Gates says famine is eroding N.K. military threat

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WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday that North Korea’s famine has reduced the threat posed by its armed forces.

“This is an army that’s starving,” Gates said at a town hall meeting with soldiers at the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum in upstate New York.

“The famine of the mid-1990s has affected the physical and even intellectual development of those that are now coming into the zone who would be eligible for military service,” he added.

http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSN16290198

Sloppy work at Perry nuclear power plant concerns Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is concerned about sloppy workmanship and employee inattention to detail at the Perry nuclear power plant.

The NRC wants plant owner FirstEnergy Corp. to explain how it plans to correct these problems at a public meeting Tuesday night in Mentor. The agency will also take questions from the public.

Perry’s troubles cropped up more than a year ago and, despite the Akron-based utility’s efforts, have continued this year, the agency said

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1247906025227490.xml&coll=2


We shouldn’t swap nuclear waste for mercury

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What does a really bad idea look like? It looks like the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposal to store 17,000 tons of mercury at the Idaho National Laboratory.

That would be the same INL located a few hundred feet above the Magic Valley’s water supply.

INL is one of seven sites in the running for long-term disposal of elemental mercury, which is used in manufacturing and mining. The others are the Grand Junction Disposal Site in Colorado; the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state; Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada; the Kansas City Plant in Missouri; the Savannah River site in South Carolina; and Waste Control Specialists in Andrews, Texas. DOE already stores 1,200 tons of mercury at its Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee.

http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2009/07/16/opinion/editorials/166426.txt