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October 5, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 5th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 5, 2016 – The Post – For What it’s Worth: Nuclear energy is the future of clean energy – In last week’s presidential debate, there was much discussion regarding energy policy. This discussion focused on issues such as climate change, investment in renewable energy resources and the role of fossil fuels going forward. As can be expected in a US presidential debate, this discussion was shallow, yielding only a few opportunities for the candidates to take pot shots at each other. The debate also touched on nuclear issues; specifically, proliferation and the Iran nuclear deal. However, neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton even breathed a mention of the most important nuclear issue: nuclear energy. We are living in an age characterized by rising levels of greenhouse gases, shrinking reserves of fossil fuels, limited technological capabilities in regards to renewable energy resources and an expanding global population with growing energy demands. Given the challenges of such an era, it seems our only salvation will be found in the power of the atom. Nuclear power offers an alternative energy source that is not only cheap, bountiful, but also relatively safe and clean.

October 5, 2015 – Radio New Zealand – France recognises first Tahiti nuclear test victim – France has for the first time recognised a link between its nuclear weapon tests in the South Pacific and the illness of someone who never visited the test sites at Moruroa and Fangataufa. The disclosure was made by a Tahiti resident, Yves Conroy, in an address at the UN decolonisation debate in New York. He was one of 18 speakers at the UN in favour of ending French Polynesia’s colonial status. Mr Conroy said he received a letter from the French Compensation Committee (CIVEN) in July, acknowledging a link between the tests and his wife’s two cancers.

October 5, 2016 – Prague Daily Monitor – Czechs protest against planned nuclear waste repository – Fourteen municipalities and 11 associations affected by the preparations of an underground repository of spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste founded a non-profit society against the plan on Tuesday, their leaders said in a press release sent to CTK. The Platform Against the Underground Repository wants to insist on an open and transparent solution to the problem in which both the municipalities and the public would have a chance of defending their interests, they said. The main reason for founding the group was the dissatisfaction with the previous steps taken by the governmental institutions in charge of the issue, the representatives said.

October 5, 2016 – The Financial Express – ‘Atomic sandwich’ to power gen-next, energy-efficient devices – Scientists, including those of Indian origin, have designed new ‘atomic sandwiches’ – materials that could lead to the next generation of devices that have more computing power and consume 100 times less energy than current electronics. The material sandwiches together individual layers of atoms, producing a thin film with magnetic polarity that can be flipped from positive to negative or vice versa with small pulses of electricity. This property may be used to store digital 0’s and 1’s, the binary backbone that underpins computing devices.

October 5, 2016 – Malaysian Digest – IAEA To Conduct M’sia’s First Nuclear Infrastructure Review Next Week – Next week, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts will be in the country to conduct the first Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), says Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) chief executive officer Mohd Zamzam Jaafar. He said the 12 experts, mostly from the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria would review Malaysia’s state of preparedness for nuclear energy development, from Oct 10 to 17. “Malaysia is almost there (for nuclear energy development) but there are still certain things that need to be done,” he said, adding they included the tabling for nuclear energy bill and identifying a site for nuclear energy programme.

October 5, 2016 – The Argus – Radon: The silent killer lurking in your basement – When moving into a first house or apartment, students will find themselves bombarded with warnings about the dangers of living alone and tips to keep themselves safe. People are told what to do in case of a fire, where the fuse box is located and how to use it, and what to do in case a carbon monoxide alarm goes off. Through the crash course of dangers in the household, few are told about the threat of high radon levels, but it is important to know about this hazardous gas. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when there is a breakdown of uranium in the soil. It does not have a colour, taste, or smell, which can make it hard to detect. Radon can enter your house, and once inside, the toxic gas collects and reaches levels that can be extremely dangerous to the human body.

October 5, 2016 – Augusta Free Press – UVA among first to use new tool for noninvasive brain surgery – The UVA Health System is the first hospital in Virginia – and among the first in the world – to use a noninvasive tool for brain surgery. UVA recently began treating patients with the Gamma Knife Icon, the newest version of technology used for noninvasive surgery in the brain and upper spine. The Gamma Knife helps protects healthy tissue in the brain by using 192 focused beams of high energy Gamma radiation to treat patients instead of traditional open surgery. Neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists at UVA’s Gamma Knife Center have pioneered the Gamma Knife’s use. Since 1989, UVA has treated more than 10,000 patients from around the world with the non-invasive procedure, which is typically complete in less than an hour. Worldwide, the Gamma Knife has been used to treat more than 1 million patients over the past 30 years.

October 5, 2016 – HealthNews Florida – Pricey New Treatment Roils Issues Of How To Treat Prostate Cancer – Men hoping to avoid some side effects of prostate cancer treatment are shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a procedure whose long-term effects are unknown and insurers, including Medicare, won’t pay for. Proponents say high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can have fewer negative side effects than surgery or radiation, while giving some patients another option between actively watching their cancer and those more aggressive steps. Critics, however, say the procedure is being oversold, leading some patients to get a treatment they don’t need.

October 5, 2016 – Blackburn News – Opposition Grows To Trucking Liquid Nuclear Waste – 27 Canadian and American organizations are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama to respect the 2012 Great Lakes Water Agreement and stop the planned transport of highly radioactive waste from Chalk River, Ontario, to the U.S. Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility President Gordon Edwards says the Sierra Club will speak to the International Joint Commission in Toronto Wednesday. “In order to get to the United States, you have to cross the Blue Water Bridge or some other bridge somewhere,” he says. “If there is a serious accident or spill, the fact that this material is in liquid form means it can easily be dispersed into the waters of the Great Lakes.” Edwards says trucking 23,000 litres of a “witch’s brew” 1,100 miles over the Great Lakes water system is ludicrous, given the fact that the material has been solidified at Chalk River for 13 years.

October 5, 2016 – physicsworld.com – New imaging technique combines MRI with nuclear medicine – A new technique that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear medicine has been developed by physicists in the US. The method uses the fact that the direction that a gamma ray is emitted from a radioactive nucleus is highly dependent on the direction of the nucleus’s magnetic moment. Much like conventional MRI, the technique involves placing the sample in a strong magnetic field that causes the magnetic moments of the nuclei to point in the direction of the field. Then a magnetic pulse causes the moments to wobble, much like a spinning top. In conventional MRI, this wobble is detected by the radio waves emitted by the sample and this provides important information about the local chemical composition within the sample. In this new technique developed by Gordon Cates, Wilson Miller and colleagues at the University of Virginia, the wobble is characterized by measuring the distribution of gamma rays emitted by radioactive nuclei – in this case xenon-131m. The team was able to image a glass container filled with a tiny amount of radioactive xenon gas. However, this took 60 hours to complete – which is far too long for practical imaging applications. If the technique can be improved, then patients could one day ingest a radioactive tracer that would then travel to a tumour or other tissue of interest. Doctors would then be able to use the technique to image the tissue and obtain new types of information about its composition.

October 5, 2016 – tribuneindia.com – Court rejects Marshall Islands’ nuclear case against India – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday rejected suits filed by the tiny Marshall Islands against the world’s nuclear powers that sought to force them to do more to disarm. Though the suits failed on procedural grounds, India, Pakistan and Britain were brought to the court to answer the complaint at public hearings in April. In its ruling in the country’s case against India, the first of the three to be decided on Wednesday, the court said it had accepted Indian arguments that the ICJ, also known as the World Court, should not have jurisdiction in the case. Judges said that while the Marshall Islands may not be satisfied with progress on nuclear disarmament, it had failed to show that it has any ongoing legal dispute with India fit for the court to adjudicate.

October 5, 2016 – Stockz News – Trending Stocks on the Move – Mosaic Co (NYSE:MOS), LOST -1.00% and closed at $24.64 in the last trading session. The last trading range of the stock ranges between $24.59 and $24.95. During the 52-week trading session the minimum price at which share price traded, registered at $22.02 and reached to max level of $36.95. Testing of nine wells near a sinkhole at a Mosaic Co fertilizer facility in Florida, site of a massive leak of contaminated water, shows that water meets safe drinking standards for radioactivity and damage has not spread beyond the site, the company said.

October 5, 2016 – Daily Galaxy – NASA: Supernova Enigma Solved –“Light Reached Earth 350 Years Ago” – The new NASA image above shows a more complete picture of Cassiopeia A, the remains of a star that blew up in a supernova event whose light reached Earth about 350 years ago, when it could have appeared to observers as a star that suddenly brightened. The remnant is located 11,000 light-years away from Earth. The mystery of how Cassiopeia A exploded is unraveling thanks to new data from NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. In this image, NuSTAR data, which show high-energy X-rays from radioactive material, are colored blue. Lower-energy X-rays from non-radioactive material, imaged previously with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, are shown in red, yellow and green.

October 5, 2016 – NEI Press Release – Maria Korsnick Elected President and CEO of Nuclear Energy Institute – Maria Korsnick today was elected president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization for the U.S. nuclear energy industry, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Korsnick has served as NEI’s chief operating officer since May 2015 as a loaned executive from Exelon Generation and Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG). In that role, she has guided NEI’s day-to-day operations and represented the industry before a multitude of stakeholders — including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Obama administration, Congress, state lawmakers, international nuclear professionals, think tanks and policymakers. She will succeed Marvin Fertel, who retires on Dec. 31 after nine years as NEI’s president and CEO.

October 5, 2016 – Charleston Post and Courier – South Carolina utilities, builder can’t agree on nuclear plant payments – South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper have been unable to agree on payments with the contractor that’s expanding their nuclear power plant, leaving them about a month to hash out the dispute under an order issued Monday. The utilities have been in talks with Westinghouse Electric Co. for nearly a year, and the deadline expired July 1. They have been unable to come to terms over “the timing and amounts of various payments” related to work at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, SCE&G said in a June filing. The stalemate prompted the companies to refer the matter to a special panel they created last year to resolve disputed claims arising from the Midlands project.

October 5, 2016 – Pittsburgh Tribune – Nuclear plant security guard lied, but explosives detector functioned, NRC says – Federal investigators say there was no security breach at a Beaver County nuclear plant last year when a guard sent 150 employees through an out-of-service explosives detector because the device was still working as intended. Investigators from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigated the March 30, 2015, incident at FirstEnergy Corp.’s Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, where the guard at the main entrance sent about 150 employees through an explosives detector despite a sign that said the detector was out of service, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said. The guard later told officials at Securitas, her employer providing security at the plant for FirstEnergy, that she hadn’t noticed the sign until she found it on the floor. But surveillance video appeared to show the guard noticing the sign after she’d sent people through, then taking the sign down and putting it on the floor herself, according to an NRC report released Monday.

October 5, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Watts Bar 2 completes power ascension testing – When Watts Bar 2 reached first criticality in May, it was the first nuclear unit to start up in the USA in a decade. The 1165 MWe (net) pressurized water reactor (PWR) was synchronized to the grid on 3 June and has undergone a series of detailed and highly rigorous tests at various power levels to ensure that all systems operate safely as designed. The unit successfully completed its final power ascension test – a 50% load rejection from full power, to test the system’s ability to withstand a sudden loss of load and return safely to normal operating conditions – on 30 September. It will now begin a pre-commercial period of extended full power operation to further test its reliability.

October 5, 2016 – PRNewswire – Plant Farley Unit 1 planned activities underway for the production of clean, safe, reliable and affordable nuclear energy – On Saturday, Oct. 1, Unit 1 of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant began a planned refueling and maintenance outage. In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing, workers will make upgrades to plant systems and components to enhance efficiency and reliability. “The key to a safe and successful outage is our outstanding employees and supporting partners,” said Site Vice President Cheryl Gayheart. “I am proud of the preparations we have made, and our entire team is ready to accomplish this refueling outage safely using our expertise and teamwork.” Plant Farley’s operators were making final preparations to begin the outage when the unit automatically shut down due to a malfunction of a main steam isolation valve. The safety system operated as designed, the plant was stable and the team established shut down conditions in support of the outage.

October 5, 2016 – St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Tests underway on creek in Hazelwood area that turned white – Water samples from a St. Louis County creek that turned white over the weekend are still being tested and it’s too early to conclude what caused the problem, the state Department of Resources said Monday. Coldwater Creek, which runs through the Hazelwood area in St. Louis County, has been a source of concern for area residents for years after radioactive contamination was confirmed in several yards that back up to the waterway. The milky white water raised new worries on Sunday morning, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers insisted Monday that whatever is in the water has nothing to do with the agency’s remediation efforts to remove soil contaminated by remnants of the nation’s early nuclear weapons program.

October 5, 2016 – Albuquerque Journal – WIPP plans will go on even if Russia quits plutonium deal – Should the U.S. continue to hold up its end of the bargain, Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement would likely have little effect on the Department of Energy’s plans to send a parallel portion of plutonium – six metric tons – to New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. That plutonium, which is not quite weapons grade, and would be diluted and packaged to meet disposal criteria at WIPP, is not actually part of the 34 metric tons covered by the agreement. But it is being viewed as a trial run “to establish that it’s cost-effective and safe” to dilute and dispose of it at WIPP, said Ed Lyman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

October 5, 2016 – KUER 90.1 – Downwinders of Utah Archive Opens At U’s Marriott Library – A new Downwinders of Utah Archive opened Monday at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library. It interactively shows the story of radioactive fallout in Utah related to atmospheric nuclear testing in Nevada in the 1950’s. Justin Sorensen specializes in geospatial content at the Marriott Library. He says the Atomic Energy Commission’s primary focus in the early days of testing was creating an image of strength and superiority no matter the consequences. “And that really was what the story was until you get to the late 70’s and 80’s when you see all these victims who are actually downwinders,” Sorensen says, “and what they’ve gone through, and ordeals, and really see what was actually happening at the time.” Sorensen says the archive contains everything from recorded interviews with downwinders to extensive cartographic maps and dramatic images of mushroom cloud heights based on raw numbers.

October 5, 2016 – Casper Star-Tribune – Uranium company will not be fined after former employee falsified safety records – An employee of Cameco, which operates Wyoming’s largest uranium mine, falsified a health survey required after two other workers were potentially exposed to radioactive material in 2013, regulators announced Monday. In an agreement confirmed Friday between the company and federal regulators, Cameco will not be cited for a violation or pay a penalty but must take steps to ensure a similar incident doesn’t again take place. Cameco is also working to end a federal halt on the transport of its nuclear waste after two spillage incidents in the last nine months.

October 5, 2016 – Associated Press – US wants to build Idaho facility for warships’ nuclear waste – The Navy and U.S. Department of Energy want to build a $1.6 billion facility at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho that would handle fuel waste from the nation’s fleet of nuclear-powered warships through at least 2060. The new facility is needed to keep nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines deployed, according to an environmental impact statement made public Friday. It would be built at the Energy Department’s 890-square-mile site, which includes the Idaho National Laboratory, considered the nation’s primary lab for nuclear research. The government also looked at two other alternatives: continuing to use outdated facilities at the site or overhauling them. The effect to the environment would be small for all three options, the document concluded.

October 5, 2016 – Los Alamos Daily Post – NNSA And Bulgaria Partner To Complete Nuclear Detection Architecture – Representatives of the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA), the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian government this week celebrated the completion of Bulgaria’s nuclear detection architecture, which will enhance efforts to prevent smuggling of dangerous radioactive materials across its borders. National and foreign dignitaries, including U.S. Ambassador Eric Rubin and Deputy Prime Minister Rumiana Bachvarova, gathered in Sofia to highlight the successful implementation of 27 radiation detection systems at locations across Bulgaria.