Reducing the environmental effects of uranium mining

Uranium is an element used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. It generates significant amounts of electricity with life-cycle carbon emissions that are as low as other renewable energy sources. However, the mining of this energy commodity continues to be controversial. This is due in part to the environmental and health impacts associated with the early years of uranium mining. Today, much of the regulation geared toward this industry is directed towards radiation protection. In addition, there are many myths, fears and misconceptions surrounding uranium production.

Key components include establishing an appropriate regulatory framework, planning for closure before the mine begins production, and requiring financial assurance from companies that they will cover the costs of closure and remediation, as well as the application of leading practices in order to minimize the radiation exposure of workers as well as the public.

Protection of water resources and the safe, long-term disposal of tailings and problematic waste rock also need to be addressed. Public consultation and information sharing, as well as environmental impact assessment and environmental monitoring throughout the life cycle of the mine, have also shown to be crucial components.

The NRC regulates and licenses uranium recovery facilities, including conventional mills and ISL operations. It has a long-standing practice of conducting regulatory responsibilities in an open manner so that the public is kept informed of its activities. The National Mining Association also holds meetings that are open to the public as well as an outreach strategy for federally recognized Indian tribes that may be interested in or affected by mining operations.

An environmental impact assessment is a process used to predict and minimize environmental effects of proposed initiatives before they are fully planned or undertaken. It is a planning and decision-making tool that is used to inform and engage members of the public and other interested parties as it provides all stakeholders with an overview of the project and details specific measures proposed to mitigate or minimize potential environmental impacts or effects that could arise if the project is to proceed. It determines if the baseline environmental data is sufficient and also identifies what key areas of the environment must be protected, as well as the adverse effects that must be avoided and what follow-up environmental monitoring programs must be put in place in order to assess the project. Some measures or goals to assess the effectiveness of the proposed controls or mitigation are also a recommended. This includes identifying the regulatory controls or oversight that will be required to ensure that the project satisfies all of the overall recommendations.

Monitoring wells are installed as dictated by geologic and hydrogeologic parameters. They are sampled biweekly for chloride, alkalinity, and conductivity and any samples that have more than two indicators at prescribed levels must be placed on excursion status and regulatory authorities notified by the uranium mining company within 24 hours. They are then monitored every seven days until the indicators return to non-excursion levels. The applicant would modify operations, as necessary, in order to correct the problem.

Posted in A53

What is the difference between traditional and cosmetic dentistry?

A cosmetic dentist is generally concerned with making you proud of your smile by improving both the aesthetics and health of your teeth. Therefore, he or she will do such procedures as teeth whitening, bonding, veneers, and straightening which are not necessarily needed in order to have better oral health.

On the other hand, a traditional dentist specializes in preventative care in order to maintain good oral health. Therefore, he or she provides services such as teeth cleaning, cavity filling, root canals, and oral cancer screening. If you need either a checkup or have tooth pain, then you need to see a traditional dentist.

There are two primary dental specialties that focus on cosmetic dentistry. They are prosthodontics and orthodontics. According to the American Dental Association, prosthodontists diagnose, help to treat, rehabilitate, and maintain oral function, comfort, health and appearance for patients who have missing or damaged teeth as well as oral and maxillofacial tissues. The ADA defines the specialty of orthodontics as that which deals primarily with the diagnosis, prevention and correction of poorly positioned teeth.

Additionally, there are some aspects of both endodontics and periodontics that can be considered part of cosmetic dentistry. Endodontists are specialists who save teeth. While this can be done in order to maintain a healthy mouth, it can also be done in order to keep up appearances and that is how it falls under the umbrella of cosmetic dentistry. Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and are also responsible for the placement of dental implants.

Cosmetic dentistry in and of itself is not a specialty recognized by the ADA. However, those in this field are usually members of the world’s largest and most trusted organization for cosmetic dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. In fact, there are over 6,000 dental professionals, laboratory technicians, educators, and researchers in more than 70 countries that are a part of this organization.

Moreover, those who become members of the AACD obtain both education and training on the latest procedures, techniques, and products. This is done through, lectures, workshops, and publications. Therefore, members are able to stay one step ahead of their peers and by keeping informed on trends in the market and learning how the latest products and technologies they benefit their patients and are better able to support both responsible esthetics and systemic oral health. Additionally, when a patient chooses a dentist that is an AACD member, they know their dental professional cares enough to stay in the forefront of the field and they will receive the most up-to-date and best care available.

In order to become a member, dental professionals must complete a demanding clinical testing process that includes a written examination, documentation of several types of clinical cases, passing an oral examination, and participation in continuing education classes. Once a dentist or a laboratory technician is awarded AACD accreditation, he or she is expected to stay on top of industry trends and offer his or her patients the best care available.

Posted in A53

How to install a radon abatement system

You should have a radon mitigation system installed in your home because radon is a radioactive gas that is created when uranium decays and prolonged exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer. While levels that are more than four pCi/L are considered dangerous, you can have a licensed contractor install a system in order to reduce the amount of radon found in the air.

The first thing the installer will do when setting up your radon abatement is to create a PVC pipe access in order to allow a vent pipe to transport the gas from your basement to the outside. He or she will mark the area on the basement floor where the pipe should be installed and it will probably be near your hot water heater or other equipment in the home.

After the location is marked, he or she will use a rotary hammer to make a number of holes to outline the marked area. Once that is complete, he or she will then use a demolition hammer to break away the concrete floor. After the concrete is removed, the installer will need a soil auger bit attached to a drill in order to create a 20-inch diameter hole by removing the dirt from under the slab. After the hole is dug, the vent pipe is installed. It should be a tight fit. Once that is complete, the pipe is then run through the walls and up into the attic.

At that point, the contractor will install a foam rubber backer rod around the base of the vent pipe. This should be done just below the concrete surface of the floor. The area around the pipe should then be sealed with hydraulic cement and then the pipe should be attached to a venting fan in the attic. This should be done by using metal brackets. The pipe should be placed in such a manner so that it can go from the vent to the roof. Upon completion, a roof cap is then attached. The radon remediation system is then set up in the basement and capped to the vent and a monitoring system is installed. This is done through a small hole that is drilled in the floor of the basement and allows for the draw of the fan from the radon mitigation system to be checked with a smoke pencil.

When he or she is finished and the system has been installed, your contractor should test it to ensure that it is working properly. To do so, he or she should drill a small hole in your foundation, turn on the fan, and use a smoking piece of burning paper in order to see if air is being sucked into that hole. Once testing is complete, the installer should place a manometer on the basement piping. This will enable you to be able to tell whether or not the system is creating the pressure differential that is needed to suck the air up from the ground.

Posted in A53

Advantages of using a truck bed extender

Many people choose to drive pick-up trucks because it makes life easier. With a pick-up, you can transport anything from groceries to furniture without an issue. However, problems can occur when the objects being moved are longer than the truck bed. That is when a pickup truck bed extender comes in handy.

A truck bed extender is an accessory that can be added to a pickup truck’s bed when the tailgate is open. It sits on top of the tailgate and forms a boundary that allows items that are longer than the bed to be carried without the risk of them falling out.

While bed extenders need to professionally installed, once they are, they can add two more feet onto your bed. Therefore, they are perfect for any large loads that need to be hauled. Their cage-like design makes flipping back and effortless. Simply open your tailgate and flip out the extender for an extra two feet of storage space.

Once you have completed the move, you can simply flip the extender away from you and put up the tailgate in order to create a smaller storage compartment that helps to keep your groceries from flying all over your truck bed. Additionally, extenders are great for carrying all types of cargo from big to small loads. Moreover, if you ever need to haul something without the extender, it can be removed simply and almost effortlessly.

Also known as truck bed slides, these contraptions are great if you have an ATV or motorbike and you travel to the various racing events. By installing a pickup bed extender you can easily move your vehicle onto the truck.

Additionally, these devices also enable you to carry longer objects like lumber or pipe, making them essential to construction workers, electricians, and plumbers, amongst others. Furthermore, depending on what you are planning to carry in your truck bed, there are a variety of different types of bed extenders that you can install in your pickup truck. For example, if you plan on moving lumber in, it is a different type of extender than if you are hauling objects that do not exceed the length of the truck bed plus the tailgate as that requires a standard bed extender in your truck.

Another great example of when a truck bed is essential is when you decide to move, especially if you try to do it on your own. This is due to the fact that many beds, couches, and other pieces of furniture are longer and bulkier than the bed of a pickup truck. Having an extender will allow you to move these things on your own in few trips.

If you are the type of person who carries a lot of stuff in your pickup’s truck bed, then having bed extenders helps you to utilize all available space for your cargo. While pickup trucks can offer a lot of room for storage, having few more inches can make all the difference. With bed extenders, you can not only take tons of stuff with you, you can also move larger and longer objects.


Posted in A53

What is health compliance?

Doctors, nurses, and others that work to manage and treat ailments, help in the birthing of citizens and offer services which are designed to help improve the quality of life of people as well as make it possible to ensure that patients have the proper access to the services need to also contend with health compliance.


Compliance is best defined as striving to meet the expectations of others, particularly those who grant money, pay for services, and regulate the healthcare industry. This means keeping up-to-date with the laws, rulings, and regulations that govern the healthcare industry, including HIPAA.


Healthcare compliance is required in order to regulate billing and coding for treatments, risk assessment, practice ethics, referral laws, and patient rights legislation. Accurate billing is important in order to ensure that problems with the government do not arise. In addition, proper documentation and itemization of charges for treatments and services are important to provide proof of service during an audit.


Moreover, compliance also prevents improper treatments, lawsuits and various problems that can happen between patients and insurance companies. Healthcare providers need to ensure that all factors which could lead to audits are correct because proper compliance also leads to fewer conflicts with insurance companies. It also allows for efficient processing, as well.


However, as technology continues to evolve both mobile devices and cloud-based platforms can and have challenged cyber security policies at various healthcare organizations. The growing sophistication of these cyber threats, which include hacks, ransomware and other forms of network attacks, pose additional problems for healthcare organizations and workers.


Additionally, healthcare providers need to be cognizant of the top investigated compliance issues. According to a patient privacy rights website they are:

  1. Forbidden use and disclosure of protected health information;
  2. Lack of safeguards for protected health information;
  3. More patient access to their protected health information needed;
  4. Increased administrative safeguards of electronic protected health information to be put in place
  5. Use or disclosure of more than the minimum necessary protected health information.


These issues are most common in private medical practices and are often due to having offices complete the required HIPAA training and then becoming disinterested in the law over time.  Periodically, your office compliance officer should remind staff members of the consequences of violating the law.  He or she should also emphasize that comments on social media about patients, including posting #surgeryselfies, or other actions that encourage curiosity to lead to inappropriate records review, will not be tolerated.


This is especially important in smaller physician offices where the staff can become careless about password access as well as too casual about the use of e-mail, messaging and other types of patient interactions that are not HIPAA compliant. Therefore, quarterly or even monthly conversations and reminders should be completed in order to ensure that no behavior changes are needed and so that the office remains compliant at all times.


While violation of patient privacy rights is nothing new in the U.S. it cannot and should not be tolerated.

Posted in A53

Different types of Radon Reduction Systems

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General, along with the American Cancer Society and the EPA recommend testing for radon in your home, regardless of where you live as it has been found throughout the country. If the radon level in your home is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, you should look into the different radon reduction systems that are available. This is especially true if you or one of your family members smoke and your home has high radon levels as that makes your risk of lung cancer especially high.

There are a variety of different ways to go about radon remediation. The type of house you have will affect the kind of radon reduction system that will work best and that is based on the foundation the home is built on.

If you have a basement or a slab-on-grade foundation, then radon abatement is done by one of four types of soil suction. They are; sub-slab suction, drain tile suction, sump hole suction, and block wall suction. Subslab suction or depressurization is the most common and the most reliable method.

An effective method to reduce radon levels in homes with crawlspace is known as submembrane suction. It is comprised of covering the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet and then using a vent pipe and fan to draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors.

In some cases, radon levels can be lowered by ventilating the crawlspace either with or without a fan. Crawlspace ventilation lowers indoor radon levels by reducing the home’s suction on the soil and by diluting the radon beneath the house. Passive ventilation, or without fans, is done by opening vents, and/or installing additional vents. Active ventilation uses a fan to blow air through the crawlspace. In colder climates, water pipes, sewer lines and appliances in the crawlspace need to be insulated against the cold and these options could result in increased energy costs for the house.

An additional method includes sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation. This is a basic part of radon reduction. However, the EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because it has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently and it is difficult to identify and permanently seal the places where radon is entering. In addition, normal settling of your house opens new entry routes and reopens old ones.

House/room pressurization uses a fan to blow air into the basement or living area from either upstairs or outdoors. It attempts to create enough pressure at the lowest level indoors in an attempt to prevent radon from entering the house. The effectiveness is limited by house construction, climate, other appliances in the house, and occupant lifestyle. In order to maintain enough pressure to keep radon out, the doors and windows at the lowest level must not be left opened, except for normal entry and exit.

A heat recovery ventilator is installed to increase ventilation and help reduce the radon levels in your home. They introduce outdoor air while using the heated or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air and are most effective when used to ventilate only the basement.

Posted in A53

Importance of fleet management

If your business has a number of vehicles at its disposal and they are all used at some point or another by the employees of your company, then you should look into fleet management.  Utilizing this tool will enable your company to save money in a variety of ways.


One of the most important reasons why companies that have employees working remotely use fleet management services in regards to the business’ vehicles is to ensure that the cars, trucks, and vans are all maintained properly.  That means that they are all brought in for regular maintenance, which includes oil changes, brake system checks, and tire rotation, just to name a few.

By ensuring that your company’s vehicles are properly maintained, you cut down on breakdowns, which can lead to costly delays for both you and your customers.  In addition, having a fleet that is well maintained will help drivers avoid receiving tickets when stopped by the police for safety checks.  Cars and trucks that receive routine maintenance are more fuel efficient, as well.


Driver safety is another reason why many businesses turn to fleet management.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that up to 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries happen due, at least in part, to transportation incidents.  This includes a combination of both driver behavior and faulty vehicles.


When vehicles are not maintained, there is more of a chance that the brakes will fail, the steering system malfunctions, or the engine stalls and leads to catastrophe.  You are responsible to not only to keep your employees safe; you are also charged with providing a measure of protection to those who share the road with your drivers.  Vehicle maintenance is the first step in protecting both groups.


Not only are well-maintained vehicles safer to drive, but knowing that there is someone acutely aware of their driving habits can make your drivers pay more attention to the rules of the road and not take as many risks.  Speeding, weaving, and tailgating will diminish and therefore make the roads safer for all.


Another way that fleet management can improve your bottom line is by scheduling maintenance to occur during off-road hours.  By doing so, you reduce the number of unexpected breakdowns without impacting the overall usefulness of your fleet.  Furthermore, downtime can sideline a driver and impact customer service because when a vehicle is out of commission, you incur the expense of losing a valuable resource for your business unless you are willing to pay for a replacement rental.


By using GPS tracking you can trigger maintenance reminders based on the number of hours each has been in service or by the amount of mileage that is incurred.  These are both accurate measures and the proper approach for preventative maintenance.  Therefore, your company’s vehicles can be out in the community more often as a testament to the quality of your business practices.  Moreover, this can enable you to keep your vehicles running for over 200,000 miles before replacement is necessary.


Posted in A53

Famous Loose Diamonds

It seems as if loose diamonds set in settings for rings, earrings, and other jewelry have been a girl’s best friend since the beginning of time.  While your engagement ring may be your favorite, there are plenty of others that have stood the test of time and history.  These are the diamonds that put Kim K and Mariah Carey’s to shame.

  • The Heart of the Ocean. The popular 90s film Titanic is based on the famous cruise ship’s untimely demise after it hit an iceberg.  Kate Winslet’s character is seen wearing a large blue diamond necklace that ultimately ends up at the bottom of the sea.  While the necklace is real, it was not called the Heart of the Ocean and it was not a diamond.  The piece of jewelry worn by one of the passengers was called The Love of the Sea and it was a sapphire.  It is also rumored that the stone was synthetic.
  • The Hope Diamond. Similar to the Heart of the Ocean is the Hope Diamond.  Said it be cursed because it was stolen from a Hindu Gd, the jewel now sits on display at the Smithsonian.  Prior to that, it was owned by a banker who lost his fortune and a family that suffered a series of catastrophes, including a suicide.  Clearly, the wrong stone was dropped into the sea.
  • The Blue Moon Diamond. Speaking of blue diamonds, there is also the Blue Moon Diamond which was found by Petra Diamonds in 2014.  It is an Internally Flawless 12.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond which is also known as the Blue Moon of Josephine.
  • The Centenary Diamond. Found by De Beers miners, the discovery was not announced for over two years so that the 599 carats could go on display at the company’s 100th-anniversary celebration.  In order to be made perfect, cracks had to be removed.  Over 50 carats were also sacrificed by master-cutter Gabi Tolkowsky who took almost three years to complete its transformation into the world’s largest, most modern-cut, top-color, flawless diamond.  It was on loan to the Tower of London for years before being sold to an anonymous buyer.
  • The Taylor-Burton Diamond. Set in a custom engagement ring, Richard Burton gave this famous stone to Liz Taylor when he asked for her hand in marriage in 1987.  It weighed almost 70 carats and was a pearl shaped white diamond.  She later auctioned it off and used the money to build a hospital in Africa.  It was last seen in Saudi Arabia.


While your ring may not end up in a museum, you should be proud to wear it.  It was given to you as a symbol of the love you have with another purpose.  When you look at it, you know you found the one person you can spend the rest of your life making memories with.  Plus, even if it is not the biggest diamond, it still makes plenty of people green with envy.  It sparkles beautifully in the light and always puts a smile on your face.

Posted in A53

How to make hiring a professional cleaning service worth it

Many people are hesitant to hire a house cleaning service.  Some feel that they do not have the money and others feel like they should be able to clean their homes themselves.  The problem with both of those statements is that your time is valuable and no one can do everything.  Therefore, hiring someone to clean your home is worth looking into.   You have things to do and places to go.  You work all week and you probably do not want to come home and clean.  Therefore, hiring someone to clean your home may be worth the money you spend.  It will give you the time you need to get other things done, even if one of those other things is to relax.  This is especially true if you have children.  After all, you want to spend time with them, not clean the house.  You want to make memories with them, not have them remember how clean your house was. Depending upon the size of your home, you may not have the time to clean it the way it should be cleaned.  The bigger your house, the more time it takes to clean.  Just for giggles, ask for free estimates from local home cleaners.  They will come over and survey both the size of the home and the size of the mess.  They will give you a cost and tell you how long it should take.  If you do not have that kind of time, you probably should hire them.   Finding house cleaners is also a good idea if you do not like cleaning.  You just are not going to do a good job if you dislike what you are doing.  In fact, what you are attempting to clean may even look worse.  If you are concerned about the price, do the chores you like to do and then hire someone to do the rest.  For example, if you do not mind cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, do it while someone else cleans the bathrooms because you despise cleaning the toilet.   Furthermore, in the long run hiring a professional cleaning service may save you money.  This is because your home is the biggest investment you can make and you have to keep it up in order to prevent damage.  Therefore, the longer you allow dirt and oils to build up in your home, the more likely you are to need to take some severe actions, including sanding and refinishing, in order to undo the damage.  If you do not practice preventative maintenance such as keeping the house clean, you risk ending up paying more for repair or replacement later on. Moreover, regular house cleanings prevent wear and tear from progressing much faster than normal.   Do not berate yourself because you hired someone to help you.  There is nothing wrong with admitting you cannot do it all.  No one can, some people just have a hard time admitting it.  In the end, you will thank yourself for making your needs a priority.
Posted in A53

How to clean your shutters

You made a wonderful investment when you chose shutters as the custom window treatments for your home’s windows.  They are not only attractive; they will last a long time, as well.  Shutters come in either vinyl or natural wood.  They can be both functional and decorative.  The most popular kind is that of the plantation shutter.  Plantation shutters are placed on the inside of the home and are designed to act like blinds or shades.  They not only block the sun and give privacy as needed; they can also be designed to insulate the home, as well.   If you have plantation shutters, you should use your vacuum along with its the soft brush attachment to lightly vacuum your shutters and keep them free of dust and debris.  Be sure to tilt the each slat as you clean it.  This should be done at least once a week and more if you live with multiple animals or in an area with excessive pollen.   Once a month, you should spray a dusting cloth with wood polish, and dust the shutters thoroughly.  If your shutters have small grooves or crevices that collect dust and dirt, you can lightly spray a soft toothbrush with the polish and use it to clean out the areas that are hard-to-reach.  Do not use an all purpose cleaner because it may be too harsh and cause stains or discoloration. Additionally, soap and water are not recommended for use on wood shutters because it can warp and/or damage the wood. If your shutters are made of vinyl, then the same rule applies for using the vacuum with the soft brush at least once a week depending upon your living conditions.  However, instead of using a dusting cloth and wood polish once a month, you should take a bucket with one of quart water and one teaspoon of dish soap and thoroughly wash the shutters with a soft cloth.   Once the shutters have been completely cleaned, rinse them by using a clean cloth dipped in plain water and wiping them down.  Once all of the soap has been removed, wipe the blinds down with a clean, dry towel.  For hard to reach small grooves and crevices, dip a clean, soft toothbrush in the soapy solution and gently rub those areas clean.   Unfortunately, dust and dirt come back after they have been wiped or cleaned off.  However, once you establish a routine, you will find that cleaning your shutters gets easier with time.  That is because you are not allowing it to build up.   It is recommended that you check with the manufacturer before you use the polish or the soap so that you can ensure that you will not damage your window treatments.  In addition, it is also recommended that you use safety precautions when climbing to reach high areas on the shutters.  Never use a table or chair and be sure that the stool or ladder is securely in place or have someone hold it as you go up.
Posted in A53