Nuke plant in southern Japan clears safety hurdle

TOKYO (AP) — A nuclear power plant in southern Japan won regulators' approval Wednesday for meeting safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority formally approved an inspection report for the Sendai Nuclear Power Station's two reactors. The authority concluded that the reactors were in compliance with new regulations designed to avoid major damage during disasters such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

EnergyGuardian photo

Baran, Burns put on fast track for confirmation to NRC

President Barack Obama's nominees to fill two vacant Democratic seats on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are to be sent quickly to the full Senate, with a committee vote scheduled on Thursday.

The vote by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is to come just two days after the panel's Tuesday confirmation hearing, and reflects an agreement between ranking Republican Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., to advance the nominations rapidly. 

WIPP could be years away from operating again


The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, shut after a radiation leak in February, may not resume operations for years --  a recovery plan for the facility, however, could be finalized in the coming weeks, according to a Department of Energy official, Reuters reports.

Senate Environment hearing on NRC nominations

Washington, September 9, 2014, 10:00 am

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on nominations of Jeffery M. Baran, Stephen G. Burns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Uranium enrichment firm to re-emerge from bankruptcy


The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware last week approved restructuring plans for uranium enrichment company USEC, which will enable it to emergy from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as Centrus Energy Corp., Platts reports.

Iran arrests suspected nuclear plant saboteur

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have arrested a Ukrainian national suspected of sabotage at the country's sole nuclear power plant, an Iranian newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report in the Hamshahri daily said the "Ukrainian expert" was affiliated with a Russian contractor that works in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant, which went online in 2011 with Russian aid.

The report did not elaborate on the timing or nature of the alleged sabotage. Iran has long accused the United States, Israel and European countries of working to sabotage its nuclear program.

California regulator: alter nuclear plant deal

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — The state regulator overseeing the closure of Southern California's San Onofre nuclear power plant said that a proposed settlement outlining who pays for the work needs to be a better deal for consumers.

The plant's operators fashioned the deal with consumer groups this spring. That proposal "unfairly favors shareholders over consumers," and the California Public Utilities Commission would not consider approving it without substantial revisions, Michael Florio, the commission member handling the multibillion-dollar settlement, said Friday.

Senate Democrats

Congress returns to NRC nominations, GOP energy bills

Congress returns to Washington on Monday for a brief session before leaving later this month to campaign in advance of the November elections, with senators to start work on President Barack Obama's two nominees to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Much of the pre-election posturing on energy will come in the Republican-led House, which is to take up a group of bills and hold hearings to highlight its anti-regulatory agenda, according to a memo to GOP members by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Australia to supply uranium to India

Deutsche Welle

The leaders of Australia and India have signed an agreement for Australia to supply India with uranium for nuclear power plants, Deutsche Welle reports.

UN report confirms nuke probe of Iran stalled

VIENNA (AP) — Instead of acting on its pledge to help a new probe of suspicions that it worked on atomic arms, Iran has begun dismissing the allegations, U.N. nuclear agency said Friday.

The same tactic has stalled previous inquiries. Iran agreed in February to work with International Atomic Energy Agency, in what was seen as a test of Tehran's professed new willingness to reduce tensions over its nuclear program.

Since then, the agency has sought information on alleged experiments with detonators that can be used to set off nuclear explosions; work on high-explosive charges used in nuclear blasts, and alleged studies on calculating nuclear explosive yields.


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