Tag Archives: plant

Explosion at Kansas aircraft plant injures 15 people

Explosion at Kansas aircraft plant injures 15 peopleEmergency medical services took 11 people to the hospital, one of them suffering potentially serious injuries, Dr. John Gallagher, director of Sedgwick County EMS, told a news conference. Injuries were limited because only a skeleton crew was on duty during the holidays, said Deputy Chief Daniel Wegner of the Sedgwick County Fire Department. The explosion in a 3-inch liquid nitrogen gas line also damaged a storage tank, causing nitrogen gas to vent out of the building, Wegner said.



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Nuclear power plant in UAE risks sparking arms race, expert warns

Nuclear power plant in UAE risks sparking arms race, expert warnsFour nuclear reactors being built in the United Arab Emirates could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and leave the Persian Gulf at risk of a Chernobyl-style disaster, a leading nuclear scientist has claimed. In a report, Dr Paul Dorfman, chairman of the Nuclear Consulting Group, warned the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant lacks key safety features, poses a threat to the environment, is a potential target for terrorists and could be part of plans to develop nuclear weapons.  "The motivation for building this may lie hidden in plain sight," Dr Dorfman told the Telegraph. "They are seriously considering nuclear proliferation."  Dr Dorfman, who is also an honorary senior research associate at University College London's Energy Institute, has served as a nuclear adviser to the British government and led the European Environment Agency response to the Fukushima disaster. However, the UAE has stressed that it is committed to "the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation." The UAE hired the South Korean firm Korea Electric Power Corporation to build the Barakah – "Divine Blessing" in Arabic, plant in 2009. It will be the first nuclear power plant in the Arabian peninsula, and has fuelled speculation that Abu Dhabi is preparing for a nuclear arms race with the Islamic Republic. The UAE has denied allegations by the Qatari government that its power plant is a security threat to their capital of Doha and the Qatari environment, dismissing any causes for concern. Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan photographed in Germany earlier this year Credit: Reuters  However, Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed they hit the Barakah nuclear power plant with a missile in 2017. The UAE denied that the rebels fired any such missile, adding that they had an air defence system to deal with such threats. Dr Dorfman said that scrambling fighter aircraft or firing surface to air missiles in time to intercept an incoming strike would be difficult. In September, Saudi air defences failed to stop a drone attack on oil processing facilities. Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for that attack, though Saudi Arabia blamed Iran. The increase in transportation of radioactive materials through the Persian Gulf when the plant goes into operation could also raise the risk of potentially fatal collisions, explosions, or equipment and material failure. Any radioactive discharge resulting from accidents could easily reach population centres on the Gulf coast and have a potentially devastating impact on delicate Gulf ecosystems, including rare mangrove swamps. The plant is also vulnerable to climate change and extreme temperatures that could affect its cooling system, Dr Dorfman's report says. The International Panel on Climate Change has said that extreme sea level events are now likely to happen more frequently, meaning coastal power plants such as Barakah could become defenseless against rising sea levels, tidal ingress and storm surges. High average sea water temperatures in the Gulf could also make it more difficult to cool the reactor using sea water. The cost of the 1986 Chernobyl accident has been recently estimated to be around $ 235 billion (£179 billion). The Japanese Centre for Economic Research has said the 2011 Fukushima accident cost over 81 trillion YEN(£567 billion), although the Japanese government has put the cost at YEN 22 million (£142 billion). The United Arab Emirates Foreign ministry had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.



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Kansas explosion: 11 people injured in blast at aircraft plant in Wichita

Kansas explosion: 11 people injured in blast at aircraft plant in WichitaOfficials are responding to multiple reports of an explosion at the Beechcraft aircraft plant in Kansas.Fire crews and emergency units were deployed to the scene as traffic was blocked off near the site of the plant, according to The Wichita Eagle.



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Quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plantAn earthquake struck Iran on Friday less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the country’s only nuclear power plant, monitors said. The US Geological Survey said the 5.1 magnitude quake struck 44 kilometres (27 miles) from the southwestern city of Borazjan and at a depth of 38 kilometres. Its reported epicentre is 45 kilometres east of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, on the southwest Gulf coast.



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A floating nuclear power plant that activists dubbed 'Chernobyl on ice' has started producing electricity in Russia. Here's what it looks like.

A floating nuclear power plant that activists dubbed 'Chernobyl on ice' has started producing electricity in Russia. Here's what it looks like.The plant sailed 3,100 miles to a remote area in northern Russia in the fall. But environmentalists say floating nuclear plants are risky.



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UPDATE 1-Iran launches nuclear enrichment at underground Fordow plant, IAEA confirms

UPDATE 1-Iran launches nuclear enrichment at underground Fordow plant, IAEA confirmsIran has begun enriching uranium at its underground Fordow site in the latest breach of its deal with major powers, the U.N. nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday, adding that Tehran’s enriched uranium stock has continued to grow. Iran is contravening the deal’s limits on its nuclear activities step by step in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the accord last year and its renewed sanctions on Tehran. Tehran says it can quickly undo those breaches if Washington lifts its sanctions.



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Scenes of destruction at Saudi oil plant hit by attacks

Scenes of destruction at Saudi oil plant hit by attacksThe dramatic weekend assault on two Saudi oil facilities saw one of the targets struck four times sparking fires that took five hours to extinguish, the national oil company said Friday. At the Khurais plant in eastern Saudi Arabia, a charred web of pipes and supports was flanked by cranes as staff assessed the extensive damage to an oil stabiliser apparatus. The US has blamed Iran for the attacks, which have been claimed by Tehran-backed Yemeni rebels, condemning them as an “act of war” which knocked out half the kingdom’s oil production.



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McConnell Said No to Money for Miners, Yes to Russian-Backed Plant

McConnell Said No to Money for Miners, Yes to Russian-Backed PlantPhoto Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last month blocked a measure that would have used Treasury Department funds marked for Appalachian development to help pay for coal miners’ health care and pensions in his home state of Kentucky. But just a few months earlier, McConnell successfully steered near-identical Treasury funds for Appalachia to bankroll a Kentucky aluminum plant connected to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Democrats on Capitol Hill have raised concerns for months about McConnell’s connection to the aluminum plant. It’s one of several reasons why McConnell’s political opponents have tried to stick him with the nickname “Moscow Mitch.” But what’s gone largely unnoticed as the sobriquet has become a social media trending topic is how McConnell worked to keep money out of coal miners’ hands—even as he maneuvered to steer federal funds to the Russian-linked plant.The scrutiny started in January, when McConnell voted to lift sanctions on Rusal, a Russian aluminum company formerly headed by Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, despite several of his Republican colleagues defecting and voting no. Rusal’s de-listing caused an uproar among Democrats on Capitol Hill who viewed the deal the Treasury Department put together with Rusal as too lenient. Dems Move to Block Trump From Lifting Sanctions on Russian Oligarch Oleg DeripaskaThen, in April, the focus turned to McConnell. Just weeks after the Treasury Department announced the official de-listing of Rusal, the company announced a $ 200 million investment in the Braidy Industries aluminum plant in the northeastern part of Kentucky. Democrats raised questions about how much McConnell knew about Rusal’s investment plan before he voted for sanctions relief. Rusal is the only outside investor in the plant. In a statement to The Daily Beast, a Braidy Industries spokesperson said the company has never lobbied members of Congress on sanctions issues and began working with law firm Akin Gump in May 2019 for “general government relations representation.” The spokesperson also said no employee or director of the company has ever spoken to McConnell about Rusal.But McConnell’s connection to the Rusal-Braidy aluminum plant is deeper than previously understood. At the same time Rusal was lobbying the Trump administration to get off the U.S. sanctions list, McConnell was advocating for federal funds to be diverted to help with construction of the Braidy plant in Kentucky. Since 2016 the federal government has given states in Appalachia millions of dollars from the Treasury Department to help clean up and reform abandoned coal mining land, and to assist in economic and community development in those areas. McConnell and other Kentucky lawmakers, including Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), have advocated that the state continue to receive that federal funding given the impact of coal companies’ bankruptcies. Two companies, EastPark Industrial and Ashland Alliance, applied for $ 7 million from the pot of federal money from the Kentucky state government in November 2017 for general sewer and road repair on 204 acres of land. The application also included infrastructure improvements.In October 2018, McConnell, Rogers, and Kentucky officials announced that EastPark and Ashland would get $ 4 million. Then, in March 2019, the applicants confirmed that the $ 4 million would not go to funding general repairs but would instead go prepping for construction on the aluminum plant.“Ashland Alliance and EastPark will only be applying the $ 4 million to the Braidy Site preparation,” wrote Ashland Alliance president Tim Gibbs in an email from March 2019 reviewed by The Daily Beast. “The $ 4 million in AML funds will enable Braidy to complete the $ 14 million total investment to stabilize the site for high precision manufacturing.”It is not clear when talks between Braidy Industries and Rusal began, but two sources with direct knowledge of the $ 4 million payout said McConnell went to bat for the applicants during the internal review process and was instrumental in helping them secure the federal funding.As site cleanup for the aluminum plant began, McConnell blocked a bill sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that would have doled out federal money to help fund miners’ pensions. Every year the Treasury Department collects fees from coal companies based on how much coal they produce in their plants. Those fees are then doled out to the Department of the Interior in part for the purpose of cleaning up land that houses abandoned mines and for economic development and restoration of coal communities suffering from energy company bankruptcies. Manchin wanted to take the excess money from that fund and use it to secure coal miner pensions and health care plans. McConnell blocked the measure, claiming he wanted a more permanent fix to multiemployer pensions. “There are amendments that benefit Americans and West Virginians that are being blocked by one person: Mitch McConnell,” Manchin said in a statement at the time. “He is the sole person that is blocking a vote on my amendment to… secure coal miners’ health care and pensions, even though it has bipartisan support and would better the lives of every West Virginian, Kentuckian and American.”Making matters even more contentious was the fact that the majority leader helped steer $ 4 million in very similar federal funding for the Braidy aluminum plant construction. The $ 4 million came out of a $ 90 million allocation from the Treasury Department to the Department of the Interior to help three Appalachian states cope with the impact of a declining coal industry. The Department of the Interior did not respond to a request for comment.In a statement, McConnell’s office defended his decisions.“Leader McConnell has long been and will continue to be a strong supporter of Kentucky coal miners and their families. He has met with numerous Kentucky miners about important issues including the challenges facing their pension plan,” a spokesperson said. “Sen. McConnell is concerned about the challenges facing a number of multiemployer pension plans, including UMWA’s pension, and he believes it is best addressed through a broader bipartisan and bicameral pension reform effort.” But some coal miners in Kentucky are threatening to throw their support behind McConnell’s main 2020 opponent, Amy McGrath, if the majority leader fails to pass legislation that would help secure their pensions. Thousands of miners in Kentucky rely on the monthly $ 600 check to pay the bills and to buy groceries for their families. “We’re not ever going to quit until they give us what we’ve earned. We’re not going to quit until we get it,” said Dwayne Thompson, a 72-year-old former Peabody Energy coal miner from Kentucky. “I hope Senator McConnell gets that. If he supports us, we will support him.”The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), the national mining union, has for years called on McConnell and other lawmakers to pass legislation that would help mitigate the fallout of the increasing number of energy company bankruptcies and the closure of hundreds of mines. In 1974, Congress passed a law that established minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. That same year UMWA negotiated its pension plan with coal mining companies. But with the demise of the coal industry, the fund is running out of money. It’s expected to be insolvent by 2022.Behind closed doors, two sources with direct knowledge say, McConnell has privately promised miners a more permanent fix to the pension issue, but even national coal mining leaders are skeptical that the Senate majority leader and his colleagues in Congress will help in the short term.“Coal miners understand something—when people tell us ‘we’re going to pass legislation’… we don’t believe it,” said Cecil Roberts, president of the UWMA, at a recent speech in Washington. “Anyone who understands how Congress works knows that that’s a fight.”Several miners who spoke to The Daily Beast said they felt McConnell had blocked the funding for pensions because some of the union members had decided to support his 2014 election opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Others, though, were wary of going too far in their condemnation of the majority leader, saying that at the end of the day, McConnell was their best shot at ensuring they could continue providing for their families. (In 2017 McConnell helped push forward a bipartisan spending bill that included a permanent extension of health care benefits to thousands of coal miners.) On Friday two miners featured in an attack add by McGrath said they were not told their images would be used for a political campaign and demanded that McGrath stop airing them.“We thank Mr. McConnell for what he did to help on our health care, but now he needs to finish the job and do something about our pensions,” said Bob Cox, a 73-year-old former miner who serves as the president of a local UMWA chapter. “It’s a day to day concern for a lot of the older people I live with. They’re not well and they don’t need the extra worry that it brings on. If anything goes wrong, we won’t last as long as we thought we would.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Israel claims to uncover Hezbollah missile plant in Lebanon

Israel claims to uncover Hezbollah missile plant in LebanonThe Israeli military said Tuesday the militant group Hezbollah and Iran have built a precision-missile factory in neighboring Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The army issued a statement saying that “in fear of strikes” by Israel, Hezbollah had moved key equipment from the site to “civilian locations in Beirut.” It didn’t specify when this happened. The military said the factory was of “superior importance” to Hezbollah.



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Pentagon in talks with Australia on rare earths plant: official

Pentagon in talks with Australia on rare earths plant: officialThe push comes as China threatens to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals found in fighter jets, tanks and high-tech consumer electronics. China is the world’s largest processor and producer of the minerals accounting for more than 80 percent of global processing capacity.



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