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Saturday, Apr 19th

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Transocean gives safety bonuses despite Gulf deaths

Transocean gives safety bonuses despite deaths Transocean Ltd. gave its top executives bonuses for achieving the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history” — despite the explosion of its oil rig that killed 11 people and spilled 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The company said in a regulatory filing that its most senior managers were given two thirds of their total possible safety bonus.

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Only two U.S. nuclear sites are in compliance with federal fire regulations

Only two U.S. nuclear sites are in compliance with federal fire regulations

On an ironically clear and placid day in August 2007, a three story tall cooling tower at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant collapsed, goring a massive hole in the center of the structure and spewing asbestos, rotting wood, plastic panels, and thousands of gallons of water onto the bank of the Connecticut river.

It later emerged that several employees had expressed concerns about the tower, and that, in the days before the collapse, others heard odd noises from within the structure.

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Chernobyl scientist says nuclear disaster produced 'invisible enemy'

Chernobyl disaster

Speaking at the University of South Carolina at a time of increasing debate about nuclear power, the Russian scientist likened an atomic energy disaster to that of a war, with one major distinction. In war, the enemy is known immediately, she said. But with a nuclear accident, “We have an invisible enemy that can kill you many years later,’’ she said, referring to the long-term health effects of radiation exposure.

In the case of the sickened dog, it had survived more than a year after the Chernobyl explosion and radiation leak sent area residents fleeing. But the animal had begun to succumb by the time Manzurova arrived in late 1987 to study the area. Many people who worked with her at Chernobyl died years later.

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Gaps in US radiation monitoring system revealed

 Gaps in US radiation monitoring system revealed

Parts of America's radiation alert network have been out of order during Japan's nuclear crisis, raising concerns among some lawmakers about whether the system could safeguard the country in a future disaster.

Federal officials say the system of sensors has helped them to validate the impact of nuclear fallout from the overheated Fukushima reactor, and in turn alert local governments and the public. They say no dangerous levels of radiation have reached U.S. shores.

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Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear industry

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.

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US spent-fuel storage sites are packed

US spent-fuel storage sites are packed

The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States - the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states.

The U.S. has 71,862 tons of the waste, according to state-by-state numbers obtained by The Associated Press. But the nation has no place to permanently store the material, which stays dangerous for tens of thousands of years.

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No Urgent Changes Seen for U.S. Nuclear Plants

William BorchardtA top official with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the nuclear crisis in Japan did not warrant any immediate changes in American nuclear plants. The commission’s inspectors at each nuclear site have been told to double-check that emergency precautions mandated years ago were still in place, including temporary hoses and fittings and other last-ditch backup equipment, said the official, William Borchardt, the executive director for operations.

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