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COLLOQUIUM: The Lockheed Martin Compact Fusion Reactor

http://www.pppl.gov/events/colloquium-lockheed-martin-compact-fusion-reactor

August 6, 2015, 4:15pm to 6:30pm
MBG Auditorium

COLLOQUIUM: The Lockheed Martin Compact Fusion Reactor
Dr. Thomas McGuire, Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Skunkworks is developing a compact fusion reactor concept, CFR. The novel magnetic cusp configuration would allow for stable plasmas in a geometry amenable to economical power plants and power sources. The details of the CFR configuration will be discussed along with a status of the current plasma confinement experiments underway at Lockheed. The presentation will also touch on the potential of a fast development path and challenges to bring such a device to fruition.

For a brief discussion of the project and images of the hardware:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-10-15/lockheed-skunk-works-team-tackling-nuclear-fusion-reactor(link is external)



Muted Response from Critics as State Department Prepares for Space Talks with China

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/muted-response-from-critics-as-state-department-prepares-for-space-talks-with-china

Muted Response from Critics as State Department Prepares for Space Talks with China
Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 03-Aug-2015

Five weeks ago, the State Department announced agreement on a U.S.-China Civil Space Dialogue that will begin in October, a short three months from now. With all the hyperbole that usually surrounds discussions of U.S.-China space cooperation, a firestorm of outrage from critics and exuberance from advocates might have been expected, but the reaction has been almost nonexistent.

<snip>

SpacePolicyOnline’s attempts over the past two weeks to obtain a reaction to the State Department's announcement from Culberson, however, were unsuccessful.

Outside of Congress, the most outspoken critics of potential U.S.-China space cooperation do not appear to have publicly commented either (SpacePolicyOnline.com’s repeated attempts to contact one of them also yielded no results.) Eric Sterner, a Fellow at the Marshall Institute, however, offered his views in a July 27 op-ed published by Space News. While agreeing that a dialogue could be valuable in areas such as collision avoidance, debris mitigation and science, he sees “little compelling reason for those discussions to evolve into civil space cooperation.” He disagreed with those who argue that cooperating in space leads to better geopolitical relationships on Earth, noting that Russia’s participation in the International Space Station did not dissuade its leaders from invading Ukraine.

A leading advocate of cooperation praised the decision. Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the Naval War College who has written books about the Chinese space program, told SpacePolicyOnline.com that the congressional ban “largely serves domestic political goals” and the State Department’s announcement seems to be a ‘recognition that in geopolitics, dialogue is always better than no dialogue.” She added that working with China on a space science project, for example, would allow the United States “to learn more about their decision making processes” and standard operating procedures, a “not inconsequential benefit.”

A key point will come in September when the House returns from its August recess and NASA submits the 30-day advance certification. Congress will be busy on other issues, like trying to pass a Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating, and perhaps the topics planned for this first civil space dialogue are sufficiently non-controversial that the certification will be accepted perfunctorily. Still, for all the rancor that the issue has engendered in the past, and the timing of the announcement amid accusations of Chinese cyberattacks on U.S. government databases, the subdued reaction is remarkable.

How hackers can take over nuclear power plants

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/how-hackers-can-take-over-nuclear-power-plants/ar-AAdGi2r

How hackers can take over nuclear power plants
The Daily Dot
Patrick Howell O'Neill
16 hrs ago

The world’s most important facilities—think massive hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants—are vulnerable to devastating cyberattacks. And it may be just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

But nobody panic.

That’s the overwhelming takeaway from new research set to be unveiled at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas next week. The researchers have already gained the attention of major industries, but it remains unclear whether they will fix the problem before it’s too late.

<snip>

The threats to nuclear power plant security are among the most attention grabbing. The researchers have done work in nuclear facilities and described the state of the industry's security as serious but often over-confident.

“The downside is that, because of some very strict policies, they generally sense that their security is better than it actually is and they don't have to worry about these issues,” Lee said. “That's simply not true.”

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Iran bans newspaper of nuclear deal critic, warns others

Source: Agence France-Presse

Iran banned a weekly newspaper owned by a critic of its nuclear deal on Monday and issued a formal warning to the country’s leading conservative daily for alleged breaches of reporting guidelines.

The penalties were the first issued by the government since new guidance on media coverage of the historic accord was issued last week, underscoring sensitivity about the nuclear issue in Tehran.

The Press Supervisory Board banned ‘9th Dey Weekly’, managed by ultra-conservative lawmaker Hamid Rasaie and named after the Persian calendar date of a major pro-government rally on December 30, 2009.

It also gave warning notices to the Kayhan daily and another outlet, the Raja news website.

<snip>

Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/mena/iran/iran-bans-newspaper-of-nuclear-deal-critic-warns-others-1.1560706

Gulf States Cautiously Support Iran Nuclear Deal

Source: New York Times

Persian Gulf monarchies issued a cautious endorsement on Monday of the accord Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated last month to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.

“This was the best option among other options,” said Khalid al-Attiyah, the foreign minister of Qatar, who hosted a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council that Mr. Kerry attended.

In a news conference with Mr. Kerry, Mr. Attiyah said that the secretary of state had repeated his assurance that the United States would stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon if Tehran failed to adhere to the accord.

Mr. Kerry and his counterparts from the Persian Gulf states also agreed on ways to expedite the military support and training efforts that President Obama promised at a May meeting at Camp David with senior gulf state officials.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/world/middleeast/gulf-states-cautiously-support-iran-nuclear-deal.html?_r=0

The opening of an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico just got delayed indefinitely

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-officials-delay-reopening-of-new-mexico-nuclear-waste-site-2015-8

The opening of an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico just got delayed indefinitely
Joseph J. Kolb, Reuters
Aug. 1, 2015, 8:11 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Reuters) - The planned March 2016 reopening of an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico has been pushed back indefinitely because of unanticipated challenges, U.S. officials said.

A radiation leak at the U.S. government's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant that originated in a disposal chamber half a mile (1 km) below ground at the center near Carlsbad, New Mexico, exposed more than 20 workers to small amounts of radiation in February 2014, officials have said.

The accident led to the suspension of key operations at the site, the Energy Department's only permanent underground repository for certain types of radiological waste tied to U.S. nuclear labs and weapons sites.

<snip>

"While the WIPP recovery program continues to make significant progress, the original target date of March 2016 for resuming waste emplacement operations is no longer viable due to a variety of unanticipated issues," said a news release from the U.S. Department of Energy that contained Bryson's statement.

<snip>


Rally in support of women's right to go topless takes place in Waterloo, Ont.

Source: The Canadian Press



A rally and march organized by three sisters who were stopped by a police officer for biking topless a week ago was held Saturday in Waterloo, Ont.

Dozens of topless women — and men — attended the trio's "Bare With Us" rally at Waterloo Town Square, meant to educate the public about women's right to be topless if they so choose.

<snip>

Juno-nominated musician Alysha Brilla says she and her sisters were not wearing shirts while cycling in Kitchener, Ont., on July 24 when a male officer drove up beside them and told them to cover up because it is the law.

Brilla says told the officer he was wrong, adding that when she started filming the interaction on her cellphone, the officer said he had only wanted to check if the women had proper bells and lights on their bicycles.

Ontario women have had the right to go topless in public since 1996.

<snip>

Read more: https://ca.news.yahoo.com/rally-support-womens-topless-set-today-waterloo-ont-080008318.html

Gut Bacteria Changes In Early Life Can Lead To Anxiety And Depression

http://www.medicaldaily.com/gut-bacteria-changes-early-life-can-lead-anxiety-and-depression-345276

Gut Bacteria Changes In Early Life Can Lead To Anxiety And Depression

Jul 29, 2015 04:11 PM By Lecia Bushak

Stresses in your early life — like traumatic external events — can alter the delicate balance of your gut microbiota, something that’s linked to immune system, digestive, and mental health. And these changes in your gut microbiota can ultimately lead to a higher risk of anxiety and depression later in life, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

<snip>

They examined two groups of mice — one with normal, healthy gut bacteria and another that had no gut bacteria. Mice in each group were exposed to early-life stress, such as being separated from their mothers for three hours every day between the ages of three to 21 days.

Interestingly, the mice with normal gut bacteria developed high levels of the stress hormone corticosterone — then developed anxiety, depression, and impaired gut function. But the mice who had no gut bacteria, while they showed high levels of corticosterone, didn’t end up exhibiting anxiety or depression later on. When the researchers transferred gut bacteria from stressed mice to those that were stressed but had no gut bacteria, it triggered both anxiety and depression.

“This suggests that in this model, both host and microbial factors are required for the development of anxiety and depression-like behavior,” Premysl Bercik said in the press release. “Neonatal stress leads to increased stress reactivity and gut dysfunction that changes the gut microbiota which, in turn, alters brain function.”

<snip>


Major Environmental Group Endorses Bernie Sanders' 2016 Bid

Source: National Journal

The first national green group to make an endorsement in the 2016 election just threw its weight behind Bernie Sanders.

Announced Saturday afternoon in New Hampshire, the endorsement from Friends of the Earth Action arrives amid rising frustration from the environmental Left over Hillary Clinton's refusal to take a stand on the Keystone XL pipeline and a host of other hot-button issues such as drilling in icy Arctic waters.

"We're seeing a lot of speeches from candidates, but Bernie has an incredibly strong track record and there's a lot of credibility there. He's also willing to say 'no' where some other candidates aren't," Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth Action, said in an interview.

Many environmentalists fear that Clinton's cozy relationship with Wall Street and silence on some environmental issues may be a sign that she won't go far enough at a time when aggressive action is needed to stem the tide of global warming. And they see Sanders as a more-steadfast environmental champion.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.nationaljournal.com/2016-elections/bernie-sanders-climate-change-2016-20150801

Brazil nuclear leader's arrest may stymie its atomic ambitions

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/30/us-brazil-corruption-nuclear-idUSKCN0Q425O20150730

Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:30pm EDT
Brazil nuclear leader's arrest may stymie its atomic ambitions
RIO DE JANEIRO | By Jeb Blount

The arrest of the longtime head of Brazil's nuclear energy utility on corruption charges could disrupt a plan to revive Brazilian nuclear ambitions whose roots go back to its atomic-bomb program in the 1980s.

Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva, a retired admiral, was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly taking 4.5 million reais ($1.35 million) in bribes from engineering firms working on the long-delayed Angra 3 nuclear power plant.

While its constitution commits Brazil to the peaceful use of atomic power, Pinheiro, 76, has for three decades been a central player in plans to finish Angra 3, build eight additional reactors and even a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines.

<snip>

"The industry was already in crisis, but now the corruption concerns are bound to delay Angra 3 further and cause costs to rise even more."

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