DOE Conducts Radiation Aerial Survey of West Valley

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in cooperation with the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), will be conducting an aerial survey, starting Monday, to measure radiation at and near the West Valley Demonstration Project in the town of Ashford in Cattaraugus County. The purpose of the survey is to measure the […]

Los Alamos Drum Leak Investigation Update

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have identified another nuclear waste drum, similar to the drum that caused the February’s radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Terry Wallace Jr., the LANL WIPP recovery leader and principal associate director for global security, testified that the chemical reaction was likely caused by a discarded glovebox glove […]

New Study of 1945 Trinity Blast Site

Better late than never? Nearly 70 years after the Manhattan Project conducted the world’s first atomic bomb test, the National Cancer Institute will soon begin a new investigation into the effects of the radioactive fallout on communities in New Mexico. As the Wall Street Journal reports, this will be be the most detailed examination yet […]

Air Testing Lapse at WIPP Blamed on Staff Vacancy

State regulators failed to collect air samples in the week following a radiation release at a New Mexico nuclear waste dump because of a vacancy in the office responsible for monitoring the site at the time, a state official said on Friday. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where drums of plutonium-tainted refuse from government nuclear […]

EPA Forced to Retreat on Radiation Limits

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is raising by a factor of 350 what it considers to be the threshold for safe radiation exposure, Jon Utley reported at The higher threshold belatedly rectifies overly restrictive standards that have cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, Utley reported. Tsunami, Not Reactor, Was Deadly Utley documented […]

How table salt may help understand public radiation exposures

Radiation safety workers in Fukushima, Japan have helped a doctoral student at Lund University in Sweden demonstrate that ordinary table salt can be used to measure radiation exposures. The radiation safety workers carried small packets of salt in light-tight containers while they worked as well as traditional dosimeters. By taking advantage of optically stimulated luminescence […]

Explained: rad, rem, sieverts, becquerels

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sometimes it must seem as though reports on releases of radioactive materials from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami are going out of their way to confuse people. Some reports talk about millisieverts while others talk about rem or becquerels, when what most people really want to […]

Investigators identify genes that contribute to radiation resistance

“The research has revealed new pathways of cellular self-repair, including DNA pathways that in humans that may help protect us from cancer,” says corresponding author Michael M. Cox. High doses of radiation are deadly not only to humans, plants, and animals, but to microbial cells generally. Nonetheless, certain bacteria, notably Deinococcus radiodurans, are highly resistant […]

Is EPA About to Relax Radiation Protections from Nuclear Power?

Both proponents and opponents of nuclear power expect the Environmental Protection Agency in coming months to relax its rules restricting radiation emissions from reactors and other nuclear facilities. EPA officials say they have no such intention, but they are willing to reconsider the method they use to limit public exposure—and the public’s level of risk. […]

Radiation Spill Now Believed to be Deliberate Attack On Employees

UC Riverside police say they believe what officials initially characterized as a spill of low-level radioactive material in April was actually an attack on employees in the genomics lab. Police are still looking for a suspect, as well as someone who posted comments on a Press-Enterprise story about the contamination of a lab who seemed […]

Were Being Exposed To More Radiation

Where Your Radiation Dose Comes From IF YOU THOUGHT that the greatest radiation threat to you was Sellafield or nuclear power stations abroad, you’d be wrong.  Radon is far more of a risk to people in Ireland. The Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) said that less than 1 per cent of the average radiation […]

Upgrade for Europe’s big X-ray light source

The improvements to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) will cost some 150m euros (£120m) and take until 2022 to complete fully. ESRF is essentially a giant X-ray machine, capable of determining the structure of objects and materials at the atomic and molecular scale. The 850m accelerator ring used to prime these bright X-rays will […]

Cosmic Rays, Neutrons And The Mutation Rate In Evolution

When cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere, they send high-energy particles, such as neutrons, showering down towards the surface. So an interesting question is how these neutrons influence things on the ground. Researchers have long known that high-energy neutrons can smash into atomic nuclei causing all kinds of damage to the structure of materials. This […]

Raising the EPA Radiation Limit Will Save Thousands of Lives and Billions of Dollars

The EPA is raising the radiation threat level by a factor of 350. That may sound unbelievable but it is assuredly a good thing: The previous limits were far lower than science justified and caused hundreds of billions of dollars of economic loss to America and the world. The trigger for the change was the […]

Radiation leak leads to layoffs at Los Alamos

The Los Alamos contractor that packaged the radioactive waste linked to a leak at the government’s nuclear waste dump is laying off workers. A Los Alamos spokesman Wednesday confirmed that Energy Solutions has reduced its workforce by 115 because its contract for packing the waste for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad […]