YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsNuclear Safety

Nuclear Safety

When federal regulators begin an exhaustive three-day inspection Wednesday at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, their task will be to determine whether one of the nation's most powerful nuclear plants is safe. But the all-out, all-systems testing, done every six years, takes on greater significance amid concerns about Y2K and whether Southern California's only nuclear generating plant is up to the challenge.
February 18, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
The head of nuclear safety for the cleanup of the former nuclear weapons site at Hanford, Wash., was fired Tuesday after allegations she made over several years that the construction project was ignoring serious safety problems. Donna Busche, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., said executives at the company told her she was being fired for “unprofessional conduct” before she was escorted out of the company's offices at the site in central Washington. The company denied that her dismissal was punitive or connected to her criticism of the project.
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.
February 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The long-troubled project to clean up radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., has come under attack from another senior manager, the third to assert that top executives are ignoring serious problems in the plant's design. Donna Busche, the manager of environmental and nuclear safety for San Francisco-based URS Corp., alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that executives at the $13.4-billion project attempted to suppress her warnings and were working to fire her. Busche, a nuclear engineer and health physicist, alleged that pressure to meet deadlines led the company to retaliate against her for insisting on stringent safety practices at the former nuclear weapons complex.
October 23, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - President Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sought to strengthen their countries' fragile relationship with a two-hour Oval Office meeting Wednesday that touched on sensitive subjects, including U.S. drone strikes, Afghanistan's future and the security of Islamabad's growing nuclear arsenal. In their first face-to-face meeting, the leaders said they emphasized mutual efforts to stabilize Pakistan's economy and deal with terrorism and other security threats.
September 22, 1997 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
What makes plutonium so notorious? With hundreds of particles in the nucleus (compared to one, for say, hydrogen), plutonium is a huge, ungainly, complex atom. In fact, so many particles are crammed into plutonium's nucleus that the center cannot hold. The inter-atomic forces that normally keep atomic nuclei glued together aren't strong enough to keep the atom intact.
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.
Los Angeles Times Articles