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Nuclear Power

March 22, 2012 | By Michael Hiltzik
America's nuclear power industry has been pronounced dead almost as often as Rasputin, so it may be a testament to the nation's appetite for electricity that it's still looking ahead to a renaissance.  The industry's strongest argument today for its continued relevance is that as the nation's fleet of more than 100 nuclear plants faces retirement for old age in the coming decades, the only practical way to replace the 20% of electricity they...
February 25, 2012
Several readers responding to Israeli historian Benny Morris' Feb. 14 Op-Ed article calling for a military attack to stop Iran'snuclear program noted that Morris did not acknowledge the Middle East's lone nuclear power: Israel. Some said the doctrine of mutually assured destruction worked for the United States and the Soviet Union, so the likelihood of two nuclear-armed states in the Mideast wiping each other out is minimal. But others who discussed Israel's status as a nuclear power said it, and not Iran, presented the greater threat to peace.
February 9, 2012 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Ian Duncan
A consortium of utilities in the South won government approval Thursday to construct two new atomic energy reactors at an estimated cost of $14 billion, the strongest signal yet that the three-decade hiatus of nuclear plant construction is finally ending. Several new projects will test whether new technology and streamlined government licensing can help the industry avoid the economic and safety disasters that have tainted its past, nuclear experts say, though critics condemned the action by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
February 5, 2012 | By Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times
The San Onofre nuclear power plant came under renewed scrutiny last week after a small radiation leak and the discovery of extensive tube damage. The leak and the tube wear "at no point posed a danger to the community or to workers on site," said Jennifer Manfre, spokeswoman with Southern California Edison, which operates the facility. But the incidents raised concern among environmental groups, which for years have kept a close eye on the plant near San Clemente following other safety problems.
January 17, 2012
SERIES Rock Stars: The crew and foreman Dennis Harriman battle freezing temperatures and the biggest rocks yet in their quest to make Niagara Falls State Park safe for the public in this new episode (8 p.m. National Geographic). Remodeled: This new unscripted series features modeling industry veteran Paul Fisher, who's on a crusade to build a network of small modeling agencies from around the country. In the premiere, he meets with Minneapolis agency owner Brita and chooses four models to audition for New York Fashion Week (9 p.m. KTLA)
December 18, 2011 | John M. Glionna
Hajime Shiraishi's moment of truth came when her online video news show, at the time relatively unknown, decided to buck the government line and call a story as it saw it. On March 11, after an earthquake-driven tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the world waited anxiously to see how its fragile reactors would fare. Later that day, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, announced on national TV that all was well: The utility was on top of the accident.
December 15, 2011 | By Mark Z. Barabak and Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
Acting on their best behavior, the two Republican front-runners essentially called a cease-fire Thursday night in their fratricidal primary fight, using the last full-scale presidential debate of the year mainly to assail President Obama. A few heated exchanges marked the two-hour debate, but they were largely spurred by those struggling to catch up to Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in opinion polls. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, whose hopes may live or die in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses, continued to assail Gingrich for his work for Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage guarantor he has criticized for contributing to the housing crisis.
December 4, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Kazuo Okawa's luckless career as a "nuclear gypsy" began one night at a poker game. The year was 1992, and jobs were scarce in this farming town in the shadow of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. An unemployed Okawa gambled and drank a lot. He was dealing cards when a stranger made him an offer: manage a crew of unskilled workers at the nearby plant. "Just gather a team of young guys and show up at the front gate; I'll tell you what to do," instructed the man, who Okawa later learned was a recruiter for a local job subcontracting firm.
November 26, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
A state ballot initiative proposed for next fall would force California's two nuclear power plants to immediately shut down, causing rolling blackouts, spikes in electricity rates and billions of dollars in economic losses each year, a nonpartisan analyst has found. The report by the Legislative Analyst's Office says the shutdown of San Onofre in northern San Diego County and Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo County would disrupt one of the state's most reliable power sources and have profound effects on government and the economy.
October 3, 2011 | By Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that the Aug. 23 East Coast earthquake caused only minor damage to the North Anna nuclear power plant, but federal regulators declined to say when the facility could restart operations. At a crowded public hearing Monday at the power station, 12 miles from the quake epicenter near Mineral, Va., officials said a monthlong investigation indicated that the temblor shook the ground more than the nuclear facility was designed to withstand.
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