Top Nuclear Stories (Aug 3rd-7th)


Its time to memorialize the impacts from the dawn of the nuclear age, when Truman dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Its especially appropriate at this moment in time as Bush threatens to nuke Iran.The MSM carried very few articles this year so far on Hiroshima (no new scandals to cover up).  The DOE workers who paid with their lives continues to get no coverage outside of DOE areas of the country. The Rocky Mountain News Special is a must read.

On the global level, another accident happened in France, the latest at an Areva facility. The UK meltdown over EDF’s proposed  purchase of British Energy has put the Labour party in a major crisis.  The huge push to reverse Germany’s planned phase out heats up, While a key U.S. legislator is calling for the India-US nuclear energy and weapons treaty to be put on hold. The U.S. has informed Japan that a nuclear sub leaked radiation in 3 ports and the new cold war with Russia continues to heat up thanks to Bush’s push to build a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

COL’s were formally submitted to the NRC. Strontium was found in a well near Indian Point, the Texas N-waste site got a contractor, Yucca Mountain’s estimated construction costs jump to $96 Billion, and the NEI claims it has two communities willing to take on their PFS agenda. More accidents at ORNL and controversies in Florida’s Tallevast contamination scandal. Oh, and the industry seems to be short on petty cash.

With another lawsuit filed to stop uranium mining development, it is IMHO its time that we start working with tribal communities to put an end to uranium mining! This should be part of every editorial that goes out.

Top Nuclear Stories Index

Reactors Security Safety Fuel Cycle N-Waste
Policy Weapons DOE Energy News OpEd

Nuclear Reactor News

homerGreg Palast » The McCain Plan: Homer Simpson without the Donut
I’m guessing it was excessive exposure to either radiation or George Bush, but Senator John McCain’s comments from inside a nuclear power plant in Michigan are so cracked-brained that I fear some loose gamma rays are doing to McCain’s gray matter what they did to Homer Simpson’s.

High emissions reported at French nuclear plant | Reuters
Radioactive gas emissions from a nuclear plant in southeast France were higher than normal in June and July but there was no threat to public safety, nuclear authorities said on Wednesday. The gas emissions occurred at a waste reprocessing installation at the Tricastin nuclear site in southeastern France, where a separate uranium leak was reported last month.

FR: NRC: Virgil Sumner COL application
South Carolina Electric and Gas Company as Itself and Acting as Agent for the South Carolina Public Service Company (Also Referred to as Santee Cooper) Acceptance for Docketing of an Application for Combined License for Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station Units 2 & 3

Federal Agency Scapegoating Nuclear Power Engineer for Near-Accident at Davis-Besse, Science Group Says
Andrew Siemaszko, a former nuclear safety engineer at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant, will go on trial this Friday for allegedly lying to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about conditions leading to a near-disaster at the plant in 2002. NRC documents, however, show that Siemaszko is not to blame. It was FirstEnergy, the plant’s owners, which falsified reports to the NRC, not Siemaszko. In fact, Siemaszko was one work shift away from discovering the problem at Davis-Besse while cleaning the reactor head in 2000, but FirstEnergy prevented him from completing his task.

Nuclear plant financing scarce
As the Maryland Public Service Commission began public hearings this week on a potential new nuclear reactor, the debate about nuclear energy’s cost and effectiveness continues. The Maryland Public Interest Research Group released a report recently saying a new reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant would lead to higher electric costs for Maryland ratepayers. The new plant’s cost continues to escalate, and the project would likely receive substantial federal subsidies, the Baltimore organization says.

Nukes Need Money –
It’s late summer in Washington at the tail end of a lame duck presidency. And that means one thing for Beltway insiders: open season for lobbying. The nuclear energy industry is one group in a good position to take advantage of the changing of the guard. And one of its biggest guns–former New Jersey Gov. and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman–is drumming up publicity for what might be a nuclear renaissance in the U.S. within the next few years.

FR: NRC Entergy facility license transfer for Indian Point 2
In the Matter of Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc; Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2, LLC; (Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit No. 1); Order Approving Indirect Transfer of Facility Operating License

Yankee panel is kept in the dark – Bennington Banner
Recent news that there was yet another leak in the 42-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant’s cooling system underscores the need for independent evaluation of the plant. The public has rightfully lost confidence in the ability of Entergy to maintain Vermont Yankee. More important, this latest failure has also raised questions about the ability of the Department of Public Service even to oversee Entergy’s maintenance program.

Monroe Evening News: NRC to hold meeting at MCCC on licensing process for Fermi 3
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold an open house and public meeting Aug. 20 at Monroe County Community College to discuss the licensing process for DTE Energy’s proposed new Fermi 3 nuclear plant.\n\nThe “public outreach” meeting will start with an open house from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by a public meeting from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the La-Z-Boy Center. The public will be invited to comment on and ask questions about the process.

colProgress applies for COL for new Florida plant
Progress Energy has submitted an application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a combined construction and operating licence (COL) for a potential new nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida.

FR: NRC: Entergy: Palisades license transfer
Entergy Nuclear Palisades, LLC (Palisades Nuclear Plant); Order Approving Indirect Transfer of Facility Operating License

Xcel’s Prairie Island Nuclear Plant Goes On Alert | AHN
Xcel Energy issued an elevated alert level Sunday after traces of hydrazine were discovered in the turbine building at its Prairie Island Nuclear Plant in Red Wing, Minnesota. Hydrazine, an ammonia-like chemical used to avoid corrosion and rusting in pipes, was reported higher than normal levels.

Legislative committee supports Bellefonte nuke plan: Huntsville Times 
A joint legislative committee Monday urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority to move forward with building a new twin-reactor plant next to the unfinished Bellefonte nuclear plant in Jackson County. The Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Energy Policy unanimously adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Parker Griffith, D-Huntsville, supporting the action.

Lawmakers to probe Yankee decision: Times Argus Online
Change in radiation monitoring wasn’t approved by rules committee MONTPELIER — A legislative committee is investigating whether the Department of Health violated the law when it failed to get lawmakers’ approval for changing the way it calculates radiation emissions from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The decision comes 10 days after the Department of Health announced in its annual report that Vermont Yankee was releasing 30 percent more radiation than the year before under the new method for calculating radiation emissions.

Oyster Creek foes appeal to force NRC review of metal fatigue | Asbury Park Press
Opponents of the relicensing of the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey have filed an appeal of a ruling that rejected their efforts to have the issue of metal fatigue of the plant’s recirculation’s nozzles reconsidered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Earlier this year a coalition of groups asked the Atomic Safety Licensing Board to reopen the relicensing record to reanalyze whether five recirculation outlet nozzles on the reactor vessel will sustain too much stress over an additional 20 years. The 38-year-old plant’s operating license is due to expire next April.

Investors who triggered a nuclear meltdown – Times Online
The grand plan for nuclear power in the UK has come to a grinding halt with EDF’s decision to abandon buying British Energy It’s not often that the blocking of a single deal brings a whole area of national policy to a grinding halt. Yet that is what has happened with the failed (for the moment) auction of British Energy (BE), our sole nuclear-power provider. When its sale to EDF, the French utility group, was halted on Thursday, government energy policy was derailed at the same moment.

Entergy evading responsibility: Rutland Herald
For those Vermonters not living in the immediate vicinity of Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, it is possible that the issues of safety and liability seem to be someone else’s problem. However, with the restructuring plan cooked up by Entergy and supported by Gov. Douglas, this will not be the case in the future.

Indian Point Faulted on Siren-Upgrade Effort –
THE panel of outside experts hired by Entergy Nuclear to review operations at Indian Point, part of the company’s campaign to improve its image as it seeks a 20-year license extension, found generally that the plant complied with minimum standards, but picked out one “very visible exception,” the emergency sirens.

Hearings Set on Building Reactor –
The Maryland Public Service Commission is holding several public meetings this month, beginning tomorrow, about whether a third reactor should be built at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby.

Two new reactors at Vogtle could cost up to $14 billion
Two new reactors at the Vogtle site could cost up to $14 billion, Georgia Power said in an integrated resource plan filed August 1 with the Georgia Public Service Commission. Georgia Power said in the filing that its 45.7% share of the new reactors would cost about $4.4 billion if the PSC allows it to include the costs in its rate base as construction progresses. The Southern Co. subsidiary added, however, that if it is not allowed to do that, its costs for the two AP1000s would increase almost 30% to $6.4 billion.

safety Nuclear Health and Safety News

Concern over French nuclear safety – Times Online
The latest safety lapse occurred at a nuclear plant run by an arm of Areva, the group in line to take over Sellafield The French state energy giants bidding to take control of Britain’s nuclear industry are facing concern over their safety record in France after the fourth radioactive incident of the summer. The latest safety lapse occurred at a nuclear waste plant run by a subsidiary of Areva, the group which is leading a consortium in line to take over management of Sellafield in the UK.

US says submarine leaked radiation in 3 Japan ports | Reuters
A U.S. nuclear-powered submarine which has steadily been leaking a small amount of radiation for over two years stopped at three Japanese ports, as well as Guam and Pearl Harbor, the United States and Japan said on Thursday. Japan was notified by the United States last week that the nuclear-powered USS Houston had been leaking water containing a small amount of radiation, but was told at the time that it was unclear when the leak had started.

Radioactive strontium 90 found in well near Indian Point | Journal News
Radioactive strontium 90 has been found in trace amounts in a monitoring well next to Indian Point for the second time in little more than a year. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission spoke with county officials and others in an afternoon conference call today with Entergy, so the company could detail the preliminary test results it found during routine well sampling on the property, according to NRC documents obtained by The Journal News. | Tallevast water treatment leaks
Polluted water in a treatment system leaked and filled secondary containment before residents of the beleaguered neighborhood said they heard and saw it pouring over the top onto the ground Sunday.

BBC NEWS  | Plutonium leaks at Austrian plant
There has been a plutonium leak at a site run by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Austria. UN nuclear monitors said pressure had built up and plutonium had contaminated a storage-room at the Seibersdorf laboratory, south of Vienna.

Defence chiefs admit to nuclear deaths |
* Admission servicemen exposed to nuclear danger * Defence belives bomb tests led to deaths * Australian victims preparing to sue government BRITISH Defence chiefs have admitted servicemen were exposed to dangerous radiation levels during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s. The dramatic admission, made after years of denials, features in papers filed with the High Court in London by Ministry of Defence lawyers.

OpEdNews: 63 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “The Last Best Chance”
Sixty-three years ago this week war became obsolete in man’s quest to resolve conflict. On August 6, 1945 and three days later August 9, 1945 the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan were destroyed by the first atomic weapons used in war. The weapons, small and crude weapons by todays standards killed 90,000 and 40,000 people instantly and caused the deaths of 200,000 by the end of 1945 and an additional tens of thousands more over the next years.

Radiation exposed | Gristmill
The effect of radiation is not a subject I blog on a great deal, although it is a subject I have studied a great deal. Indeed, my uncle, a former nuclear physics professor at MIT, started our family Radon testing business, which was sold off years ago.

How much radiation is too much?  | Courier Times
The 750 tons of radioactive sludge that Waste Management agreed to accept at its local municipal landfills would expose the public to less radiation annually than watching TV, according to a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission assessment.

Associated Press: Japan warned of possible nuclear leak from US sub
The U.S. Navy has warned that a nuclear submarine may have had radioactive leaks during recent port calls in Japan’s south, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday. Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was informed by the U.S. Navy that a small amount of radiation might have leaked from the nuclear-powered USS Houston as it traveled around the Pacific.

Calls for change in nuke program: The Rocky Mountain News
The time has come for change in the federal compensation program for sick nuclear weapons workers, two men who have held key roles in the program said this week. More than 165,000 sick workers or their survivors – including more than 10,000 from the former Rocky Flats site near Denver – have applied to the eight-year-old compensation program. The aid program, which has been subject to multiple congressional hearings, also was the subject of a three-part investigative series in the Rocky Mountain News last week called “Deadly denial.”

Nuclear Security News

No News this cycle

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

USEC reveals 2Q earnings | Chillicothe Gazette
USEC Inc. this week reported a second-quarter net income of $10.8 million, or 10 cents per fully diluted share. Advertisement The result was a dramatic improvement over a net loss of $13.4 million, or 15 cents per share, for the same quarter in 2007. The results were in line with company expectations and reflect an anticipated decline in separative work unit volume compared to 2007 resulting from the timing of customer refueling cycles. – Foreign ownership at issue in NRC hearing on mine
An attorney for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission faced tough questioning about foreign ownership of nuclear production facilities last week during a hearing in Chadron on the proposed expansion of the Crow Butte Resources uranium mine near Crawford.

moabPOGO Blog: Moab Uranium Riding the Rails
Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) reaffirmed its prior decision to relocate the uranium mill tailings predominantly by rail from Moab, Utah. The tailings will be trained from the banks of the Colorado River 30 miles north to Crescent Junction, Utah. DOE may still consider using truck transport under certain circumstances, but it won’t be the primary mode of transportation for the contaminated pile.

USEC Updates Progress on the American Centrifuge Plant
USEC Inc. has completed its review of the cost and schedule for the American Centrifuge Plant and affirmed its previously disclosed estimate of completing the project at $3.5 billion, which includes amounts spent to date but excludes financing costs and financial assurance.

Complaint filed against uranium program: Telluride Co: Daily Planet
Last summer, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management issued a report that determined an increase in uranium mining in the region would have “no significant environmental impact.” The report allowed the DOE to bring back a program that initially fueled atomic weapons but would now go toward powering hair dryers and electric cars.

DOE confirms it will move contaminated Moab tailings by rail, not truck – Salt Lake Tribune
About 16 million tons of mill tailings abutting the Colorado River near Moab will be moved by rail to a permanent disposal site, the Department of Energy said Tuesday, reaffirming a decision not to ship the contaminated uranium mill tailings by truck along rural roads. “After evaluating the alternatives for safely transporting the mill tailings from Moab and considering input received from citizens in the Moab community and surrounding areas, [the Department of Energy] has decided to ship the tailings using the existing Union Pacific Railroad track,” Assistant Energy Secretary for Environmental Management James A. Rispoli said in a news release. “We believe our decision will be most protective of the community over the long term.”

Santa Barbara News-Press: Environmentalists sue over Colo. uranium program
Environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit claiming that a program clearing the way for uranium mines in western Colorado is illegal.\n\nThe lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District in Denver says the Department of Energy’s environmental analysis of the leasing program on federal land last year was inadequate. The groups want the court to make DOE do a more comprehensive analysis of the impacts of past uranium mining and potential impacts of new mines.

DOE – DOE Awards $15 Million for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technology Research and Development
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it will award up to $15 million to 34 research organizations as part of the Department’s Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI). AFCI is the Department’s nuclear energy research and development program supporting the long-term goals and objectives of the United States’ nuclear energy policy. These projects will provide necessary data and analyses to further U.S. nuclear fuel cycle technology development, meet the need for advanced nuclear energy production and help to close the nuclear fuel cycle in the United States.

Failed MOX test at Catawba may have implications for Oconee | Greenville News
Officials have interrupted the multiyear test of converted plutonium fuel at a South Carolina nuclear reactor after the discovery of “excessive growth” in the fuel assemblies, two nuclear watchdog groups said Monday. Advertisement Officials with the two groups said the discovery has implications for other reactors, including Oconee Nuclear Station, where similar types of fuel assemblies using different fuel have produced “the same flaw.”

Area should celebrate death of GNEP | Chillicothe Gazette
Remember Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, the Bush nuclear wonder-program supposed to bring us “6,000 local jobs?” A jobs bonanza was promised at Piketon, so worthwhile as to warrant the postponement of public oversight and major site cleanup. Now the GNEP dinosaur is dead. In October, the National Academy of Sciences slammed the program as a hugely expensive exercise in sci-fi fantasy. In June, the House Appropriations Subcommittee provided “no funding for the Administration’s counterproductive, poorly designed, and poorly executed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)” in its markup of the 2009 budget. In July, the Department of Energy canceled the siting process for GNEP “facilities,” and tossed away the “candidate list” on which Piketon was included.

Bangkok Post | The Rockefeller of nuclear power
Flame-licked doors of a hydrogen furnace clatter open at a Cold War bomb factory in the Altai Mountains of Kazakhstan, spilling a tray of baked metal capsules into the pale winter light. Each enriched-uranium pellet the size of a Brazil nut packs almost as much energy as a ton of coal. Former cognac and car salesman Mukhtar Dzhakishev says he plans to triple production at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Oskemen, a formerly secret city south of Siberia known in Russian as Ust Kamenogorsk.

NT uranium mine a vote-changer: Greens (Australian Broadcasting Corp)
The leader of the Greens Party says the prospect of a uranium mine going ahead near Alice Springs is a vote-changing issue for central Australians in the Northern Territory election. The Greens have candidates in six of the 25 seats across the Territory for next Saturday’s election.

Nuclear Waste News

Nuclear Utilities Win Appeal Over Radioactive-Waste Facility –
In the latest development of a longstanding contract dispute, a federal appeals court reversed and remanded a trio of cases concerning damages owed to nuclear utilities as a result of the government’s failure to build a nuclear-waste facility. The appeals court said the damages awarded weren’t calculated properly by the court of Federal Claims. As such it voided $42.8 million in damages awarded to PG&E Corp.’s Pacific Gas & Electric utility, $39.8 million to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and $142.8 million to three former New England nuclear-plant operators.

Yucca as growth industry – Las Vegas Sun
The cost of the federal plan to bury nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain just keeps rising, as does the volume of the waste planned for shipment to the site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. A warning about the project’s spiraling cost and need for more capacity came last month from Ward Sproat, the Energy Department’s director of nuclear waste programs.

B92 – Serbs, Albanians protest over radioactive load
Protests have been ongoing for some weeks in K.Mitrovica over a consignment of a suspected radioactive substance. A tanker carrying 70 tons of chemical material from Iran via Turkey, Bulgaria, and Macedonia arrived in Kosovo two months ago. Serbs and Albanians alike are concerned that the consignment could become radioactive if destroyed. The material is currently located at the customs terminal in southern Kosovska Mitrovica.

dumpContract awarded for disposal facility in Texas
Waste Control Specialists (WCS), a subsidiary of Valhi, has awarded a contract to URS to lead the design and construction of a new low-level radioactive waste (LLW) facility in Andrews County, Texas.

Perchlorate bills too little, too late? | The Desert Sun
A U.S. Senate environment committee has passed two bills that aim to reduce the chemical contaminant perchlorate in the nation’s water supplies. The legislation, however, likely comes too late to help residents of the La Quinta Ridge Mobile Home Estates in Indio, officials at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said. Tallevast family continues fight for autopsy
Eight days after Bobby Pitts died at Manatee Memorial Hospital, his body still lies in the morgue while his family tries to get local or state officials to approve an autopsy. An autopsy is critical, his family says, to gauging the health risks of a contamination spill threatening Tallevast. But Manatee County Medical Examiner Dr. Russell Vega says he has no authority to do an autopsy.

Feds raise Yucca price tag to $96.2 billion – Las Vegas Sun
It’s official: The Energy Department announced today that it will cost $96.2 billion to build the nation’s nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, operate it for the next 150 years and shut it down. In a conference call today, the department’s Yucca Mountain project director said the new estimate assumes more waste will eventually be stored at the mountain than now allowed. Department projections are counting on Congress to one day lift the 70,000 metric ton limit to 122,000 metric tons at the mountain 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

BBC NEWS | UK | Nuclear waste site plan opposed
Plans to dispose of radioactive waste at the site of a former opencast pit in Cumbria have met with opposition. Recycling and waste management firm Sita UK wants to buy land at Keekle Head, near Whitehaven, for the disposal of low level radioactive waste.

Developer won’t sue ABC over radioactive site – BrisbaneTimes
The developer of a commercial precinct at Newstead has ruled out suing the ABC after the national broadcaster ditched plans to build its new Queensland headquarters on the site following the discovery of high levels of radioactive material.

The Trentonian – Tullytown fights to keep radioactive waste out of landfill
TULLYTOWN, Pa. – Borough leaders want “Trash Mountain” to grow green, not glow green. Thats why they’re fighting a plan to bring radioactive sludge to the Tullytown Landfill.

San Bernardino County gets EPA bill for radium cleanup at Chino Airport | Press Enterprise
he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is billing San Bernardino County nearly a half-million dollars to pay for removing vintage aircraft gauges adorned with radioactive-laced paint from a hangar at Chino Airport. The county, which owns and operates the airport, and the federal agency made the agreement official last week although the cleanup was conducted in 2005, said Taly Jolish, assistant regional counsel for the EPA. | Tallevast death sets off autopsy struggle
The death of a Tallevast resident has set off a struggle between the family, the county, the health department, the medical examiner’s office and Manatee Memorial Hospital over an autopsy. Bobby Pitts, 54, died Sunday at Manatee Memorial Hospital after a weeklong battle with an infection that required surgery, according to family. Pitts was the son of Zasu Pitts and lived with his mother in a house that sits right next to the old beryllium plant that is the source of a 200-acre toxic underground spill beneath Tallevast.

Lawsuit brings into the open TVA’s role as polluter | The Tennessean
There’s nothing like a trial to get a look at a large agency and its records that otherwise can be difficult to see. The lawsuit the state of North Carolina hit the Tennessee Valley Authority with to try to make it reduce air pollution wafting into that state has shone a rather large spotlight on the independent federal electricity producer. Advertisement What emerged over the 12 days of testimony included:

Nuclear Policy News

German Ministry Pleads for Nuclear: Atomic Power Causes Cabinet Meltdown – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Yet again, the issue of nuclear power has resulted in bickering within Germany’s government in Berlin. Officially, the country is set to turn its back on nuclear power within 15 years. But Economics Minister Michael Glos wants the atomic phase-out to be phased out — a proposal that has infuriated the country’s environment minister.

Bernard Ingham: Nuclear shambles shows why Brown and Britain are losing power game – Yorkshire Post
YOU may think I am going soft, but I feel rather sorry for Gordon Brown. In the current torrid political atmosphere, every minor hiccough becomes a disaster to be laid at his door. Take, for example, the French failure so far to buy British Energy (BE), our nuclear generator.

U.S. lawmaker urges India nuclear deal be delayed | Reuters
The chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has urged the Bush administration to shelve a nuclear trade deal with India unless it can guarantee compliance with a U.S. law that would suspend trade if India tested a nuclear weapon again.

Green Party Energy Expert Hahn: ‘The Nuclear Industry Has Invented the Energy Shortfall’ – SPIEGEL ONLINE
Barbel Hahn, 56, deputy leader of the German Green Party’s parliamentary group, discusses her party’s opposition to nuclear energy, the market power of the major energy companies, and why she rejects warnings of a shortfall in energy supplies.

Centrica plots £22bn British Energy deal – Telegraph
Centrica, Britain’s biggest gas and electricity supplier, is to sound out institutional shareholders about reviving plans for a £22.5bn all-share merger with British Energy, The Sunday Telegraph has learned. Centrica, which owns British Gas, will gauge the appetite of City investors for a paper deal following the last-minute hitch in British Energy’s takeover by EDF, the French government-controlled energy group, last week.

The Hindu : Hyde Act will determine path of deal: CPI(M)
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday said the safeguards agreement approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed that the Hyde Act of the U.S. would determine the path of the India-US nuclear deal through the various stages. “The provisions of the Hyde Act and not the assurances made by the Indian Prime Minister in Parliament are shaping the course of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal through the various stages,” the Polit Bureau of the party said in a statement here.

Nuclear Weapons News

Living Death: The Eternal Now of Hiroshima | Baltimore Chronicle
I once shared an office for a time with a Japanese scientist from Hiroshima. It was a strange setting for such an association: we were working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where the atomic bomb that obliterated my colleague’s city — 63 years ago today — was fashioned.

Anthrax Killer: The Enemy Was Us
The terrorists find all sorts of reasons to hate us. On Tuesday came word that the deadliest biological assault on the United States may be linked to the rejection of the terror suspect by a Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister decades ago. That is offered as an explanation of why the accused US Army bio-warfare scientist allegedly drove seven hours from his home to mail anthrax-laced letters from a mailbox near the sorority’s Princeton University office, according to the Associated Press. Blog · The Icing on the Yellowcake
It was brought to my attention this morning that some people have recently been using last month’s Iraqi government sale of Yellowcake uranium to a Canadian company as vindication for starting everyone’s favorite Middle East quagmire that’s totally going less awful now that most of the integrated neighborhoods in Iraq have been violently purged of one group or another.

RIA Novosti – Moscow says no nuclear weapons in Belarus to counter U.S. shield
Russia may review military cooperation with Belarus in response to U.S. missile defense plans in Central Europe, but will not return nuclear weapons to the country, the Russian ambassador to Minsk said Wednesday. The U.S. plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of a missile shield for Europe and North America against possible attacks from “rogue states,” including Iran.

bombAtomic blast trips cancer time bomb – Toowoomba Chronicle
WHEN the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima 63 years ago today, it paved the way for a cancer time bomb inside Toowoomba man John Collins. Mr Collins served in the Australian Army as part of the clean-up crew at Hiroshima 23 months after the infamous bomb wiped out the city.

Ronald Hoffman: The Unholy Trinity
World War Two certainly did not end with a whimper, but with a bang. Two very large bangs — three if you count the Trinity test blast (and you should). The war drums have continued banging ever since. What could have been one of the more joyous dates in history — the anniversary of the end of the last Great War, World War Two — is, instead, a time of deep reflection about how it ended, and what it started.

Associated Press: A look at nuclear programs in Iran, NKorea, India
President Bush has pursued nuclear containment deals with Iran and North Korea and a nuclear cooperation pact with India. None of the deals will be complete when he leaves office. Here is a look at the nuclear programs in each nation:

Britain admits dangers of 1950s nuclear tests – World –
British defence chiefs have admitted servicemen were exposed to dangerous radiation during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s. The admission, made after years of denials, is in papers filed with the High Court in London by Ministry of Defence lawyers.

doeDepartment of Energy News

DOE – DOE to Pursue Zero-Net Energy Commercial Buildings
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency David Rodgers today announced the launch of DOE’s Zero-Net Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI) with establishment of the National Laboratory Collaborative on Building Technologies Collaborative (NLCBT). These two efforts both focus on DOE’s ongoing efforts to develop marketable Zero-Net Energy Commercial Buildings, buildings that use cutting-edge efficiency technologies and on-site renewable energy generation to offset their energy use from the electricity grid by 2025.

Y-12 fire results in evacuation of 95 employees – The Oak Ridger
A Monday morning fire at the Y-12 National Security Complex resulted in the evacuation of 95 employees, including two who were taken to Y-12 Occupational Health Services and released. “Emergency response personnel at the Y-12 National Security Complex are responding to a fire at the Oak Ridge facility,” stated a 10:24 a.m. e-mail from the Y-12 Site Office. | Nuke companies bond together
Oak Ridge-area companies in the nuclear services business have come together for their common good and formed the Tennessee Radioactive Material Processors and Brokers Association. According to a statement distributed by EnergySolutions, one of the members, the association was created “to provide a public forum for discussing national, state and local policies that may affect the nuclear industry.” Pantex, Xcel water deal flushed
The plant is adding a second system in September to remove groundwater from a shallow aquifer and filter it to remove high explosives and chromium from earlier work there. With two systems in place, the plant will be pumping 850,000 gallons per day from 76 wells, said Dennis Huddleston, division manager of the projects division of Pantex.

Other Energy News

car 106 mpg ‘air car’ creates buzz, questions –

You’ve heard of hybrids, electric cars and vehicles that can run on vegetable oil. But of all the contenders in the quest to produce the ultimate fuel-efficient car, this could be the first one to let you say, “Fill it up with air.” The compressed air car planned for the U.S. market would be a six-seater, a New York company says. The compressed air car planned for the U.S. market would be a six-seater, a New York company says. That’s the idea behind the compressed air car, a vehicle its backers say could achieve a fuel economy of 106 miles per gallon.

kitesGiant Dutch Kites Generate 10 Kilowatts Of Power…Enough For 10 Homes : TreeHugger
We’ve written with great fanfare about Beluga Skysails, the cargo ship that has successfully used a large kite to generate energy for operations during windy periods at sea. The billowing kite cut energy around 20 percent during a trip from Venezuela to Germany and up to Norway earlier in 2008.

Peak Moment: Little House on a Small Planet | Global Public Media
Builder and author Shay Salomon finds that the happiest home builders are often the ones with the smallest houses. They’re less costly to build and maintain, more likely to be finished, use fewer resources and help people simplify their lives. One version of “smaller” is to share a house, which can ease our loneliness while building our social network. Co-founder of the Small House Society, Shay notes that scaling down can enable a ratcheting up of our whole lifestyle, as we revalue quality over quantity. Declaring “Enough”, she says, is the most ecological thing one can do.

Daily Kos: State of the Nation: McCain Energy: for the big boys
Some GREAT breaking stuff from Obama’s town-hall meeting occuring now in Indiana. He opened up with remarks that took McCain to task even harder than he has in the past: “Senator McCain’s energy plan reads like an early Christmas list for oil and gas lobbyists. And it’s no wonder – because many of his top advisors are former oil and gas lobbyists.” Love that he included the fact that his advisors were oil and gas lobbyists. It’s as if Barack Obama suddenly woke up and realized all the material he had to work with in going after McCain. But there’s much more great stuff:

Fuel Subsidies Overseas Take a Toll on U.S. –
To understand why fuel prices in the United States have soared over the last year, it helps to talk to the captain of a battered wooden freighter here. He pays just $2.30 a gallon for diesel, the same price Indonesian motorists pay for regular gasoline. His vessel burns diesel by the barrel, so when the government prepared for a limited price increase this spring, he took to the streets to protest.

George Monbiot: The stakes could not be higher. Everything hinges on stopping coal | The Guardian
As soon as I have finished this column I will jump on the train to Kent. Last year Al Gore remarked: “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants.” Like hundreds of honorary young people, I am casting my Zimmer frame aside to answer the call. Everything now hinges on stopping coal. Whether we prevent runaway climate change largely depends on whether we keep using the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Unless we either leave it – or the carbon dioxide it produces – in the ground, human development will start spiralling backwards. The more coal is burnt, the smaller are our chances of future comfort and prosperity. The industrial revolution has gone into reverse.

ENN: MIT develops way to bank solar energy at home
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) – A U.S. scientist has developed a new way of powering fuel cells that could make it practical for home owners to store solar energy and produce electricity to run lights and appliances at night. A new catalyst produces the oxygen and hydrogen that fuel cells use to generate electricity, while using far less energy than current methods.

Think Progress» Boehner At Home Golfing While House Colleagues Conduct Oil Drilling Protest On Capitol Hill
Since last Friday, House Republicans have been engaged in a political stunt on Capitol Hill, staging fake sessions on gas prices while Congress adjourned for recess. Over the weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) urged Members to return to the Capitol, “although they themselves didn’t show up“:

Public Opinion Snapshot: Voters Want Renewable Energy, Not Drilling
The current energy crisis has made American voters look more favorably on a wide range of ideas that can be used to deal with our energy problems. But voters don’t favor all of these ideas equally; they have clear views on which approaches they think will work best. Consider these data from a recent Quinnipiac University poll of voters in four key swing states: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Offshore Drilling It’s NOT the Answer to High Gas Prices at the Pump | Greenpeace
Record high gas prices have been making the news headlines for the past few months. Each week gas prices top the previous week, resulting in a new all-time high. Unless you are fortunate enough to live, work and play within walking distance from your home, you have been affected by these high gas prices like the rest of the nation. While the public continues to be outraged about gas prices, some politicians (McCain, Bush, and Gingrich) are taking advantage of the dire situation by organizing a push to drill for oil along our coastlines and lift a 27-year moratorium.

Missouri Town Is Running On Vapor  And Thriving : NPR
As the United States grapples for ways to break its dependence on foreign energy sources, one tiny town in Missouri seems to have it figured out. Rock Port, in the northwest tip of the state, has been on the decline for decades, and its population dwindles each year. But a walk up to the old cemetery shows something that has put the wind, literally, back in the town’s sails: four massive turbines.

China’s Big Push for Renewable Energy: Scientific American
Winds rush through the capital city of China, blowing dust storms that envelop it in grit from the encroaching Gobi Desert each spring. Last year, the government finally took advantage of those winds, installing 33 wind turbines manufactured by domestic company Xinjiang Gold Wind at the Guanting wind power field to harvest this energy and use it to supplement the electricity provided by polluting coal. Those suburban turbines began turning in earnest on January 20, providing 35 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to Beijing through July, or roughly 300,000 kilowatt-hours a day.

The energy answer is blowin’ in the wind – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Understanding wind energy can be a challenge. But it is no more complicated than the choices we are making on transportation. And just like those choices, wind is great for Pennsylvania’s economy as well as our environment. Pennsylvania wind farms generate power about 70 percent of the time. But the amount of power is variable. That’s why it is rated at 30 percent of capacity. It’s like having a car that can go 100 mph but your average speed is much less.

A real energy plan for America | Gristmill
Senator Barack Obama has fulfilled the promise of his earlier climate plan with a detailed and comprehensive “New Energy for America” [PDF] plan. Yesterday, he gave a major speech on this plan in Lansing, Michigan. This is easily the best energy plan ever put forward by a nominee of either party:

Jimmy Carter — the peak oil president – How the World Works –
The timing is extraordinarily appropriate, and not just because energy is the campaign issue of the week. The wave of Republican mockery currently assaulting Barack Obama’s recommendation that Americans properly inflate their tires flows squarely within the tradition of scorn and derision that conservatives have heaped on Carter for decades — in part because of his call for conservation and sacrifice in 1977.

Yale Environment 360: Too Many People, Too Much Consumption
Four decades after his controversial book, The Population Bomb, scientist Paul Ehrlich still believes that overpopulation — now along with overconsumption — is the central environmental crisis facing the world. And, he insists, technological fixes will not save the day.

We Test the Tips: What Really Saves Gas? And How Much?
With gas prices so high, the media is awash with lists of gas-saving tips. Well how’s this for a tip? If you listen to us, you can see hybrid-type savings without having to buy a new car. By changing your driving habits you can improve fuel economy up to 37 percent right away (depending on how you drive). Combine several tips and perform routine maintenance and you will save real dollars, not just pennies.

Fuel cell breakthroughs reported – Green Machines-
Less costly methods for producing oxygen from water have been developed by researchers in the U.S. and Australia, possibly setting the stage for more use of fuel cells to produce energy.

Crash Course: Preparing For Peak Oil: Hubbert Schizophrenia
I’ve been a Hubbert Schizophrenic for the past seven years. Perhaps you are one too “ the diagnosis is easy. The principal symptom is the attempt by the patient to lead two lives, one involving the Peak and its consequences. One of those two lives is the normal one, and includes a future predicated on a series of uneventful jobs ending with a decent collection of pensions, and a house with a half acre of grass and the occasional bunch of dark purple iris at the borders, and plentiful ice creams for many Junes to come.

A new Apollo project needed to solve the energy crisis – Salt Lake Tribune
Print Email Font Resize A new Apollo project needed to solve the energy crisis

Last month we saw a Utah Republican congressional full-court press in favor of the oil and gas industries. Heir-apparent to the 3rd Congressional District Jason Chaffetz flew to Alaska and returned with the startling revelation that the energy crisis was solely the fault of Democrats. First Congressional District Rep. Rob Bishop notified his constituents via a slick newsletter that we need more oil, gas and coal.

Tide turns for wave power – Times Online
WIND POWER faces difficult obstacles, but its supporters can at least point to wind farms already in operation. By contrast, tidal power, often touted as an environmentally friendly alternative, has struggled. A firm quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market believes it is on to the next big thing in carbon-neutral energy — wave power.

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Public oversight is betrayed: Rutland Herald Online
Once again, (or should I just say as usual?), we, the public, as represented by the newly appointed Citizens Oversight Panel chosen to inspect Vermont Yankee in a thorough and independent manner before Entergy is relicensed for 20 more years, are about to be betrayed by the Department of Public Service.

The lessons that should be learnt from Hiroshima| Guardian
The 1945 attack was murder on an epic scale. In its victims’ names, we must not allow a nuclear repeat in the Middle East. When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then walked down to the river and met a man called Yukio, whose chest was still etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

Time to turn our backs on the failing nuclear industry | Greenpeace
Friday’s announcement that French state owned utility Electricite de France (EDF) had pulled out of a takeover bid for British Energy has left Gordon Brown’s nuclear aspirations in disarray. It was widely expected that, following months of negotiation, a deal would have been struck and a statement read to the sound of popping corks, but instead a rather sombre delivery was given to a stunned room.

South Idaho Press: Nuclear power plants: how things can go wrong Part III: Editorials
This final opinion piece on nuclear power plants will consider natural disasters, terrorist events and how the cost of risk reduction determines how much safety is wan-anted.

Nukes can’t work, Sen. McCain | Philadelphia Daily News
TODAY, nuclear power is being heavily touted as an answer to global warming, not only by the nuclear industry but by some political candidates, most notably John McCain, who advocates building 100 nuclear plants in the U.S., 45 in the next 22 years.

Nuclear ban? Start with U.S.  – Times Union – Albany NY
Wednesday is the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and an appropriate time to reflect upon the persistence of nuclear danger. The world’s nine nuclear powers continue to cling to some 27,000 nuclear weapons, almost all of them more deadly than that first atomic bomb, which annihilated an estimated 140,000 Japanese men, women, and children. They do so even as most people recognized long ago that nuclear war spells doom.

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