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Energy

Congressman maintains pro-nuclear stance for North Country

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New York NOW
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Republican Chris Gibson says he still wants a nuclear plant in his district.

A North Country congressman says he's still supportive of an upstate nuclear power plant, reports Leigh Hornbeck at the Times Union, despite the situation unfolding in Japan.  Republican Chris Gibson says he doesn't want to see "your father's nuclear power plant" in his district, but still wants to move forward with a project:

The congressman said there is still more to learn about the developing situation, but it is clear the nuclear power plant at the Fukushima Daiichi withstood the magnitude-9 earthquake. Backup generators turned on when the electricity failed. But the tsunami that followed the earthquake swamped the backup system and led to a near-meltdown situation. Gibson shrugged off concerns voters would be repulsed by the idea of a nuclear power plant in light of the stories coming out of Japan, and said it is important for now to "focus in on what's happening on the ground and collect the facts."

Meanwhile, a worldwide shift away from nuclear power could affect GE's business manufacturing turbine blades for plants, reports Larry Rulison at the Times Union:

GE has a long-standing relationship with Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that owns the damaged nuclear power plant, and GE has designed many of the country's nuclear plants using GE technology. The Daiichi plant dates back to the 1970s. GE's nuclear reactor business is based in Wilmington, N.C., but Chris Horne, a spokeswoman for GE's local operations, wouldn't say if the steam turbines in the Daiichi plant were made in Schenectady, where most of GE's steam turbines are made. Horne said that 44 GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy employees and contractors who were doing routine maintenance at the site are "accounted for and safe" after the disaster.

Treating radiation exposure
Cleveland Biolabs, a Buffalo firm that's in the process of getting a treatment for radiation poisoning approved by the FDA, is seeing increased interest from investors following the quake.  David Robinson reports at the Buffalo News that shares climbed 10 percent yesterday:

Michael Fonstein, Cleveland BioLabs’ president and chief executive officer, said the company has been in touch with U. S. government health agencies to offer doses of Protectan that could be used if there was a catastrophic radiation leak from the troubled Japanese nuclear plants. “Obviously, our drug is highly relevant. However, it is unlicensed,” Fonstein said. “We have doses of the drug that can be made available, with the understanding that this is not an approved drug.” Fonstein said U. S. officials have not indicated whether they would consider Cleveland BioLabs’ offer to provide its unapproved drug in an emergency.

Corning
Corning says its glass facilities in Japan were not affected by the earthquake: operations continue and no employees were injured, reports the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

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