Nuclear

Report: Iran redesigning reactor as part of deal

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's nuclear chief said Wednesday that workers have begun redesigning its nearly completed Arak heavy water reactor to limit the amount of plutonium it can make as part of the country's interim deal over its nuclear program with world powers.

A video posted on Iranian state television's website showed nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi saying the work had begun as part of routine maintenance at the reactor in Arak in the country's northwest. Officials have said redesigning the reactor will delay its launch by about three years.

TEPCO to pay for suicide, says Japanese court

Source: 
The Washington Post

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, must pay the husband of a suicide victim in the region $470,000, under a ruling from a Japanese court, The Washington Post reports.

Group files petition to idle coastal nuke plant

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An environmental group asked federal regulators Tuesday to idle California's last operating nuclear plant to review whether its reactors can withstand strong shaking from nearby earthquake faults.

Friends of the Earth, an advocacy group critical of the nuclear power industry, filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking for a hearing on seismic risks at the Diablo Canyon plant. The group says the plant is violating its federal operating license.

Neighboring faults, one about 650 yards from the plant, pose "a serious safety risk to the public and the environment," the 92-page petition said.

Stefan Kuhn

NRC finishes new spent nuclear fuel rule

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday finalized a court-ordered update to a rule that finds spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for decades at existing plants after reactors are permanently shut down. 

The four sitting members of the commission approved the new rule in a brief session. The action opens the door for the commission to resume new license approvals and renewals that have been on hold for two years while it drafted the revised rule to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.

Hearings planned after call for nuke-plant closure

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A hearing will take place on Capitol Hill in the wake of the disclosure that a senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.

Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon's lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation.

The document, which was obtained and verified by The Associated Press, does not say the plant itself is unsafe. Instead, according to Peck's analysis, no one knows whether the facility's key equipment can withstand strong shaking from those faults — the potential for which was realized decades after the facility was built.

Expert calls for California nuke plant closure

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California's last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility's twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.

Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon's lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not applying the safety rules it set out for the plant's operation.

WIPP accident: 6 months on, no official cause

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

More than six months after a drum of nuclear waste exploded, spewing radioactive foam at the Energy Department’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, the facility remains closed, there’s still no determination of the exact chemical reaction that caused the blast and experts estimate impact costs could climb to near $1 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Iran: Downed Israeli drone near nuclear site

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday its forces shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site, recovering major parts of what it described as an advanced aircraft. Israeli officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The incident comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over its nuclear program and hard-liners press moderate President Hassan Rouhani to demand more concessions before limiting its atomic capabilities. Israel has not ruled out taking military action against Iran's nuclear facilities if its capability to build an atomic weapon progresses.

Report: Iran opens uranium-conversion plant

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran inaugurated a new plant Saturday to convert a type of uranium into a material that cannot be used to make nuclear weapons as part of its interim atomic deal with world powers, its official news agency reported.

The report by IRNA quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's nuclear agency, saying that the plant will convert uranium hexafluoride, which can be used to make nuclear weapons and fuel. It will become uranium dioxide, which can only be used in nuclear reactors, he said.

Judge to decide whether US Navy sailors can sue TEPCO

Source: 
The Guardian

A district court judge in San Diego is due to decide Aug. 25 whether a group of around 110 U.S. military personnel who were deployed to assist Japan as it coped with the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant can sue operator TEPCO for lying about radiation from the accident, The Guardian reports.

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