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OPINION
April 13, 2012 | By David Ropeik
California's initiative process can be both a wonderfully democratic and perilously dumb way to make law. On no issue could that be more true than the proposed initiative to shut down nuclear power in the state. The initiative would shut down the Diablo Canyon and San Onofre nuclear plants until the federal government approves a permanent disposal site for nuclear waste. The issue is scientifically, environmentally and economically complex, and tangled with powerful emotions. Between the facts and those feelings, guess which will have more influence on the choice people make?
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NATIONAL
April 25, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts. A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate.
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NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Dan Turner
Provocative opinion pieces from newspapers around the globe: Michael Gerson in the Washington Post has an interesting take on President Obama's 2012 campaign, which is clearly devoid of the inspirational sparks he ignited in 2008. To Gerson, the "brand" of the Obama campaign is ruthlessness, the kind of class-based, divisive techniques that could be used by any liberal politician. That seems surprising and disappointing, coming from a guy who used to represent hope and change.
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.
NEWS
June 11, 2012 | By Karin Klein
San Onofre's two nuclear-power units have been down for months and will stay that way for months more. Late last week, Southern California Edison officials acknowledged that after early hopes that the reactors would be running safely in time for the summer energy load, it isn't going to happen. They'll have a plan by midsummer for reopening Unit 2, but then the plan will have to go through the lengthy regulatory process. And no one seems even remotely confident of when Unit 3 might return, and if it does, at what level of power?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 1991
If Southern California Edison cuts its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% over the next 20 years (editorial, June 2), it will still be the leading atmospheric polluter in Los Angeles County. A 20% reduction won't make a difference. It will take an 80% reduction in emissions before Edison is brought in line with other local industries. Yet Edison, whose fossil-fuel-powered generating stations are the worst polluters in Southern California, also owns and operates the San Onofre nuclear-powered generating station, whose emissions are the cleanest.
OPINION
March 5, 2010 | By Chip Ward
Here we go again. With the Obama administration's promise of federal loan guarantees to build two new nuclear power plants at a cost of $8.3 billion, the radioactive monster is rising from a long dormancy, pumped to life by the lobbyists for nuke designers, nuke contractors, nuke operators and nuke consultants and their generous spending. Over the last decade, the nuclear industry has spent more than $600 million lobbying the federal government and another $63 million in federal campaign contributions, according to an analysis of public records by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.
WORLD
December 20, 2009 | By Henry Chu
For nearly 30 years, no nukes were good nukes in this Scandinavian nation. Spooked by the meltdown at Three Mile Island, Swedes voted decisively in 1980 to ban expansion of nuclear power, and lawmakers pledged to close down all of Sweden's reactors by 2010. Many here were therefore stunned this year when the government announced a sudden U-turn in energy policy. Not only should the country's 10 nuclear power stations stay open, officials said, but the plants should be allowed to buy new reactors to replace the old ones if necessary.
WORLD
April 20, 2012 | By Aaron Wiener, Los Angeles Times
KLEINENSIEL, Germany - When the German government shut down half the country's nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, followed two months later by a pledge to abandon nuclear power within a decade, environmentalists cheered. A year later, however, criticism of the nuclear shutdown is emerging from a surprising source: some of the very activists who pushed for the phaseout. They say poor planning of the shutdown and political opportunism by the government have actually worsened the toll on the environment in Germany, and Europe, at least in the short term.
NATIONAL
March 16, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Don Lee, Washington Bureau
Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday restated the Obama administration's commitment to keeping nuclear power in the mix of renewable sources under development in the U.S., but treaded carefully around questions of how the nuclear disaster in Japan might affect that effort. "The administration believes we must rely on a diverse set of energy sources, including renewables like wind and solar, natural gas, clean coal and nuclear power," Chu said before a House subcommittee. "The administration is committed to learning from Japan's experience as we work to continue to strengthen America's nuclear industry.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
On March 18, 2011, an official from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission named Chuck Casto called together the NRC delegation on assignment with him in Tokyo. "We're in never-never land," he told them. Seven days earlier, a magnitude 9 earthquake had rattled a complex of six nuclear power plants known as Fukushima Daiichi, roughly 150 miles northeast of Tokyo. Then came nature's second, more devastating blow: a tsunami that swamped the complex, flooding its electrical generators and putting its three operating reactors out of commission.
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...
BUSINESS
November 24, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Southern California electricity ratepayers soon could get the first of possibly many refunds, stemming from the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Two state Public Utilities Commission administrative law judges last week issued a proposed decision, ordering Southern California Edison Co. to refund $74.2 million on its customers' 2012 bills and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to refund $19.3 million. The reason: Edison closed the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in January and not all its reported spending was reasonable or necessary, the judges wrote.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2013 | By Tony Perry
As the boat moved down the channel into Long Island Sound, the captain ordered a message sent ashore that forever changed the strategy of naval warfare: "Underway on nuclear power. " With those words on the morning of Jan. 17, 1955, Cmdr. Eugene Wilkinson signaled that Nautilus, the Navy's first nuclear-powered submarine, a bold and technically complex project, was a success. The primacy of diesel-powered submarines, forced to surface regularly and thus vulnerable to counterattack, was over.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 2013 | By Abby Sewell and Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
The picturesque beach city of San Clemente has hummed along for decades just up the highway from the ominous concrete domes of the San Onofre nuclear plant. To residents, there were always reminders of their neighbor's presence - the quarterly emergency siren tests and the potassium iodide tablets that local agencies kept on hand to distribute to residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone around the plant. But for the most part, the 63,000 residents of this city on the southern edge of Orange County - known for its proximity to legendary surf spots and the rolling coastal hills of Camp Pendleton Marine base - went about their daily lives for years with little thought of the nuclear generating station four miles down Interstate 5. The tide began to shift in 2011, however, when a tsunami inundated Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, leading to equipment failures and meltdowns at three reactors and raising new concerns about the safety of Southern California's own coastal nuclear plant.
BUSINESS
August 5, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
Now that Curiosity is safe on Martian soil, the largest and most advanced machine NASA ever sent to another planet needs power to get its 2,000-pound frame moving. To get it going, the rover will be powered by an advanced nuclear power system, called the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, developed by Hamilton Sundstrand Rocketdyne engineers in Canoga Park. The generator is crucial to the $2.5-billion Mars mission, which centered around Curiosity trekking through the Gale Crater toward a central mountain.
WORLD
June 13, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
After the cascade of disasters that befell Japan 27 months ago, then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan took the brunt of withering criticism for shoddy nuclear safety standards at the crippled Fukushima reactor complex and the government's chaotic emergency response to the crises. Kan also took away a life-altering lesson. A longtime proponent of nuclear energy for his densely populated, resource-poor nation, the government leader who resigned in disgrace five months after the March 11, 2011, earthquake-triggered tsunami and nuclear disaster is now at the forefront of Japan's movement to phase out atomic power.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
It's one thing to hear a legislator or industrialist extol "clean nuclear energy"; it's something else when the person singing those praises is an environmentalist. In "Pandora's Promise," Robert Stone has gathered the testimony of five people whose change of heart on the matter reflects his own (a quarter-century ago his "Radio Bikini" was a protest against atomic weapons). Writers and environmentalists, they speak with conviction, if not always convincingly, of nuclear power's necessity as a viable alternative to fossil fuel.
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