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Thursday, 17 March 2011 03:03

Energy Briefs: Nuke power, coal, wind...

Written by  Random Justice

ACTIVATION DELAYED NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN CRYSTAL RIVER, FL

Ocala.com
By Fred Hiers, Staff Writer
March 16, 2011

EXCERPT


A new crack in Progress Energy's Crystal River nuclear plant's containment building has forced the utility company to again scrap its plans to fire up the facility in April.

The delay marks the fifth time in 18 months the utility giant has pushed back its start-up date. The containment vessel wall is meant to keep any harmful radiation inside if there were ever a leak in the reactor container.

North Carolina-based Progress Energy has 65,000 customers in Marion County and more than 1.6 million throughout Florida. It reported Monday to the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission that testing equipment had detected irregularities in the wall and "upon further inspection there was a separation that wasn't previously there," said NRC spokesman Roger Hannah.

http://www.ocala.com/article/20110316/ARTICLES/110319706/1001/news01?Title=Yet-another-setback-in-plan-to-reactivate-Crystal-River-nuclear-plant


U.S. COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS FINALLY SUBJECTED TO NEW EMISSIONS STANDARDS

Every year, coal-fired power plants emit 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollution, including 72% of America's toxic mercury air emissions and 76% of America's acid gas emissions. These pollutants pose very significant health threats to every American -- from brain damage in newborn infants to various forms of cancer to cardiovascular, dermal, respiratory, and immune systems damage EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will save lives by reducing harmful emissions -- and probably result in building more natural gas power plants.

"The United States has said it remains committed to nuclear but will conduct checks. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on Wednesday that federal regulators will look to boost the safety of the nation's nuclear plants after the Japan crisis."

http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wbfo/news.newsmain/article/0/0/1776303/US/EPA.proposes.air.rules.that.may.hit.coal-fired.power

CHINA & ENERGY

China has emerged in the past two years as the world's leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants, mastering the technology and driving down the cost.

While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal-fired power plant that uses extremely hot steam, China has begun building such plants at a rate of one a month.

…China has not begun regulating some of the emissions that lead to heavy smog in big cities.

WIND: China "has doubled its total wind energy capacity in each of the past four years, and is poised to pass the United States as soon as this year as the world's largest market for wind power equipment."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/11/world/asia/11coal.html


CHINA SUSPENDS NUCLEAR BUILDING PLANS

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing

China has suspended approval for new nuclear power stations following the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

It will also carry out checks at existing reactors and those under construction.

China is currently building 27 new reactors - about 40% of the total number being built around the world.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12769392


BUNGLING, COVER-UPS DEFINE JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER

(AP) – March 17, 2011

EXCERPT

TOKYO (AP) — Behind Japan's escalating nuclear crisis sits a scandal-ridden energy industry in a comfy relationship with government regulators often willing to overlook safety lapses.

Leaks of radioactive steam and workers contaminated with radiation are just part of the disturbing catalog of accidents that have occurred over the years and been belatedly reported to the public, if at all.

In one case, workers hand-mixed uranium in stainless steel buckets, instead of processing by machine, so the fuel could be reused, exposing hundreds of workers to radiation. Two later died.

"Everything is a secret," said Kei Sugaoka, a former nuclear power plant engineer in Japan who now lives in California. "There's not enough transparency in the industry."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iU29-CtBza8xA01r9IzPwksyP1WQ?docId=9e518d4998224fd8b705cc3fe9903eb6


JAPAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EXPLOSION

March 14, 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/mar/14/fukushima-nuclear-plant-reactor-explosion-video?intcmp=239

Last modified on Thursday, 17 March 2011 21:49
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