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Reactors could fail during an earthquake, maker says

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy said 35 reactors it built for utilities from New York to Washington may not shut down properly during an earthquake. The likelihood of failure is "low," the company said in an advisory to customers on additional actions to take.

GE Hitachi, which made First Energy Corp.'s Perry, Ohio, plant on Lake Erie, about 120 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, and Exelon Corp.'s Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey, is recommending testing to determine what level of friction would prevent control rods from fully inserting into the reactor core during an earthquake, according to filings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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Gas Industrial Complex Series: Speech suppression against scientists becoming standard operating procedure

Dr. Conrad VolzFor more than a year the gas industry has been at war with those raising concerns about the hydraulic fracturing process. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as many know it, is a process where large quanties of a water/chemical mixture are injected at high pressures into the ground to get at previously inaccessible gas pockets.

For nearly a year the Checks and Balances Project has reported on several individuals whose reputations and careers have been put in jeopardy following studies that reflected poorly on the gas industry. Many of these individuals have gained national attention for their findings.

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Fracking for natural gas expanding in Ohio

Fracking expanding in OhioThe eastern Ohio area is dotted with old wells and abandoned mines. But the humongous drilling rig in a farm field east of Carrollton represents something new, something that promises to change Ohio forever. 

A crew working for Chesapeake Energy drilled down more than a mile in late May before the drill bit turned 90 degrees. It then chewed a 4,000-foot-long horizontal shaft through a dense layer of flaky black rock that geologists call Utica shale.

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Signing Hydrofracking Leases, and Now Having Regrets

Regrets over hydrofracking leasesFour years ago a man and a woman knocked on Katharine D. Dewart’s door, offering easy money for the use of her land.

Handing her a brochure that included serene before-and-after pictures, they explained that a natural gas company was seeking to drill somewhere on her 35 acres of wildflower fields surrounded by hemlock woods in this Tompkins County town near Ithaca.

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Hydrogen filling station is opened in UK

Hydrogen carCar giant Honda opened the UK's first public hydrogen filling station today in a move aimed at boosting the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The new station is located at the carmaker's plant in Swindon and is operated by industrial gases company BOC. Honda said it looks like a conventional filling station, with a similar time to fill a vehicle as with petrol or diesel.

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Final U.S. report lays Gulf spill blame on BP, contractors

Gulf spillPoor management and critical mistakes by BP and its contractors led to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, according to the final report of the largest U.S. government probe into last year's massive Gulf oil spill.

Investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management scattered blame for the accident on the companies involved while also saying stronger regulations could have helped prevent the catastrophe.

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Risk of radioactive leak after deadly explosion at French nuclear plant

Nuclear power plant, FranceA furnace at a nuclear-waste incinerator in southern France exploded Monday, killing one person and injuring four others.

The oven, used to melt low-level radioactive waste, blew up and caught fire, but no radioactive or chemical leaks occurred, said power company Electricite de France SA, whose subsidiary operates the furnace.

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