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September 26, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 26th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 26, 2016 – Utility Dive – House committee votes to lift 2020 deadline on nuclear power tax credit – The House Ways and Means Committee has voted 23-9 on a bill to remove a 2020 deadline for a nuclear power plant tax credit, The Hill reports. The credit, enacted in 2005, will likely benefit the Vogtle nuclear reactors being built by Southern Co. in Georgia and the Summer reactors being built by SCANA in South Carolina. The bill would not change the 6,000-MW cap on the tax credit. Nuclear opponents called the bill a bailout for plant owners who have failed to deliver new reactor projects on time.

September 26, 2016 – FedScoop – Nuke commission operated several systems without authorization – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission operated several national security systems without authorization, potentially making classified information vulnerable or subject to unauthorized disclosure, according to an agency watchdog. The recently released Cybersecurity Act of 2015 audit of the NRC found seven national security systems did not have authorization to operate. The problem stemmed from a “lack of clarity in the agencywide policies and procedures over the systems and no integrated process across relevant offices,” according to the NRC inspector general’s report on its audit findings.

September 26, 2016 – Cartermatt.com – ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ season 8, episode 1 review: Deeks’ proposal to Blye delayed; mole tears unit apart – In the eighth season premiere of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” fans are thrilled to see there might be wedding bells ringing at some point this season. While the unit faces serious scrutiny from the Under Secretary of Defense Corbin Duggan as the mole still hasn’t been found, it hasn’t stopped LAPD Detective Marty Deeks desire to ask Special Agent Kensi Blye’s hand in marriage. The two-hour premiere kicked off with chaos in the squad. The unit is once again under examination for the mole and is being ripped apart piece-by-piece by a Washington investigation unit. Known to keep the team together, even through the tough spots, Agent G. Callen and Agent Sam Hanna keep one eye on the investigation of their unit while focusing on a new case that includes the concerns of international security. A container full of radioactive saline was found by Homeland Security. Traced back to Ahmed Han Asakeem, the saline was being illegally sent to the Middle East.

September 26, 2016 – Medgadget – Gamma Knife Market to expand at a CAGR of 9.1% through 2015 to 2025 – Future Market Insights (FMI) announces the release of its latest report titled, “Gamma Knife Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2015 – 2025”. According to the report, the global gamma knife market was valued at US$ 156.8 Mn in 2014 and is anticipated to reach US$ 411.0 Mn by 2025, registering a compound annual growth rate of 9.0% over the forecast period. Global Gamma Knife market growth is majorly driven by rising ageing population, increasing incidence of cancer and increasing prevalence of neurological disorders. By disease indication, brain metastasis cases undergoing Gamma Knife treatment accounts for highest market share as compared to other indications. Painless and non-invasive elective surgeries with high success rate have recently become the treatment of choice. Leading Gamma Knife manufacturers are entering into tie-ups with premium healthcare organisations in developed and emerging economies for setting up Gamma Knife surgery centres and Gamma Knife installations. However, lack of awareness about Gamma Knife treatment, negative perceptions of the radioactive elements and lack of trained professionals to operate these systems are expected to hamper market growth during the forecast period.

September 26, 2016 – San Francisco Bay View – Community welcomes agreement to reexamine radiation risk at Hunters Point Shipyard – In a breakthrough for environmental health and justice, on Sept. 13, 2016, Angeles Herrera of the Superfund Division of the Region IX U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in alliance with Janet Naito, branch chief of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, directed a letter to Lawrence Lansdale, Environmental Director of Naval Facilities Engineering Command stating: “(T)he Navy will not propose any further transfers of Navy property at the HPNS (Hunters Point Naval Shipyard) without results of investigations necessary to clarify the actual potential public exposure to radioactive material at and near the HPNS.”

September 26, 2016 – CCTV – 60th atomic energy conference opens in Vienna – The 60th annual General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency has started in the Austrian capita, Vienna. IAEA members will deliberate the agency’s work, set priorities and review budgetary matters. At the opening session, Director General Yukiya Amano, reported on the organization’s achievements from the past 60 years. He also highlighted the agency’s role in monitoring the nuclear programs of Iraq, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

September 26, 2016 – PSNews.com.au – Booklet aglow with radiation data – The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has announced the availability of a new booklet explaining radiation and how it affects life on our planet. ANSTO said the United Nations Environment Program had just published Radiation Effects and Sources, to help people understand radiation. “The fully illustrated, 55-page guide is largely based on the findings of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation [UNSCEAR], a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly,” ANSTO said in a statement. “As the foreword explains, while the scientific community has published information on radiation sources and effects, it has tended to be technical and perhaps difficult for the general public to understand.”

September 26, 2016 – News Medical – Hypofractionated RT can reduce treatment time by half in stage II and III NSCLC patients – For patients with stage II and III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) unable to receive standard treatments of surgery or chemoradiation (CRT), hypofractionated radiation therapy (RT) results in similar overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates, limited severe side effects and shorter treatment times when compared to conventional RT, according to research presented today at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). NSCLC is responsible for the most cancer-specific deaths globally, and many of these deaths are associated with the high percentage of patients who present with stage III cancer upon diagnosis. Additionally, due to other medical issues or poor performance status (a measure that considers a patient’s quality of life and ability to function during treatment), some stage III NSCLC patients are unable to receive the standard treatment of concurrent chemotherapy and RT.

September 26, 2016 – All Africa – South Africa: The Nuclear Build Risk Is Not Yours to Take, Mr Molefe – I find it quite alarming and disturbing when Eskom’s CEO, Brian Molefe, issues statements that “South Africa’s nuclear build programme doesn’t need to be funded by the fiscus, and that there are potential financiers who would be willing to take the risk”. Add to this, Eskom’s Executive for Generation, Matshela Koko’s comments that “Eskom can pay for the nuclear programme from projected future cash pile of R150bn over the next 10 years”. We’ve seen this situation play out before, when Sanral thought it could sidetrack the need for Treasury to support the Gauteng freeway upgrades, hatching a privatised funding mechanism supported by an expensive e-toll scheme to suck money from the users to pay for the expensive (overpriced) roadway. The fact that Sanral botched their numbers and expectations has given rise to a failed scheme and this has ultimately become Treasury’s problem to fix. Our problem.

September 26, 2016 – PRNewswire – Susquehanna Nuclear Plans Brief Unit 2 Maintenance Outage – Talen Energy is planning to take a brief maintenance outage on Unit 2 at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., within the next few weeks. As the company has discussed publicly for several years, Susquehanna has been working with the manufacturer of the main steam turbines for both units at the plant to understand and address issues associated with the formation of very small cracks in the metal blades. Susquehanna generates electricity by boiling water to make steam that passes through the turbines, which have many rows of fanlike metal blades. The spinning blades turn a generator that produces electricity.

September 26, 2016 – Belaruse News – IAEA ready to assist developing countries in implementing their nuclear programs – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is ready to assist developing countries in implementing their nuclear programs, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said at the 60th regular session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna on 26 September, BelTA has learned. “Nuclear power should not be the preserve of developed countries. Developing countries should also be able to use it. Nuclear power can make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy security, while delivering energy in the large and growing quantities needed for development,” Yukiya Amano said. He noted that some 30 developing countries are considering introducing nuclear power into their energy balance.

September 26, 2016 – Eurasia Review – Preparing For Radiological Emergencies And Terrorism – India is still coming to terms with the aftermath of the terrorist attack on an army camp at Uri. More names have been added to the long list of Indians who have died in incidents that have been conceived and executed with the support of elements in the ‘deep state’ of Pakistan. Given that Rawalpindi shows no inclination to abandon its strategy of inflicting terror on India, one cannot but be prepared to handle acts of terrorism that may breach new thresholds in the future. Preparedness and response for a radiological emergency is, therefore, a task that the country must plan for. A news item in the Times of India of 22 August 2016 reported the conduct of a mock drill to rehearse Indian preparedness for a radiological emergency at an airport. The news was welcome for two reasons.

September 26, 2016 – Information Nigeria – Do You Know These Interesting Facts About Bananas? – 1. Banana used for cooking is called plantain. 2. Bananas grow in at least 107 countries. 3. If you think wines are made with grapes and apples, you should know that Banana wine and Banana beer are one of the most delicious tasting alcoholic beverages. 4. Scarlet Banana, Blue Banana, Pink Banana, Snow Banana and False Banana are some of its interesting varieties. 5. Banana is naturally radioactive and in fact ‘banana equivalent dose of radiation’ is used in measuring radioactivity.

September 26, 2016 – Vermont Public Radio – State Scales Back Emergency Plan For Shuttered Vermont Yankee Plant – The Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security says it is reducing its emergency planning around the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon. When VY was fully operational, the department ran frequent drills in the towns surrounding the plant. But without active nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee, there’s less risk of radiation emergency, according to Glenn Herrin, the emergency planning zone planner and training coordinator for the Radiological Emergency Response Program. Herrin and Planning Section Chief Scott Carpenter talked about the state’s new emergency plans at a meeting of the Vermont Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel in Brattleboro on Thursday evening.

September 26, 2016 – The State – Exclusive: Recurring problems cited at Westinghouse nuclear plant – An internal review of a Columbia nuclear fuel factory has identified multiple problems with how the site has been managed for atomic safety through the years. The report, compiled by plant operator Westinghouse, says the company wasn’t always tough-minded enough about safety and it didn’t ensure employees knew enough about nuclear safety while operating some of the factory’s equipment. Westinghouse’s report cited “long standing deficiencies’’ that led to a buildup of uranium in excess of federal nuclear safety standards in part of the Bluff Road plant.

September 26, 2016 – Augusta Chronicle – Savannah Remediation recognized for safety efforts – The liquid waste contractor at Savannah River Site has been recognized for its safety efforts. Savannah River Remediation was awarded the 2016 Star of Excellence, and two SRR employees were recognized with Safety and Health Achievement Awards at the 32nd annual National Voluntary Program Participants’ Association annual conference held recently in Kissimmee, Fla. The association is a nonprofit organization working to drive safety, health and environmental excellence.

September 26, 2016 – Fox 13 News – Class action lawsuit filed against Mosaic for sinkhole – A class action lawsuit has been filed against Mosaic after a massive sinkhole opened up, leaking 215 million gallons of “slightly radioactive” water into the Florida aquifer. Attorneys at Morgan and Morgan law firm say they are investigating and are asking those who have questions about the safety of the drinking water to contact them. The lawsuit seeks financial retribution for residents who live within a 5 mile radius of the New Wales facility.

September 26, 2016 – Fremont News Messenger – Davis-Besse back in service after shutdown – The Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station returned to service Thursday morning after a rainwater leak forced the plant to shut down Sept. 10. FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young said the plant went back in service at 10:27 a.m. Thursday. Young said that during a heavy rain storm, water leaked through the plant’s turbine building roof vents into a breaker box and affected electrical components in the building. Plant workers normally open the roof vents during hot weather to keep the turbine building cool, Young said.

September 26, 2016 – Detroit News – Close nuclear plants, watch carbon emissions soar – Nuclear power accounts for more than 60 percent of the nation’s carbon-free energy, but in the past few months, due to an abundance of low-cost natural gas, utilities have announced plans to shut down six safe and efficient nuclear plants. And many other plants are at high risk of early retirement. Nationally, and in Michigan, there has been growing concern about carbon emissions and how to address the issue. While the focus has been on “renewable sources” such as emission-free solar and wind power, it is important to remember that nuclear power is not only nonpolluting but reliable, supplying electricity around the clock. In Michigan, three nuclear plants produce 26 percent of the state’s electricity. It is important to think about how to coordinate the expansion of solar and wind power with the U.S. fleet of nuclear plants.

September 26, 2016 – Idaho Statesman – Energy Department: E. Idaho radioactive cleanup moving ahead – The U.S. Department of Energy says workers have successfully removed and packaged about 10,000 cubic yards of exhumed hazardous and radioactive waste stored for decades at the department’s 890-square-mile site in eastern Idaho. The department in a statement Thursday says the waste generated from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production plant near Denver, Colorado, was buried in Idaho in the 1950s and 1960s. Removing the waste from the site that also contains the Idaho National Laboratory is part of a deal the department made with Idaho in 2008.