News

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55-gallon Drum of Radioactive Material Misplaced in Cross-Country Transport Bumble

 August 19, 2009

Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing

 

By ERIC SCHMITT

NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.

“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”

109 Radioactive Storage Casks Undertested Before Use

Article published Aug. 13, 2009

NRC: Dry cask test was eliminated

By Louis Porter Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER – The concrete-and-steel "dry casks" used at the Vermont Yankee plant to store spent nuclear fuel were not tested as completely as they should have been, according to federal regulators.

But the decision by Holtec International, the New Jersey company that built the casks, to omit one set of tests does not pose a safety risk, Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials said Wednesday. That's because there were other kinds of inspections done on those casks, and the waste stored in the casks is not as hot as allowed, meaning they are safe even though they were not tested with pressurized helium as required under a federal licensing agreement.

About 109 of the casks that were not completely tested are in use nationwide, including five at Vermont Yankee, regulators say.

NRC looks at nuke plant shutdown fund shortfalls

 

By ANDREW MIGA (AP) 

 

BETHESDA, Md. — Federal regulators said Thursday they hope to resolve funding shortfalls with the owners of 26 nuclear plants, who aren't saving enough money to dismantle them when they've run their course.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are reviewing action plans owners were asked to submit, explaining how they'd address funding shortfalls for shutting down reactors. NRC officials in June notified owners of the shortfalls, caused in part by the nation's financial meltdown.

 

 

Michigan nuclear plant repairs second tritium leak

Aug. 12, 2009

Kalamazoo Gazette

BY ROD SMITH Special to Hometown Gazette

 

COVERT TOWNSHIP -- A second radioactive leak at the Palisades nuclear plant has been fixed.

``I'm happy to say we have found the source of the leak, and have repaired that.'' said Mark Savage, the public-affairs and communications director for Palisades.

The new leak was at a turn in a pipe and happened because of the failure of a weld, Savage said. The pipes and welds are stainless steel.

``We think it was during original construction,`` Savage said.

Epstein questions PPL petition to the state Public Utility Commission

 Eric Epstein has submitted a memo challenging sections of the petition of PPL Electric Utilities Corporation for Approval of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan.

As a PPL customer, Epstein questions "the legality and appropriateness of PPL’s Time of Use programming," among other issues. 

PUC Audit Shows PPL Electric Could Achieve Savings of up to $1.9 Million Annually

July 23, 2009

HARRISBURG – According to an audit report released today by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), PPL Electric Utilities Corp. (PPL) may realize yearly savings up to $1.9 million and one-time savings of $9.8 million by implementing recommendations contained in the audit.

The Commission voted 5-0 to make the audit report and the company’s implementation plan public.  The Focused Management and Operations Audit analyzed and evaluated management performance in 12 areas.  The audit was conducted by the PUC’s Bureau of Audits Staff.

The audit makes 23 recommendations to the company for improvement.  The company’s implementation plan accepted all 23 of the recommendations.

Public Input Hearing Scheduled for PPL Plan

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will have a hearing for public input concerning approval of and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan for PPL Electric Utilities, on July 30 at 6 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pa. at City Council Chambers. 

NRC launches special probe of New Jersey plant outage

 

WAYNE PARRY

The Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission started a special investigation Thursday into an emergency shutdown of the nation's oldest nuclear power plant.

Over the weekend, the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station had to shut down when severe thunderstorms knocked out power to the area.

New drug offers radiation protection

 July 17, 2009 

Exelon: Peach Bottom Station Environmental Monitoring Program Identifies Tritium On-site

 DELTA, PA (July 10, 2009) - Peach Bottom nuclear plant workers performing environmental 

monitoring this week identified tritium in a localized area on plant property.  The tritium was 

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