EJToday: Top Headlines
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"A map of radiation levels in Japan released by the US Department of Energy on Tuesday evening indicates that potentially dangerous levels of radioactive contamination have spread beyond the 13-mile evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant."
As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission begins a presidentially ordered review of U.S. nuclear power-plant safety, the NRC's chief operations officer says no major safety changes are needed.
"Just a month before a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the center of Japan's nuclear crisis, government regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest of the six reactors at the power station despite warnings about its safety."
"TEPCO says it's not hiding anything, but critics have complained for years that it and other Japanese nuclear power plant operators have withheld information about safety violations and accidents."
"Operators evacuated workers from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant Monday after gray smoke rose from one of its reactor units, the latest of persistent troubles in stabilizing the radiation-leaking complex."
"The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Sunday morning that the spent fuel pools at American nuclear reactors are less vulnerable than the ones in Japan because of steps ordered by his agency after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, including having utilities prepare to use fire hoses to pump in extra water in the event ordinary cooling systems are knocked out."
"Crucial efforts to tame Japan's crippled nuclear plant were delayed by concerns over damaging valuable power assets and by initial passivity on the part of the government, people familiar with the situation said, offering new insight into the management of the crisis."
"The U.S. government on Friday said that "miniscule" amounts of radiation were detected in Sacramento, California, but that no radiation levels of concern have been uncovered in United States."
"The birth of the 'nuclear renaissance' and proposed construction of up to 100 new nuclear reactors in the United States will be crippled by the crisis in Japan as regulators struggle to incorporate 'lessons learned' into the country's existing nuclear fleet, a former member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said [Friday]."
The U.S. has called for evacuating a 50-mile radius around the stricken Japanese nuclear plant. If a similar disaster were to require evacuation around the Indian Point plant, the comparble circle would include almost all of New York City and a big chunk of New Jersey. Despite an evacuation "plan," such an evacuation on short notice would be unrealistic.
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to resolve known safety problems, leading to 14 'near-misses' in US nuclear power plants in 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from a nuclear watchdog group."