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French utility giant announces site for new nuclear plant


French utility giant announces site for new nuclear plant

Cancer Victims Raise Fallout Questions

Lithuania wants to let nuclear plant run longer

More Tests Done at Hanford Nuclear Site

increase funding for decommissioning of Chernobyl nuclear plant

Russia's Chernobyl-type reactors to operate longer than planned


French utility giant announces site for new nuclear plant

PARIS (AP) - French utility EDF said Thursday it has chosen a 

building site in western France for the first in a new generation of 

nuclear power plants in the nuclear-dependent country.

The plant, billed as more efficient, safer and environmentally 

friendly than current models, is planned for the town of Flamanville 

in Normandy on the Atlantic coast, which already has a nuclear plant.

The project has drawn protests from opponents of government plans to 

replace aging nuclear plants with a new generation of reactors known 

as the European Pressurized Water Reactor, or EPR.

France's 58 nuclear reactors produce 78.2 percent of the country's 

electricity. However, about 30 of the reactors will be between 40 and 

50 years old by 2020 and in need of replacement.

EDF president Pierre Gadonneix, in a statement announcing the 

construction site, said the plant would help promote the new reactor 

technology in the export market.

Construction of the plant is expected to take eight years. If 

acceptable, a series of EPR plants could be built and put into 

service by 2020. Finland is the only other European country that has 

announced plans for an EPR plant.

The next-generation reactors are being designed by Electricite de 

France, France's state-run utility company, with several other French 

and German firms.

French state-run nuclear company Areva said the EPR reactors provide 

electricity that is 10 percent cheaper than that from existing 

nuclear reactors, while producing 15 percent less waste.

EDF, short for Electricite de France, said the decision came 

following negotiations with political and business leaders across the 


Environmental group Out of Nuclear criticized the plan and vowed 

protests, saying it means the nuclear industry has further 

"colonized" the region. The Manche region of Normandy is already home 

to a nuclear plant, a nuclear reprocessing factory, and a nuclear 

stockpiling site.


Cancer Victims Raise Fallout Questions

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) - The two women share a connection so deep 

they could be old friends. But the connection is not shared moments - 

it's cancer, possibly caused by fallout from nuclear testing in the 

1950s and 1960s.

Linda Morrey and Sarah Wolfe had not met before they attended a 

meeting on nuclear fallout at the College of Southern Idaho this 

week. But within a few hours of meeting, they listened, smiled and 

even cried a bit as they shared stories about their struggles.

"We were sitting down one morning and the ground shook," Wolfe said. 

"I can remember my dad saying it must have been the bomb that went 


Researchers have concluded that the Nevada Test Site bombs, like the 

one Wolfe remembers, dusted cancer-causing radioactive iodine across 

the land.

The fallout was believed to be concentrated in Nevada, Utah and 

Arizona, but a 1997 study by the National Cancer Institute found that 

four out of the five counties in the country that received the 

largest doses of radioactive iodine were in Idaho.

During the years of nuclear testing, Wolfe lived on a farm and never 

thought twice about eating vegetables from the garden or fresh cow's 

milk. But scientists now say the fallout landed on those crops, which 

were consumed by people and cows. Radioactive iodine concentrated in 

cows and goats milk. As humans drank the milk, the iodine gathered in 

their thyroids.

Though residents in Nevada, Utah and Arizona suffering from thyroid 

cancer - or 19 other cancers - can get federal compensation under the 

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, Idaho residents are not included 

in the law.

"All of Idaho was exposed to some sort of fallout," said Ester Ceja, 

a spokeswoman for Snake River Alliance, the nuclear watchdog group 

that organized the meeting.

Ceja said the group organized the event to learn individual's stories 

and encourage them to attend a hearing on the matter in Boise next 

month. At that hearing, representatives of the National Academy of 

Sciences will hear Idaho downwinders' testimony in an effort to 

determine if compensation should be extended to Idaho.

Both Morrey and Wolfe said they plan to testify at the hearing, 

scheduled for Nov. 6 at Boise State University.


Lithuania wants to let nuclear plant run longer

VILNIUS, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Lithuania wants the European Union to 

allow it to postpone the closure of one of the Ignalina nuclear power 

plant's two reactors until summer 2005, the Baltic country's prime 

minister said on Thursday.

"This is just an extension of one (reactor) for half a year," 

Algirdas Brazauskas told reporters after a government meeting. "We 

have serious arguments for keeping it open until next summer," he 


Two other power plants under construction in the region were behind 

schedule and would come on stream later than planned. Closing 

Ignalina-1 now, with winter around the corner, would have a negative 

effect on the region's power grid, he said.

"We decided to appeal to the EU and to invite specialists to check 

our arguments," said Brazauskas, adding Ignalina had "no problems as 

far as dependability and safety are concerned."

A spokesman for the European Commission said it had not been 

officially informed about the request and declined comment.

"If we recieve an official notification, then we will check all the 

elements," Amador Sanchez Rico said. Lithuania had a political 

commitment "at a very high level" to close the reactor, he said. 

"They normally have to repect this."

Ignalina is of the same Soviet design as the Chernobyl reactor, which 

suffered the world's worst civil nuclear accident in 1986. Ignalina's 

two 1,380-megawatt reactors -- built in the mid-1980s, and until 

recently the world's largest -- produce 80 percent of Lithuania's 


As part of its EU membership talks, Lithuania, a former Soviet 

republic, pledged to shut down one Ignalina reactor before 2005 and 

to set a date for the closure of the other -- probably in 2009.

Thirteen of the EU's 25 member states operate nuclear power plants. 

Among those, Germany and Sweden have decided to gradually phase out 

atomic energy while Finland has opted for building more nuclear 



More Tests Done at Hanford Nuclear Site

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - Scientists have completed another round of tests 

on a process that would turn nuclear waste stored in underground 

tanks at the Hanford nuclear site into glass for long-term disposal.

About 53 million gallons of highly radioactive waste from World War 

II and Cold War-era plutonium production sit in 177 aging underground 

tanks at Hanford, less than 10 miles from the Columbia River.

Plans call for using a process called vitrification to turn the high-

level waste into glass logs for long-term disposal in a nuclear waste 

repository. Construction already is under way on a plant to treat the 

high-level waste.

But the plant was not designed to treat the less-radioactive waste 

also found in the tanks, and researchers have been studying a similar 

process called bulk vitrification to treat that material.

The highly radioactive waste would be filtered from the lower-level 

waste as it flowed into the vitrification plant.

Bulk vitrification requires electric currents to be passed between 

electrodes in a mixture of soil and tank waste. The aim is for the 

soil to then capture the waste as it melts into glass.

Using about two gallons of liquid waste from one of the Hanford tanks 

- the largest quantity of actual tank waste to be used in the bulk 

vitrification testing to date - scientists completed an engineering-

scale test the week of Oct. 11.

CH2M Hill Hanford Group, the contractor hired to handle tank waste 

cleanup, termed the test a successful "melt," resulting in a 220-

pound slab of radioactive glass.

Detailed tests on the glass remain to be completed to confirm that 

the mixture meets standards for long-term disposal, said Rick 

Raymond, director of supplemental treatment for CH2M Hill.

"It's not a done deal, but it looks very promising," Raymond said 

Wednesday. "We need to collect more information before any decision 

can be made."

The next step would be a full-scale test of the treatment process. 

Such a test will provide a solid technical foundation for evaluating 

the viability of the technology, said Roy Schepens, manager of the 

U.S. Department of Energy's Office of River Protection, which manages 

tank waste cleanup.

The Energy Department has applied for a permit to build and operate a 

pilot test facility to treat as much as 200,000 gallons of low-level 

waste. Public comment already has been accepted on the proposal, but 

the state Department of Ecology has not yet issued the permit.

For 40 years, the Hanford reservation made plutonium for the nation's 

nuclear weapons arsenal. Today, work there centers on a $50 billion 

to $60 billion cleanup, to be finished by 2035.

Much of the cleanup involves retrieving and treating the tank waste, 

composed of radioactive liquid, sludge and saltcake. Most critical 

was the liquid waste in 149 tanks that had a single-wall 

construction, making them more susceptible to leaks as they aged.

An estimated 67 of the tanks leaked radioactive brew into the soil, 

contaminating the aquifer and threatening the Columbia River.


Ukrainian parliament urges West to increase funding for 

decommissioning of Chernobyl nuclear plant

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine's parliament on Wednesday urged the 

European Union and the Group of Eight major industrialized nations to 

make good on earlier pledges to help fund the decommissioning the 

Chernobyl nuclear power plant - site of the world's worst nuclear 


The international community "has failed to meet its commitments" 

under a 1995 agreement with Ukraine, according to a statement posted 

on parliament's Web site.

"The (Chernobyl) atomic time bomb is still ticking ... its problems 

are complex and require coordinated assistance," the statement said.

An estimated 7 million people suffer radiation-related health 

problems from the disaster at the Chernobyl reactor No. 4, which 

exploded and caught fire in April 1986. The radioactive fallout 

affected vast parts of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and much of northern 


The destroyed reactor was entombed in a hastily built concrete-and-

steel shelter, which Ukrainian experts say is in need of urgent 

repairs. Chernobyl's three remaining reactors were shut down four 

years ago.

"Ukraine is solving these problems on its own, and annually spends 5 

percent of the national budget on the Chernobyl cleanup," the 

statement said.

Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly warned that the previously 

estimated figure of US$758 million (606 million) was far from enough 

to build a new Chernobyl shelter by the end of 2008. Authorities have 

asked for an additional US$332 million (267 million).

Also Wednesday, Energy Minister Serhiy Tulub announced plans to build 

two new reactors, at the western Rivne nuclear power plant and in 

Zaporizhia in the east, the Interfax news agency reported. He gave no 

timeline but said construction costs for a single reactor are 

estimated at around US$ 1 billion (800 million).

Ukraine regularly suffers from energy shortages, and the plans for 

the new reactors are viewed as an attempt by Ukraine to become less 

dependent from Russia, its most important energy supplier.


Russia's Chernobyl-type reactors to operate longer than planned

MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's 11 Chernobyl-type nuclear reactors have been 

upgraded and will be kept in service longer than originally planned, 

officials said Tuesday, pledging that a disaster like the 1986 

explosion at Chernobyl won't happen again.

"All the reasons that led to the catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear 

power plant have been eliminated," Nikolai Sorokin, deputy head of 

Rosenergoatom, the federal agency that operates nuclear power plants, 

told a news conference.

Yevgeny Adamov of the Dollezhal Institute, which designed the 

reactors, said the drawbacks of the ill-fated reactor at Chernobyl - 

including faulty scientific calculations - have been fully corrected 

at the Kursk nuclear power plant in western Russia and are being 

corrected at others.

Foreign experts who have reviewed modernization efforts at the Kursk 

plant said safety was significantly increased.

"This modernization program that has been implemented has contributed 

to a significant enhancement of the safety level of the unit," said 

Michel Chouha of France's Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety 


He urged Russia to conduct similar modernization programs at other 

reactors. "Despite all these improvements we still (pay) specific 

attention to further safety improvements," he said.

Adamov, a former nuclear energy minister, said Russia's Chernobyl-

type reactors - which use graphite to cool its fuel rods instead of 

pressurized water used at more modern reactors - were designed to 

serve 30 years, but that their service life will be extended to 45-50 


On of four reactors at Chernobyl, in northern Ukraine, exploded and 

caught fire in April 1986. Some 4,400 deaths in Ukraine alone are 

considered to have been caused by the accident. The plant was closed 

in 2000.


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) 296-1902 

E-Mail: sperle@dosimetry.com

E-Mail: sandyfl@earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 

Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 


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