The nuclear plant next door: A Pennsylvania mom is staying put
Pennsylania mom Lindsey Schiller says she's not bothered by living next door to a nuclear plant.
March 27th, 2011
09:45 AM ET

The nuclear plant next door: A Pennsylvania mom is staying put

Health and safety concerns about Japanese nuclear power plants after this month's earthquake and tsunami have Lindsey Schiller wondering what could happen across the street from her own house in her Philadelphia suburb. Schiller, who is a registered nurse, has lived for nearly a decade with her husband and two children in the shadow of the Limerick Generating Station nuclear energy facility in Pottstown, about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Long before the Japanese disaster, Schiller's unique neighborhood landmark has been the source of family jokes. "We kid around when we get really big flowers ... we're under the power plant, and I kid around that I glow," laughed Schiller as she held her baby Adam in sight of the plant's giant twin cooling towers. FULL STORY

Friday's live video events
March 25th, 2011
07:36 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony hearing - A third day of hearings into whether certain scientific evidence can be used during the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Arizona • Barack Obama • Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Florida • Greece • Japan • Labor • Libya • Natural Disasters • New York • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tsunami • U.S. • World
Wednesday's live video events
March 23rd, 2011
07:47 AM ET

Wednesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - Casey Anthony hearing - Another hearing is held in the case of the Florida woman accused of killing her young daughter.  Today's hearing is expected to focus on whether certain scientific evidence can be used during the trial.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Arizona • Barack Obama • Casey Anthony • Crime • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Libya • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Space • Tsunami • U.S. • World
Tuesday's live video events
March 22nd, 2011
07:44 AM ET

Tuesday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

8:00 am ET - Obama heads to El Salvador - President Obama begins his day in Chile, but he'll soon be headed to El Salvador as nears the conclusion of his tour of Latin American countries.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Barack Obama • Chile • District of Columbia • Earthquake • El Salvador • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Natural Disasters • New York • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tsunami • U.S. • World
Monday's live video events
March 21st, 2011
07:48 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

9:00 am ET - NRC meeting on Japan crisis - Members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission meet to discuss the ongoing situation in Japan, as well as how the United States should react to the developments.

CNN.com Live is your home for breaking news as it happens.


Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan • Libya • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • U.S. • World
Friday's live video events
March 18th, 2011
07:35 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Japan.

Today's programming highlights...

Ongoing coverage - Japan earthquake/tsunami aftermath

9:30 am ET - Japan nuclear crisis briefing - Experts brief reporters at the National Press Club in Washington on the implications of Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis.

FULL POST


Filed under: Barack Obama • Brazil • District of Columbia • Earthquake • Hillary Clinton • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • On CNN.com today • Politics • Tsunami • U.S. • World
March 17th, 2011
02:26 PM ET

What's being said about radiation danger to U.S. from Japanese nuclear plant

Some Americans are worried that radiation from the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan could cause harm on the U.S. West Coast, prompting a run on potassium iodide pills. But the scientific consensus is that the fear is unfounded.

Greg Evans, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Toronto, said there is no danger to people on the west coast of the United States and Canada.

"There's really no need to be worried about any sort of radiation release from Japan reaching across the Pacific to people on the West Coast," Evans told CNN International's Hala Gorani.

A U.S. agency director agrees. Gregory Jaczko, the head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said Thursday there is little concern about harmful radiation levels in the United States as a result of the damaged Japanese plant.

The federal government's recommendation that U.S. citizens stay at least 50 miles away from the plant remains "prudent and precautionary," he told reporters at the White House.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Canada • Earthquake • Energy • Food • Health • Japan • Nuclear • Science • Tsunami • U.S.
How bad is the nuclear threat in Japan?
A woman is scanned Thursday at a radiation screening center in Koriyama, Japan, 37 miles from the stricken nuclear plant.
March 17th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

How bad is the nuclear threat in Japan?

Experts cannot agree on how dangerous Japan's nuclear crisis is.

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale ranks incidents from Level 1, which indicates very little danger to the general population, to Level 7, a "major accident" with a large release of radioactive material and widespread health and environmental effects.

"It's clear we are at Level 6, that's to say we're at a level in between what happened at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl," Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of France's nuclear safety authority, told reporters Tuesday.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Earthquake • Food • Health • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear • Science
'The situation is deteriorating,' expert says of Japan's nuclear crisis
A satellite image of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on March 14, three days after a quake and tsunami ravaged Japan.
March 15th, 2011
11:44 PM ET

'The situation is deteriorating,' expert says of Japan's nuclear crisis

A look back at Japan's nuclear crisis in the last 24 hours, through CNN.com videos:

The situation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has reached a strange state of continual deterioration, international security analyst Jim Walsh says. As it gets worse, "The good news is that the bad news isn't quite as bad as it first looked," he says.

By way of example, he points to Tuesday's fire at a spent fuel pond that was successfully put out, but not before releasing a plume of radioactive smoke into the atmosphere. Or the fire at reactor 4, which prompted fears of a ruptured containment vessel, concerns that have since subsided, Walsh says - for now.

"Things are happening and they look very bad in the beginning. Maybe not as bad as it first looked, but the situation is deteriorating."

As the situation develops day by day, comparisons are being drawn to the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, as analysts look for ways to measure the potential scale of damage.

"This is not going to be a Chernobyl," author William Tucker says. "The Soviets didn't have a containment structure on top of their reactor."

FULL POST

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan • Nuclear
March 12th, 2011
07:54 AM ET

Expert: Typical nuke plants can take a 10,000-year quake

Many questions remained about Saturday’s explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan. In general, these kinds of facilities are among the most carefully designed and heavily scrutinized structures in the world, said a top civil engineer.

Ron Hamburger, who travels the world studying earthquake-damaged buildings and other structures, says a typical nuclear power plant is designed to withstand earthquakes of the magnitude that only occurs once every 10,000 years.

Friday’s quake was the most powerful to hit the island nation in recorded history, and the tsunami it unleashed traveled across the Pacific Ocean. Reports from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy estimated the 8.9-magnitude quake shifted the entire planet on its axis by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters).

Engineers typically design nuclear facilities with very thick walls. “It’s not unusual for the reinforced concrete walls of these structures to be between 3 and 6 feet thick,” Hamburger said Friday before reports surfaced about the Japanese blast. “The reason the walls are that thick is not so much for structural strength, but rather because they use the concrete in part to shield any possible radiation.”

Typically, equipment that’s most critical to safety at these plants has been rigorously tested for earthquake resiliency on so-called “shaking tables.” The equipment being tested – pumps, control valves and electric motors - is attached to the shaking tables - which measure as large as 20 feet by 20 feet. Computers use data from past earthquakes to move the table and the equipment up and down and side-to-side to closely simulate movement from actual quakes.

“The entire design and testing process of these nuclear facilities is designed to withstand the earthquake, shut down safely and contain any radiation hazards,” Hamburger said.

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Filed under: Earthquake • Nuclear • Tsunami
Not such a lame-duck session: What Congress passed, Obama signed in week
December 23rd, 2010
12:59 PM ET

Not such a lame-duck session: What Congress passed, Obama signed in week

So about that lame-duck Congress.

After midterm elections, predictions abounded that the next few months were going to be brutal in the halls of Congress - with fighting between the GOP and Democrats, fillibusters aplenty and all around disagreement, meaning nothing was going to get done - despite a massive agenda for the Obama administration.

But now, shortly before the holidays, in what many might have said in November would only happen if there were a Christmas miracle, key pieces of legislation have been signed into law, practically back-to-back. Some, such as the DREAM Act, failed a procedural vote in the Senate. The bill would have offered a path to citizenship to some illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children. President Barack Obama called the defeat his "biggest disappointment."

Still, with everything happening so fast, it was blink, and you missed if legislation passed or failed.

So, we figured we'd help you catch up, take a look at where things stand and perhaps re-dub the group of lawmakers many thought couldn't even sit in the same room together as the not so lame-duck Congress after all.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Budget • Don't Ask Don't Tell • Economy • Food • Jobs • Military • Nuclear • Russia • September 11 • Taxes
Senate approves nuclear arms pact
December 22nd, 2010
03:08 PM ET

Senate approves nuclear arms pact

The Senate voted Wednesday to approve the new nuclear arms control treaty with Russia - a major foreign policy victory for the Obama administration near the end of the lame-duck session of Congress.

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, was cleared with the help of solid Democratic support, as well as the backing of several Republican senators.

If ratified, the treaty would resume inspections of each country's nuclear arsenal while limiting both the United States and Russia to 1,550 warheads and 700 launchers. It still needs to be approved by the Russian parliament.

President Obama signed the treaty with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in April. The accord is considered a critical component of nuclear non-proliferation efforts and the administration's attempt to "reset" Washington's relationship with Moscow.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Nuclear • Politics
Senate votes down amendment to proposed nuclear arms treaty with Russia
December 18th, 2010
04:23 PM ET

Senate votes down amendment to proposed nuclear arms treaty with Russia

Members of the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment Saturday that would have taken out language that recognizes a relationship between offensive and defensive weapons from the preamble of the new START treaty, the proposed nuclear arms treaty with Russia. The vote was 59-37 against the amendment, which was put forward by Arizona Sen. John McCain.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: John McCain • Military • Nuclear • Politics • Russia
December 6th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

Iran nuclear talks resume after more than a year

Iranian officials sat down Monday with the United States and other countries trying to put the brakes on Tehran's nuclear program, a day after Iran announced it is self-sufficient in the nuclear fuel cycle.

There was "an exchange of views and concerns," between the Iranians and envoys from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, a diplomatic source familiar with the talks told CNN.

The Iranian nuclear program was the main issue on the table, the source said. Iran has previously said it did not want the talks to focus on that.

Iran also raised some of its concerns, the source said, including attacks on two Iranian scientists in Tehran last week that left one dead and one injured.

The diplomatic source and a Western official later both told CNN that the talks had ended for the day and would resume Tuesday.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: China • France • Germany • Iran • Nuclear • Russia • U.S. • United Kingdom
October 27th, 2010
08:10 PM ET

Computer problem blamed for missile site malfunction

A malfunctioning launch control center for a portion of the nation's nuclear missiles remained offline Wednesday as investigations continued into a weekend computer problem that disrupted communications with more than 10 percent of America's land-based nuclear missiles.

Early indications are that Saturday's disruption to one of the launch control centers linked to Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming lasted longer than an hour, Lt. Col. John Thomas told CNN. The problem appears to be very similar to glitches at two other nuclear missile sites in the late 1990s.

The United States currently has 450 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles in its nuclear arsenal. The 50 Minuteman III missiles involved in Saturday's incident are all currently at "normal operating capability," said Thomas, the director of Public Affairs for the Air Force's Global Strike Command. But while those missiles are typically controlled by five underground launch control centers, only four are currently online, he added.

The fifth control center remains offline and is believed to be the source of a computer hardware problem that caused a communications disruption Saturday. It has been electronically isolated from the launch system while the problem is investigated and solved, Thomas said.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Military • Nuclear
October 26th, 2010
10:13 AM ET

Navy boat uses algae-based fuel on way to 'green fleet'

Sailors conduct maneuvers in the Navy's experimental riverine command boat Friday off Norfolk, Virginia.

The U.S. Navy has used a biofuel to operate a boat at full power for the first time, the Pentagon announced, and it plans to create an alternatively fueled carrier strike group within two years.

An experimental riverine command boat zipped through the water Friday at the Norfolk, Virginia, naval base, burning a 50/50 blend of algae-based fuel and a water-free diesel known as HR-D, the Navy said in a press release.

Earlier this year, the Navy flew an F-18 Hornet fighter jet – nicknamed the Green Hornet – on a blend of camelina-based fuel and gasoline, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at an energy security forum at the Pentagon. Camelina is a plant that produces oily seeds similar to flax. FULL POST

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Filed under: Energy • Military • Nuclear • U.S. • U.S. Navy
October 16th, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Iran: Nuclear talks likely in mid-November

Iran's foreign minister said nuclear talks with world powers could take place in mid-November, Iranian news agencies said Saturday.

Manouchehr Mottaki, in Brussels, Belgium, for a meeting, said November 15 has been suggested for Iran's meeting with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, China, and Russia - and Germany. Collectively, the group is known as the P5 plus one.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear
September 27th, 2010
11:08 PM ET

UFOs eyed nukes, ex-Air Force personnel say

Seven former U.S. Air Force personnel gathered in Washington Monday to recount UFO sightings over nuclear weapons facilities in decades past – accounts that a UFO researcher says show extraterrestrial beings are interested in the world’s nuclear arms race and may be sending humans a message.

At a news conference at the National Press Club, the six former officers and one ex-enlisted man recalled either personal sightings or reports from subordinates and others of UFOs hovering over nuclear missile silos or nuclear weapons storage areas in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Three of the former Air Force officers – though they hadn’t seen the UFOs themselves - told reporters that UFOs hovering over silos around Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967 appeared to have temporarily deactivated some of the nuclear missiles.

Much of the testimony already has appeared in books, websites and elsewhere. But UFO researcher and author Robert Hastings, who organized the news conference, said the time has come for the U.S. government to acknowledge the UFO visits.

“I believe - these gentlemen believe - that this planet is being visited by beings from another world, who for whatever reason have taken an interest in the nuclear arms race which began at the end of World War II,” said Hastings, who added that more than 120 former military personnel have told him about UFOs visiting nuclear sites.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Military • Nuclear • UFOs
May 14th, 2010
09:38 PM ET

Medvedev: Brazilian visit could be last chance for Tehran

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to Iran this weekend could be the last opportunity to reach an agreement with Tehran and to avoid U.N. Security Council sanctions, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday.
FULL POST

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Filed under: Brazil • Iran • Nuclear • Russia
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