News Brief
6:30 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Top Morning Stories March 15, 2011

Radiation Fears Rising in Japan

People near Japan’s troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been evacuated as elevated levels of radiation are leaking from the plant.  Cooling systems at the plant have been failing since Friday’s massive 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.  NPR reports Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered everyone within about 12 miles of the plant to evacuate.  

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, said radiation levels outside the plant reached 8,200 microsieverts per hour at the front gate of the facility — more than three years of naturally occurring radioactivity in a single hour.

San Antonio Halts Talks Over Nuclear Expansion

The nuclear power plant emergency in Japan’s affecting nuclear talks here in Texas.  The San Antonio Express News reports the CEO of San Antonio’s CPS Energy has announced that the utility and NRG Energy have mutually agreed to suspend talks over San Antonio possibly buying power from two proposed reactors.  They're being considered as an addition to the South Texas Project near Matagorda Bay. 

There is some financial uncertainty, as Tokyo Electric Power Company was slated to invest in the South Texas expansion.  Tokyo Electric is the company that runs the troubled nuclear plant in northern Japan.  Austin currently gets about 27% of its power from the South Texas Project.   

Giving to Japan

Central Texans have been donating to Japan relief efforts.  The non-profit Global Giving says you can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10 through your phone bill. World Vision says its emergency relief staff will be on the ground distributing supplies to those in need. 

UT Women Headed to NCAA Tournament

The season is not over for the UT women's basketball team.  The Horns will play Marquette on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  Texas is the No. 9 seed in the Dayton Regional, Marquette is the No.8 seed.  If Texas wins, they will play the winner of Saturday's Tennessee-Stetson game.