Posts Tagged: nuclear power

Go to the WSJ for your 24-7 nuclear power coverage

Maybe the Wall Street Journal is trying to set some kind of record.  A couple of days ago it ran four stories about nuclear power, covering issues like earthquake safety at nuke plants, the potential for danger from powerful floods at a Nebraska facility, a push by Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko to move quickly to institute new safety standards, and debates and discussions within the Nuclear Regulatory Council about reforms in U.S. nuclear safety practice following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. (more…)

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant: putting safety . . . third? fourth? last?

Inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found a laundry-list of safety problems at Pacific Gas & Electric’s controversial Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, including several seemingly serious issues, according to a story by John Upton in The Bay Citizen.

According to the inspection and evaluation, ordered after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, Diablo Canyon’s fire station is seismically unsound, parked cars block access to critical emergency control valves, a new security fence blocks access to an emergency coolant pool, and plant operators skipped required training exercises. Despite the findings, the NRC declared the plant safe, along with all 103 other nuclear plants recently inspected. (more…)

Illinois accelerates nuclear inspections

The Japan nuclear crisis has led Illinois to accelerate inspection of their 11 nuclear reactors. Kurt Erickson of the Quad City Times writes that under pressure from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will review the plants in the next 90 days. The specific idea behind the review is to see if inspection fees need to be increased. State and federal agencies sounding the alarm bells after a major disaster is no surprise: Elizabeth Kolbert argues in the New Yorker that nuclear regulatory policy often depends on public outcry after the disaster.

Chicago nuclear company feels effects of Japan earthquake

Steve Daniels of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to impose new rules and requirements on the Chicago-based Exelon nuclear power plant company after Japan’s nuclear crisis. “A quarter of the nuclear power Exelon generates comes from 30-plus-year-old reactors,” Daniels writes, which “like the Japanese plant damaged by a devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, were built by General Electric Co. and are of the same type and vintage.” Exelon is the largest nuclear plant operator in the U.S. and, prior to the crisis in Japan, had planned a $3.8 billion capacity expansion.

Nuclear power in my backyard

Zion Nuclear Power Station

In lieu of Japan’s partial nuclear meltdown, the Chicago Tribune’s Andrew Grimm and Gerry Smith have a good piece on nuclear energy in Illinois, which has more six nuclear plants and a “larger stockpile of fuel than any other state.” Of particular concern is the Zion Nuclear Power Station in Zion, Illinois (at the Illinois/Wisconsin easternmost border) which the federal government is supposed to be dismantle, resulting in the transfer of tons of nuclear fuel into dry casks. The concern is that radioactive matter could leak into the Great Lakes.

On West Coast, states of denial from nuclear threat in Japan

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is assuring anxious Americans on the West Coast that any radiation released during emergencies at several Japanese reactors will dissipate over the Pacific, according to a story by David Freeman of CBS News.

Honey, have you seen my lead boxers?

The story, accompanied by dire warnings and gruesome graphics, however, appears more designed to inflame than reassure. It cites an expert from Physicians for Social Responsibility warning that the reactors could release more radiation than 1,000 Hiroshima sized bombs. (more…)

Will BP Catastrophe Lead to a Sea Change?

Although the energy sector was doing more whining than gloating, until late last month there was much for the industry to celebrate. Even with Democrats pulling the levers of power, officials are still eagerly shoveling funds into ‘clean’ coal research, and nuclear power continues to gain converts among enviros and has even earned the President’s embrace. Even California was ready to reopen its waters to offshore drilling.

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon has prompted a sea change. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly declared (more…)