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[en] Background and purpose: Preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy ((C)RT) for rectal cancer is, in Norway, restricted to patients with cT4-stage or threatened circumferential resection margin. This nationwide population-based study assessed the use of preoperative (C)RT in Norway and its impact on treatment outcomes.
[en] Highlights: • Deep-seated smoldering fires in wood pellets generate pyrolysis gases. • Flammable pyrolysis gases can travel and accumulate, e.g. in the silo headspace. • Fires cannot be fought with water, novel approaches call for injection of inert gas. • Injection of carbon dioxide may generate static electricity, leading to silo explosion. • Industry standards and pellet handbooks largely silent on the hazard. - Abstract: Smouldering fires in wood pellet silos are not uncommon. The fires are often difficult to deal with and extinguishment is a lengthy process. Injection of inert gases to prevent oxygen from reaching the smouldering fire zone and suppress combustion is a new firefighting strategy. This article argues that injection of inert carbon dioxide (CO2) into the silo headspace is unsafe. Carbon dioxide is generally available as a liquid under high pressure. When discharged, small particles of dry ice are formed. The rapid flow of particles can generate considerable amounts of static electricity, which can act as a source of ignition if ignitable pyrolysis gases are present. This article discusses a serious wood pellet smouldering fire and silo explosion in Norway in 2010, which took place when firefighters discharged portable CO2 fire extinguishers into the headspace. The attempt to suppress the fire may have ignited pyrolysis gases. The article examines selected guidelines, standards, wood pellet handbooks and other literature and argues that the electrostatic hazard is widely under-appreciated. In the past, major explosions have been attributed to electrostatic ignition of flammable vapours during the release of CO2 for fire prevention purposes. There is evidence to suggest that those early lessons learned have at least partly passed out of sight.
[en] Highlights: • Analyses of long term monitoring data reveals significant changes in benthic macrofaunal abundance, species richness, and community structure in the deep water of three west Norwegian sill fjords. • The macrofaunal changes were not reflected by changes in the Shannon-Wiener diversity index. • The observed changes are characterized by an increased abundance of opportunistic species, especially the polychaet Polydora sp. • The macrofaunal changes are significantly correlated to declining dissolved oxygen, rising temperature in the bottom water and increasing total organic matter in the sediment. - Abstract: Quantitative analyses of soft bottom invertebrate fauna from four Norwegian sill fjords show increased macrofaunal abundance, species richness, and a considerably changed benthic deep water macrofaunal composition in the inner parts of the fjord system. In retrospect, the analyses show significantly altered benthic macrofaunal community structure that was not reflected by the changes in the Shannon-Wiener diversity indices during regular monitoring. The observed changes are mainly due to an increased abundance of opportunistic species, especially of the polychaete Polydora sp. during the last 10–15 years which is correlated significantly to declining dissolved oxygen, rising temperature in the bottom water and increasing total organic matter in the sediment. Possible anthropogenic and climatic impact factors related to the observed macrofaunal changes and environmental consequences of the changes are discussed.
[en] Highlights: • Simulation allows predicting the time of maximum energy content and the net present value of a forest fuel pile. • Optimizing the combustion sequence can improve the gained net present value of delivered biomass by 2.0%–6.4%. • The presented simulation and optimization method uses easily available input and is computationally efficient. - Abstract: We constructed a computation scheme that combines GIS, simulation and optimization techniques for assessing the moisture change, dry matter loss, transportation costs and net present value of solid forest fuel piles. This scheme was applied to predict the value of a stock composed of multiple piles, and to find the optimal feedstock allocation strategy, i.e. the selection of piles and the combustion time so that the total energy yield or the economic value of the energy production is maximized. According to the simulation, single Norway spruce energy wood piles reached their maximum energy content during July–August in boreal conditions in Finland. If a pile was created between January–September, the maximum energy content occurred in the same year, whereas for piles created between October–December, the maximum occurs in the summer of the following year. In the optimized combustion sequence, the piles generated in early Year 1 were combusted first. The main outcome of the study was that the simulation-optimization scheme can increase the gained net present value of the feedstock by 2.0%–6.4%, and the benefit increases with increasing heterogeneity of the feedstock. Forest fuel supplier can get considerable savings by applying the presented system to decide the combustion sequence of the existing feedstock. From practical point of view this is remarkable because the savings can be achieved without any investments only by arranging the transportation sequence. The presented computation system uses easily available input, can be modified to different condition, and can be run with standard IT-resources.
[en] The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) has been implementing a regulatory support program in the Russian Federation for over 10 years, as part of the Norwegian government's Plan of Action for enhancing nuclear and radiation safety with special focus on nuclear legacy problems in Northwest Russia. During this time there has been cooperation in more than 24 different projects. Significant component of the Plan of Action is to provide support its sister authorities in the Russian Federation, over the years a considerable degree of confidence and mutual trust has been built up among all the relevant organizations, allowing for real progress to be made in meeting protection objectives. The main goal of the regulatory projects is to develop regulatory requirements to ensure protection of personnel, population and environment, during remediation uranium and nuclear legacy sites. Many of the legacy issues originated from the military program. It is therefore vital that the military authority has agreed to be a part of the cooperation program, i.e. Directorate of State Supervision over Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. (authors)
[en] Highlights: • Biodegradation experiment in cold Norwegian seawater. • Microbial community and metagenome succession correlate to hydrocarbon dynamics. • Reconstructed genomes show narrow substrate specificity. • Cooperation among hydrocarbon degraders is needed for complete substrate transformation. - Abstract: Oil biodegradation as a weathering process has been extensively investigated over the years, especially after the Deepwater Horizon blowout. In this study, we performed microcosm experiments at 5 °C with chemically dispersed oil in non-amended seawater. We link biodegradation processes with microbial community and metagenome dynamics and explain the succession based on substrate specialization. Reconstructed genomes and 16S rRNA gene analysis revealed that Bermanella and Zhongshania were the main contributors to initial n-alkane breakdown, while subsequent abundances of Colwellia and microorganisms closely related to Porticoccaceae were involved in secondary n‑alkane breakdown and beta‑oxidation. Cycloclasticus, Porticoccaceae and Spongiiabcteraceae were associated with degradation of mono- and poly-cyclic aromatics. Successional pattern of genes coding for hydrocarbon degrading enzymes at metagenome level, and reconstructed genomic content, revealed a high differentiation of bacteria involved in hydrocarbon biodegradation. A cooperation among oil degrading microorganisms is thus needed for the complete substrate transformation.
[en] Highlights: • Chemically dispersed oil was rapidly biotransformed in cold Arctic seawater. • The bacterial genera Oleispira and Cycloclasticus were involved in degradation. • n-Alkanes were faster transformed in the Arctic than in a temperate seawater. • Aromatic PAH was transformed at comparable rates in both seawaters. • Different communities in the seawater affected hydrocarbon degradation. - Abstract: Biodegradation of chemically dispersed oil at low temperature (0–2 °C) was compared in natural seawater from Arctic (Svalbard) and a temperate (Norway) fjords. The oil was premixed with a dispersant (Corexit 9500) and small-droplet oil dispersions prepared. Faster biotransformation of n-alkanes in the Arctic than in the temperate seawater were associated with the initially higher abundance of the alkane-degrading genus Oleispira in the Arctic than the temperate seawater. Comparable transformation of aromatic hydrocarbons was further associated with the late emergences Cycloclasticus in both seawater sources. The results showed that chemically dispersed oil may be rapidly biodegraded by microbial communities in Arctic seawater. Compared to oil biodegradation studies at higher seawater temperatures, longer lag-periods were experienced here, and may be attributed to both microbial and oil properties at these low seawater temperatures.
[en] Highlights: • Drill cuttings were studied in sediments • Elevated concentrations of Ba are found in all of the wells ≤60 m from the wellhead. • The drill cutting layers are from >20 cm (wellhead) to 2 cm (250 m from wellhead) thick. • The sediment quality varies from very bad (oldest well) to background (newer wells). • Regulations in 1993 and after led to improving effect on the sediments quality. - Abstract: Five stations (≤250 m from the well heads) from three exploration wells of different ages from the SW Barents Sea were studied to investigate the spreading of drill cuttings and sediment quality. Two of the wells were drilled before the restriction of use of oil-based drilling fluids (1993). Elevated concentrations of Ba were found in sediments near all the wells with the highest concentrations at ≤60 m from the well head. The thickness of drill cutting layers was between >20 cm (well head) and 2 cm (250 m from the well head). The sediment quality varied from very bad (oldest well) to background (normal) (newer wells). Regulations led to better sediment quality. Metal concentrations from the oldest well suggested that the top 4 cm of the core represents sediment recovery. However, Ba concentrations of the top sediment layer at all the stations of the three wells indicate no physical recovery.
[en] Highlights: • The sediments were not highly contaminated with PAHs, NPs and metals. • Organotin levels may give rise to concern in the sediments of the Norwegian fjords. • In general, a declining trend in the deposition of contaminants was observed. • Contamination of sediments depends also on the water and sediment conditions. • Different approaches to sediment appraisal provide significantly different results. - Abstract: Hazardous substances entering the sea, and ultimately deposited in bottom sediments, pose a growing threat to marine ecosystems. The present study characterized two coastal areas exposed to significant anthropogenic impact - Gulf of Gdańsk (Poland), and Oslofjord/Drammensfjord (Norway) - by conducting a multi-proxy investigation of recent sediments, and comparing the results in light of different available thresholds for selected contaminants. Sediment samples were analyzed for benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nonylphenols (NPs), organotin compounds (OTs), toxic metals (Cd, Hg, Pb), as well as mutagenic, genotoxic and endocrine-disrupting activities (in CALUX bioassays). In general, a declining trend in the deposition of contaminants was observed. Sediments from both basins were not highly contaminated with PAHs, NPs and metals, while OT levels may still give rise to concern in the Norwegian fjords. The results suggest that the contamination of sediments depends also on water/sediment conditions in a given region.
[en] The Norwegian nuclear research facilities Halden and Kjeller are near the end of their current operational licenses. Thus, the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries have decided that a concept evaluation study shall be made on the decommissioning alternatives for these facilities. This task was given to Ndcon (Westinghouse and Studsvik) with their broad experience in decommissioning planning and decades of nuclear expertise, together with DNV GL, that is certified in Norway for concept evaluation studies. The decommissioning alternatives that have been evaluated are strategy, end-state and waste management options. The decommissioning strategies are the IAEA defined immediate dismantling, deferred dismantling and entombment. The different end-states that have been evaluated are unrestricted use (green field), light industry (brown field) and other nuclear activity, in which the site will continue to have a nuclear license even after the decommissioning. The waste management options are direct disposal of materials, recycling of materials off-site and recycling on-site. The result of the cost estimation is that it is possible to identify viable alternatives for a chosen decommissioning strategy, end state and waste management options. The expected duration of the decommissioning program is 10 years for both sites, the dismantling and demolition period is expected to be able to perform within 4 years. (authors)