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Vermont Senate votes to close Yankee

first_imgNorthstar Vermont Yankee,At just after 3 pm today, the Vermont Senate voted against relicensing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon by a vote of 26-4. The overwhelming vote against the plant included some Republicans who, while concerned about the economic and employment implications connected with the plant, as well as the process of moving the bill quickly through the Legislature, were also concerned by questions of safety of the plant and trust in its management.Republican Senator Randy Brock of Franklin County was one of those who wanted more time to consider all the sides of the bill. But said with what he knows now, he was compelled to vote against the relicensing. Brock said that Entergy could not have done a worse job in trying to make its case.Democratic Senator Peter Shumlin, the Senate president pro tem, was the leader of the opposition. His case against the relicensing was several fold, including: The new power purchase proposal from Vermont Yankee owner Entergy would increase the price of power from the current 4 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.1 cents, while at the same time reducing the Vermont share of power produced by the plant in half; that the plant would not be owned by Entergy, but by a new entity called Enexus that would also own five other older nuclear plants and that it would be burdened by $4.7 billion in debt; that the two largest utilities in Vermont, Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service, believe the contract terms are unacceptable; that of the estimated $1 billion cleanup costs of the plant, Entergy has only $400 million, calling into question who would have to pay the rest of the decommissioning regardless of when that might happen; that Entergy has not been trustworthy; and that the safety of the plant is in question, given, among other things, an ongoing tritium leak at the plant whose source has yet to be determined, even though it was first reported in early January.The most eloquent supporter of the relicensing was Rutland Senator Peg Flory. Flory said the plant has been incredibly reliable, the cost of power has been reasonable and it is an important employer. She even put forward a motion that would have Vermont look into building a second nuclear power plant, following along President Obama’s initiative to increase nuclear as a power source in the United States.Since the first tritium finding, it was revealed that Yankee officials in 2008 and 2009 made inaccurate statements, some under oath, saying that there were no underground piping systems carrying radioactive material. Governor Douglas pulled his support for the plant until the leak is found and fixed and the company earned back the state’s trust. Douglas had been one of Yankee’s strongest supporters. In response, Vermont Yankee has changed its leadership structure in Vermont and offered a three-year deal for 25 megawatts at the current price. However, Shumlin said that offer was too little, too late.In response to the vote, Vermont Yankee issued a statement saying, “The effort to win a 20-year renewal of Vermont Yankee’s operating license is far from over. We remain determined to prove our case to the legislature, state officials and the Vermont public. The plant is a vital, safe and reliable source of clean power for Vermont and the rest of New England, and we will continue communicating to the public the substantial economic and environmental benefits of keeping the plant operating beyond 2012.”In the interim, we will remain focused on resolving the tritium issue, on operating the plant safely, reliably and securely, and on winning back the confidence and trust of the citizens of Vermont.”The plant employees about 600 people, about half of whom live in Vermont. The license expires in 2012. Entergy Vermont Yankee is seeking a 20-year extension. The Senate vote comes on the heels of the latest bad news for the plant. On February 22, the NRC revealed that a similar, though smaller, leak was found in 2005 in underground piping systems. The 2005 event came to light from a source from within the plant who told a member of the state Legislature. Vermont Yankee has disputed at least some of the facts of that incident.The source of a tritium leak discovered at the plant in January has not been identified, but Yankee officials believe it is from an underground piping system. However, the excavation of the site has been slow because of the sensitivity of the site and the nature of the geology. Yankee officials have emphasized that the radioactive isotope has not entered any drinking water wells or the adjacent Connecticut River.Vermont Yankee has also said that a “parent guarantee” of $40 million from Entergy to the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund has been approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A drinking water well in the general area of the test wells that have showed elevated levels of the radioactive isotope will be taken out of service as a precaution, even though it is well beneath the test wells and has not shown in testing to contain tritium.last_img read more

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NRG Systems signs agreement with Technocentre éolien to validate condition-based turbine health monitoring system

first_imgNRG Systems Inc,NRG Systems,in Hinesburg V, manufacturer of measurement systems for the renewable energy industry, has signed a collaborative agreement with TechnoCentre éolien that allows NRG Systems to install and validate its patented condition-based turbine health monitoring system known as TurbinePhD. The system was installed on a Repower MM92 wind turbine at the TechoCenter’s northern wind energy research center location in Rivière-au-Renard, Quebec last month.The TurbinePhD health monitoring system allows operations and maintenance professionals to dramatically lower their costs by accurately predicting when components in the turbine’s drive train are likely to fail months in advance. Maintenance and crane calls can then be scheduled at the most optimal time, such as during the low-wind season.Adapting advanced technology from the aerospace industry, the TurbinePhD differs from traditional condition monitoring systems in that it delivers a single readily understandable health indicator for each component in a turbine’s drive train’and accurate predictions of their future health’straight to the desktops of operations and maintenance professionals.‘This system will completely change the way we understand condition monitoring,’ said Larry Jacobs, product manager at NRG Systems. ‘It allows any operations and maintenance professional to accurately predict and schedule repairs months in advance of a failure’all without relying on diagnostic engineering support.’‘TechnoCentre éolien is proud to work with NRG Systems to develop this innovative product. That kind of project is part of our mission as a research facility,’ said Frederic Côté, TechnoCentre éolien general manager.The turbine health monitoring system is patented under US Patent No. 8082115.NRG Systems is an independently owned company that has served the global wind energy industry for 29 years. Its wind measurement systems and turbine control sensors can be found on every continent in more than 145 countries, serving electric utilities, wind farm developers, turbine manufacturers, research institutes, government agencies, and universities.Founded in 2000, the TechnoCentre éolien is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of a made-in-Québec industrial wind energy network that can compete on North American and world stages while promoting the Gaspésie-à les-de-la-Madeleine region as central to this emerging niche of Québec’s economy.last_img read more

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European shares tumble to four-month low as virus risks grow

first_img“This is part of the ongoing reassessment of how bad the economic impact could get if the virus were to spread to more countries,” said Simona Gambarini, markets economist at Capital Economics in London.”Longer the shutdown lasts, then more likely that some of that production might never come back because companies might go bankrupt and people are also starting to take unpaid leaves.”Food group Danone cut its 2020 forecast for sales and profit margin, citing an uncertain economic climate and the coronavirus outbreak. However, its shares rose 1.4 percent.Global miner Rio Tinto fell 1.8 percent after signalling that the outbreak may create challenging conditions in the next six months.Latest data from Refinitiv shows European companies are expected to report a 1.2 percent fall in profits in the fourth quarter, a bigger drop than previously expected, which would keep them stuck in a year-long earnings recession.The biggest decliner on the STOXX 600 was Danish services company ISS, slumping 14 percent after results.Pressuring Norwegian shares was a 4 percent fall in fish farmer Salmar after warning of weak salmon output volumes for the current quarter.Topics : The losses followed a grim session for Asia and Wall Street overnight after US health officials warned Americans should prepare for possible community spread of the virus that has now hit Spain and dozens of countries from South Korea to Italy.The STOXX 600 is trading 9.4 percent below the record highs hit just last week, while the past four trading sessions has wiped out about $3 trillion in value of world stocks.British spirits maker Diageo fell 3 percent after estimating an up to 200 million pounds ($260 million) hit to fiscal 2020 profit from the outbreak.Rivals Remy Cointreau SA and Pernod Ricard dropped 4.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. European shares fell to a near four-month low on Wednesday, as the fast-spreading coronavirus deepened fears about its impact on global growth with marquee companies sounding the alarm on earnings.The main European equity benchmark STOXX 600 tumbled 2.6 percent, marking its first five-day losing streak since July.Travel stocks, financial services, chemical and technology stocks were among the worst hit, falling between 3 percent and 4 percent.last_img read more

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Coronavirus found on frozen seafood in China

first_imgAuthorities in China have found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases, a local government said on Tuesday.The virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood bought by three companies in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province.The Yantai city government said in a statement the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian but did not say where it originated. When asked if any of the processed seafood had been exported, a member of staff at a coronavirus outbreak response unit in Yantai declined to elaborate, referring Reuters to the Yantai city government statement.Authorities had sealed off the goods, the city government said. Everyone who handled the goods was under quarantine and have tested negative for the coronavirus, it said.The latest outbreak of coronavirus in Dalian city started in late July, with the first case working at a seafood processing company. By Aug. 9, Dalian has reported a total of 92 cases. In July, customs officers in Dalian, a major port in the northeastern province of Liaoning, found the coronavirus in the packaging of frozen shrimps imported from Ecuador, and China then suspended imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers.The novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a market that sold seafood and wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.It has since spread around the world, with some new cases brought back into China from returning travellers.Some of the seafood that the three Yantai companies bought had been processed for export, while the rest had been kept in cold storage and has not entered the market, the Yantai government said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Danica to grow 30% following SEB Pension takeover

first_imgDanske Bank’s pensions subsidiary Danica Pension is taking over SEB Pension’s activities in Denmark in a deal that will bring its assets close to the level of market leader PFA.Danica Pension – currently the second biggest commercial pension fund in Denmark after PFA – has signed an agreement to acquire SEB Pensionsforsikring and SEB Administration from Nordic financial services group SEB.Danske Bank said this would result in around 200,000 new pension customers joining Danica, bringing its total to 800,000.Per Klitgård, chief executive of Danica Pension, said: “The acquisition will give us strengthened innovation capacity, enabling us to deliver the right solutions for our pension and insurance customers – now and in the future.” Danica Pension also said the deal would make it more competitive through economies of scale.The takeover, which is expected to receive final approval from authorities in the first half of 2018, means that Danica Pension will have around DKK547bn (€73.5bn) in assets under management, according to 2016 figures.This is just shy of PFA’s DKK607bn total assets at the end of 2016.In terms of customer numbers, with about 1.2m customers, PFA would still be considerably larger than Danica Pension.In the deal, SEB will sell all shares in SEB Pensionsforsikring and SEB Administration for a total of DKK6.5bn, consisting of DKK5bn in cash and a pre-closing dividend of DKK1.5bn.Johan Torgeby, president and chief executive of SEB, said: “I am pleased that we together with Danica have concluded a mutually beneficial deal.“The transaction has clear strategic and long-term financial benefits and is consistent with SEB’s strategy allowing us to continue to grow with our core customer segments and accelerate the transformation of the bank.”last_img read more

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Sr. Marietta Sharkey O.S.F.

first_imgSr. Marietta Sharkey, age 84 of the Srs. of St. Francis in Oldenburg, died Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at the convent.  Born August 18, 1934 in Indianapolis, she is the daughter of Mary (Nee: Duffy) and William Sharkey, the youngest of three children.  She and her brothers were proud of their Irish heritage, but like many families during the depression, struggled to make ends meet.Both Sr. Marietta’s parents suffered from heart disease, and died while the children were young, leaving them to be raised by a foster family.  They attended Little Flower School in Indianapolis, and Sr. Marietta went on to graduate from St. Mary Academy and appreciated all the guidance from the Franciscan Sisters throughout these years..After graduation, Sr. Marietta entered the Sisters of St. Francis community in Oldenburg, and began her college education.  After earning her degree from Marian University, she began teaching at elementary schools in Indiana and Ohio, and soon began her Master’s Degree studies in Education and Theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  After earning her Master’s Degree, she began ministering as a Director of Religious Education at various parishes.In 2004 she facilitated a four-week visit for six Palestinian children and their teacher at Assumption Parish in Cincinnati.  The parish was awakened to the suffering and hardship of the Palestinian people, so the parish began to sponsor children in Palestine.  Suhair, the teacher of the children who to traveled to America, remained in contact with Sr. Marietta through the years as the two became like sisters.In reflecting on her life, Sr. Marietta commented, “Our days, our years, were filled with happy memories and deep down it was clear why we were there:  our education and a foundation in the Catholic faith.  As I continued on in my education through high school, college and graduate studies, I always felt grateful for the foundation I received at Little Flower School.  I know I could not have accomplished all I have been involved in without it.”Sr. Marietta is survived by her step sister Mary Lou Withem and step brothers Charles, Tom and Joe Withem.  In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by her brothers John and Bill Sharkey.  Visitation is Tuesday, September 25th, from 1 – 3 p.m. at the convent chapel.  Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with Rev. Rob Waller officiating and burial will be in the convent cemetery.  Memorials may be made to the Srs. of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, Indiana, 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org).  Weigel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.last_img read more

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Chargers CC Results Against Eagles

first_imgNorth Decatur High School Boys Varsity Cross Country falls to Jac-Cen-Del High School 15-40.ND: Brandon Gearhart 20:55, Cameron Medsker 28:18, Jack Cathey 24:20, Adam Mack 24:53, Collin Bryant, Brady Espinda 23:04, Caleb Bowles 23:50, Ethan Neimeyer 32:46, Owen Geis 23:02, Ryan Hancock 30:44:00.The North Decatur Chargers ran a dual meet Tuesday with Jac Cen Del. Brandon Gearhart lead the Chargers with a 6th place finishe. Notable finishers for the Chargers were Owen Geis 11th , Brady Espinda 12th, Caleb Bowles 14th. Hot and humid conditions along with injury and sickness hampered the overall performance for the evening. However, we showed great toughness and determination as we continue to build on the season.North Decatur High School Girls Varsity Cross Country falls to Jac-Cen-Del High School 24-27.ND: Jenna Walton 22:27, Lauren Holloway, Paige Wessler 31:52, Ellie Cox 28:06, Gracie Osting 24:05, Paige Reisman 28:18Philomenia Niese.The ladies competed in a dual meet with Jac Cen Del and came up just short in winning the head-head battle. North was lead by Meet Medalist Jenna Walton and followed by Gracie Osting in 3rd. Rounding out as top ten finishers were Ellie Cox 8th place and Paige Reisman in 9th. The ladies battled hard on a humid evening and with some runners fighting injury and sickness. A great effort by all!Courtesy of Chargers Coach Kyle Nobbe.last_img read more

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Ozil stars in Gunners triumph

first_img Arsenal’s defence were caught square by a deep ball through the penalty area from Steven Nzonzi on the right and Marko Arnautovic crashed his volley against the base of the far post. The rebound fell back out to United States defender Cameron, who kept his effort low to beat Wojciech Szczesny’s in the bottom right corner. Arsenal were soon back on the offensive, and it was 2-1 on 36 minutes. Ozil’s corner from the right was flicked on at the near post by Mertesacker. His header dropped inside the far corner where Laurent Koscielny had looked to get the final touch in front of the goalkeeper. At the start of the second half, Gnabry – another German hoping to impress watching national-team manager Joachim Low – was flattened by Robert Huth as Arsenal broke quickly. Referee Mike Dean played a good advantage as Olivier Giroud got clear to fire in a shot from 20 yards which was palmed over by Begovic before Huth was shown his due yellow card. Just after the hour, Ozil was played through into the right side of the penalty area by a knockdown from Jack Wilshere, but Begovic saved the German’s low, angled drive. At the other end, Szczesny showed he was still alert to push away a 20-yard shot from Marc Wilson. Arsenal made sure of the three points and top-spot in the Premier League when, on 72 minutes, Ozil’s deep free-kick was headed back over Begovic and into the far corner by defender Sagna. With the result safe, Wilshere – who had endured plenty of tough challenges all afternoon – was given a rest, replaced by Spain defender Nacho Monreal. Ozil was substituted himself shortly afterwards, leaving to a standing ovation, as midfielder Mikel Arteta made his first appearance of the season after a thigh injury – and on this evidence, the German playmaker could well give Arsenal fans more to cheer about before the medals are handed out in May. Ozil, signed from Real Madrid on deadline day, had a hand in all three of Arsenal’s goals as Arsene Wenger’s men finally ended the resistance of Mark Hughes’ well-organised team. Aaron Ramsey smashed in his seventh goal of an impressive season so far after Ozil’s fifth-minute free-kick was parried by Asmir Begovic, but Geoff Cameron swept in a deserved equaliser for the visitors. Ozil’s class, though, proved the difference again as his corner was flicked home by compatriot Per Mertesacker to give Arsenal the lead again before half-time and another pin-point deadball delivery made sure of all three points when Bacary Sagna looped in a header on 72 minutes. Arsenal have responded with seven straight wins since they were beaten 3-1 at home by Aston Villa on the opening day of the season – and if Ozil continues his impressive displays, Wenger’s squad could just be set for a long-overdue sustained assault on the Premier League title. Wenger was forced into a late change to his starting XI when England forward Theo Walcott suffered a minor abdominal strain during the warm-up and was replaced by youngster Serge Gnabry. Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner was on the bench for the first time this season, having seen a move away during the transfer window blocked. It did not take long for Ozil to have an impact, as his 20-yard curling free-kick was parried out by Begovic – and Ramsey was first to the loose ball to slot home. Ramsey wheeled away in delight, his finger to his lips in front of the Stoke fans, some of whom are always quick to remind the Wales midfielder of a double-leg break suffered in a tackle from Potters defender Ryan Shawcross at the Britannia Stadium in February 2010. For his part Shawcross continued to be roundly booed by sections of the home crowd every time he was on the ball. To their credit, Stoke slowly grew into the match and were level on 26 minutes. Arsenal’s record signing Mesut Ozil continued to repay his £43million transfer fee with a hat-trick of assists as the Gunners moved to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 win over Stoke at the Emirates Stadium. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Djokovic splits with coach Becker after three years

first_img(REUTERS) – Tennis world number two Novak Djokovic has split with coach Boris Becker three years after adding the German multiple grand slam winner to his team.Serbian Djokovic, who won six of his 12 major titles after hiring Becker but has suffered a slump in form over the past six months, confirmed their parting of ways on his website yesterday.“After three very successful years, Boris Becker and I have jointly decided to end our cooperation,” Djokovic, who lost his number one ranking to Andy Murray last month, said.“The goals we set when we started working together have been completely fulfilled, and I want to thank him for the cooperation, teamwork, dedication and commitment.”The pair joined forces in December 2013.After winning the Australian Open for a sixth time and then claiming a first French Open this year Djokovic, 29, was on course to complete a calendar year Grand Slam — a feat last managed in 1969 by Australian great Rod Laver.But he bowed out in the third round of Wimbledon to Sam Querrey, lost in the first round of the Rio Olympics to Juan Martin del Potro and then went down to Stan Wawrinka in the U.S. Open final.Without a title since July, Djokovic also saw an 8000-point ranking lead over Britain’s Murray vanish.Murray dethroned Djokovic after 122 weeks at the summit in November and then beat him to win the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, snapping the Serbian’s four-year domination of the London tournament.Djokovic did not reveal whether he would replace Becker and there was nothing to suggest long-term mentor Marian Vajda would be leaving his entourage, although the Belgrade native indicated he wanted to make his own choices.“My professional plans are now directed primarily to maintain a good level of play, and also to make a good schedule and new goals for the next season,” Djokovic said.“In this regard I will make all future decisions.”last_img read more

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Out of the 2 hole, Alicia Hansen improves plate discipline

first_imgWith the bases loaded and one out, Alicia Hansen sent a fly ball to deep center field. The sacrifice sent a runner home and put Syracuse up 3-2 against Elon in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, the sac fly was not the grand slam players dream about, but Hansen’s play decided the contest anyway.“I think that that was really good for me,” Hansen said, “because I really did struggle with hits, but I got it when it mattered.”Without flashy numbers, Hansen has quietly produced one of the best offensive seasons for the Orange. Despite her .244 batting average, Hansen consistently gets on, posting an on-base percentage of .364. Out of the two hole in the SU lineup, the sophomore infielder sits fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference with nine walks and ranks among Syracuse’s (9-5) top three in RBI, runs scored and stolen bases.The biggest reason for her solid start is her improved plate discipline. Her biggest weakness became her strongest asset.“She was a swinger,” Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch said. “She would swing at almost anything.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs a freshman, Hansen batted .213 and had an on-base percentage of only .277. Hansen struck out only 20 times in 136 at-bats last year. But she couldn’t manage to get hits. She chased balls low and outside, resulting in poor slap grounders that made for easy outs, and watched inside pitches get called for strikes. Hansen finished last season with eight more strikeouts (20) than walks (12).Hansen continues struggling to lift the ball because she rolls over the ball with her bat. In doing this, she’s hitting the ball down, not square on. The difference between this year and last year is her pitch selection.“Every walk is just an extra base runner that you might not have had if you swung at a bad pitch,” she said.Through 14 games this year, Hansen is three walks away from tying her season total from all of last year, and she has more than doubled her walk rate in 2017 (20 percent) from last year. Her newfound discipline has proved advantageous for Syracuse, seeing more pitches while working the pitcher’s pitch count.“We see through her in a way,” said sophomore utility infielder Bryce Holmgren, who hits two spots behind Hansen in the lineup. “Having her at the top of the lineup is really beneficial to us because we are able to see more pitches because she sees more pitches.”Once she gets on, Hansen is dangerous around the base paths. Despite sitting fifth on the team with 11 hits, Hansen ranks second in runs scored (12) and steals (three). The only player above her in both categories is Syracuse’s leadoff hitter, Sammy Fernandez, who currently bats .439, nearly .200 points above Hansen. Yet Hansen trails Fernandez by only one run and one steal.“You like to have those people at the top of the order,” Bosch said.Hansen’s improved plate discipline has earned her more hitting reps in practice, too. If players either swing at a ball or don’t swing a strike, they lose their turn in batting practice. Hansen said the drill keeps her on high alert, so she can replicate that same focus during games. It’s helped her emerge as one of the team’s better situational hitters.Against Elon, all Hansen needed to do was get the ball to the outfield. Instead of swinging for the fences at any pitch, as she has in years past, Hansen waited for the right pitch and knocked a deep fly ball to straightaway center for the game-winning run.“A lot of the time we talk about what it means to have a quality at-bat and what it means to have a team at-bat,” Holmgren said. “And for us, that’s not necessarily having the highest batting average … She needs to just keep having team at-bats and doing the little things because that’s what translates to runs.” Comments Published on March 2, 2017 at 2:13 am Contact Matt: mdliberm@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more