- - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ALABAMA

Nuclear plant cited over safety

Federal regulators ordered an in-depth inspection Tuesday at a nuclear-power plant run by the Tennessee Valley Authority in northern Alabama after deciding the failure of an emergency cooling system there could have been a serious safety problem.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a rare “red” finding against the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant near Athens, Ala., after investigating how a valve on a residual-heat removal system became stuck shut. The NRC has issued only five red findings — the most severe ranking the agency gives to problems uncovered in its inspections — since its current oversight program started in 2001.

NRC said the utility must pay for detailed inspections of the plant’s performance, its safety culture and organization. The agency said it could not estimate inspection costs.

NEW JERSEY

Adoption bill goes to governor

TRENTON — A bill to allow adult adoptees to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate goes to Gov. Chris Christie after passing the state Assembly this week.

If the Adoptees’ Birthright bill is signed, birthparents will have to provide medical and cultural history, but they will have a year to ask for redaction of their name and address if they do not want that information shared with the adoptee.

Adult adoptees, adult descendants of adoptees and adoptive parents or guardians of minor adoptees would be allowed to request the original birth certificate.

The bill passed the New Jersey General Assembly 45-26 on Monday. It passed the state Senate in 2010.

Adoptee Pamela Hasegawa said she has been working with allies since 1980 to have original birth certificates unsealed.

Opponents argued that some birthparents expected their private information to be protected when they chose adoption for their babies. If the bill is enacted, it will ask birthparents choosing adoption to identify their preference for future contact.

NEW MEXICO

Public tours of Spaceport America begin

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