The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal by Nevada officials regarding the federal government's shipment of plutonium from the Savannah River Site into the state. Since state officials filed their suit before knowing that the government had indeed already shipped the material, the court said the issue was "moot."
A group of experts, including geotechnical engineers and geophysicists, will review the New Mexico-based Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to make sure the plant is compliant with regulations and worker safety related to its ground control and mine design. WIPP takes in waste from nuclear research and bomb-making projects from the Cold War era.
The Western Shoshone tribe is continuing to fight a plan by the federal government to place a nuclear waste site at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, saying they never agreed to turn over their land to the federal government over a century-and-a-half ago. "They need to just take Yucca Mountain off the table," said Ian Zabarte, Principal Man for the Western Shoshone Nation.
As nuclear waste-containing cooling pools are reaching capacity, ten Japanese utilities may store the waste in dry metal casks. The casks are safer than the pools, the utilities said, but the storage plan would only for a short term.
The sale of a closed Massachusetts nuclear power plant to a New Jersey company was given preliminary approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission just months after the plant closed after 47 years of operation. The shuttered site at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will be decommissioned in eight years, according to officials with Holtec International, the company purchasing the power station.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's consideration of plans to site two separate nuclear waste storage facilities in the Permian Basin's booming shale fields is being opposed by those who say an approval could limit regional oil drilling. The sites are expected to be temporary, but some are concerned that earthquakes associated with the fracking process could impact facility integrity or the possibility of permanent license extensions.
Thirteen agencies participated in a mock disaster drill near the Callaway Energy Site in Fulton, Mo., to test their preparedness in case of a general emergency, like a radiation leak at the plant. The drill has yet to be evaluated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but plant officials expressed confidence in their performance.
The first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration will be built at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., by 2022. The NNSA approved a $600 million contract for the Cray-constructed supercomputer, which is one of three to be delivered to the Energy Department.
A webinar focused on citizen advisory panels at decommissioning nuclear power plants raised concerns about the influence of the owner or utility, with many saying the panels should be independent. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is accepting comments on the role of the panels until mid-November for a Congressional report.
Two environmental cleanup contracts have been extended by the Energy Department at Washington state's Hanford site. The cleanup and treatment contracts of Washington River Protective Solutions and CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation will granted for another year.