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September 21, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 21st, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 21, 2016 – BooksLive.co.za – Glowing all the way to the grave: Michele Magwood reviews The Radium Girls – It usually started with their teeth. Young female factory workers in the United States were complaining of toothache, and it being early in the last century, when cosmetic dentistry was unheard of, the problem teeth were simply removed. But their mouths didn’t heal, and more teeth were rotting. The dentist in Newark, New Jersey, was confounded, until the day he tried to remove yet another tooth from a young woman’s mouth, and her entire jawbone came away in his hand. The patient’s name was Mollie Maggia and she worked at the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation. When she died soon afterwards, the doctors insisted the cause was syphilis. In this gripping account of appalling corporate malfeasance and awing courage, Kate Moore presents a roll call of the bright young things who went to work in the factories producing luminous dials for clocks and watches and also for military instruments. The job was well-paid and glamorous. The paint they used contained radioactive radium, which made it glow.

September 21, 2016 – ABC Action News – Mosaic apologizes for not notifiying community sooner about sinkhole and radioactive water – After a massive sinkhole drained millions of gallons of radioactive water into the Floridan aquifer, Mosaic executives are coming forward saying that they handled the situation poorly. Tuesday morning, two of the company’s executives took responsibility for not notifying the public sooner of the crisis. “I deeply regret and apologize that I didn’t come forward and communicate with them sooner. Any explanation that I could provide as to why we didn’t do that, to me would ring hollow,” said Walter Precourt, Mosaic Senior Vice President of Phosphates, to the Polk County Commissioners.

September 21, 2016 – Albawaba – Rio’s Olympic X-ray machines to be reused in Brazil’s jails – X-ray machines and metal detectors used in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are set to be recycled in jails across Brazil, according to the country’s Justice Ministry. It said scanners with a total value of 44.6 million reais (13.6 million dollars) were due to be moved to jails in the coming weeks. The state of Sao Paulo alone was set to receive 66 x-ray machines and 170 metal detectors from the Games. Brazil’s jails are notorious for high levels of crime and drugs.

September 21, 2016 – Progressive.org – How Nuclear Power Causes Global Warming – Supporters of nuclear power like to argue that nukes are the key to combatting climate change. Here’s why they are dead wrong. Every nuclear generating station spews about two-thirds of the energy it burns inside its reactor core into the environment. Only one-third is converted into electricity. Another tenth of that is lost in transmission. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists: Nuclear fission is the most water intensive method of the principal thermoelectric generation options in terms of the amount of water withdrawn from sources. In 2008, nuclear power plants withdrew eight times as much freshwater as natural gas plants per unit of energy produced, and up to 11 percent more than the average coal plant. Every day, large reactors like the two at Diablo Canyon, California, individually dump about 1.25 billion gallons of water into the ocean at temperatures up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the natural environment.

September 21, 2016 – HealthDay – More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there’s enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. “The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement,” said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines.

September 21, 2016 – Fuel Fix – Firing at Energy Department prompts criticism from Congress – Texas Congressman Lamar Smith, long a critic of the Obama administration’s treatment of climate change as a scientific priority, wants to know whether the Department of Energy terminated one of its scientists for going “off message” during a congressional briefing two years ago. The subject this time was not climate change, but the health impacts of low doses of radiation – something humans are routinely exposed to in everyday life and the Department of Energy had moved to cease researching. But in 2014 House Republicans were pressing the energy department to increase research into low doses of radiation – towards better understanding the impacts in the event of a “dirty bomb” containing radioactive material or to workers at nuclear plants or medical imaging facilities. When a government biologist studying radiation was terminated after giving a briefing to congressional staff that she said went against instructions to downplay the importance of the research, Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, of which Smith is chair, launched an investigation.

September 21, 2016 – Business Tech – If we don’t go nuclear, SA will face 2008-level power crisis: Molefe – If South Africa doesn’t have nuclear power by 2035, the country will be in the same position as in 2008 when there was a serious shortage of power supply, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said on Wednesday. Molefe was part of an Eskom delegation who briefed Parliament on the power utility’s tariff increase for 2016/17 and its amended pricing structure for municipalities. He was responding to a question from an MP, who asked him to elaborate on the cost slippage and delays of Eskom’s build programmes.

September 21, 2016 – WBUR 90.9 – Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Gas Release Ignites Outrage From Plymouth Fire Chief – Earlier this month, hydrogen gas built up in the generator room at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. The amount of gas was beyond the federal allowable limit and had to be released into the air. Hydrogen gas is highly flammable — and potentially explosive. It’s what blew up the reactors at Fukishima Japan. And while plant officials knew about the hydrogen release, the coastal town’s fire chief said he is outraged that he was not notified beforehand. ‘We Should Have Got An Email Or A Phone Call’ “In order to protect the public safety — which is my job — I need to have to get as much information about what is going on as I can possibly get,” said Ed Bradley, chief of the Plymouth Fire Department.

September 21, 2016 – Tech Central – Eskom’s Molefe pushes the case for nuclear – A nuclear build programme for South Africa doesn’t need to be funded by the fiscus. There are enough potential financiers who would be willing to take the risk, said Eskom CEO Brian Molefe on Wednesday. Speaking on the sidelines of a parliamentary meeting, Molefe said he doesn’t believe a nuclear build programme would put a significant burden on the fiscus. Molefe said he had not asked national treasury to consider making provision for any nuclear costs for the medium term. “It’s possible for nuclear to finance itself. Asking the fiscus for money is going overboard. We should be able to arrange some kind of funding for nuclear energy.”

September 21, 2016 – Newsday – Growing criticism over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to subsidize New York’s nuclear plants – In recent weeks, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tirelessly defended his Clean Energy Standard plan that forces taxpayers and electric customers to bail out the state’s failing nuclear energy industry. The governor should save his breath. The controversial scheme, which Cuomo and state regulators approved in August without the consent of state lawmakers, has been hailed as a model for other states to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But critics rightly view the Clean Energy Standard (CES) a raw deal for electric ratepayers and taxpayers that amounts to little more than an indefensible corporate welfare racket.

September 21, 2016 – International Business Times – Pakistan refuses to curb nuclear programme despite US insistence – Pakistan on Wednesday reportedly refused to comply with the request by the United States to limit its nuclear programme. The development comes just a couple of days after Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja M Asif said in an interview to Pakistani channel Geo TV’s Saleem Safi that the country would not think twice before exercising nuclear option if there was any threat against it. Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), Maleeha Lodhi, was quoted by Pakistani media as saying in New York that the country’s nuclear programme would not be restricted. She also said that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had, in his interaction with US Secretary of State John Kerry, impressed upon him that India should also be held to the standards being set for Pakistan.

September 21, 2016 – Sputnik International – Nukes of Hazard: 180 Mishaps Befall UK Nuclear Convoys – Anti-nuclear campaigners say that the regular transportation of nuclear weapons across the UK is putting lives at risk. Military convoys carrying nuclear materials have suffered collisions, breakdowns and brake failures.There have been at least “180 mishaps in 16 years” involving military convoys carrying nuclear bombs around the UK. That’s the startling news according to a “Nukes of Hazard” report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), published on Wednesday (September 21). The report, based on Ministry of Defense logs released due to Freedom of Information requests, reveals that materials for nuclear weapons are driven through or flown over 122 separate local councils in the UK. They include densely-populated areas in major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle.

September 21, 2016 – GBTimes – Hinkley Point nuclear plant unites China and France – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French President Francois pledged on Tuesday to ensure the implementation of the UK’s Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project, as well as enhance cooperation in third-party markets. The two countries reached the consensus on the side-lines of a series of UN conferences in New York City. The Hinkley Point nuclear project is Britain’s first nuclear power plant in two decades. It will be co-built by China General Nuclear Power Corp., which has a one-third stake, and French state-owned company EDF. During their talks, Li hoped all those concerned could work together to deliver a smooth partnership on the nuclear power program while at the same time calling for China and France to boost their cooperation.

September 21, 2016 – Penn Energy – Reporters get rare look at SC nuke reactor project – Reporters are getting a rare look at some of the first nuclear reactors of their kind to be built in the U.S. in more than 30 years. South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and Santee Cooper are building two new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. The reactors are slated to come online in 2019 and 2020. Reporters get a look on Wednesday. The project has continued to cost more for SCE&G power customers. SCE&G is seeking a 3.1 percent residential raise that would be the largest single rate increase since it began charging its 700,000 customers for construction.

September 21, 2016 – The Mercury News – Storing nuclear waste: Is ‘consent’ OK when future generations can’t weigh in – There are barbs about “mobile Chernobyls” and “floating Fukushimas,” fears of “coerced consent” and “economic racism,” and deep philosophizing about the nature of “consent” itself. Is such a thing possible when generations unborn will be impacted by decisions made today? “‘Consent’ to dump nuclear waste in America’s back yard is not going to be approved by the American people no matter how your PR strategists massage the lipstick on that pig,” David Osinga told the U.S. Department of Energy in an email. The DOE’s latest idea for figuring out where to stash millions of pounds of nuclear waste garnered more than 10,000 comments from concerned citizens nationwide, according to documents released last week. And while many disagree vehemently on the particulars, they are largely united on one point: After decades of dithering, the federal government must finally take action on its long-broken promise to permanently dispose of highly radioactive spent fuel.

September 21, 2016 – Sentinel-Tribune – Latta legislation to modernize nuclear technology approved by House – Bipartisan legislation authored by Congressman Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, to modernize the nation’s nuclear technology has been approved by the U.S House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 4979, the Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act, requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to establish a framework for issuing licenses for advanced nuclear reactor technology and requires the NRC to submit a schedule for the implementation of the framework by 2019. Approximately 50 companies have invested over $1 billion in nuclear power technology, but the lack of a regulatory framework to license this technology has said to threaten continued investment and implementation. “Nuclear power must play a significant role in American energy policy for our nation to become truly energy secure, and the future of the nuclear industry needs to start now,” Latta said. “It is imperative that we develop the right regulatory framework so advanced nuclear technologies can be developed, licensed, and constructed here in the United States. The Advanced Nuclear Technology Development Act will help the U.S. remain a leader in the nuclear industry and continue to develop clean, reliable power.”\

September 21, 2016 – The Bahamas Weekly – IAEA Receives US $3.96 Million from the United States to Boost Fight against Zika-transmitting Mosquitoes – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will receive a contribution of US $3.96 million from the United States to step up work on a nuclear technique to suppress mosquitoes spreading Zika and other viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The United States announced the grant at a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna today. The U.S. Department of State grant will enable the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to significantly accelerate research and development activities to refine the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)—an insect birth control method—in order to assist countries affected by Zika.

September 21, 2016 – ChemEurope.com – Single crystal measures radioactivity – A research team at Empa and ETH Zurich has developed single crystals made of lead halide perovskites, which are able to gage radioactive radiation with high precision. Initial experiments have shown that these crystals, which can be manufactured from aqueous solutions or low-priced solvents, work just as well as conventional cadmium telluride semi-conductors, which are considerably more complicated to produce. The discovery could slash the price of many radio-detectors – such as in scanners in the security sector, portable dosimeters in power stations and measuring devices in medical diagnostics.

September 21, 2016 – WIZM 1410 AM – Genoa plant still has residual radioactivity needing decontamination – A nuclear power plant located just 20 miles from La Crosse was shut down three decades ago but much of the Dairyland Power Cooperative reactor at Genoa is still standing. That will change over the next few years, as it is being decommissioned – something neighbors of the facility are concerned about. “People are concerned about the removal of the radioactive waste and the transportation of it,” Bruce Watson, a chief at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said. Watson was speaking to about a dozen people at a public meeting about the project. Within a few weeks, demolition will begin on the tall smokestack next to the old reactor building.

September 21, 2016 – Tech Radar – Nuclear fusion: what’s taking so long? – It could provide a cheap, safe, clean, abundant and reliable source of energy for mankind, but nuclear fusion has so far remained tantalisingly out of reach. Despite being a theoretical replacement for both fossil fuel and nuclear fission energy production for over 60 years, nuclear fusion still hasn’t become commercially possible in power stations. So what’s taking so long?

September 21, 2016 – Tennessee Journalist – UT Science Forum tackles nuclear energy – Dr. Stephen Skutnik, Assistant Professor at UT’s department of Nuclear Engineering says that the future of nuclear energy depends on if it’s viewed as trash or a treasure. Skutnik addressed multiple forms of proposed storage methods such as geologic disposal, hydrogeologic disposal, ice sheet disposal and more outlandish solutions such as extraterrestrial and volcanic disposal. Although scientists have the ability to store used fuel for decades, it is not seen a viable permanent solution. According to Skutnik, geologic disposal is the only feasible option at this time. It involves storing the radioactive elements deep underground long enough to “run out the clock” on the materials so they are no longer radioactive.

September 21, 2016 – Beyond Nuclear – We almost lost Detroit but we’ve still got Fermi 1 – On October 5 it will be 50 years since the Fermi 1 prototype liquid metal fast breeder reactor, located near Monroe, MI, suffered a loss of coolant accident and partial meltdown that narrowly missed turning into a major catastrophe, as recounted in John Fuller’s landlmark book, We Almost Lost Detroit. But as a warning to those who think a shut down reactor then vanishes, the Fermi 1 reactor (pictured) still sits on site, essentially mothballed. Beyond Nuclear will be participating in events next month in Detroit to mark the anniversary and expose the fact that emergency planning, while no longer virtually non-existent as it was 50 years ago, remains woefully inadequate and deeply flawed.

September 21, 2016 – Tri-City Herald – Hanford whistleblowers awarded $216,000 in back pay, compensation – Two Hanford whistleblowers have been awarded $216,000 in back pay and compensation, plus interest and attorney fees, after being suspended from their jobs by Computer Sciences Corp. The decision by a U.S. Department of Labor administrative law judge followed a six-day trial in Kennewick that began in November after the company appealed an earlier decision. The whistleblowers were represented by Hanford Challenge, a Seattle-based worker advocacy group for the nuclear reservation, and an additional attorney.