Nuclear

Groundbreaking held for physics research facility in Michigan

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's congressional delegation broke ground on a $730 million physics research facility at Michigan State University on Monday, more than five years after the federal government announced the project.

U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow were among those celebrating the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a nuclear research center funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as by Michigan and Michigan State.

Greenpeace activists occupy French nuclear plant

PARIS (AP) — Police have surrounded a nuclear plant in eastern France after more than 60 Greenpeace activists occupied it Tuesday to protest the nation's reliance on atomic power.

Activists hung a banner reading "Stop Risking Europe" next to one of the reactors at the Fessenheim plant near the German border. France's oldest nuclear plant, it has become a flashpoint for anti-nuclear campaigners who say it is unsafe and should have been closed long ago.ources.

Iran claims sabotage attempt at nuke plant

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian official says faulty pumps were deliberately sold to the Islamic Republic but scientists detected the problem before they were put into operation inside a nuclear plant.

Asghar Zarean, in charge of nuclear security at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the remarks in comments posted Monday on state TV's news website.

He says the pumps were tampered with by what he described as agents of Western intelligence agencies.

Labor issues hamper Fukushima cleanup

Source: 
The New York Times

The cleanup at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is being carried out by unskilled workers with little training, experience or supervision, The New York Times reports.

Scientists expect traces of ocean radiation soon

Scientists have crowdsourced a network of volunteers taking water samples at beaches along the U.S. West Coast in hopes of capturing a detailed look at low levels of radiation drifting across the ocean since the 2011 tsunami that devastated a nuclear power plant in Japan.

With the risk to public health extremely low, the effort is more about perfecting computer models that will better predict chemical and radiation spills in the future than bracing for a threat, researchers say.

NRC: Western Pa. nuclear dump may have more waste

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A nuclear dump in western Pennsylvania could contain far more waste than originally thought, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's inspector general said in a new report.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on Thursday released the report, which found that missing or incomplete records make it impossible to know how much nuclear material is buried at the site about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The NRC said the former president of a company that made nuclear fuel at the site believes that the documents used for the current cleanup plan "grossly underestimate" the material buried there.

Colorado: Cotter negotiating uranium contamination cleanup

Source: 
The Denver Post

Cotter Corp. is negotiating ways to finish cleanup of 15 million tons of radioactive uranium tailings while it copes with two recent contamination spills, leaving residents concerned about the quality of their groundwater, The Denver Post reports.

Washington nuclear plant operator wins $19 million

Source: 
Tri-City Herald

A federal court has ordered the Department of Energy to pay Energy Northwest $19 million for the company's continued costs from the government's failure to open a national repository for spent fuel from the nuclear power plant, the Tri-City Herald reports.

Report: WIPP nuke dump fire preventable

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The truck that caught fire a half mile underground at a southeastern New Mexico nuclear waste dump was 29 years old, improperly maintained and operating without an automatic fire-suppression system, according to a report to be released Friday.

The report also will detail deficiencies in emergency training and responses at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) near Carlsbad.

"It was preventable," Ted Wyka, a Department of Energy official who led the investigation, told a community meeting on Thursday evening as he previewed the findings of the probe into the first of two back-to-back incidents at the federal government's only permanent repository for waste from the nation's nuclear bomb-building facilities.

NRC's watchdog raises issues with Pennsylvania SLDA radioactive waste dump

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

A report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's inspector general points to incomplete records and other problems at the Shallow Land Disposal Area, a radioactive waste dump in western Pennsylvania, and questions whether cleanup plans are adequate, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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