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Perils of New Nuclear Fuel: Part 3 – Grand Gulf’s Safety Suspension

Fission Stories #188

The previous Fission Stories commentary described a problem at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station near Port Gibson, Mississippi that prevented workers from transferring fuel bundles from the new fuel vault to the spent fuel pool. This post describes a problem encountered shortly after that problem was eliminated and the transfers began. Read More

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Watts Bar Community Action Panel

Last year, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) created a Community Action Panel (CAP) as its Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor neared the end of construction and prepared to request that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issue an operating license. Read More

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CSI Nuclear

Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit #51

Cops responding to a reported disturbance sometimes find an individual holding a smoking gun standing over a dead body oozing blood from bullet holes. Such crime cases are easy to solve even without a confession from the person holding the gun or a declaration from the corpse on the floor. Read More

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China’s Nuclear Forces Feeling U.S. Pressure

A new UCS white paper on Chinese nuclear strategy indicates China’s military may increase alert levels in response to U.S. investments in missile defense and conventional prompt global strike technologies.  Chinese military strategists believe the combination of these two technologies could permit a disabling U.S. Read More

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When Open Door Policies at Nuclear Plants Go Awry

Fission Stories #184

Nuclear industry and NRC representatives often talk and write about their Open Door policies. For example, Doug Coe and June Cai, leaders of a task force formed to examine the NRC’s internal safety culture, briefed their Chairman and Commissioners on the agency’s Open Door policy for concerns raised by NRC staffers. Read More

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New Quarterly Update to the UCS Satellite Database

A new version of the UCS Satellite Database, which includes launches through January 31, 2015, has been posted at http://ucsusa.org/satellites and includes 1265 active satellites.

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Four Years after Fukushima: The NRC at a Tipping Point

Today, on the fourth anniversary of the Fukushima accident, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is on the verge of a major decision that could determine whether or not the types of regulatory errors that set the stage for the accident in Japan will be effectively fixed in the United States. Read More

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UCS Pen Pals

Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit #50

NEAT #29 explained how you can sign up to receive email notifications from the NRC when it issues things like press releases and reports on specific nuclear reactors. What I wasn’t keeping secret but had failed to mention was that you can also sign up to receive notifications when UCS posts new commentaries to our All Things Nuclear blog. Read More

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5th Annual UCS Report on the NRC and Nuclear Power Safety

Today UCS released its 5th annual report on the NRC and nuclear power safety. UCS started these reports in 2010 to examine each year examples of when the NRC acted to ensure nuclear safety as well as when it fell down on the job. Read More

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No More Ft. Calhouns!

The nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan in March 2011, which resulted in the meltdown of three reactors and the release of huge amounts of radiation, led to intense study of the causes of the accident and the catchphrase “No more Fukushimas!”

Last week, Dave Lochbaum released a report that looks in detail at an event that occurred around the same time but garnered much less attention and scrutiny—the shutdown of the Ft. Read More

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www.UNready.gov??

Fission Stories #183

The NRC’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a report on its audit of the agency’s communications security program. The NRC’s headquarters, regional and resident inspector offices have special equipment that is used to exchange classified information during routine and emergency conditions. Read More

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Supporting the Nuclear Front Line

Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit  #49

NEAT #31 described the NRC’s resident inspectors assigned full-time to each operating nuclear plant as representing the first-line of defenders of nuclear safety. The commentary also cited results from a recent survey by the agency’s Office of the Inspector General revealing that only about half felt that they receive adequate support in performing their duties. Read More

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Obama’s Nuclear Legacy #4: Give Nuclear Weapons a Sole Purpose

As I outlined in an earlier piece, President Obama has the opportunity to make significant changes in nuclear policy in the remaining two years of his presidency—changes that would make every American more secure, while also saving money and enhancing his legacy. Read More

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Millstone Unit 3 Reactor’s AFW Near-Miss (to be continued)

Fission Stories #182

Redundancy and diversity are two keys elements of nuclear power plant safety. The auxiliary feedwater (AFW) system for the Unit 3 reactor at the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Connecticut illustrates these principles. Read More

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Accident Sequence Precursors for Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit  #48

I answer hundreds of questions each year from people living close to nuclear plants, reporters, staff members of local, state, and federal officials, and colleagues about a wide array of nuclear safety issues. The queries provide me useful insight about the topics of most interest to people. Read More

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The Man Who Saved the World

There are few stories from the cold war more dramatic than that of Soviet Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov. After all, earning the nickname “the man who saved the world” doesn’t happen everyday. Read More

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Arkansas Nuclear One: Pictures of an Accident

Fission Stories #181

The drop of a heavy load at the Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear plant on March 31, 2013, was described in Fission Stories #139 based largely on the report on the accident by the NRC’s augmented inspection team. The NRC recently released hundreds of photographs taken of the heavy load, the damage it inflicted when dropped, and the extensive repairs undertaken at the plant. Read More

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Iran’s Fourth Successful Satellite Launch

Despite a report two weeks ago from Medium.com that Iran’s space program was unceremoniously shut down, it appears to be alive and well. Iran successfully launched a small satellite into orbit for the fourth time, just a day ahead of Iran’s national space day. Read More

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Emergency Planning for Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear Energy Activist Toolkit #47

The NRC’s regulations include requirements intended to prevent serious nuclear plant accidents from occurring and to mitigate one should it happen. Because these measures, even if fully and faithfully implemented, reduce rather than eliminate the chances of a serious accident, the NRC’s regulations also include requirements to protect the public from radioactivity released during an accident. Read More

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Obama’s Nuclear Legacy #3: Cancel the Cruise Missile

As I outlined in an earlier piece, President Obama has the opportunity to make significant changes in nuclear policy in the remaining two years of his presidency—changes that would make every American more secure, while also saving money and enhancing his legacy. Read More

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