Shelley Smithson

Shelley Smithson is a freelance writer in Farmington, N.M. Research for this story was conducted with financial support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Business & Technology

Genetically modified animals could make it to your plate with minimal testing — and no public input

Last January, inspectors with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration paid a visit to the University of Illinois, where researchers have been studying the DNA of pigs. The pig project, based in Champaign-Urbana, is one of dozens of experiments being …

Power Shift: Looking for leadership on climate change

Universities combat climate change

“Do it in the dark!” That’s the rallying cry at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., where an ambitious campaign is under way to cut greenhouse gases. Sure, climate change activism — conserving energy, using renewable fuels, and constructing eco-friendly buildings …


Is the U.S. nuclear industry writing its own ticket on security?

Over the last 15 years, the nuclear power industry has lobbied the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Congress to weaken security requirements at atomic plants, even as the threat of terrorism has grown. But in reality, as Shelley Smithson shows in …

Business & Technology

A look at the hiring practices at U.S. nuclear power plants

Could the Sept. 11 hijackers have gotten jobs at nuclear power plants? Under the current rules governing nuclear safety, at least some of them could have easily gone to work as janitors, carpenters, computer programmers, or other plant employees, according …

Climate & Energy

How secure are U.S. nuclear power plants?

Roughly 40 miles from the rubble of the World Trade Center, U.S. Navy cutters patrol the chilly waters of the Hudson River. Military planes circle overhead. On the ground, members of the National Guard stand ready. The Indian Point nuclear …