nuclear power

For years during the Cold War, large swaths of land in Nevada were used for atomic weapons testing. Nuclear bombs were dropped just miles from small towns and the people living in them.

Over time, men, women and children started getting sick, and three decades ago, a federal law offered a formal apology and eventually created a program to both reach out to affected communities and pay partial restitution when appropriate. That program is ending soon, but the nuclear tests’ health effects are not.

Wild animals are protected within dozens of wildlife refuges across the Mountain West. But some of those areas are contaminated, because they used to be nuclear sites.

Wildfires are a common part of life in our region. According to new research, they can also give scientists valuable information about the climate effects of another potential disaster: nuclear war.

It's been more than thirty years since Yucca Mountain in Nevada was picked as the nation's nuclear waste site, and the state has been fighting the project ever since. Under President Obama, it got its wish.

Fast forward to the Trump administration, and that long-running debate is back on the table.

Cooper McKim

Snow is falling over a long service road surrounded by prairie. A few small pump jacks eventually give way to an unassuming metal gate. It opens up to Strata Energy and its uranium mine. Inside a simple built office building, Ralph Knode, Strata's CEO, greets me. We walk over to a warehouse.

Ken Shipp/U.S. Department of Energy

Coal-fired power plants are closing down in unprecedented numbers, many of which are Wyoming coal customers. In June, President Trump took a step to change that. Taylor Kuykendall, a coal reporter with S&P Global Market Intelligence, gives context to the coal and nuclear plant subsidy introduced last June.

It’s an international agreement but Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal with Iran could be felt in our region for good and for bad.

Researchers at Idaho State University said they’ve lost a small amount of weapons-grade plutonium. Federal officials aren’t pleased.

Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

U.S. Air Force Major General Don Alston was in charge of the nation’s Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Force at F.E. Warren Air Force base and is considered an expert on nuclear deterrence.

He’s currently a consultant on the issue and lives in Cheyenne. Major General Alston joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck to discuss a recent review of the nation’s nuclear system and what needs to be done to prepare the country for some new threats. Alston says a recent report indicated that the nation is facing some challenges.

A bill that would allow for the building of a nuclear waste storage facility in Wyoming received an initial go ahead in the State Senate, despite concerns that it isn’t needed yet.  The bill would get the process of permitting a storage facility started, so that if a nuclear power plant was considered for Wyoming, the storage facility would already be permitted.  But some think that the Senate is getting ahead of itself.  Sheridan Republican Bruce Burns worried that this could open the doors for something the state doesn’t want.