Tribes: Nuclear waste can't be stored at Hanford
‘RICHLAND, Wash. — The Hanford nuclear reservation is already the most contaminated U.S. nuclear site, and federal efforts to find a permanent place for all of the nation's radioactive waste shouldn't impede plans to clean it up, people from various backgrounds told a federal commission Wednesday. The panel, appointed by President Barack Obama to examine U.S. nuclear waste policies, toured the Hanford site, heard from local advocacy groups and Northwest American Indian tribes about the need for cleanup. A public meeting followed, where members of the Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce and Wanapum tribes welcomed the commission to their homelands but stressed the need to remove waste from Hanford. The tribes retain treaty rights to fish, hunt and gather roots there. Hanford lands have always been important to the Nez Perce culturally and ceremonially, but those treaties have not always been honored, said Brooklyn Baptiste, the tribe's vice chairman. The commission has an opportunity to change that, he said. "In less than one generation, Hanford has become so contaminated that my people will be living with the contaminated consequences for the next 10,000 years or longer," said Stuart Harris, director of the Department of Science and Engineering for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla in Oregon.’

China Offers Argentina Nuclear Power Technology
‘BEIJING – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was received on Wednesday by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as she continued a state visit that has already produced an offer from Beijing to provide advanced technology for Argentina’s planned fourth nuclear power plant. Before the talks with Wen, Fernandez told reporters that she felt very satisfied with her meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other senior officials. After meeting with Communist Party Politburo member Zhou Yongkang, Fernandez said that “everything is going very well” and the accords reached would benefit both countries “since we complement one another.” On Tuesday, Argentine Planning Minister Julio de Vido and the president of China National Nuclear Corp., Mao Xiaoming, agreed to an exchange of visits given the interest of the CNNC in becoming a possible provider of technology for Argentina’s next nuclear power plant. In the opinion of experts consulted Wednesday in Beijing, this would be a development of great geopolitical significance since China has made public only its civilian nuclear cooperation with Pakistan, although it is rumored that the Asian giant has also aided North Korea and perhaps Ukraine in that area.’

Progress Energy Florida at bottom of latest customer-satisfaction survey
‘July 14--Progress Energy Florida has landed at the bottom of a customer-satisfaction survey of major power companies in the Southern United States. According to J.D. Power's annual survey of customers of electric utilities nationwide, St. Petersburg-based Progress Energy Florida drew the lowest rating among 14 large electric-power providers in the Southern region. Progress is Central Florida's largest electric utility, with more than 650,000 customers in the six counties surrounding Orlando. On average, the nation's electric utilities drew a 630 rating on a 1,000-point scale, up from 618 in 2009, according to J.D. Power. Progress Energy Florida came in at 598 in the latest poll. The utility acknowledged that higher electric bills in Florida during a recession had created a backlash among its customers. Citing fuel and nuclear-plant cost pressures, the utility had boosted customers' overall bills by 25 percent for the first quarter of 2009. Later in 2009, it sought a major base-rate increase, which was eventually rebuffed by Florida regulators. In May, it agreed to freeze its base rates for three years as part of a regulatory settlement that also gave it some critical cost savings related to regulatory oversight.’

No time for auction of nuclear power rights, Berlin says
‘Berlin- Germany has not got enough time to organize an auction of nuclear-power licences, ministers said Wednesday, just a day after one minister had said it might be the fairest way to make electricity giants pay for their change of luck. German law requires the country's 17 nuclear power stations to close shortly after 2020. The centre-right government is committed to giving them an extension of time, provided the companies give up any windfall profits from the change. Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, who is handling the file and first raised the auction idea, changed tack, saying the idea was still attractive but could not be legislated "in the time available." Economics Minister Rainer Bruederle said auctions to claw back profits from enterprises "could perhaps be considered in selected cases in future decisions." Running-time extensions for the plants are hugely controversial in Germany, with a passionately anti-nuclear movement threatening to picket the plants, which are concentrated in 12 locations.’

Crews battle fast-growing range fire at Idaho National Laboratory nuclear site
‘BOISE, Idaho — Gusting overnight winds at a federal laboratory whipped what started as a small southeastern Idaho desert fire Tuesday into a blaze that by Wednesday afternoon covered 170 square mile and had become the biggest wildfire burning in the nation. About 300 firefighters from the Idaho National Laboratory and the Bureau of Land Management are on scene with 28 fire engines, a helicopter, nine bulldozers, five air tankers and an air attack plane. "It's a wind-driven range fire and they can gobble up a lot of territory in a very short time," said Don Smurthwaite, a Bureau of Land Management spokesman at the National Interagency Fire Center. "That's what's happening." The fire has charred power lines, causing a loss of electricity to the laboratory's Materials & Fuels Complex, where research and development of nuclear fuels takes place, officials said. The complex, about 28 miles west of Idaho Falls, is being powered by diesel generators.’

Message from Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash - Remove $25 Billion Nuke Subsidies from Thursday's House Appropriations Vote
‘We have to act again, and we have to act now. A House Appropriations Subcommittee plans to hold another meeting to try to pass an energy budget for Fiscal Year 2011 on Thursday (July 15) afternoon. As you may remember, the subcommittee had scheduled a meeting in June but cancelled it when some pro-nuclear Democrats (especially Chet Edwards (Tex.) and Chaka Fattah (Penn.) complained that the bill did not include the Obama Administration's request for $36 Billion to loan to wealthy nuclear utilities to build new nuclear reactors. Since then, the House has passed $9 billion in new nuclear loans through the emergency supplemental funding bill (the Senate has not yet taken up that bill). Not satisfied with that, the pro-nuclear faction has succeeded in getting the rest--$25 Billion--on the energy appropriations bill that will be considered on Thursday. Now we have to get this money removed from the bill. And your actions can make the difference. Please send a message to your Representative now here. And please help us spread the word to your networks, friends and relatives: there isn't much time.

NGM Resources adds another new uranium discovery at permits in Niger
‘Uranium explorer, NGM Resources, has discovered another potentially significant new mineralised uranium system at its permits in uranium rich Niger, intersecting uranium mineralisation of up to 2000ppm (0.2%) eU3O8 at depths less than 70 metres over an area 1.5km wide and open to the north at its permits. Adding to previous high grade uranium drilling successes at its permits in Niger’s uranium rich Tim Mersoï basin, the new discovery from this third drilling program adds another mineralised system found by NGM, this time at Aouligen on the Toulouk 1 permit in the Carboniferous unit. Executive director Robert Kirtlan said, “This is our first substantial hit of mineralisation in the Carboniferous,” “The Carboniferous tends to host the majority of deposits discovered in the Tim Mersoï basin and we have intersected uranium of up to 0.2% (2000ppm) eU3O8 at depths less than 70 metres over an area 1.5km wide and open to the north."’