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New nuclear plants would differ little from current reactors
WASHINGTON (AP) - The new generation nuclear reactors being talked about after a pause of three decades are not much different from those of the past, though the designs should make them safer, more efficient and easier to build.
Two designs likely to be pursued adopt a passive safety system requiring less involvement by operators to shut the system down and ensure that the reactor core doesn't overheat. A third design would have more redundant and isolated safety systems than current reactors plus a double-walled concrete containment dome better able to withstand an airplane crash.
Still awaiting Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval, all three designs are "evolutionary" advancements from the "light-water" reactors in use in the United States and Europe today. These reactors use ordinary water to slow, or moderate, the fission process as well as for emergency cooling if needed. A Generation IV gas-cooled reactor would be the next step in design advancements, probably after 2030, in the United States.

Senate Moving Toward Adding Climate Provisions to Energy Bill
WASHINGTON - Despite opposition from the White House, a growing number of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate want to address global warming, including limits on heat-trapping emissions, as part of the country's broad energy policy.
The Senate is schedule to take up energy legislation this week and hopes to finish it this month. Whether to include a measure on climate change will be sharply debated.
The House rebuffed any attempt to address global warming when it passed its energy bill in April. If the Senate moves ahead with a climate provision it would create yet another major confrontation when the two chambers try to reconcile their differences and fashion a final bill.

Ex-Lobbyist Leaves White House Environmental Job
WASHINGTON - A senior official at the White House Council on Environmental Quality has resigned, days after a newspaper reported he changed some government reports to downplay links between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
Philip Cooney, the council's chief of staff and a former energy industry lobbyist, resigned Friday, two days after The New York Times reported he edited some descriptions of climate research in a way that cast doubt on links between greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino confirmed Cooney had resigned from the council but said it was unrelated to the Times story.

British band Pink Floyd to re-form for Live 8 concert
LONDON (AP) - Organizers of the London Live 8 concert said Sunday that British rock band Pink Floyd would re-form for a performance at the July event.
Guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason, bass player Roger Waters and keyboard player Richard Wright have not performed on stage together since 1981.
The group, which achieved major success with their 1973 album "Dark Side Of The Moon," will join musical acts including Elton John, Madonna, Paul McCartney and Coldplay at the anti-poverty concert in Hyde Park on July 2.
"Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G-8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world," Gilmour said.

Feds to Seek End of Federal Protection for Grizzlies in Yellowstone Area
BILLINGS, Mont. - Federal wildlife officials say they plan to propose ending Endangered Species Act protection for grizzly bears around Yellowstone National Park.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could make the proposal as early as next month, said Chris Servheen, grizzly recovery coordinator with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He said delisting is being considered because the bear population has been growing steadily and adequate protections are in place for the bears and their habitat.
"We're on the verge of doing what we set out to do," Servheen said. "If I wasn't comfortable, I wouldn't be doing this."
Delisting would not automatically make the bears vulnerable to hunting. Instead, states would protect and control the bear population under their existing federally-approved bear management plans.

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