Harvey Wasserman: Is the "Nuclear Renaissance" Dead Yet?
‘America's much hyped "reactor renaissance" is facing a quadruple bypass. In actual new construction, proposed projects and overseas sales, soaring costs are killing new nukes. And the old ones are leaking like Dark Age relics on the brink of disaster. As renewables plummet in cost, and private financing stays nil, the nuclear industry is desperate to gouge billions from Congress for loan guarantees to build new reactors. Thus far, citizen activism has stopped them. But the industry is pouring all it has into this fall's short session, yet again demanding massive new subsides to stay on life support. Soaring costs at Vogtle, the US's one active new reactor project, have stuck Georgia ratepayers with $108 million in unplanned overcharges ... and that's just for starters at a site where actual construction has barely begun. Currently calculated to cost a sure-to-soar $14.5 billion, the Vogtle project got $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees from Obama in February. Citizen/taxpayer groups have since sued to see the details, which the administration is keeping secret. Georgia Power, which is building Vogtle, has already asked for another $1 billion rate increase. The French giant AREVA's "new generation" projects in Finland and Flamanville, France, have also soared hugely over budget and behind schedule. So there's every indication the new generation of reactors will be as catastrophically behind schedule and over budget as the first.’

CTV News: Nunavut residents want inquiry into uranium mine
‘The tiny, remote community of Grise Fiord on the frozen shores of Ellesmere Island is nearly as far as it gets from the giant uranium mine proposed for the southern tundra near Baker Lake. But that didn't stop 46 people in the community from signing a petition tabled in the legislature last summer demanding a public inquiry over the project. Five other Nunavut communities tabled similar petitions. They didn't get their inquiry. But Premier Eva Aariak has announced a unique series of public forums across the territory for later this year to discuss whether uranium mining is something Nunavut really wants. "This is a very good reason why we're doing these public forums -- to find out how big of an issue it is," said Aariak. "From there, we can engage in a policy decision after we hear from the public." Last spring, the regulatory process began for the $1.5-billion Kiggavik project, a uranium mine proposed for just west of Baker Lake by French uranium giant Areva. It is the first such mine to come before the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the first proposed for the wildlife-rich Thelon Basin, home to major caribou herds. With at least a dozen other major uranium projects in the pipeline for the area, how the board balances Kiggavik's effects on hunting and the environment with the need for jobs will define the so-called barren lands for a generation. The debate has engaged the entire territory.’

Sydney Morning Herald: Greens' uranium stance not new: minister
‘The Australian Greens' opposition to uranium mining is creating uncertainty around the industry, Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says. Greens nuclear spokesman Scott Ludlam told The Australian newspaper on Tuesday his party would use its power to try to stop planned uranium mines, phase out three existing mines as soon as possible and halt exports. Mr Ferguson said he was not concerned about the Greens' stance. "It's not new, but clearly they are trying to create an air of uncertainty about investment in Australia," he told ABC Radio. Mr Ferguson said uranium mining was a "fact of life", and approval for it actually rested with state and territory governments, subject to environmental considerations.’

LA Times: U.S. holding 324 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium, report says
‘The Obama administration, which is urging other nations to reduce their stores of the material, should declare part of the U.S. inventory surplus, a watchdog group says. The Energy Department is holding 324 metric tons of bomb-grade uranium at the same time the Obama administration is urging nations to reduce or eliminate their stores of the material, according to a report to be released Tuesday by the nuclear watchdog group Project on Government Oversight. The Washington-based group wants the administration to declare a portion of the U.S. inventory of highly enriched uranium as surplus and increase the amount that is blended down each year into commercial reactor fuel. The inventory began to swell years ago after the U.S. agreed to a series of nuclear arms accords resulting in the decommissioning of thousands of nuclear warheads. The U.S. stopped making highly enriched uranium after the end of the Cold War. The Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, defended the rate at which it is blending the uranium into commercial fuel, noting the difficulty and cost of the process. It did not comment on the size of the surplus, which is classified. The NNSA also said that it was not sending out a contradictory message by maintaining the surplus. It said that its facilities are secure from terrorists and that the agency provides technical assistance to other nations when they give up their bomb materials. "The U.S. would be on higher moral ground if we
clearly articulated that we are working to minimize our use of highly enriched uranium," said Joan Rohlfing, president of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonpartisan group. "It should be the norm that every country with these materials publishes their status."’

Newsroom Jersey: Exelon attempting to cleanup radioactive tritium at Oyster Creek nuclear power plant
‘The first phase of a cleanup of radioactive tritium that leaked from the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Ocean County last year and into two aquifers below the facility will begin immediately, with a goal of pumping the tritium-polluted water out of the ground to avoid any potential contamination of potable water supplies, state Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced Monday. The Exelon Corp., which operates the plant, has agreed to start pumping efforts this week on two monitoring wells which are in the Cape May and upper Cohansey aquifers, and also has agreed to expand that effort to a third contaminated location by early next month. "We have asked Exelon to expedite this effort, to clean up this radioactive material as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure public health and the safety of our drinking water supplies,'' Martin said. Martin said he is encouraged by the Exelon's cooperation with the state in dealing with the tritium issue, especially their willingness to expedite the cleanup process and explore remediation alternatives. But he also pledged that the DEP will carefully monitor the work to make sure it is done properly. In May, Martin announced the launch of a state investigation into the 2009 leak of radioactive tritium into the aquifers below Oyster Creek. Toward that goal, the DEP issued a Spill Act directive to Exelon, requiring the plant owner to cooperate with the DEP's investigation.’