Environmental Protection

Nuclear Energy

PG&E Agrees to Shut Down Diablo Canyon

The Joint Proposal would replace power produced by two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant with a cost-effective, greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage, according to the utility, which has committed to a 55 percent renewable energy target in 2031.

This photo shows some of the first waste being disposed at the WCS Federal Waste Disposal Facility in Andrews, Texas. It opened in June 2013 for disposal of Class A, B and C Low-level Waste and Mixed Low-level Waste, with a licensed capacity of up to 26 million cubic feet. (WCS photo)

Texas Firm Bids for Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository

Waste Control Specialists LLC announced April 28 it has filed an application with the NRC to build and manage a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility.

NRC, Army Corps Find Environmental Impacts Don't Prevent Licensing Bell Bend Reactor

Talen Energy submitted the application on Oct. 10, 2008, seeking permission to construct and operate a U.S. EPR reactor -- a third-generation pressurized water reactor -- at the site. AREVA Inc., the designer of the U.S. EPR, requested that the NRC staff suspend its safety review of the U.S. EPR design certification application in February 2015, and as a result, the U.S. EPR design certification review and Bell Bend safety review are on hold until further notice.

NRC Considering Friends of the Earth's Petition About Diablo Canyon

FOE filed it Aug. 26, 2014, stating its concerns about the Diablo Canyon Power Plant's operational safety and its ability to safely shut down in the event of a nearby earthquake.

NRC Taking Comments on Review of Wyoming Uranium Facility Expansion Plan

Strata applied to the NRC in early 2015 for approval to build and operate additional uranium recovery wells in the Kendrick expansion area, which covers about 7,800 acres adjacent to the facility, which is located 27 miles northeast of Gillette, Wyo.

DOE Issues Citations for 2014 WIPP Incidents

Operations at the U.S. Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the transuranic waste disposal site outside of Carlsbad, N.M., were suspended after two serious February 2014 incidents involving worker exposures to smoke and radiation.

DOE Resumes Search for Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Waste Repository

DOE will follow the process laid out in a strategy document from 2013. The strategy is to establish a pilot interim storage facility that mainly will accept used nuclear fuel from reactors that have already been shut down; a larger interim storage facility; and one or more long-term geologic repositories.

Workers dismantled a steam generator in a unit at a German plant. More than half of all the operating nuclear power reactors are more than 30 years old, according to IAEA. (Photo by H. Vanhatalo/IAEA)

IAEA Announces 2016 Decommissioning Conference

Participants will discuss challenges, achievements, and lessons learned from nuclear site decommissioning and environmental remediation projects implemented during the past decade when they meet next May in Madrid.

Two cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

Electric Power Generation Employment Down 42 Percent 2001-2014

Employment in nuclear power was essentially flat—it rose during the period but settled at 47,413 in 2014, up by 5 percent from 45,312 in 2001.

World Nuclear Association Hails Japanese Reactor's Restart

"The restart of Sendai unit 1 puts Japan on the road to recovery. Going forward, it is essential that the nuclear industry works harder at building better relationships with the public as well as improving our performance and future technology offerings," said Agneta Rising, the association's director general.


NRC Determines Yucca Mountain's Groundwater Impact 'Small'

This determination means the environmental effects of the spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste disposed there would not be detectable or be so minor they will not destabilize or noticeably alter any important attribute of affected resources.

New Analyses Confirm Diablo Canyon Safe, PG&E Reports

"These updated findings are the culmination of years of study and analysis, and further confirm the safety of the plant's design," said Ed Halpin, PG&E's senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.

FEMA to Test Virginia Nuclear Plant's Readiness

We will assess state and local emergency response capabilities within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone, as well as the adjacent support jurisdictions within the Commonwealth of Virginia," said MaryAnn Tierney, regional administrator for FEMA Region III.

This photo is an aerial view of California

$1.45 Billion San Onofre Settlement Approved

The California Public Utilities Commission approved it Nov. 20.


NRC Staff Report Reignites Yucca Mountain Debate

How the 2014 midterm U.S. elections go may well determine whether the nuclear waste storage project in Nevada goes forward, four years after the Obama administration halted it.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Closer to Resuming Operations

Final inspections of WIPP's primary waste hoist began Oct. 7, and a town hall meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 16 to update residents about the recovery process.

NRC Extends Comment Period on LLRW Program Changes

The agency's staff will develop an updated strategic assessment of the Low Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Program, revising the alternative future disposal scenarios specified in the prior, 2007 strategic assessment.

Bechtel-Led Consortium Resumes Role at Pantex, Oak Ridge

Consolidated Nuclear Security—whose members are Bechtel National, Inc., Lockheed Martin Services, Inc., ATK Launch Systems Inc., SOC LLC, and Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.as a teaming subcontractor—will manage the operations. The two facilities maintain the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

Several environmental groups oppose Detroit Edison

EPA Planning Update of Radiation Protection Standards

The agency's standards for nuclear power operations date to 1977 and are the earliest radiation rules it has developed.

Appeals Court Halts Nuclear Waste Storage Fees

As long as the federal government has no viable alternative to Yucca Mountain for storing nuclear waste, power plant operators should not be charged annual fees for the cost of that disposal, the judges ruled.

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