Lobb planning ‘face-to-face’ OPG DGR meeting new environment minister (November 2015)

Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb will be expressing his support for the OPG DGR to Canada’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change when the House of Commons reconvenes on Dec. 3.

Lobb, who returns to Ottawa after his October reelection to a third term, outlined his plan to speak “face-to-face” with Minister Catherine McKenna about her pending decision on the construction license for the low and intermediate level nuclear waste project at the Bruce nuclear site.

“We’ll make sure that we have our input,” Lobb said in a telephone interview.

Extended to December 2015 by former Conservative minister Leona Aglukkaq, the decision was delayed amidst mounting oppositions from dozens of Canadian and American organizations and First Nations communities around the Great Lakes that want the project halted, or delayed.

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By Troy Patterson, Kincardine News

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 10:48:46 EST AM

India to Get First Lot of Canadian Uranium Next Month (November 2015)

India has 21 operational nuclear reactors and six under construction.

“The first lot of 250 tonnes of Canadian uranium is already on its way and should land by the first week of December. Since it is imported fuel it will be used in the safeguarded reactors,” a senior government official said.

The deal, worth CAD 350 million with Canada’s largest uranium producing company Cameco Corp, will ensure 3,220 metric tonnes of uranium over the next five years.

Signed in April this year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the North American country, the development also assumes importance as Mr Modi during his visit had given emphasis on the nuclear energy aspect.

The Indo-Canada civil nuclear cooperation was signed in 2010. Incidentally, Canada had banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India in the 1970s after New Delhi developed a nuclear bomb.

Read More at http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-to-get-first-lot-of-canadian-uranium-next-month-1247591
As posted at All India | Press Trust of India | Updated: November 25, 2015 18:59 IST

Report: WIPP workers may go on strike (November 2015)

Workers at the underground nuclear waste disposal facility near Carlsbad could go on strike this year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports workers at WIPP are demanding a pay raise.

The union representing the workers says they’ve already extended contract negotiations five times. They now have until mid-December to work out a deal.

The union says going on strike is a last resort.

WIPP shut down last year after radioactive waste leaked in the underground storage facility. Crews are working to reopen the facility.

Created: 11/23/2015 8:14 AM
KOB.com Web Staff
As posted at http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3971700.shtml

Egyptian Minister of Electricity reveals mechanisms of access to nuclear fuel, ways to dispose of it (November 2015)

Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker explains terms of IAEA and Russian company to create El-Dabaa nuclear power plant

The electricity sector is facing several challenges with the unprecedented increase of consumption rates because of population growth, limited sources of fuel, and its price increase. The government is seeking to achieve high rates of economic growth, which requires the provision of more energy sources.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker revealed the ministry’s plans to meet the energy shortage crisis, reduce waste, secure supplies, and rationalise consumption. The El-Dabaa nuclear power plant and means of access to nuclear fuel and securing its disposal has become a priority file for the government.

What are the challenges the energy sector is facing now?

The electricity sector has been facing many challenges in recent years. Among the challenges are unprecedented increases of consumption of electricity due to high population growth rates, economic growth increase in losses in the electrical transmission, distribution networks thefts, and the stability of electricity prices for long periods of time despite the increase in production requirements and increase in subsidy bills.

The challenges also include the difficulty of managing the necessary funds and the lack of funding for new projects in streamlining and improving energy efficiency.

The increased cost of renewable energies forced us to find a balanced mix of energy between the traditional with coal, the renewable with hydro, solar, wind, subsoil, and wastes, and nuclear.

What are strategic goals of the electricity sector?

Goals include maximising the use of all resources, encouraging the use of renewable energy, and promoting electricity interconnection. We also aim to improve the efficiency of energy production and its usage by adopting environmental protection policies and appropriate measures in the field of electricity generation and future planning to meet the rising demands.

What are procedures for securing disposal of nuclear fuel after operating the plants?

Egypt’s strategy for the management of nuclear fuel of high radiation includes two aspects; the temporary storage and awaiting the examination of all technical and economic considerations associated with the subsequent stage. The nuclear fuel is then stored gradually in water basins to alleviate radiation of the fuel as well as providing suitable means for cooling so that the heat emitted from it could be extracted on an ongoing basis.

Afterwards the fuel is transferred, in accordance with the general policy of the state, for reprocessing and separation of some fission products useful for medical, agricultural, and industrial uses.

The disposal of radioactive waste results from scrapping the power plant when the operational life of the plant ends or in case of accidents. This is according to the plan submitted by the main contractor of the project.

This is why they must be reviewed during scrapping operations plans and updated regularly according to the technological development in this regard.

What is the plan prepared by ministry to secure nuclear fuel supplies?

The strategy for guaranteeing secure supply of nuclear fuel and waste disposal is based on the conclusion of multiple long-term contracts with more than one supplier to ensure the supply of materials and services.

At the beginning of implementation of the Egyptian nuclear programme, the supplier company will be obliged to provide the necessary nuclear fuel for the operation of nuclear reactor for a period ranging between five and ten years.

A strategic stockpile of fuel will be provided to ensure its availability if supply from abroad was interrupted for any reason. There will also be special facilities for storing nuclear fuel. It will be emphasised on in the contracts to be signed with the company that will implement the project.

What type of fuel will be used in Al-Dabaa plant?

Universally available nuclear fuel, which is uranium dioxide and mixed oxide fuel.

What are the procedures for dealing with waste?

Disposal of low and medium-level radioactive waste will be done by processing at the power plant with modern and sophisticated technologies, supplied by the main contractor for the nuclear power plant project.

The contractor, the Russian corporation Rosatom, handles equipping a cell at the fuel basin to secure the processing hardware and contaminated equipment.

There will also be an accurate system of operations associated with the management of radioactive waste – assembly, classification, transport, and storage – and keeping these operations under constant monitoring, verification, and audit. This will be through the establishment of an accounting system for all sorts of radioactive waste resulting from operation.

The establishment of a nuclear power plant requires the availability of an efficient electricity network to begin commercial operational for a nuclear plant, which is significant for the high electrical capacities generated from the plants.

The nuclear programme requires highly trained human cadres on all project levels, from choosing the site until operating it.

What are the additional requirements?

Nuclear plants’ projects depend on communication between the project’s parties and the beneficiaries to ensure the best performance in planed times. Therefore the IAEA requires participating with the participation of all the project stakeholders.

There are also terms to provide the highest levels of environment protection surrounding the plant’s site and to elaborate an emergency plan. These terms are an essential part of the infrastructure to stress on the procedures followed during emergency and to be prepared for it.

Through which mechanisms will the ministry operate to increase energy?

We are working through four mechanisms including government’s project via NREA, the private sector projects through the Build, Own and Operate (BOO) system, commercial projects, and the feed-in tariff.

The law allows investors to provide the necessary lands to establish state’s projects represented in the NREA for a 2% beneficial right from the project’s produced energy value.

By Salah El-Menoufi, November 23, 2015, Egypt News as posted at http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/11/23/minister-of-electricity-reveals-mechanisms-of-access-to-nuclear-fuel-ways-to-dispose-of-it/

Central locations in Vietnam earmarked for radioative nuclear waste dumps (November 2015)

Viet Nam News – Hoang Anh Tuan, director general of the Viet Nam Atomic Energy Agency, talked with the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper about the treatment of nuclear waste in Viet Nam.

Can you tell us about the public reaction to the development of nuclear power in Viet Nam, especially those who are relocated and those who will live within a 25km radius around the nuclear power plants Ninh Thuan 1 and 2?

The projects are currently in the phase of compensation and site clearance, thus those who live within the plants’ construction and fence surrounding the plants will have to move to other places.

The problem people are interested in now is the time, compensation policies, living conditions and related welfare policies rather than radiation safety issues.

Ninh Thuan Province has been assigned to settle issues relating to relocation and resettlement. These displaced people will receive compensation in estate, land for cultivation and livestock in accordance with the project’s support policy.

The Prime Minister has issued policies to support the socio-economic development of Ninh Thuan Province, including aid for resettlement of residents of the two districts that house nuclear power plants. The overall idea is that people support the building of the nuclear projects and they are ready to participate in it.

Regarding radiation safety when the plant goes into operation, in principle, radiation will spread into the environment at a low level – below the permitted level. It is secured by a control system. There should be a response plan in case a nuclear incident occurs. The response plan is aimed at ensuring the safety not only for the plants but also for the surrounding environment; and the radiation does not exceed the allowed limit.

In an assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agencies (IAEA) on the abilities of a nation to develop nuclear power, Viet Nam scored 12 out of the 19 points. In your opinion, among the remaining points the country has not achieved, what is the most difficult one?

Viet Nam is implementing all the points of the infrastructure preparedness of IAEA. There is no concept of hardest point. The country is focusing on building and accomplishing legal framework for nuclear power; developing human resources not only for the operation of nuclear plants but also for the management at the central and local levels. It also sets up policies on the management of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel.

Is it difficult to dispose radioactive waste and used fuel?

These issues have been included in the Law on Atomic Energy. In the future, the law will be amended for long-term management and safety of waste which include solutions and requirements of national radioactive waste management and used fuel.

These are important and long-term issues, and they may take hundreds of years.

Viet Nam does not only build nuclear power plants but also builds long-term facilities for storing radioactive waste generated by nuclear power. It requires a long-term policy.

International technology will be applied in the management of waste in the factory. Countries supplying nuclear technology are those who have already completed this process.

The waste, mostly low and intermediate level radioactive waste, should be brought out of nuclear plants for long-term storage. Viet Nam and Russia have signed an agreement that includes a provision for Moscow to take back used fuel for processing.

High-level waste accounts for only 1 per cent of all waste, while low and intermediate-level waste accounts for 99 per cent and will be handled in Viet Nam.

Has Viet Nam selected locations to bury and long-term storage of low and intermediate-level radioactive waste?

Viet Nam plans to choose two locations in the central region, possibly in Ninh Thuan and other provinces for long-term storage of low and intermediate-level radioactive waste. This waste contains radioactive materials at a level which is not considered harmful to people or the surrounding environment so they are suitable for shallow or deep land burial.

The Ministry of Construction will create a plan for this issue in the near future. It’s important to find places to ensure good geological conditions which are not near farming and urban areas and that no radiation penetrates the surrounding environment.

There are several locations in Viet Nam that are convenient for this activity. We have been studying the application of bentonite (available in Lam Dong) as material for building a landfill facility for low and intermediate-level waste material to reduce costs.

Are foreign partners responsible for disposal of nuclear waste?

The disposal of radioactive waste in nuclear power plants will be conducted by the plants’ management units with the application of imported high technology. A special unit will be set up for collecting waste once it is brought out of the factory. — VNS

As posted November 23, 2015 at http://vietnamnews.vn/opinion/278886/central-locations-earmarked-for-radioative-nuclear-waste-dumps.html

Nevada says Yucca Mountain dump would threaten farm community (November 2015)


Train tracks are seen through Yucca Mountain during a congressional tour Thursday, April 9, 2015, near Mercury, Nev. Several members of Congress toured the proposed radioactive waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

By Ken Ritter, Associated Press

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 | 12:57 p.m.

Yucca Mountain tour

Launch slideshow »

Nevada is telling the Nuclear Regulatory Commission some 1,400 people in a rural Nevada farming community could be threatened if the nation’s most radioactive waste is buried in the desert northwest of Las Vegas.

In a 53-page report submitted Friday, the state derides environmental studies on the proposed Yucca Mountain repository as legally inadequate.

It says the reports don’t properly address the danger to people in nearby Amargosa Valley — or the cultural and spiritual effect that building the long-mothballed repository would have on native Americans.

The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe included its objections.

Groundwater contamination is the key environmental issue for yet-to-be scheduled licensing hearings.

While some area residents oppose the nuclear dump, others want the project finally put before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision.

As posted at http://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/nov/20/nevada-says-yucca-mountain-dump-would-threaten-far/

Nuclear Waste Peddlers Still Pushing Yucca Mt. Dump (November 2015)

Some Congressional Reps — carrying bags of money from the nuclear industry — want to resurrect the cancelled Yucca Mountain dump project for high-level radioactive waste, 90 miles from Las Vegas. I’ve presented Yucca’s shortcomings here before, but Congress needs a refresher and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is taking public comments on Yucca’s Draft Supplemental EIS until Nov. 20.

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November 19, 2015, Counterpunch, by John Laforge,