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October 6, 2016 – Press Pieces

On October 6th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

October 6, 2016 – Focus Taiwan News – Ban on food from Japan’s radiation-affected areas remains – The food and Drug Administration (FDA) reaffirmed Thursday that there is no timetable for any lifting of a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were affected by radiation fallout from a nuclear power plant meltdown following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. “There is no timetable for any such opening,” FDA Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) told CNA. She declined to comment on reports that Taiwan and Japan have reached an initial consensus on Taiwan’s opening to food imports from the five prefectures. Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011.

October 6, 2016 – Parent Herald – Aliens Survive On Galactic Cosmic Rays Like Bacteria In Radioactive Mines? – Recent studies have revealed that a bacterium named Desulforudis audaxviator can survive on Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs). GCRs are cosmic rays, which originate from sources outside the solar system and distributed throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists predict GCRs can be the source of energy for Aliens. According to new research in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the bacteria miles below the earth in abandoned mine shafts off the radioactive rocks. Author Dimitra Atri, research scientist said D. audaxviator is the only known organism to live as a result of radiolysis. In this a substance decomposes as a result of radiation. The bacteria lives under such extreme conditions is the only of its kind and called an “extremophile” – eats radioactive rocks extracting carbon and other essential chemicals from them.

October 4, 2016 – The Japan News – Is medical radiation exposure being curbed? – In June last year, standards for exposure to medical radiation — dubbed diagnostic reference levels, or DRLs — were established. The DRLs serve as yardsticks to ensure patients are not exposed to unnecessarily high doses of radiation during radiological exams at hospitals. To find out whether levels of medical exposure have decreased over the last year, I spoke with Reiko Kanda, an expert at the National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, which is leading efforts in that area.

October 6, 2016 – University of Copenhagen News – Robert Feidenhans’l resigns as head of the Niels Bohr Institute – Robert Feidenhans’l, professor and head of the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen has been appointed as the Chairman of the Management Board of the large European research facility XFEL in Hamburg. Robert Feidenhans’l will take up the new position on 1 January 2017 and will step down from his position as head of the Niels Bohr Institute at the end of the year. The European X-ray Free Electron Laser, European XFEL, is a research facility that produces extremely intense X-rays that are a billion times stronger than the best traditional X-ray sources. X-ray radiation is a super tool that opens up entirely new opportunities for research in materials and proteins and to be able to carry out advanced experiments with the structure and dynamic of individual particles.

October 6, 2016 – Ecologist – Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream – ‘Fast breeder’ reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan’s decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? Monju reached criticality in 1994 but was shut down in December 1995 after a sodium coolant leak and fire. The reactor didn’t restart until May 2010, and it was shut down again three months later. Decommissioning Monju will cost an estimated $3 billion. 1956 US Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover summarized his experience of these reactors by saying they are ‘expensive to build, complex to operate, susceptible to prolonged shutdown as a result of even minor malfunctions, and difficult and time-consuming to repair.’ Sixty years later, this summary remains apt.

October 6, 2016 – Right Side News – Obama Aids Iranian Nuclear Terror – Senator Obama opposed naming Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terror group even while it was closely involved in organizing attacks against American soldiers in Iraq. Then, as part of his dirty deal with Iran, he secretly sent a fortune in foreign cash on airplanes linked to the IRGC. And, as another part of the secret ransom deal with Iran, he lifted UN sanctions on Bank Sepah. The United States has gone after plenty of banks for aiding terror finance, but Bank Sepah is somewhat unique in that it is a financial institution actually owned and operated by Islamic terrorists. Bank Sepah is an IRGC bank. The IRGC, despite Obama’s denials, is an Islamic terror group with American blood on its hands. It is to Shiite Islam what ISIS is to Sunni Islam. And even the Democrats know it.

October 6, 2016 – The Japan News – Russia suspends N-agreement with U.S. – Russia further curtailed its cooperation with the United States in nuclear energy on Wednesday, suspending a research agreement and terminating one on uranium conversion, two days after the Kremlin shelved a plutonium pact with Washington. The Russian government said that as countermeasures to the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, it was putting aside a nuclear and energy-related research pact with the United States. It also said it was terminating for the same reasons an agreement between its nuclear corporation Rosatom and the U.S. Energy Department on feasibility studies into conversion of Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium.

October 6, 2016 – Broadway World – Limelight Performing Arts Presents D.W. Gregory’s RADIUM GIRLS – In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage-until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by historical events, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.

October 6, 2016 – Construction Index – Milestone reached in construction of Chernobyl enclosure – A key task has been completed ahead of schedule in the project to build a new safe containment (NSC) to enclose the nuclear plant in Chernobyl, which was destroyed in the disaster of 1996. The US$40m (£31m) project has built the arch end walls that will allow the main arch structure to be slid into its design position. Deputy project and program manager Viktor Popovskyi said that 9,600m3 of concrete and about 1,500t of rebar were used during the work to build the end walls. The scope of work included the reinforcement and sealing of existing power units structures – upon which the arch end walls will be abutted – as well as the design and construction of new dividing walls within existing structures. Preparatory work has also taken place for the installation and attachment of sealing anchors.

October 6, 2016 – Manilla Bulletin – Japan nuclear reactor shuttered for safety work – Utility Kyushu Electric is shutting down the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai plant in southern Sendai plant for a few months of inspections and maintenance, leaving Japan with just two operating reactors. But there is speculation that the reactor’s safety work could drag on longer. Thursday’s shutdown follows demands from the region’s top politician that Kyushu Electric conduct extra safety inspections at its two operating reactors in the Sendai plant — after deadly quakes hammered a neighbouring prefecture in April. Last month, the company refused governor Satoshi Mitazono’s demands to immediately shut down the reactors over safety concerns.

October 6, 2016 – Drowned In Sound – “It’s difficult to get these powerful stories across” – It’s been just over 30 years since the Ukrainian city of Pripyat suffered the devastating consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It’s one of only two nuclear meltdowns classified as a maximum level event, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi disaster of 2011. During the incident, 400 times more radioactive material was released from Chernobyl than was dropped in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The effects are still being felt in Ukraine and Belarus. Charities such as the Chernobyl Children’s Project, based in Glossop, have been helping young people from the area take recuperative holidays, allowing them to escape the rising dust radiation levels in the summer months.

October 6, 2016 – CaliforniaHealthline – 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. Device makers are busy selling the $500,000-and-up machines to doctors around the country and offering training courses. Billboards advertising this “new non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer” are springing up, while treatment center websites promise “a safer method” with benefits such as “no erectile dysfunction and no incontinence,” although studies show those side effects can occur, but less often than with other types of more aggressive treatments. The treatment can range in cost from $15,000 to $25,000.

October 6, 2016 – Medical XPress – Incidence of thyroid cancer on the rise – The incidence of thyroid cancer has tripled in the past three decades, yet the reason for this is not clear. Dr. David Goldenberg, chief of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, notes the diagnostic tools are better, but he can’t get behind recent talk of overdiagnosis as the sole cause for the increase. Thyroid cancer occurs about three times more often in women than men, but Goldenberg said the jury is still out on whether reproductive hormones play a significant role in that. Risk factors for the disease include family history, being a woman, a low-iodine diet and exposure to ionizing radiation. Some theories include obesity as a possible risk factor, as well.

October 6, 2016 – Time – The Marshall Islands Cannot Sue Nuclear Powers for Proliferation, U.N. Court Rules – Dozens of nuclear tests took place at the island nation, sometimes wiping out entire atolls. The Marshall Islands — home to Bikini Atoll, where the first postwar U.S. nuclear test was conducted in 1946 —has been told by a top international court that its lawsuit against three nuclear powers over their alleged failure to stop nuclear proliferation cannot proceed. Agence France-Presse reports that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) “upholds the objection to jurisdiction” by the U.K., India and Pakistan, ruling that it “cannot proceed to the merits of the case” as there was no evidence the Pacific island nation ever had disputes or sought to negotiate with any of these countries over the nuclear issue.

October 6, 2016 – thedailystar.com – Nuclear plan gets backlash from left, right – A coalition of environmental and consumer activists warned Wednesday that New York electricity customers will be jolted by a “huge tax” stemming from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to subsidize aging nuclear power plants. Customers of National Grid, NYSEG and other state-regulated utilities will see bills climb by more than $2 per month beginning next year — and even more in subsequent years — if the plan stays on track, the critics said. The proposal is part of Cuomo’s plan to ensure New York gets at least 50 percent of its power from renewable sources, including solar and wind, by 2030. He contends the plan makes New York a national leader in the push to curb climate change linked to greenhouse gases.

October 6, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Japan bolsters reprocessing work, reports on Fukushima radiation – Japan has established a new organisation tasked with managing its reprocessing of used fuel, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has announced. In a statement on 3 October, the ministry said the Nuclear Reprocessing Organisation of Japan will be funded by the country’s power utilities to cover the cost of the reprocessing work. This is a mandatory requirement that replaces the previous expectation that utilities would voluntarily contribute to the reprocessing program. Separately, Japan has reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that tests last month on discharges from the sub-drain and groundwater drainage systems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have confirmed that the radiation levels of sampled water were “substantially below” the operational targets set by operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

October 6, 2016 – Newswire – UChicago Site of Radiocarbon Dating Discovery Named Historic Landmark – It was while working in the Kent Laboratory building in the 1940s that Prof. Willard Libby and his UChicago associates developed radiocarbon dating—an innovative method to measure the age of organic materials. Scientists soon used the technique on materials ranging from the dung of a giant sloth from a Nevada cave; seaweed and algae from Monte Verde, Chile, the oldest archaeological site in the Western Hemisphere; the Shroud of Turin; and the meteorite that created the Henbury Craters in northern Australia. Now the American Chemical Society has designated the discovery of radiocarbon dating as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The society will officially recognize the achievement at 4 p.m. Oct. 10, with the unveiling of a plaque in the foyer of the Kent Chemical Laboratory building at 1020 E. 58th St. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Libby’s first publication on radiocarbon dating, which appeared in the June 1, 1946 issue of Physical Review. The work earned Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in chemistry “for determinations in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other branches of science.”

October 6, 2016 – Nuclear Energy Insider – Operators urged to prioritize labor plans to control decommissioning costs – Nuclear operators planning to close reactors must set out detailed plans for labor reductions and other regulation-driven decisions to ensure decommissioning funds cover rising cost estimates, Tom Magette, PWC’s Managing Director, Nuclear Capital projects & infrastructure, told the 2016 Nuclear Decommissioning & Used Fuel Strategy Summit on October 4. There are currently 18 U.S. nuclear power plants being decommissioned and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements due to sustained low power prices. The majority of current decommissioning projects are being carried out under the SAFSTOR method of deferred decontamination as operators expect Decommissioning Trust Funds (DTFs) to rise to cover future decommissioning spending. However, Rates of Return for DTFs have been lower than some expectations and current dollar estimates for decommissioning costs have risen while actual costs have varied widely.

October 6, 2016 – Nuclear Energy Insider – US utilities warn new rules could impact reactor closures – Operators have accelerated decommissioning plans following early plant closures and proposed changes to licensing rules are raising project risks, leading utility executives said at the 2016 Nuclear Decommissioning & Used Fuel Strategy Summit on October 3. There are currently 18 U.S. nuclear power plants being decommissioned and this will soon increase following a recent spate of plant closure announcements due to sustained low power prices. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is developing new rules to reduce the number of licensing amendments required post-shutdown but significant changes to existing regulatory frameworks could impact project timelines, Jim Madigan, CNO Technical Advisor and Director of Oversight, Regulatory Affairs & Nuclear Safety Culture, Southern California Edison (SCE), told conference attendees.

October 6, 2016 – Enformable – Uranium mining industry in survival mode after Fukushima – The hot word in the uranium mining market is “staying power”, as in who will have the staying power to survive the collapse of the uranium mining industry. The uranium mining industry is in an awful state while trying to recover from the effect that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan had on the global nuclear industry. The simple fact is that there is a glut of uranium available and no real need to explore new deposits or mine existing ones. The shutdown of nuclear power plants in the wake of the disaster generated a large surplus of uranium – combined with the rise of fracking and natural gas, drove uranium prices to record lows, and forced most of the few mining companies to shut down mines, lay off workers and reduce debt in a struggle just to survive. This could have long-term implications because it is expensive to shut down a uranium mining operation, and difficult to reverse.

October 6, 2016 – Athens 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 6, 2016 – Ruidoso News – Rising interest seen in Downwinders story – Demonstrators at the Stallion Gate during Saturday’s open house at the Trinity atomic test site said more people stopped to hear their story than at any protest in recent years. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders have been fighting for more than a decade to have victims of radiation exposure from the first-ever nuclear explosion in 1945 included in a federal law that later awarded compensation to military service members and others exposed during Nevada test explosions in the 1950s. Members of the group say more than 700 people have died of cancer and other causes related to the Trinity exposure, and the illnesses have continued to afflict many genetic descendants of those who were living and working in the basin and adjacent mountains when the blast went off and fallout drifted over the region.

October 6, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Report: LANL to end on-site radioactive waste disposal at Area G in 2017 – A Los Alamos National Laboratory environmental report released has revealed that by Oct. 1, 2017, the lab will cease disposing of low-level radioactive waste on site. “The strategy for both low-level radiological waste and mixed low-level waste is to minimize its generation and to dispose of all newly generated waste off-site… No new, on-site disposal capacity will be developed,” read a statement in the report. The report also mentioned that the lab plans to dispose of low-level waste at “Area G” by Oct. 1, 2017. The report also indicated that for 2015 the amount of plutonium detected in the air was nine attocuries per cubic meter, which the lab categorized as the lowest it’s been in recent years, because there was not much soil activity at the site. The lab was shipping the low-level waste from Area G to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. That stopped when an improperly packed barrel shipped from the lab exploded at the plant in February 2014. The WIPP plant is due to resume partial operations in December.

October 6, 2016 – Aiken Standard – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant cave-in adds to safety questions – A recent cave-in at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, near Carlsbad, New Mexico, brings facility safety and operational readiness back under the microscope. WIPP is a deep underground salt mine repository meant to store some of the nation’s nuclear waste. The facility has been closed since a truck fire in February 2014. Crews have been working to address safety concerns, including potential issues with storage canisters. Those concerns played a role in the operational shut-down and have led to new requirements for sites, such as Savannah River Site in South Carolina, that send material to WIPP.

October 6, 2016 – Denver Post – Feds seek balance in converting Cold War plutonium trigger plant west of Denver to wildlife haven – The Cold War-era Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, long reviled as a source of plutonium dust, is becoming more of a haven for wildlife. A bear raised three cubs. Mountain lion tracks can be seen. A bull moose recently wandered across the 6,000-acre prairie and wetland refuge. A herd of elk, numbering 130 last year, grew to 150. This week, the feds are launching a planning process to allow for more people. “A wildlife refuge is not a park,” Rocky Flats manager Dave Lucas said, but the government in four “sharing sessions” seeks ideas for future trials for hiking, cycling and horse-riding where hundreds of military-industrial structures once stood.