Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups raised dozens of objections Wednesday to an application filed by a New Jersey-based company seeking to build a multibillion-dollar facility in southeastern New Mexico to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the United States. Attorneys for the Sierra Club, Maryland-based Beyond Nuclear and several other groups presented their arguments and answered numerous questions posed by members of a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel during an hourslong meeting in Albuquerque. It will be up to the panel to determine which groups have standing and which objections will be considered as part of what’s expected to be a lengthy process that comes as the national debate simmers over how to handle the radioactive fuel rods that have been building up at nuclear power plants around the country. Holtec International has applied for a license to construct the storage facility about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Carlsbad. It would eventually be capable of storing as much as 173,000 metric tons of high-level waste. Opponents have concerns about the project’s legality, the potential environmental effects and the safety of transporting the fuel from power plants as far as the East Coast to the New Mexico desert.
Brown County Democrat 23rd Jan 2019 read more »
The boom in solar and wind power in the United States will deal a fresh blow to coal country in the next few years. Renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is projected to be the fastest-growing source of US electricity generation for at least the next two years, according to a report published Friday by the US Energy Department. Boosted by swiftly falling prices, utility-scale solar power is expected to increase by 10% in 2019 and 17% in 2020, the Energy Information Administration said. Wind power should grow 12% and 14% in those years, vaulting it ahead of hydropower for the first time.
CNN 21st Jan 2019 read more »
Republicans on the U.S. nuclear power regulator approved a stripped down safety rule on Thursday that removes the need for nuclear plants to take extra measures based on recent science to protect against hazards such as floods and earthquakes. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a board with three Republican seats and two Democratic seats, approved the rule on a 3-2 vote along party lines. Dissents are rare on the NRC and the two members who hold Democratic seats strongly disagreed with the approval. “Instead of requiring nuclear power plants to be prepared for the actual flooding and earthquake hazards that could occur at their sites, the NRC will allow them to be prepared only for the old out-of-date hazards typically calculated decades ago when the science of seismology and hydrology was far less advanced than it is today,” Baran said after the vote.
Reuters 24th Jan 2019 read more »