[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Poland signs on to Baltic nuclear plant

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Fri Mar 2 18:46:15 CST 2007


Poland signs on to Baltic nuclear plant 
Thai Energy Council OKs Setting Up Nuclear Pwr Plant Committe 
Nuclear plant planning moves ahead 
Czech Nuclear Plant Leak Deemed Harmless
Nuclear Lab Develops Powerful Dust Rag
Hundreds hear proposal for nuclear power plant
CFE orders plant modification
S.C. county fights for nuclear landfill
Britain gets nuclear waste warning from energy chiefs
Wayne Co. Residents Can Get KI Pills
Earthlife Anti-Nuclear In Energy Debate
Monroeville-based Westinghouse to begin work on 4 nuclear plants
Salazar Wants Compensate Ex-Rocky Flats Workers


Poland signs on to Baltic nuclear plant 

Poland and Lithuania have signed an agreement to build a new nuclear 
power station in Lithuania. It will replace the ageing Ignalina power 
station in eastern Lithuania. Ignalina is the last Chernobyl-style 
reactor still in use in the European Union. Lithuania will have a 34 
percent stake in the project. Its three partner countries - Estonia, 
Latvia and Poland - will hold 22 percent each. the replacement 
facility is not due to be commissioned before 2015, leaving a six-
year gap between the closure of the old plant and the inauguration of 
the new. 

Thai Energy Council OKs Setting Up Nuclear Pwr Plant Committe 

BANGKOK -(Dow Jones)- Thailand's National Energy Policy Council 
Friday approved the formation of a committee to study the possibility 
of setting up a nuclear power plant, Energy Minister Piyasvasti 
Amranand said.

The committee, to be formed soon, would take about seven years to 
study the issue and decide whether Thailand should have a nuclear 
power plant or not, Piyasvasti told reporters after the meeting of 
the National Energy Policy Council.

He didn't give details on the composition of the committee.

Thailand will need to consider nuclear energy as an alternative to 
fuel power generation in the future due to the limited supply and 
rising prices of conventional fuel, such as natural gas and oil, he 

Piyasvasti said the average construction and fuel cost of a nuclear 
power plant is THB1.6 a kilowatt-hour, while that for natural gas-
fired and coal-fired power plants is THB2/kWh.

Among the options under the draft power development plan for 2007-
2021 is building nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 
5,000 megawatts to supply electricity starting 2020 and 2021. Other 
new power plants would use coal and natural gas as fuel.

The National Energy Policy Council also approved in principle the 
draft energy business act, a new law governing electricity and 
natural gas businesses and which will enhance transparency in the 
energy sector, said Piyasvasti.

Under the new law, a group of seven regulators will be formed to 
supervize the energy sector and ensure fairness to consumers.

The Council of State will review the law before it is forwarded to 
the Cabinet for approval and the National Legislative Assembly for 
final approval.

Nuclear plant planning moves ahead 

You may not have heard too much lately about that planned nuclear 
power plant in southern Levy County S but that doesn't mean plans 
have stopped.

Two representatives from Progress Energy spoke to the Williston 
Rotary Club on Tuesday and brought the group up to date on work being 
undertaken to possibly get the power plant built. 

"We haven't made a final decision to build," said Gail T. Simpson, 
manager of Public Policy and Constituency Relations for the company. 
"We haven't purchased the land. There are still more tests to be 

Rosemary Fagler, Community Relations Manager for the region, 
described the needs of consumers and how growth has affected the 
company. "New homes are so much larger now," she said, noting that 
more space required more energy to heat and cool, there were more 
appliances today than in earlier years and computers were in most 
homes, many running on a 24/7 basis.

Simpson pointed out that within 50 years the "population is expected 
to double in the state of Florida."

The speakers commented that Progress Energy has to start thinking 
about that now, even though its needs might be 10 or 20 years away. 

Simpson answered the question of why Levy was chosen. "There are 
limited locations in Florida. A lot of hot water is required, and 
there are very few places that using that much water would not have 
an impact."

The Levy County site would draw water from the Gulf.

"We also needed a couple thousand acres in a rural area.

"The Levy County location is a preferred site for a lot of technical 
and other reasons."

The company still has a lot of processes and permitting to go 
through, including the state, the Public Service Commission, the 
Department of Environmental Protection and the Nuclear Regulatory 

"We'll file an application with the NRC by the end of next year," 
Simpson said. "They require all sorts of information," including 
weather data and soil borings.

Fagler spoke about the economic benefits, including property taxes, 
1,000 to 2,000 construction jobs, 500 permanent jobs and increased 
local investment.

She also said the plant would be environmentally friendly with no 
greenhouse gas emissions.

When asked by the Pioneer whether they would ask for tax breaks, 
which many industries do as they move into an area, they said things 
like that hadn't been considered as yet.

"We hope to have a good relationship with the county," Simpson added. 

Czech Nuclear Plant Leak Deemed Harmless

PRAGUE, Czech Republic - More than 500 gallons of radioactive water 
leaked at a nuclear power plant, but did not contaminate the 
environment, an official said Thursday. 

The water leaked early Tuesday at the Temelin plant's first unit, 
which is currently shut down for fuel replacement, plant spokesman 
Milan Nebesar said. 

"The water went to a special tank through a special ... system and 
none of it leaked to the environment," Nebesar said. He said that an 
open valve caused the leak. 

The plant's second unit was running at full capacity. 

Nebesar said the plant's management has informed Czech and Austrian 
authorities about the leak. 

Austrian officials expressed surprise and anger over the delay in 
getting word of the mishap, which occurred while Chancellor Alfred 
Gusenbauer was on an official visit to Prague. 

Environment Minister Josef Proell lodged a formal protest with his 
Czech counterparts Thursday, insisting the Czech government explain 
"why it took more than 50 hours before Austria was informed" of the 
accident, said his spokesman, Daniel Kapp. 

The Czech Republic and Austria have been at odds for years over the 
plant, located only 35 miles from the Austrian border. Austrian 
environmentalists have demanded the plant closed because of security 
concerns. Czech authorities insist it is safe. 

Construction of the plant's two 1,000-megawatt units, based on 
Russian designs, started in the 1980s. The reactors were later 
upgraded with U.S. technology, but have remained controversial 
because of frequent malfunctions.

Nuclear Lab Develops Powerful Dust Rag

(AP) OAK RIDGE, Tenn. This is one cleaning that could pass anybody's 
white-glove test.

A high-tech dust rag developed by a research chemist at a nuclear 
weapons plant can pick up potentially deadly beryllium particles that 
are 20 times smaller than what can be seen with the naked eye. Its 
inventor, Ron Simandl, says it could be used to mop up industrial 
accidents or wipe down semiconductor "clean rooms."

And look out Swiffer dusters: The "Negligible-Residue Non-tacky Tack 
Cloth" could be bound for the consumer market, albeit with a catchier 

Simandl, who is used to working in a secretive environment at the Y-
12 nuclear weapons plant, isn't saying much about the ingredients in 
his special cloth-coating formula. The patent-pending treatment, 
which could work on any rag, has been tested on cheesecloth for six 
months with great success, he said. Metal, ceramic, plastic, fibers, 
radiological contaminants all have been picked up.

"There is a good, but not necessarily obvious reason why they work," 
he said. "My cloths were thoroughly tested before I submitted the 
patent application."

Marilyn Giles, technology transfer director for Y-12's managing 
contractor, is shopping the treatment around.

"We will need a technical champion before we can find a business 
champion because it is kind of hard to comprehend that it can 
actually do what he says it can do," Giles said. "But it would not be 
a very expensive process to put in place for a company who already 
does this."

The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology, an industry 
group that is involved in setting clean room standards, sounded 

"The product is interesting, but there are a number of questions ... 
that many professionals would have," institute spokeswoman Heather 
Dvorak said in an e-mail.

Beryllium is a light but strong metal that is used in bicycle frames 
and golf clubs, X-ray machines and nuclear weapons. Exposure can lead 
to chronic respiratory problems and cancer.

The Y-12 plant, which has been making nuclear bomb parts since World 
War II, doesn't take beryllium lightly. The government has paid out 
millions to compensate sick nuclear plant workers, including about 
140 past and present Y-12 workers identified with beryllium 
sensitivity, an early stage of the illness.

Commercial cleaners and wipes failed to pick up all the beryllium and 
left a residue.

"I have been thinking about this for 30 years," Simandl said. "Other 
people have to, and it has just evaded us. It is just a real 
difficult problem. You are trying to clean up invisible stuff, but 
it's at levels that industrial hygiene people say is harmful."

The organic solvent-based cloth treatment that Simandl and partner 
Scott Hollenbeck came up with yields a dry coating that doesn't feel 
tacky to the touch "yet retains very high tackiness on the 
microscopic level" and leaves no trace.

"The physics of tackiness is very complex," Simandl said.

The dust rag may work like a dirt magnet, but "magnetism is not 
involved," he adds. "That is just allegory or poetic license."

Simandl also tried out the cloths at home. Using his simple 
instructions "Use dry, rub hard," Simandl dry-buffed the alloy wheels 
on his car.

"The stubborn brake and road dirt came right off and left the wheels 
bright and showroom-shiny," he said. "You could even polish your 
titanium golf clubs with them."

Hundreds hear proposal for nuclear power plant

ROSWELL -- Roswell's mayor says that relying on foreign oil is 
dangerous and that the nation needs nuclear power.
Sam LaGrone spoke Tuesday night to several hundred people attending a 
U.S. Department of Energy hearing on the possibility of a nuclear 
waste reprocessing center near Roswell.

The owners of a hazardous waste site between Roswell and Tatum, Gandy-
Marley Inc., in partnership with EnergySolutions, are receiving $1.1 
million to study the site for a spent fuel recycling center. A site 
near Hobbs, proposed by Eddy Lea Energy Alliance, was awarded $1.5 
million for a similar study.

That money was part of more than $10 million awarded by the 
Department of Energy for detailed site studies on 11 areas nationwide 
for so-called integrated spent fuel recycling facilities, which the 
department said would allow the nation to recycle spent nuclear fuel 
safely. Studies are due by May 30.

The recycling centers are part of President Bush's proposed Global 
Nuclear Energy Partnership, which seeks to reduce U.S. dependence on 
imported oil.

CFE orders plant modification

Alstom and consortium partner Iberdrola have signed a contract with 
Mexico´s state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) 
to modernise the Laguna Verde nuclear power plant.  

The total order value is estimated at approximately EUR470m, of which 
Alstom´s share is around EUR150m.

Alstom´s scope of supply is for the full retrofit of two steam 
turbines, each with one high pressure and two low pressure cylinders, 
and the supply of new generators. Consortium leader Iberinco, the 
engineering and construction business of the Iberdrola Group, will 
supply the balance of plant. 

According to Alstom, the project will increase the current installed 
capacity of the plant by 20%, from 1,350 to 1,634 MW. The work will 
begin immediately and is scheduled for completion by 2010.

Laguna Verde is Mexico´s only nuclear power plant, and the 
refurbishment work is part of CFE´s strategy of optimising all its 
energy resources and maintaining a diversified and independent energy 
supply in the country.

S.C. county fights for nuclear landfill

SNELLING, S.C. - In this rural county beset by high unemployment, the 
soon-to-arrive day when the local nuclear-waste landfill closes its 
doors to nearly all debris is no cause for celebration. 
Chem-Nuclear, a disposal site for low-level radioactive waste from 
hospitals and power plants around the nation, offers some of the 
county's few high-paying jobs, provides roughly 10 percent of its 
overall budget and pumps $1 million a year into local schools. It has 
also handed out college scholarships and bought equipment for police 
and paramedics.

The landfill has long been under attack from environmentalists, and a 
2000 state law says that starting next year, it can accept waste only 
from South Carolina and two other states. But now, as that date draws 
near, lawmakers are considering extending the deadline to 2023.

Locals say that changing the law is vital and that outsiders just 
don't understand how important the landfill is.

"It's been in Barnwell so long, it's part of who we are," said Berley 
Lindler, a jewelry shop owner in the nearby town of Barnwell. "It's 
good for the economy. They're our friends."

About 23,300 people live in Barnwell County, about 55 miles from 
Columbia in the southwestern part of South Carolina, near the Georgia 
state line. The county has no rail lines or interstate-highway 
access, and unemployment stands at 10 percent.

In the past few years, hundreds of jobs in the county have vanished 
with the closing of a gas-grill maker and a window manufacturer. The 
biggest employer, the Dixie-Narco vending machine company, has cut 
about 1,400 jobs over the past several years and was bought out last 
year, said Keith Sloan, chairman of the County Council.

"We've really taken some hits," he said.

Nuclear power plant debris and radioactive hospital clothing have 
been buried here since 1971 atop aquifers that run to the Savannah 

In its heyday from 1980 to the early 1990s, Chem-Nuclear employed 
hundreds of people. In 1980, it collected 2.4 million cubic feet of 
the solid, radioactive waste, which is stored in steel containers 
that are put in concrete vaults and then buried in long trenches. 
Bought last year by Utah-based EnergySolutions, it is now one of 
three landfills in the nation for low-level radioactive waste. Utah 
and Washington have the others.

The landfill was last cited by state environmental regulators in 
1983, for improperly unloading a shipment. In 1999, tritium, a 
radioactive isotope of hydrogen, was found on the grounds of a church 
next to the landfill. The levels were below those accepted by 
regulators, but the company dug up and replaced the contaminated 

A year later, then-Gov. Jim Hodges led a campaign to wean South 
Carolina off radioactive waste. From about 120 miles away, residents 
of wealthier Beaufort and Hilton Head, which get drinking water from 
the Savannah River, added to the outcry. State lawmakers passed a 
measure to slowly choke off the amount of waste that could be sent to 
the landfill.

This year, the cap is 40,000 cubic feet of waste, or enough to cover 
a baseball infield to a depth of 5 feet.

Plant manager Jim Lathan said restricting the waste to South 
Carolina, Connecticut and New Jersey means the landfill will run a 
deficit and will probably have to lay off some of the 51 workers who 
are left since the state law was passed.

Environmentalists say none of the changes should be a surprise. Ann 
Timberlake, executive director of the Conservation Voters of South 
Carolina, said the county should have used the $2 million it has 
received yearly since 2000 to prepare itself.

"Everyone knew the volume would go down," she said. "We've 
established a fair roadmap, and we need to stick to it."

State officials test the soil, air, surface and ground water four 
times a year, inspect shipments daily and show up unannounced for 
semiannual inspections. While tritium has been found in groundwater, 
it has been far below regulatory limits, said Michael Moore, the 
state's environmental manager for infectious and radioactive waste 

But environmentalists still worry about the trucks carrying waste to 
Chem-Nuclear that pass through other counties, and the underground 
water that makes its way into the river. They worry, too, about the 
state's image. 

"One county should not decide for South Carolina whether we should be 
the nation's dump," Timberlake said. 

Locals point out that the site has paid $430 million in fees to the 
state Education Department since 1995, provides jobs that pay an 
average of $49,500 a year, and has been a good corporate citizen in 
other respects. Plaques thanking Chem-Nuclear for paying for various 
projects pepper the walls of buildings and parks. 

"I don't disagree we knew this was coming," Sloan said. "But you 
know, one day you're going to die, too. How are you going to prepare 
for it when you don't have alternatives available?" 

Without Chem-Nuclear, residents, officials and educators fear rising 
property taxes, teacher layoffs and other troubles. 

"We'd be devastated without it," said Barnwell schools Superintendent 
Carolyne Williams. "We would have leaky roofs. We wouldn't have 
proper air conditioning."

Britain gets nuclear waste warning from energy chiefs

Britain must not go ahead with a new generation of nuclear power 
stations until it has a "clear and robust" plan in place for dealing 
with the twin problems of decommissioning and waste treatment, the 
world's leading energy body warned yesterday. 

The International Energy Agency also said that any new nuclear 
programme must be funded entirely from the private sector, without 
any government subsidy or market intervention. 

In its latest review of UK energy policy, the agency said that it 
supported the building of new nuclear stations as an important part 
of the country's future energy mix. However, it added that the 
Government's current proposals for dealing with issues such as 
planning and construction, long-term waste management and guidance 
for potential financial backers were "too vague to provide the 
required certainty". 

Ministers have pledged to address this in the forthcoming energy 
White Paper. The document had been due to be published in the next 
fortnight but has been delayed until May after the environmental 
campaign group Greenpeace succeeded in a High Court action claiming 
that the Government had failed to consult properly last year on the 
twin issues of financing a new nuclear programme and waste 

Introducing the IEA report, Claude Mandil, the agency's executive 
director, said: "The spent-fuel issue is the most critical one for 
nuclear. It will not develop if there is not a credible and 
satisfactory answer to the management of spent fuel and one which is 
convincing for the public." 

At present, most low-level waste is disposed of at the state-owned 
Drigg depository in Cumbria while intermediate-level waste is stored 
on site. But the report says that Britain must move rapidly to select 
and implement a comprehensive national policy for radioactive waste 
disposal. To this end, it is "essential" that the Government puts in 
place schemes to ensure that adequate funds are available to cover 
decommissioning and waste disposal. These funds should come from 
either the industry itself or electricity consumers. 

Mr Mandil said the agency was against any form of subsidy to enable 
new nuclear stations to be built because it increased uncertainty. 
But he said he was in favour of the idea of nuclear plant developers 
agreeing long-term supply contracts to ensure that their costs were 
covered, as was now happening with the construction of new capacity 
in Finland. 

Lord Truscott, the UK energy minister, said there would be no 
subsidy, levy, nuclear obligation or market intervention to help 
launch a new nuclear programme. "Our position is unchanged. New 
nuclear will have to stand on its own feet. It will be for private 
business to make its own decisions on investing and for industry to 
decide whether it is viable. It will operate within the market as it 

Despite the minister's insistence that there will be no government 
intervention, many energy experts believe there will need to be some 
form of aid or guarantee to kick-start a new nuclear programme. Some 
observers even believe there will have to be some form of indemnity 
given to station builders to underwrite their costs should a future 
government reverse nuclear policy. 

Elsewhere, the agency largely gave the UK a glowing report, saying 
its policies for supporting investment in new plant and energy 
efficiency were working well. However, it sounded a note of caution 
about the UK's growing dependence on gas, saying options should be 
kept open for the use of other fuels. 

Wayne Co. Residents Can Get KI Pills
(Wayne Co., N.Y.) - People who live near the Ginna Nuclear Power 
Plant can get potassium iodide (KI) starting this week. 

The current pills are set to expire this month. 

The medication was given out to be used in the event of an accident 
or terror attack that might lead to a radiation leak. 

The medication can be picked up in several town offices in Wayne 

Earthlife Anti-Nuclear In Energy Debate

IT is laudable that Namibians engage in public debates on nuclear 
energy, triggered off by the statement recently made by the Permanent 
Secretary of Mines and Energy, Mr Joseph Iitha, that nuclear energy 
is considered as one of the many options to generate power.
It is of course right to make a decision after all options have been 

I for my part am quite sure that Government will come up with a 
responsible choice and this will not be generation of nuclear power 
in Namibia.

The article "Namibia opts for nuclear power" featured in The Namibian 
on 11th January 2007 challenged Earthlife Namibia to start an e-mail 
discussion encouraging Namibians to express their view on the issue.

We received very interesting comments which I want to share with the 
interested reader.

This letter is a compilation of the debate.

For easier reading I separate the comments with bullets, whereby the 
order is purely by chance.

However, some comments we received don't feature here because of 

Especially renewable energy and the unsolved problem of nuclear waste 
disposal was mentioned many times.

* Having uranium ore is hardly an argument in favour of nuclear 
energy production.

It would probably damage Namibia's "pristine" environmental image too 
which would have to be incorporated into any cost benefit analysis.

* From a perspective of human's lack of commitment into renewable 
energy, the only alternative to fossil fuels will be nuclear.

Considering greed etc.

I do not foresee humans living on re-energy before all (including 
uranium) the earth has is depleted.

Would it not be in everybody's interest to do as much research into 
nuclear energy and safety as possible? Just imagine that we run out 
of fossil fuels and then all the industrial nations switch over to 
the old unsafe nuclear power stations.

* The raw material uranium is mined in Namibia by foreign mining 
companies having contracts of delivery with foreign customers.

In general the calculated lifetime of local uranium mines is 15 

It takes long to get the infrastructure for uranium enrichment in 
place, build the nuclear power plant and train the right people.

By the time all this has been achieved Namibia needs to import 
uranium oxide for a high price.

* What would be worse: nuclear power generation or Epupa? * Namibia 
needs an energy strategic plan into which role players can feed their 

It seems as if the decision makers are handling things a bit ad hoc 
at the moment.

* The uranium boom is temporary.

When all the new production starts up globally, there will be an 
excess in the market, prices will start dropping and the marginal 
mines will start closing again.

Namibia has a chance of becoming an African leader in wave, wind and 
solar, which it can never do with nuclear, because even if it imports 
a reactor it will become dependent on foreign technicians, loans and 
companies like Eskom - which means that the problem complained of, 
dependency on SA, will not necessary go away.

* It's scary but I'm not surprised given what is happening in South 
Africa and the assumption about expanded markets for uranium.

We have to keep reminding the government that Namibia has abundant 
sun and wind!...and keep educating the public and publishing the 
figures on costs and benefits of renewable energy and the dangers of 
nuclear energy.

* Nuclear power requires such high technological capacity and skills 
that it is extremely doubtful if Namibia would ever be in a position 
to mobilize the manpower to operate and maintain a nuclear power 

I am of the opinion that the decision by Government is indeed a long 
term vision, but the decision at least creates the opportunity for 
Namibia to start developing its assets towards achieving such a 

The decision is therefore a step in the right direction, provided 
that the thrust to create human capacity is directed properly.

* The bottom line for all these options is the economy of scale and 
the cost of the energy.

It is a pity the article does not state what power is costing the 
Namibian consumer at present in order to compare costs.

Any power supplied at 35c/kWh plus is very expensive and not really 

The Namibian demand is small and the units cost is therefore 
understandable very high.

To produce and sell more units, the unit cost can be reduced, but 
Namibia would need a large anchor consumer like the RSA that requires 
thousands of MW (presently 40 000 MW in the RSA) and not a measly 500 
MW like Namibia.

Economics and capacity would therefore dictate any future outcomes of 
whatever is contemplated.

* All forms of power generation and distribution create environmental 
problems to a greater or lesser extent.

Many of the forms of power generation that seem to cause the lowest 
impact are unreliable, inefficient, expensive and new - the 
technologies have not yet been fully tested under production 

One of the worst forms of power generation under present global 
conditions is the suite of generators that contribute to climate 
change - undoubtedly one of the most serious environmental issues 
that this planet has ever faced.

I don't believe that it is in the interests of the environment for 
environmental organizations to adopt positions of being either pro or 
anti nuclear energy.

I believe that the situation will differ from country to country, 
depending on the options that different countries have.

Within this context, I further believe that a rational assessment of 
the pros and cons of all the available options should be carried out 
in Namibia, in an open and transparent way, taking into account all 
the important variables, both socio-economic and environmental.

* Great - despite the refuse it is still one of the environmentally 
cleanest sources of high-output power, with no contribution to global 
warming, which affects especially our rangelands and thus farmers and 
thousands of poor rural people as well! Look at the broader picture 
and its benefits! * Technological expertise is the most important 
issue in nuclear energy production.

Namibia could deal with the technology of renewable energy, a good 
example is Gobabeb.

But technology for a nuclear power plant is a different story.

* The Wildlife Society of Namibia (WLSN) supports sustainable 
development and the sustainable utilisation of resources, including 
the sustainable generation and use of energy.

The WLSN can not support either uranium mining or nuclear power 
generation, because the environmental damages and inherent risks 
involved (some of which are extremely long-lasting) outweigh the 
short-term benefits of power supply.

Most especially the created nuclear waste poses an extremely high 
risk which remains undiminished for periods of time far beyond human 
planning capabilities.

The only other major use of uranium, for the creation of weapons, can 
not be supported in any way either.

The WLSN therefore does not support any utilisation of uranium.

I do not want to comment on the above, it speaks for itself.

Only one small remark: please dear reader, while making up your own 
opinion regarding nuclear power generation in Namibia (YES or NO), 
weigh up the short-term benefits against the long-term consequences 
and think about the many future generations burdened with the nuclear 

Bertchen Kohrs Earthlife Namibia

Monroeville-based Westinghouse to begin work on 4 nuclear plants
Westinghouse Electric Co. said it signed an accord in Beijing on 
Thursday that begins procurement on the $5.3 billion nuclear power 
deal announced with the Chinese government in December. 
Monroeville-based Westinghouse and its consortium partner, The Shaw 
Group, of Baton Rouge, signed a framework agreement with China's 
State Nuclear Power Technology Co. for four of Westinghouse's new 
AP1000 reactors. That design can bring power to more than 880,000 
homes -- important to an energy-hungry nation of 1.3 billion people 
that hopes to build more than two dozen nuclear power plants by 2020. 

Westinghouse spokesman Vaughn Gilbert said the accord provides 
funding for Westinghouse and Shaw to begin procuring equipment for 
the reactors. Further contracts on the plants will be finalized later 
this year, with construction to begin in 2009 and the first plant to 
begin operating in 2013. 

"This is a significant milestone because it's actually funding for 
the project," Gilbert said. He declined to put a dollar figure on the 
amount conveyed to the consortium yesterday. 

Two of Westinghouse's plants will be built in Sanmen, in Zhejiang 
province on China's eastern coast near Shanghai, as announced in 
December. The two others are to be built in Haiyang, Shandong 
province, near the Yellow Sea, in a refiguring made last month to 
accommodate France's Areva SA. 

In February, Beijing unexpectedly awarded two plant locations 
previously considered for Westinghouse -- in Yangjiang, in 
southeastern Guangdong province near Hong Kong -- to Areva in a $5 
billion, two-reactor deal with that company. Many observers saw it as 
a way to preserve China's 20-year nuclear-power relationship with 
France after bestowing the long-awaited contract upon Westinghouse 
two months earlier. 

Gilbert said about 50 percent of the work for the project will come 
from the Westinghouse-Shaw consortium's U.S. facilities, with a 
significant portion of that coming from Western Pennsylvania. 

The design and project management will come from Westinghouse's 
Monroeville facilities, as will the assembly of the nuclear power 
plants' instrumentation and control equipment, he said. Fuel rods 
will be manufactured at the firm's location in Blairsville, Indiana 

Shaw will provide engineering, procurement and commissioning, as well 
as project and information management on the Chinese project. 

A renewed interest -- domestically and abroad -- in nuclear energy as 
a cleaner burning alternative to coal-fueled power plants has 
prompted brisk hiring by Westinghouse. In the past two years it has 
hired 1,700 people companywide, and plans to add between 1,000 to 
2,000 nuclear engineers in the Pittsburgh area over the next decade. 

About 3,000 of the firm's more than 9,000 workers are based in the 
region, including about 1,800 in Monroeville and 700 at the Waltz 
Mill maintenance facility in Madison, Westmoreland County. 

Still to be determined is where many of the local staffers will work. 
Westinghouse is continuing to weigh whether to expand its 
headquarters along Northern Pike in Monroeville, or to build a new 
facility on more than 300 acres along Route 228 in Cranberry, Butler 
County, which would, over the next few years, house all of its 
Monroeville operations.

A decision is expected by March 15.

Salazar Wants Compensate Ex-Rocky Flats Workers

(AP) DENVER Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., reintroduced a bill Thursday 
that would give benefits to Rocky Flats employees who became ill 
after working at the former nuclear weapons plant.

About 10,000 people who worked at the former nuclear weapons plant 
between Denver and Boulder want to be classified under a program that 
makes workers at a Department of Energy site immediately and 
automatically eligible for medical coverage and compensation.

Workers wouldn't have to file individual health claims.

For the past two years, the employees have been seeking a designation 
that would make them eligible for benefits if they suffer from a 
cancer linked to exposure to radiation.

Salazar said that the employees are victims of inadequate or missing 
records and bureaucratic red tape.

"Across five decades, the patriotic men and women of Rocky Flats 
served their country producing plutonium, one of the most dangerous 
substances in the world, and crafting it into the triggers for 
America's nuclear arsenal," Salazar said.

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has introduced a similar bill in the House 
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., is a co-sponsor.

In 2002, Congress approved the Energy Employees Occupational Illness 
Compensation Program Act to expedite financial and medical benefits 
for the country's Cold War-era veterans.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommended 
against the petition filed by Rocky Flats workers. The agency said 
it's feasible to determine in individual cases whether an employee's 
exposure to radioactive materials can be tied to an illness.

The United Steelworkers of America, the union that represented Rocky 
Flats workers, has said the records can't adequately establish those 

Rocky Flats made plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads until 1992, 
when it was shut down because of safety concerns.

The $7 billion cleanup of the 6,420-acre site was declared complete 
last fall. Energy Department officials have said the site is ready 
for conversion to a national wildlife refuge, expected by 2008. 

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

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

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