March 7, 2013 |
A key contractor involved in the troubled cleanup at the former Hanford, Wash., nuclear weapons complex admitted Tuesday that it had engaged in criminal time card fraud and agreed to pay $18.5 million to settle the allegations. The project, which involves construction of a $13.4-billion treatment plant to process highly radioactive bomb waste, is years behind schedule, has exceeded its original cost estimate and is paralyzed by technical issues that have halted the work. The problems, however, have not dimmed political support for the project, given the threat that about 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge at the site could eventually leak and reach the nearby Columbia River.
June 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON-- Sidestepping a new debate over the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, the Senate confirmed two of President Obama's nominees to the beleaguered Nuclear Regulatory Commission - including a critic of the proposed waste dump in Nevada who will become the panel's new chair. The Senate on Friday confirmed Allison Macfarlane, a geologist who has raised questions about the viability of the site 90 miles north of Las Vegas, despite earlier opposition to her nomination from some Republicans.
May 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission who was championed by watchdogs for his cautious approach to nuclear power but criticized by Republicans in Congress for an overly hard-charging style has announced he will step down. Gregory Jaczko, who led the commission's efforts to protect Americans in Japan during the nuclear crisis at Fukushima and played a key role in fighting the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain as a former top aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2011 |
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.
September 12, 2011 |
No radioactive leaks have been found following an explosion Monday at a nuclear-waste facility in southern France that killed one person and injured four others — including one person who was left with serious burns. None of the injured were exposed to radiation, and the cause of the blast remains unknown, according to a statement from France's Nuclear Safety Authority. The explosion was said to be under control within an hour of the blast that occurred shortly about 12:37 p.m. The explosion took place within an industrial oven used at the nuclear-waste processing facility called Centraco.
August 14, 2011 |
The Energy Department has asserted that Bechtel Corp. underplayed safety risks from equipment it is installing at the nation's largest nuclear waste cleanup project, according to government records. A federal engineering review team found in late July that Bechtel's safety evaluation of key equipment at the plant at the Hanford site in Washington state was incomplete and that "the risks are more serious" than Bechtel acknowledged when it sought approval to continue with construction, the documents say. Senior scientists at the site said in emails obtained by The Times that Bechtel's designs for tanks and mixing equipment are flawed, representing such a massive risk that work should be stopped on that part of the construction project.