ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Los Alamos National Laboratory says it made mistakes in packing waste that has been linked to a radiation leak at the government's underground nuclear waste dump, but it remains unclear if the violations or its use of organic cat litter to absorb moisture played a role in the accident.
In a letter released by state regulators Thursday, lab officials told the New Mexico Environment Department that their internal probe of the handling of the toxic waste from decades of nuclear bomb building has uncovered several violations of its Hazardous Waste Facility Permit. The lab says it failed to follow proper procedures in making the switch from inorganic to organic litter and in its lack of follow up on waste that tests showed to be highly acidic.
The shortcomings were described as "unacceptable" by Principal Associate Lab Director Terry Wallace, according to an internal memo.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Private contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy have spent at least $3.5 million in legal expenses to battle two critics of a massive construction project at the nation's most polluted nuclear site, according to a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
The letter is from the chairwoman of a U.S. Senate subcommittee that is investigating whether there was retaliation against two Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who raised safety concerns and then lost their jobs at the former nuclear weapons production site.
"The Department of Energy may be providing an incentive to contractors to engage in protracted litigation with whistleblowers by reimbursing the contractors' legal expenses," said the letter from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Workers are preparing to enter one of the most dangerous rooms on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation — the site of a 1976 blast that exposed a technician to a massive dose of radiation, leading to him being nicknamed the "Atomic Man."
Harold McCluskey was working in the room when a chemical reaction caused a glass glove box to explode. He was exposed to the highest dose of radiation from the chemical element americium ever recorded — 500 times the occupational standard.
Hanford, located in central Washington state, made plutonium for nuclear weapons for decades. The room was used to recover radioactive americium, a byproduct of plutonium.
It’s still possible to reach a full nuclear agreement with Iran but the July 20 deadline for it is approaching fast and Tehran still has major choices to make, Secretary of State John Kerry said, writing in The Washington Post.
Actions taken by the National Nuclear Security Administration to improve security after a breach two years ago at Oak Ridge weren’t part of any larger vision, the Government Accountability Office said in a document released Monday, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
Fuel loading was completed and a chain reaction launched Friday at the biggest fast breeder reactor in the world, in Beloyarsk, Russia, according to state-run nuclear corporation Rosatom, which aims to start commercial operations at the site next year, Platts reports.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials investigating a mysterious radiation leak from the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have turned their focus to Los Alamos National Laboratory, a state regulator said Thursday.
New Mexico Environment Department General Counsel Jeff Kendall said the U.S. Department of Energy's accident investigation team has been at the lab in northeastern New Mexico for about three weeks.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Few of the U.S. Department of Energy workers who are helping build a plant to treat the most dangerous radioactive wastes at a nuclear site in Washington state feel they can openly challenge management decisions, according to a report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
The survey conducted by the Energy Department shows only 30 percent of the agency's employees at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation feel they can question their bosses.
The results were somewhat better for the plant's managers who responded, with 65 percent saying they could openly challenge decisions by higher-level managers.
Diplomats from Iran and six major powers are working hard to reach an agreement on a nuclear deal by the July 20 deadline, but they remain substantially far apart on key issues with a month to go and the current round of negotiations due to end Friday, diplomats told The Wall Street Journal.
TOKYO (AP) — Two Japanese farmers whose livelihoods were wrecked by the 2011 nuclear disaster staged a protest Friday at Tokyo's agriculture ministry, scuffling briefly with police as they unsuccessfully tried to unload a bull from a truck.
Masami Yoshizawa and fellow farmer Naoto Matsumura have remained at their farms to care for their own and others' abandoned livestock in areas where access has been restricted due to radiation fears since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.
The two drove down from Fukushima, bringing the black bull in the back of a truck, to appeal for help with the livestock, some of which have developed unexplained white spots on their hides.
With the attempt to override President Obama’s veto of Keystone pipeline approval legislation likely to fail, supporters of the project are already thinking about what bill could pass with a Keystone amendment and win presidential approval, National Journal reports.
Did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's ties to the oil industry affect the State Department's review of the Keystone pipeline? Environmental groups are concerned that her use of private email for official business might make it harder to find out, National Journal reports.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed replacing Pennsylvania’s impact fee – a flat charge on each well drilled – with a severance tax on the value and quantity of the gas extracted, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the green light to the proposed expansion of Algonquin Gas Transmission’s natural gas pipeline system in New England, adding more than 37 miles of pipeline to boost capacity to Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Platts reports.
Local residents in Vancouver have been battling Kinder Morgan plans to expand the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline that brings oil sands crude from Alberta to a Pacific coast terminal, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Traditional automakers say they’re skeptical about the ability of tech giants like Apple and Google to successfully build and market cars, but they’re moving to deal with the competition anyway, as evidenced by Audi’s R8 electric sports car, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Performance shares and a bonus, deferred from 2011 contingent on achieving safety and environmental goals, boosted the take-home pay for BP CEO Bob Dudley by 25 percent last year to $12.7 million, even though his annual salary, bonus and benefits got cut, FuelFix reports.
Utilities’ refusal to buy solar power -– brought on as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government takes a second look at the country's commitment to clean energy -- has raised doubts about the future of the country's once-booming solar industry, The New York Times reports.