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.
"NARAHA, Japan -- In this small farming town in the evacuation zone surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, small armies of workers in surgical masks and rubber gloves are busily scraping off radioactive topsoil in a desperate attempt to fulfill the central government’s vow one day to allow most of Japan’s 83,000 evacuees to return. Yet, every time it rains, more radioactive contamination cascades down the forested hillsides along the rugged coast."
"Japan pledged nearly $500 million to contain leaks and decontaminate radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as the government stepped up its intervention in the worst atomic disaster in a quarter century."
"The pending closure of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station is the latest in a string of planned plant retirements that many industry analysts say forecast a shrinking role for nuclear in the nation’s energy mix."
"TOKYO -- A crisis over contaminated water at Japan's stricken nuclear plant worsened on Saturday when the plant's operator said it had detected high radiation levels near storage tanks, a finding that raised the possibility of additional leaks."
"Company said the plant is no longer economically viable."
"Beaver Valley nuclear power plant may have failed part of an April federal safety drill in which mock intruders attack the plant, federal regulators and the plant owners said on Monday."
"An advisory panel to Tokyo Electric Power Co. urged the utility to tighten water-management procedures at its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant weeks before 300 metric tons of radioactive water seeped out, the panel’s chairman said."
"Japan will raise the severity rating of a recent toxic water leak at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant to level 3, or 'serious incident', on an international scale for radiological releases, underlining the deepening sense of crisis at the site."
"TOKYO -- Contaminated water with dangerously high levels of radiation is leaking from a storage tank at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the most serious setback to the clean up of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl."
"Working in top secret over a period of 17 years, Russian and American scientists collaborated to remove hundreds of pounds of plutonium and highly enriched uranium — enough to construct at least a dozen nuclear weapons — from a remote Soviet-era nuclear test site in Kazakhstan that had been overrun by impoverished metal scavengers, according to a report released last week by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard."
"WASHINGTON -- States cannot shut down nuclear plants over safety worries, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled on Wednesday, upholding a lower court’s decision that allowed the Vermont Yankee plant to keep running despite a seven-year effort by the Vermont Legislature to close it."
"ANGELICA, N.Y. — Questions about the integrity of official water tests are stirring the latest controversy over New York State’s embattled policy of allowing imports of radioactive waste from natural gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania."
"ATLANTA -- If Georgia was starting from scratch, it would not build a nuclear power plant. That conclusion from a state financial analyst illustrates how an anticipated boom in nuclear power turned into a bust as natural gas prices fell."
"The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is preparing to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from a damaged reactor building, a dangerous operation that has never been attempted before on this scale."
"WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was 'flouting the law' when it stopped work on a review of the proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, despite the Obama administration’s insistence that the site be shut down."