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October 26, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 26th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 26, 2016 – TBO.com – Nuclear Regulatory Commission okays license to Duke Energy for mothballed Levy nuclear power plant – A decade after deciding to build new nuclear power plants in Levy County and three years after abandoning the project, Duke Energy has been issued operating licenses for the mothballed site from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While Duke won’t do anything with these licenses for now, the NRC approvals can be used for years into the future to restart the project if the economics of nuclear power once again make sense to Duke. The NRC last week announced it had approved staff members issuing two “combined operating licenses” for the site near Inglis in Levy County.

October 26, 2016 – Wired – X-Rays Are Revealing the Mysterious Writings in Mummy Coffins – It’s a sleepy summer Friday at Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. The particle accelerator operates at a constant, gentle hum—quieter than you’d expect for a synchrotron that whirls electrons to just short of the speed of light. Most of the 40 experimental beam lines lie empty. But one X-ray beam is a hub of activity—an arts and crafts session, by the look of it. The researchers crowding the narrow galley huddle over scraps of papyrus paper, streaking them with metallic paint markers, pencils, and pens. They roll the samples up onto dowels, or crumple them up, or fasten them to each other in layers. The idea? Devise creative ways to hide the ink out of sight, and see if X-rays can uncover it.

October 26, 2016 – ABS-CBN News – 12 pass radiologic technology exams in Middle East – Ten examinees passed the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, and two passed the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in the Middle East. A total of 36 took the Radiologic Technologist Licensure Examination, while 12 took the X-Ray Technologist Licensure Examination, which was given by the Board of Radiologic Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Al-Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Doha, Qatar and in Kuwait in September 2016.

October 26, 2016 – Professional Pensions – MPs to debate advice given to pensioners at UK Atomic Energy Agency – MPs are to debate the quality of advice given to pensioners that transferred into a defined benefit (DB) scheme set up after part of the UK’s nuclear industry was privatised. In September 1996, the commercial arm of the UK Atomic Energy Authority was floated on the stock exchange. The AEAT Pension Scheme was set up with a new company called AEA Technology as the sponsor. This scheme entered assessment for the Pension Protection Fund in November 2012 after the sponsor went bust.

October 26, 2016 – KSEBOA.org – Kudankulam is still the cheapest of all foreign-built nuclear plants – Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant’s unit 3 and 4, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15-10-2016 laid the foundation through video-conferencing, are expected to sell electricity at ₹3.90 a kilowatt hour (kWh), according to World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). KKNP 3 and 4, with a net capacity of 917 MW each, will cost ₹39,849 crore ($6.5 billion) to build. The first two units, the second of which was connected to the grid only in August 2016, cost ₹17,270 crore, but the cost is under revision to ₹22,462 crore. The Kudankulam plant’s equipment and fuel are supplied by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). Despite costing twice as much as the first two units, 3 and 4 will still sell their electricity at the same price.

October 26, 2016 – MarketWatch – Why Hillary Clinton sold America’s uranium – Hey — had you heard that uranium is an incredibly scarce resource and that Russia is buying it all up? No, me neither. But that’s what I’ve discovered on the campaign trail. Apparently a few years back Crooked Hillary “SPECTRE” Clinton betrayed the country — yet again — by selling 20% of our precious uranium supply to Russia in return for yet more payola. As secretary of state she “approved” a deal to sell Uranium One, a company that controlled a fifth of U.S. uranium production, to the Russian atomic agency Rosatom. In return she and Bill received vast amounts of payoffs from the Kremlin and related interests — most notably a $500,000 speaker fee for Bill from a Moscow-based investment bank, which works out at about $250,000 net of tax.

October 26, 2016 – Metro.co.uk – Pupils evacuated after rock in classroom turned out to be radioactive uranium – A radioactive rock sat as part of a classroom display without anyone noticing for dozens of science lessons. Nobody had realised that it was a lump of uranium, the metallic element which is used in nuclear reactors and even to produce atomic bombs. It was giving off thousands of millisiverts of radiation into the school, a far higher amount than occurs naturally, but teachers only found out when an anti-nuclear campaigner Thomas Neff came into the science lab at Missionaries of the Sacred Heart School in Salzburg, Austria, to give a talk. To help in his lecture, he brought a watch with him from the Sixties, which contained small amounts of radium so that its dial would light up in the dark. They were popular several decades ago, when people did not know as much about the dangers of radiation.

October 26, 2016 – New Haven Register – ‘Residual radioactive contamination’ found at former New Haven Clock Company site – Those radium painted dials on millions of wristwatches produced in the city at the New Haven Clock Company are once again a “hot” item. An environmental review of the long-closed factory, which at one point employed as many as 1,500 people, found radium-226 in parts of what is left of the sprawling campus on Hamilton, St. John and Wallace streets in the Wooster Square neighborhood. Helen Rosenberg, an economic development officer, said the report by the environmental engineering firm Fuss and O’Neill found “residual radioactive contamination present throughout portions of the building.”

October 26, 2016 – Greeley Tribune – Weld County Health Department offers free radon test kits for residents – The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is offering free radon test kits to Weld County residents with a limit of one per household, according to a news release. About 46 percent of all homes in Colorado are estimated to have high levels of radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium. It typically moves up through the ground and into homes through cracks and other holes in a house’s foundation, according to the release.

October 26, 2016 – Independent Online – Is microwave food unhealthy? Top tech experts give it the all clear – Microwave ovens allow us to bring food straight out of the freezer and have it on the table, ready to eat, in the space of a few minutes. You can quickly thaw a frozen meal or warm up something you cooked the day before, thanks to the microwave radiation inside the oven, which has a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz. It does not add anything to the food apart from heat. “Microwaved food is harmless for your health,” says nutrition expert Margret Morlo.

October 26, 2016 – OnMedica – Radiotherapy equipment to be upgraded, NHS chief pledges – Radiotherapy equipment in England is to be upgraded, thanks to a £130 million investment over the next two years, NHS chief Simon Stevens has announced. Around 4 in 10 of all NHS cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy, which typically uses high-energy radiation from a linear accelerator (‘Linac’). Over the next two years, older Linac radiotherapy equipment being used by hospitals across the country will be upgraded or replaced. It is recommended that Linacs are replaced after around 10 years, but the last time there was national investment in NHS radiotherapy machines was in the early 2000s.

October 26, 2016 – utilities-me.com – UAE’s nuclear authority approves budget for 2017 – The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation’s (FANR) board of management has approved its budget for 2017 at a meeting chaired by the board chairman, Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi. The senior management provided the board with updates to key FANR activities, including the status of its review of the application for an operating license for units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, which is now under construction in the western region of Abu Dhabi. The board also discussed the establishment of a decommissioning trust fund (DTF) to support the construction, operation and regulation of a radioactive waste management disposal facility in the UAE.

October 26, 2016 – Zawya – Bulgaria to pay $655 million to Russia over cancelled nuclear project – Bulgaria has agreed to pay about 600 million euros ($655 million) in compensation to Russia’s Atomstroyexport for the cancelled Belene nuclear power project, state energy company NEK said on Wednesday. An international arbitration court had ruled in June that Sofia should pay compensation for nuclear equipment it ordered from the Russian company before cancelling the 10 billion euros project in 2012.

October 26, 2016 – defenceWeb – Zimbabwe installing nuclear detectors at points of entry – Zimbabwe is installing nuclear detection devices at its ports of entry.The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has struck an agreement with Zimbabwe under which the Austria-headquartered global organisation will equip the country’s four international airports and 13 border points with nuclear detection facilities. The IAEA will invest $1.5 million in the project. On October 11 a trial-run of three radio-nuclide identification devices and 21 personal radiation detection gadgets, donated by the IAEA, was conducted at Victoria Falls International Airport and Victoria Falls Border Post. A workshop attended by IAEA nuclear security officer, Noor Fitriah Bakri and security sector representatives in Zimbabwe was held from October 10 to 14 in Victoria Falls. It was part of the first phase of the implementation of the project to strengthen the nuclear security detection systems in Zimbabwe.

October 26, 2016 – TechCentral.co.za – Treasury promises to block nuclear profligacy – National treasury will ensure it protects South Africa’s fiscal integrity with regard to South Africa’s nuclear procurement plan. Deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas told media on Wednesday that treasury will continue to play a role in the planning of the nuclear procurement programme. “We take a view that whatever happens with the nuclear project, it … won’t undermine the interests of the country as a whole,” he said. “As custodians of fiscal integrity, we will continue to play a critical role.” The big question around nuclear is whether it is even required, with the rise of cheap renewable energy.

October 26, 2016 – New York Post – US official thinks getting North Korea to give up nuclear bomb is ‘lost cause’ – The U.S. policy of trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons “is probably a lost cause” and the best that could be hoped for is a cap on the country’s nuclear capability, the Director of U.S. National Intelligence James Clapper said on Tuesday. However, underscoring conflicting views in the Obama administration, the State Department said U.S. policy was unchanged and continued to be to seek the “verifiable denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. President Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that the United States will never accept North Korean as a nuclear-armed state.

October 26, 2016 – ARY News – Radioactive leak at Norway nuclear reactor – A nuclear research reactor in Norway suffered a minor radiation leak that is not believed to pose a threat to public health or the environment, Norwegian authorities said on Tuesday. The leak of radioactive iodine happened on Monday at the Institute for Energy Technology in Halden, in the country’s southeast, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) said in a statement on its website. “The leak of radioactivity was due to a technical failure when handling nuclear fuel inside the reactor hall. The amount of radioactivity is regarded as small,” said the statement. “According to the information NRPA has received so far, this discharge will not have any consequences for health or the environment outside the plant.”

October 26, 2016 – Asahi Shimbun – Paper sludge that polluted sea cleans up soil in Fukushima – Charcoal from paper mill sludge that once polluted the ocean here southwest of Tokyo could be used to restore contaminated land near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. An experiment in 2011 showed that the charcoal is effective in reducing radioactive substances in soil and preventing the absorption of cesium by plants, said research leader Ai Van Tran. Tran, 68, a doctor in agricultural science, was conducting the research for the Corelex Group that includes Corelex Shin-ei Mfg. Co., which has the largest share of recycled toilet paper in Japan. “We would be delighted if our byproduct, which was once a source of environmental pollution, is useful in decontamination. It will also contribute to reducing the waste from papermaking, so it is killing two birds with one stone,” said Satoshi Kurosaki, the president of the Corelex Shin-ei.

October 26, 2016 – The Japan Times – Namie radiation evacuees fear return – Weed-engulfed buildings and shuttered businesses paint an eerie picture of a coastal Japanese town abandoned after a monstrous earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in the Fukushima nuclear plant. Namie, one of the communities hardest hit by the 2011 disaster, had 21,000 residents before they fled radiation spewing from the reactors 8 km away. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is now looking to repopulate the town as early as next year, a symbolic step toward recovery that might also help soften opposition to his government’s plan to restart Japan’s mostly mothballed nuclear industry. “The national and local governments are trying to send us back,” said Yasuo Fujita, 64, a sushi chef who lives alongside hundreds of other Fukushima evacuees in a modern high-rise in Tokyo more than 200 km away. “We do want to return — we were born and raised there. But can we make a living? Can we live next to the radioactive waste?”

October 26, 2016 – Washington Examiner – Moniz: US must decide its nuclear future in the next 5 years – Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz predicted Monday that major decisions about the nation’s nuclear energy sector are going to be coming in the next five years. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Moniz said there’s going to be a great wave of nuclear energy facilities retiring in about 15 years. Decisions about whether to replace them must be made much earlier than that, he said. “In the utility business to replace that power, especially to replace that low carbon power, calls for capital allocations decisions are certainly on a decadal time scale,” he said. “In other words, in the next five years, we’re going to start much more facing up to those large capital planning decisions.” Moniz has been a supporter of increased nuclear power production in recent years, seeing it as a potentially lucrative low-carbon energy source that would help the nation meet its climate change goals.

October 26, 2016 – Brattleboro Reformer – Feds endorse Vermont Yankee fuel, waste handling – Federal inspectors are satisfied with Vermont Yankee’s environmental monitoring, spent fuel storage and handling of radiological waste – including contaminated water that had accumulated at the shut-down plant. A new report from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspection identifies “no findings of safety significance” at the Vernon facility. The NRC in 2015 terminated its resident inspector program at Vermont Yankee, which stopped producing power at the end of 2014. But the federal agency still conducts regular inspections at the plant, and the latest such quarterly survey ended Sept. 30.

October 26, 2016 – WAMC – NY Downstate Lawmakers Take Issue With Nuclear Subsidies – Letters have gone back and forth between seven state lawmakers and the chair of the New York State Public Service Commission. At issue is what the lawmakers say is an unfair statewide electric rate increase to subsidize upstate nuclear power plants. The issue is part of the PSC’s broader Clean Energy Standard. The PSC in August issued an order adopting the standard. Since then, seven state assemblymembers have banded together to voice their concern over the adoption of the zero emissions credit pertaining to upstate nuclear power plants. The Democrats from the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City have written to PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman with their objection. One is Hudson Valley Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who is chair of the Energy Committee.

October 26, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Future of MOX facility uncertain but optimistic, officials say – Last month, Russia’s decision to suspend the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement with the U.S. left the future of South Carolina’s Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility hanging in the balance. But experts say the future of the beleaguered facility at the Savannah River Site remains cautiously optimistic. U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council’s David Blee said it’s important to look at several factors surrounding the PMDA suspension. “It’s important to recognize that Russia suspended the PMDA and did not terminate the agreement, that’s an important distinction,” he said.

October 26, 2016 – WEKU 88.9 – Citizens Group Rep Calls Proposed Radioactive Waste Agreement “Fair” – A leader of a Central Kentucky citizens group says there remain outstanding issues regarding the illegal dumping of low-level radioactive fracking waste at the Estill County landfill. A proposed agreement announced Friday by state Energy and Environment Cabinet includes a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill. About two-thirds of that money would go for Radon monitoring and abatement at Estill County schools and at the landfill gate. Tom Hart with Concerned Citizens of Estill County says handling what he calls the “technologically enhanced natural occurring radioactive waste” or TENORN, already in the landfill remains a question. “It’s in that corrective action plan that they will propose what should be done with the TENORM,” he says.

October 26, 2016 – Power Engineering – Zion Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning Project on Budget and Ahead of Schedule Six Years after the Project Started – EnergySolutions announced today that on September 30, 2016 its subsidiary, ZionSolutions, has successfully completed the 6th year of decommissioning the twin Unit Zion Nuclear Power Station with record setting performance. The project is on budget and currently reporting the decommissioning effort is 88% complete and several years ahead of the original 10 year schedule. The accelerated decommissioning schedule will directly translate into a lower overall decommissioning cost.

October 26, 2016 – Dothan Eagle – Test drilling for nuclear waste storage research proposed in Dale County – A proposed drilling site in Dale County would test the feasibility of storing nuclear waste in geologically similar areas, but no nuclear waste would be stored or used in tests on the site, according to a representative of Battelle, a private non-profit science and technology company. Steve Winberg, a program manager for Battelle, explained the proposed project at a meeting of the Dale County Commission Tuesday. Battelle wants to enter into an agreement with Southern Company to drill on about 20 acres of property owned by the company near Waterford Road. The hole would be 8.5 inches in diameter but would descend about three miles to Precambrian rock.

October 26, 2016 – Omaha World Herald – OPPD signed a $400 million contract with company that ran Fort Calhoun — terminating it will cost $5 million – OPPD began permanently shutting down the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station on Oct. 24. It will cost the Omaha Public Power District $5 million to end what was supposed to be a 20-year contract with Exelon Generation, the Chicago-based nuclear operator that has managed day-to-day operations at Fort Calhoun since September 2012. That’s a fraction of the $20 million termination fee that the utility faced if it decided to end the agreement without cause, according to OPPD financial disclosures. In general terms, “termination for cause and certain other termination events” would have gotten OPPD off the hook without having to pay anything, annual reports and bond documents stated.

October 26, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – WIPP storage plan draws concern – A nuclear watchdog group raised concerns Friday with a plan to build above-ground storage of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. The U.S. Department of Energy has applied for a permit with the New Mexico Environment Department for the new storage facility. Joni Arends of Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety said the DOE should be concentrating on ongoing safety issues at WIPP, not expanding the facility with another above ground, permanent waste facility at the site. WIPP already has a similar facility for the same purpose.