[ RadSafe ] Low-radiation system will be used on riders

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 12 11:05:24 CDT 2006


Low-radiation system will be used on riders
Britain champions nuclear, renewable energy in major review 
UK MPs press over nuclear subsidies 
Entergy Buying Mich. Nuclear Generator
Radiation Therapy Might Harm Bone 
Radiation Drug Technique without Toxic Side Effects for Cancer
Fear of radiation may be exaggerated

Low-radiation system will be used on riders

JERSEY CITY (AP) Jul 12 - On the day that bombs ripped apart trains 
in India, killing at least 147 people, federal authorities expanded a 
test program to screen passengers entering the PATH rail system for 

Phase two of the program, which began in February, is being fine-
tuned to see if it can spot explosive devices from farther away than 
before - giving authorities more time to react.

The second phase of a $10 million program to increase rail security 
in New Jersey, Baltimore and Atlanta is to begin tomorrow at the 
Exchange Place station when PATH riders are screened for hidden 
weapons and bombs.

The move comes just days after details of an alleged terrorist plot 
to bomb PATH tunnels under the Hudson River were made public.

Earlier this year, the federal Department of Homeland Security 
started the program to screen for bombs at the Exchange Place 
station. Now, the system is using low-power imaging systems that will 
screen passengers from farther away from the platform entrances, 
although the exact distances were not divulged.

"Distance equals response time," said Douglas Bauer, a homeland 
security official working on the project.

In the new system, which is estimated to delay passengers by only 1 
to 2 minutes, a passenger will surrender hand-held bags for 
screening, then walk through a cordoned-off ramp to an initial 
screening spot, where the front of their body will be scanned. They 
will then proceed a few paces ahead to a second location, where the 
back of their bodies will be scanned.

The images will be visible only to a screener in a remote section of 
the station, and are not visible to the rider or the public. 
Authorities said they are so low-resolution that no embarrassing or 
explicit images would be produced, anyway.

The video screener will then radio to the screeners at the checkpoint 
whether the passenger can proceed, or whether he or she needs to go 
for more intensive secondary screening.

That would take place in a circular glass tube. The person being 
screened steps inside, raises his or her arms and is scanned from 360 
degrees by a revolving sensor.

The technology uses naturally occurring radiation emissions from the 
human body to create a contrast with anything foreign that is pressed 
up against the body, such as a weapon or an explosive vest. The 
radiation used in the scan is roughly equivalent to that emitted by a 
cell phone, authorities said.

The system will screen all passengers entering the Exchange Place 
station between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During peak times, passengers 
will be selected at random for screening.

Britain champions nuclear, renewable energy in major review 

LONDON (AFP) Jul 12 - Nuclear power "could" make a significant 
contribution to Britain's energy needs alongside renewable energy 
sources, the government has said in a long-awaited review of its 
energy policy.  

The wording was softer than bullish comments made by Prime Minister 
Tony Blair in May that nuclear energy was "back on the agenda with a 
vengeance", and appeared aimed at appeasing environmentalists who 
oppose the atomic option.   

But Blair warned Tuesday that any decision to rule out new nuclear 
power stations would be a "huge risk".

He wants Britain to rely more on nuclear power rather than expensive 
and dirty carbon fuels in a bid to combat climate change and reduce 
the country's dependence on often volatile foreign energy imports.

Environmental groups argue that there are better ways to do this, 
such as greater investment in renewable energy and a reduction in 

But Blair countered: "With the best will in the world -- and we're 
going to make a big increase in the use of renewables -- you're not 
going to be able to fill all the gap."

He told critics to "just face up to the facts" in a BBC television 

"If we're going to go from being self-sufficient in gas to importing 
it, if prices are rising, if we know that climate change is an even 
more serious problem than we thought a few years ago, how can we take 
nuclear out of the mix?

"Isn't that a huge risk to take?

"And if you take the wrong decision now, and it turns out to be wrong 
in 15 or 20 years' time, then of course it's too late to do anything 
about it.

"We would be completely dependent on imports of possibly very highly-
priced gas, with all the issues of security of supply because of 
where the gas comes from."

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling, who unveiled the 
review in parliament, said: "The government has concluded that new 
nuclear power stations could make a significant contribution to 
meeting our energy policy goals."

He warned that Britain would lose about one-third of its capacity to 
generate electricity over the next two decades as ageing coal and 
nuclear power stations close down.

"Decisions will have to be taken on the replacement in the next few 
years," Darling told the House of Commons, noting that a wider use of 
renewable energy -- such as solar, tidal and wind power -- would help 
to fill the gap.

"Far from getting rid of the renewables obligation, as some have 
proposed, we intend to increase it from 15 percent to 20 percent," 
the minister said.

At the same time, without, for example, a new generation of nuclear 
power plants, Britain would also need to rely more on imports of gas 
from potentially unstable parts of the world, increasing the risk to 
its energy supply.

The review, ordered by Blair late last year in the face of shrinking 
North Sea oil and gas reserves, did not mention how many new stations 
were desired.

The Observer newspaper, however, reported at the weekend that the 
Department of Trade and Industry was considering building six. 

Darling said any investment in replacement nuclear capacity would be 
funded by the private sector rather than government subsidies. 

The report explores Britain's energy needs for the next 30 to 40 
years. A statement of government policy is due to be published around 
the end of the 2006 after further consultation. 

Darling said the country faced two main challenges -- the need to 
tackle climate change and cut carbon emissions. 

Britain's electricity-guzzling households and businesses must be 
encouraged to reduce their energy consumption through incentives 
offered by power companies, the minister said, noting that seven 
percent of electricity is wasted on electrical appliances that are 
left on standby. 

Cleaner energy was also important, with the review setting a target 
of 20 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. 

Such environmentally-friendly overtures failed to appease critics who 
focused on the nuclear references. 

Britain has about a dozen nuclear power stations, most of them built 
in the 1960s and 1970s. They provide around 25 percent of the 
country's electricity. 

Proponents of new reactors, which emit virtually no carbon dioxide, 
say they would help Britain meet a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas 
emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2010.

UK MPs press over nuclear subsidies  

BBC News Jul 12 - Some Labour MPs are suspicious of the subsidy 
claims Ministers face increasing questions over claims new nuclear 
power stations will be funded by the industry itself. Industry 
secretary Alastair Darling says any investment in replacing nuclear 
capacity will be funded by the private sector, rather than 

However, a stream of Labour MPs fear ministers may offer subsidies to 
the industry, particularly if it gets into financial difficulties. 

Mr Darling says nuclear power is needed to help meet future UK energy 

'Significant contribution' 

He gave the go-ahead for a new wave of nuclear power stations during 
his statement to MPs on Tuesday. 

Nuclear power accounts for 20% of the UK's electricity, but that is 
due to fall to 6% as all but one of the ageing plants shut down over 
the next 20 years. 

It will be for the private sector to initiate, fund, construct and 
operate new nuclear plants and cover the cost of decommissioning and 
their full share of long-term waste management costs, Alastair 

Mr Darling said new nuclear power stations could make a "significant 
contribution" to meeting the UK's energy goals over the next 30 to 40 

He said: "It will be for the private sector to initiate, fund, 
construct and operate new nuclear plants and cover the cost of 
decommissioning and their full share of long-term waste management 

However, Elliot Morley, who was a minister in the Department of the 
Environment when the last Energy Review came out in 2003, was 

He said he welcomed Mr Darling's "very clear statement" that there 
"will be no public subsidies". 

Labouring the point? 

"But you well know, as I do, that there's been a history of nuclear 
sectors going bankrupt over the years," he said. 

"Would you consider asking for a bond on new investment to cover that 
decommissioning and nuclear waste charges?" 

Does a full share of the long term waste costs mean 100% - yes or no? 
Michael Weir, SNP.

Mr Darling said problems in the past were caused by people who failed 
to make the right calculations. 

Labour left-winger Jeremy Corbyn pressed a little further: "Can you 
assure the House that there is going to be no subsidy whatsoever for 
the nuclear industry in the construction, operation or waste 
management or disposal as a result of this white paper?" 

Mr Darling said he had answered this point and suggested the MP look 
at the Energy Review. 

'Unequivocal answer' needed 

Labour's Rob Marris wanted an assurance that there would be no 
"indirect subsidies" given, such as guaranteed prices, purchases or 
insurance cover. 

The minister said there would be no guaranteed prices, although EU 
rules required some insurance. 

The SNP's Michael Weir wanted an "unequivocal answer": "Does a 'full 
share' of the long term waste costs mean 100% - yes or no?" 

Mr Darling said he had nothing to add to what he had said in his 
statement to MPs. 

Labour's Gordon Prentice asked if the private sector would bear the 
whole cost of private security at nuclear plants. 

Mr Darling replied: "I said that anyone coming forward with proposals 
to build nuclear power stations has to be responsible for meeting the 
costs of building, operating, maintaining and the decommissioning."

Entergy Buying Mich. Nuclear Generator

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jul 12 -- Utility holding company Entergy Corp. said 
Wednesday that it will buy a 798-megawatt nuclear plant in Michigan 
from Consumers Energy for $380 million.  

Entergy currently owns 10 nuclear generating plants and manages 

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of Jackson, Mich.-based 
CMS Energy Corp., will buy all of the Palisades Nuclear Plant's power 
output for 15 years, Entergy said.

Entergy said the price includes $242 million for the physical plant 
near South Haven, Mich., $83 million in nuclear fuel based on current 
market price and $55 million in related assets.

As part of the deal, Entergy also said it will assume responsibility 
for the eventual decommissioning of the plant with Consumers Energy 
retaining $200 million of the $555 million set aside for the plant's 

Consumers Energy also will pay Entergy $30 million to accept 
responsibility for the spent fuel at the decommissioned Big Rock 
Point nuclear plant near Charlevoix, Mich.

Entergy also said it would issue 18-month employment offers to the 
plant's 500 workers at their current salaries, and would continue to 
maintain their benefits for 36 months.

Entergy said it hoped to close the deal during the first quarter of 
2007. The sale must be reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Michigan Public 
Service Commission.

Plans call for the plant to be operated by Entergy Nuclear, the 
Jackson, Miss.-based unit of Entergy that handles the company's 
nuclear properties. New Orleans-based Entergy also has regulated 
power sales to 2.7 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, 
Mississippi and Texas.

Radiation Therapy Might Harm Bone 

July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mice that received a single therapeutic 
dose of radiation -- comparable to a single dose of radiation 
received by human cancer patients -- lost as much as 39 percent of 
the spongy portion of their inner bone, researchers report.

That loss reduced the inner bone's weight-bearing connections by up 
to 64 percent, the research team added.

While the results of this mouse study cannot be directly applied to 
humans, it does raise potential concerns about cancer patients 
receiving radiation therapy and radiation exposure for astronauts on 
long space flights, the researchers noted.

"We were really surprised at the extent of bone loss," lead 
researcher Ted A. Bateman, a Clemson University bioengineer who 
studies bone biomechanics, said in a prepared statement. "We're 
seeing bone loss at much lower doses of radiation than we expected."

His team published the findings online in the Journal of Applied 

The mice in the study received a single 2 Gray (Gy) dose, which is 
comparable to the single 1-2 Gy dose received by cancer patients, who 
receive a series of doses over the course of their treatment, for a 
total of between 10 to 70 Gy.

The mice suffered a loss of trabecular bone, the spongy area of bone 
inside the dense outer cortical bone.

"It's interesting that the trabecular bone, not the cortical bone, 
suffered the damage," Bateman said.

The loss of spongy bone results in a less efficient bone support 
structure, making the bone more susceptible to fractures, the 
researchers said.

Radiation Drug Technique without Toxic Side Effects for Cancer 

Newswise Jul 11  - Colorado State University researchers have 
developed a way to deliver intravenous radiation drugs to bone cancer 
patients without causing damage to other healthy cells and vital 
organs, drastically reducing illness and other common side effects of 
toxic radiation treatments. The technique also allows doctors to 
deliver radiation in only one dose - as opposed to the standard of 
three to six - and in a higher, more effective concentration.  

By isolating and separating circulating blood to the area of the 
tumor through a heart lung machine while delivering radioactive 
drugs, doctors at the university's Animal Cancer Center deliver 
higher radiation doses to only the tumor while protecting vital 
organs and healthy tissues. The doctors are working to pinpoint a 
dose that will achieve 90 percent or higher tumor kill in their 
canine patients; the goal for traditional treatments in people also 
is 90 percent tumor die-off before surgery.

"The results of this study could change the standard of care for bone 
cancer patients - humans and dogs," said Dr. Nicole Ehrhart, a 
veterinarian and cancer expert at Colorado State. "While most 
osteosarcoma patients don't receive radiation treatment, we believe 
that, when delivered with this method that allows doctors to isolate 
the dose to the tumor, radiation treatment is very effective. In 
dogs, we know that using radiation in combination with chemotherapy 
increases our success over just one or the other treatments used 

Ehrhart points out that the technique also allows us the potential to 
add other drugs to bone tumor treatment that may typically be avoided 
because of their toxicity when applied to the entire body.

At the Animal Cancer Center, Ehrhart and other researchers have 
isolated the blood supply to a limb using special catheters and 
tourniquets, and circulated blood from that limb through a heart lung 
machine. The radiation drug is delivered into the isolated blood 
supply, saving the healthy bone marrow in the rest of the patient's 
body from exposure to radiation. Once the radiation drugs reach the 
tumor, it is flushed from the system and the heart lung machine is 
removed, allowing normal blood flow to return.

Results of the study show that because the technique allows higher 
doses of radiation directly to tumors, the dogs, who are patients at 
the Animal Cancer Center and participate in the study with their 
owner's consent, have few side effects, and early results show that 
the tumor die-off is significant.

The study uses a new radiation drug called samarium that is mixed 
with a special substance that causes the radioactive drug to bind to 
mineral in bones. The sticky substance allows the radiation to 
release into bones. It is more attracted to bone tumors than to 
healthy bone because tumors make bone at a more active rate than 
healthy bones. However, the substance also sticks to healthy bone, 
causing damage to bone marrow in healthy areas of the body as well as 
in the bone tumor.

Bone cancer is a common diagnosis in large dogs and humans, 
particularly in children. Colorado State's Animal Cancer Center 
diagnoses and cares for 150 new cases of canine osteosarcoma every 
year. Typical treatment is removing the tumor and replacing the bone 
with a rod or amputating the limb. Most patients received 
chemotherapy before and after surgery to prevent the cancer from 

Children who receive samarium treatment to their entire body often 
must have bone marrow transplants because of the extensive damage the 
radiation does to healthy bone marrow. Radiation therapy is typically 
not a standard treatment for people with osteosarcoma because of its 
toxic side effects, but can be successful in killing off tumor 
growth, improving quality of life and stalling progression of cancer.

The study is funded by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Limb 
Preservation Foundation in Denver and the Animal Cancer Center.

Fear of radiation may be exaggerated   

Physorg.com Jul 11 - Scientists who examined the meltdown 20 years 
ago of a Soviet nuclear reactor say the danger of radiation to human 
health may be significantly exaggerated. 

The scientists appearing on the program examined the Chernobyl 
disaster, which people incorrectly equate with the atomic bombing of 
Japan during World War II. 

Initially predicted to cause hundreds of thousands of casualties, the 
death toll from the meltdown at Chernobyl stands at 56 today, the 
Times said. 

As for wildlife, a U.S. researcher from Texas Tech University found 
mammals exposed to the equivalent of 8,000 chest X-rays per day, 
showed none of the genetic damage his team expected. 

The BBC documentary is being presented during a week in which the 
government's energy review is expected to back a new generation of 
atomic plants for Britain.

Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

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