NM: Residents frustrated at lack of nuke dump details

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Residents and local officials voiced frustration Thursday with the amount of information being released by the U.S. Department of Energy about a radiation leak last month at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

John Heaton, a former state representative and head of Mayor Dale Janway's nuclear task force, said at a town hall meeting in Carlsbad that the community feels as if it's being sidestepped, with action being orchestrated in Washington, D.C., instead of locally.

Energy Department officials said there's no intent to hide anything and some information is simply unknown.

Feds to update public on mishap at WIPP nuke dump

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy is planning a town hall Thursday to release more information on its efforts to recover from a radiation leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Questions about what caused the leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the extent of the contamination and the future of the federal government's national nuclear cleanup efforts have been swirling for weeks now.

Officials said further testing on the 13 workers who were at the plant at the time of the leak shows they aren't likely to experience any serious health effects.

Chinese nuclear companies to court investors in IPOs

The Wall Street Journal

China's two major nuclear companies are looking to raise billions through IPOs to pay for building more reactors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Ukraine: Russian military threat to nuke plants

VIENNA (AP) — Ukraine-Russia tensions have spilled over to a U.N. nuclear meeting, with Kiev warning that a Russian military invasion could result in damage to its nuclear reactors and Moscow dismissing the scenario as "hysterics."

A Ukrainian statement Wednesday to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency said "aggression of regular military formations" could spread radiation contamination in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Russia, in turn, said Ukrainian authorities have been seized by the "very depth of hysterics" and "are hallucinating about some kind of phantom danger."

Iran stands firm on maintaining a nuclear program

TOKYO (AP) — Iran's foreign minister pushed back Wednesday against calls for deeper cuts to its nuclear program.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said the West "cannot entertain illusions" of Iran completely ending its uranium enrichment program. Speaking in Tokyo, he also reiterated that his country is not going to give up finishing its heavy-water nuclear reactor.

Union awaits info on leak at New Mexico nuke dump

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A union representing some 200 workers at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump said Tuesday its wants to be sure employees are safe when the repository reopens after a radiation leak that exposed at least 13 people.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad has been off-limits to most workers for nearly three weeks. Only essential workers have been called to duty and others have been using the down time to keep current with regular training requirements at an off-site training center, said officials from United Steelworkers of America.

Union officials said they're waiting for more information from the U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC, the contractor that runs the repository.

Murray concerned about Hanford budget

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is concerned about the Obama administration's proposed budget for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The administration on Tuesday requested just under $2.1 billion for environmental cleanup in fiscal 2015.

Murray in a press release wondered if the Department of Energy can satisfy its legal Hanford cleanup commitments at that funding level.

New Mexico sets deadlines for handling nuke waste at WIPP

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government's only underground nuclear waste dump remained shuttered Monday and state environment officials said they have set deadlines for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractor to deal with radioactive waste left above ground at the repository.

Dozens of drums and other special containers that have been shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant from federal facilities around the country are being stored in a parking area at the plant and inside the facility's waste handling building.

From there, the waste is usually taken to its final resting place deep in underground salt beds. However, the repository has been closed since early February due to back-to-back accidents, including a radiation release that exposed at least 13 workers and set off air monitoring devices around the plant.

Russia might lose Czech nuclear deal over Ukraine

PRAGUE (AP) — A Russian company might lose a multibillion-dollar contract to build two nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic following Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, two members of the Czech government said on Monday.

Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said that under the current circumstances he can "hardly imagine" that Russia would be in charge of the project at the Temelin plant. Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier backed his comments.

UN: Iran cuts higher-enriched uranium stock

VIENNA (AP) — Iran is cutting its stock of uranium that is closest to atomic weapons-grade as mandated in a deal with six world powers, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency said Monday.

But Yukiya Amano noted that the agency remains short of money to be able to monitor Tehran's compliance with the agreement.


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