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October 27, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 27th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 27, 2016 – The Star – Future of MOX cautiously optimistic – 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 27, 2016 – Archinect.com – Ornament and Extinction in the Nuclear Era – In 1981, a group of experts from various fields—from architecture to geology to semiotics—convened to work on what is likely the most difficult and important prompt ever assigned: design the façade of a massive complex intended to house the largest stockpile of nuclear waste in the world. Rather than face a street, this façade would point towards the sky: the sole visible element of building extending deep into the ground. No mere plasterwork would do; rather, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions years, this work of ornament would have to last for somewhere between ten thousand and a millions yearswhich is much longer than any work of architecture has ever lasted. And while most façades are designed to be inviting, the primary program for the marker system of the Yucca Mountain repository of nuclear waste was to keep people away. Since becoming the first and only country to ever unleash on other humans the force of a neutron split in two, the United States has steadily accumulated enough nuclear waste to existentially threaten life on the planet—with nowhere to safely contain it. Up until very recently, the US government was proceeding with plans to build its first long-term storage site for the waste in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The building complex itself—a giant artificial cavern hollowed out of the low-slung mountain—would eventually be filled in by 108,000 regular shipments of spent nuclear waste. This would take forty years, and each shipment would carry 1,000 pounds of radioactive material while passing through nearly every state. Then the whole thing would be capped with concrete.

October 27, 2016 – Northumberland Today – Court costs to be paid in Trust Fund case – Everyone in Port Hope is paying for the ongoing court action over the Federal Government Trust Fund money paid to the former Hope Township (Ward 2) to host historic, low-level, radioactive waste, says a local citizens’ group. Port Hope taxpayers in both Ward 1 (the urban area before the amalgamation in 2001) and rural Ward 2 area, as well as the Trust Fund itself, have all been ordered by the court to pay costs related to court action which found the Municipality of Port Hope misspent part of the multi-million dollar Trust Fund set up by the former Hope Township. In a decision issued Oct. 21, Mr. Justice J.R. McCarthy ordered that the former Hope Township Mayor (now Ward 2) Ian Angus,who brought the court action with the late Dean Ross, be paid almost $90,000 in court costs.

October 27, 2016 – Jalopnik – Nuclear Waste Travels With One Heck Of An Entourage – Do you compost? Rinse and separate your recycling? Yeah, getting rid of garbage is a pain. Unless your garbage is nuclear waste. Getting rid of that is apparently a production of epic proportions. YouTuber Robert Fullone couldn’t help but notice this colossal convoy and posse of dudes in orange vests taking up both lanes of his street, so he was kind enough to give the internet a little tour of what he says is a nuclear waste disposal outfit working out of “West Valley,” which I assume is referring to West Valley Nuclear Services near Buffalo, New York. After nuclear fuel has spent years in a reactor generating heat which becomes electricity, it ends up being “spent” and no longer yields power but remains very hot and radioactive. At that point it gets put into a cask like the one in this video and eventually buried at a designated dumping facility somewhere around the country.

October 27, 2016 – Times Argus – NRC gives Entergy good grades – Federal inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Entergy Nuclear good grades for its handling of the radioactive water that continues to seep into a below-grade building during the early stages of the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. There were no safety findings included in the quarter inspection report, which was released Monday by the NRC. The report states that Entergy’s handling of the slightly radioactive water, which is classified as low-level radioactive waste, was satisfactory. All other areas reviewed by the NRC inspectors, which included an inspection of the spent-fuel pool, were given approval.

October 27, 2016 – Medical Physics Web – FBG sensor improves brachytherapy accuracy – A new needle-tracking device for high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy has been developed by researchers from the University Medical Center Utrecht. Compared with MRI-based tracking, the novel device – which uses fibre Bragg grating sensors – offers the potential for both improved accuracy and precision, as well as a lower latency and higher update rate (Med. Phys. 43 5288). Used in the treatment of cancers including breast, prostate and skin cancer, HDR brachytherapy uses small radioactive sources that are temporarily delivered to treatment sites through small needles or catheters inserted directly into, or nearby, target tumours. To optimize dose distributions, needle positions and exposure times are carefully selected before treatment, but such dose plans may be disrupted by both needle positioning errors and patient movements and/or anatomical changes.

October 27, 2016 – Herald Sun – Australia to play role in $19 billion new clean energy bid – AUSTRALIAN scientists looking for the “holy grail” of clean energy production will design vital components for a $19 billion fusion energy generator in France that seeks to mimic the sun’s power on Earth. The ITER Tokamak project in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, the world’s largest science-­engineering project, will try to generate temperatures of 150 million Celsius, 10 times the core temperature of the sun, to test the viability of large-scale fusion generation as a clean energy source. “Fusion is the holy grail for energy production and, if achieved at a large scale, would answer some of the world’s most pressing questions relating to sustainability, climate change and security,” Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation CEO Dr Adi Paterson said.

October 27, 2016 – Indian Express – Spooky! There’s a reason why the phone no 0888 888 888 has been suspended — all its users are dead – As you may know, there are a lot of hotels which do not have floor number 13 or even a room number 13 because it’s considered haunted and inauspicious. Similarly, a Bulgarian number has been suspended forever after the company observed a pattern. A pattern where all its owners died. The jinxed phone number is 0888 888 888. The first owner of the number was the CEO of the issuing company Mobitel himself, Vladimir Grashnov. Reportedly, he died of cancer in 2001. According to Mail Online, his cancer was rumoured to have been caused by a ‘business rival using radioactive poisoning’.

October 27, 2016 – Digital Journal – Portable X-Ray And CT Scan Devices Market to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020 – According to a new study by Hexa Research, the global Portable X-Ray and CT Scan Devices Market will grow at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2013 to 2020. The demand will be driven by growing cases of accidents and health conditions necessitating orthopedic, cardiovascular or brain-related investigation.

October 27, 2016 – The Standard – Nuclear terror as 12 schools evacuated over lump of radioactive uranium found in science class – Twelve schools have been evacuated after a lump of uranium was found in a science classroom sparking nuclear terror. The discovery was made when antinuclear campaigner Thomas Neff was giving a lecture to pupils about an old wristwatch from the 1960s with a radium dial. The numerals on the watch contain the material to help them to glow in the dark and were created when little was known about the damage caused by radiation. But as he passed a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils that were on display in the classroom, Neff’s Geiger counter almost “exploded”. The class was evacuated and experts called in and discovered that one of the rocks was a uranium rock.

October 27, 2016 – Indaily.com.au – Olympic Dam an “excellent” nuke storage site, inquiry told – Geologist and academic Victor Gostin, an honorary visiting research fellow at Adelaide University, gave evidence yesterday to a parliamentary committee examining the findings of the Scarce Royal Commission, which recommended the swift establishment of a high-level nuclear waste repository. Gostin noted it was a geological professional “consensus” that the Stuart Shelf region, including Olympic Dam, was an ideal place for such a facility to be based. “When it comes to the deep geological site… [Olympic Dam is] the site that I would imagine would be an excellent site,” he said.

October 27, 2016 – PhysOrg – Robots help position interventional needles – Finding the ideal position for interventional needles – as used in biopsies, for instance – is a difficult and time-consuming process. This can now be performed automatically, using a robotic arm to place a needle guide for the doctor at the optimal insertion point. With robotic assistance, doctors need five minutes to position the needle, as opposed to 30 minutes with conventional techniques. The solution will be shown at the MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf from November 14 to 17, 2016 (Hall 10, Booth G05). An ultrasound shows a shadow on the liver – but is it a tumor? Often, the only way to conclusively answer this question is to perform a biopsy, a procedure in which a doctor uses a long needle to remove a piece of the suspected tissue to be sent to a laboratory for testing. However, placing the biopsy needle with precision is far from easy. On one hand, the doctor needs to be sure of reaching the suspected tissue – and not healthy tissue just millimeters to the side. On the other hand, the needle must not damage veins, nerve pathways, and organs such as the lungs, and cannot penetrate bony structures such as ribs. To obtain an overview, doctors begin by performing a com- puted tomography scan, which they use to maneuver the needle to the correct posi- tion. The same challenges arise in treatments that use needles to direct heating, cooling, or high-energy beams into the cancerous tissue, thereby destroying the tumor.

October 27, 2016 – Space.com – Dusty with a Chance of Radiation: Mars Weather Forecasting Will Be Critical – Weather on Earth is often a hazard for travelers; after all, snowstorms, hurricanes, floods and other events can make it dangerous to drive or fly. Space travelers have a similar problem when dealing with space weather. As NASA plans to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, work is underway to study how the space weather environment will impact their journey. Explosive “storms” that erupt from the surface of the sun regularly create showers of harmful radiation. Part of NASA’s plan for a trip to the Red Planet will have to include space weather forecasting, monitoring and safety measures.

October 27, 2016 – Russia & India Report – Russia plans to test elements of new nuclear engine on ISS – Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos has announced a tender for developing proposals on testing key elements of a megawatt-class nuclear propulsion system, including aboard the International Space Station (ISS), according to the tender documentation posted on the state procurement website on Thursday. Specifically, Roscosmos expects to receive “proposals on the rational structure of key elements, systems and items of a perspective nuclear propulsion unit intended for tests in outer space, including with the use of the ISS’ Russian segment.

October 27, 2016 – Forbes – Texting While Driving Is Scary, Radiation Should Not Be – The public may not be the best judge of risk. If you ask someone what they are afraid of, they will say many things that are generally not dangerous, like radiation, fluoridated water, or vaccinations. We are only just beginning to realize that texting while driving is really a big problem, or that overuse of opioid medications are leading to a national epidemic of heroine deaths. And these two only because of a flood of advertisements and documentaries on the subjects. This is an important issue. Without understanding what real risks are, well-intentioned policies can backfire, and the real risks can go unaddressed. This is no better illustrated than in the present presidential campaign where unfounded fear and misinformation have played such a large role. An obvious example is the fear of radiation and nuclear power. This fear has jeopardized our choices to address climate change, has hurt the nuclear industry, and caused us to unnecessarily spend billions of dollars protecting against radiation at levels that are quite safe.

October 27, 2016 – Daily Star – ‘Putin testing weapons?’ Flaming green ‘meteorite’ spotted hurtling over Russia – The clip shows the eerie object hurtling over stunned motorists before landing with a huge flash. It appears to explode multiple times as it enters the planet’s atmosphere. Witnesses say it crashed to the ground near Siberia’s Lake Baikal. One social media user wrote: “The meteorite must be made up of a lot of iron and chrome. “That would be why it looked so green.” “I’m calling Putin is testing weapons on this one” The meteorite made no noise at all as it landed and the spooky silence led some to fear it was a new secret weapon. Other witnesses even went as far to think it was an attack from Russia’s enemies in the Ukraine or Syria and that a war had started.

October 27, 2016 – RTE.ie – Healy-Rae blames nuclear tests for hole in ozone layer – Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae has claimed in the Dáil that the hole in the ozone layer was caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago. He said “untruths have been bandied about” about climate change for years as he addressed today’s debate on the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, an agreement that he is “very worried about”. The Kerry TD said: “There was changes in the climate way back in times when there was no industrialisation and way less animals on farms and no intensification of farming. “Yet we had intense heat, long periods of very cold, wet weather which culminated in many lives being lost in the famine in the 1740s, caused by two years of incessant rain and extremely cold winters.” “El Nino and the Gulf Stream played a significant part in climate change going back the centuries. There have been a lot untruths bandied about going back for many years. “They told us about the ozone layer and there was greenhouse gases from cans of hairspray or whatever but they never told us that it was nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean 50 years ago actually caused the serious damage to the Ozone layer.

October 27, 2016 – Sputnik International – Tests of Russia’s Nuclear Fuel in Dutch Research Reactor Successful – Russian nuclear fuel produced by the Rosatom successfully passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR), Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. © Photo: PixabayRussia, Egypt Could Sign Dabaa Nuclear Plant Construction Deal in DecemberMOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nuclear fuel produced at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP), which is part of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation has successfully, passed tests in the High Flux Reactor (HFR) located in the Dutch city of Petten, Director General of the NCCP Mikhail Zarubin said Thursday. In 2014, the NCCP and the Dutch Nuclear Research and consultancy Group Petten signed a contract on delivery of fuel for the Dutch research HFR.

October 27, 2016 – Chicago Tribune – Nuclear-armed foes unite against a UN call to shed their weapons – For all the divisions among world powers, one concern unites Russia and the U.S., India and Pakistan, North Korea and Israel at the United Nations: Keeping their nuclear weapons. Those nuclear-armed states and the three others — China, France and the U.K. — are working to head off a resolution calling for a global conference to establish a binding “legal process” to ban the manufacture, possession, stockpiling and use of the weapons. They’re bucking a popular cause backed by 50 nations, from Ireland to Brazil, which say the measure could win as many as 120 votes in the 193-member General Assembly. While the resolution to be voted on Thursday would be non-binding, opposing its call for a nuclear-free world is awkward for world leaders, and none more so than U.S. President Barack Obama. He’s preparing to leave office seven years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in large part for what the award panel called his “vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.”

October 27, 2016 – Kyodo News – Hitachi chief hints at integrating 3 major firms’ nuclear power businesses – Hitachi Ltd. President Toshiaki Higashihara on Thursday hinted at the possible integration of the nuclear power businesses currently run by the industrial conglomerate, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Touching on the possibility of integrating the nuclear fuel businesses of the three firms, Higashihara said at a press conference, “It’s not just about (nuclear fuel). The time will come when we need to think about the whole (of the nuclear power business).” Most of the country’s nuclear power plants have been offline amid public opposition and safety concerns following the March 2011 major earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, and companies in the nuclear power business have been facing tough times in terms of profitability.

October 27, 2016 – Business Green – Public backing for nuclear and shale gas falls to record low – Public support for nuclear energy and fracking have hit some of the lowest ever levels, according to the government’s quarterly Public Attitudes Tracker survey, released today. Support for nuclear dipped three per cent to hit its lowest level of 33 per cent, with 26 per cent in opposition. Since the survey began in 2012 support for nuclear has only dropped this low once before, in August 2015. It is the first indication of how public attitudes towards nuclear energy may have changed since the government signed the contract to build a new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in September. Last quarter’s survey, which was undertaken before Hinkley was approved, showed support for nuclear generation at 36 per cent, with 22 per cent in opposition.