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OPINION
March 23, 2011 | By Robert Alvarez
The nuclear crisis at the Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan, has turned a spotlight on the severe dangers involved in storing spent nuclear fuel in pools. But the danger is not new. In 2003, I cowrote a report with a group of academics, nuclear industry executives, former government officials and other researchers warning that spent fuel pools at U.S. nuclear power plants were vulnerable. The drainage of a pool might cause a catastrophic radiation fire, we reported, which could render an area uninhabitable greater than that created by the Chernobyl accident (roughly half the size of New Jersey)
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NATIONAL
February 4, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The Navy said Tuesday that instructors responsible for training sailors to operate nuclear reactors that power submarines and aircraft carriers may have cheated on qualification tests, the latest in a series of ethical and criminal misconduct cases roiling the Pentagon. The Navy suspended 30 senior enlisted sailors serving as instructors at the Navy base in Charleston, S.C., after a sailor seeking to qualify as an instructor alerted his superiors that he had been offered answers to a written test on reactor operations, senior Navy officers said.
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WORLD
November 9, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - France's foreign minister said Saturday that international negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear program are hung up on what to do about Iran's half-built plutonium reactor, and how to deal with the country's stockpile of medium-enriched uranium. In the most complete explanation yet of the delay in the talks, Laurent Fabius told France-Inter radio that France does not want construction of the Arak plutonium reactor to continue during final negotiations over the nuclear program, which could take six months.
WORLD
November 9, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - France's foreign minister said Saturday that international negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear program are hung up on what to do about Iran's half-built plutonium reactor, and how to deal with the country's stockpile of medium-enriched uranium. In the most complete explanation yet of the delay in the talks, Laurent Fabius told France-Inter radio that France does not want construction of the Arak plutonium reactor to continue during final negotiations over the nuclear program, which could take six months.
WORLD
March 15, 2011 | By Kenji Hall and Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writers
Another fire at Japan's stricken Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power complex broke out early Wednesday and authorities said about 70% of another reactor's fuel rods had been damaged by the spate of accidents and breakdowns since Friday's earthquake and tsunami. The ominous disclosure, after authorities insisted throughout the previous day that damage to the overheating reactors was negligible, compounded a sense of escalating hazards and fear five days after the disasters expected to take historic peacetime tolls on Japan's people and economy.
WORLD
May 5, 2011 | By John M. Glionna and Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
For the first time since the magnitude 9 earthquake and the tsunami struck Japan nearly two months ago, workers on Thursday entered a damaged reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The recovery team began a project to lower radiation levels by installing six ventilation machines that would absorb isotopes from the air in the No. 1 reactor, said company spokesman Taisuke Tomikawa. Because of the high danger of exposure, teams were expected to spend only 10 minutes at a time inside.
WORLD
May 5, 2011 | By John M. Glionna and Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
For the first time since the March earthquake and tsunami, workers on Thursday entered the No. 1 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. The recovery team began a project to install six ventilation machines that would absorb isotopes from the air inside the building, said company spokesman Taisuke Tomikawa. Due to the high risk of radiation exposure, teams were expected to work in shifts inside the reactor. The goal is to lower radiation levels so that workers can replace the facility's cooling systems that were damaged by the tsunami, causing a hydrogen explosion that released damaging radioactivity into the air, soil and water.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2012 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Strange, jellyfish-like creatures swarming a coastal nuclear power plant: It might sound like the premise of a cult horror flick, but the invasion has prompted officials at the Diablo Canyon facility in San Luis Obispo to curtail operations for at least a few days. The plant's operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, cut power generation from one of the plant's two reactors to 25% of its capacity, spokesman Tom Cuddy said Wednesday. The other reactor was shut down this week for what PG&E described as routine refueling and maintenance, a procedure that could take about a month.
WORLD
March 12, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Times Staff Writer
Japan's nuclear safety agency reported an emergency at a second reactor Sunday in the same complex where an explosion occurred Saturday, according to the Associated Press. Officials at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the Associated Press early Sunday that the cooling system had malfunctioned at Unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Officials said they were informed of the emergency by Tokyo Electric, the utility which runs the plant, according to the Associated Press.
NEWS
August 14, 1986 | From Reuters
An elusive metal screw that worked loose and paralyzed a Bavarian nuclear reactor has defied two weeks of around-the-clock searching and may never be found, a spokesman at the plant said Wednesday. Norbert Eickelpasch said engineers conducting an annual overhaul of the 1,300-megawatt Gundremmingen reactor on the Danube River had discovered that five 15-ounce screws were missing from a water pump in the cooling system.
BUSINESS
October 2, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
I mark the author's passing Tuesday in a Baltimore hospital at age 66 not as a fan--I found his books impenetrable and, truth be told, boring--but as an observer of a remarkable publishing paradigm, the rise of the technobabble thriller.  The best description of Clancy's technique was given by Louis Menand in the The New Yorker way back in 1991. Clancy, Menand wrote, had discovered that: "instead of writing 'The submarine started to submerge' you could write: The reactor coolant pumps went to fast speed.
SPORTS
September 19, 2013 | By David Wharton
Less than two weeks after he promised the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be safe from radioactive contamination, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the scrapping of two more reactors at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. Abe made the announcement after touring the crippled facility on Thursday. "I will work hard to counter rumors questioning the safety of the Fukushima plant," he said, according to Reuters . Four of the plant's reactors suffered meltdowns and other damage after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, leading to widespread contamination in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
WORLD
September 12, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi
SEOUL - U.S. and South Korean officials said Thursday that they are closely watching North Korea after a research institute report indicating that the government in Pyongyang may be restarting a nuclear reactor. Officials said that any move by North Korea involving the restart of a nuclear reactor would be a violation of commitments the isolated nation made as part of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The United States remains "very concerned overall about North Korea's continued pursuit of a nuclear program," said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Southern California Edison built San Onofre's two nuclear reactors in about nine years, but tearing them down will be a technically complex, multibillion-dollar job completed over decades. It is likely that Edison first will mothball the plant, which under federal rules could keep its imposing imprint on the Orange-San Diego County coastline for another half-century. When the plant does come down, it will be a massive job. Tons of highly radioactive fuel now stored in pools will have to cool before the rods can be moved to concrete pads outdoors.
WORLD
April 2, 2013 | By Jung-yoon Choi and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
SEOUL - Escalating the stakes of a standoff with Washington and its allies, North Korea is signaling that it will abandon two decades of negotiations to constrain its nuclear program and will close the door on any deal over its atomic weapons and production facilities. The regime said Tuesday that it would expand all parts of its nuclear arsenal, including reactivating a plutonium-producing reactor complex at Yongbyon shut in 2007 as part of a disarmament agreement. Although restarting the Soviet-era facilities could take more than six months, the announcement sparked concern among world leaders that a miscalculation could lead to military confrontation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Southern California Edison, majority owner of the closed San Onofre nuclear plant, submitted to federal regulators a draft request for a license amendment that would allow the plant to be fired up again before summer. The plant's fate has been a subject of contention since it closed more than a year ago due to excessive wear on steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. Edison has proposed to restart one of the plant's two units, the one in which the damage was less severe, and run it at 70% power for five months before taking it offline again for inspections.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
NEWS
March 16, 1986 | United Press International
A reactor at Three Mile Island nuclear plant shut down automatically Saturday because of a valve malfunction, and trace amounts of radioactive steam were released into the air, officials said. No emergency existed during the incident, and the Unit 1 reactor was scheduled to be restarted later in the day, said Doug Bedell, spokesman for GPU Nuclear, which owns the plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
One of the two reactors at the darkened San Onofre nuclear plant could be restarted at full power and operate safely for almost a year, Southern California Edison officials said Monday. The utility said its analysis confirms that it would be safe to fire up one of the reactors, but that out of an abundance of caution, Edison is proposing running the unit at only 70%. The plant has been shut down since a steam generator tube in the plant's Unit 3 sprung a small leak on Jan. 31, 2012, releasing a small amount of radioactive steam.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 2013 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
Federal regulators have sent Southern California Edison a new set of detailed questions that will help them evaluate the feasibility of a partial restart of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. The plant, which once supplied enough power for about 1.4 million homes, has been out of service for close to a year because of unusual wear on steam generator tubes that carry radioactive water. Edison has requested permission to restart one of two reactor units at the plant and run it at 70% capacity for five months.
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