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NEWS
September 8, 2011 | By Melanie Mason
A nuclear power plant in central Virginia may have experienced twice as much shaking as it was designed to withstand during last month's rare East Coast earthquake, according to federal nuclear regulators, although no major damage has been found. Dominion Virginia Power, operator of the North Anna plant, confirmed that ground motion from the Aug. 23 quake exceeded the plant's design. But the company contended that the shaking was not as severe as federal regulators claimed. The data, as well as new details of the damage revealed at a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing Thursday, paint the clearest picture yet of how the magnitude 5.8 earthquake rocked a nuclear plant only a dozen miles from the epicenter in Mineral, Va. North Anna is the first nuclear power plant in the country to undergo ground motion that exceeded its design.
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BUSINESS
March 27, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Electricity customers in Southern California would receive $1.4 billion in refunds on their bills over the next eight years as part of an agreement between two utilities and ratepayer organizations over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. The proposed settlement, announced Thursday, still needs approval from the California Public Utilities Commission. Both ratepayer advocates and executives at Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said they were satisfied with the deal.
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WORLD
July 20, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Just over four months after it was crippled by an earthquake-generated tsunami, Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has stabilized and workers are on track for achieving a cold shutdown within six months, government and utility officials say. Officials made a positive prognosis after scaling several hurdles in decommissioning the facility, which was damaged on March 11 when a tsunami disabled the plant's cooling system. The flooding led to partial meltdowns of the reactors, which released radioactivity in the atmosphere and prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands of nearby residents.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Ratepayers of Southern California Edison Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. could be in line for a share of more than $1 billion in refunds as part of a possible financial settlement from the closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Both Edison and another party to the negotiations, the Utility Reform Network (TURN), a consumer advocacy group, confirmed that a settlement conference is scheduled Thursday at the San Francisco headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Ken Bensinger
In March 2004, an attorney for Southern California Edison sat before state utility regulators to propose what seemed like a great deal. The San Onofre nuclear plant was approaching the end of its life span. But Edison wanted to invest $680 million in new steam generators, attorney Carol Schmid-Frazee told a judge presiding over a hearing at the California Public Utilities Commission's San Francisco headquarters. The new equipment, she said, would give the 2,200-megawatt plant a new lease on life, providing cheap, reliable energy in Southern California for decades to come while also saving ratepayers nearly $2 billion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2012 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Nearly seven months after the San Onofre nuclear power plant was closed because of a leak, officials are grappling with whether it makes financial sense to bring the plant fully back online, and if so, who should pay for the necessary repairs. Fixing San Onofre is shaping up to be an expensive proposition, with the price tag jumping into the hundreds of millions of dollars if the plant's massive steam generators require replacing. But keeping San Onofre shuttered is also proving costly to the two utilities that own the plant.
SCIENCE
April 1, 2011 | By Julie Makinen and Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Radiation levels increased sharply inside and outside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Thursday, slowing work on the devastated facility again and once more throwing into doubt the integrity of the containment vessels that hold the fuel rods. Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said the level of radioactive iodine in water at the plant hit levels 10,000 times the permissible limit, preventing workers from getting near the water, which accumulated during early efforts to prevent a full-fledged meltdown by flooding the plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Shelby Grad, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
Southern California Edison's decision to close the San Onofre nuclear power plant comes after problems with the steam generators. Q: What was the problem at San Onofre? High vibration and other issues degraded about 8.7% of the tubes in the replacement steam generators at San Onofre and led to a leak of radioactive water in one generator, according to the manufacturer of the generators. San Onofre was shuttered after a tube in the plant's replacement steam generator system leaked a small amount of radioactive steam on Jan. 31, 2012.
WORLD
September 26, 2010 | From Bloomberg
Iran said its Bushehr nuclear power plant is safe after confirming some of its industrial computers have been targeted by a computer worm and that it is working to counter the cyber-attack. "The main systems of the Bushehr nuclear power plant have not been damaged," Mahmoud Jahfari, the plants project manager, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency today. "Investigations show that some private software of the power plants employees have been contaminated. " The cyber assault has had no impact on the operations of the plant, Jahfari said.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2011 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, is being criticized by people around the world, including the Japanese prime minister, for lacking candor ? and not for the first time. Critics have complained for years that Japanese nuclear plant operators ? particularly Tepco, as it is known ? have withheld information about safety violations and accidents. The critics have accused regulators of lax oversight in a giant industrial nation with no oil or gas resources, where atomic energy provides about one third of the power.
NATIONAL
March 7, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian, This post has been updated and corrected, as indicated below.
U.S. commercial nuclear power plants had 10 serious incidents in 2013 that could have resulted in damage to nuclear reactors, but the industry's overall safety record improved, the Union of Concerned Scientists said Friday. The Washington-based watchdog group cited several incidents in its 60-page annual report, showing inconsistent safety enforcement by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and lapses at the nation's commercial reactors. David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who leads the union's nuclear safety project, says both the number of safety incidents and their severity declined last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A nuclear power plant in Avila Beach shut down one of its two generators after an electrical arc that apparently was sparked during a storm, a utility spokeswoman said Monday night. Unit 2 at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant went offline automatically Sunday morning as rain fell along the Central Coast, Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Kristin Inman said. "The system performed as designed and automatically went offline to protect equipment," PG&E said in as statement. Inman said a preliminary investigation shows that the arc resulted from a buildup of dust that mixed with moisture on a lightning arrestor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Radiation detected off the U.S. West Coast from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has declined since the 2011 tsunami disaster and never approached levels that could pose a risk to human health, seafood or wildlife, scientists say. Experts have been trying to dispel worries stemming from a burst of online videos and blog posts in recent months that contend radiation from Fukushima is contaminating beaches and seafood and harming sea...
TRAVEL
October 27, 2013
1. The State Department this month renewed its warning on Colombia, noting that people travel safely to the South American country but that "violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities. " 2. The State Department also renewed its warning on North Korea, saying "U.S. citizens crossing into North Korea, even accidentally, have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. Since January 2009, four U.S. citizens have been arrested for entering North Korea illegally, and two U.S. citizens who entered on valid … visas were arrested inside North Korea on other charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2013 | By Jason Wells
The San Onofre nuclear plant may be permanently retired, but on Wednesday, the sirens were scheduled to sound as they have every year for an annual test. The test -- a regulatory requirement that hasn't been suspended despite the nuclear plant's shutdown -- will involve 50 sirens and include the cities of Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano, as well as other areas of southern Orange County, nearby state parks and the Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton, officials announced.
BUSINESS
July 18, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- Southern California Edison Co. has started legal action against the manufacturer of steam generators whose failure forced the permanent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant on the northern San Diego County coast. The Rosemead-based electric utility, as expected, filed a formal Notice of Dispute early Thursday on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan and its United States subsidiary Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems. Q&A:  Why is it closing and what will it cost?
NEWS
January 10, 1987 | Associated Press
The Palo Verde Unit 2 reactor will be shut down for about two months for federally mandated tests, operators of the nuclear plant have announced. Technicians began shutting down the reactor Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Ken Bensinger
In March 2004, an attorney for Southern California Edison sat before state utility regulators to propose what seemed like a great deal. The San Onofre nuclear plant was approaching the end of its life span. But Edison wanted to invest $680 million in new steam generators, attorney Carol Schmid-Frazee told a judge presiding over a hearing at the California Public Utilities Commission's San Francisco headquarters. The new equipment, she said, would give the 2,200-megawatt plant a new lease on life, providing cheap, reliable energy in Southern California for decades to come while also saving ratepayers nearly $2 billion.
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