Nuclear News on the Newswire

What is involved in radiation protection at accelerator facilities?

Irina Popova

Particle accelerators have evolved from exotic machines probing hadron interactions to understand the fundamentals of our world to widely used instruments in research and for medical and industrial use. For research purposes, high-power machines are employed, often producing secondary particle beams through primary beam interaction with a target material involving many meters of shielding. The charged beam interacts with the surrounding structures, producing both prompt radiation and secondary radiation from activated materials. After beam termination, some parts of the facility remain radioactive and potentially can become radiation hazards over time. Radiation protection for accelerator facilities involves a range of actions for operation within safe boundaries (an accelerator safety envelope). Each facility establishes fundamental safety principles, requirements, and measures to control radiation exposure to people and the release of radioactive material in the environment.

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The reality of radiation

Rep. Brandon Williams

Rep. Byron Donalds

For many Americans, the word “radiation” is often associated with fear of the unknown, yet the medical and scientific reality is that radiation is ever present in nature and is beneficial to human life. The truth behind radiation historically has been distorted and stigmatized—even the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recognizes that “radiation is naturally present in our environment, as it has been since before the birth of this planet.”

To embrace a responsible, low-carbon energy future, the American public should be aware of the beneficial applications of radiation instead of fearing it due to unsubstantiated hysteria generated by opponents of responsible nuclear energy.

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Kentucky lawmakers OK bill to explore nuclear

Kentucky’s Senate voted unanimously this week to create a state agency that would study opportunities to bring nuclear energy projects to the state, where coal production has long dominated the power sector.

Senate Bill 198 would establish the Kentucky Nuclear Energy Development Authority, attached to the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research and governed by an advisory board with members representing various stakeholder groups.

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NRC shares Clinton license renewal application online

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published Clinton Power Station’s initial license renewal on the agency’s website.

Constellation Energy submitted the application February 14, seeking an extension for the Illinois plant's current operating license from 20 years to 40 years. This would allow the Illinois plant to run through 2047.

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IAEA lab techniques can expose olive oil tampering

The International Atomic Energy Agency is developing multiple methods to rapidly screen and authenticate the origin of foods like extra virgin olive oil. With recent heat waves and droughts affecting olive oil yields in Europe—which produces 60 percent of all olive oils—the European Commission has a problem: a growing black market in fake virgin and extra virgin olive oils. According to a 2022 EC report, olive oil is one of the most mislabeled food products in Europe.

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Japanese gangster charged with trafficking nuclear materials

U.S. officials have brought charges of nuclear materials trafficking against a Japanese gangster who has been in federal custody since 2022.

In a case filled with international espionage, along with alleged weapons and drug trafficking, Takeshi Ebisawa has been charged with attempting to sell uranium and weapons-grade plutonium. The 60-year-old Japanese national—who is believed to be a leading figure in the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime syndicate—faces a long list of federal charges that carry sentence of life in prison.

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Hyundai tops other bidders to build Bulgarian reactors

Bulgaria has shortlisted South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction team to build new reactors at Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

Of the five international companies to bid on the project, Hyundai E&C was the only one that met the requirements of project company Kozloduy NPP—New Builds Plc. for the commissioning and construction of two new Westinghouse Electric AP1000 reactors, the Bulgarian firm said. Bids were due February 2.

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