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Nuclear Safety

April 17, 2011 | By Alan Zarembo and Ben Welsh
The U.S. nuclear industry is turning up the power on old reactors, spurring quiet debate over the safety of pushing aging equipment beyond its original specifications. The little-publicized practice, known as uprating, has expanded the country's nuclear capacity without the financial risks, public anxiety and political obstacles that have halted the construction of new plants for the last 15 years. The power boosts come from more potent fuel rods in the reactor core and, sometimes, more highly enriched uranium.
January 26, 2003 | Anatoly Medetsky, Associated Press Writer
The towering rock in the bay that gave this town its name is long gone, blown up by engineers who called it a hindrance to navigation. Gone, too, is the town's onetime livelihood: refueling and repairing the submarines that were to have been the backbone of a mighty Pacific Fleet for the Soviet Union. Half a century after its birth as a secret Soviet military town, Bolshoi Kamen -- Russian for Big Rock -- has a less grandiose mission.
May 2, 1986 | United Press International
Japan, West Germany and Italy vowed today to raise the issue of nuclear safety at the Tokyo summit despite concerns by the United States that the Soviet atomic disaster will overshadow terrorism at the meetings. The annual summits began in 1975 as an economic forum, but this year's session is taking place during a time of intense worldwide concern over terrorism and the Soviet nuclear plant disaster.
September 7, 1991 | From Associated Press
The Soviet Union will allow international atomic energy experts to inspect its Chernobyl-type nuclear reactors for safety, a top Soviet nuclear expert said Friday. The Chernobyl-type reactors account for about half the nuclear power in the Soviet Union. The Soviets announced their decision to open their RBMK graphite-moderated, water-cooled reactors for a safety review at a weeklong international conference here on nuclear safety.
February 26, 1992 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Bush Administration has no effective safety policy for dismantling thousands of warheads and shrinking the U.S. atomic weapons complex, two top nuclear safety experts told the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman John Ahearne and Harold Lewis, a California physics professor and a member of the NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards since 1979, said the department has "shown no movement" toward adopting many safety recommendations.
March 21, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The head of the U.N.'s atomic agency said Monday that the brewing crisis at Japan's reactors in the wake of the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami should lead officials around the world to reassess the international nuclear framework. "The agency's role in nuclear safety may need to be reexamined, along with the role of our safety standards," Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a briefing to the agency's governing board. "It is already clear that arrangements for putting international nuclear experts in touch with each other quickly during a crisis need to be improved.
June 15, 1994 | From Times Wire Services
Across the Continent, Europeans and others at two key sessions made it clear to Ukraine that it has little choice but to close the Chernobyl plant, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident eight years ago. In Vienna, delegates from more than 70 countries met Tuesday to discuss tough new nuclear safety measures that could force the closure of the Chernobyl power station.
June 16, 1986
The international community may not be able to organize itself to reduce the possibility of catastrophic nuclear-reactor accidents similar to that at Chernobyl, and to deal with the consequences if safeguards fail. But there are encouraging signs that it will try, even against formidable odds. Soviet authorities, who issued inadequate and sometimes misleading information in the days immediately following the accident at Chernobyl, are now more forthcoming.
June 6, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
An advisory committee has recommended delaying until at least October a restart of production of nuclear weapons components at the Rocky Flats plant near Denver, an official reported. The plant is the only source of plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons. The department's advisory committee on nuclear facilities safety wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary James D. Watkins that "necessary changes and training" at the plant will take much longer than previously estimated.
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