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October 19, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 19th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 19, 2016 – Daily Signal – What the Candidates Need to Know About Yucca Mountain – The final presidential debates take place Wednesday in Las Vegas. Given the location, a controversial issue sure to come up is that of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The repository is designed to hold spent nuclear materials from national security activities and commercial nuclear power reactors. Billions of dollars have already been spent on exploratory tunnels and other construction at the site, but it has yet to be built. Yucca Mountain has turned into a political football and a litmus test for many politicians, some of whom have built whole careers around this issue alone. In Congress and especially in Nevada, parties have dug their trenches deep—“Yucca or bust” on one side, and “over my dead body” on the other.

October 19, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – Job cuts at Fort Calhoun nuclear plant will come in six steps under tentative plan – A series of six layoffs over the next 20 months will reduce the workforce at the Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to as few as 300 employees. That’s less than half of the plant’s full staffing level of about 700 employees and a significant reduction to the 570 employees currently on site. According to a preliminary decommissioning timeline OPPD officials presented to federal regulators at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, the next round of job cuts at Fort Calhoun will happen in the first quarter of 2017.

October 19, 2016 – AllMediaNY – Germany Scientists Attempt to Measure Neutrino Mass – An experiment in Germany will attempt to measure the mass of a neutrino for the first time. Scientists with the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment, or KATRIN, will study the petite particles by observing the radioactive decay of tritium, an isotope of hydrogen with two neutrons.When tritium decays into helium, a neutrino and an electron is emitted in the process. Since the minuscule particles have a million-times less mass than an electron, a measurement has been illusive for scientists.However, the experiment at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will precisely measure the energy emitted by electrons to deduce neutrino mass.

October 20, 2016 – Quartz – The world’s biggest nuclear fusion experiment may lead to endless clean energy – Thirty-five countries are working together to build the world’s first large-scale nuclear fusion reactor—and if successful, their efforts could help humans harness the “ultimate green energy.” The reactor, currently estimated to cost $20 billion, is now under construction in southern France. Nuclear fusion—when atoms’ cores collide into each other, releasing tremendous amounts of energy—is much more powerful than reactions used in current nuclear plants and produces no radioactive waste or greenhouse gasses. That’s primarily because it’s fueled by a type of hydrogen readily extractable from water, making it a limitless energy source. Sustained nuclear fusion has never been realized on a large scale before, and the project’s estimated budget has quadrupled over the decade-long planning period. While some skeptics say the project is too expensive and not scalable, the reactor’s engineers expect it to become fully operational in 20 years.

October 19, 2016 – Bloomberg News – EON, Peers Start Counting Cost of $26 Billion Nuclear Exit – EON SE and Vattenfall AB were the first two companies to provide details on the extent of utilities’ nuclear liabilities after the German government on Wednesday approved a draft law on waste storage costs. EON estimates it will pay about 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in total based on its preliminary assessment of the law, a figure in line with previous expectations, according to Carsten Thomsen-Bendixen, a spokesman for the Essen-based company. Swedish state-owned Vattenfall said it must pay 1.75 billion euros. RWE AG declined to provide a breakdown. The draft law brings closer an end to talks on who funds the country’s exit from atomic power, particularly the cost of storing the radioactive fuel, which has weighed on the companies’ shares. German reactor owners have to pay 23.6 billion euros into a fund to free them from their atomic waste storage liabilities under the legislation that includes an option to make installments until 2026.

October 19, 2016 – Westport News – Some workers at Hanford exposed to radioactive waste – Some workers at a Hanford Nuclear Reservation tank farm have had their skin contaminated with low levels of radioactive waste. The incident occurred Tuesday morning. The Tri-City Herald reports the workers were in a pit at the AX Tank Farm when contamination was detected in the pit. They backed out of the area, but a survey found low levels of radioactive contamination on their skin. Equipment is being installed in the AX Tank Farm to allow waste to be emptied from leak-prone, underground nuclear waste storage tanks.

October 19, 2016 – PhysOrg – X-ray point source discovered at the center of a distant dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10 – NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has helped astronomers to uncover a previously unidentified X-ray point source at the massive black hole in the center of a distant compact starburst galaxy known as Henize 2-10. The findings are available in a paper published Oct. 5 on the arXiv pre-print server. Located some 34 million light years away in the constellation of Pyxis, Henize 2-10 is the first dwarf galaxy found to have a supermassive black hole at its center. With a mass of less than 10 billion solar masses, it is a compact starburst galaxy hosting numerous young “super star clusters” and a candidate low-luminosity active galactic nucleus (AGN). The presence of an AGN in Henize 2-10 offers an excellent opportunity to study massive black hole accretion and star formation. This is due to the fact that active nuclei in dwarf galaxies undergoing a burst of star formation reveal essential astronomical processes. They could offer crucial insights on the interplay between a massive black hole and the stars of the galaxy in which it forms.

October 19, 2016 – Motley Fool – Why I Remain Bullish on Uranium and Cameco Corporation – Every time I look at Cameco Corporation (TSX:CCO)(NYSE:CCJ), I can’t help but feel like the bottom has been found and that the company will begin to turn around. And then another month or two goes by, I look at the company again, and it’s even lower. Despite all of this, I remain bullish on the company for a multitude of reasons. But, unfortunately, to be bullish on Cameco is to be bullish on uranium, which has experienced tremendous lows ever since the Fukushima disaster back in March 2011. For reference, the spot price of uranium that month was a little over US$60. Fast forward to September and the spot price is only US$23. Naturally, if the price of the resource is down, Cameco has to be down as well.

October 19, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Smart meter opponents rally in Albany – A group of residents from Ulster County and other parts of the state rallied in Albany on Tuesday, urging the state legislature to grant homeowners the choice of having smart electric meters or analog meters in their homes. The Stop Meter organizations object to the deployment of digital utility meters. One of the rally organizers, Weston Blelock of Woodstock, claims the smart meters have adverse effects. “They spew toxic microwave radiation in people’s homes,” Blelock said. “They cause dust, dirty electricity, and they can, upon occasion, explode, cause fires, and be hacked, so there are privacy issues.”

October 19, 2016 – Proactiveinvestors.co.uk – Kromek “dirty bomb” detector milestone bodes well – Radiation technology company Kromek Group PLC (LON:KMK) has completed the delivery of an initial 10,000 personal D3S radiation detectors to a US Department of Defense agency. The D3S devices were delivered in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) SIGMA programme, which is aimed at preventing attacks using so-called radiological dirty bombs, and other nuclear threats across the globe. Having completed the initial delivery, as per the company’s announcement of the contract win back in February, Kromek said the next steps are for DARPA to demonstrate SIGMA’s full city and regional-scale, continuous wide-area monitoring capability in 2017, and to make the transition of the operational system to local, state and federal entities in 2018. “We are proud to be part of the successful SIGMA programme, which has sought to increase radiation detection capabilities while lowering the costs, in order to network an unprecedented number of advanced detectors and provide a comprehensive, dynamic and automated overview of the radiological environment,” said Dr Arnab Basu, chief executive officer of Kromek.

October 19, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Russia and Paraguay agree to cooperate in nuclear energy – The Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Paraguay and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The document was signed by Eladio Loizaga, Paraguay’s minister of foreign affairs, and Nikolay Spassky, Rosatom’s deputy director-general. The signing ceremony was attended by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. In a statement, Rosatom said the memorandum – which is the first document related to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy to be signed between the two countries – constitutes the basis for bilateral cooperation in a number of areas including: the application of radioisotopes and radiation technology in industry, medicine and agriculture; assistance in creation and development of a nuclear power infrastructure in Paraguay; nuclear and radiation safety and security; and, development of programs aimed at raising public awareness about nuclear technologies and their applications, including organization of information centres.

October 19, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – Paediatric PET dose can be reduced – A simulation study evaluating the quality of whole-body PET/MR images of paediatric cancer patients shows that the amount of PET tracer administered can be significantly reduced while still obtaining diagnostic quality images. Researchers from the University of Tübingen, who have been investigating the feasibility of using PET/MRI in lieu of PET/CT, developed and validated a methodology to accurately create low-activity PET images from previously acquired PET scan data. The approach could allow radiologists to define optimal tracer doses for PET/MRI procedures on a patient-by-patient basis (Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging doi: 10.1007/s00259-016-3503-5).

October 19, 2016 – Sunderland Echo – Navy monitors Russian nuclear-powered vessels heading for North Sea – The Royal Navy is preparing for Russia’s flagship aircraft carrier and a fleet Norwegian surveillance teams picked up the nuclear-powered Admiral Kuznetzov and six other naval ships off coast on Monday en-route Syria. The Admiral Kuznetzov is carrying fighter jets, reconnaissance and combat helicopters and cruise missiles which will be used to bolster Russia’s bombing campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad. It was reported earlier this month how RAF pilots had been ordered to soot down hostile Russian aircraft in the stricken Middle Eastern nation.The fleet was shadowed by a Norwegian naval frigate as it passed through international waters.

October 19, 2016 – Tasnim News Agency – Iran to Begin Building First Nuclear Hospital Soon: AEOI Chief – Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said construction of the country’s first nuclear hospital will start in the near future. The construction project of the nuclear hospital has been financed and the AEOI has finalized a cooperation agreement with an Austrian company in this regard, Salehi said on Tuesday. He added that according to agreements with the Ministry of Health and Tehran’s Municipality, the construction of the hospital will begin within the next few months in the capital. According to the Iranian nuclear chief, only five countries in the world have such hospitals.

October 19, 2016 – Power Engineering International – Germany approves nuclear waste storage deal with utilities – Germany has reportedly approved a deal with its major utilities on how to cover the costs of handling and storing nuclear waste. The cabinet on Wednesday passed an agreement whereby the nation’s four largest utilities – E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall – will begin paying into a €23.6bn ($26bn) fund, and in return the government will assume responsibility for the practicalities of storing nuclear waste. The utilities will continue to be responsible for the costs of shutting down their nuclear power plants by 2022. The deal, reached after intense talks, is aimed at addressing uncertainty over potential costs for the taxpayer, as well as offering financial clarity for the utilities and their investors.

October 19, 2016 – Spaceflight Insider – NASA’s JPL looks to boost power from nuclear batteries – Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) have been the power source for many of the most ambitious exploration missions in NASA’s history, powering spacecraft in areas too remote, or too impractical, for solar panels to provide sufficient electricity. A new development to this power-generating workhorse may soon substantially improve the capabilities of the RTG, possibly benefiting both interplanetary missions and daily life here on Earth. In an Oct. 13, 2016, release, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) outlined the potential to increase the efficiency of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), and make it hardier in the process. “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 JPL. To that end, JPL engineers look to make use of a class of materials known as skutterudites. These minerals have the electrical conductivity of a metal while maintaining the thermal insulation characteristics of glass.

October 19, 2016 – Stokes Sentinel – What would happen if a nuclear bomb hit Stoke-on-Trent? – Around 300,000 people would be killed and thousands more left with horrific injuries if a nuclear blast hit Stoke-on-Trent. Renewed concerns over nuclear war resurfaced for many yesterday (Tuesday) as top North Korean official, Lee Yong Pil, insisted the communist state would launch a nuclear weapon first if they felt another nation was going to strike. The last nuclear weapon reportedly tested by the communist state was a ten kiloton blast in 2013. If such a powerful blast detonated at the ‘optimum’ 200m over Hanley the impact would be catastrophic.

October 19, 2016 – Construction News – Seddon starts work on Northern hub of National Nuclear College – Seddon has started work on the National College for Nuclear in Workington, where 7,000 people are due to receive training by 2020. The college is being built at Lakes College, Workington, and is one of two sites being developed by the National College in partnership with the government and nuclear employers, led by EDF Energy and Sellafield. As part of the Cumbrian hub, Seddon will build facilities including two laboratories, a preparation room, a digital consulting area, two virtual reality suites, and a project workspace area, with the building designed to a BREAAM Very Good standard. The southern hub of the college will be based at Bridgewater College in Somerset. The scheme forms part of the government’s £80m committment by the government towards seven new National Colleges for Industry, announced in May this year.

October 19, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Five French units to undergo steam generator checks – The French nuclear safety authority has requested five of EDF’s nuclear power units are taken offline for additional inspections on their steam generators within the next three months. The steel in parts of those components has been found to contain high concentrations of carbon. The upper and bottom heads of the reactor pressure vessel for the EPR under construction at Flamanville 3 were manufactured at Areva’s Le Creusot facility in September 2006 and January 2007, respectively. A high carbon content in those parts prompted Areva to review the company’s quality management process in 2015 for some 400 heavy steel components made at the Creusot Forge plant since 1965.

October 19, 2016 – Reuters – Bulgarian former energy minister charged over nuclear project – Bulgarian prosecutors charged former economy and energy minister Petar Dimitrov on Wednesday with losing 77 million euros ($86 million) of state money in an equipment sale to Russia’s Atomstroyexport related to a cancelled nuclear project. Bulgaria cancelled the 10-billion-euro Belene project on the Danube River in 2012, after failing to find foreign investors and under pressure from Brussels and Washington to limit its energy dependence on Russia. Dimitrov, 67, was economy and energy minister from 2007 to 2009. Prosecutors said he failed to stop NEK signing a deal with Russia’s Atomstroyexport that cost the state 77 million euros ($86 million) in losses.

October 19, 2016 – Daily Star – North Korea will be ‘mega nuclear power by 2020 with 80 NUKES’ – There are fears a nuclear apocalypse could be inflicted upon the world if North Korea can accumulate 80 nukes by 2020, a number predicted by an expert. Lee Sang-hyun, vice president at the research planning division of the South Korean Sejong Institute, told a forum yesterday Pyongyang is capable of building around eight nuclear weapons every year. He told a forum hosted by the Presidential Committee for Unification Preparation that the secretive nation has a huge supply of plutonium and uranium, the ingredients needed to make nuclear bombs.

October 19, 2016 – Westport News – Seabrook nuclear power plant to address concrete erosion – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it will move forward with its review of Seabrook Station nuclear power plant’s license renewal process after accepting the owner’s initial proposal for addressing concrete erosion in the New Hampshire plant. The Portsmouth Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2ekJtUK) the commission required that NextEra Energy submit preliminary plans for addressing alkali-silica reaction in Seabrook Station’s structures before commencing with the review of the license renewal process. The commission’s review is now expected to be completed by August 2018. If approved, Seabrook Station’s license would be extended to 2050. It is currently set to expire in 2030.

October 19, 2016 – WNIJ – Forum Held Regarding Two Endangered Western Illinois Nuclear Power Plants – Unions co-sponsored a forum on nuclear energy in Illinois. It’s part of an effort to save two nuclear plants that Exelon is attempting to close. The company says the plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities are losing money, and it’s asking the state to increase electricity rates as a subsidy. So far, lawmakers haven’t taken up that request. Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos represents a portion of the Quad Cities. She says the nuclear plant has benefited the state since it opened roughly 40 years go. “It produces energy that help light Chicago, and many parts of the state of Illinois. It helps keep businesses running — you know exactly what nuclear power does. But it also helps reduce the carbon emissions.”

October 19, 2016 – Reuters – French spot power hits four-year high on nuclear worry – The French day-ahead power contract price on Wednesday jumped to its highest in four years on concerns that nuclear power supply from utility EDF will lag rising demand as the weather gets colder in coming weeks. Persistent doubts over EDF’s ability to meet French and wider European electricity demand for winter has roiled markets, pushing spot and forward power prices to new highs. French base load price for Thursday delivery was at 93 euros ($102.26) a megawatt hour (MWh) at 1010 GMT, up 21 euros from Tuesday’s close after briefly touching 100 euros/MWh in early trade, the highest since February 2012. “There are concerns as to how France will cope if it turns really cold. Nuclear availability will be relatively low, hydro power supplies are already low and output in surrounding countries is tight,” a London-based trader said, adding that capacity at coal and fuel power stations was also low.

October 19, 2016 – Top Yaps – Russia Agrees To Lease Second Akula-Class Nuclear Attack Submarine To India – Russia has decided to lease out a second nuclear attack submarine (SSN) of Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO: Akula-class) to India this month in a deal worth around $2 billion. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed the deal—along with a host of other weapons purchase agreements—on the sidelines of the BRICS summit recently. However, it was not part of the announcements that were made after the talks. The Akula 2 class submarine is expected to arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. At the moment Indian Navy operates INS Chakra (formerly known as K-152 Nerpa), leased to India by Russia for 10 years. It was commissioned on April 4, 2012 after India paid for its completion of its construction and sea-trials.

October 19, 2016 – WFLA 8 – Testing shows radioactive material in wells; unclear if Mosaic sinkhole has anything to do with it – Some residents who live near the massive sinkhole at Mosaic’s New Wales Plant are worried about their well water. Recent test results show they should be concerned because of high levels of radioactive material. What is not clear is whether the Mosaic sinkhole, which dropped 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the Florida aquifer, has anything to do with it. Mosaic – and some experts – say it’s possible the radioactivity was already present in some of these wells. They said it could have been caused by by “natural geologic processes.” Testing so far, state officials say, show the contaminated water has been captured exactly the way it should be. But resident Jennifer Psait isn’t sure she’s buying that. She points to a delay in Mosaic notifying residents about the problems. One of two wells on Bob Glaze’s property has so much radium in the brown water that he shut it off — out of fear. Psait is Glaze’s nextdoor tenant. She shares his two wells. Psait is worried about her three children who, until recently, drank and bathed in the water “I’m not a chemist, or a chemistry student,” she said. “I think that’s pretty bad.”

October 19, 2016 – Electric Light & Power – Incoming NEI chief looks to spread nuclear-friendly policy in states – The incoming Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) president and CEO Maria Korsnick spent 60 minutes talking with reporters Oct. 14 about issues ranging from the State of New York’s nuclear-friendly energy policy to the cost-cutting in her industry. On Oct. 4, NEI announced that Korsnick, currently the COO at the trade organization, would become its new chief executive on Jan. 1, 2017 with the retirement of Marvin Fertel who has spent nine years at the NEI helm. Don Brandt, NEI’s chairman of the board and the chairman, president and CEO of Pinnacle West Capital introduced Korsnick to reporters in Washington, D.C. Brandt said Korsnick was prepared to lead “particularly as the industry is under duress.” “She challenges people, she innovates … and she gets results,” Brandt said. “Her enthusiasm is contagious,” Brandt said. “Industry leaders have been widely impressed” with her work at NEI over the past 17 months.

October 19, 2016 – PRNewswire – First class of Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear operators pass NRC licensing exam – Georgia Power announced today the latest milestone in the transition to operation of Plant Vogtle Units 3 and 4 – members of the first training class of nuclear operators have passed the initial licensing exam by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), ensuring that licensed, qualified operators are in place prior to nuclear fuel loading and plant start up. Once operational, the new units will employ approximately 75 highly trained nuclear operators as part of a permanent workforce of more than 800.

October 19, 2016 – Coastal Courier – Christmas may come early for Georgia Power – Christmas traditionally is celebrated on Dec. 25 for most Georgians. This year, one of our wealthiest corporate citizens may be celebrating that holiday a little earlier. That’s because the executives and shareholders of the Georgia Power Co. are in line to receive a Christmas gift worth more than a billion dollars when the members of the Public Service Commission convene their regular meeting on Wednesday.

October 19, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – CH2M Hill names new president for central Hanford contractor – The president of Hanford contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. announced on Monday that he will be leaving and his replacement has been named. John Ciucci is taking a job at the CH2M Hill corporate office in Colorado as part of a recent corporate reorganization, he told employees Monday morning. Ty Blackford is returning to Hanford from the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina to take over as president and chief executive officer. The date in the change of leadership is yet to be determined.