KUNM

nuclear

Ed Williams / KUNM

As the U.S. prepared to detonate the first atomic bomb in New Mexico in the ’40s, the federal government sought uranium on Navajo land. Decades later, hundreds of mines still haven’t been contained, and the health impacts are severe and sometimes fatal. New research is showing some babies there are being born with the radioactive metal in their bodies. Chief Medical Officer of Navajo Area Indian Health Service Dr. Loretta Christensen spoke with KUNM about the study and what researchers are finding so far.

United States Department of Energy via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

A private company called Holtec wants to store nuclear waste from the country’s power plants in New Mexico. A panel of three judges from the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board started hearing from opponents to the plan Wednesday, Jan. 23, and will consider which of their challenges are legal.

DOE public domain via CC

Congress decided in the ’90s how much nuclear waste could be deposited into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico. WIPP is the only place in the country this radioactive garbage can be stored permanently. But when the feds hit the limit, the facility is supposed to close.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Nuclear weapons contractors around the U.S. made mistakes when shipping explosives and toxic chemicals at least 25 times in the last five years, according to government records. And an investigation found that regulators imposed only a few, minor penalties for those potentially dangerous errors. 

KUNM Continuing Coverage: PNM's Power Plan

Apr 16, 2015

Two coal-burning stacks at the San Juan Generating Station will be shuttered in 2017. To replace that coal-generated power, Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed investing mostly in other coal, natural gas and nuclear energy. The utility, which provides power to half a million customers in New Mexico, says it’s the most cost effective, reliable option. 

PRC To Take More Comment On Energy Plan

Mar 17, 2015
Wild Earth Guardians

The Public Regulation Commission held weeks of public hearings earlier this year on PNM’s plan to shut down two coal-fired units at the San Juan Generating Station. But this week people in Albuquerque will have one more chance to weigh in.

PRC Chair Karen Montoya said she received requests from her Albuquerque constituents who want their opinions taken into consideration.

“Things could possibly change a lot,” Montoya said. “Depending on what they [at PNM] bring on, it will effect a change in the mix.”

PNM's Energy Future At A Crossroads

Jan 30, 2015
Rita Daniels

New Mexico’s largest utility company has a plan to use fossil fuels and nuclear power for the next 20 years. But opponents of the plan want to see the utility shift to wind and solar.

Two coal-burning stacks at the San Juan Generating Station will be shuttered in 2017 in order to reduce emissions.

PNM, which provides power to half a million people in New Mexico, wants to use a mixture of coal, nuclear and natural gas energy, plus a little bit of solar energy to make up for the loss.

WGN America

KUNM Call In Show Thur. 7/31 8 a.m.

July marked the 69th anniversary of the world's first detonation of an atomic bomb, in New Mexico. And on Monday, “Manhattan,” a fictional show about the scientists who made the bomb, premiered on WGN America.

We’ll be talking about this moment in U.S. history with an eye on how it affected New Mexicans. Did you know there were people living nearby when the Trinity test took place? What are the long-term effects of the Trinity test? What does it mean to us today that the first atomic bomb was detonated right here in our home state?