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Secrecy about proposed interim nuclear waste storage site

Lawmaker says he can’t get info on waste plan https://www.abqjournal.com/1195897/legislator-citizens-deserve-to-have-answers-about-nuclear-facility.html, By Maddy Hayden / Journal Staff Writer July 12th Albuquerque Journal

A legislator says he isn’t getting any answers out of the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez to questions about a proposed interim storage site for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico.

Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, chairman of the Legislature’s Committee on Radioactive and Hazardous Materials, sent nearly 60 questions to the heads of several state departments in April.

Only one responded.

“It raises the obvious conclusion that this governor and her administration have done no analysis on this project,” Steinborn said. “The citizens of the state deserve to have answers on our state’s ability to handle this facility.”

The senator wrote in a July 9 letter to the governor that the New Mexico Environment Department did respond to his questions “but without providing substantive information on the issues raised.”

The Environment Department provided that letter to the Journal.

In it, department Secretary Butch Tongate said NMED would review the Environmental Impact Statement in progress at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission “and provide comments to the NRC as necessary.”

“The Senator’s questions should be directed to the NRC – the agency overseeing the process,” NMED spokeswoman Katy Diffendorfer said in an email.

Diffendorfer also said it is still unclear what role the NMED would play in the permitting and oversight of the proposed facility.

Questions were also directed to the Department of Transportation, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and Department of Military Affairs, which did not respond to Steinborn’s inquiries at all, he said.

Steinborn asked for details about transporting the waste through the state, safety protocol should a leak or other event occur and how the state’s oil and gas industry could be affected by the project, and other issues.

Martinez has expressed support for the project.

The facility, proposed by Holtec International, would house spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants around the country.

The NRC is considering the facility’s license, a process that could take years.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan-US nuclear energy pact set to renew automatically in July 2018

 https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180116/p2a/00m/0na/005000c  (Mainichi Japan) 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, Japan, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

European court dismissed Austria’s arguments against UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear project

Nucnet 12th July 2018 , Europe’s second highest court has rejected Austrian objections to the
planned Hinkley Point C nuclear station in southwest England, saying
British government aid offered to the project did not violate EU rules.

The European Commission approved the project in October 2014, saying it did not
see any competition issues, but a previous Austrian government took issue
with the decision and filed a case with the General Court in 2015, arguing
that it contradicted EU policy of supporting renewable energy.

Luxembourg has also challenged the approval, backed by a group of more than 20
academics, politicians and renewable energy officials who say it distorts
competition and flouts rules on government subsidies. But the court noted
in its decision today that the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland,
Romania, Slovakia and the UK intervened in support of the EC.

The General Court dismissed Austria’s arguments against the project. The court said:
“The General Court confirms the decision by which the Commission approved
the aid provided by the UK in favour of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power
station,” judges said. The judges said Britain has the right to choose
between the different energy sources.
https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2018/07/12/european-court-dismisses-austria-s-objections-to-hinkley-point-c

July 16, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, legal | Leave a comment

Pilgrim nuclear power station seeks exemption from post-closure emergency plans

Pilgrim seeks exemption from post-closure emergency plans, http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20180714/pilgrim-seeks-exemption-from-post-closure-emergency-plans  By Christine Leger, 14 July 18 

PLYMOUTH — The owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is looking to eliminate the 10-mile emergency planning zone around the reactor less than a year after it powers down for the final time, shrinking the radius under its protection to its property line.

Entergy Corp. plans to permanently shut down the Plymouth plant by June 1, 2019, after 46 years of operation.

The company submitted its request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for an exemption from the federal requirements to maintain an emergency planning zone beginning April 1, 2020, saying the requirements are expensive and unnecessary.

“Entergy currently provides in excess of $2.25 million to fund Emergency Management programs in the state and local communities,” said Joseph Lynch, senior government affairs manager for Entergy. “At least for the EPZ (emergency planning zone) communities, they will get the same level of funding for approximately one year after the plant is shut down.”

Plymouth, Kingston, Marshfield, Duxbury and Carver have sections falling within Pilgrim’s 10-mile radius.

 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

UA researchers preparing for quick radiation diagnostic test in case of a nuclear disaster

EurekAlert, 10 July 18

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA HEALTH SCIENCES  Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix are attempting to create a better diagnostic test for radiation exposure that potentially could save thousands of lives.

Jerome Lacombe, PhD, an assistant professor and researcher at the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, recently published a peer-reviewed study in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE.

His study compiled a list of genes reported to be affected by external ionizing radiation (IR), and assessed their performance as possible biomarkers that could be used to calculate the amount of radiation absorbed by the human body.

“In the case of a nuclear event, a lot of people can be radiated,” Dr. Lacombe said. “That is why it’s so important that we can quickly and accurately assess the absorbed radiation so we can give patients the proper medical treatment as fast as possible.”

Jerome Lacombe, PhD, an assistant professor and researcher at the UA Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, recently published a peer-reviewed study in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE.

His study compiled a list of genes reported to be affected by external ionizing radiation (IR), and assessed their performance as possible biomarkers that could be used to calculate the amount of radiation absorbed by the human body.

“In the case of a nuclear event, a lot of people can be radiated,” Dr. Lacombe said. “That is why it’s so important that we can quickly and accurately assess the absorbed radiation so we can give patients the proper medical treatment as fast as possible.”……..https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/uoah-urp071018.php

July 16, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment