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October 12, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

October 12, 2016 – Live Science – Alien Life May Munch on Galactic Cosmic Rays – Extreme microbes that live in hostile places on Earth may feed off of cosmic rays that zip through space, according to a study of a bizarre bacterium thriving deep in a dark gold mine. If life exists on other planets such as Mars, it too could be gobbling up cosmic rays in order to survive, the new study suggests. “When you have radiation penetrating deep below the surface, where there might be water on Mars or [Jupiter’s moon] Europa, then it could start chemical reactions that life could use,” said study author Dimitra Atri, a research scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science in Seattle. Organisms that live off of galactic cosmic rays could even dwell on rogue planets that are not bound to any star and instead drift throughout interstellar space, Atri added.

October 12, 2016 – Dataconomy – How An App Could Be The Key In Avoiding The Risks of Radiation – Whether it be diagnostics, treatment, or even a rehabilitation process, all medical procedures have an obvious goal: bringing benefits to patients. For instance, sonography requires using ultrasound waves for examining soft tissues; magnetic resonance, in turn, involves magnetic fields to make images. Neither waves nor magnets have negative influence on a person’s organism. Biopsies, for example, which are procedures to take person’s cells, are also harmless. However, some medical operations have adverse effects. I’m referring to computed tomography, fluoroscopy (chest X-ray, dental X-ray, mammography, angiography), as well as the usage of radionuclide pharmaceuticals to diagnose and treat patients within nuclear medicine imaging. These procedures expose the patient to ionizing radiation, putting them at risk of developing carcinogenic tumors. And if we speak about fluoroscopy procedures, in particular, here there are also risks for patients to suffer from serious X-ray induced skin injuries.

October 12, 2016 – Update.ph – China donates modern X-ray baggage scanner to Philippine airport – A modern X-ray baggage scanner is now in place at the Laoag International Airport courtesy of the Peoples Republic of China. In a simple ribbon cutting ceremony held at the Laoag Airport on Wednesday, Zhiao Quiaoliang, head of the Chinese Consulate Center in Laoag City, officially turned over the machine to Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos, representing the province of Ilocos Norte. Pegged at an estimated amount of PHP1million, the X-ray baggage scanner is a great help for the Laoag airport to intensify its security measures while in the process of upgrading its facilities to cater to its growing visitors.

October 12, 2016 – CRIEnglish – Radiation risks found in Chengdu’s airport scanners – China’s top environmental authority has called an emergency halt on some full-body scanners in the southwestern city of Chengdu that allegedly have exposed people to excessive doses of radiation. The authority said in a statement that this type of X-ray scanners in Chengdu’s airport should not be used in public spaces or for the general population. The statement also said that scanners with such high doses of X-ray radiation should register and apply for licenses at the authority before being produced, sold or used. They are also demanding local authorities in Sichuan to probe for possible illegal conduct by producers and other related companies. The full-body scanners in question were first reported to be found at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport for security checks. Called the “Ultra-weak Photon Full-body Scanner”, reports questioned about the level of radiation dose it has, and also pointed out that there were not enough warnings given to passengers, especially to pregnant women and children, about ionizing radiation.

October 12, 2016 – Creamer Media – South African toxic mine dumps fail citizens, Harvard Body says – South Africa is failing to uphold citizens’ human rights by allowing toxic waste from huge mine dumps in and around Johannesburg to seep into rivers, according to Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. The government hasn’t done enough to mitigate the impact of contaminated water from abandoned mines and dust storms from radioactive waste dumps, the IHRC said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. While a long-term plan announced in May to spend R12-billion ($843-million) cleaning water from mines is a positive, it came more than a decade after polluted water began seeping out west of Johannesburg, the clinic said.

October 12, 2016 – Daily Northshore – ‘Radium Girls’ Opens Oct. 13 at LFHS – Based on a true story that sets American capitalism and the commercialization of science against the question of conscience, Radium Girls opens at Lake Forest High School on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The two-act play by D. W. Gregory kicks off LFHS Theatre’s 2016-17 season. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15 in the Raymond Moore Auditorium at LFHS. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Business Education faculty member Joseph Pulio directs the play while Director of Theater Dennis Mae provides technical direction and designed the set.

October 12, 2016 – Standard Digital – Innocent food items in your home that are ‘glowing’ with radiation – We interact with – and eat – radioactive materials. But how much radiation are we taking in? Bananas may be an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6, and avocados may provide good levels of pantothenic acid and dietary fibre, but that’s not all these items bring to the party. The term ‘radioactive’ may prompt images of sickness and disaster to mind, but radiation is being, well, radiated happily away from our own fruit bowls. However, before you vow to never upload another Insta-worthy shot of your avocado on toast ever again, it’s not actually a reason to panic. There are plenty of innocent objects (such as bananas and avocados) which give off radiation.

October 12, 2016 – The Engineer – Marconi inspires pursuit of 1 terabit data transfer – Researchers at Rice University are taking inspiration from radio-pioneer Guglielmo Marconi, as they seek to develop a wireless system capable of transferring 1 terabit of data per second. The team is panning on using pulse-based technology, first demonstrated by Marconi in the early 1900s when he used an antenna connected to a large capacitor. By charging that, he could cause the power to build up until the voltage difference ionised the air gap, causing all the power to be sent to the antenna at once. “Our pulse-based system is inspired by Marconi’s invention, but instead of the power going to a large antenna through an air gap, like Marconi’s, ours goes to an on-chip antenna through a high-speed bipolar transistor,” said research co-lead Aydin Babakhani, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice. The silicon-germanium chip converts a digital trigger to a 5-picosecond pulse of radiation with a frequency spectrum exceeding 1 terahertz. The chip supports a repetition rate up to 10 gigahertz, provides beam-steering capability and contains a two-by-four array of transmitters with antennas that can each be independently programmed with resolution steps of 300 femtoseconds.

October 12, 2016 – The Point – Lawmakers ratify membership of Int’l Atomic Energy Agency – Lawmakers Thursday ratified the country’s membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a motion tabled by the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Pa Ousman Jarju. He said the IAEA is a specialised agency of the United Nations, created in 1957 as the ‘world’s Atom for Peace’ organisation to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies. He said it comprises 167 member states as of November 2015, although established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty, the IAEA Statute. The IAEA reports to both the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, he said.

October 12, 2016 – LSE – Foreign investment in critical areas like nuclear power need a formal vetting process – One of the first decisions taken by Theresa May as prime minister was to delay deciding on the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project. Because it was a centrepiece project as part of former Chancellor George Osborne’s “Golden Age” of closer bilateral ties with China, the issue was instantly politicised, provoking an intense debate in Parliament and across government departments. Defenders of the deal included the Chinese embassy and foreign ministry, which came out publicly to apply pressure on May over the issue. Meanwhile, those close to the Prime Minister pointed out the security risks to Britain’s critical national infrastructure and national security. In the end, a face-saving compromise was reached: the Sino-French consortium would go ahead with the deal with Her Majesty’s Government keeping a majority stake in the company to calm nerves within the security agencies.

October 12, 2016 – IT-Online – More questions around new nuclear build – Eyebrows have been raised at the announcement by Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson that makes Eskom the designated procuring agent for South Africa’s proposed new nuclear build. In fact, Gordon Mackay, shadow minister of energy, calls it “nothing short of an elaborate sleight of hand aimed at muddying the water and subverting effective parliamentary oversight over the R1 trillion nuclear deal.”

October 12, 2016 – Global Times – Vietnam to finalize action plan to mitigate nuclear risks – A workshop concluded Hanoi on Wednesday, representing one of the final steps in drafting Vietnam’s national action plan to mitigate chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risks. At the three-day workshop, Duong Quoc Hung, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, reiterated the country’s engagement in mitigating the risks, which was welcomed by delegates from the European Union (EU). The plan’s overall purpose is to articulate a national vision for the risk mitigation and to identify priorities for building capacity in this area. The plan is part of the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Centers of Excellence Risk Mitigation Initiative.

October 12, 2016 – ABC 27 – Don’t be alarmed: Peach Bottom nuclear plant to test siren Wednesday – People living near a York County nuclear power plant shouldn’t worry if they hear sirens. Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station on the Susquehanna River is testing one of its sirens Wednesday, October 12th at 10 a.m. The siren is located in Lancaster County and is a part of the emergency warning siren system surrounding Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. The siren will sound for three minutes, following maintenance, to confirm that it is working. The three-minute blast is a part of a test conducted by the plant’s owner, Exelon Generation.

October 12, 2016 – Wigan Today – Is Lancashire ‘at risk of nuclear contamination’? – Nuclear convoys carrying warheads routinely drive on the M6. If one crashed, or was attacked by terrorists, more than 260,000 people could be in danger of contamination, according to a new report. Nuclear bomb convoys on the M6 are putting more than a quarter of a million people at risk from radioactive contamination in Lancashire, according to a report by campaigners. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons UK, which compiled the report, is demanding an end to the road convoys which routinely pass close to the city en route from the South of England to Scotland. It claims an accident or an explosion could pose a serious threat to people in a 10-kilometre radius.

October 12, 2016 – Common Space – Hinkley nuclear power station is a Trident weapons “stealth initiative”, expert claims – WESTMINSTER is pouring billions into a dodgy nuclear power project to hide the mammoth development costs of Trident weapons of mass destruction, an Oxford academic has claimed. Peter Wynn Kirby, a nuclear and environmental specialist at the University of Oxford, has accused the UK Government of backing the Hinkley weapons plan “at almost any price” as a means of “hiding the true costs” of Trident nuclear weapons renewal. Kirby, writing for the New York Times, cites a University of Sussex report that considers corporate nuclear development in the energy and military sectors as a means of combining development costs. The claim combines two of the most contentious and unpopular spending decisions of the current UK Government – one to spend beyond £100bn on more weapons of mass destruction, the other to build a costly nuclear power station despite cheaper renewable alternatives.

October 12, 2016 – Express.co.uk – China going NUCLEAR in disputed sea: Atomic reactor to be hidden inside SHIPPING CONTAINER – A nuclear plant is under development in China that would be the world’s smallest – capable of fitting inside a small steel box. Experts say the technology – dubbed the “portable nuclear battery pack” – could be ready within five years. At just 6.1 metres long and 2.6 metres high, the lead-cooled reactor could generate around 10 megawatts of power, enough to power 50,000 homes. Well-suited to the maritime environment of the South China Sea, the reactor is capable of desalinating large quantities of seawater to be used in the plant. However, critics warn that hosting a nuclear reactor at sea would make it vulnerable to catastrophic environmental disasters, including leaks into the ocean which would then spread around the world.

October 12, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Germany, Utilities Said to Agree Nuclear Deal From Feb. 2017 – The German government has reached an agreement in principle with utilities on a nuclear decommissioning pact that will probably go into effect in February, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Utilities from RWE AG to EON SE would have to stump up a combined initial payment of 23.3 billion euros ($25.8 billion) that was proposed by a government commission in April, as well as interest, to free them from their nuclear waste storage liabilities, the person said. A contract has yet to be drawn up, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.