seaborg dedicates nfs plant

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  • Seaborg dedicates NFS plant Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Seaborg dedicated the world's first pri-vately owned nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., a W. R. Grace majority-owned subsidi-ary, operates the plant at West Valley, N.Y. The $32 million facility proc-esses spent nuclear-power-plant fuel and recovers plutonium nitrate and uranyl nitrate. It sends the plutonium to AEC and ships the recovered uranyl nitrate solution for conversion to recycle fuel or to uranium hexa-fluoride for re-enriching, and disposes of radioactive wastes. A potential capability exists at the plant for iso-tope recovery.

    In his remarks Dr. Seaborg stated that U.S. demand for electricity has been doubling about every 10 years. Annual electric generating capacity in the U.S. now is about 250,000 Mw(e) . , will increase to about 520,-000 Mw(e ) . by 1980, and may reach 1.6 million Mw(e ) . by the year 2000.

    Mechanical processing cell 300 tons annually

    Nuclear electric capacity is also on the increase. From the 1060 M w ( e ) . in operation at the end of 1965, fore-casts are for 12,200 Mw(e ) . installed capacity by 1970 (C&EN, July 4, page 18). Chairman Seaborg predicts that almost all new electric generating plants will be nuclear by the year 2000.

    In operation since April 20, the plant uses the Purex method of solvent extraction with tributyl phosphate (C&EN, June 28, 1965, page 26) . To date about 100 tons of spent nuclear fuel have been reprocessed and the recovered uranium shipped. Designed to reprocess 300 tons of fuel annually, primarily from power reactors, the plant is also capable of handling fuel from test reactors, propulsion reactors, and some breeder reactor experiments.

    NFS's only domestic industrial com-petitor on the horizon is General Elec-tric. GE has plans to construct a 300 metric-ton-a-year plant in the East or Midwest by 1970. Abroad, the U.K.'s plant at Windscale, England, is the world's largest commercial reprocess-ing plant (C&EN, Aug. 15, page 30) .

    At the dedication Dr. Seaborg stressed the need to develop interna-tional safeguard procedures for nuclear fuel reprocessing plants to prevent the diversion of recovered by-product plu-tonium to nuclear weapons. In Ge-neva earlier this year, the U.S. offered to place the NFS plant under interna-tional inspection. And in support of this position, NFS and AEC have agreed to make the plant available for training of inspectors from the Inter-national Atomic Energy Agency.

    Plastic bottle use grows Milk-processing requirements set the pace for plastic bottle gains during the first seven months of this year, says the Bureau of the Census in a survey of shipments of blow-molded plastic bottles. Significant gains over the like period in 1965 were evident in several other areas.

    Blow molders, through last July, shipped 38 million units to milk proc-essors, compared to 14 million for all food and beverages in 1965 (up 164.3%). Shipments this year for all food and beverages totaled 72 million units, a gain of 77%. Gains in all shipments rose 6.2%, with an increase in units from 1.57 billion to 1.66 bil-lion.

    An increase of 400 million units for toiletries and cosmetics was a gain of 2 1 % over the 1965 period. Some 68 million shipments for industrial chemi-cals and specialties represent an in-crease of 4 .3%. Medicinal and health-product shipments rose from 156 mil-lion to 158 million units, up 1.3%.

    The number of plastic bottles used for household chemicals was down by 1 1 % . Presumably this was caused by a trend to larger bottles and, says the Census Bureau, by improved accuracy in reporting. Further, several compa-nies have reclassified bottle shipments into product categories.

    Total resin shipments for plastic bottles also increased, from 155 mil-lion to almost 168 million pounds, a gain of 8%. Broken down by resin types, high-density polyethylene con-tinues as the leader with 151 million pounds, a gain of 9%. The use of other resins increased 32% to a total of 5.4 million pounds for the seven-month period this year. This total, 5.4 mil-lion pounds, is now more than half that of low- and medium-density pol-yethylenes (11.5 million pounds).

    FDA starts Stendin action Action was started last week by the Food and Drug Administration to re-move Stendin tablets from the market. Stendin, a long-lasting proprietary pain reliever which contains sodium salicylate and aspirin, is made by Ab-bott Laboratories and is being test marketed by Lever Bros. ( C&EN, May 31, 1965, page 21) . FDA approved Stendin in May 1965.

    FDA Commissioner James L. God-dard says that clinical data on the drug omitted some information and contained other information which could not be verified. The data were reported by Cass Research Associates, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., and submitted to FDA by Abbott.

    FDA's Bureau of Medicine says that some people who allegedly took the drug during clinical trials were not hospitalized at the institution where the study was conducted; others reported as being treated were deceased at the time of the study.

    Two other revocation proposals were initiated previously by FDA be-cause of deficiencies in data from Cass Associates, an independent research organization. These are against Meas-urin, a time-release aspirin produced by Chesebrough-Ponds, and Nor-gesic, a prescription analgesic made by Riker Laboratories. The three compa-nies have 30 days to request public hearings on the revocation proposals. At stake is a share of the U.S. proprie-tary analgesic market, now more than $100 million in sales annually.

    Terming the action unjustified, Ab-bott announced that it is requesting a hearing on continued approval of its new drug application on Stendin. (The Oct. 19 issue of the Federal Reg-ister carried the notice. )

    Abbott also says that no question of safety is involved and clinical evi-dence covering more than 30 other studies on the drug was reviewed with FDA last May when the questions about the Cass study were first raised. Since the review of this supporting material, Abbott has received no in-dication that the Cass study had not been replaced.

    Lever says it's confused over the FDA action because none of the other studies revealed any adverse data. Lever expresses confidence in the safety and effectiveness of Stendin and in Abbott Laboratories to sub-stantiate all claims for the drug. For over a year Lever has been test mar-keting Stendin in six cities across the country; it will continue to promote the drug.

    Confident that its clinical material supports the safety and long-lasting action of Stendin, Abbott says it will continue to produce the product.

    20 C&EN OCT. 24, 1966

    Seaborg dedicates NFS plant