Jul 28, 2009 | 15
Many of the nation’s nuclear power plants don’t have enough cash set aside to close down safely, according to a wire report late last week. And a hastily closed plant could result in such ills as water contamination and theft of nuclear materials.
Taking a nuclear reactor off-line costs about $450 million, which includes storing fuel and dismantling the plant, among other expenses, according to an investigation by the Associated Press. But as funds have flowed out of companies’ investments during the recession, the amount of money earmarked for safe dismantling has also diminished.
About a third of the country’s plants have been asked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for plans on how to make up for fiscal shortcomings.
Mar 27, 2009 | 9
It will be exactly 30 years tomorrow since the nation's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred on a three-mile (five kilometer) slip of land in the Susquehanna River in the shadow of Harrisburg, Pa. Until that day, few people had ever heard of Three Mile Island—now there are few who haven't.
Once a majestic symbol of nuclear power, the plant would become synonymous with its dangers after one of its two reactors—the newer one, known as Unit 2—nearly melted down on March 28, 1979, just months after it was fired up.
The plant was shuttered, and Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh recommended that pregnant women and preschoolers within five miles (eight kilometers) of the plant evacuate; some nearby hospitals and nursing homes were also evacuated. Today steam billows from the chunky, twin cooling towers of TMI's only functioning unit; the crippled reactor, now a skeleton, never reopened.
Mar 24, 2009 | 5
Twenty years after the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine, radiation is still hammering the region's insect, spider, and bird populations.
At least that's what Reuters and the BBC reported last week based on a paper published in the journal Biology Letters by ecologists Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud. For the past 10 years, the duo has been running transects through the region counting wildlife and measuring radiation levels with dosimeters.
"We wanted to ask the question: Are there more or fewer animals in the contaminated areas," Moller told Reuters. "Clearly there were fewer."
Sep 30, 2008 | 2
If you thought the Cold War was over—that long nuclear standoff that shaped the last five decades of the 20th century—think again. Following his American counterpart, and perhaps prompted by new tensions over the war in Georgia and the agreement between the U.S. and Poland to deploy a missile defense system there, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has announced plans to upgrade that country's "nuclear deterrent" by 2020.
It's part of a full upgrade for the Russian armed forces: more nuclear-powered subs, better bombs as well as their own "air and space defense network". "Star wars" has at last come to a galaxy not so far away.
The move prompted U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to boast that the U.S. possesses an "extremely capable, robust, broad and indeed varied nuclear deterrent," according to an interview with Reuters. That no doubt includes not only the hit-or-miss missile defense effort but also plans to build new nuclear weapons and the industrial complex that develops and fabricates them.
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The Seeker desires a method for producing pseudoephedrine products in such a way that it will be extremely difficult for clandestine che
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