nuclear safety

11 Stories

Elderly Nun Proves We Have a Nuclear Security Problem

Sophisticated thieves could easily steal highly enriched uranium

(Newser) - In 2009, a gang of masked men landed a helicopter on a Swedish cash depot, blew open its skylight, and made off with millions of dollars in less than 20 minutes, while throwing the police off their scent with a fake bomb and road spikes. What would happen if thieves... More »

Nuke Guards Caught Napping With Door Open

4 officers in charge of nuclear missile launch keys twice breached security protocols

(Newser) - It's reassuring to know the people entrusted with the launch keys to our nuclear missiles are at least well rested—if not well secured. US Air Force officers in charge of these keys have been caught twice this year napping while leaving the blast door to their underground launch... More »

Nuke Soap Opera: NRC Members Call Boss a Bully

Testy relations surface between commissioners, Gregory Jaczko

(Newser) - Nuclear Regulatory Commission chief Gregory Jaczko will be on Capitol Hill next week for hearings, and it looks like the No. 1 topic will be his relations with the panel's four commissioners. Things are especially nasty, reports the Hill . The commissioners (two Democrats and two Republicans) wrote a letter... More »

Quake Raises Nuke Plant Worries

Time to review standards at nuclear plants, experts say

(Newser) - Yesterday's East Coast earthquake was the strongest to hit the region since the beginning of the nuclear age, and safety advocates say it should serve as a wake-up call to nuclear plants using outdated safety standards. At Virginia's North Anna nuclear plant, just a few miles away from... More »

Giant Tent Goes Up Over Japan Reactor

TEPCO hopes tent will contain radiation

(Newser) - TEPCO is constructing an airtight polyester tent measuring 177 feet tall and 154 feet in length to cover one of the worst-hit reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, hoping the tent will stop leaked radioactive materials from spreading and prevent possible future leaks, reports the AP . Unsafe radiation... More »

If Fukushima Happened in US ... We'd Be Hosed

40% of Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear plant

(Newser) - An AP investigation suggests that America's nuclear power plants and safety policies have not aged well: The once-rural areas around the plants have become far more crowded and difficult to evacuate, and the plants themselves are running at higher power and thus pose more of a risk in the... More »

Regulators Ignored Warning Signs at Fukushima

Despite noted problems, an extension was granted for oldest reactor

(Newser) - Government regulators were concerned about the oldest reactor at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant—but still approved a 10-year extension for reactor No. 1, just a month before the devastating earthquake and tsunami that landed the country in its current nuclear crisis. A report from the regulatory committee noted... More »

Japan Was Warned About Nuke Safety in '08

WikiLeaks cables also reveal a number of other past concerns

(Newser) - The Japanese government was warned in 2008 that a strong earthquake would be a “serious problem” for the country’s nuclear power stations, WikiLeaks cables reveal. An International Atomic Energy Agency official declared twin concerns at a meeting of the G8’s Nuclear Safety and Security Group: that safety... More »

US Frets as Pakistan Rapidly Expands Nukes

Weapons program complicates Obama's Af-Pak strategy

(Newser) - Pakistan is rapidly building its nuclear arsenal even as it struggles to fight a growing insurgency, reports the New York Times. While Washington remains concerned about the security of Pakistan's 80 to 100 existing weapons, the country is producing uranium and on its way to manufacturing bomb-grade plutonium. US legislators... More »

Russian Nuclear Sub Accident Kills More Than 20

(Newser) - An accident aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in a training exercise has killed more than 20 people, Russian news agencies are reporting. State-run RIA-Novosti cites navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo as saying a fire-extinguishing system went into operation in error Sunday aboard the submarine during tests in the Pacific Ocean. The... More »

NRC Warns of Shoddy Nuke Parts

Counterfeit parts flood US from China

(Newser) - An influx of shoddy and counterfeit parts from China and elsewhere could pose safety hazards in US nuclear power plants, warn officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A dramatic decline in the number of domestic suppliers is making reliable nuclear parts harder to find, reports the Wall Street Journal. The... More »

11 Stories