A federal court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the Energy Department to reconsider its ruling that likely will stop collection of $750 million in annual fees from nuclear power ratepayers for the government's stalled spent fuel storage program.
The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was the latest victory for utilities and state regulators. In the wake of President Barack Obama's 2010 cancellation of the Yucca Mountain repository, the groups have charged the government cannot legally collect fees for the collection of spent fuel that remains at nuclear plants nationwide.
VIENNA (AP) — Iran and six world powers focused Tuesday on what an EU official called the "nitty-gritty" of a deal meant to curb Tehran's nuclear program and end sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran's foreign minister was more cautious as the talks opened, saying they were meant merely to exchange ideas.
A tiff between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton over Ashton's recent meeting with Iranian opposition women activists had overshadowed Tuesday's resumption of the monthly talks. But Ashton's spokesman, Michael Mann, described the dispute as a possible "misunderstanding" that would not affect the meeting.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina filed a lawsuit on Tuesday intended to keep the federal government from defunding a multi-billion dollar project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into commercial nuclear reactor fuel, saying its closure would hurt an international nonproliferation agreement and eliminate hundreds of jobs.
"They made a promise," Gov. Nikki Haley said at a news conference at the Statehouse, of President Barack Obama's administration. "They cannot, for whatever reason this is, decide that they are going to go on cold standby."
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in South Carolina by state Attorney General Alan Wilson, accuses the federal government of using money that Congress set aside for building the mixed-oxide fuel project, known as MOX, to shut it down.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Utility officials say a problem on the non-nuclear side of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant caused the plant turbine to go offline.
Omaha Public Power District said the turbine took itself offline during routine maintenance just after noon on Monday. Spokesman Jeff Hanson said Tuesday that when the generator went offline, the reactor went offline, recognizing there was no need for the steam it was creating.
Hanson says the generator remained offline Tuesday.
VIENNA (AP) — Iran's foreign minister and the EU's top foreign policy chief have launched a new round of nuclear talks between Tehran and six world powers, putting a reported tiff behind them.
The two sides hope to reach an agreement by July that trims Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for an end to sanctions choking Tehran's economy. Tuesday's negotiations are the second in monthly meetings on a comprehensive deal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A senior official with the American Council for Capital Formation, which is funding “Unlock Crude Exports,” a new push to repeal the ban on shipping U.S. crude overseas, says doing so would allow the country to take full advantage of its energy boom, FuelFix reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to limit air pollution from refineries could have the opposite effect because it would force installation of new flaring systems instead of continuing the trend of reducing flaring, according to comments the American Petroleum Institute filed on the regulation, The Hill reports.
Oil was sliding again early Thursday after the Federal Reserve wound up its asset-purchase program and the Energy Information Administration reported the highest level of U.S. production since the 1980s. West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery fell 81 cents to $81.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent lost 86 cents to $86.26, Bloomberg reports.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., made a pointed reference to her influence as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee while Republican candidate Rob Maness emphasized his support for increased oil and gas drilling, during the final debate of the campaign before the state’s Nov. 4 “jungle primary,” The Times-Picayune reports.
Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown visited the Seabrook nuclear plant Wednesday, and later in a statement accused incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., of failing to support nuclear power, but she responded by saying nuclear energy is an important part of the fight against climate change, The Associated Press reports.
Osaka Gas Co. and Chubu Electric Power Co., which have contracted to buy gas from the proposed Freeport LNG terminal, will also supply $1.2 billion toward construction of the first unit, while $3.85 billion will come from Japanese banks, FuelFix reports.
Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Exxon Mobil over a 2013 oil spill in Arkansas filed a motion in court this week demanding that the company make public documents about the maintenance and repair of the Pegasus pipeline, The Associated Press reports.
A spokesperson for the European Commission says a marathon negotiating session Wednesday failed to generate an agreement in the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, and talks are continuing Thursday, Reuters reports.
Iran may still be wrestling with finding a way to cut a deal with the West over its nuclear program, to ease biting sanctions, but falling oil prices have added even more pressure to the situation, The New York Times reports.