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September 15, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 15th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 15, 2016 – Platts – Progress on waste issue key to support for nuclear: US senator – US Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said at an appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday that she cannot continue to support nuclear power if there is “no strategy for the long-term storage of the waste.” Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, criticized the nuclear power industry in her opening statement on what she called its failure to speak with “one voice” on the need for interim storage of utility spent fuel. The country, she said, “should be working to establish interim [spent fuel] storage far away from reactors and population centers.” The hearing was scheduled to look at the future of nuclear power.

September 15, 2016 – Sputnik International – Seoul Finds No Traces of Radionuclides After Pyongyang’s Nuke Test – South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission has not found radioactive contamination in environment following North Korea’s recent nuclear test, the commission said in a statement on Thursday.MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On September 9, Pyongyang confirmed that it had carried out a nuclear test at its northeastern nuclear test site. The nuclear experiment is believed to be the fifth and largest since North Korea started pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs, drawing condemnation from the international community. “The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission has not found any traces of radionuclides, such as xenon, in its tests of soil, water and air samples following North Korea’s fifth nuclear test,” the statement said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

September 15, 2016 – Lab Manager – FSU Chemistry Professor Explores Outer Regions of Periodic Table – A little known—and difficult to obtain—element on the fringes of the periodic table is broadening our fundamental understanding of chemistry. In the latest edition of the journal Science, Florida State University Professor Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt captures the fundamental chemistry of the element berkelium, or Bk on the periodic table. “What this really gives us is an understanding of how chemistry is changing late in the table,” Albrecht-Schmitt said. “The purpose is to understand the underlying chemistry of the element. Even after having it for almost 70 years, many of the basic chemical properties are still unknown.” Berkelium, discovered in 1949, resides at the very end of the periodic table among a group of elements called the actinide series. These elements are some of the heaviest, yet least understood chemical elements on Earth.

September 15, 2016 – Med Device Online – FDA Approves Zeiss’ Less Invasive Laser System For Nearsightedness – The FDA has approved the VisuMax Femtosecond Laser for small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedures, which are indicated for the correction of nearsightedness in patients age 22 and older. Carl Zeiss Meditec (Zeiss) developed the SMILE procedure as a less-invasive alternative to LASIK and PRK surgery. LASIK, one of the first laser eye corrections developed, uses one laser to create a flap in the cornea and a separate laser to reshape the cornea and correct vision. In comparison, the SMILE procedure, which is the third generation of laser eye surgery, uses an all-in-one laser system to cut a slim disc of tissue (lenticule) which is then removed through a tiny incision. The removal of tissue causes the shape of the cornea to permanently change, which corrects nearsightedness. Authors of a 2012 comparison study argued that the simpler, less invasive procedure could reduce risk of side effects and procedure costs.

September 15, 2016 – News Medical – The SkyScan 1276 High-Resolution, Fast In-Vivo Desktop Micro-CT from Bruker Biospin – The SkyScan 1276 is a high performance, stand-alone, fast, desk-top in vivo micro-CT with continuously variable magnification for scanning small laboratory animals (mice, rats, …) and biological samples. It has an unrivalled combination of high resolution, big image size, possibility for round and spiral (helical) scanning and reconstruction, and low dose imaging. The image field of view (up to 80 mm wide and more than 300 mm long) allows full body mouse and rat scanning. The variable magnification allows scanning bone and tissue samples with high spatial resolution down to 2.8 µm pixel size. Variable X-Ray energy combined with a range of filters ensures optimal image quality for diverse research applications from lung tissue to bone with metal implants. Further, the SkyScan 1276 in vivo micro-CT administers low radiation dose to the animals allowing multiple scans in longitudinal preclinical studies without the risk of unwanted radiation – induced side effects. The system can perform scanning with continuous gantry rotation and in step-and-shoot mode with fastest scanning cycle 3.9 sec.

September 15, 2016 – Japan News – Even if Monju axed, N-fuel cycle plan to stay – The government has begun making final arrangements with a view to possibly decommissioning the Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor, a move that would have massive ramifications given that the facility has been the pillar of a government policy to recycle nuclear fuel. The government intends to firmly maintain the fuel cycle, even if the curtain comes down on the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Monju reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture. The fuel cycle is a system in which uranium and plutonium from spent nuclear fuel at nuclear power plants is reprocessed and extracted, and then processed into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which can be reused.

September 15, 2016 – Gainesville Sun – ‘These Shining Lives’ illuminates workers’ plights in the ’20s – There are few things more empowering than a group of women who are willing to fight the power. On Friday, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre open its latest production, “These Shining Lives,” a play written by Melanie Marnich. “We have been rehearsing for about a month and a half with a cast of four women and two men,” said Laura Jackson, director of “These Shining Lives.” “There were quite a number of technical challenges with this play.” The play is based on the true story of four hard-working women who worked at the Radium Dial Company in Illinois, set in the 1920s. The job for these women is to paint the numbers on watch dials using a glow-in-the-dark radium-based paint.

September 15, 2016 – CCT News – Ted Talks: How Fear Of Nuclear Power Is Hurting The Environment – Michael Shellenberger began his speech by introducing to the audience that he comes from California, and at first, he believed that we are in a clean revolution – at least until they went and researched the statistics. Michael goes on to inform the audience that despite these enterprises and governments working on developing clean power; the numbers are showing that clean power is being used at a diminished rate despite the hopes of development. Michael further explains how one of the best and safest clean energy sources – Nuclear power has declined the most out of the various sources. Michael explains this is due to people’s unfound fear at the waste, the radiation and of course of the possibility of the development of weapons.

September 15, 2016 – Digital Journal – Virginia Residents Vehemently Oppose Elementary School Cell Tower 50′ from Playing Children – Parents and neighbors in the affluent Fairfax County, Virginia community are fighting to move the proposed cell tower away from their children at the local Crossfield Elementary School. Anticipating the revenue from the tower, instead of prudence and compassion for the children, School Board officials haven’t engaged to stop the tower approved by their Assistant Superintendent, Jeffrey Platenberg. Mr. Platenberg manages Fairfax County Public Schools facilities, buses and a growing profitable cell tower business on school property – over thirty towers and more planned. The proposed Crossfield tower is the second for an elementary school (50′ from the playground and less than 200′ from the building) and not placed in a stadium away from the school.

September 15, 2016 – Domain-B – Study reveals how ionising radiation damages DNA and causes cancer – For the first time, a team including University College London (UCL) researchers has identified in human cancers two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionising radiation. These fingerprint patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumours have been caused by radiation, and investigate if they should be treated differently. Published in Nature Communications on Monday the results will also help to explain how radiation can cause cancer.

September 15, 2016 – Ship-Technology.com – Arktis Radiation Detectors to provide nuclear detection solution to Port of Antwerp – Switzerland-based Arktis Radiation Detectors, along with its distributor partner for the Benelux region Bavak Security Group, has been chosen to provide nuclear detection systems to the Belgian Government for use at the Port of Antwerp. As part of the deal, Arktis and Bavak will supply radiation detection equipment, which will be installed at the container terminal located at the Left Bank in the Port of Antwerp. The equipment includes Arktis’ Flash radiation portal monitors and two Modes_Snm mobile radiation detection systems. “We look forward to supplying our customer with systems that will play a key role helping to secure the port.” Bavak will integrate as well as provide technical support and maintenance during the contract.

September 15, 2016 – BDLive – Nuclear sector aims to boost reactor capacity – The world nuclear industry aims to build about 1,000 gigawatts of new nuclear reactor capacity by 2050, World Nuclear Association director-general Agneta Rising said on Thursday. Past installations have often been less than 5 GW a year, but in 2014 the industry built 5 GW, which doubled to 10 GW in 2015. One gigawatt is the equivalent of about a medium-size nuclear reactor. “We should be able to deliver 1,000 GW of new nuclear by 2050,” Rising said at the opening of the annual WNA conference in London.

September 15, 2016 – WGNS Radio – U.S. Senator Alexander of Tennessee Says Nuclear Power is Best – At the first of two planned oversight hearings on the future of nuclear power U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.), who leads the Senate appropriations subcommittee overseeing federal energy and water funding, said today that nuclear power is the “nation’s best source of low-cost, reliable, safe, and pollution-free electricity” and that Congress should take four specific steps to ensure its future development: replacing or safely extending the use of some current reactors, solving the nuclear waste stalemate, doubling funding for basic energy research, and ending wasteful subsidies for mature technologies. “The United States uses about 25 percent of all electricity in the world to power our industries, our computers, our homes and most everything else we depend upon. Our 100 nuclear reactors provide about 20 percent of that electricity – which doesn’t turn on or off when the wind blows or the sun shines and is available 90 percent of the time. It is cheap, reliable and safe. At a time when the science academies of 20 developed countries and many Americans say climate change is a threat – and that humans are a significant cause of that threat – nuclear power provides about 60 percent of our country’s carbon-free electricity. It is our nation’s best source of low-cost, reliable, safe and pollution-free electricity, and it must be part of our energy future.”

September 15, 2016 – All Africa – South Africa: Why Government’s Nuclear Deal Will Destroy SA – The nuclear build programme will end up costing the South African economy over R3trn in debt, according to civil society group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa). The organisation released a video this week unpacking the economic impact of the deal. South Africa’s current debt level is at R1.89trn and a nuclear deal can escalate this to above R3trn. It is estimated South Africa will have to borrow R1.2trn for the deal. “R1trn will be enough to build 100 million RDP houses. Two houses for every man, woman and child in the country,” stated the organisation. The repayments on a R1.2trn loan come to R100bn a year. This will put a dent in government’s budget to supply basic needs such as education, healthcare, social welfare and public transport.

September 15, 2016 – Fiscal Times – Toshiba, Engie UK nuclear group says wants clarity on government special stake proposal – “NuGen will continue to work with the government to understand more about the proposal to ‘take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects’ and how this might affect NuGen’s Moorside project,” the company said in a statement. NuGen plans to build a 3.8 gigawatt nuclear power station in northwest England. The station is expected to start operating in around 2024.

September 15, 2016 – Environmental Leader – Nuclear Energy May Rise Again – A different kind of nuclear reactor may be in the offing now that Terrestrial Energy has cleared a hurdle to get financing. The US Department of Energy has just asked it to submit the second part of an application to get a loan guarantee. In 2014, the Energy Department said it could potentially make $12.5 billion available to build advanced reactors. As for Terrestrial, it is asking for as much as $1.2 billion to build a 195 megawatt molten salt reactors. They can burn “thorium” that may not only be safer but also create less radioactive waste than uranium.

September 15, 2016 – Isle of Man Today – Manx government reierates call for closure of Sellafield nuclear plant – The Manx government has restated its commitment to press for the complete closure of Sellafield. It follows further claims about the safety of the plant highlighted in a TV documentary last week.The BBC Panorama expose alleged ‘years of neglect’ had left parts of facility – which is just 34 miles from the Manx coast – ‘rundown and vulnerable’. There were not always enough workers to maintain safety levels, it claimed, and liquid containing plutonium and uranium is being stored in degrading plastic bottles. The claims have been dismissed by both the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Sellafield Ltd who said in a joint statement: ‘Sellafield is safe, there is no question about that.’

September 15, 2016 – The Guardian – It’s absurd that Hinkley is going ahead while cheaper, cleaner options are blocked – It’s finally happened. After weeks of speculation, and despite a hastily called review by Theresa May, the government has given a green light to the most expensive white elephant of a project in British history. The nuclear power station proposed at Hinkley Point is no ordinary piece of infrastructure. Indeed, according to Greenpeace it will be the most costly object ever built on Earth. A large chunk of the funds for the construction will come from China as part of a deal that will see it lead on the development of another reactor in Bradwell, Essex. EDF, an energy company owned by the French state, will stump up the rest of the construction costs. Just months after people in this country voted to “take back control”, ministers want to place a big chunk of our energy system in the hands of foreign governments.

September 15, 2016 – World Nuclear News – Report warns of medical isotopes shortage in USA – The current supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is sufficient to meet domestic and global demand, but changes to the supply chain before year-end could lead to severe shortages and impact the delivery of medical care, according to a new report by the USA’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Washington DC-based Academies, which are private, non-profit institutions, said the “congressionally mandated” report examines the production and use of Mo-99, Tc-99m, and associated medical isotopes iodine-131 and xenon-133, and also assesses the progress made in eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Mo-99 production. Canada’s National Research Universal reactor, built at Chalk River in 1957, produces 40% of the world’s supply of Mo-99.

September 15, 2016 – Utility Dive – Nevada energy company submits $38M bid for TVA’s unfinished Bellefonte nuke – Phoenix Energy of Nevada (PENV) has submitted a $38 million bid for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) partially-constructed Bellefonte nuclear plant near Hollywood, Alabama. The price is just under the $36.4 million minimum bid, and far below the $5 billion that TVA spent over the past 40 years – construction on the site was halted in 1988 – at what was supposed to be a 1,200-MW nuclear plant. PENV hopes to use the 1,600 acre site and retrofit it with its magnetic induction generation technology that the company claims has zero emissions and can cost as little as $0.03/kWh.

September 15, 2016 – Sandusky Register – Davis-Besse shut down – The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station shut down Saturday after its turbine generator was forced offline. The plant was still offline Tuesday afternoon, spokeswoman Jennifer Young said. The station will likely remain out of service for several days. “Operators identified water from heavy rains moving through the area had entered the turbine building through a roof vent that wasn’t fully closed,” Young said. “Some of the water ran to an expansion joint on the turbine deck floor.” The water leaked into an electrical box for the turbine controls. The incident shut down the turbine at about 3:45 a.m. Saturday.

September 15, 2016 – Pueblo Chieftain – Cotter Corp. to pay EPA nearly $1 million for oversight costs – Cotter Corp. has agreed to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nearly $1 million to cover past costs the government agency incurred while working at the Superfund site during a two-year period. The Cotter Corp. oversees a now-defunct uranium mill just south of Canon City which has been on the EPA’s Superfund cleanup list since 1984. Officials are in the process of decommissioning the mill. The agreement requires Cotter to pay EPA $957,604 for past oversight costs, incurred between 2012 and 2014. Funds are required to be paid to the EPA by Sept. 23 and will be placed in a special account and used to pay for any future costs at the site, according to Richard Mylott, EPA spokesman.

September 15, 2016 – Navaho-Hopi Observer – EPA announces plans to begin next phase of Navajo uranium cleanup – Federal officials took the first step Sept. 2 toward a planned $1 billion cleanup of abandoned uranium mines in and around the Navajo Nation, seeking bids to assess the problem and begin planning the project. The Environmental Protection Agency expects to use about $85 million for the planning, part of a nearly $1 billion settlement with Kerr-McGee Corp., later Tronox Inc., which operated mines in Arizona and New Mexico. “This is only one element of a much larger project since 2008,” said Clancy Tenley, the EPA official who is directing the cleanup program in the Navajo Nation. “EPA and five other agencies have invested more than $100 million in cleaning up and assessing abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation.”

September 15, 2016 – NRDC.org – Important Deadline for California Nuclear Plant Retirement – There is an important state regulatory deadline this week for the historic and widely supported Joint Proposal to retire and replace California’s last remaining nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, with lower-cost zero-carbon resources within nine years. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will accept comments through tomorrow (Sept. 15) on the plan to replace the two reactors at the Pacific Gas & Electric facility 250 miles south of San Francisco in August 2025 upon expiration of its U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licenses. The Joint Proposal –which was negotiated by PG&E, the plant’s principal union, NRDC, and Friends of the Earth, among others –would replace Diablo Canyon’s electricity with energy efficiency, renewable resources like wind and solar, demand response (compensating customers for altering their energy use at specific times) and using energy storage. PG&E, one of the nation’s largest combination natural gas and electric utilities, serves 16 million people in northern and central California.