Could U.S. infrastructure go from being a saver of lives to a bringer of disaster? Yes, warns our latest Issue Backgrounder, which looks at vulnerabilities for our drinking water supply, sewage systems, flood control, power grids, pipelines, refineries and even hospitals. Are environmental reporters paying enough attention? Here’s why they should, with suggestions on how to go about it.
Nuclear Power & Radiation
"The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will."
"More than 40 people inhaled radioactive dust while working for a company whose vice president is now advising Scott Pruitt."
"A costly “ice wall” is failing to keep groundwater from seeping into the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, data from operator Tokyo Electric Power Co shows, preventing it from removing radioactive melted fuel at the site seven years after the disaster."
"House and Senate appropriators have no plans to fund development of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada this year, according to the chairman of the House subcommittee charged with writing the Energy Department’s spending plan."
"Los Alamos National Laboratory has failed to keep track of a toxic metal used in nuclear weapons production, potentially exposing workers to serious health consequences, a federal watchdog has found."
"The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget might never become law, but it’s a declaration of intent, and it would reshuffle priorities at the Energy Department, boosting outlays on nuclear security and slashing spending on renewables and energy efficiency."
"Reaction in the Pacific Northwest was swift to President Trump’s proposed cuts to the cleanup budget at the Hanford Site. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, called the proposed $230 million cut “downright dangerous for everyone who lives near the Columbia River.”"
"The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday ordered a long-awaited cleanup of a Superfund site northwest of St. Louis, saying residents living near the landfill contaminated with World War II-era nuclear waste deserve action after waiting 27 years for federal regulators to issue a decision."
"A new report finds that 38 utilities in Texas are supplying water with radium levels above the legal limit."