How Aging Nuclear Reactors Put Americans at Risk

Journalism in the public interest.
March 9 2012 4:37 PM

Aging Nuclear Reactors and Summer Camp Sex Offenders

This week's top MuckReads from ProPublica.

Three Mile Island was the site of a nuclear accident in 1979. No deaths were associated with the incident, but could the United States be risking the lives of people living near reactors?

Jeff Fusco/Getty Images.

Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on and @ProPublica.

Danger Zone: Aging Nuclear Reactors, Center for Investigative Reporting
As many of the United State's 104 nuclear plants near the end of their approved lifespans, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will relicense the reactors. But the commission’s oversight issues may be putting the millions of Americans that live near reactors at risk. 

Kids in Peril, Palm Beach Post
Though child-care centers in Florida must obtain a license, the Post reports in a three-part spcial report that summer camps are unregulated—and as a result, several sex offenders have snuck in as employees. Lawmakers have been warned about the lax laws since the mid-1980s, but they’ve “taken virtually no steps to protect kids.”
Contributed by @adamplayford

NYPD docs: "Focus” Scrutiny on Muslim Americans, Associated Press
New York police and Mayor Bloomberg have asserted that religion does not guide their investigations, but the AP says newly obtained documents show, "in the clearest terms yet," that the police cast their scrutiny on Muslim Americans. A 2007 police investigation into the region's Syrian population, for example, excluded Jews and "focus[ed] on the smaller Muslim community.”
Contributed by @srubenfeld

As an Adviser, Goldman Guaranteed Its Payday, New York Times
When Kinder Morgan bought the energy company El Paso last fall, Goldman Sachs advised El Paso on the sale. Now, a ruling in a shareholder suit shows how Goldman was in involved in all sides of the deal. Goldman claims transparency, but others say the bank’s handling of the deal was "GS at its most shameless."

Warehouse Workers Say Abuses Are Systemic, FairWarning and MSNBC
Warehouse workers in Southern California, the nation’s biggest distribution hub for consumer goods, claim their employers neglected safety violations and cheated them out of fair pay. The warehouses deny wrongdoing, but the allegations echo findings in two state investigations. Similar suits filed in Chicago suggest systemic industry problems.
Contributed by @elliottjustin

State Fails To Recover $60 Million in Missing Funds, Dayton Daily News
State auditors in Ohio have identified roughly $72 million in missing or overdue state funds and have managed to recover only $12 million. The state said that, until recently, they didn’t have a clear debt collection process. They’re now working on it.

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success—please contribute!

Cora Currier is a reporting intern at ProPublica.

Blair Hickman is ProPublica’s social media producer.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

Yes, Black Families Tend to Spank More. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Good for Black Kids.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge


The GOP’s Focus on Fake Problems

Why candidates like Scott Walker are building campaigns on drug tests for the poor and voter ID laws.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

Farewell! Emily Bazelon on What She Will Miss About Slate.

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