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Radioactive Water Leak Shuts Down SC Reactor

November 12, 2013 9:47 am | by JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press | News | Comments

A small radioactive water leak prompted Duke Energy Corp. to shut down a reactor at the Oconee Nuclear Station yesterday. Utility officials said the leak poses no danger, but it is the second time in less than three weeks a problem has shut down a reactor at the nuclear plant built 40 years ago.

Nuclear Expansion Suspended In TX

November 11, 2013 11:13 am | News | Comments

Dallas-based Luminant Generation had asked the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license to double the number of nuclear reactors at its Comanche Peak plant from two to four. However, in a letter to the NRC, Luminant said its Japanese-based reactor partner had decided to focus on restoring nuclear power in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami led to a disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

SD Delays Uranium Mine Hearing

November 6, 2013 12:57 pm | by CARSON WALKER, Associated Press | News | Comments

Two federal agencies must approve a proposed uranium mine in the Black Hills before a South Dakota board further considers issuing a permit, its hearing chairman said Tuesday, citing a state law. An order issued Tuesday by Rex Hagg, hearing chairman, said the board will not reschedule the state hearing until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have ruled on the project. 

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Fire Shuts Down PA Nuclear Plant Reactor

November 6, 2013 12:22 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A fire described by officials as "small" prompted the shutdown of one reactor at FirstEnergy Corp.'s Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in western Pennsylvania. Operators of the Shippingport plant said an electrical short occurred shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday outside the turbine where electricity is produced.

Proposal Would Allow Shale Gas Waste On Barges

November 5, 2013 12:11 pm | by KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comments on a proposal that would allow barges to transport shale gas wastewater. The wastewater is a byproduct of the drilling process, and it can include both man-made chemicals and naturally occurring heavy metals and radiation. 

EU Seeks Nuclear Power Disaster Plan

November 5, 2013 11:57 am | News | Comments

The European Commission's energy chief says the bloc's executive arm will present a proposal on mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants in coming weeks.                                               

PA Reactor Online After ReFueling

November 5, 2013 11:49 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A reactor that was shut down for refueling Sept. 30 at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in western Pennsylvania has been restarted and is expected to reach full capacity in the next week.                                                

U.S. Energy Chief Offers To Help With Fukushima Clean-Up

October 31, 2013 12:21 pm | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP | News | Comments

"Just as the tragic event had global consequences, the success of the cleanup also has global significance. So we all have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well and efficiently and safely," said U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at a lecture in Tokyo.

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Japan Approves Fuel Removal From Fukushima Pools

October 30, 2013 11:16 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

Japanese regulators have given final approval for the removal of fuel rods from an uncontained cooling pool at a damaged reactor building, which is considered the highest risk at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Removing the fuel rods from the Unit 4 cooling pool is the first major step in a decommissioning process that is expected to last decades.

Agency Urges Drastic Steps At Fukushima

October 28, 2013 11:53 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

Human mistakes are mostly to blame for the recent mishaps, as workers deal with a string of crises. A top Japanese regulator feels these "silly mistakes" are a sign of declining morale. TEPCO acknowledged a systemic problem in a recent report, saying workers under tight deadlines tend to cut corners, and others don't fully understand their assignments or procedures.

Third Mile Reactor Undergoes Scheduled Shut Down

October 28, 2013 11:46 am | News | Comments

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is shut down while more than 1,700 technical workers perform inspections, upgrade equipment and do maintenance that cannot be done while the plant is operating. One-third of the plant's radioactive fuel will be replaced, new digital equipment will be installed and the turbines that produce electricity will be overhauled.

Greenland Lifts Ban On Uranium Mining

October 25, 2013 11:50 am | by JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Greenland's parliament has agreed to remove a 25-year-old ban on uranium mining, paving the way for an industrial boom that the Arctic island hopes will help it gain independence from former colonial master Denmark.                     

Reactor Shut Down At Oconee Nuclear Station

October 25, 2013 11:13 am | by JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press | News | Comments

A nuclear power plant in Oconee County, South Carolina had to shut down one of its three reactors after a problem was detected in the water system that helps generate electricity to run the turbines.                                    

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A Look At Fukushima Errors

October 25, 2013 10:28 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

Ten mishaps in just eight months at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are raising doubts about the operator's ability to tackle the crisis and prompting concern that another disaster could be in the making. Even more troubling, a typhoon is forcasted to hit the area this weekend.                                

VT Panel Urges Prompt Nuke Decommissioning

October 24, 2013 10:16 am | by DAVE GRAM, Associated Press | News | Comments

A panel that advises Vermont state policymakers on activities at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant on Wednesday passed a resolution urging prompt dismantlement after the reactor closes next year. Entergy, the owning company, has not said how long the process should take, but federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules indicate it can take up to 60 years.

'Pandora's Promise' director talks about Fukushima

October 21, 2013 2:38 pm | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

Dressed in white hazmat coveralls and carrying a dosimeter, documentary film director Robert Stone ventured into the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant's exclusion zone a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns in three reactors. As he encountered abandoned homes, shops and toppled cars in the scene in his new film "Pandora's Promise," Stone asked a traveling companion, "So, are you still pro-nuclear?"

Saving The Environment Without Killing Jobs

October 21, 2013 12:36 pm | by Kevin Begos, AP | News | Comments

A conference in Pittsburgh focuses on putting a stop to coal mining, fracking for oil and gas and nuclear power, but organizers also want workers to join the battle against climate change. Union leaders say that workers need new jobs to make a transition to clean energy, noting that shutting down industries such as coal can turn entire communities into a ghost town.

Clean-Up Delays, New Contamination Overflows Plague Fukushima

October 21, 2013 12:25 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

Rainwater has overflowed concrete barriers surrounding 12 clusters of tanks storing radiation-contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO said it cannot rule out the possibility that contaminated water has reached the Pacific Ocean as a result. Additionally, due to stalled clean-up efforts, some residents of nearby towns will have to wait years before returning.

Regulators Approve Duke Energy Nuclear Settlement

October 18, 2013 10:42 am | by Gary Fineout, AP | News | Comments

Florida utility regulators approved a multi-billion-dollar settlement with the state's second largest utility that will require customers to keep paying for shuttered and abandoned nuclear power plants. While some had called the deal with Duke Energy a "rip-off," those who voted in favor of the settlement called it a way to bring an end to a lengthy and complex process. 

Duke Energy Customers Could Continue To Pay For Closed Nuclear Plant

October 17, 2013 10:56 am | by Gary Fineout, AP | News | Comments

The Florida Power Service Commission could approve a settlement which calls for Duke Energy Florida utility customers to keep paying for shuttered nuclear plants for the next several years. The decision follows nearly a day's worth of testimony from Duke Energy officials as well as some members of the public and lawyers representing utility customers. Duke has nearly two million customers in the Sunshine State.

Violations Vary At Pennsylvania Nuclear Plants

October 16, 2013 10:34 am | News | Comments

The number of safety violations vary, according to a congressional study awaiting release. Lower-level violations pose very low risk, such as improper upkeep of a transformer, while higher-level violations range in significance, such as an electrical system that caused a fire.

3 Years, $8 Billion Later, Still No Georgia Nuclear Plant Agreement

October 14, 2013 11:43 am | by Ray Henry, AP | News | Comments

Three years after the U.S. government promised $8.3 billion in lending for a nuclear plant in Georgia, Southern Company and its partners have not sealed a deal. President Barack Obama's administration recently agreed to a fourth extension of the deadline for finalizing lending agreements.

More Agencies To Get Involved With Fukushima Monitoring

October 10, 2013 11:27 am | by MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency urged Japan to work harder to address international concerns about leaks of contaminated water at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, and said his agency will jointly monitor radiation levels in the nearby ocean. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told Japan's top nuclear regulator that it is crucial that the country share data with the international community.

6 Fukushima Workers Splashed With Toxic Water

October 9, 2013 12:42 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

Six workers at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant have been accidentally doused with highly radioactive water, the plant operator said, adding to a growing list of mishaps that are shaking confidence in the utility's ability to handle the crisis. The workers reportedly removed the wrong pipe from equipment.

Nuclear Plant Storage Processes Scrutinized

October 7, 2013 12:13 pm | News | Comments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is being asked to restrict storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste in spent fuel pools like the one at the Entergy Corp.'s Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. The commission heard recently from two authors of a 2003 report saying densely packed fuel pools create a heightened danger of fire and a catastrophic release of radioactivity.

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