Saturday, March 26, 2011

Public notice of sewage spills often inadequate - Local / Metro -

"The state Department of Health and Environmental Control says initial notification is the responsibility of utilities. It’s also voluntary so the state agency can’t force utilities to make that notification quickly or uniformly."
Map of Sewage Spills
View Large sewage spills in a larger map

Friday, March 25, 2011

A quarter of U.S. nuclear plants not reporting equipment defects, report finds - The Washington Post

By Steven Mufson and Jia Lynn Yang, Thursday, March 24,

"Although the report doesn’t assert that any imminent danger resulted from the lapses, many experts said the lack of communication could make it harder for other nuclear reactor operators to learn about flaws in their own equipment, because many similar parts are used in other reactors."

A quarter of U.S. nuclear plants not reporting equipment defects, report finds - The Washington Post

By Steven Mufson and Jia Lynn Yang, Thursday, March 24,

"Although the report doesn’t assert that any imminent danger resulted from the lapses, many experts said the lack of communication could make it harder for other nuclear reactor operators to learn about flaws in their own equipment, because many similar parts are used in other reactors."

What’s so scary about nuclear power plants? - Local / Metro -

- The Associated Press
"Ropeik calls this mismatch between statistics and feelings “a classic example of how public policy gets made — not about the numbers alone, but how we feel about them, and it ends up doing us more harm.”"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lobbyists’ Long Effort to Revive Nuclear Industry Faces New Test -

"One turning point, people on both sides of the issue agree, was that proponents took advantage of the public concern over climate change and carbon-producing fuels beginning in the early 2000s and were able to recast themselves — first to fence-sitting lawmakers, then to the public as a whole — as a “clean” alternative that would not harm the environment."

NRC officials cite problems at SC nuclear reactor - State & Regional - Wire -

- Associated Press
"None of the issues reported by Progress Energy or found during inspections created a safety threat to the public, NRC officials said. The incidents were categorized as the second-lowest level of concern. Overall, they said, the plant performed safely last year."

Don’t rush to judgment on nuclear - Editorial -

"ANYONE WHO looks at what’s happening in Japan and says there’s no need to worry about nuclear power isn’t paying attention. But anyone who argues that what’s happening there should derail or, at this point, even slow down the nascent, painstakingly slow nuclear revival in this country is making a purely emotional argument. The fact is that it’s simply too soon to draw any conclusions."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Get ready for more Chu -

March 22, 2011
Energy Secretary Steven Chu will speak Wednesday at a Pew Environment Group forum on clean energy, an appearance that comes days after Chu suggested the Japanese nuclear reactor crisis could influence the siting of future U.S. nuclear plants.

Certainly where you site reactors and where we site reactors going forward will be different than where we might have sited them in the past, I would say,” he said on 'Fox News Sunday.'"

Broad coalition taking shape to battle AT&T, T-Mobile merger - The Hill's Hillicon Valley

By Sara Jerome - 03/22/11 04:36 PM ET
"Sprint is expected to lead the way in the pending lobbying blitz, flanked by midsized and small carriers who fear the merger will cast them into irrelevance. The deal would leave Sprint a distant third in the U.S. wireless market, behind AT&T and Verizon. "

SC argues Yucca Mountain case in federal court

Ashley Byrd
March 22, 2011
"South Carolina and Aiken County were parties in the original suit, which argues the administration is violating the National Waste Policy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the Separation of Powers protections provided by the United States Constitution.South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson calls President Obama’s plan to halt plans for the Nevada repository as being “wrong and unconstitutional,” He says, “The American people have paid over $31 billion (including interest) towards that project.”"

Graham uses tour to push nuke power - Local / Metro -

“This nuclear plant, I live five miles away’’ from, said Graham, R-S.C. “I’ve lived in this area all of my life. A lot of the people I have grown up with and went to high school with work here. I have faith in the American nuclear power industry.’’"

.biz - N.C. approves 150 free electric car chargers for Duke Energy customers | blogs

"Charlotte-based Duke plans to distribute about 150 of the pods to customers who buy or the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and other electric cars soon to be released to the mass market. The charging stations have a retail value of $1,500 to $2,000.
The electric company told the N.C. Utilities Commission it needs to analyze the demands the 240-volt chargers put on the electric grid to determine what upgrades will be required to prevent system overload in Charlotte and other areas where electric car owners tend to concentrate."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nuclear Power Loses Public Support in New Poll -

"Only 43 percent of those polled after the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan said they would approve building such new facilities in the United States to generate electricity. That is a steep decline from the 57 percent who said in 2008 that they approved of new plants. That poll was taken at a time of soaring gas prices and mounting concerns about global warming that led to calls for a new national energy policy and that drove popular support for nuclear power to its highest level in three decades."

S.C. utility talks power sale with Florida firm - Business -

"The state-owned utility signed a letter of intent to negotiate a power purchase with the Orlando Utilities Commission, officials said Monday. The letter of intent covers the sale of 5 percent to 10 percent of the power Santee Cooper generates from the plants."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sharp Scrutiny for Merger of AT&T and T-Mobile -

"The Justice Department will chiefly examine whether competition among wireless mobile phone providers would remain sufficient after a merger. The department gave some hint to its thinking when it told the F.C.C. last year that the agency needed to use its “policy levers” to encourage more competition among wireless companies, particularly in wireless broadband access.

The F.C.C., on the other hand, has a goal of protecting the public interest in allocating use of the public airwaves, which it does in part by promoting competition. For example, one objective involves pushing the big wireless companies to allow smaller competitors to use their networks for data roaming services. Such policy initiatives give the F.C.C. more flexibility to consider conditions that it could apply to a merger to make it more palatable."

FCC chief pushes public service | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC - News, Sports, Entertainment

Saturday, March 19, 2011
"Clyburn told students that she learned about public service from her family, especially her grandparents, who would discretely slip struggling family members or friends a few dollars.

And she said that she carried her commitment to public service into her job at the FCC. She makes time to see and listen to public interest groups, not just corporate representatives. It's important to 'serve all people, regardless of where they live or how much money they make,' she said."

Japan nuclear plant emergency effort delayed by worker evacuation - The Washington Post

"The commission will vote on a plan to conduct a 90-day study of the implications of the Japanese situation for the United States thatw ill be followed with updates after 60 and 90 days."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

AT&T to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, combining No. 2 and 4 US cellphone companies

NEW YORK — AT&T Inc., the country’s second-largest wireless carrier in the United States, on Sunday said it will buy T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest, from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion. ...
T-Mobile is coming off of two years of flat revenue as it struggles to compete with much larger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile USA’s subscriber count has stalled at just under 34 million, though it posts consistent profits.

Fires, Equipment Failures Raise Concerns at Hartsville Nuclear Plant - The State

Sammy Fretwell
March 20, 2011
While plant officials say that the problems never jeopardized public safety and that they’ve resolved many of the issues, the study provides important insight into how the plant operated — and why Lochbaum says it’s important to pay attention to concerns at the nation’s nuclear power plants.

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