A federal court has ordered the Department of Energy to pay Energy Northwest $19 million for the company's continued costs from the government's failure to open a national repository for spent fuel from the nuclear power plant, the Tri-City Herald reports.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The truck that caught fire a half mile underground at a southeastern New Mexico nuclear waste dump was 29 years old, improperly maintained and operating without an automatic fire-suppression system, according to a report to be released Friday.
The report also will detail deficiencies in emergency training and responses at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) near Carlsbad.
"It was preventable," Ted Wyka, a Department of Energy official who led the investigation, told a community meeting on Thursday evening as he previewed the findings of the probe into the first of two back-to-back incidents at the federal government's only permanent repository for waste from the nation's nuclear bomb-building facilities.
A report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's inspector general points to incomplete records and other problems at the Shallow Land Disposal Area, a radioactive waste dump in western Pennsylvania, and questions whether cleanup plans are adequate, The Wall Street Journal reports.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators Thursday approved a plan for two utilities to develop replacement power to help fill the void left by the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, but environmentalists warned it could open the way for more dirty energy.
The nuclear plant between San Diego and Los Angeles, which stopped producing power in January 2012, once generated enough electricity for 1.4 million homes. The unanimous vote by the California Public Utilities Commission opened the way for Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric to find ways to plug that gap.
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The president of southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump has been ousted as investigations into a truck fire and radiation release near completion.
URS Corp., the company that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project for the Department of Energy, says Farok Sharif has been replaced as head of the Nuclear Waste Partnership. In a statement Thursday, the company says Bob McQuinn has been named president and project manager. Sharif has been moved to a new job overseeing the program for transitioning nuclear waste to other locations while WIPP is not operational, and working with other U.S. Department of Energy sites to develop plans for the temporary storage of their waste.
The change comes as teams are investigating back-to-back incidents that shuttered the nation's only deep underground nuclear waste repository last month.
Regulators in Japan say two reactors in the southwest that are owned by the Kyushu Electric Power Co. will be getting safety checks, increasing the likelihood nuclear power may be part of the electricity mix for the country during this summer's peak demand season, Bloomberg reports.
TOKYO (AP) — As radiation spewed from Japan's nuclear disaster three years ago, the top U.S. atomic energy regulator issued a 50-mile evacuation warning for any Americans in the area, a response some found extreme.
Gregory Jaczko, who stepped down as chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2012, still believes he was right, and says the events at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant show that nuclear power should be phased out in Japan and worldwide.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's official news agency is reporting that Iran and Russia have discussed a draft agreement to build two more nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic.
The report Wednesday by IRNA said visiting Russian official Nikolai Spassky and Iranian nuclear officials reached an initial agreement about building two new nuclear power plants for Iran. Each plant would have 1,000-megawatts capacity plus water purification capabilities.
It said a formal agreement would be signed later. It did not elaborate.
Several companies, including Canada-based Cameco Corp., say they won't begin production at several insitu uranium mines in Wyoming even though they've received permits, as they are waiting for market prices to increase, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a diplomatic dig at Russia, President Barack Obama is hosting the new Ukrainian prime minister at the White House, a high-profile gesture aimed at cementing the West's allegiance to Ukraine's fledgling government.
The meeting Wednesday between Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk comes as a pro-Russian area of Ukraine readies for a referendum Sunday to determine its future. Voters in the Crimean Peninsula will be given two options: becoming part of Russia, or remaining in Ukraine with broader powers.
Following six months of negotiations with its suppliers, Baker Hughes says starting Wednesday it will list all of the individual chemicals it uses for fracking on the industry website FracFocus, although it won’t provide information about the proportions used in its cocktails, FuelFix reports.
Enbridge Inc. anticipates it will receive approval from the State Department in mid-2015 to push capacity on its cross-border Alberta Clipper pipeline up to 800,000 barrels a day, a top executive told investors in Toronto Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners says it’s acquiring Oiltanking Partners in a two-step, $5.8 billion dollar deal that will strengthen its midstream business, The Wall Street Journal reports, noting that the move will leave Enterprise well positioned if the U.S. shifts its ban on crude exports.
An unexpected report of lower crude stockpiles last week pushed oil up Wednesday, while an announcement from Saudi Arabia of a drop in its official price fuelled bearish sentiment. U.S. benchmark crude gained 43 cents to settle at $90.73 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude finished down 51 cents to $94.16, Reuters reports.
A judge’s decision that Broomfield’s fracking ban doesn’t apply to Sovereign Operating Co. because of an earlier memorandum of understanding between the company and the community is a “victory for certainty and clarity,” the Colorado Oil & Gas Association said, according to the Denver Business Journal.
Virginia will appoint an energy efficiency officer to cut power consumption in state facilities by 15 percent over the next two years, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s extensive four year plan released Wednesday, the Daily Press reports.
Mike Bloomquist, the lead counsel for the GOP majority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is leaving to work for lobbying firm Kountoupes Denham, with panel chair Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., thanking him for his contributions, The Hill reports.
“The Polar Vortex Review,” a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corp., found that last winter’s extreme cold triggered multiple equipment failures at generating stations, at one point forcing the shutdown of more than 17,700 megawatts of capacity, according to E&E.
An archive search has turned up details of Mitch McConnell’s fight against siting a coal processing facility on the Louisville riverfront back when the Republican Senator was Jefferson County Judge-Executive in the mid 1980s, The Hazard-Herald reports.