Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Public Voices Raised on Plan to Recycle Nuclear Fuel at Hanford

Tri-City Herald -- by ANNETTE CARY
"The Department of Energy is considering the Hanford nuclear reservation among other sites across the nation for a center to recycle used nuclear fuel, a reactor to burn the recycled fuel to reduce waste and produce electricity and a research center for the project.

About 300 people packed the hearing in Pasco, with crowd sentiment favoring those who spoke in favor of a new production mission for Hanford."

"DOE expects to make a decision on whether and how to proceed with the fuel recycling initiative by June 2008. The recycling facilities and reactor could be in full operation between 2020 and 2025.

An Oregon meeting has been added to the public hearing schedule. It will be held at 6 p.m. March 26 at the Best Western Hood River Inn in Hood River.

DOE also is accepting written comments. They may be sent to Timothy Frazier, GNEP PEIS Document Manager, Office of Nuclear Energy, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20585-0119, or e-mailed to Mark envelopes and e-mails as 'GNEP PEIS Comments.' "

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Local Congressman Opposes LNG Terminal on Lower Columbia

Kathie Durbin writing in The Columbian reports that
"U.S. Rep. Brian Baird announced this week he will oppose a plan to locate a liquefied natural gas terminal on the lower Columbia River. Baird's announcement came after he reviewed a long-awaited U.S. Coast Guard report describing the security measures that would be required to move LNG tankers safely over the Columbia River bar and upriver to a proposed terminal 40 miles east of Astoria. 'After reviewing the (report), I believe there is enough compelling evidence to oppose the proposed LNG project,' Baird said in a press release. 'While there may be local benefits to the project, including job creation and additional gas production, the overall negative impacts on the entire river system are too great for me to support.' Houston-based Northern Star Natural Gas has proposed to import natural gas from Russia, Australia and other countries, shipping the gas in superchilled liquid form in double-hulled tankers to a terminal on the lower Columbia. "

An environmental impact statement is expected soon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Snohomish PUD Gets FERC Permits to Study Tidal-Power Generation in Puget Sound

HeraldNet --By Lukas Velush
"The Snohomish County PUD learned [February 22nd] that it can begin studying the placement of hundreds of underwater turbines in Western Washington waters. The decision from federal energy regulators gives the utility three years to see if it makes sense to plant tidal flow turbines on the seabed at five different locations.

The study sites are Spieden and San Juan channels in the San Juan Islands, Guemes Channel near Anacortes, Agate Passage near Bainbridge Island and Rich Passage near Bremerton."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

State Challenges Element of Kittitas County's Comprehensive Plan

"A state agency overseeing the Growth Management Act [Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development] last week filed an appeal challenging Kittitas County's updated 2006 comprehensive land-use plan, claiming the county failed to designate minimum lot sizes in rural areas in a way that prevents rural sprawl by housing developments.

State and county officials on Thursday said they were confident the issues raised by the state can be resolved prior to both sides going to hearings before the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, which received the appeal petition Feb. 21.

A major issue, according to the state, is the county's continued allowance of three-acre lot sizes on rural lands located outside areas that are targeted for urban-type growth. This fails to protect the rural character, the petition claims."