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New York reconsiders nuclear

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The situation in Japan is causing New York to take another look at its own nuclear.

Both the Times Union and Post-Standard have pieces looking at the safety of regional reactors following the situation in Japan.

In Albany, Brian Nearing reports that one Saratoga County reactor sits near faults that could generate an earthquake, while another is more secure:

"There is no question that these faults are here," [Union College geology professor John] Garvey said of the Hoffman and McGregor-Saratoga formations. "And these faults can displace geologic layers. The real question is when." Garvey added that a major earthquake in Milton is unlikely, but cannot be ruled out. "The Hoffmans and McGregor faults are a rat's nest. I don't think they are moving, but that is not to say it cannot happen."

Tim Knauss at the Post-Standard reports that the FitzPatrick and Nine Mile Point plants in the Syracuse region have the same reactor design as the embattled Japanese reactors:

The spent-fuel pool at a fourth Fukushima plant, where U.S. officials say exposed fuel rods spewed dangerous radiation, is similar to pools at many U.S. sites, including all three plants in Scriba. Nobody here is panicking. The three Oswego County plants have a combined 95 years of operation, and they are humming along better now than they did in decades past. Their safety records are relatively pristine, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The three nukes made about 15 percent of the electricity used by New York state in 2009, the last year for which records are available.

Indian Point

Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a closer look at the danger post to the Indian Point nuclear plant by fault lines.  Michael Johnson at State of Politics reports that the governor is planning to send the lieutenant governor to meet with the White House tomorrow about the issue.

And the attorney general says earthquake resistance should be taken into consideration as the state looks at renewing the license for Indian Point, reports Michael Whittemore at State of Politics.  The blog also has video of an assistant attorney general explaining the AG's reasoning.

Wind power

Matthew McDermott at Treehugger notes that all of Japan's wind turbines survived the earthquake and tsunami "unscathed."


An editorial at the New York Post calls for the state to "frack, baby, frack:"

New York is not so rich in new energy sources that it can afford to let the Marcellus Shale, which stretches across upstate’s Southern Tier, remain untapped. And the region can ill afford to bypass any opportunity to add some 5,000 new jobs. Cuomo should lift the ban — if not now, then certainly when it expires in July.

A presentation at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting reports that two-thirds of drilling water used in hydrofracking is reused, reports Jodi Weigand at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

"The industry is striving to reuse as much flowback as possible," said David Yoxtheimer, a hydrogeologist with Penn State's Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research. That's largely due to the millions of gallons of water needed to drill the horizontal wells about a mile below the surface that are necessary to fracture the shale and allow the natural gas to flow to the surface, he said. Reusing the water reduces reliance on groundwater or municipal sources of water, reducing the environmental impact, said Yoxtheimer.

And if it hasn’t been a scary enough couple of weeks for energy, Newsweek has a round-up of the dangers associated with most major forms of energy.  Curiously omitted is "staying in bed with the covered pulled over your head."

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