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Nuclear Power Primed for Comeback
Demand, Subsidies Spur U.S. Utilities
Steven Mufson, Washington Post
CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. — Two decades ago, after Duke Energy abandoned its partly built nuclear power reactors here, the site was sold and turned into a movie set. Director James Cameron used it to film “The Abyss,” a 1989 movie about civilian divers who encounter aliens while trying to rescue a stricken nuclear submarine. Cameron filled the unused nuclear containment building with water and hauled a section of an oil rig, a tiny submarine and fiberglass rocks inside to make convincing underwater scenes.
Now there’s a new twist in the plot: The nuclear power industry is trying to come back from its own abyss. With natural gas prices volatile and people anxious about climate change, the nuclear power industry is touting its technology as a way to meet the nation’s growing energy needs without emitting more greenhouse gases. Over the next two years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects applications to build as many as 32 new nuclear reactors.
(8 October 2007)
From cocaine to plutonium: mafia clan accused of trafficking nuclear waste
Tom Kington, The Guardian
ROME – Authorities in Italy are investigating a mafia clan accused of trafficking nuclear waste and trying to make plutonium.
The ‘Ndrangheta mafia, which gained notoriety in August for its blood feud killings of six men in Germany, is alleged to have made illegal shipments of radioactive waste to Somalia, as well as seeking the “clandestine production” of other nuclear material.
Two of the Calabrian clan’s members are being investigated, along with eight former employees of the state energy research agency Enea.
(9 October 2007)