[ RadSafe ] [Nuclear News] Mirion Technologies Dosimetry Service Division Awarded Contract to Supply Dosimetry Services to Illinois-Based E

Sandy Perle sandyfl at cox.net
Tue Jan 22 09:27:11 CST 2008


Contract to Supply Dosimetry Services to Exelon Nuclear
Nuclear Safety Rule Ignites Strong Reactions
U.S. sees nuclear energy as global alternative

Mirion Technologies Dosimetry Service Division Awarded Contract to 
Supply Dosimetry Services to Illinois-Based Exelon Nuclear, the 
Nation's Largest Nuclear Utility

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Mirion Technologies Dosimetry 
Service Division today announced that it has been awarded the 
contract to continue to provide dosimetry services to Exelon Nuclear, 
the nation's largest nuclear utility and its subsidiaries.  

"We are pleased to be selected once again as Exelon's dosimetry 
service supplier," stated Sander Perle, President, of the Dosimetry 
Service Division. "This award is a testament to the trust of our 
customers in the quality of our service and our company. We are proud 
to be the continued trusted supplier of their radiation monitoring 

Mirion Technologies now provides dosimetry services to 58 of the 104 
nuclear reactors in the United States, making Mirion one of the 
leading dosimetry service providers in the nuclear segment.  


Mirion Technologies Dosimetry Service Division provides dosimetry, 
consulting, and system integration services to the nuclear, 
government, and medical markets. The division is headquartered in 
Irvine, California, and sells under the Global Dosimetry Solutions 


Mirion Technologies is one of the world leaders in radiation 
detection, measuring and monitoring. With over 740 employees 
worldwide, Mirion has 14 production facilities in Europe, Asia, and 
North America. Mirion Technologies is headquartered in the San 
Francisco Bay area and is a portfolio company of American Capital 
(Nasdaq: ACAS).  

Nuclear Safety Rule Ignites Strong Reactions

Federal regulators' narrow approach to solving one of the United 
States' biggest post-Sept. 11 fears -- a terrorist flying a plane 
into a nuclear power plant -- is under attack for adding to public 
safety concerns.

Comments filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last month said 
the agency's Oct. 3 proposal, which directs that only some new plant 
designs be assessed for risk to air attack, did not go far enough.

"By requiring only a limited subset of anticipated new reactors (less 
than half of the currently announced plants) to address aircraft 
impacts as part of the design, the NRC's proposed rule could 
undermine public confidence in new nuclear power plants," George 
Vanderheyden, president and chief executive of Unistar Nuclear Energy 
of Baltimore, told the agency in Dec. 17 comments.

Public acceptance of plant safety is considered critical to the 
rebirth of the nuclear industry, where there has been a de facto 
moratorium on new construction since the Three Mile Island accident 
in 1979.

The 104 existing reactors, which supply 20 percent of U.S. 
electricity, aren't covered by the proposed rule. Neither are unbuilt 
reactors whose designs already have been approved by the NRC.

Unistar intends to build a new reactor at Calvert Cliffs, Md., one of 
32 planned by 17 utilities. Its design hasn't yet been approved by 
the NRC, so it would need to assess the risk of a plane attack under 
the proposed rule.

Other nuclear industry officials agreed with Vanderheyden. 
Westinghouse Electric and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, whose designs 
already have NRC approval and thus aren't covered by the proposal, 
said they would do the risk assessments anyway.

"We don't have to do it, but our customers would have had questions 
from the public on why that [plant] won't withstand an airplane 
crash," Ed Cummins, vice president of regulatory affairs and 
standardization at Westinghouse, said in an interview. The 
Westinghouse design is scheduled to be used in 14 reactors now in the 
planning stage.

The commission and the industry say security at nuclear plants has 
been increased since the 2001 terrorist attacks. The agency ordered 
operators to do more to respond to explosions, fires and other 

Adding protection from air attack, such as an extra containment 
structure, could cost more than $100 million per reactor, according 
to Adrian Heymer, senior director of new plant deployment at the 
Nuclear Energy Institute trade group in the District.

"This proposed rule is not necessary for adequate protection, but 
rather is an enhancement that will result in newly designed 
facilities being more inherently robust against aircraft impacts than 
the facilities not subject to this proposed rule," the agency said in 
introducing it.

"The NRC remains confident that even though the impact of a large 
aircraft would be a large industrial accident, the probability of a 
crash that would lead to radioactivity getting into the environment 
is very low," said spokesman Scott Burnell.

Nuclear activists scoff at the proposal.

"They are trying to conceal that they really aren't doing anything," 
said Edwin Lyman, senior staff scientist for the Union of Concerned 
Scientists in the District.

The office of New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo filed 
comments saying: "It is folly to impose requirements necessary to 
fend off potential terrorist attacks only on new plants that won't be 
built for another 10-20 years, but to leave vulnerable to attack the 
existing fleet of 104 reactors."

New York has four nuclear facilities, including Indian Point Energy 
Center in Buchanan, about 50 miles north of New York City. It is 
owned by Entergy of New Orleans.

The comments from Cuomo's office noted that two of the hijacked 
planes on Sept. 11, 2001, flew near or over Indian Point on their way 
to the World Trade Center. They recommended that all aircraft be 
covered, not just the large jetliners cited in the proposal.

Opponents say it is imperative that a new generation of nuclear 
reactors be built to withstand an air attack.

"If you build in a post-9/11 world, you better damn well be able to 
withstand an airliner attack," said Jim Riccio, nuclear policy 
analyst for Greenpeace USA in the District.

Some critics, including one NRC commissioner, complained that the 
proposal doesn't compel reactor designers to take any specific action 
and lacks enforcement requirements.

"What if they do an assessment and it crumples like a pi¿ata?" Lyman 
said. "Does it have to be fixed? There is no requirement to take 
action on the results."

When the agency voted to go ahead with the proposal last April, 
Commissioner Gregory Jaczko cast the only "no" vote. He said the 
proposal didn't require applicants "to make one single design 
modification." And he criticized exempting already-approved designs.

In its comments, the Nuclear Energy Institute agreed that only new 
reactor designs should be required to do the risk analysis. The trade 
group said its members may voluntarily take part.

"Everyone will do an assessment," said Heymer. 

U.S. sees nuclear energy as global alternative

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Gulf Arab oil exporters and countries around 
the world should look into nuclear power as an alternative to 
hydrocarbons, U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said on Monday.

"Nuclear power should be an alternative for Gulf countries and other 
countries around the world," Bodman said in the United Arab Emirates 
during a visit.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a green energy conference in the 
UAE, which plans to start a nuclear energy program.


DUBAI, Jan 12, 2008 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 
Sunday starts a three-nation tour of Gulf Arab states eager to take 
up his offer to share France's expertise in civilian nuclear 
technology with the Islamic world.
    On his first trip to the region since taking office in May, he 
will visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 
three states interested in developing a civilian nuclear programme 
despite their oil and gas wealth.
    Sarkozy will land in Saudi Arabia as US President George W. Bush 
tours the region to rally support for his policy of isolating Iran 
over its controversial nuclear activities.
    During a brief stop in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, France and the UAE 
are to sign a framework accord for cooperation in developing civilian 
nuclear energy, said a source close to talks between the two 
governments who asked not to be named.
    This would make the UAE the third Arab country to ink such a deal 
with France, after Algeria and Libya.
    "The sharing of civilian nuclear (technology) will be one of the 
foundations of a pact of confidence which the West must forge with 
the Islamic world," Sarkozy said after signing the agreement with 
Algeria last month.
    Amid concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions and growing regional 
clout, the six Arab monarchies of the Gulf decided in December 2006 
to develop a joint nuclear technology programme for peaceful uses.
    The UAE's energy undersecretary, Ali bin Abdullah al-Owais, has 
said the Gulf states aim to have a joint nuclear reactor by 2025.
    But in parallel with the joint plan, "each country can do 
whatever they wish" and pursue its own nuclear activities as a means 
to ensure the future of its industries, another Emirati official told 
AFP, requesting anonymity.
    "I don't think there is any contradiction."
    The UAE, which on the back of its oil wealth is engaged in a 
frenetic process of economic development, including in industry, has 
growing energy requirements.
    "The demand for power in the region is the highest in the world. 
We need a huge supply of energy as our growth continues," Owais said.
    Although the UAE will be the only country on Sarkozy's tour to 
sign a nuclear-related deal, nuclear energy cooperation is also 
likely to come up during his talks in Riyadh and Doha, where the idea 
is at an earlier stage.
    Anne Lauvergeon, chief executive of French nuclear power group 
Areva, will be in the delegation accompanying Sarkozy.
    In Qatar, which sits on the world's third-largest gas reserves 
after Russia and Iran, a subsidiary of the Areva group is expected on 
Monday to sign a major contract on the supply of electrical 


MARSEILLE, France, Jan 17, 2008 (AFP) - The United States will 
suspend for this year its financial participation in an international 
nuclear fusion project for budgetary reasons, project spokesman Neil 
Calder said Thursday.
    "This is a very worrying situation, but we cannot come to the 
conclusion that the United States will quit ITER," said Calder, of 
the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, 
confirming a report first published in France's Le Figaro daily.
    The move came after the US scientific community discovered late 
December that its research budget had been cut by 400 million dollars 
(272 million euros), rather than increasing as expected, Calder said.
    Roughly 160 million of that amount was earmarked for 2008 for the 
France-based ITER project, expected to be up and running by 2016.
    "It's not a cash contribution that has been withdrawn from the 
project, but equipment that the Americans were to have constructed 
that will be delayed," he said.
    The United States is expected to contribute 9 percent of the 10-
billion dollar project shared among Europe, China, Russia, Japan, 
South Korea and India. The European Union is to contribute the lion's 
share, or 46 percent of the total.
    The project aims to research a clean and limitless alternative to 
dwindling fossil fuel reserves by testing nuclear fusion 
    Instead of splitting the atom -- the principle behind current 
nuclear plants -- the project seeks to harness nuclear fusion: the 
power of the sun and the stars achieved by fusing together atomic 
    If it is successful, a prototype commercial reactor will be 
built, and if that works, fusion technology will be rolled out across 
the world.

Sander C. Perle
Mirion Technologies, Inc., Dosimetry Service Division
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: http://www.dosimetry.com/
Mirion Technologies: http://www.mirion.com/

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