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October 17, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 17th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 17, 2016 – Clarkesville Online – NASA looks to use New Material to boost power in Spacecraft Nuclear Cells – No extension cord is long enough to reach another planet, and there’s no spacecraft charging station along the way. That’s why researchers are hard at work on ways to make spacecraft power systems more efficient, resilient and long-lasting. “NASA needs reliable long-term power systems to advance exploration of the solar system,” said Jean-Pierre Fleurial, supervisor for the thermal energy conversion research and advancement group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “This is particularly important for the outer planets, where the intensity of sunlight is only a few percent as strong as it is in Earth orbit.” A cutting-edge development in spacecraft power systems is a class of materials with an unfamiliar name: skutterudites (skut-ta-RU-dites). Researchers are studying the use of these advanced materials in a proposed next-generation power system called an eMMRTG, which stands for Enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.

October 17, 2016 – The Australian – Australia joins international search for fusion energy – Australia has avoided paying $346 million to join the world’s biggest physics project by trading our expertise for entry into a program to create the carbon-free ­energy of the sun and stars. It is the first time in 35 years a nation outside the founding nine members has been admitted to the global collaboration to produce energy from fusion. It is also the first time a member has been admitted without paying at least €240m ($346m) as an entry fee to finance the research and development of a fusion ­reactor. Instead of paying the fee, Australia is providing its expertise and technology in analysing the ­behaviour of plasma, which draws energy from the conversion of ­hydrogen to helium. The first plasma for the basis of a fusion reaction is timed to be produced in 2026, with the first power expected about 2033.

October 17, 2016 – EarthIsland.org – No Justice for the Marshall Islands In Nuclear Weapons Contamination Caseby Tom Arms – The residents of the Marshall Islands are the ultimate modern age victims. If they don’t die from cancer inflicted by nuclear testing they will drown from rising sea levels caused by climate change. Like most victims, they sought justice. But the International Court of Justice at The Hague refused it on what was effectively a diplomatic-cum-legal technicality. The Marshall Islands — population 54,000 — are two parallel strings of islands covering 750,000 square miles of the South Pacific. Their best known piece of real estate is Bikini Atoll. In the aftermath of World War Two, the United States was given responsibility for administering and looking after the welfare of the islanders. It did this by exploding 67 nuclear devices on Bikini Atoll and other parts of the Marshall Islands. Over a 12-year period the US exploded the equivalent of 200 kilotons a day. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons.

October 17, 2016 – domain-B.com – Poof! The weird case of the X-ray that came out blank – Imagine getting a medical X-ray that comes out blank – as if your bones had vanished. That’s what happened when scientists cranked up the intensity of the world’s first X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, to get a better look at a sample they were studying: The X-rays seemed to go right through it as if it were not there. This result was so weird that the leader of the experiment, SLAC Professor Joachim Stöhr, devoted the next three years to developing a theory that explains why it happened. Now his team has published a paper in Physical Review Letters describing the 2012 experiment for the first time. What they saw was a so-called non-linear effect where more than one photon, or particle of X-ray light, enters a sample at the same time, and they team up to cause unexpected things to happen.

October 17, 2016 – iTV News – 60th anniversary of world’s first nuclear power station – Today marks 60 years since the opening of the world’s first commercial nuclear power station at Calder Hall in west Cumbria. The Queen carried out the ceremony on October the 17th 1956. The plant produced electricity for the national grid for almost 50 years. On that day the Queen announced: “It is with pride that I now open Calder Hall, Britain’s first Atomic power station.” It was the first time the immense power of nuclear energy was to be harnessed for a peaceful use – to produce electricity on a commercial scale for homes and businesses around Britain. The first town to receive electricity direct from Calder Hall was Workington. The opening of the four reactors followed a huge construction process over the previous three years involving thousands of workers.

October 17, 2016 – Daily Mail – Atomic-sized ‘MRI scanners’ may lead to new drugs: Quantum bits will pick up the structure of single molecules – MRI scanners use magnetic fields to produce 3D views of structures. But quantum bits, or qubits, could also be used to sense magnetic fields. Researchers hope to use them as highly sensitive quantum scanners. This could reveal the atomic structures of samples, leading to new drugs.

October 17, 2016 – Greek Reporter – Using X-Rays and Periodic Table to Reveal Techniques That Created Ancient Greek Pottery – Art experts are using science to uncover the special methods used by artists who created pottery in Ancient Greece. In a joint effort, the Cantor Arts Center’s Art + Science Learning Lab, art and science faculty, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have teamed up to reveal some surprising techniques by using X-rays and elements of the periodic table. The pottery is being scanned in such a way that it is literally being read in elements from iron, potassium, calcium and zinc- all identified in neon colors. This discovery is not only exciting, but shows that there is much more than meets the eye in many pieces of art. Director of the Learning Lab, Susan Roberts-Manganelli is thrilled about the new breakthroughs and joint efforts in discovery, as she commented to phys.org: “You can’t do science, art history or conservation in isolation. We all thought we could at one time, but now we realize we are stronger and better as a group.”

October 17, 2016 – The Pioneer – China decommissions its 1st nuclear submarine – China’s first nuclear-powered submarine has been decommissioned after more than 40 years of military service, media said on Sunday. After undergoing a thorough denuclearisation process, the submarine was towed to a wharf belonging to the Chinese Navy Museum in Qingdao, a port city in east China’s Shandong province where it will be a public exhibit, State- run Xinhua news agency reported. The submarine’s release from military service and the safe, thorough and reliable handling of related nuclear waste, nuclear reactor and other devices showed China’s life-cycle maintenance ability, the report quoted the naval authorities as saying.

October 17, 2016 – Toronto Star – Canada’s euphemistic search for a place to bury nuclear waste: Walkom – The headline in the Lucknow Sentinel said it all. “Conversations begin to explore connections between APM project and community well-being,” it read. Indeed they have. As the full-page ad in the Southwestern Ontario weekly reported this month, such “conversations” have been going full-tilt in eight small Ontario communities as a federal agency searches for a place willing to store highly radioactive spent-fuel rods from Canada’s nuclear power plants. Four of the eight are on or near Lake Huron, including the township of Huron-Kinloss, which is where Lucknow is situated. An observer from, say, Mars might think a highly radioactive nuclear dump would be a hard sell.

October 17, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Brexit could hurt Hinkley nuclear progress – Brexit could have damaging implications for the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. The project has already overcome legal obstacles, conflict within the EDF board, delayed UK government approval and other various issues, but Brexit now threatens the ability of the project’s developers to bring in the skilled personnel it needs to produce the facility. City AM reports that the engineering industry, which contributes £280bn to the economy, has said that a restriction on access to skills could delay the building of major infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point C as it increases the expense for projects if demand for skilled engineers outstrips supply.

October 17, 2016 – Daily Mail – Bulgarian prosecutors charge two former executives over nuclear project – Bulgaria’s prosecutors have charged two former directors of state electricity firm NEK with causing financial damage by signing a nuclear deal that cost the business more than 77 million euros ($86 million). Bulgaria cancelled its 10 billion euro Belene project with Russia’s Atomstroyexport in 2012 after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia. NEK now has to pay over 620 million euros ($695 million) in compensation to Atomstroyexport over the project, which analysts and politicians say reflects widespread corruption. On Friday, Sofia City Prosecution accused Ludomir Velkov and Madrik Papazian of signing a 205 million euro deal to sell the ageing nuclear equipment to Atomstroyexport in 2007 and agreed to take all transport and tax expenses.

October 17, 2016 – The Japan News – New governor should calmly discuss Niigata nuclear plant reactivation – It is necessary to steadily reactivate nuclear power plants whose safety has been confirmed. The newly elected Niigata governor should calmly consider this. Ryuichi Yoneyama, a medical doctor recommended by three opposition parties —the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party (previously known as the People’s Life Party) and the Social Democratic Party — has been elected for the first time in the Niigata gubernatorial election. He defeated, among others, Tamio Mori, a former Nagaoka mayor endorsed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

October 17, 2016 – Fossbytes – Hackers Successfully Attacked A Nuclear Power Plant — Is Anything Safe Anymore? – The International Atomic Energy Agency Director, Yukiya Amano, has revealed that a nuclear power plant was attacked by the hackers about 2-3 years ago. While Mr. Amano declined to reveal the name of the exact power plant, he said that hacking risk is not imaginary and more stringent measures should be take to safeguard the nuclear facilities. The notorious hackers surely know how to leave an impact and create a tensed environment. Unlike the regular dose of data breach news, seldom we read about a nuclear power plant getting hacked. Yukiya Amano, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director, has told Reuters that a nuclear power plant was successfully attacked by the hackers about 2-3 years ago. While it didn’t cause the plant to completely shut down, it disrupted the power plant. He declined to mention which particular nuclear power plant was involved in the attack.

October 17, 2016 – WTVC 9 – TVA sets auction date for unfinished nuclear plant – The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up on a project that was supposed to become one of its biggest nuclear power plants. TVA is selling the 1,400-acre site in northeast Alabama. TVA said Friday it set a Nov. 14 auction date to sell its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear power plant. TVA directors declared the unfinished nuclear plant to be surplus property earlier this year – 43 years after construction began on the complex. The utility says the primary goal in selling the site is to provide the best long-term economic return to surrounding communities.

October 17, 2016 – 24 News HD – Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant operational – Pakistan’s fourth nuclear power plant has started the production. reported 24 News. “340 MW will be included in the national grid through this plant.” “Congratulation to the nation that Pakistan’s 4th nuclear power plant Chashma Unit-3(C-3) has been connected to the national grid,” the PAEC sources said and added that supply of electricity generated by this unit to the national grid had been started on trial basis. The spokesperson of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) told media that after phasing through functional and safety measures, the plant will be fully functional by early December. “Henceforth the formal inauguration ceremony will be held in December,” he added. On achieving the mile stone, the head of PAEC Muhammad Naeem re-affirmed that the scientists, technicians and engineers were working hard to achieve all the targets to ensure nuclear security of Pakistan.

October 17, 2016 – ABC.az – Czech Republic displays an interest to Azerbaijan’s nuclear research – The Institute of Physics under the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (AMEA) informs that Ivan Ştekl, the director of the Institute of Applied & Experimental Physics at the Czech Technical University, paid a visit to the Institute of Physics. He was familiarized with the equipment and activities of the Azerbaijani Institute and gave high estimate to them. The visit took place within the framework of the Days of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Baku.

October 17, 2016 – News 24 – Clear on Nuclear? – I’m not a power generation expert, nor an economist, so I’m in no position to give any authoritative view on whether our country should invest in nuclear power. I don’t know what our future power needs will be and the short fall we will have once our “new” coal-powered stations are delivered. I don’t know of the real dangers of nuclear but so-called experts tell us they’re actually safer than coal power stations. Who to believe? What I can do is express observations and an armchair critic opinion on those things which concern me. Surely that is all the populace can do and hope the powers-that-be who love to silence our voices and drive their own agendas actually listen to us for once. Are my views worth more than my neighbours? Surely not, we all have a voice, an equal voice called democracy.

October 17, 2016 – WRVO – When it comes to nuclear power, does Cuomo favor politics over policy? – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent the past year walking a fine line between environmentalists who believe nuclear power is a necessary evil in reducing the state’s carbon dioxide emissions and those who think the plants pose too great a danger. But, Cuomo is no stranger to this kind of juggling act on nuclear policy. When the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant experienced a recent oil leak that could have made its way into the Hudson River, Cuomo seemed to fall into what’s become a standard routine: issue a statement, visit the plant and express grave concern about Indian Point’s continued operation. “This plant, since 2011, there have been over 40 extraordinary incidents,” Cuomo said. “We have had tritium leaks, we have had steam leaks, we have had a fire in a transformer, we’ve had turbine failures, pump failures, weld failures, high levels of radioactivity in groundwater. So, this plant is no stranger to dangerous situations.”

October 17, 2016 – Daily News & Analysis – Bacteria may help prevent radioactive leaks: Study – Naturally occurring bacteria could consume pent-up hydrogen gas in nuclear waste repositories to prevent radioactive leaks, a new study has found. A research team led by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland discovered a microbial community made up of seven species of bacteria that live naturally hundreds of meters underground in the very rock layers that have been chosen to host Swiss nuclear waste.

October 17, 2016 – ABC News – Washington State Seeks to Protect Nuclear Site Workers – Washington state asked a federal judge Wednesday to issue an injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to take steps to protect workers at a major nuclear waste storage site. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson says more than 50 workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have been exposed to toxic vapors and the “culture of indifference to worker safety must end.” From January through July, Hanford workers reported suspicious smells or symptoms that indicate exposure to chemical vapors, according to The Tri-City Herald. ( http://bit.ly/2dVsCtf ) U.S. District Chief Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane heard arguments on the safety issue and the federal agency’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Rice said he would rule at a later date.