BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick pledged on Monday to write a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, expressing concerns about the safety of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth.
Patrick made the promise after meeting briefly with the head of a group of Cape Cod residents seeking to shut down the plant. The governor said he shares the group's safety concerns about the plant and has expressed them both publicly and to the federal agency overseeing nuclear power in the past.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Hanford watchdog group is criticizing the federal government's plan to take at least two years to pump out a nuclear waste storage tank that is leaking.
The group Hanford Challenge says that delay is too long.
The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday presented the state of Washington with a plan for emptying the double-walled storage tank known as AY-102. The underground tank is located within the Hanford reservation near Richland.
OKUMA, Japan (AP) — The radioactive water that has accumulated at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant remains the biggest problem hampering the cleanup process three years after the disaster.
The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant has stabilized substantially since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami destroyed its power and cooling system, triggering meltdowns. Massive amounts of water are being used to cool the melted cores at three reactors, but some of the contaminated water has seeped through the ground into the Pacific and leaked repeatedly from storage tanks.
Plant chief Akira Ono said Monday that improving water management is crucial not only to the plant cleanup but also decontamination of the area so evacuees can return to their homes.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Specially trained workers are finalizing plans to enter the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump after two separate incidents forced its closure weeks ago, including a leak that exposed more than a dozen workers to low levels of radiation.
Officials with the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant say initial testing shows there's no contamination at an air intake shaft that leads into the mine or at the bottom of the mine's salt shaft.
What remain uncertain are the radiation levels deep in the repository where plutonium-contaminated clothing, tools and other waste from federal nuclear sites around the country are stored.
TOKYO, March 10 (Kyodo) — Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. said Monday they have developed robots to detect cooling water leakage points and the condition of nuclear fuel at the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
One robot can move through narrow pipes by changing shape and the other robot can move through radioactive water to perform research related to work to remove melted nuclear fuel. The robots can thus move around inside the containment vessels of reactors that experienced meltdowns, and whose dismantling poses never-before-confronted engineering challenges.
The robots are to be used to go inside containment vessels through pipes to check pressure vessels or probe the bottom of the containment vessels where contaminated water accumulates, the companies said.
U.S. utilities are preparing to make expensive investments to improve nuclear plant safety to meet new post-Fukushima standards, with Exelon expected to spend as much as $500 million across its 17 reactors, The New York Times reports.
Though outdoor activity limits have been lifted since the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster in 2011, some children in the area suffer from muscular weakness, anger issues and lingering fear of going outside, Reuters reports.
RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has given the state of Washington a plan for emptying a leaking nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The Tri-City Herald reports that while the Energy Department will start buying equipment and making other plans to remove the radioactive sludge from the double-shell tank with a leak between its shells, actual waste pumping would start no sooner than March 2016.
The plan for emptying Tank AY-102 was given to the state near the close of business Friday. The state has not yet reviewed the plan to comment on it.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The European Union's foreign policy chief said Sunday that there is "no guarantee" that Iran and world powers will reach a final deal over the country's nuclear program.
Catherine Ashton was in Tehran for meetings with Iranian officials on ongoing negotiations over the country's nuclear program, as well as the civil war in Syria and other issues. She spoke to reporters in a joint briefing with Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Separately, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani advocated pursuing "new relations" with European countries that for years have been at odds, alongside the United States, with Tehran over Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Institutional investors handling $24 trillion in assets – more than 340 of them – say leaders attending the U.N. climate summit next week should encourage cleaner energy through carbon taxes or cap-and-trade policies, Reuters reports, and the groups leading the call have elaborated in a report.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a $1 billion pot to be split among communities that come up with the best ideas to handle damage from extreme weather in the National Disaster Resilience Competition, E&E reports.
From its present estimate of $5.4 billion, the cost of building the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline could end up at $10 billion, CEO Russ Girling told The Wall Street Journal in an interview, six years after the company first submitted its permit application for the project.
If Republicans win control of the Senate in November elections, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who’d be in line to become Majority Leader, has promised “the Keystone pipeline will be voted on the floor,” The Hill reports.
Oxfam America has filed suit to force the Securities and Exchange Commission to finish a long-delayed rule that would force mining companies and energy companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments, National Journal reports.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu’s opponent in the tight Louisiana Senate race, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, says Landrieu’s support for Rhea Suh to become head of fish, wildlife and parks in the Interior Department – who is now leaving the government to take over the Natural Resources Defense Council – is part of “the mosaic” that suggests the incumbent “carries water for the president but not for us,” E&E reports.
With a push from the strong dollar – trading at a six-year high against the Japanese yen – alongside increasing supplies, oil tumbled Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery dropped $1.35, or 1.4 percent, to $93.07 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London November Brent lost 1.3 percent, or $1.27 to settle at $97.70, Bloomberg reports.
Two studies released this week found that fracking was not responsible for contaminating water in Pennsylvania and Texas, but the jury is still out on a case near Pavillion, Wyo., experts told the Casper Star-Tribune.
With the oil boom in North Dakota straining roads, schools, housing and emergency services, Republicans in the state have come up with a plan to spend $800 million to try and address some of the problems, The Associated Press reports.
Strategies used by manufacturers in the past to defend putting poisonous lead in products are being used by the fossil fuel industry now to derail the fight against climate change, Professors David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz said at an event put on by the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, National Journal reports.