for Industry – U.S. Crude Oil Export Restrictions Cause Refining
Mismatch and Light Oil Price Discount The dramatic increase in domestic
oil production over the past decade – facilitated by drilling technology
improvements – has rekindled the crude oil export debate. Allowing
crude oil exports would provide an additional market for light crude
anyone remember LIMPET? Agucadoura? Despite what you might have read,
the Carnegie Wave Energy project at Garden Island, off Perth, Australia,
is not the world’s first grid-connected wave power station, nor the
first grid-connected wave power array. The 500-kilowatt-rated LIMPET –
that’s Land Installed Marine Power Energy Transmitter – commissioned in
spring 2001 on
giant could help startup compete with Stem, Tesla, others in burgeoning
energy storage market. GTM Research predicts that behind-the-meter
batteries could expand to make up nearly half of the rapidly growing
U.S. energy storage market by decade’s end — and there’s also great
potential for international growth in solar-rich and energy-constrained
countries like Germany
warmly welcome the announcement by the Government of Mexico on new
greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The commitment Mexico has
made today sends a strong signal of Mexico’s determination to do its
share in helping the world reduce emissions globally; it stands as an
example for countries around the world to follow as they
Charges(Payable at Meeting, Checks or Cash only-Food service
Member Spouse: $22.00
Membership Dues (2014 -15 Season): $20.00 (good through
5:30 pm: Registration/ Social Hour
6:00 pm: Food Service
6:45 pm: Presentations
8:30 pm: Awards
No Show Advisory:
We are charged according to the head-count provided prior to the meeting.
No-shows hurt ANS-NE financially. If you need to cancel after signing up,
please give us notice before noon on the
day before the meeting. Please note if you make
reservations and don’t show up, we will end up paying for your dinner. If your
plans change, please let us know ahead of time, otherwise, we will be asking
you for the full payment.
exactly two weeks I’ll be listening to a keynote presentation from
Jamie Mallon, Nuclear Development Manager at PSEG in one of the first
sessions at the 5th Annual Small Modular Reactor Summit 2015 (April 14-15, Charlotte NC).
the world’s largest SMR dedicated meeting we will critically examine
the central regulatory and economic stumbling blocks to SMR deployment
and plot the nuclear industry’s critical next steps towards the first
Vice President - Exelon Generation
Chief SMR Design Engineer - China Nuclear Power Engineering
Director - Nuclear Development Ameren Missouri
President - Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy
Snr. Project Manager - Electricite de France
CEO - Areva
Snr. Research Consultant - K.A.CARE
Senior Scientist - U.S. Government Accountability Office
Senior Vice President - KEPCO E&C
Assistant Director - Division of Fossil Energy Development (Kentucky)
These industry leaders have already booked their places – I hope to meet you in Charlotte too! Kind regards,
Thomas Wellock Historian
Chalk River Unidentified Deposits (CRUD). The nuclear industry loves
its acronyms, and the myth behind CRUD—a term for corrosion particles
that become radioactive—is almost as fabled as Safety Control Rod Axe Man
(SCRAM). But in reality, crud, like scram, is not an acronym at all,
but popular slang appropriated by Manhattan Project personnel.
The idea that crud was an acronym came from a 1959 article by
Commander E.E. Kintner. In 1953, Kintner headed the Advanced Design
Group under Hyman Rickover developing the Mark I prototype reactor for
the first nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus. To verify that the
reactor’s fuel elements would not corrode, Kintner recalled, samples
were placed in a research reactor located at Chalk River, Canada. After
several months of irradiation, the fuel elements were covered in
deposits—Chalk River Unidentified Deposits. This was worrisome since the
deposits might block the flow of coolant around the fuel causing them
to overheat and melt. While the problem was resolved by adjusting water
chemistry, “CRUD” lived on as an acronym for radioactive deposits.
was a term used early by the Hanford Engineering Works. Seen here is
the site’s F Reactor complex under construction. Photo courtesy of the
Department of Energy
Kintner likely did not know that by 1953 the word crud had already been in use for nearly a decade at Atomic Energy
Commission facilities. The word appeared in a technical manual as early
as May 1944 at in the Hanford Engineering Works in Washington State. The
manual described the use of chemical treatments “to seep insoluble
‘crud’ and mud from the solution.” By 1947, “crud” was a common enough
in the AEC that reports from Hanford and Oak Ridge no longer used
quotation marks to describe the “crud deposition problem.”
Thus, CRUD is really an example of a backronym — where words are identified to fit the letters of an existing word.
So, why was “crud” used to describe radioactive deposits in the first
place? Crud was a common word well before World War II that likely
derives from the Welsh cryd, meaning disease or plague. By the
early 1930s, crud became slang for unpalatable food, filth, a sloppily
dressed man or an illness, as in, “I’ve got the crud.” By World War II,
soldiers called any unknown illness “the crud,” and a comic book of the
era featured a Corporal Crud as one of its characters.
It seems likely that the negative connotations of crud made it a
fitting descriptor for contamination associated with radioactive
deposits. The etymology of scram and crud, then, reveals how Manhattan
Project workers tried to make sense of the uncommon new world of the
atom through common language.
F. Daiichi unit #2 will have high-resolution Muon tomography… Tepco
discovers fuel pool gate doors out of position in unit #3… Tepco says it
will disclose all data on radiation levels at F. Daiichi… Two experts
find that radiation exposures from Fukushima isotopes in the Pacific
will not cause health damage… An exclusion zone town holds a community
festival… A recent Fukushima 4th anniversary article contains an
important graphic on protective measures along the Pacific shoreline…
The Japan Times calls for punishment of Tepco for the recent rainwater
knows the public and the news media want and deserve answers about
leaking tanks at Hanford, so we have created this page to answer some of
the most common questions. Please submit other questions you would like
to see answered by email@example.com calling 1-800-321-2008.
Questions and Answers:
Please click a question from the list to view the answer.
1) How many tanks are leaking and when did they start?
October 2012 and February 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE)
reported that 7 of the 177 underground storage tanks at Hanford are
leaking. The Washington State Department of Ecology only knows when
USDOE reported these leaks, not when the leaks actually started. (Note
that 67 tanks leaked at least one million gallons in the past. See
Question 5:Wasn't all the liquid pumped out of the SSTs years ago? If so, why are these tanks leaking again?for more information.) Of
the 6 single-shell tanks that were thought to be actively leaking,
USDOE now (November 6, 2013) says an analysis of the data indicates that
only one of those tanks (T-111) is leaking.USDOE’s reportsindicate that evaporation is the likely cause of the decreasing waste levels in the other 5 tanks. Ecology
reviewed drafts of these reports, and we agree with the findings for 4
of the 6 tanks that evaporation is the likely explanation for declining
waste levels. On the other tanks, we believe further analysis is
necessary to determine why waste levels are falling. Tanks in Question
tank (DST) AY-102, first reported 10/18/12. Waste is leaking into the
space between the waste tank, or the inner shell of the double-shell
tank, and the secondary containment shell. This space, called theannulus, was designed to contain leaks.
tanks (SSTs) reported by then-Secretary of Energy Steven Chu (replaced
by Ernest Moniz) to Washington Governor Jay Inslee:
No immediate or near-term health risks are associated with Hanford’s tank leaks.
The tanks are underground, five to eight miles from the Columbia River, in an isolated area far from any homes or farms.
is no route for the leaked waste to travel from Hanford to agricultural
areas, so there is no risk of food crop contamination.
Hanford’s groundwateris about 200 to 300 feet below the tanks, so the new leaks will take decades to reach it.
groundwater pump-and-treat facilities in the center of Hanford are
keeping the majority of pre-existing groundwater contamination from
moving toward the Columbia River.
However, the fact that
there is no immediate threat to health does not minimize the state's
concerns, because any leaks add to future groundwater problems. These
leaks underscore the importance of retrieving and treating tank waste as
quickly as possible to mitigate the chance of further releases to the
3) What are the options for dealing with leaking tanks?
single-shell tanks (SSTs) are all unfit for use and decades past their
design life. It would be impossible to repair and upgrade the SSTs to
meet current regulatory standards. Some options for addressing leaks
Increasing monitoring and sampling.
Developing new retrieval technologies.
Constructing surface barriers over SST farms.In
2008, an interim barrier was constructed over part of T Tank Farm,
where three of the leaking SSTs are located, to protect against
precipitation entering tanks and to keep that precipitation from pushing
contaminants closer to the groundwater. Construction of additional
barriers is a possible solution to slow the spread of leaked tank waste.
Building new tanks.We
had assumed that the double-shell tanks (DSTs) were still sound and
could accept waste from SSTs. However, the leak from the inner shell of
AY-102 has led us to re-evaluate that assumption. To move the waste out
of that DST and the SSTs, USDOE may have to build new DSTs. Washington,
Oregon, and the Hanford Advisory Board have urged USDOE to start the
process to build new DSTs at Hanford. However, obtaining funding and
designing and constructing new tanks would likely take at least 10
Removing liquid waste from DST AY-102 with a portable evaporator.
Disposing some of the waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.Because theWaste Treatment Plantdesigned
to treat Hanford’s tank waste will not start up for at least six more
years, USDOE is exploring other options to treat and dispose of this
waste. It may be possible to classify the waste in five of the six
leaking SSTs as transuranic waste (meaning literally “after uranium,”
this waste contains alpha-particle-emitting radioactive isotopes with
atomic numbers higher than 92, uranium's atomic number). If this was
done, then the waste would be retrieved from the tanks, dried, packaged,
and shipped to WIPP for disposal. But this process would,
optimistically, take at least two to five years.
of the tank waste is difficult in part due to the high radiation and
harsh chemical environment inside most tanks. Access to the insides of
the tanks is limited. All of the tanks have monitoring instruments inside them. This is a requirement of theTri-Party Agreement.
However, analyzing the monitoring data is a complex process, and it can
be difficult to detect very small changes in waste levels in tanks that
do not have much liquid or solid waste. The existing
in-tank monitoring equipment is imperfect, but no better systems have
been identified. U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) can currently only
monitor the surface level at one location in each tank. Most tanks have
annual monitoring requirements. If they have an Enraf® gauge, they are
monitored continuously. One data point is gathered each day. For
tanks with liquid observation wells, a neutron probe is used quarterly
to gather data. It was a look at long term trends of that data—something USDOE had never done before — that led to the conclusion there must be new leaks. External
tank monitoring can be used to detect releases to the environment but
is much more expensive to implement and also has limitations on its
usefulness. It is being done, but Ecology is looking for ways to improve
the monitoring process. (SeeSingle-Shell Tank System Leak Detection and Monitoring Functions and Requirements, RPP-9937, Rev. 3, for more information.)
5) Wasn't all the liquid pumped out of the SSTs years ago? If so, why are these tanks leaking again?
single-shell tanks were interim stabilized between 1978 and 2010.
Ecology sued the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) to finish interim
stabilization in 1999 through aConsent Decree.
The interim stabilization process removed as much pumpable, or free,
liquid as was “practicable.” Practicable means pumping was continued
until the rate was very low — less than 0.05 gallons per minute.
liquids drain very slowly through the saltcake and sludge, and there
was only one pumping location per tank. Over time, additional liquids
can drain to the pumping location, so liquids still in the tanks can
only be pumped after they migrate to the pumping location. Some
tanks met interim stabilization requirements because they didn’t have
that much waste in the first place. Six tanks were administratively
interim stabilized after pumping equipment failed and was too expensive
to replace. In addition, precipitation has entered some tanks and increased the liquid volume, a process known as intrusion. After
reviewing monitoring data, USDOE now knows that some of the tanks have
continued to show decreases in waste levels. Ecology would like USDOE to
use better monitoring equipment and to prove that existing equipment is
in good working condition.
free liquids were pumped from the single-shell tanks to newer
double-shell tanks from the 1970s to the 1990s, leaving solid saltcake
and slurry (mixture of liquid and solid waste) in the tanks. However,
liquids drain very slowly through the saltcake and sludge, and there is
only one pumping location per tank. Over time, additional liquids drain
to the pumping location, so liquids still in the tanks can only be
pumped after they move to the pumping location.
7) What has been done to keep water from intruding into the tanks and prevent contaminants from moving toward groundwater?
raw water pipelines to the single-shell tank (SST) farms were cut and
capped between 2001 and 2002. Leaky water distribution lines next to
tank farms were also pressure tested. If these lines were not needed or
failed the test, they were either remediated or removed from service to
further limit the amount of water moving through the soil, a driving
force in contaminant migration. Water intrusion into
SSTs has been reduced, but monitoring data continues to indicate
intrusion in some tanks. The sources of intrusion are being investigated
and stopped where possible. Engineering controls were installed to
prevent rain or snowmelt from forming puddles or ponds over, or in the
vicinity of, the tanks.Surface coverswere installed over some tank farms, and berms were built on the ground surface to direct water away from the tank farms.
Removing waste from Hanford's tanks is difficult for many reasons:
to the tank waste is very limited. The tops of the tanks are 7 to 10
feet underground, and openings into the tanks are limited. Double-shell
tanks (DSTs) have more access points than single-shell tanks (SSTs).
Regardless, all work is done remotely using video cameras and robotic
The waste is usually very
radioactive and contains many chemicals, creating an environment that
limits the types of equipment that can be used. For instance, electronic
equipment can be burned out by radiation.
Workers must rely on only one or two cameras in each tank to view waste and retrieval equipment.
waste in the tanks is not homogeneous and can have varied properties at
different locations in the tank. The solid waste is generally broken up
using high pressure spray (existing liquid waste is constantly
recirculated so more waste isn't created). The liquid is also used to
transport waste from SSTs to DSTs.
Retrieval technologies continue to evolve, but retrieval rates are still limited.
Waste can only be moved to a tank with the appropriate space and chemistry.
addition to the above challenges, pumps and other equipment break, the
weather can become too hot for workers to be safe in protective gear or
too cold for equipment to work properly. When equipment operates
smoothly and weather conditions are safe for workers, tank retrieval
work continues around the clock.
If the waste is pumped out of the tanks, where will it go? Don't you
need additional storage space? If so, how much time and money is it
going to take to build new tanks?
A shortage of space in Hanford’s
double-shell tanks is a concern, especially because one of them is
leaking. Ecology is not convinced that current storage is adequate to
meet legal and regulatory requirements for tank retrievals and Waste
Treatment Plant operations. The state and the federal
governments must have a thorough and candid discussion about the need
for additional storage tanks. The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE)
estimates that it could take a minimum of 7 to 10 years and cost around
$100 million per tank to build new tanks. But we can’t wait that long.
We will be working with USDOE to consider options for accelerating that
news that at least 4 single-shell tanks appear not to be actively
leaking is encouraging, but it does not mitigate the need to remain
vigilant in protecting future public health and our environment from
Hanford waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) has a
responsibility to prevent waste from leaking into the environment, and
to promptly address any tanks that are found to be leaking. We know that
many of these single-shell tanks have leaked in the past and that
future leaks are highly likely if the federal government does not act to
get this waste retrieved and treated in a timely manner. In addition, active retrieval is ongoing, and avariety of technologiesare
being used in C Tank Farm, also known as Waste Management Area C
(WMAC). The 2010 Consent Decree between Washington State and USDOE sets
September 2014 as the deadline to complete waste retrieval from all 16 C
Farm tanks, butUSDOE has said that deadline is in jeopardy.
11) Why didn't Ecology know about the leaks sooner?
of the tanks have monitoring instruments inside them. This is a
requirement of the Tri-Party Agreement. However, the analysis of the
monitoring data is a complex process, and it can be difficult to detect
very small changes in waste levels because the SSTs do not have much
liquid. In double-shell Tank AY-102, the leak is too
small to observe noticeable changes in liquid level. Ecology will be
working with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) to see if there are
better leak detection methods that can track small changes. It
is USDOE’s responsibility to analyze tank monitoring data and then
deliver the raw data and their findings to Ecology. Ecology then reviews
their findings and independently analyzes the data. Ecology will be
working with USDOE and its contractors to ensure that their data
evaluation procedures are updated for more accurate analysis to reflect
current conditions. In this case, because of the
serious nature of decreasing and increasing tank levels, we are
expediting the process by working jointly with USDOE to review their
After Fukushima: Japan's 'nuclear village' is back in charge
Public opposition to nuclear power in Japan remains
strong, writes Jim Green, but piece by piece, Shinzo Abe's right-wing
government has been putting the country's infamous 'nuclear village'
back in control - boosted by draconian press censorship laws, massive
interest-free loans, and a determination to forget all the 'lessons' of
Fukushima. Is another big accident inevitable?
H-Bomb History Published Over Government Objections: Physicist
Kenneth W. Ford, who participated in the design of the hydrogen bomb in
the early 1950s, has published a memoir of his experiences despite the
objections of Energy Department reviewers who requested substantial
redactions in the text. “Building the H Bomb: A Personal History” was
released this month, and provides an eyewitness account of several
crucial episodes in the development of the hydrogen bomb.
Growing Data Collection Inspires Openness at NGA: A
flood of information from the ongoing proliferation of space-based
sensors and ground-based data collection devices is promoting a new era
of transparency in at least one corner of the U.S. intelligence
community: the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Recently, ODNI
stated that the U.S. intelligence community should make “information
publicly available in a manner that enhances public understanding of
intelligence activities, while continuing to protect information when
disclosure would harm national security.” But some intelligence agencies
have chosen a different path.
Cybersecurity Information Sharing: A Legal Morass Says CRS:
There are several pending bills that would promote increased sharing of
cybersecurity-related information — such as threat intelligence and
system vulnerabilities — in order to combat the perceived rise in the
frequency and intensity of cyber attacks against private and government
entities. A new report by the Congressional Research Service finds that
this information sharing is easier said than done due to conflicting and
incompatible laws and policy objectives.
DoD Cut Security Clearances by 15% in Last Two Years:
The Department of Defense has reduced the number of employees and
contractors who hold security clearances in the past two years by more
than 700,000, a cut of 15%. This previously undisclosed data was
reported in the latest quarterly report on the implementation of the
Insider Threat Program.