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September 7, 2016 – Press Pieces

On September 7th, 2016, posted in: Latest News, Press Pieces

September 7, 2016 – E&E Publishing – ‘Dead Plant Society’ lobby group booms as reactors close – When utility executives gathered over dinner in 2001 to commiserate about looming reactor closures and start lobbying Congress for help, their first order of business was picking a name for their advocacy group. “The Dead Plant Society,” lobbyist Tim Smith offered. His tongue-in-cheek reference to “Dead Poets Society,” a 1980s movie about a secret group of poetry lovers at an all-boys prep school, landed with a thud. “Nobody,” Smith recalled recently, “wanted to write a check to a group called the Dead Plant Society.” But 15 years later, the name lives — and is more fitting than ever. Reactors are closing as nuclear utilities struggle to compete with cheap natural gas, low demand for power and no national energy policy. And when the behemoth nuclear plants close, the Dead Plant Society grows.

September 7, 2016 – The Spectrum – Downwinders documentary screens during DOCUTAH – DOCUTAH began in earnest with a full roster of films Tuesday, including “Radioactive Veteran,” which focuses on the above-ground nuclear testing in Nevada during the Cold War. It was the first time a full audience had seen the 24-minute documentary, which was screened in the Eccles Main Stage Theater at Dixie State University — host of the annual documentary film festival in St. George. “Radioactive Veteran” is one of 69 films in this year’s festival. Most Southern Utahns are probably familiar with our own “Downwinders,” those who lived through the nuclear testing and were later diagnosed with certain types of cancer attributed to the testing. However, “Radioactive Veteran” tells the story of the late Donald Guy, a North Carolina resident, and his widow Mary. Guy was stationed at the test site while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

September 7, 2016 – BBC News – Radioactive liquid waste at Dounreay ‘made safe’ – Radioactive liquid waste at the Dounreay nuclear power site has been made safe, according to a team working on decommissioning the plant. The liquid called raffinate was drained from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR) at the complex in Caithness. It was immobilised by mixing it with cement powder inside 875 500-litre drums, which will be stored on-site. The team has now begun preparations to deal with raffinate in Dounreay’s Prototype Fast Reactor. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has described the completion of the DFR work as “a milestone” in the wider project to decommission the power plant near Thurso. The drums of cemented waste will be stored at Dounreay until a decision is made in the future on how it should be disposed of.

September 7, 2016 – EOS – Melting Ice Could Reveal Toxic Cold War Era Waste in Greenland – In 1959, during the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Camp Century, a military base in northwestern Greenland encased completely within the Greenland Ice Sheet. The camp’s official purpose was to test construction techniques in the Arctic and conduct scientific research, but it doubled as a top secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles that could reach the Soviet Union in case of nuclear war. Greenland is a Danish territory, and although the United States had Denmark’s approval to build Camp Century, the missile launch program, known as Project Iceworm, was kept secret from the Danish government. Several years after the camp became operational, however, Project Iceworm was rejected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the camp was decommissioned in 1967. The Army Corps of Engineers removed the nuclear reactor that powered the camp but left the camp’s infrastructure and waste behind, under the assumption they would be frozen and buried forever by perpetual snowfall.

September 7, 2016 – Prostate Cancer News – Metastatic Prostate Cancer Patients in UK Can Now Have Routine Radium-223 Therapy – The U.K.’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has approved radium-223 to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bones for routine National Health Service (NHS) use. The approval comes in the wake of new information about how the effectiveness of radium-223 internal radiation therapy compares with treatments currently available for this type of prostate cancer, according to a news release.

September 7, 2016 – Utah Public Radio – Citing Spills, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Halts Uranium Waste Shipments to SE Utah – Twice a year, the Cameco uranium mine in central Wyoming sends a truckload of a mining byproduct known in the trade as “barium sludge” to the White Mesa uranium mill south of Blanding. The last two truckloads have resulted in highway spills. The most recent was on March 29th. Ken Vaughn is a Cameco spokesman for the Smith Ranch uranium mine, which is near Casper, Wyoming. “We’re at work to make sure we address all the issues directed by the NRC. We’re not aware of any impacts to environment or public health. I think we need to let the process work through and then we’ll know what actions to take that both we and the NRC are comfortable with and feel appropriate. It’s more important to us that we get it right than we worry about how long it’s going to take.”

September 7, 2016 – Telecompaper – Nkom finds 4G technology has not led to more radiation – Norwegian telecoms regulator Nkom and national radiation protection agency Statens stralevern have presented a report on their long-term test at the Nkom Frequency Forum. The report concludes that when it comes to outdoor radiation, levels are consistently below three permille of permitted levels. They said the introduction of new systems, such as 4G technology, does not necessarily lead to an overall rise in radiation. Measurements were taken from June 2013 until June 2015 in Kristiansand, which was chosen as it was considered to be a typical, largeish Norwegian town with plenty of activity. Measurements were taken every three months in the same spot and the same way. The project will continue for several more years.

September 7, 2016 – Digital Journal – US Nuclear Corp. UCLE Makes Third Acquisition as Part of Aggressive Growth-Through-Acquisition Strategy – US Nuclear Corp. (OTCBB: UCLE) announces the acquisition of Electronic Control Concepts. ECC makes test equipment; kVp, mAs and exposure time meters so x-ray techs can fine tune the performance of the world’s many x-ray machines. This is US Nuclear’s third acquisition which is part of their growth-through-acquisition. Overhoff Technology and Optron Scientific are the previous two. ECC complements Overhoff and Optron since ECC products go to the same markets, same specialties, and same customer base

September 7, 2016 – YLE.fi – STUK still waiting on documents from Russian-owned nuclear plant – Finland’s nuclear regulators are still waiting for documents from the Russian nuclear firm Rosatom that should have arrived at least six months ago. The papers relate to a plant Rosatom is slated to build for the Finnish company Fennovoima in Pyhäjoki, north Ostrobothnia. Key documents relating to Fennovoima’s planned nuclear reactor at Pyhäjoki are more than six months late in arriving at Finland’s nuclear regulator, STUK. The supplier of the reactor, the Russian state-owned firm Rosatom, has not provided the papers required according to a timetable proposed by Fennovoima in 2015. The plan had suggested that the documents would arrive in tranches, deliveries starting at the start of this year and continuing until 2017. Construction would–according to this timetable–begin in 2018.

September 7, 2016 – Reuters – Norway’s fund barred from investing in U.S. firm Duke Energy – Norway’s $900-billion wealth fund can no longer invest in Duke Energy, the biggest U.S. power firm by generation capacity, due to alleged breaches of environmental law at its coal-fired plants, Norway’s central bank said on Wednesday.
The fund, which owns 1.3 percent of the world’s listed company equity with stakes in some 9,050 firms, is barred from investing in companies that make nuclear weapons, anti-personnel landmines or tobacco, among other ethical criteria. Duke Energy and its subsidiaries Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress and Energy Progress Inc were excluded “based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage”, the central bank’s board said in a statement.

September 7, 2016 – Inside Cybersecurity – Nuclear regulators model cyber reg guidance after NIST framework, manufacturing ‘profile’ – New Nuclear Regulatory Commission draft guidance cites the federal framework of cybersecurity standards and a related, industry-specific manufacturing “profile” as a model for a nuclear fuel-cycle facility cybersecurity programs that will be required under a forthcoming regulation. “The [regulatory guide] offers a licensee guidance on addressing the necessary cyber security controls for an existing or new digital asset,” the document states.

September 7, 2016 – Sputnik International – Russian Scientists Develop Nuclear-Powered Underwater Drone Carrier – Russian scientists have unveiled the latest concept in UAV warfare: a nuclear-powered carrier platform which would serve as a ‘mothership’ for unmanned subs.Vladimir Dorofeyev, chief of Malakhit Design Bureau, has announced this new design at the Army-2016 international military forum that kicked off in Moscow on September 6. He explained that the new platform is expected to perform as both a carrier unit and a recharge station for underwater drones, according to RIA Novosti. “Students and young specialists at Malachite came up with this concept, the goal of which is to create a universal platform that could facilitate the use of unmanned underwater vehicles,” Dorofeev said.

September 7, 2016 – GCR – Russia offers to build Saudi Arabia’s $100bn nuclear industry – As the Syrian war grinds on Russia has stepped up diplomatic overtures to Saudi Arabia by offering to build all 16 reactors in the kingdom’s intended nuclear programme over the next 20 years. Yury Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the offer last week (30 August) ahead of a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s young, reformist second deputy prime minister, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China, Russian state news agency Sputnik reported. Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy company, was ready to help with the ambitious construction programme, which has been costed at $100bn, said Ushakov. “Our company, which has the most advanced technologies, is ready to join the project to construct 16 nuclear power reactors in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

September 7, 2016 – The Japan Times – Japan to start background checks of nuclear workers in anti-terrorism effort – The nation’s nuclear watchdog decided Wednesday to require background checks for workers at nuclear power plants and other facilities as part of its anti-terrorism measures. Following recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will introduce the measure in late September. Still, actual implementation is expected to begin next year or later due to necessary regulation changes needed in regards to handling nuclear materials. It is also unclear how the new measure will be effective in improving security as the operators will conduct the background checks based on information provided by the workers rather than in cooperation with police or other law enforcement authorities.

September 7, 2016 – The Japan Times – Despite dwindling momentum, Koizumi pursues anti-nuclear goals – While Japan’s once-charged anti-nuclear movement struggles to retain its momentum five years after the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi remains doggedly determined to attain his goal of ending the country’s reliance on atomic energy. On Wednesday, he renewed his pledge to help ill U.S. veterans whose conditions they claim are linked to the release of radioactive plumes from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. Koizumi, who is opposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear stance, says Japan can be put on a sustainable path without atomic power.

September 7, 2016 – WIBW News – Source of Water Leak at Nuclear Plant Near Burlington Found – Staff members at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation near Burlington have located the source of a minor water leak and are working to repair it. Communications director Jenny Hageman says Wolf Creek personnel identified a cracked weld as the source of the water leak in the reactor cooling system. Staff members are finalizing a repair plan. The Emporia Gazette reports that the plant was manually shut down Friday due to the leak. Hageman says officials had planned to shut down the nuclear plant on September 24 for a maintenance and refueling outage.

September 7, 2016 – Boston Globe – Pilgrim nuclear plant temporarily shut down over mechanical issue – The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station was shut down Tuesday morning because of a mechanical issue, the second such incident in recent weeks, officials said. Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, wrote in an email that the Plymouth facility “experienced an unplanned shutdown” around 8:35 a.m. Sheehan said the reactor shut down “due to a high water level resulting from an oscillating (fluctuating) feedwater regulating valve.” Water is pumped into the reactor vessel so it can be boiled, converted to steam, and sent to the turbine to generate electricity, Sheehan said. Commission inspectors “will continue to keep a close eye on Entergy’s troubleshooting activities and any repair plans,” he said.

September 7, 2016 – Mid-Hudson News – Decision on Indian Point relicensing could take another year or more – The decision on whether to grant new operating licenses for the Indian Point nuclear power plants in Buchanan may be another year or more off. Proceedings are continuing by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with the issues being examined, but the issue of broken or missing baffle bolts may push the process back further, said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. “They are seeing some progress on some of the other outstanding issues, but because of the baffle bolts issue and the expectation that there will be some contentions related to that, that is going to ensure that the proceeding is pushed at least into 2017 if not farther down the road,” Sheehan said.

September 7, 2016 – Toledo Blade – Fermi plant’s license topic of talks in D.C. – The future of DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear plant will be discussed in Washington on Thursday afternoon by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an independent body of nuclear experts that is a key NRC advisory group. The ACRS has a lengthy talk about the plant’s application for a 20-year license extension on its agenda for that afternoon at the NRC’s national headquarters in Rockville, Md.

September 7, 2016 – Courthouse News Service – Ohio Sues to Contain High Levels of Radiation – The Ohio Department of Health says that a repeatedly vandalized Cleveland business must secure its radioactive material to prevent ground contamination. The department filed an injunctive action against Advanced Medical Systems Inc. and owner Seymour Stein on Aug. 30 in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. According to the lawsuit, AMS was licensed to manufacture Cobalt-60 medical radiation devices until its license was not renewed in 2001. After unsuccessfully appealing the decision, AMS was ordered to decontaminate its facility. However, the health department alleges that AMS has failed to comply with the order.

September 7, 2016 – Los Alamos Monitor – Creating the ‘Secret City’ app – When the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) team that developed the “Secret City” app heard I was stuck trying to get into 109 East Palace, they asked if they could meet with me to help me out. As Team Leader Travis Burkett and Lead Programmer Jeff Wauson coached me through the ins and outs of using the app, I learned how they went about developing this complex piece of programming. The two walked me through unlocking security clearances that let me access the Los Alamos town site, the tech area around Ashley Pond, V-Site and Gun Site and finally the Trinity Site itself. The tour is structured to give the user the experience of being a scientist recruited to the project.

September 7, 2016 – State Press Tempe – ASU researchers analyze emotional meltdowns at nuclear plants – Students done letting that Xbox Kinect in the far corner of their dorm rooms collect dust might just want to donate it to a new research project at the Del E. Webb School of Construction. The Kinect devices are being used in an unconventional way. Cheng Zhang, a graduate student in the school of engineering, is using the 3D imaging capabilities of the Kinect sensor to analyze the emotions of nuclear power plant employees during outages. “A refueling outage is a certain amount of time when we need to shut the power plant down and do the refueling, replacing the nuclear fuel for the power plant,” Zhang said. Outages are times when plant workers will conduct repairs on plant equipment, replace about a third of reactor fuel, and perform routine inspections. The period also requires employees to work on maintenance quickly and efficiently.

September 7, 2016 – Sublette Examiner – Lawmakers warm to nuke waste storage site – Wyoming lawmakers and regulatory officials said earlier this month that they’re ready to consider revising laws and possibly take part in a federal effort to build temporary and permanent storage for highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The Legislature’s Joint Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee kept alive the possibility of participating in what the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says would be a voluntary and “consent-based” approach. The committee heard testimony and public comment on the topic in Casper, resurrecting a controversial idea for Wyoming.

September 7, 2016 – San Diego Free Press – Nuclear Shutdown News – US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year. On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.” The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while. US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.