Nuclear

Fee to build phantom nuke waste site ends

NEW YORK (AP) — Something could be missing from your next electric bill: a fee that electric customers have been paying for 31 years to fund a federal nuclear waste site that doesn't exist.

The Energy Department will stop charging the fee by court order on Friday. The amount is only a small percentage of most customers' bills, but it adds up to $750 million a year. The fund now holds $37 billion.

The money was collected to build a long-term disposal site for the highly radioactive nuclear waste generated by the nation's nuclear power plants that is, by law, the federal government's responsibility.

Senators query spent fuel security

Source: 
The New York Times

With the number of decommissioned nuclear reactors growing, lawmakers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led by chair Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., grilled experts on the safety and security of the spent fuel being stored on the sites, The New York Times reports.

Ga. utility closer to US loans for nuclear plant

ATLANTA (AP) — A recent decision brings a power company in Georgia a step closer to getting government-subsidized loans to build a new nuclear power plant.

The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, or MEAG, can transfer its 23 percent ownership stake in two new reactors at Plant Vogtle to three wholly owned firms created to facilitate project lending, under a recent decision from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

MEAG is seeking more than $2 billion in low-interest loans from the U.S. government to cover part of its share of costs to build one of the country's first brand-new nuclear plants in a generation. The two other major co-owners, Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and Oglethorpe Power, have already struck deals with the U.S. Department of Energy to get $6.5 billion in government-backed lending.

US Ambassador Kennedy visits Fukushima plant

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has gotten a firsthand look inside the Japanese nuclear plant devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Kennedy toured the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for about three hours Wednesday.

She wore a yellow helmet and a white protective suit with her last name emblazoned on it as she was shown around the plant.

Nuclear waste fee collection to stop Friday: DOE

Source: 
Platts

The Department of Energy has changed the day it will stop collecting nuclear waste fees, from Thursday to Friday, May 16, Platts reports.

Federal board hears arguments on temporary Powertech stay in SD

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A company proposing a uranium mine near Edgemont needs better studies to ensure that its operations won't hurt cultural and historic sites in the Black Hills, an attorney representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe said Tuesday.

Three administrative judges of the federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board listened to telephone arguments on its April decision to put a temporary hold on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating license for Powertech Uranium Corp.

Florida Governor, Cabinet vote for nuclear plant

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's largest power company received the go-ahead from state officials Tuesday to construct two nuclear reactors in South Florida, a project vehemently opposed by officials in several cities in Miami-Dade County.

Gov. Rick Scott and the three members of the Florida Cabinet voted Tuesday in favor of a plan that would allow Florida Power & Light to add nuclear generators to its existing Turkey Point facility near Homestead. The project would add approximately 2,200 megawatts of power, enough for about 750,000 homes.

The vote also gives the utility permission to erect nearly 90 miles of new power lines to carry electricity from the plant, including lines that will skirt the Everglades National Park.

Senate Environment hearing on decommissioned nuclear reactors

Washington, May 14, 2014, 10:00 am

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, "Nuclear Reactor Decommissioning: Stakeholder Views." NRC official Michael F. Weber to testify.

Lawmakers look to tighten controls on spent nuclear fuel

Source: 
The Hill

Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have introduced legislation aimed at increasing safety and security at nuclear plants that are getting decommissioned, The Hill reports.

WIPP radiation leak could be down to kitty litter problem

Source: 
Carlsbad Current-Argus

Kitty litter was used to absorb liquid in radioactive waste sent to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, and a scientist who used to work there told the Carlsbad Current-Argus that changing to an organic mixture could have triggered an explosion in a drum holding waste there.

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