EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, whose four fellow commissioners complained about him to the White House, saying that he had been withholding information from them and wielding too much power, drew a spirited defense on Wednesday from a predecessor at the agency."
"TALLAHASSEE -- An advocacy group will ask the state Supreme Court to reject a regulatory decision that would allow Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy Florida to collect about $282 million from customers next year for nuclear-power projects."
"Worried about her 2-year-old son and distrustful of government and TV reports that seemed to play down radiation risks, she scoured the Web for information and started connecting with other mothers through Twitter and Facebook, many using social media for the first time."
"The 41-year-old mother joined a parents group — one of dozens that have sprung up since the crisis — that petitioned local officials in June to test lunches at schools and day care centers for radiation and avoid using products from around the troubled nuclear plant.
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission unanimously approved a radical new reactor design on Thursday, clearing away a major obstacle for two utilities to begin construction on projects in South Carolina and Georgia.
"Decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will take three or four decades, Japan's government said on Wednesday as it unveiled plans for the next phase of a huge and costly cleanup of the tsunami-wrecked complex."
"MONTPELIER, Vt. -- The likely death of a planned nuclear waste site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain has left federal agencies looking for a possible replacement. A national lab working for the U.S. Department of Energy is now eying granite deposits stretching from Georgia to Maine as potential sites, along with big sections of Minnesota and Wisconsin where that rock is prevalent."
"In the last-minute rush in Congress to finalize spending for the current fiscal year and head home for the holidays, one of the losers appears to be USEC, the uranium enrichment company, and the politics are more convoluted than ever.
"RICHMOND, Va. -- A company lobbying lawmakers to unearth in Southside Virginia what is thought to be the nation's largest uranium deposit needs to overcome significant health and environmental obstacles before the site is mined, according to a long-awaited study released Monday."
"TOKYO -- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan today declared that the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been brought to a state of cold shutdown, turning a corner in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
'The nuclear reactors have reached a state of cold shutdown and therefore we can now confirm that we have come to the end of the accident phase of the actual reactors,' Prime Minister Noda told a news conference.
"CHALK RIVER, Ontario — At 3:07 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 12, 1952, the National Research Experimental nuclear reactor, then the most powerful research reactor on Earth, raced out of control, rapidly overheated and exploded, destroying the reactor core and spewing radioactive gases and debris into the atmosphere."
"The Cold War brought mercury to Oak Ridge, and it never really left. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant used enormous quantities of mercury — about 24 million pounds all told — to process lithium for hydrogen bombs.The work was urgent, secret and messy."
"WASHINGTON -- In exchanges that ranged from merely testy to caustic, four members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told a House committee on Wednesday that their chairman had withheld information from them, berated the agency’s professional staff, reduced female employees to tears with abusive comments and created a 'chilled' atmosphere that was hurting the agency’s ability to function."
"The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it would suspend review of the non-foreign ownership requirements of the proposed new reactors at South Texas because Japanese multinational Toshiba effectively controls the project. Foreign companies cannot control nuclear plants in the United States."
"In a letter dated December 13, the NRC said its staff would continue to review the application but would not issue a license until the foreign ownership requirements were met.
"WASHINGTON -- Bill Magwood, the man at the center of an effort to overthrow the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and his most likely successor if the move is successful, served as a consultant for Tepco, the Japanese company that owns the Fukushima nuclear power plant, according to information provided by Magwood as part of his nomination and confirmation process, which was obtained by The Huffington Post.