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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Design changes at a new radioactive waste disposal plant at the country's most contaminated nuclear site in south-central Washington were not properly verified to ensure safety, the U.S. Department of Energy's Inspector General concluded. The audit was highly critical of the design change process at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's $12.2 billion vitrification plant.
The operator of the meltdown-plagued Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant says at least 110 gallons spilled when workers overfilled a storage tank without a gauge that could have warned them of the danger. The error is one of many the operator has committed as it struggles to manage a seemingly endless, tainted flow of contaminated water.
It wasn't a tsunami, but it had the same effect: A huge cluster of jellyfish forced one of the world's largest nuclear reactors to shut down — a phenomenon that marine biologists say could become more common. Operators of the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden had to scramble after tons of jellyfish clogged pipes that bring cool water into the plant's turbines.
Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday suggested he supports local calls to scrap the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, located near the accident-stricken Fukushima Daiichi complex. The Daini complex is located 12 kilometers south of the Daiichi plant and achieved a stable state of cold shutdown shortly after the natural disasters in 2011.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has requested that safety inspections be carried out to allow for restarting two nuclear reactors, despite concerns over how it has handled the catastrophe at the Fukushima plant. All of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors are offline while regulators consider restarts under revised safety rules.
"No more Hiroshimas!" ''No more Fukushimas!" Those slogans are chanted together at rallies by Japanese who want both an end to nuclear power in Japan and an end to nuclear weapons around the world. But many in this city are distressed by efforts to connect Hiroshima's history to the tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
The federal government is recommending a phased start to treatment of radioactive waste now held in underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state. The Department of Energy, in a report released Tuesday, proposes starting to treat some of Hanford's 56 million gallons of waste for disposal as soon as possible.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission provided an update on the plant Tuesday, stating that nearly three-quarters of the concerns keeping the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant offline have been resolved, but it's still not clear when it could restart.
The State Board of Minerals and Environment reversed course and will accept for the public record a resolution from the Rapid City Common Council expressing concern about a proposed uranium mine in the southern Black Hills, city Attorney Joel Landeen told the council Tuesday at a special board meeting.
Environmentalists trying to defeat what could be Utah's first nuclear power plant went to court Monday to challenge a water-rights transfer for the project. A judge opened the weeklong trial that focuses on a decision by state Engineer Kent Jones to let a company take 53,000 acre-feet of water a year from the Green River to cool nuclear reactors.
A former U.S. nuclear regulatory chief, Gregory Jaczko, said Tuesday that leaks of contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima plant had been known since early in the crisis and have worsened because Japan acted too slowly. Jaczko said he was surprised how long it took Japan to start tackling the problem.
Federal regulators announced Monday they are considering slapping a California utility with two violations for problems that eventually led to the permanent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a report that Southern California Edison failed to identify a flawed design for four replacement steam generators.
A planned outage at a South Carolina nuclear plant will cost about $60 million, according to officials. The scheduled outage this week at Duke Energy's H.B. Robinson nuclear power plant includes refueling the reactor and other maintenance tasks.