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Thursday, Apr 24th

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U.S. ranks low in energy efficiency among world's major economies

ACEEEThe United States lags in ninth place out of 12 of the world's major economies in overall energy efficiency, a survey indicates.

The survey by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked countries on a 100-point scale, using 27 metrics grouped into four major categories: national efforts, buildings, industry and transportation.

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Thanks to North Dakota, US waste of natural gas grows rapidly

Baaken oil field glaresThe United States is flaring so much natural gas into the atmosphere - burning it as oil-field waste rather than extracting energy from it in power plants - that it now leads the world in the growth rate at which it is trashing that energy source.

Evidence of the trend can be seen flickering in the night across western North Dakota, where new oil drilling in the Bakken shale formation there has helped propel a surge in US flaring since 2007. As is often the case, many companies find it cheaper to burn off gas that emerges in new oil fields, rather than build pipelines and facilities to collect it.

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Danger Zone: Ageing Nuclear Reactors

Thee Mile IslandFollowing Japan's nuclear disaster last year there are fears the US may be heading for a nuclear catastrophe of its own.

Their owners want to keep them running, but others - from environmentalists to mainstream politicians - are deeply concerned.

The investigation focuses on the Pacific Gas & Electric nuclear facility at Diablo Canyon and two others, Vermont Yankee and Indian Point in New York.

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Senator questions why refineries cut production

Senator questions oil productionWest Coast oil refiners cut gasoline production after a fire earlier this year at a Washington state refinery, creating a supply shortage that’s left West Coast motorists now paying very high prices at a time when the rest of the nation is seeing prices plunge, according to an influential senator and a veteran energy analyst.

In a letter being sent to regulators on Thursday and obtained by McClatchy, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., calls on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate refinery operators Alon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Tesoro and BP following the shutdown of BP’s Cherry Point refinery in Washington State.

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Japan’s Nuclear Industry: The CIA Link

CIARewind almost 60 years and the government had a similar problem: how to persuade the public to support its ambition to become a nuclear nation only nine years after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

According to one Japanese university professor, that ambition was achieved with help from an unlikely source: the CIA.

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Kodak Had a Secret Nuclear Reactor Loaded With Enriched Uranium Hidden In a Basement

Kodak WTFKodak may be going under, but apparently they could have started their own nuclear war if they wanted, just six years ago. Down in a basement in Rochester, NY, they had a nuclear reactor loaded with 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium—the same kind they use in atomic warheads.

But why did Kodak have a hidden nuclear reactor loaded with weapons-grade uranium? And how did they get permission to own it, let alone install it in a basement in the middle of a densely populated city?

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TVNL MUST READ: NRC staff criticize official's handling of Fort Calhoun

The senior federal regulator leading the inspection of a troubled nuclear reactor near Omaha is the target of a complaint to Congress over his handling of the reactor's problems.

A letter on Nuclear Regulatory Commission letterhead alleges that Troy Pruett pushed staff to downplay problems at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station and created a “corrosive environment.”

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