March 22, 2011

Japan Fears Food Contamination as Battle to Cool Nuclear Plant Continues

Abnormal radiation levels in Japan have been reported in tap water, vegetables and milk with concerns that fish may also be affected.


Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning

Regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant despite safety warnings.

Australia Weighs Nuclear Push after Japan Crisis

Japan's nuclear crisis threatens to derail a political push by Australia's government to overturn a ban on selling uranium to India, as well as a drive to use nuclear power domestically.

Calif. Senators Call on Utilities to Delay Nuclear Plant Relicensing for New Seismic Studies

State lawmakers called on California utilities to delay efforts to relicense nuclear plants until there are detailed seismic maps to get a picture of the risks posed by earthquakes and tsunamis.

Obama Administration Approves First Post-Spill Deepwater Exploration Plan

The Obama administration on Monday approved the first deepwater oil-and-gas exploration plan since last year's massive oil spill.

Atlantic Oil Spill Threatens Endangered Penguins

Conservationists say an oil slick from a wrecked ship is threatening endangered penguins on a remote British South Atlantic territory.

China Rare Earth Prices Explode as Export Volumes Collapse

China's exports of rare earth metals burst through the $100,000-per-ton mark for the first time in February, up almost ninefold from a year before.

Mauritania, Kuwait, Jordan Water Said Least Secure

Mauritania, Kuwait and Jordan have the least secure water supplies, according to a ranking on Tuesday that says shortages in the Middle East and North Africa might cause political tensions.

Michigan County Welcomes Wind Farm with Open Arms

While wind farms in many communities are contentious and controversial, a major wind development in Gratiot County, Michigan, enjoys nearly unanimous support from residents and county officials.

In Small Wind Versus Solar, It's All About Location

To perform at capacity, small wind turbines need strong, steady wind, while solar panels are more versatile in where they can be used, say experts.

March 21, 2011

New Repairs Delay Work at Crippled Nuclear Plant

A team of workers trying to repair a separate reactor was forced to evacuate Tuesday after smoke was spotted escaping Reactor No. 3, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

Top Nuke Regulator Eyes Two-Part Safety Review, Won’t Rule out Licensing Changes

The NRC said Sunday that the upcoming study of U.S. reactor safety will unfold in two phases to allow a near-term review while awaiting detailed information to emerge from Japan.

In Wake of Crisis in Japan, U.S. Official Suggests Putting Reactors Near Big Cities May Change

Energy Secretary Steven Chu suggested Sunday that Japan's nuclear crisis might make it less likely that new nuclear reactors are built near large American cities.

U.S. Coal Miners Set to Profit as Fears Rise Over Nuclear Power

U.S. coal companies are poised to benefit from a move away from nuclear energy because of concerns raised by the severe crisis at reactors in Japan.

Nuclear Wake-Up Call for Merkel in State Vote

Voters handed German Chancellor Merkel a wake-up call Sunday on nuclear power after the Japan crisis as the Greens more than doubled their score in the second of 2011's seven state elections.

Coast Guard Collecting Samples of Substance in Gulf of Mexico After Reports of Oil Sheen

The U.S. Coast Guard says there is some sort of substance on the water in the Gulf of Mexico, and officials are collecting samples to determine what it is.

"Hydro-Diplomacy" Needed to Avert Arab Water Wars

The UN should promote "hydro-diplomacy" to defuse tensions over water in regions like the Middle East where scarce supplies have the potential to spark future conflicts, experts said.

Italian Government Leaves Solar Subsidies Unchanged

The Italian solar industry has received a major boost after the government announced it would not be altering subsidies for any pre-existing projects.

Germany Sees Need for Huge Push to Widen Power Grid

Germany must expand its power grid to handle green energy in a project similar in scale to its massive reconstruction of infrastructure in the former communist East, according to a government paper.

Shareholder Sues Denmark's Vestas in United States

A pension fund has launched a class action lawsuit against Denmark's Vestas in the U.S. claiming the company gave misleading information that artificially inflated its share price.

March 20, 2011

Power Cable Connected to Fukushima No. 2 Reactor, Aiding Bid to Cool Core

Workers reconnected the power cable to one reactor at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi atomic plant, signaling progress in efforts to prevent Japan's nuclear crisis from escalating.

Former NRC Member Says Renaissance Is Dead, for Now

The birth of the "nuclear renaissance" will be crippled by the Japan crisis as regulators struggle to incorporate "lessons learned" into the country's existing nuclear fleet, a former NRC member said.

Undeterred by Fallout Fears, U.S. and Chile Sign Nuclear Accord

With fears of radiation spreading in Japan after the devastating earthquake there, Chile and the U.S. signed an accord on Friday intended to help Chile develop a nuclear energy program.

Singh Orders Indian Nuclear Safety Review

Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, has called for a reexamination of his country's nuclear safety systems following the crisis at the Fukushima atomic energy plant in Japan.

Japan Reports Rising Radiation Levels in Spinach and Milk

Japan has reported elevated radiation levels in spinach and milk from farms near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station.

API to Establish Offshore Safety Center in Houston

A petroleum industry group plans to establish a center for offshore safety in Houston nearly a year after a disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Delay in Coal Pollution Rules Took Toll in Lives

Despite damning scientific verdicts on mercury emissions, industry succeeded in blocking an E.P.A. standard for 20 years, taking a toll in human lives.

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