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The Nuclear Reaction

  • I wish you could have been with us this morning
    Posted by Dick Mark, Consulting Director, Safe Energy on November 19, 2012

    Dick Mark is consulting director of PSR's Safe Energy Program. He attended an important court hearing on Mon., Nov. 19 Read more »

  • Reforming the Title XVII Program
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on July 20, 2012

    The Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program (1703) is a part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and was established to provide loan guarantees for ‘innovative energy technologies’. Read more »
    3 comment(s)

  • 'Waste Confidence': What you need to know
    Posted by Diane Curran, partner in the firm of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg, & Eisenberg, L.L.P. and representative of BREDL, Riverkeeper, and SACE in the court appeal of the waste confidence rule on June 20, 2012

    On June 8, 2012, the US District Court of Appeals threw out the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) so-called ‘waste confidence’ decision. The lawsuit, brought by the state of New York and four environmental groups (Natural Resources Defense Council, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Riverkeeper, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy) will fundamentally impact NRC licensing proceedings and environmental analysis as well as any future decisions on nuclear waste management. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Quiet Retreat
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on January 25, 2012

    Last night President Obama’s State of the Union called for us to “double-down on a clean energy industry.” Amid several not-so-great comments about fracking and offshore oil, it was notable that President Obama failed to mention nuclear at all. Read more »

  • And We're Back...
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on November 15, 2011

    Apologies to all readers for the longish hiatus of this blog. Many things have occurred since we last posted: Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Speak Up! The BRC needs to hear from you!
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on September 13, 2011

    Today the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (BRC) will convene in Denver the first of its public meetings since releasing its draft report on US nuclear waste management. The BRC was created in the wake of the Obama Administration’s wise decision to shutter the Yucca Mountain project as a way to hopefully (finally?) figure out what to do with spent fuel in this country. In case you didn’t know, after 60 years of nuclear power, the U.S. still has no permanent storage for the over 65,000 tons of spent fuel sitting around at 70 sites all over the country. Read more »
    3 comment(s)

  • Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on September 2, 2011

    The Associated Press has done some more great work on the safety risks of nuclear reactors. According to its recent analysis of an 11,000 page record request from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the risk that an earthquake would cause a severe accident at a U.S. nuclear reactor is much greater than previously thought. Read more »

  • Hurriquake Week and Nuclear Reactors
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on August 26, 2011

    Just days after an earthquake that shook Toronto to South Carolina, we are once again gearing up for a dangerous scenario. The earthquake caused ‘unusual events’ at a dozen reactors along the East Coast, demonstrating, particularly in the wake of the Fukushima disaster earlier this year that more emergency preparedness is desperately needed at reactor sites. This upcoming weekend, the East Coast is expecting a Category 3 hurricane, Irene, which poses yet another threat to the reactor safety. Read more »

  • Laser Enrichment and its Proliferation Risks
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell and Ashish Sinha on August 22, 2011

    Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on General Electric’s successful attempt at using laser enrichment to create nuclear fuel. They now seek support for a $1 billion facility that would cover 100 acres in Wilmington, NC. Read more »

  • Score One for Jaczko, Public Safety
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on August 12, 2011

    PSR is an organization that you couldn’t accuse of going soft on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Let’s face it: there are many reasons not to. Still, it’s heartening to see that NRC Chairman Jaczko understands that NRC is supposed actually regulate the nuclear industry. Yesterday, he made public his vote (and reasoning for said vote) on the recommendations of the NRC’s Fukushima Task Force, in which he endorses moving forward on the recommendations. Read more »

  • Hiroshima-Nagasaki-Fukushima
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell and Ashish Sinha on August 10, 2011

    On August 6, 1945, by executive order of President Truman, the United States of America detonated the atomic bomb named “Little Boy” over Hiroshima. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Thermo-Nuclear
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on August 5, 2011

    It’s August in DC. It may be hyperbolic, but there are times when I feel like bursting into flames is an appropriate reaction to the horrible atmosphere that greets me when I leave the safe confines of air-conditioning. Read more »

  • Heart-wrenching stories from Fukushima on the Right to Relocate
    Posted by Michele Boyd on August 3, 2011

    Fukushima prefecture residents are pressing the Japanese government for the fundamental right to relocate away from contaminated areas and to be compensated for their loss of homes and livelihoods. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • An Effort to Bury the NRC Fukushima Task Force Recommendations
    Posted by Michele Boyd on July 26, 2011

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) task force on the Fukushima nuclear disaster has presented its recommendations for improving safety at US reactors to the NRC Commissioners. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Self-Soothing Safeness
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on July 19, 2011

    It feels good to tell ourselves that everything is going to be okay. It’s an urge that everyone can understand. So, when I read the Washington Post’s editorial, Learning lessons from Fukushima, a part of me can empathize. Read more »

  • Keeping Secrets at DOE
    Posted by Michele Boyd on July 15, 2011

    The Department of Energy Improvement Act of 2011 (S. 1160) has been quietly introduced in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee. The committee ostensibly held a hearing on the bill on July 12, but it was largely ignored in lieu of two other bills on solar and geothermal energy, respectively. Read more »

  • CEDA: An Inflated Title XVII
    Posted by Michele Boyd on July 15, 2011

    On July 14, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee once again passed legislation that sets up a Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) to provide loan guarantees as well as indirect subsidies to “clean” energy projects. Read more »

  • Evac Havoc
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on July 1, 2011

    The latest story in the fab AP series on the state of nuclear reactors in the US introduces the hot topic of evacuation zones in the event of a nuclear accident in the United States. NRC regulations specify that there must be a plan in place to evacuate 10 miles around US reactors. Read more »

  • Los Alamos and Fort Calhoun: lessons in the precautionary principle
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell and Ashish Sinha on June 30, 2011

    Within the past week, we have witnessed two separate nuclear threats in the United States as a consequence of a forest fire and flooding. The Los Alamos National Laboratory is the birthplace of the nuclear bomb and continues to be a center for nuclear weapons’ development and a place for storage of radioactive waste. A forest fire that has already consumed 61,000 acres of forest is now at the edge of Los Alamos. The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Reactor is imperiled by flood waters from the Missouri River. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Oh, Appropriations Season...
    Posted by Morgan Pinnell on June 24, 2011

    It’s that time of year again when Congress attempts to move through the appropriations process. If you need a refresher, Schoolhouse Rock shows how the process is supposed to work... Here’s a look at where we’re at so far with nuclear subsidies. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

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