EJToday: Top Headlines
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"In the debates about the prospects for a U.S. nuclear power rebirth, there was one thing advocates, foes and regulators seemed to agree on: The industry could not afford another Three Mile Island accident."
The aging fleet of US nuclear power reactors have some technological similarities to the reactors failing in Japan. Could similar loss-of-cooling events happen at some US reactors — whether caused by earthquake, tsunami, terrorist attack, electrical outage, flooding, equipment failure, or some other problem?
"A second explosion rocked a troubled nuclear power plant Monday, blowing the roof off a containment building but not harming the reactor, Japanese nuclear officials announced on public television. The explosion underscores the difficulties Japanese authorities are having in bringing several stricken reactors under control three days after a massive earthquake and a tsunami hit Japan’s northeast coast and shut down the electricity that runs the crucial cooling systems for reactors.
"The official announcement that two reactors at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant could be suffering meltdowns underscores the Japanese nuclear industry’s troubled history, and years of grass-roots objections from a people uniquely sensitive to the ravages of nuclear destruction."
"The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it would retest every full-body X-ray scanner that emits ionizing radiation — 247 machines at 38 airports — after maintenance records on some of the devices showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected."
An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building, brought down walls and caused a radiation leak of unspecified proportions, Japanese officials said, after Friday’s huge earthquake caused critical failures in the plant’s cooling system."
"The electromagnetic radiation emitted by a cellular phone's antenna appears to activate nearby regions of the brain to unusually high levels, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. that is likely to spark new concerns about the health effects of wireless devices."
"Americans remain largely in the dark about their true exposure to a number of radioactive contaminants that could be in their drinking water. Surprisingly, it’s because of intentional decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government office that is supposed to protect the nation from contaminated water."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released draft staff reports Thursday on the proposed Yucca Mountain repository but omitted any conclusions about whether the site would be safe for storing radioactive waste."
"The attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont sued the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, challenging a new commission policy stating that nuclear waste can be safely stored at a nuclear power plant for 60 years after a reactor goes out of service."
"A drawn-out fight over the guidelines for thyroid patients who are given radioactive drugs has taken a new turn, with a decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it is not a good idea for them to go to hotels."
The cleanup of radioactive contamination at the massive Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky faces a major delay, even as contaminated groundwater continues to escape the 5.5-square mile property, likely reaching the Ohio River. One problem: money.
"Bruce Power has been given the go-ahead to transport 16 decommissioned steam generators from southwestern Ontario to Sweden for recycling."
"President Barack Obama is pushing a key foreign policy goal, a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, closer to completion."
"Westinghouse appears to have won an important first round in a battle with critics over the radical design of the containment system for its new AP1000 reactor. A panel of senior safety advisers has told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that with a few additional procedures and analyses, the design should be approved."