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September 6, 2016 – Press Pieces

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

September 6, 2016 – OH&S – DARPA Hails Smartphone-Sized Radiation Detectors – DARPA recently announced that its SIGMA program has facilitated the development of a new tool to help in preventing “dirty bomb” attacks and other nuclear threats — a network of smartphone-sized mobile devices that can detect the tiniest trace of radioactive materials. Used along with with larger detectors, these new devices “promise significantly enhanced awareness of radiation sources and greater advance warning of possible threats,” according to DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). SIGMA began in 2014 with the goal of creating a cost-effective, continuous radiation-monitoring network that can cover a large city or region. And more than 100 of the networked devices have been successfully tested at one of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s major transportation hubs. Besides being up to 10 times faster in detecting gamma and neutron radiation, they are one-tenth the cost of conventional sensors. The program achieved its price goal of 10,000 pocket-sized detectors for $400 per unit, according to DARPA’s announcement.

September 6, 2016 – Bloomberg News – Tepco adviser says treated Fukushima water safe for release into Pacific – Treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is safe to be released under controlled circumstances into the Pacific Ocean, according to an independent Tepco adviser. “It is much better to do a controlled release in my view than to have an accidental release,” Dale Klein, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an interview in Tokyo. “I get nervous about just storing all that water when you have about 1,000 tanks. You have all the piping, all the valves, everything that can break.”

September 6, 2016 – MetroNews.ca – Capitol Hill residents unhappy about proposed cell tower – Plans to build a cell tower in the city-owned Confederation Park Golf Course is meeting resistance from some people in the neighboring community of Capitol Hill. Vera Gartley received a pack of information in mail because she lives within 300 metres of where the proposed tower could be. She’s now hoping to rally others in her community to attend the community meeting on Sept. 15. Gartley said she already suffers from wi-fi sensitivity, and has read lots of information online about potential health hazards from cell towers. Information on the federal government’s website notes that it has created safety regulations with built-in margins to protect the public from any possible radiation hazards.

September 6, 2016 – Novus Light – Radiation Resistant Lens Enables Precision Radiotherapy – Resolve Optics reports that it has developed and is supplying a 24mm diameter fixed focus non-browning lens to a market leader in radiotherapy equipment. The radiotherapy equipment supplier sought a high resolution lens able to withstand, and precisely focus, the high levels of radiation produced by their synchrotron device onto tumours. As increasing numbers of people require radiotherapy as a key part of their cancer treatment, there is a need for treatment delivery systems that can deliver precise and accurate care quickly. Using cerium-doped glasses, Resolve Optics produced a compact f/2.8 lens able to withstand long-term exposure to radiation up to a dose of 100 million radians without discoloration. This new lens is enabling the customer to improve the precision radiotherapy treatment of tumours that its equipment provides.

September 6, 2016 – Science 2.0 – Whole Brain Radiotherapy Offers Little Benefit When Lung Cancer Has Spread To The Brain – People with the most common type of lung cancer whose disease has spread to the brain could be spared potentially harmful whole brain radiotherapy, according to new research published in The Lancet. The phase 3 randomized trial found that whole brain radiotherapy had no beneficial effect on length or quality of survival over treatment with steroids and other supportive care. Despite its widespread use, until now there has been no robust evidence to determine whether whole brain radiotherapy, which can have substantial side effects (eg, fatigue, nausea, neurotoxicity), is better than best supportive care alone in terms of prolonging life or improving quality of life. The authors say that while whole brain radiotherapy may be beneficial in patients who are younger than 60 years old, it should no longer be considered standard treatment for the majority of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to the brain.

September 6, 2016 – Union of Concerned Scientists – Nuclear Reactors and Flood Protection – In August 2006, NRC inspectors identified a deficiency in a flood protection measure at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina. Specifically, the inspectors discovered that workers removed a 6-inch by 10-inch panel in the 5-foot tall flood wall around the Standby Shutdown Facility (SSF) to allow temporary cables to be used during a modification. When the work was completed and the cables removed, the panel was not re-installed. The SSF houses power supplies and emergency equipment that provide core cooling for all three Oconee reactors during certain accidents. The opening in the flood wall could have allowed water to enter the SSF and submerge the equipment, disabling it. The NRC’s preliminary determination was that the problem warranted a white finding. The owner contested the white finding in October 2006 on grounds that the lower end of the opening is 4.71 feet above the ground and no credible flood could cause water to rise high enough to flow through the opening to threaten the equipment inside the SSF. The NRC considered the argument, then decided against it and issued the white finding in November 2006.

September 6, 2016 – WhaTech – Research details developments in the nuclear medicine therapeutics market 2016 – Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics Market 2016 is a professional and in-depth study on the current state of the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics worldwide. First of all, ” Global Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics Market 2016 ” report provides a basic overview of the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry including definitions, classifications, applications and Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry chain structure. The analysis is provided for the Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics international market including development history, Nuclear Medicine Therapeutics industry competitive landscape analysis.

September 6, 2016 – E&T Magazine – Sellafield nuclear plant is understaffed and dangerous BBC alleges – Sellafield nuclear plant is being operated dangerously by its workers as the nuclear material is handled improperly, according to an upcoming BBC Panorama documentary. It is alleged that parts of the nuclear facility regularly have too few staff to operate safely and radioactive plutonium and uranium have been stored in plastic bottles. The BBC said the investigation was prompted by a former senior manager turned whistleblower who was worried about conditions at the site in Cumbria. The company that runs Sellafield has said the site is safe and has been improved with significant investment in recent years, the BBC reported. The whistleblower is reported to have told the programme that his biggest fear was a fire in one of the nuclear waste silos or in one of the processing plants.

September 6, 2016 – The Northlines – Pakistan selling nuclear materials to North Korea – America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has apprised India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) that Pakistan is supplying nuclear material to North Korea. According to reports, Pakistan has been sending nuclear materials to North Korea through sea route. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) supplied Monel and Enconel (nuclear substances) to Pyongyang in clear violation of United Nations sanctions. Notably, Islamabad was supplied such materials by Chinese company named Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited. The supplies of the Chinese company to Pakistan were being diverted to North Korea by the Pakistani authorities through cargo ship, it claimed.

September 6, 2016 – The Bahamas Weekly – IAEA holds workshop in Asia on using nuclear technique to fight disease-spreading mosquitos – The IAEA is holding a workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this week on the potential use of a nuclear technique to help suppress mosquitos spreading Zika and other viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Organised in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the week-long meeting brings together more than 50 scientists and public health experts from around 40 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas to learn about the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) – an environmentally friendly birth control method for insect pests.

September 6, 2016 – ANTARA News – Nuclear experts from Indonesia, Australia, Japan meet in Bali – As many as 15 nuclear experts from Indonesia, Australia and Japan are holding a meeting in Bali to discuss new standards in measuring the effect of radiation from research, natural processes and human activities. The meeting, taking place in Sanur from September 5 to 9, 2016, is being organized by the National Nuclear Power Agency (Batan), in cooperation with the South Pacific Environmental Radioactivity Association (SPERA). The meeting is expected to recommend new standards in order to protect the public from radiation, Batan Chairman Djarot S. Wisnubroto said.

September 6, 2016 – AIJAC – Radioactive Terrorism – the next big threat? – Concerns about nonconventional terrorism at the Rio Summer Olympics, and reports that persons involved in the November 2015 Islamic State (IS) attack in Paris had conducted video surveillance of a scientist employed at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, have revived fears that terrorist groups may be interested in building a “dirty bomb” using radioactive materials – also referred to as a radiological weapon or an explosive radiological dispersal device (RDD). Explosive RDDs are the type of radiological weapon most frequently mentioned in the media. They rely on an explosive charge to disperse radioactive materials to contaminate personnel and facilities in the vicinity of the blast and downwind, to disrupt lives and livelihoods, and to instil fear. Conversely, non-explosive RDDs could involve the contamination of food, water or air with radioactive material (for instance, via a building’s ventilation system). This piece focuses on the threat posed by explosive RDDs.

September 6, 2016 – The Ecologist – Sellafield exposed: the nonsense of nuclear fuel reprocessing – Last night’s BBC Panorama programme did a good job at lifting the lid on Britain’s ongoing nuclear disaster that is Sellafield, writes David Lowry. But it failed to expose the full scandal of the UK’s ‘reprocessing’ of spent fuel into 50 tonnes of plutonium, enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs – while leaving £100s of billions of maintenance and cleanup costs to future generations. Perhaps the most eye-watering revelations in the BBC programme were that, although reprocessing was going to cease, the waste containment functions of Sellafield would continue for another 110 years at an estimated cost of up to £162 billion. The BBC press release stated this was a “special investigation into the shocking state of Britain’s most hazardous nuclear plant” – and it certainly was.

September 6, 2016 – Newnan Times-Herald – What water bottles, Coke cans, and nuclear material have in common – We put newspapers, water bottles, aluminum cans and all sorts of plastics on the curb in front of our house each week because it extends the life of our landfills, saving us all money. It also is the right thing to do. But when it comes to the used nuclear fuel from our commercial reactors, our long-range plan is simply to bury it. That has been our policy for decades, but changing the policy may be something the next president can bring about. We have in this country more than 70,000 tons of used fuel stored at more than 75 sites in 33 states, and the 100 U.S. commercial reactors produce about 2,000 additional tons of used fuel each year. Because we don’t recycle this nuclear material, it would take nine Yucca Mountain repositories by the turn of the next century to house all of the used fuel being produced.

September 6, 2016 – Eugene Register Guard – Energy Department ending probe into Idaho radiation leak – The U.S. Department of Energy says it’s concerned about a radiation leak two years ago at an eastern Idaho nuclear facility that contaminated nine workers, but the agency says it will not begin a formal investigation. The federal agency’s Office of Enforcement in a letter told Battelle Energy Alliance, a research contractor, that it would continue to monitor the company’s efforts to improve nuclear safety at the Idaho National Laboratory but no additional requirements were being imposed. “The actual nuclear safety consequences of this event were low, but DOE views seriously any event in which workers receive unplanned radiological uptakes,” the letter states.

September 6, 2016 – Daily Evergreen – A radioactive attraction – Entering into the Dodgen Research Facility, all guests are required to clip on a dosimeter, a small device worn with the intent of measuring exposure to radiation. That’s because just up the stairs from the lobby, through a number of secured doors, at the bottom of a 25-foot-deep pool, and surrounded by 65,000 gallons of water, is WSU’s very own nuclear reactor. Despite wearing the sensitive dosimeters, guests should not expect to see the device read above 0.0 millirems, the measure of radiation’s effect on the human body, during their visit. Even operators at the Nuclear Radiation Center never receive more than a tenth of the legal limit, said Senior Reactor Operator Kaitlyn Restis. The reactor fuel at the bottom of the pool gives off an ominous dark-blue glow due to Cherenkov radiation, an interaction between electrons and the surrounding water.