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.
"WASHINGTON -- As costs and competition from cheap natural gas force more old nuclear plants to shut down, their owners have a new complaint: the electricity market is rigged against them."
"FirstEnergy Corp said on Monday a small area of degradation found in the steel containment liner in one of the reactors at Pennsylvania's Beaver Valley nuclear power plant poses no harm to the public, workers or the environment."
"When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. On Wednesday, Tamosaitis, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., was laid off from his job after 44 years with the company."
"A senior Democrat wants the Energy Department (DOE) to explain how it will address problems described in a new inspector general report that criticizes DOE’s oversight of a major nuclear waste treatment plant that’s under construction in Washington State."
"Fracking may be contaminating a Pennsylvania river with radioactive waste, a Duke University study to be published this week shows."
"The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Tuesday that four tonnes of rainwater contaminated with low levels of radiation leaked during an operation to transfer the water between tank holding areas."
"While the continuing environmental disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has grabbed world headlines — with hundreds of tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily — a human crisis has been quietly unfolding. Two and a half years after the plant belched plumes of radioactive materials over northeast Japan, the almost 83,000 nuclear refugees evacuated from the worst-hit areas are still unable to go home."
"In an episode that evokes B-grade sci-fi movie plots from the 1950s, but actually reflects a continuing global problem, nuclear engineers in southeastern Sweden have been wrestling with a giant swarm of jellyfish that forced the shutdown of the world’s largest boiling-water reactor."
"Federal judges [Wednesday] posed stiff questions to Department of Energy officials on why the agency continues to collect fees for disposing of nuclear waste even though it has no operating national repository."
"It would be one of the largest nuclear weapons investments since World War II. A watchdog group says the work -- which may not be needed -- can be done for less elsewhere."
"Japanese authorities, now struggling to contain leaks of radioactive groundwater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, were urged two years ago by U.S. experts to take immediate steps to prevent groundwater contamination but decided not to act on the advice."
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it has released rainwater that accumulated during a typhoon between barriers around storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex to prevent the water overflowing."
"LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a seven-year, $213 million upgrade to the security system that protects the lab's most sensitive nuclear bomb-making facilities doesn't work. Those same facilities, which sit atop a fault line, remain susceptible to collapse and dangerous radiation releases, despite millions more spent on improvement plans."
"Japan is on the verge of being without nuclear power again with the scheduled shutdown of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s No. 4 reactor at the Oi power plant for a regular safety inspection."
"WASHINGTON -- Newly obtained government documents are prompting concern among critics that Environmental Protection Agency officials are seeking to use the organization’s new guide for nuclear-incident response to relax public health standards, but the agency is denying the claim."