National briefs: Nuclear waste site imperiled?

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SPOKANE, Wash. -- While one of the newer double-walled nuclear waste storage tanks at a Washington state complex has leaked, six others have "significant construction flaws" that could lead to additional leaks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The 28 double-walled tanks at Hanford nuclear waste complex hold some of the worst radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear weapons site.

One of those giant tanks was found to be leaking in 2012. But subsequent surveys of the other double-walled tanks performed for the U.S. Department of Energy by one of its Hanford contractors found at least six shared defects with the leaking tank that could lead to future leaks, the documents said. Thirteen additional tanks also might be compromised, according to the documents.

Sea World targets feds

ORLANDO, Fla. -- SeaWorld Entertainment accused a federal workplace inspector of leaking confidential information to one of the producers of a film critical of the company's handling of killer whales at its theme parks.

SeaWorld, based in Orlando, asked the Labor Department's Office of Inspector General to investigate Lara Padgett, a compliance officer for the Occupational Safety and Health Commission in Tampa, Fla., according to a copy of a letter dated Thursday. The company is challenging in federal court OSHA restrictions on trainers' contact with orcas after one employee was killed during a show in 2010.

The theme-park operator is also battling negative publicity surrounding the documentary "Blackfish," about the death of the trainer, Dawn Brancheau, at SeaWorld in Florida.

Concealed-gun case

SAN FRANCISCO -- California rules allowing counties to place restrictions on who can carry concealed weapons will remain in force while the federal appeals court that struck them down decides whether to reconsider its decision.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday granted a request by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and a gun control group to put on hold a 2-1 decision by three of its judges that some of the state's permitting requirements infringed on the right to bear arms under the Constitution's Second Amendment.

Eliot Ness revelation

CHICAGO -- Far from the pistol-toting, Al Capone-busting Chicago lawman of lore, Eliot Ness "was afraid of guns, and he barely left the office," according to a retired IRS agent who spoke out Friday against naming a federal law enforcement building in honor of the Prohibition-era leader of "The Untouchables."

Ness was lionized thanks in part to oversimplified Chicago newspaper articles about the fight against mob boss Capone that played down the essential but less sensational role the Internal Revenue Service had in bringing the bootlegger to justice for tax evasion, former agents said at a City Hall hearing.

Recall of bus engines

NEW YORK -- Engine maker Cummins Inc. and its joint venture Cummins Westport Inc. are recalling 25,013 engines because cold weather could cause a sensor to fail, resulting in an exhaust fire.

No injuries have been reported but Cummins Westport has received two reports of flames coming from vehicle exhaust pipes.

The engines can be found in a variety of commercial vehicles including school and transit buses as well as fire trucks. Among the companies to which Cummins shipped the engines is school bus manufacturer Blue Bird Corp.


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