[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Salazar reintroduces bill to compensate ex-Rocky Flat workers

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Mon Mar 5 10:41:59 CST 2007


*Salazar reintroduces bill to compensate ex-Rocky Flat workers
*China close to deal on French reactors
*Agencies To Conduct Briefing on Radiological Exercise
*TXU makes commitments, and environmentalists regard them warily
*India's plan to sell low-cost N-reactors

Salazar reintroduces bill to compensate ex-Rocky Flat workers

DENVER (AP) Mar 5 - 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.

A similar bill covering Rocky Flats worker co-sponsored by Sen. Wayne 
Allard, R-Colo., died in the Senate in 2005.

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.

China close to deal on French reactors
Nation turns to atomic energy to cut pollution and reliance on oil

BEIJING (Bloomberg): China will award a contract to build two nuclear 
reactors in southeastern China to Areva of France, a Chinese official 
said Monday.

The two sides are working on a final accord to build the reactors at 
Yangjiang in Guangdong Province, Qian Jihui, a senior adviser at 
China National Nuclear, the country's top nuclear reactor builder, 
said in Beijing. The contract was originally awarded to Toshiba's 
Westinghouse Electric, which will instead get an agreement for two 
other reactors in Shandong Province.

China needs to add two reactors a year to meet a 2020 target of 
getting 4 percent of its power from nuclear energy, against about 2.3 
percent now. Areva and Westinghouse are competing to build as many as 
26 more reactors by 2020 as China turns to atomic energy to cut 
pollution and reliance on oil.

"Awarding the contracts to two companies will give China more room in 
later negotiations," said Yan Shi, a Shanghai-based analyst with Core 
Pacific Yamaichi International.

The parties will sign a final agreement "very soon," Qian said at the 
National People's Congress, without giving specific reasons for the 
decision to award the contract to build the reactors to Areva instead 
of Westinghouse.

Westinghouse originally won a $5.3 billion agreement on Dec. 16 to 
build reactors at Yangjiang and Sanmen, after outbidding Areva and 
Russia following almost two years of negotiation and lobbying. 
President Jacques Chirac of France promoted Areva's bid when he met 
with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, during a visit to Beijing in 

China plans to import uranium from Australia, Canada, South Africa 
and Kazakhstan to fuel its expanding nuclear power capacity, Qian 
said. China has nine reactors operating in Zhejiang and Guangdong. 
Six are under construction in Jiangsu in the east and in Guangdong. 
These projects have a combined capacity of about 12,000 megawatts.

Beijing plans to use Russian technology for two reactors at the 
Tianwan nuclear plant in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, 
Qian said.

"China and Russia have a close relationship," he said. "Awarding 
nuclear reactors could be a deal boosted by political ties."

Xu Damao, a senior consultant to the project operator China Guangdong 
Nuclear Power Holding, said Feb. 13 that the Paris-based Areva might 
build the Yangjiang reactors, among four originally earmarked for 
Westinghouse, which instead gets a contract for the two reactors at 
Haiyang in Shandong.

Westinghouse, based in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, will provide 
technology for reactors at Haiyang and Sanmen, Yu Zhuoping, a senior 
official at State Nuclear Power Technology, a company designated by 
the government to hold talks with overseas reactor builders, said 
last week.

China is the third-biggest nuclear energy user in Asia, after Japan 
and South Korea, according to the 2006 BP Statistical Review of World 

Agencies To Conduct Briefing on Radiological Exercise
Submitted by Oswego County 

FULTON, NY - Hundreds of emergency workers from county and state 
agencies and Entergy Nuclear-Northeast will participate Wednesday in 
an exercise to test on-site and off-site emergency preparedness plans 
in Oswego County. 

The exercise will involve a simulated event at the James A. 
FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba. 

Representatives of the Department of Homeland Security Radiological 
Emergency Preparedness Program (formerly under the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will 
conduct a public briefing at the Joint Information Center, next to 
the Oswego County Airport on County Route 176 northeast of Fulton, at 
11 a.m. Friday, March 9. The purpose of this briefing is to inform 
the public of the agencies' preliminary findings in their evaluation 
of the March 7 exercise. 

TXU makes commitments, and environmentalists regard them warily
More wind and nuclear seem to be on the way.

Over the past year, Gov. Rick Perry and Dallas utility TXU Corp. 
hammered at the need for more coal-fired power plants to serve a fast-
growing population. 

Then, suddenly, TXU became the object of a $45 billion takeover deal 
late last month, and the company suspended plans to build eight of 11 
coal-fired power plants to appease some environmental groups. 

The reduction would prevent the annual release of 56 million tons of 
carbon dioxide, the same amount released by about 7 million sport-
utility vehicles, which contributes to global climate change. 

But even as the company says it will encourage energy efficiency and 
buy more wind energy, officials have said they will also try to build 
nuclear power plants and press forward with some coal-fired power 
plants. The deal leaves environmental- ists warily trying to figure 
out where TXU's energy is going to come from and how clean it will 

Environmental groups say the key to meeting the state's energy 
appetite is not ordering up more power plants but essentially putting 
the state on a diet. Groups have applauded TXU's new commitment to 
invest $400 million in energy efficiency programs, such as paying for 
weatherizing homes and replacing standard incandescent light bulbs 
with those that use less energy. 

Along the same lines, environmental groups have said they support 
rules proposed by state Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, that would make 
appliances and new buildings more energy-efficient. 

The company, which says it is already the largest purchaser of wind 
energy in Texas, has said it would more than double its purchase to 
1,500 megawatts, or enough to power about 330,000 homes. 

But wind makes up only about 2 percent of the company's entire 
portfolio. Last fall, TXU said it would double its renewable 
portfolio by 2011, a commitment that is more or less in keeping with 
statewide goals set by the Legislature. 

Meanwhile, TXU is not out of the coal-fired power plant business. It 
still plans to build three: one in Rockdale, about 60 miles northeast 
of Austin, and two others near Franklin, about 30 miles north of 
Bryan, which will be known as Oak Grove. The plants will emit close 
to 22 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. 

Austin environmental groups say the plants will sully air quality in 
Central Texas. 

"While the deal with TXU (to reduce the number of plants) was a great 
deal for the environment and a stunning victory in the battle over 
climate change, we're still be heavily threatened by the Oak Grove 
plant to the north and east of us," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, head of 
the Texas Office of Public Citizen. "That plant alone could threaten 
air safety in Austin enough to perhaps push us over federal limits." 

The eight other coal-fired power plants are not totally off the 
table. If the buyout deal falls through, TXU could revive them, and 
environmental groups and the company could resume butting heads. 

Environmental Defense, for one, a national group that approved of the 
buyout, said it is unsure whether to pull down its stoptxu.com Web 

Finally, TXU has said it will file paperwork for nuclear plants at 
one to three sites. Nuclear power plants do not emit the greenhouse 
gases that contribute to climate change - the top issue for many 
environmental groups - but activists say nuclear power raises 
problems of radioactive waste disposal and suffers from historically 
high capital cost overruns that often are subsidized by the 

"It worries me a great deal that there might be a shift toward 
emphasis on nuclear power," said Ken Kramer, head of the Lone Star 
chapter of the Sierra Club. "It's somewhat like a shell game the 
industry can play by putting out a lot of different ideas, many of 
them bad, and then pulling back on some of them and hoping others go 

India's plan to sell low-cost N-reactors

NEW DELHI - India has not only stepped up its diplomacy with the 
Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) countries to allow it to access civil 
nuclear technology and fuel but may also become a supplier of low-
cost nuclear reactors to other countries by joining the NSG.

India´s nuclear establishment is riding high after the Kaiga 3 
nuclear power reactor in Karnataka, developed by Indian engineers, 
achieved criticality early this week. The 220 MW pressurised heavy 
water reactor (PHWR) will start delivering power at the end of this 

Glowing in the success of this venture, Anil Kakodkar, chairman of 
the Atomic Energy Commission, has said that completing the nuclear 
power plant, along with low costs, in five years has set an 
international benchmark. 

Given the low costs - Rs984 ($22.33) per installed KW - Nuclear Power 
Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is now eyeing the export market 
for nuclear reactors. India is confident of exporting the design to 
countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam for just 
Rs1,200 ($27.24) per KW, which is substantially less than the 
international average of $1,500 per KW, a senior NPCIL official told 
IANS over the phone from Mumbai. With the lucrative export market for 
low-cost nuclear reactors in mind and its new international standing 
driven by its growing economy and a defining civil nuclear deal with 
the US, India also plans to make a pitch for joining the NSG at an 
appropriate time, reliable sources told IANS. 

But before India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation 
Treaty, actually starts exporting nuclear reactors, it must first win 
support of the 45-nation NSG that controls global trade in nuclear 
technology and fuel for the India-US civil nuclear deal.

The NSG will, however, take a call on India´s case only after New 
Delhi and Washington have finalised a bilateral civil nuclear 
cooperation agreement. 

The US and Russia have already announced that they would use their 
clout in the NSG to amend the cartel´s guidelines in favour of 
nuclear commerce with India.

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 cox.net 

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

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