PA Natural Gas Production Increased In 2015

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania’s natural gas production volume trended upward in 2015, according to the newly released Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) 2015 Oil and Gas Annual Report.

In 2015, more than 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were produced in Pennsylvania compared to about 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas produced in 2011. Currently, Pennsylvania is the second largest supplier of natural gas in the nation.

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Today the EPA made the recommendation NOT to approve the Yeelirrie uranium mine proposal, you can read the EPA response to submissions here and the EPA report here. Congratulations to all those involved and all of you who lodged submissions. The local pastoralists and Traditional Owners are overjoyed. 

Welcome to all the new people to the weekly news list who signed up at the event Collisions over the weekend. We raised $2700 to go towards the Australia Nuclear Free Alliance meeting in Kalgoorlie this September THANKYOU.

The Walkatjurra Walkabout - leaving Perth on the 7th of August - Registrations are still open if you can't make it please support this stella effort to protect Wangkatja country by donating here. These funds are so important to support local involvement in the walk please donate today. 

Remember to tune in to Understorey – and the Radioactive Show this week for all the latest nuclear and peace news. 


Registrations are open and filling up fast - get on board here: Registrations
If you want to support the walk but you can't make it - please donate here: Donations

World's End Studio - at the top of 15 Mrs Trivett Pl, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
The BUMP Collective in an autonomous collective - we organise events and actions against the nuclear industry. We always love to welcome new people and creative ideas. BYO food and drink to the meeting. 


Walkatjurra Walkabout: Funds go to support local involvement in the month long walk through Wangkatja Country in opposition to several uranium mine proposals in the Goldfields. Donate here. 

2016 Australia Nuclear Free Alliance Meeting - Kalgoorlie: For the first time ever this significant national meeting is coming to WA. Please support Aboriginal delegates travel to be part of this important event. Donate here.



Uranium Prices Remain Below Cost of Production, Recovery is Years AwayJuly 27, 2016. Uranium prices continue to hover at an eleven-year low, with the commodity’s collapse to the price weeks ago failing to inspire any renewed buying interest, and according to a recent forecast from UBS, a turnaround in the market could be years off.! m-prices-remain-below-cost-of-production-recovery-is-years-away/

Michael West: Taxpayers to foot the bill for mine closures
26 July 2016. Mine rehabilitation – to avoid toxic seepage – is a costly business which taxpayers look likely to fund,9280

Garma festival: Indigenous leaders call for land ownership settlement, slam land rights 'failures' 
Indigenous leaders at the Garma festival in northeast Arnhem Land have called for land ownership settlement, slamming the 'failures' of the Land Rights Act and Native Title Act that have allowed mining companies access to indigenous land.


SA nuclear waste dump referendum vote 'still possible'
The final decision on South Australia's proposed nuclear waste dump might not be made this year and a referendum could still be held, Premier Jay Weatherill says. 

SA's nuclear debate: Choosing a waste storage site would take years and require extensive consultation | Adelaide Now
CHOOSING a site for a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository might take up to five years if the plan is backed by the community, says former Royal Commissioner Kevin Scarce. 

The Advertiser editorial: The choice we make can't be taken lightly

SOUTH Australians are facing the extraordinary choice of whether to create a storage facility for the world’s high-level nuclear waste.


ACF Media Release July 27, 2016: Global nuclear industry promoters influencing SA nuclear waste plan

Key adviser to SA recent nuclear Royal Commission is a nuclear ‘true believer’ who was behind a failed attempt to open a global radioactive waste dump in Australia in the 1990s.

SA nuclear waste dump: Conservation Foundation questions MCM impartiality in key report
Dave Sweeney from the Australian Conservation Foundation said a key player in Pangea's work, Charles McCombie, and his new firm MCM, ...


A short history of nuclear fission
An Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, was the first to achieve it but just recently nuclear fission’s popularity has been decreasing 

Kieran Cooke: Offshore wind powers ahead as prices drop 30% below nuclearJuly 19, 2016. The cost of offshore wind power in the North Sea is 30% lower than that of new nuclear, writes Kieran Cooke - helped along by low oil and steel prices, reduced maintenance and mass production. By 2030 the sector is expected to supply 7% of Europe's electricity. &

History repeating: Trump, Putin and Brexit all signs another world war is comingJuly 30, 2016. THE rise of Trump and Putin plus the shock outcome of the Brexit vote are signs the world is hurtling towards nuclear war. Here’s why. 

Coup attempt in Turkey raises a nuclear concern at US air base24 July, 2016. Incirlik Air Base was an operational centre of the attempted coup. It is also America’s largest foreign stockpile of nuclear weapons.


Feds say no to Kiggavik uranium mine, back Nunavut Impact Review BoardIndigenous and Northern Affairs Minister supports the Nunavut Impact Review Board's decision


EDF board member resigns, attacking Hinkley Point nuclear project as financially 'risky' A board member of EDF has quit ahead of its meeting to approve the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, c! alling the project "very risky" and suggesting it could drag  the French utility giant into an "abyss". 

French nuclear company EDF to get cash infusionThe French government has said it will go ahead with a 4-billion-euro share issue for state-controlled electricity firm EDF. The move will help finance the construction of two controver! sial nuclear reactors in the UK.


Japan Atomic again flubs maintenance checks at Monju reactorJul 22, 2016. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency again failed to conduct checks on a device at its experimental Monju fast-breeder reactor a! nd overlooked a warning signal from a maintenance management system fo r about three months, it was learned Friday. 

Japan business lobby says Abe govt can't rely on nuclear energyJul 22, 2016. Japan's use of nuclear power is unlikely to meet a government target of returning to! near pre-Fukushima levels and the world's No.3 economy needs to get serious about boosting renewables, a senior executive at a top business lobby said.

Citizen science takes on Japan's nuclear establishment.
As other Tokyo office workers poured into restaurants and bars at quitting time one recent evening, Kohei Matsushita went to the eighth floor of a high-rise for an unusual after-hours activity: learning how to assemble his own Geiger counter from a kit &


North Korea admits 'our nuclear weapons aren't a threat to the UK'
Jul 22, 2016. The rog! ue state claimed that Theresa May's comments on the nuclear threat that Kim Jong-un poses were "absolutely astonishing"


R** Saliem Fakir: Is Eskom building a case for nuclear power?July 28 2016. IT IS disconcerting that Eskom is advising! the government to freeze a globally acclaimed renewable energy progra mme based on a perceived misunderstanding of the benefits of the renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme.


South Korea signs $880 million nuclear reactor staffing deal in UAEJuly 25, 2016. The reac! tors, still under construction, are Korean-designed and made. < /span>


R** Chernobyl’s atomic wasteland may be reborn with solar energy.
Ukraine’s looking toward the sun to put a radioactive wasteland back into business & 


Bradwell & Sizewell futures unclear after delayed Hinkley decision A late move by the government to review all of the component parts of the propo! sed nuclear power deal in the region has cast doubt that it will go ahead in its current form. 

Nuclear power plants must be value for money, say MPs26 July 2016. Future nuclear power projects in Wales must be value for money and create jobs where they are built, MPs have said. 

Campaign against Anglesey nuclear train transporting radioactive waste24 Jul 2016. Demonstrations have been held against radioactive waste being transported by rail along the North Wales coast.! ear-train-11652484 

Russia, China and South Korea 'should be invited to build UK nuclear plants' 23 July 2016. Russian, Chinese and South Korean nuclear companies should be offered subsidy contracts to build reactors in the UK if they are cheaper than other projects already under development, a prominent nuclear lobbyist has said.! south-korea-should-be-invited-to-build-uk-nucle/

Record 46% of UK's electricity generated by clean energy sources in 2015
Official figures show low-carbon sources accounted for almost half of national electricity supply last year - outstripping coal for the first time 

Hinkley Point C in fresh doubt after government delays approval Ministers to conduct fresh review into much delayed project, with no green light expected until autumn despite EDF’s confirmation 

'I'm not scared by nuclear': locals divided over Hinkley Point C
Businesses and education providers on the Somerset coast see opportunities but residents remain concerned over safety and waste 

Damian Carrington: Hinkley's nuclear plant fails all tests - bar the politics
Huge, expensive and difficult to build, Hinkley is a throwback to the last century, just as the world is embracing the smart energy systems of the future 

R** The Guardian view on Hinkley C: wrong project, wrong price
This project will suck up billions that ought to be invested in reducing demand and developing renewables

Flamanville: France's beleaguered forerunner to Hinkley Point C
Over-budget and behind schedule, the €10.5bn nuclear reactor has faced problems that some say could be repeated in the UK 

John Sauven: Hinkley Point C is no more than a doomed attempt at face-saving
With all the costs and risks involved, the spectre of George Osborne’s energy policy could haunt Britain for decades 


Georgia Power gets green light on new nuclear plant.
State energy regulators gave Georgia Power Co. the go-ahead Thursday to start laying the groundwork for a new nuclear power plant south of Columbus, Ga. &

R** New York could show the way to rescue U.S.nuclear plants.New York state and nuclear power have never been best friends, but the state is expected to decide as soon as Monday on a proposed subsidy plan that could furnish the rest of the country with a model for saving a struggling industry while reducing carbon emissions &

Times Union Editorial: A hefty nuclear subsidyNew York's proposed clean energy plan includes billions in nuclear plant subsidies.

Focus: Why San Onofre's nuclear waste stays on the beach
Policy stalemate leaves toxic spent fuel strandedJuly 22, 2016. Some 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is all stored up with no place to go. 

US must stop playing with nuclear hellfire26th July 2016. Thanks to an increasingly aggressive US foreign policy pursued over decades, NATO nuclear missiles and armed forces are poised on Russia's border, writes Conn Hallinan - forcing it to abandon its 'no first use of nuclear weapons' pledge in view of the massively asymmetrical threat it faces. The world must step back from the brink of nuclear annihilation. 

NASA books nuclear-certified Atlas 5 rocket for Mars 2020 rover launch July 25, 2016. CAPE CANAVERAL — America’s next Mars rover, a $2.1 billion nuclear-powered vehicle to search for evidence that life once existed there, will be launched to the Red Planet in the summer of 2020 by a powerful Atlas 5 rocket.


The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a series of warnings about the Susquehanna River and its tributaries. Nearly five miles of the Susquehanna between Harrisburg and Columbia and 1,665 miles of the rivers tributaries were deemed unsuitable for recreational activity due to harmful coliform bacteria. The bacteria forms naturally, however its overabundance in the river is attributed to agricultural and storm water runoff. While the dwindling population of small mouth bass was mentioned during the announcement, none of the new impairments were related to the widespread sickness seen in the fish.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: II-16-032 August 1, 2016


NRC Sends Augmented Inspection Team to Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today is sending an Augmented Inspection Team to the Westinghouse nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Columbia, S.C., to assess the unexpected accumulation of an excessive amount of uranium-bearing material in a plant component.

An Augmented Inspection Team, or an AIT, is formed to review the circumstances surrounding significant events at NRC-licensed facilities. The six-member NRC inspection team includes fuel facility inspectors and a manager from the agency’s Region II office in Atlanta as well as specialists from NRC Headquarters in Rockville, Md.

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Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


Neil Shader, DEP

DEP Lists Susquehanna River as Impaired for Multiple Uses, Develops New Analytic Methods for Semiannual Impaired Waterways Report

Harrisburg, PA - A new report from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) lists four miles of the Susquehanna River as impaired for recreation. The recreation impairment listing joins an impairment for fish consumption for the Susquehanna River, though the listings are not related to smallmouth bass populations in the river. The report also sets forth a groundbreaking protocol to scientifically assess a large river system.

“DEP has dramatically increased the monitoring efforts of the Susquehanna River, and is developing analytic protocols that set the bar for scientific study of large river systems,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “DEP carefully considered the scientific data in preparing this report, and the additional impaired listings in 2014 and 2016 of the Susquehanna River to the impaired waterways list is the recognition of that increased monitoring.”

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-025 July 29, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331


NRC Proposes $7,000 Fine Against New Jersey Company for Violations at San Francisco Shipyard

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Tetra Tech EC, Inc., for an apparent violation of NRC requirements that occurred at the U.S. Navy’s Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard site in California.
The agency has proposed a $7,000 fine.

Hunter’s Point is being remediated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, with Environmental Protection Agency oversight. Tetra Tech was contracted by the Department of the Navy to assist with the regulatory free-release and closure of the radiologically-impacted buildings and sites at the shipyard, under the Navy’s Base Realignment and Closure mandate. The NRC has jurisdiction over the northeast portion of the shipyard. NRC oversight involves ensuring that contractors with NRC service provider licenses, such as Tetra Tech, are conducting remediation activities safely. NRC is not overseeing the decommissioning of the site.

The Navy identified discrepancies in the soil sample survey data and Tetra Tech conducted an investigation to identify the inaccurate records. After the company reported the discrepancies to the NRC, an NRC investigation was conducted, which determined that two Tetra Tech workers, who worked within NRC jurisdiction, deliberately falsified soil samples on a number of occasions in late 2011 through the summer of 2012. When tasked with obtaining soil samples to ascertain the amount of residual radioactivity in certain locations within Parcel C, the workers instead obtained soil samples from other areas that were suspected to be less contaminated and then created documents indicating the work had been done as expected. The company has since taken actions to prevent recurrence.

Tetra Tech has been issued a notice of violation for failing to make surveys within Parcel C that were reasonable to evaluate concentrations of residual radioactivity in the soil.

“Although the NRC investigation did not find information to suggest buildings, land or materials were inappropriately released for unrestricted use, the failure to perform reasonable surveys is a significant concern because that potential did exist,” said Region I Administrator Dan Dorman.

Tetra Tech is not required to respond to the notice of violation because the company has already provided information on the reason for the violation and the actions taken to prevent recurrence. The company has 30 days to pay the proposed civil penalty or to request in writing that all or part of it be withdrawn.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-024 July 28, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331

NRC Proposes $7,000 Fine for Georgia Firm for Violations Involving Radiography Work‌

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $7,000 civil penalty for a Georgia-based company for failing to comply with agency requirements while performing industrial radiography work at a job site in Virginia.

On Oct. 20, 2015, a radiographer for Applied Technical Services (ATS) Inc., of Marietta, Ga., was using radiography equipment to check on a pipe weld at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Langley Research Center when the NRC conducted an unannounced safety inspection and identified several concerns. Issues found during that inspection also triggered an investigation by the NRC’s Office of Investigation.

Based on the results of both the inspection and investigation, the NRC has identified three violations of NRC regulations: 1) a failure to post conspicuous radiation or high radiation signs to establish a clear boundary in an area where industrial radiography was being performed; 2) a failure to conduct a radiological survey of the camera guide tube after taking a pipe weld image; and 3) a failure to comply with a condition of the company’s nuclear materials license from the State of Georgia that requires continuous direct visual surveillance of the radiography work to guard against unauthorized entries into the radiation area.

ATS is a consulting engineering firm that holds nuclear materials licenses from both the NRC and Georgia. Georgia, as an NRC Agreement State, issued the company a license allowing it to perform radiography work within its borders and in other Agreement States. When the firm is working at federal facilities, such as the NASA site, it falls under the jurisdiction of the NRC.

The NRC is also issuing a Severity Level III Notice of Violation to the radiographer for deliberately failing to post warnings in the area where the industrial radiography was being performed.

“Contrary to NRC regulations, radiography work was being performed in this case without the proper precautions in places. These steps are required for the protection of both the public and those performing the activities,” NRC Region I Administrator Dan Dorman said. “While no one was harmed by this breach of requirements, the lack of adherence to these important requirements is unacceptable.”

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-023 July 27, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331

Missing Portable Nuclear Gauge Recovered in Connecticut
A Connecticut company has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a portable nuclear gauge reported stolen early Tuesday has been recovered. The gauge, which was located by police Tuesday afternoon at a pawn shop in Bridgeport, Conn., was not damaged.

An inspector from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection traveled to the shop Tuesday to inspect the gauge. Once the inspector confirmed the device was undamaged, it was returned to its owner.

The NRC is following up on the event. This includes an NRC inspection being conducted today at the offices of HAKS Material Testing Group in Bridgeport.

On Tuesday morning, HAKS Material Testing Group reported to the NRC that the gauge was stolen from a technician’s vehicle while it was parked in Bridgeport. The vehicle’s trunk was broken into, chains securing the gauge in place were cut and it was removed.

The gauge is used for such industrial purposes as measuring the density of soil at construction sites. It contains small amounts of radioactive material that is shielded within the device when it is not in use.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No. I-16-022 July 26, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331

Nuclear Gauge Reported Stolen in Connecticut; Recovery is Sought‌
A Connecticut company has notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that a portable moisture-density gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material has been stolen.

HAKS Material Testing Group, of Bridgeport, Conn., reported that the device was stolen early on Tuesday, July 26, from a technician’s vehicle while it was parked in Bridgeport. The vehicle’s trunk was broken into, chains securing the gauge in place were cut and it was removed.

The device contains small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241. The gauge is used to make measurements by projecting the radiation from the two radioactive sources into the ground and then displaying the reflected radiation on a dial on its top.

The gauge, which is stored in a robust transportation case, consists of a shielding container with a plunger-type handle protruding from the top. The handle is used to extend and then retract the radioactive sources from the shielded position. When not in use, the handle is normally locked, with the sources in the retracted, safely shielded position. The rectangular base of the gauge is yellow.

As long as the sources are in the shielded position, the gauge would present no hazard to the public. However, any attempt to tamper with the radioactive sources in the device could subject the person to radiation exposure. Handling of the unshielded sources outside their container would carry a risk of potentially dangerous radiation exposure.

Anyone seeing the gauge should leave it alone and report its location to the NRC’s Operations Center at (301) 816-5100. The center is staffed 24 hours a day and accepts collect calls. An NRC inspector will be sent to the company’s offices to gather more information on the loss of the gauge.

Law-enforcement authorities are investigating the theft. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has been notified about the loss of the gauge.

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New GIS Application and Tutorial to Help Users Find Information

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today released an updated version of a GIS application that allows users to learn information and download reports about oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania. DEP also released a new video tutorial that explains how to use the PA Oil and Gas Well Mapping application and what information is available to retrieve. The video is available on DEP’s YouTube Channel.

“This updated Oil and Gas Well Mapping application puts information about both conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells at your fingertips,” DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell said. “Making such data available and easy to use promotes transparency and allows the public to generate the information they want on demand.”

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