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Tuesday, Sep 02nd

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Dept. of Energy confirms tank leak at Hanford nuclear reservation

Tank leak at HanfordThe Department of Energy has confirmed that its oldest double-shell tank is actively leaking radioactive and hazardous chemical waste from its inner shell.

DOE made the announcement Monday after a video inspection of the area between the shells Sunday showed more waste in one place than a video taken Thursday showed.

"It's a very, very small volume," said Tom Fletcher, DOE assistant manager for the tank farms. Although there's no good way to measure the amount, it could be a couple of tablespoons of additional waste between the video inspections.

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Leaked Report Suggests Long-Known Flood Threat To Nuclear Plants, Safety Advocates Say

NuclearAn un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission report highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams -- and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates.

"The redacted information shows that the NRC is lying to the American public about the safety of U.S. reactors," said David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer and safety advocate with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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British engineers produce amazing 'petrol from air' technology

Petrol from airA small company in the north of England has developed the “air capture” technology to create synthetic petrol using only air and electricity. Experts tonight hailed the astonishing breakthrough as a potential “game-changer” in the battle against climate change and a saviour for the world’s energy crisis.

The technology, presented to a London engineering conference this week, removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The “petrol from air” technology involves taking sodium hydroxide and mixing it with carbon dioxide before "electrolysing" the sodium carbonate that it produces to form pure carbon dioxide.

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'Hundreds of problems' at EU nuclear plants

European nuclear plant problemsHundreds of problems have been found at European nuclear plants that would cost 25bn euros (£20bn) to fix, says a leaked draft report.
The report, commissioned after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster, aimed to see how Europe's nuclear power stations would cope during extreme emergencies.

The final report is to be published on Thursday. The draft says nearly all the EU's 143 nuclear plants need improving. Anti-nuclear groups say the report's warnings do not go far enough.

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A Win for Wall St.: Rule Restraining Speculation Rejected by U.S. Judge

Oil speculationThe U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission rule restraining speculation was rejected by a federal judge, handing a victory to two Wall Street groups that challenged the constraints.

U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins in Washington today ruled that the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act is unclear as to whether the agency was ordered by Congress to cap the number of contracts a trader can have in oil, natural gas and other commodities without first assessing whether the rule was necessary and appropriate.

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23 Nuclear Plants in Tsunami Risk Zones, Study Finds

In March 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami set off a partial meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan's coast. A recent study led by European researchers found Fukushima is not alone, as 22 other plants around the world may be similarly susceptible to destructive tsunami waves, with most of them in east and southeast regions of Asia.

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Reports: Japan plans for nuclear phaseout by 2030s

FukushimaJapan is planning a move to shutter all nuclear plants by the 2030s, Japanese media reported Thursday, a major policy shift for a resource-poor nation that once depended on atomic power for a third of its energy.

The nuclear phaseout, reported by both the Kyodo News agency and broadcaster NHK based on a draft of the policy, comes amid fierce political debate about this country’s 50 operable reactors, which are both prone to disaster and vital to the economy.

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