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July 6, 2016 – Press Pieces

On July 6th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

July 6, 2016 – CNBC – How the Department of Energy became a major taxpayer liability – If you were to guess which government agency has had to pay out the most in court in recent years, the Department of Energy probably wouldn’t come to mind. Yet the DOE is among the most prominent defendants requiring payment from the Judgment Fund, which pays for claims against the government. The department paid out more in legal claims than any other agency last year and the year before, according to the fund’s records — more than $5 billion over the last decade. And according to the department itself, the bloodletting as far from over. The DOE has failed to make good on some of its most important contractual obligations for years, and its private partners have been collecting billions in damages.

July 6, 2016 – WeAreTheCity.com – Inspirational Quotes: Marie Curie, Nobel Prize winning scientist – Marie Curie, born 1867, was a Polish physicist and chemist who was famous for her work in radioactivity. Throughout her life, Curie had many notable achievements. She was the first women to win a Nobel Prize; the first person and only woman to win the award twice; and the only person to win twice in multiple sciences. She also founded the Curie Institutes, leading research centres, in Paris and Warsaw. During the First World War, Curie established the first military field radiological centres, meaning that mobile x-rays could be taken. Curie died in 1934, aged 66 due to radiation poisoning from carrying around test tubes of radium in her pockets and coming into contact with radiation from x-ray machines. Below you will find the best inspirational quotes from Marie Curie herself.

July 6, 2016 – CBS4 Denver – Radioactive Sludge Removed From Water Treatment Plant – Low level radioactive sludge is being removed from a water treatment plant in Englewood, following a CBS4 investigation. Some workers believe the sludge at the Allen Water Treatment Facility at Windermere Street and Layton Avenue may have given them cancer. Linda Black’s husband Jim worked at that water treatment plant for 20 years until he died. “I believe he strongly felt the sludge was the reason for the number of employees who had cancer,” she told CBS4. Three employees have died from cancer. Others may have cancer, like Ken Kloewer.

July 6, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Koizumi appeals for help for U.S. vets who assisted in Fukushima – Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is calling for donations to the relief fund he founded for U.S. veterans who claim their health problems resulted from radioactive fallout after the 2011 nuclear disaster. Speaking at a news conference on July 5 alongside another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, Koizumi said of the U.S. veterans: “They went so far to do their utmost to help Japan. It is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy.” More than 400 veterans who were part of the Operation Tomodachi mission to provide humanitarian relief after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami have filed a mass lawsuit in California against Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. They are seeking compensation and an explanation for their health problems. However, in a 2014 report released by the U.S. Defense Department, no link was established between radiation exposure and their ill health. The reason cited was that only a low level of radiation exposure occurred.

July 6, 2016 – info-europa.com – Why are Africans afraid of nuclear energy, asks Molefe – Africa should use nuclear energy to move forward, said Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Speaking at the power utility’s integrated results at Megawatt Park on Tuesday, Molefe shared some of the things he learnt from an Massachusetts Institute of Technology nuclear programme, which he recently completed in the US. The programme took Molefe through the basics of chemistry, physics and mathematics to understand nuclear reactions and plant infrastructure. What struck Molefe is that MIT has a nuclear reactor on its campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, close to the public. “My curiosity was aroused and I wanted to learn what your fears are about nuclear,” he said.

July 6, 2016 – WBFO 88.7 – Investigative Post: Radioactive hotspots dot Niagara County – The driveway that John Grace uses for his home on Upper Mountain Road in Lewiston is hot, but not in a way that he can use as a marketing pitch to sell his home. Government surveys almost four decades ago found sections of the driveway contaminated with radioactive waste in excess of 70 times what people are naturally exposed to in the area. He watched as a radiation detector located the hotspots that triggers the device. Grace first found out three years ago that the driveway, which he does not actually own, was contaminated. That’s when Environmental Protection Agency officials dug holes into the driveway and a vacant lot next door to pinpoint the hotspots. “I just said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ This is Lewiston, where the dead come from. But they said it was all around,” said Grace. “They said it was all around Niagara County.”

July 6, 2016 – Las Vegas Sun – Shame on Nevada leaders who sell out on Yucca Mountain – Some politicians in Congress are grasping at the fantasy of gaining control of Yucca Mountain so their states’ expended-but-still-lethally radioactive nuclear power plant fuel rods can be dumped in Nevada. Their strategy, which will be aired during a congressional hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill, is to persuade Nevada politicians to betray their constituents and allow the use of Yucca Mountain’s frail geology as a tomb for the most deadly material known to man. This, in exchange for a bag of gold coins. More specifically, they are once again floating the notion that if Nevada politicians green-light the use of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository — something we have fought for 30 years — they’ll give us something in return: a north-south interstate highway, perhaps, or research money for UNLV. Offering political payola to get Nevada to take it in the gut is despicable, and shame on any public officials from Nevada who would be seduced by such a conniving tactic. At stake is nothing less than the safety and welfare of the people who elected the Nevada officials to office, and the economic security of Las Vegas, which depends on visitors feeling relaxed, comfortable and safe, versus looking over their shoulders at a nuclear waste dump 90 miles up the highway.

July 6, 2016 – Modern Building Services – Hargreaves wins ductwork contract for Chernobyl – Hargreaves has been selected to supply over 6000 m of high-integrity ductwork to one of the largest engineering projects in the world — at the Chernobyl nuclear site in the Ukraine. The company says it is the only UK subcontractor working on the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) project, having secured a multi-million contract with Novarka, a joint venture between Vinci Construction Grands Projects and Bouygues Travaux Publics. The contract involves delivering a complete bespoke ventilation and containment solution to the NSC project — including consultation, detail design, manufacture and engineering services, as well as managing the procurement process. A 108 m-high arch is being constructed to prevent the release of radioactive materials from within the Chernobyl nuclear reactor for at least 100 years.

July 6, 2016 – Nerdist.com – FALLOUT 4’s Nuka-World Expansion Will Be the Final One – It’s all over for Fallout 4 DLC after the Nuka-World hits next month. From the moment it was first teased, and subsequently announced, Fallout 4 has been the one game absolutely everyone has been talking about. It’s no mystery why; there was plenty to do in the vast wasteland of the base game alone. When official mods and downloadable content came along (including the recent Far Harbor expansion and Contraptions Workshop), tons of hours and depth were added to the game. So, it comes as no surprise that Bethesda will be done crafting DLC once Nuka-World hits PC and consoles in August. The content is set to launch next month, with the Vault-Tec Workshop add-on hitting this month. If you’re worried about running out of Fallout content, don’t fret—Nuka-World will keep you more than busy. The $20 expansion is jam packed with quests, weapons, and radioactive fun. By the description alone, it sounds like we’re in for a treat.

July 6, 2016 – Reuters – Shortage of stress-test dye leads to more invasive heart procedures – Due to shortages of a radioactive substance used in exercise stress tests, more heart patients have needed complex invasive procedures, new research shows. Doctors inject the harmless radioactive substance, called a tracer, to help them diagnose or rule out coronary artery disease. Not every patient needs the injection. But for those who do, not being able to get it means the only other way for doctors to get the same information is for the patient to undergo a cardiac catheterization. The current worldwide shortage of a radioisotope known as technetium Tc 99m, which is commonly used during stress testing, appears to have led to a nearly 10 percent increase in heart catheterizations after stress tests, Dr. Venkatesh L. Murthy from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor told Reuters Health.

July 6, 2016 – KIIItv.com – TSA Testing C.T. Scanners for Luggage – Your wait at the airport could get shorter this summer. The T.S.A. says it is conducting a pilot program at the Phoenix International Airport using C.T. scanners to inspect carry-on’s. The scanners are already used to screen checked bags. They would eliminate the need for x-ray screeners and let you leave liquids and laptops in your bag. The process will cut the time you spend in line by nearly 30-percent.

July 6, 2016 – Symmetry Magazine – Incredible hulking facts about gamma rays – From lightning to the death of electrons, the highest-energy form of light is everywhere. Gamma rays are the most energetic type of light, packing a punch strong enough to pierce through metal or concrete barriers. More energetic than X-rays, they are born in the chaos of exploding stars, the annihilation of electrons and the decay of radioactive atoms. And today, medical scientists have a fine enough control of them to use them for surgery. Here are seven amazing facts about these powerful photons.

July 6, 2016 – The Telegraph – Merrimack firm helps NASA mission – At seven minutes before midnight on the Fourth of July, NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered into orbit about 3,000 miles above the planet Jupiter with a little connection to the Granite State. Nanocomp Technologies, a Merrimack-based nanotechnology firm, developed a material known as Miralon to protect critical spacecraft components from the ambient radiation surrounding Jupiter. It has been connected to the spacecraft since its launch in August 2011.

July 6, 2016 – Renal & Urology News – Hypofractionated RT Noninferior for Localized Prostate Cancer – Hypofractionated radiotherapy at a dose of 60 Gy in fractions is non-inferior to conventional radiotherapy using 74 Gy in 37 fractions for the treatment of patients with localized prostate cancer after 5 years’ follow-up, a study published in the journal The Lancet Oncology has shown. Because prostate cancer might have high radiation-fraction sensitivity that gives a therapeutic advantage to hypofractionated therapy, researchers compared the efficacy and safety of conventional radiotherapy with hypofractionated therapy.

July 6, 2016 – Sputnik International – Germany May Wait Over a Hundred Years to Bury Nuclear Waste – After two years of research, the repository commission presented its 682-page report to the parliament on Tuesday where it called into question an on-time solution to the problem of radioactive storage. “The German Bundestag is due, according to current estimates, to start searching for an optimal secure place in 2017. Decades will pass before the waste can be buried and possibly more than a century before this process ends,” the report predicted.

July 6, 2016 – KWOS 950AM – Callaway Plant is full of nuclear waste – Did you that there’s 30 – years worth of nuclear waste stored just miles up the road from your house? All the spent nuclear fuel rods from the Callaway Plant have stayed on – site … Callaway County Representative Travis Fitzwater says the plan has always been for that spent fuel to be transferred to the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. But that site has never opened due to politicians who don’t want it in their state.

July 6, 2016 – ITV.com – Sellafield confirms new anti-terror tactics – Sellafield has confirmed it is using new tactics to protect the nuclear complex from a terrorist attack. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary says there is no direct threat to the site in West Cumbria. But officers have warned that they cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to security. People living in the area are also being urged to report any suspicious behaviour.

July 6, 2016 – Nuclear Street – AREVA’s Cavitation Peening Used At Byron NPP – AREVA NP said this week that the company had employed an innovative maintenance technique for the first time on the reactor vessel closure head at Unit 2 of Exelon’s Byron Generating Station in Illinois. Byron NPPThe process called cavitation peening is process of surface mitigation used for key reactor components in the primary system – reactor vessel head nozzle penetrations, bottom mounted nozzle instrumentation penetrations and reactor vessel primary nozzles, according to the AREVA web site. These are systems that are highly susceptible to primary water stress corrosion cracking. Captivation peening uses “submerged, ultra-high pressure water jets to work the surface of reactor components,” by use of vapor bubbles that collapse on the component’s surface. As this occurs, shock waves travel through the material creating compressive residual stresses. This, in effect, replaces random fractures in the component’s surface with controlled compression peening, which prevents the start to random surface cracking.

July 6, 2016 – Manila Times – Reactor fuels Russia bid for atomic lead – The new No. 6 reactor at Russia’s Novovoronezh atomic power station is not just about generating power, but re-launching Russia’s ambitions to become a major player in the nuclear industry. The new design comes 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet republic of Ukraine dealt a body blow to reputation of the Soviet Union’s nuclear industry and five years after the Fukushima disaster in Japan sowed fresh doubts over safety. Russia’s nuclear power corporation Rosatom is presenting the new VVER-1200 reactor that is entering service here as not only the most powerful in the world, but the safest. The 1,200-megawatt reactor with a service life of 60 years includes innovative security features that operate equally well on commands from the staff or without human action, including cooling systems that work without electricity, it says.

July 6, 2016 – Nuclear Street – Dominion Power Signs Order For 75 NUHOMS EOS Canisters – Dominion Virginia Power has signed a contract with AREVA TN for provision of 75 NUHOMS EOS dry shielded canisters designed to store used nuclear fuel at two of the company’s operating facilities though 2038. NUHOMS CanisterThe EOS canisters will be manufactured at AREVA TN’s Columbiana Hi Tech facility in Kernersville, N.C. AREVA TN expects to begin delivery of the canisters in 2019. The two companies held a ceremonial contract signing event at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. The “high capacity, high-burnup and high-heat load” AREVA TN system provides dry fuel storage for pressurized and boiling water reactors. “The EOS 37TH and EOS 89BTH baskets are constructed using alloy steel, aluminum and metal matrix composite plates configured into an egg crate design, allowing for more cost-effective fabrication,” according to a company Web site.

July 6, 2016 – Forbes – Can The Modern Environmental Movement Save Nuclear Energy In California? – Could the protests held against nuclear energy in the 1970s be giving way to the current marches in favor of the carbon-free power source? With the announced closure of Northern California’s Diablo Canyon, the modern environmental movement has sent its foot soldiers to battle. But can they win? Ever since Pacific Gas & Electric Co. agreed last to close the state’s one remaining nuclear power plant, there has been a backlash against those environmental groups that have forced the shutdown that would occur in nine years — a facility that now cranks out 2,160 megawatts of clean energy.

July 6, 2016 – Natural Resources Defense Council – Regulating Tritium Leaks and Spills – Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is continuously released to the environment from both natural and human sources. The major natural source of tritium is the result of several interactions of cosmic rays with gases in the upper atmosphere, existing principally in the form of water vapor which precipitates as rain and snow. Human sources of tritium are due to the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons, as well as the operation of nuclear power reactors. The radioactive half-life of tritium (indicating the rate at which the nucleus disintegrates) is 12.3 years. Thus tritium is classified as a long half-life radionuclide. However, because of the low energy of the radiation given off by the beta-decay of tritium, and subsequently this radiation’s low ability to penetrate materials, tritium’s decay radiation can be completely absorbed by sheets of plastic, paper, glass or metal, and tritium’s decay radiation cannot penetrate the top-most, dead layer of skin in humans or animals. Nevertheless, tritium exposure can pose a health risk if it is ingested in drinking water or food, or inhaled or absorbed by the skin or by other biological tissue.

July 6, 2016 – Popular Mechanics – The Tests That Showed the World the Horrifying Power of Nuclear Weapons – In the summer of 1946, just a year after World War II ended, the U.S. Navy conducted two atmospheric nuclear bomb tests at Bikini Atoll (the name would be immortalized in the two-piece bikini swimsuit). Here, the United States learned horrifying lessons about the newest weapon to enter its arsenal, confirming nukes as truly the worst weapon ever devised. The tests were dubbed Operation Crossroads, and the purpose to determine the effectiveness of nuclear bombs against navy ships. Ninety-five obsolete and decommissioned navy ships, including four battleships, two aircraft carriers, two cruisers, and dozens of destroyers, replenishment ships, amphibious ships, and even captured German and Japanese navy ships were towed to the middle of Bikini Atoll to simulate a fleet at anchorage. Around 42,000 U.S. military personnel were on hand to support the exercise.

July 6, 2016 – Cape Cod Times – NRC: Pilgrim let safety gear lapse – Electrical relays at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, relied on to shut safety valves in the reactor building should an accident occur, had long exceeded their shelf life when checked by federal inspectors last week. The role of the relays is to close so-called containment isolation valves to prevent a release of radioactivity into the environment. Federal inspectors found the relays were 22 years old. According to the product vendors, those relays are supposed to be switched out every 10 years. After the discovery, plant owner Entergy Corp. declared the relays inoperable because their age did not “provide reasonable assurance” that they would work if called upon, said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

July 6, 2016 – St. George Spectrum – Documentary on nuclear testing victim gets DOCUTAH nod – A documentary film crew determined to tell the story of a now-deceased veteran and his widow’s efforts to obtain compensation after his exposure to radioactivity during Nevada Cold War bomb tests announced this week that the film will be one of those screened at this year’s DOCUTAH film festival. “Perfect day to announce ‘Radioactive Veteran’ … has been accepted to @DOCUTAH,” producer Bradley Bethel tweeted via social media Monday – the Fourth of July. Festival founder and director Phil Tuckett confirmed Tuesday that the film is one of the 65 films that will be shown at this year’s festival, which is presented as a Dixie State University product.

July 6, 2016 – Sputnik International – Don’t Say Meltdown: Japan’s Coverup and US’ ‘Radioactive Russian Roulette’ – Japan finds itself in the midst of a fresh scandal, as the president of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has publicly admitted that the company staged a cover-up during the disastrous Fukushima nuclear meltdown in March of 2011. Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Kevin Kamps, from Beyond Nuclear, about the coverup and its possible implications for the US. Kamps documented how TEPCO knew about the meltdown from the beginning, and understated the true extent of the damage. “They clearly did conceal the three meltdowns for two months,” he said. “They [TEPCO] knew really within the first day or two that they had a meltdown, and they simply covered it up for as long as they could.” Kamps pointed out a recent report in which the company attempted to dodge responsibility for their duplicity. “What’s interesting now is this panel report is trying to shift the blame from Tokyo Electric to the serving government at the time, which was the Democratic Party of Japan. They’re trying to blame Prime Minister [Naoto] Kan and his chief spokesman Yukio Edano, both of whom have really come out swinging against this report, saying it’s preposterous [and that] they made no order to TEPCO to not use the word ‘meltdown,’ but that’s what TEPCO’s trying to say, that’s it’s the government’s fault.”

July 6, 2016 – WRVO Public Media – Group asks Cuomo to oppose nuclear plant subsidies – More than 100 organizations across New York and the country are sending a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking the state not to subsidize nuclear power plants. The New York Public Service Commission is considering passing a nuclear tax credit plan this summer that would aid the financially struggling nuclear plants in upstate, as Cuomo asked them to do earlier this year. It’s part of his “Reforming Our Energy Vision” plan that aims to double the amount of renewable energy the state uses to 50 percent by 2030. The plan calls for zero-emission credits would reward the plants for producing carbon dioxide-free electricity, similar to how New York subsidizes renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Supporters of the credits say the plants can help New York meet its green energy goals because they produce carbon-free electricity, but those who signed the letter, like Sierra Club member Linda DeStefano, say nuclear plants are too dangerous to keep around.

July 6, 2016 – New York Times – Nuclear Power, to Tide Us Over – You seem to believe that intermittent wind and solar can power America more cleanly than nuclear power. This is not the case. Wind and solar arrays cover vast amounts of territory, often destroying pristine wilderness areas that were home to many animal and plant species. The energy provided to the grid is weak and intermittent. Base-load energy — energy that can be supplied around the clock — is necessary to keep electricity continuously flowing in our homes and factories and hospitals. Today, that means burning coal and natural gas and running nuclear plants. Fossil fuels must be reduced and eventually abandoned for cleaner and safer power. The only course is to back up intermittent energy from renewables with clean nuclear power. Nuclear plants are capable of running for decades. Yes, repairs and replacements are required from time to time, as is the case with any energy provider. But Diablo Canyon and Indian Point can keep running far into the future.

July 6, 2016 – Hollywood Reporter – ‘Indian Point’: Film Review – In her first feature doc since examining the espionage case against her grandparents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg (in Heir to an Execution), Ivy Meeropol looks at a still-unfolding piece of history, the battle over the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York state. An activist-friendly film which nevertheless strives for an evenhanded stance amid much controversy, Indian Point naturally investigates not just this facility, but the issue of nukes in general. As such it has long-term value to our ongoing debates over how the world gets its energy, but nothing here demands a trip to theaters before the movie arrives soon on video. Situated just 35 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River, the plant is within 50 miles of six percent of the U.S. population. So it was already of great interest to those wary of nuclear dangers before the 2011 tragedy at Fukushima. Starting her film after that incident, Meeropol sees how it attracts extra attention to the question of whether nuclear regulators will grant a renewed 20-year license to Entergy, the company operating Indian Point.

July 6, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Nuclear waste acceptance criteria updated for WIPP shipments – Starting today, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, along with other transuranic waste generating sites across the Department of Energy, will have to follow newly revised packaging and certification criteria that resulted from investigations into a 2014 radiological release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP. WIPP is a geological repository for transuranic waste located near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The site was shut down in 2014 following the radiological release and a salt truck fire, halting shipments from facilities like Savannah River Site. Materials sent to the site are typically things like gloves, tools and other materials that become contaminated during the handling of spent nuclear fuel or plutonium. The materials are packaged into containers like the TRUPACT-III. The new criteria will require those shipments to undergo inspection to ensure compliance with revised safety and content guidelines before being sent on to WIPP. The facility is a permanent disposition facility meant to hold the materials for 10,000 years until the material has effectively decayed.

July 6, 2016 – TC Palm – St. Lucie Nuclear Plant security provider G4S has two black eyes: Mateen, Martin Girls Academy – G4S is notorious on the Treasure Coast for employing mass murderer Omar Mateen and allowing rampant violence at the Martin Girls Academy. Those black marks on the private security company’s record raise questions about how the global giant can be entrusted guarding the reactors and radioactive material at Florida Power & Light Co.’s St. Lucie Nuclear Plant, which theoretically poses the greatest threat to the health and safety of most Treasure Coast residents. Mateen never worked at any of the power company’s facilities, an FPL spokesman said. He declined to answer any more of Treasure Coast Newspapers’ questions. “The alleged Orlando gunman has never worked at any of our facilities, including our nuclear plants in Florida,” said Peter Robbins, a nuclear communications manager with FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc. “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on the specifics of our security program.”

July 6, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Federal contractors to start cleanup from Manhattan Project near Los Alamos – U.S. Department of Energy contractors are scheduled to start removing contaminated soil leftover in northern New Mexico from the Manhattan Project and early atomic Cold War research. Work is expected to begin this week on the south-facing slopes of Los Alamos Canyon and is part of an agreement between federal and New Mexico officials, the Los Alamos Monitor reports. Officials say the contaminated soils will be temporarily stored at Tech Area 21 at Los Alamos National Laboratory and eventually will be shipped to a permanent area once tested.

July 6, 2016 – Las Vegas Sun News – Nevada’s solar regression appalls overseas champions of renewable energy – Nevada isn’t the only place in the world focused on the use of renewable energy and also the disposal of highly radioactive waste. I recently attended an energy summit in Sweden where European officials and academics gathered to discuss both of those issues in a conference directed at “Ethics in Decisions on Energy.” Making decisions based on ethical sense was certainly a concept to explore for this Nevadan. It’s playing out in Finland, for example, which is on its way to becoming the first European country to willingly provide a repository for irradiated fuel from commercial nuclear power plants. A site was chosen near two of the country’s nuclear power plants, and the conditions for building and operating the repository were worked out with the community, which strongly supports nuclear power plants. The design of the facility is based on one that is underway in Sweden, where a repository is also planned in another reactor-friendly community.