Top Nuclear Stories (Aug 7th- 11th)

I’m on editorial vacation, but will make a few comments.  Its been a slow news cycle. The fallout over more accidents in France has hit Europe.  The Russia – Georgia crisis appears to have oil as one of the underlying issues. Controversies in the North and South East part of the country continue to change daily.

Top Nuclear Stories Index

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

Nuclear Reactor News

France’s Nuclear Conundrum: Atomic World Champ on the Ropes – SPIEGEL ONLINE
France is proud of having the world’s most developed nuclear energy infrastructure, but a series of incidents at the Tricastin nuclear power plant has shaken its self-confidence. Is public sentiment about nuclear power about to shift? The winegrowers have already made their move. No longer will they label their product Côteaux du Tricastin. Why? Because the name Tricastin is slowly beginning to stand for something far removed from fine wine.

NRC rejects state’s Pilgrim relicensing petition – The Patriot Ledger
A local anti-nuclear activist has criticized a decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to deny a petition by state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office that could have affected the re-licensing of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. “We deserve an airing of the issues to ensure the environment of public health and safety to be protected,” said Duxbury resident May Lampert. “It doesn’t make the agency credible if people think these issues don’t have a fair hearing.”

EDF finalises deal to run two China nuclear plants | Reuters
EDF the world’s biggest single producer of nuclear energy, signed a formal agreement on Sunday to invest in and operate two new-generation reactors in the southern province of Guangdong.

Cape Cod Times – AG suffers setback on Pilgrim nuclear plant
The state attorney general’s office suffered a major defeat yesterday in its fight to influence relicensing proceedings for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission denied a petition submitted nearly two years ago that sought greater consideration of the environmental impact of spent fuel storage facilities in the event of an accident or terrorist attack. Attorney General Martha Coakley had argued the pools where used fuel rods are stored could be drained, leading to a zirconium fire and a significant amount of radioactive material being released into the environment.

NRC sets meeting on new nuke | Wilkes-Barre News | The Times Leader
Agency will explain how it will review PPL’s expected application for a third reactor. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting on Aug. 19 on PPL Corp.’s expected application for a new reactor in Salem Township. The purpose is to discuss how the NRC will review the application, which will include safety and environmental reviews and a mandatory hearing, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said in an e-mail. Because it’s been decades since the NRC reviewed new-reactor applications, Sheehan said it’s a good idea to explain to the public how the process works.

Times-News: Magicvalley: Firm behind nuke plant millions in debt
The company behind a $4.5 billion nuclear power plant proposed for southern Elmore County has lost so much money that it risks going out of business, according to a recently released audit. The report adds to the perceived financial woes of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. of Eagle, which recently moved its proposed site from Owyhee County, citing high development and infrastructure costs.

Future Of Connecticut Yankee Site Remains Unclear —
yankeeIt may not be pristine wilderness, but most of the trademark characteristics that define a nuclear power plant are long gone from Haddam Neck — no dome-shaped nuclear reactor and no electricity coursing into the power grid. Now that the Connecticut Yankee nuclear power plant is no more, now that the only artifacts of the sixth nuclear power plant built in the U.S. are a nuclear waste storage area and a warehouse, what comes next? Can there be a second act for land that once housed a nuke plant? — Davis-Besse ‘deception’ trial to begin
A U.S. District Court jury in Toledo will effectively start pondering that question today. The jury will hear opening statements in the second of two criminal cases federal prosecutors have filed as a result of the near-catastrophic rupture of Davis-Besse’s reactor head in the spring of 2002. Mr. Siemaszko is charged with five counts of lying to the government.

Six nuclear protesters arrested at North Anna plant visitors area –
Six anti-nuclear power protesters were arrested at the North Anna power plant’s visitor center yesterday after refusing to leave at its closing time. Richard Zuercher, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power, said about 25 protesters showed up at the visitor’s center near Mineral in Louisa County at about 2:30 p.m.

NEI: PDF: The Cost of New Generating Capacity in Perspective
Like all new generating capacity, there is considerable uncertainty about the capital cost of new nuclear generating capacity. Credible estimates of overnight capital costs range from $2,400/kWe to as much as $4,540/ kWe. This wide variation in costs can be attributed to several factors:

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.

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 and 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.

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.


Nuclear Health and Safety News

Helsingin Sanomat – Finnish wild mushrooms still exhibit elevated levels of caesium from Chernobyl nuclear accident
The wild mushrooms tested in various parts of Finland still exhibit elevated levels of the radioactive caesium-137 that originates from the Chernobyl accident in 1986, while the caesium content of berries and animals has already become almost zero. In addition to mushrooms, some hares and the predatory fish in small lakes still contain radioactive caesium.


Finish map showing current radiation levels in the country that was originally caused by the fallout from the April 26th 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

FR:CDC: NIOSH Radiation and Worker Health meetings
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), and pursuant to the requirements of 42 CFR 83.15(a), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announces the following meeting of the aforementioned committee: Board Meeting Times and Dates:

Faith was Flats protester’s arsenal – The Denver Post
Sister Pat Mahoney, who went to prison for battling Rocky Flats and spent her life fighting for the homeless and against war and nuclear arms, died July 30 at San Francisco General Hospital. She had collapsed on the street about 10 blocks from her home on July 29, said her brother, Jerry Mahoney, of Petaluma, Calif. She died about 24 hours later, he said, adding that he believes Mahoney, who was 72, had a stroke.

2 more exposed to low radiation dose after nuclear fuel plant spill – Mainichi Daily News
Two more workers have been exposed to a small amount of radiation after an accident at a nuclear fuel processing plant here, bringing the number of victims to four, the plant operator said Saturday. None of them suffered any illness as a result, and the radiation did not contaminate the environment around the facility in Yokosuka owned by Global Nuclear Fuel-Japan Co., according to the company.

Residents angered over slow report on leak of radiation from nuclear sub – Mainichi Daily News
Residents in Nagasaki and other areas have expressed anger over news that a U.S. nuclear submarine leaked small amounts of radioactive cooling water over a period of more than two years while calling at ports in Japan. Data showed no abnormalities when the USS Houston called in at ports, but residents remain angered over the recent news.

No leaks in crash with radioactive material — chicago tribune
Authorities say no radioactive material leaked when a container of Iridium 192 was thrown from a pickup truck in a crash at a busy intersection on U.S. 41 in Evansville. Police say the material was in concrete testing equipment carried in the truck’s camper bed. The force of the crash between the Team Industrial Services Inc. pickup and another vehicle Thursday morning sent the equipment into the roadway.

Tuffy Ruth, An Insider’s Story | The Spectrum
Tuffy Ruth is one of Mesquite’s originals. His dad’s family has been here since the beginning. He has ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. His mother was an original settler in St. George. She too was a downwinder who died of leukemia. Tuffy worked at the Nevada Test Site from 1961 to 1993 as a miner. The men that prepared the tunnels for the underground tests and worked on Yucca Mountain tunnels are all miners.

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.

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. | 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.

Nuclear Security News

NRC: Terrorist attack on VY plant unlikely – Brattleboro Reformer
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded that the likelihood of a terrorist attack on a nuclear power plant could cause a severe accident is “remote and speculative.” The NRC made that determination in denying a request that it reevaluate the way it reviews the dangers of spent fuel storage at nuclear power plants. Spent fuel pools in power plants such as Vermont Yankee in Vernon are contained within the reactor building, which is designed to withstand “external events, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires and floods,” wrote the three-member commission that oversees the NRC.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle News

Morris Daily Herald: GNEP to Morris: Not now
Morris could possibly still be in the running for a nuclear recycling facility – not now, but maybe in the future, a federal spokesman says. “The key word here is ‘maybe,’” noted Brian Quirke of the U.S. Department of Energy. “I know people likes yeses and nos, but we can’t say that at this point. It is premature to say whether Morris will ever be considered in the future siting processes for GNEP-type activities.”

The Watch Newspapers: Peaceful Paradox Valley Torn Apart by Proposed Uranium Mill

For the 300 or so residents who reside in the sleepy farming/ranching community of the Paradox Valley, everyday concerns in the past have typically included irrigating crops, winter food storage and deciding where to go – Moab or Grand Junction – for major food shopping. Now, in the shadow of a proposal to build a uranium mill in the middle of the valley, there are new concerns for Paradox’s future, pitting neighbor against neighbor.

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.

TheChadronNews – 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.

POGO 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 – The 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.”

Nuclear Waste News

waste New Energy Focus – Nuclear authority “right” to withold report on radioactive waste
As the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority launched a fresh consultation last week on how best to communicate with the public on a new radioactive waste disposal site, it was been told it does not have to publish a draft report on possible locations. The NDA was asked for an earlier, draft version of the 2006 report “Potential Areas of Future Geosphere Research” , which identified geological factors requiring research regarding the possibility of locating an underground disposal facility for nuclear waste.

EnergySolutions profits double in second quarter – Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions saw profits double in the second quarter of 2008. Net income was $12.6 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, for the quarter ending June 30, 2008. Year-ago net income was $6 million. Thanks largely to the acquisition in June 2007 of the British Reactor Sites Management Co., revenues at the nuclear energy service company nearly tripled to $460 million for the quarter. Same-period revenues for last year were $162 million, the company reported Monday.

Waste not, want not | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released a new ad over the weekend in Nevada, targeting Republican rival John McCain’s support for dumping nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. “Imagine trucks hauling the nation’s nuclear waste on our highways to Yucca Mountain,” the ad says. “John McCain supports opening Yucca. He’s not worried about nuclear waste in our state — only in Arizona.”

SunValleyOnline: Idaho slated for radioactive waste: Idaho Slated to be Navy Dumping Ground:
Still dealing with the fallout of being a repository for contaminated sand from Kuwait, Idaho is reportedly slated to be the dumping ground for literal fallout: radioactive remnants from a World War II-era Navy shipyard, according to a San Francisco alternative newsweekly. “Currently, the Navy is proposing to excavate soil from IR-07 and IR-18, including known mercury and methane spots, and ship it to dumps in Idaho and Utah,” said the San Francisco Bay Guardian, in a July 16 story.

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.

Contract awarded for disposal facility in Texas
wasteWaste 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.

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.

Nuclear Policy News

Canada backs nuclear firm despite newspaper report| Reuters
The Canadian government dismissed a newspaper report on Monday that it might abandon the publicly owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. if it fails to sell two new reactors to the province of Ontario. Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn is confident AECL would be successful in its bid supply Ontario with new reactors, spokeswoman Louise Girouard said.

B&W to Acquire Nuclear Fuel Services
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W), a subsidiary of McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE: MDR), announced today that an affiliate of B&W has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) of Erwin, Tenn., a provider of specialty nuclear fuels and related services. The acquisition supports B&W’s strategic goal of being a leading provider of nuclear manufacturing and service businesses for government and commercial markets.

State’s nuclear oversight could be blocked –
When Vermont lawmakers debate whether the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant should be allowed to extend its license beyond 2012, they might want to avoid the S-word. Safety at nuclear plants is the sole province of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the fear that the federal agency could pre-empt the state’s say on the future of the Vernon reactor has been a concern at least since Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear bought the plant in 2002.

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.

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.

Time to turn our backs on the failing nuclear industry | Greenpeace UK
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.

Nuclear Weapons News

Remembering Hiroshima  assessing nuclear dangers – Santa Fe New Mexican
Sixty-three years ago this month, the United States was the first (and last, so far) nation to use nuclear weapons in war, detonating two warheads in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Tens of thousands were killed instantly, and by the end of 1945 another 200,000 had died from radiation-related ailments. This somber anniversary provides an opportunity to assess the range of nuclear threats bedeviling international relations and threatening the future, and a chance to recommit to the work of nuclear disarmament.

hiroshima Hibakusha tells story of how atomic bombing led to life of suffering for unborn sister – Mainichi Daily News
Hiroko Ikeda’s fate was sealed before she was even born. Exposed to radiation while still in her mother’s womb after the bombing of Nagasaki, she suffered with frequent convulsions for many years until her death earlier this year, as her brother Teruo Deguchi, 72, explained to a local junior high school on Saturday.

The Associated Press: Nagasaki mayor urges nuclear weapons ban
Nagasaki’s mayor commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the world’s second atomic bomb attack on Saturday with a call for stricter measures against North Korea, Pakistan and Israel for their possession of nuclear weapons. A moment of silence was observed throughout Nagasaki in southern Japan at 11:02 a.m., the time in 1945 when a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the city, killing about 74,000 people. The attack came three days after an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, killing at least 140,000.

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. 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.

John Pilger: The lessons that should be learnt from Hiroshima | The 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.

Atomic 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.

doe  Department of Energy News

Morris Daily Herald: DOE study will solely address if, not where, for nuclear recycling
Morris could possibly still be in the running for a nuclear recycling facility – not now, but maybe in the future, a federal spokesman says. “The key word here is ‘maybe,’” noted Brian Quirke of the U.S. Department of Energy. “I know people likes yeses and nos, but we can’t say that at this point. It is premature to say whether Morris will ever be considered in the future siting processes for GNEP-type activities.”

If Los Alamos is secure, I’m an A-bomb | Chris Ayres – Times Online
Chances are you didn’t pay much attention to a story in last week’s edition of the Albuquerque Journal regarding the Los Alamos National Laboratory, home of the Manhattan Project in the Second World War. It revealed that after 20 years and $350 million, scientists at the vast 40 sq mile atom bomb factory in the New Mexico desert finally plugged in and switched on a brain-meltingly complex new X-ray machine known as the dual-axis radiographic hydrotest facility (DARHT, for short)

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.

Other Energy News

Flexible Nanoantennas Put Us On The Road To Affordable Solar Power | Scientific Blogging
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory say they have devised an inexpensive way to produce plastic sheets containing billions of nanoantennas that collect heat energy generated by the sun and other sources. They say this technology is the first step toward a solar energy collector that could be mass-produced on flexible materials.

Op-Ed Columnist – Flush With Energy – Op-Ed –
The Arctic Hotel in Ilulissat, Greenland, is a charming little place on the West Coast, but no one would ever confuse it for a Four Seasons — maybe a One Seasons. But when my wife and I walked back to our room after dinner the other night and turned down our dim hallway, the hall light went on. It was triggered by an energy-saving motion detector. Our toilet even had two different flushing powers depending on — how do I say this delicately — what exactly you’re flushing. A two-gear toilet! I’ve never found any of this at an American hotel. Oh, if only we could be as energy efficient as Greenland!

Dutch paving stones clean air pollution | Green Tech – CNET
The University of Twente (UT) has devised a concrete capable of converting the nitrogen oxide from car exhaust–the source of smog and acid rain–into a nitrate, another chemical that will wash away in the rain.

BBC NEWS | Business | Oil ‘could hit $200 within years’
A serious oil supply crisis is looming, which could push prices above $200 a barrel, a think tank has warned. A “supply crunch” will affect the world market within the next five to 10 years, the Chatham House report said. While there is plenty of oil in the ground, companies and governments were failing to invest enough to ensure production, it added. Only a collapse in demand can stave off the looming crisis, report author Professor Paul Stevens said.

First U.S. Solar Highway Installation Starts in Oregon
Construction on the nation’s first solar demonstration project in a highway right of way has begun. At the Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 interchange in Tualatin, Oregon, 594 solar panels are being installed on a strip of land beside the highway roughly the length of two football fields. Governor Ted Kulongoski, with transportation and utilities officials, broke ground on Thursday on the all-Oregon project.

solar Solar Energy Plant Coming to Philadelphia
A company called Green Energy Capital Partners based in Philadelphia is planning to build what they term as the second largest solar energy plant in the nation, in the Carbon County. The $60 million, 100-megawatt solar energy plant will be built on 100 acres of land near the Green Acres Industrial Park in Nesquehoning. The solar energy plant is predicted to contain 40,000 solar panels on rotating mounts.

Junk Mail Produces as Much CO2 as 7 States Combined –
A report by the group ForestEthics estimates that destroying forests to make paper for junk mail releases as much greenhouse gas pollution as 9 million cars. Another way to look at it: Junk mail produces as much pollution as seven U.S. states combined, or as much as heating 13 million homes each winter. While the estimates may or may not be accurate, the point is indisputable: Junk mail is a waste. (To most people, it’s an annoying part of the trip to the mailbox, anyway.)

Kay Lucas, guest column: Environmentally friendly power: Bargain or Boone-doogle?
Wind power truly is a great resource. We should be using lot’s more of it. And solar, biomass and geothermal, etc. But, please ask yourself why taxpayers should foot the bill for oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, so he can connect his intended wind farm to government subsidized transmission line infrastructure? Heck, his financial statement is not bleeding red ink like the U.S. Treasury.

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

Giant 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 USA
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:

Nuclear Editorial and Opinions

Alec Baldwin: The Misconception of Nuclear Power
On a Connecticut public radio program I listened to recently, two guests discussed their views of the growing energy problem overwhelming the US economy. Both pundits, who are political columnists for national magazines, agreed that in addition to conservation measures and an increase in renewable sources, nuclear power is a card that the US must hold in its hand in order to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and our consumption of fossil fuels. Both speakers agreed that nuclear was a good investment, as it was “clean and had almost no carbon footprint.”

Friday faceoff: Tap energy sources that don’t produce toxic waste  | Democrat and Chronicle
It’s amazing that nuclear power is considered clean and safe when its by-products require burial deep under Earth’s crust for 10,000 to 100,000 years before it no longer poses a direct threat to life. Nuclear power is certainly more environmentally-friendly than fossil-fuel- driven power plants — humans have literally changed the environment using fossil fuels. But, it’s clearly not the winner of the “Go Green” award.

Not-so-bright ideas – Los Angeles Times
It’s all energy, all the time for Barack Obama and John McCain, who lately have talked about little else than their respective energy plans. Unfortunately, both blueprints could use some work. Obama is so eager to pander to voters angry about high gas prices that he has abandoned his own green principles by opening the door to more offshore drilling and calling for more oil production from domestic shale. Yet that’s nothing compared with McCain, whose plan to boost nuclear power is an insult to voters’ intelligence.

Greg Palast» The McCain Plan: Homer Simpson without the Donut
homerI’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.

South Idaho Press:Nuclear power plants how things can go wrong Part III
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.\n

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 Top Nuclear Stories is published twice weekly. It is a produced using a combination of social bookmarking and programming. You can view or join the public group and add your own stories by going here ->

Leave a Reply