s Associate in Science degree in Radiography and will soon sit for their national board examinations, aiming to start their careers later this summer. Radiologic technologists work in hospitals and clinics performing diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays.

July 28, 2016 – Newswire – Stolen Radioactive Instrument Found in a Pawn Shop – Nuclear material has been found in a pawnshop after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a warning, FOX61 reports. The commission warned that the instrument for measuring ground radioactivity is radioactive itself and “potentially dangerous radiation exposure.” HAKS Material Testing Group reported that the device was stolen from a technician’s vehicle parked in Bridgeport, Tuesday morning. Same afternoon, Bridgeport police recovered the device from East Coast Pawn in Bridgeport. One person connected to the incident was arrested. The NRC said the stolen measuring device contains small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241,and is worth about $7,000. It’s “street” value, however, is $0 due to its specific use and danger of misuse.

July 28, 2016 – PhysOrg – Scientists model destruction of an Earth-bound asteroid – Researchers at Tomsk State University (Russia) and colleagues are developing measures to protect the Earth from potentially dangerous celestial bodies. With the help of the supercomputer SKIF Cyberia, the scientists simulated the nuclear explosion of an asteroid 200 meters in diameter in such a way that its irradiated fragments do not fall to the Earth. “The way we propose to eliminate the threat from space is reasonable to use in case of the impossibility of the soft disposal of an object from a collision in orbit and for the elimination of an object that is constantly returning to Earth,” says Tatiana Galushina, an employee of the Department of Celestial Mechanics and Astrometry. Previously, as a preventive measure, scientists proposed to destroy the asteroid on its approach to Earth, but this could result in a catastrophic shower of highly radioactive fragments.

July 28, 2016 – The Advertiser – SA’s nuclear debate: Building a radioactive waste storage facility would take decades – WHAT is required to host a high-level nuclear waste repository in South Australia is best broken into two aspects — a system of tunnels mined deep underground into suitable geology that isolates the waste, and specially designed containers to hold the waste. The depth of the facility — several hundreds of metres — must allay climatic and meteorological issues, such as fire, rises in the sea-level, and erosion. Furthermore, a disposal facility must be situated in stable geological conditions that naturally limit issues around seismic activity and the like. Some geologies are better than others at isolating the radioactive material. For example, in salt and other dry environments there is no groundwater flow.

July 28, 2016 – The Guardian – Flamanville: France’s beleaguered forerunner to Hinkley Point C – On granite cliffs overlooking the Channel is France’s most famous building site. If all goes to plan, by the end of the decade this rocky outcrop will house the biggest and most powerful nuclear reactor in the world. The technology behind the European pressurised reactor (EPR) is meant to be safer than anything that has gone before. But the project is more than three times over budget and years behind schedule, and France’s nuclear safety authority has found weaknesses in the reactor’s steel. And the same model could soon be coming to the English coastline at an even bigger cost. France’s state-controlled energy giant, EDF, is expected to announce on Thursday whether it will go ahead with its investment into the £18bn Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset, where two EPR-style reactors are proposed. EDF is expected to come out in favour of the massive project, despite strong opposition from trade unionist board members, who argue the French government cannot afford it.

July 28, 2016 – The Manufacturer – Cutting the cost of cleaning up nuclear waste – The Nuclear AMRC is working with Sellafield Ltd to cut the cost of making future designs of nuclear waste container boxes, potentially saving hundreds of millions of pounds in decommissioning costs. The clean-up programme at Sellafield and the other sites managed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) will need tens of thousands of special steel boxes over the next 30 years to safely store and dispose of hazardous nuclear waste. The current design is a standardised three sqm stainless steel box which can be stacked for long-term storage, but cost costing tens of thousands of pounds to manufacture. Sellafield Ltd is driving a project to significantly reduce that cost, and tasked engineers at the Nuclear AMRC to help come up with solutions which could save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds over the lifetime of the programme.