Harold Denton, Three Mile Island Hero, Dies at 80

Harold Denton, a career federal civil servant who helped prevent panic during the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island March 28, 1979 and days after, died February 13 at his home in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 80. The cause of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease coupled with complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Denton was an […]

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Oroville Dam a Major Renewable Energy Asset

The threat of a catastrophe at California’s Oroville Dam appears to be over. California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) lifted the evacuation order that last week moved some 180,000 residents out of the area that could be flooded if the water level topped the 770-foot dam. But the dam’s troubles have also temporarily brought down […]

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‘Pausebuster’: Did NOAA’s Tom Karl Cook Climate Data?

Did a top federal government climate scientist hide data in order to refute a record of nearly two recent decades when global warming didn’t appear to occur? Did that scientist then refuse to archive the data, preventing independent analysis? That’s the claim of John Bates, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist in charge […]

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How Can FERC Function Without a Quorum?

With the Trump administration’s elevation of Democrat Cheryl LaFleur to acting chairman of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the demotion of Norman Bay (and his subsequent resignation) the agency now lacks a quorum as of Friday, Feb. 3. What are the practical consequences? This is not a unique situation at FERC. In early 1993, as […]

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The Political Kabuki of Senate Confirmation

The incoming Trump administration will see its selection of an energy and environment management team at the Department of Energy, Department of Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency in place soon. A series of confirmation hearings this week for Trump nominees Rep. Ryan Zinke, Montana Republican, for Interior; Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for EPA; […]

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Feds Hammer Asian Engineer for Alleged Spying for China

The U.S. government – the Department of Energy, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the White House – has again shown how ham-handed and stereotyped it is when it comes to Asian-American nuclear scientists and fears of espionage related to China. The government appears to be profiling scientists and engineers with Chinese backgrounds. The […]

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As a U.S. Business, Nuclear Power Stinks

Regardless of one’s views of the social values of nuclear power — compelling cases can be made all around — as a business proposition nuclear stinks. The latest evidence comes from the giant Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, which saw a third of its market value vanish in two days of trading (20% in one day, a […]

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New Coal Rules Give Trump Political Opportunities

The Obama administration has fired two parting shots at the coal industry that are more about public relations than environmental protection. They could be early and easy targets for the incoming Trump administration to show its resolve to “rescue” coal. Just about a year ago, in January, the administration announced a moratorium on new coal […]

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Is There an Explanation for Trump’s Picks?

What to make of the Trump picks for top administration jobs so far? Chuck Todd of NBC News (and moderator of Meet the Press) had an analysis on a podcast Wednesday (Dec. 14), which struck me as insightful. Todd said he sees two sets of appointees, one made up of genuine Trump picks, and the […]

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Trump: Bad News for U.S. Nuclear Power?

When a new administration arrives in Washington, business lobbying groups routinely assert that their interests mesh with those of the new political team in town. So it is with the nuclear power industry, where the Nuclear Energy Institute shortly after Donald Trump sealed his victory in the presidential race proclaimed their common interests. Maria Korsnick, […]

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