William Goldstein has announced his plans to retire as the 12th director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and third president of Lawrence Livermore National Security, which manages the laboratory for the Department of Energy. The University of California will lead a nationwide search for Goldstein's successor.
The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management has renewed a $14.5 million, 5-year grant to New Mexico State University College of Engineering for environmental monitoring of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant through the university's Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. Site regulatory specialist Anderson Ward says the work includes "monitoring for naturally occurring radionuclides and those managed at WIPP, volatile organic compounds, in vivo and in vitro bioassay, whole-body dosimetry, as well as soil, water and air characterization."
Russian state-run corporation Rostec's affiliate Avtomatika Concern has developed a robotic control system that uses artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies to work in areas with high radiation. Avtomatika general director Vladimir Kabanov says the system can be used to address a range of problems relating to nuclear fuel production and reactor maintenance.
Angarsk Electrolysis Chemical Plant in Russia has accepted a contract to decommission the AA Bochvar Research Institute of Inorganic Materials' U-5 installation in Moscow. The decommissioning of the radiochemical plant includes some research buildings and radioactive contamination sites.
A former Atlas missile silo in Kansas has been converted into a multilevel luxury Survival Condo complex, designed to survive everything from tornadoes to nuclear war, complete with a classroom, library, cinema, bar and workout room. The buy-in cost for a unit in the complex is $1 million, plus $2,500 per month to cover electricity, water, internet and other necessities.
The Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is evaluating 15 workers for possible exposure to plutonium-238 after a glovebox operator packaging plutonium-238 oxide powder pulled out of the gloves. A Los Alamos spokesperson says the operator "received significant contamination on his protective clothing, hair, and skin, as well as positive nasal swabs indicating a potential intake," and that 14 other workers were placed on bioassay.
A House spending bill covering the Department of Energy includes language to prevent nuclear weapons testing and excludes funding to restart licensing for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.
The Wyoming State Geological Survey is using more advanced techniques to reanalyze stream-sediment samples collected 50 years ago by the former US Atomic Energy Commission under the National Uranium Resource Evaluation program. "As the United States searches for domestic sources of critical and strategic minerals, Wyoming has an opportunity to explore for and potentially develop new resources," said Erin Campbell, director of the state's Geological Survey.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility, says a July 2 fire was at a location where no nuclear materials were stored. The IAEA also indicated there are no changes to its safeguards verification activities under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Russia's Joint Institute for Nuclear Research says Germany is extending its cooperation on the $500 million superconducting Nuclotron-based Ion Collider Facility under construction near Moscow. The Nuclotron-based Ion Collider for studying protons and neutrons is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.