About 70,000 tons of used nuclear fuel sits mostly at power plants across the country. Much is kept underwater in spent fuel pools, but utility companies have been moving the fuel into concrete and steel casks like these in Richland, Wash. Energy Northwest CEO Vic Parrish (center) tours the facility with Reps. Doc Hastings (left) and Jay Inslee.
The NBA finals aren't the only big news in Oklahoma City.
This morning, shareholders of Chesapeake Energy, the natural gas driller at the center of the nation's hydraulic fracturing controversies, are meeting in Oklahoma City, where the company is headquartered. But the buzz at this gathering won't be about fracking or basketball. It will be about Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake's controversial CEO.
In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.
The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
A local resident entertains visitors to the Kawah Kamojang geothermal field in West Java. He puts a length of bamboo to the steam coming from the ground to make a whistle, then throws soda cans into the vent, which shoots them high into the air. The Dutch colonial government drilled Indonesia's first geothermal wells at Kamojang in 1926, when the country was still known as the Dutch East Indies.
Credit Yosef Riadi for NPR
Indonesia, the country with the world's largest number of active volcanoes, is betting that all the hot rocks will provide a clean and reliable energy source for the future.
The country is believed have 40 percent of the world's geothermal energy resources. But making geothermal energy economically feasible will require adjusting the country's heavily subsidized energy prices. And that issue is a political hot potato.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko waits for the beginning of a joint hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Clean Air and Nuclear Safety in December.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
Gregory B. Jaczko, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, announced he would resign as soon as his replacement is confirmed.
"After an incredibly productive three years as Chairman, I have decided this is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum," Jaczko said in a statement today. "This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman..."