Thousands of gallons of potentially toxic hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," liquids spilled across pastures and into a stream in rural Pennsylvania early this morning, after a natural gas well suffered a blowout at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday night.
The desire to stop the corporate assault on the environment is giving rise to activism. THE FIRST Earth Day was organized in 1970 in response to a period that had seen one ecological disaster after another. One of the most frightening had come the year before--the devastating Santa Barbara oil spill caused by a blowout on a Union Oil drilling platform just six miles off the coast of Southern California.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has reported to a Cabinet Office safety panel that nuclear fuel pellets in the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima power station are believed to have partially melted. The report was the first time the agency, an organ of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, has acknowledged that nuclear fuel has melted at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The meltdown at a Japanese nuclear power plant after a large earthquake and tsunami rocked the island nation last month drew more than 100 people to a lecture Wednesday by UC Santa Cruz lecturer Daniel Hirsch. Hirsch, a renowned expert on nuclear policy often quoted by major media outlets, spoke at the Stevenson College Event Center on the tragedy at the Fukushima plant and how the U.S. can prevent a similar meltdown at its 104 nuclear reactors, including the two in California.
“The reactors at Fukushima are the largest in the world, and six of them are in total meltdown. They have been melting down since thirty-minutes after the Tsunami’ because the cooling systems went off when the earthquake happened and 90 minutes after the cooling stopped-the reactors went into meltdown. This is all a cover-up, this is a false-flag, this is a poisoning of the oceans the atmosphere and the biosphere. No one can escape.”
The recent silence from Japan about conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility that was damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami has a local man wondering just how severely the facility has been damaged. The one thing he does know is that whatever is going on inside the reactors is very serious.
Storms and tornadoes leave trail of devastation across southern states and more than 200,000 without electricity. Three days of severe storms and tornadoes in the southern US have killed at least 45 people, downing power lines and wrecking hundreds of buildings along its path. North Carolina accounted for the bulk of casualties and property losses, with 28 people killed and more than 80 others injured, officials said on Sunday. Significant damage was reported in at least 15 counties and power was out to more than 200,000 people.
Levels of radioactivity have risen sharply in seawater near a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in northern Japan, signaling the possibility of new leaks at the facility, the government said Saturday. The announcement came after a magnitude-5.9 earthquake jolted Japan on Saturday morning, hours after the country's nuclear safety agency ordered plant operators to beef up their quake preparedness systems to prevent a recurrence of the nuclear crisis.
Officials say plants are safe, but environmentalists are unconvinced following crisis in Japan. Two of the United States' most important nuclear power plants - the San Onofre plant and the plant at Diablo Canyon - are both built in active earthquake zones. One sits along the coast, while the other is along a geological faultline. In the wake of Japan's earthquake and tsunami - and fears of a radioactive meltdown there - nuclear industry officials in the US have reassured the public that there is nothing to worry about on home soil.
As the nuclear industry scrambles to reassure us we are all safe from a catastrophe like Japan’s, the risk of radioactive fallout in the US is very real. Here is a reprint from an article by GCC contributor John Kozinski, teaching us about what foods we can eat in case of radiation exposure. As the crisis in Japan unfolds, there is uncertainty about possible radiation that may affect Japan and the world. Potassium iodide pills have been sold out at many of the American distributors.
BP executives faced angry protesters as shareholders prepared to vote at its annual meeting in London, which is taking place a few days before the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Among protesters at BP's AGM was Diane Wilson, a shrimp farmer, who was ejected from the conference center lobby. (Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA) Fishermen and women from the Gulf coast affected by the spill, some of whom had bought BP shares to allow them to attend the annual meeting, joined climate change activists and artists protesting against the oil company.
Since the Environmental Protection Agency began detecting radiation in rainwater and milk at levels above its maximum contaminant level, government officials have been downplaying the importance of EPA’s maximum contaminant level.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan emitted a new burst of radioactive material this week after a bungled cooling effort apparently affected spent atomic fuel in the site's No. 4 reactor cooling pond, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, April 13).
Military debris dumped into the world’s oceans are hazardous to coral ecosystems, reefs, fish and marine wildlife, say experts, who also warn - in light of the recent tragedy in Japan - that earthquakes and tsunamis could disturb this debris and even wash it ashore.
News about the the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi plant goes from bad to worse. IN A nuclear crisis that is becoming more and more serious all the time, Japan's Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed that radioactive iodine-131 in seawater samples taken near the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power complex--which was seriously damaged by the tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Japan--is 4,385 times the level permitted by law.
"We're not asking for a lot and now they're taking it all away. In a million years, I never would have thought that people could do this and get away with it."
Nuclear watchdog raises severity of Fukushima crisis to maximum level but plays down comparisons to Chernobyl disaster. Japan's nuclear watchdog has raised the severity level of the crisis at its stricken nuclear power plant to 7 - the highest level
The risks associated with iodine-131 contamination in Europe are no longer "negligible," according to CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity. The NGO is advising pregnant women and infants against "risky behaviour," such as consuming fresh milk or vegetables with large leaves.
The ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is the first nuclear accident of the information age. Millions of consumers of TV, online and print media around the world have been getting a crash course in the arcane details of radioactivity.
Soon after the Fukushima accident last month, I stated publicly that a nuclear event of this size and catastrophic potential could present a medical problem of very large dimensions. Events have proven this observation to be true despite the nuclear industry's campaign about the "minimal" health effects of so-called low-level radiation. That billions of its dollars are at stake if the Fukushima event causes the "nuclear renaissance" to slow down appears to be evident from the industry's attacks on its critics, even in the face of an unresolved and escalating disaster at the reactor complex at Fukushima.
Shades of William Shakespeare, channeled right down through the centuries. For dramatic counterpoint nothing beats the dark imprecation cast by the three evil witches in Macbeth, as they boil up a foul decoction of eye of newt, forked snake's tongue and wool of bat, ensconced in the shadowy recesses of an unnamed cavern.
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
(Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I)
While industries continue to pollute the planet with their toxic chemicals, toxic waste and toxic spills, Earth’s pollinators sing a swan song that leaves no doubt as to the folly of modern civilization. Our ability to hear and appropriately respond to the crisis of declining pollinators will determine humanity’s survival.
The Great Lakes of North America make up 20% of the Earth's fresh surface water. Their dynamic ecosystems have been considered by many Native American tribes to function as the heart of the interconnected ecosystems that make up the North American continent known to many of the Indigenous peoples here as Turtle Island. The Great Lakes are known world wide for their biodiversity, beauty, fishing, and trade and shipping routes. These fragile and beautiful ecosystems along with the human populations that live along their shores are under constant threat from the Nuclear Industry that has been slowly and quietly irradiating the heart of the Turtle for decades.
Some experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster could become worse than Chernobyl. Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was heavily damaged by the tsunami from the massive March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake continues to spread extremely high levels of radiation into the ocean, ground, and air. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company that operates the plant, said on April 5 that radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit. The sample that yielded this reading was taken just before Tepco began releasing more than 11,000 tonnes of radioactive water into the sea.
Radionuclides, once deposited by rainwater or air onto the ground, will find their way through the ecosystem. We are already tracking its path from rainwater to creek runoff to tap water, but we would also like to monitor how much these isotopes that make their way into our food. For example, how much gets taken up by the grass and eventually winds up in our milk?
The opening of the Arctic to ship-passage will transform the region’s political as well as environmental landscape. Soon ships will be able to sail across an open Arctic Ocean during the summer months. The low humming of freight vessels will be a regular sound. The reduced presence of massive multi-year sea-ice is rapidly becoming a reality as the thicker and older ice is being exported from the region.
With engineers wrestling to control the damage at Japan's shaken nuclear plant, the public gauge if and when to panic. TEPCO said on Tuesday that it had found seawater with 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactivity [EPA] With many foreigners - or gaijin - turning into flyjin and booking out of Japan as fast as their embassies and travel agents can negotiate flights, the locals have been left to make tough choices. To leave - but go where? - or to stay and deal with shortages of all manner (from food to fuel) in addition to the looming spectre of whatever is unfolding at the Daiichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima, damaged in the March 11 earthquake.
Tsunami warning lifted after 7.1 aftershock hits northeast coast of the country. Japanese authorities lifted the tsunami warning shortly after people were ordered to leave coastal areas [Reuters] Japan was rattled by a magnitude-7.1 aftershock nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast. Thursday's aftershock, the strongest since the day of the magnitude-9.0 quake, was a fresh blow to victims of that March 11 quake and subsequent tsunami that killed at least 25,000 people, tore apart hundreds of thousands of homes and sparked the ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas, reporting from Mizusawa in northeast Japan, said there were reports of injuries and gas leaks following the quake.
Japan's disaster and the global recession provide stark lessons on societies' failure to manage risks, economist says. The consequences of the Japanese earthquake - especially the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant - resonate grimly for observers of the American financial crash that precipitated the Great Recession. Both events provide stark lessons about risks, and about how badly markets and societies can manage them.
By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive. Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert.
Experts warn that any detectable level of radiation is "too much". According to the US Department of Energy, no level of radiation is so low that it is without health risks. In a nuclear crisis that is becoming increasingly serious, Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed that radioactive iodine-131 in seawater samples taken near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex that was seriously damaged by the recent tsunami off the coast of Japan is 4,385 times the level permitted by law. Airborne radiation near the plant has been measured at 4-times government limits. Tokyo Electric Power Company, the company that operates the crippled plant, has begun releasing more than 11,000 tons of radioactive water that was used to cool the fuel rods into the ocean while it attempts to find the source of radioactive leaks. The water being released is about 100 times more radioactive than legal limits.
The government just helped cover up how bad things were, used claims of national security to keep everything in the dark, and changed basic rules and definitions to allow the game to continue. See this, this, this and this.
Floods, earthquakes, landslides: 2011 is a year of disasters. Bill McKibben asks: are we to blame? Plus, survivors tell their tales
Japanese officials grappling to end the nuclear crisis at the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima plant are focusing on a crack in a concrete pit that is leaking highly radioactive water into the ocean from a crippled reactor. Power plant workers attempted to fill the shaft with fresh concrete on Saturday, but that did not change the amount of water coming out of the crack, spokesmen for Tokyo Electric Co (TEPCO) told a news conference. They will try to block the leak on leak again on Sunday by injecting polymeric material into the trench and use additional concrete to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the sea.
Federal officials have still not published any official data on nuclear fallout from Japan disaster. A dairy cow in the Sunol Regional Wilderness. Radiation can accumulate in milk after cows eat tainted grass. "We have accelerated our precipitation and drinking water sampling and expect to have results in the coming days," EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said in a statement.
Did you think dangerous plastic is being dealt with? Nope. "Most of a sample of 455 commercially available products tested positive for EA [estrogenic activity]." How about plant-based plastics? "PLA (polylactic acid), a newer resin derived from corn and marketed as compostable under certain conditions, ranked highest with 91 percent of PLA products showing EA."
Thе Fukushima crisis continues tο worsen bу thе day, wіth nuclear experts nearly thе world irrevocably realizing аnԁ admitting wе′ve аƖƖ bееn lied tο. “I rесkοn maybe thе situation іѕ much more serious thаn wе wеrе led tο believe,” ѕаіԁ Najmedin Meshkati οf thе University οf Southern California, іn a Reuters report (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/27/japan-idUSL3E7ER06020110327). Thаt same article revealed thаt contemporary radiation readings аt Fukushima ѕhοw “contamination 100,000 times normal іn water аt reactor Nο. 2 аnԁ 1,850 times normal іn thе nearby sea.”
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman and former Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen has announced a proposal for a "2025 Non-Nuclear Home Plan" that will allow Taiwan to eliminate reliance on nuclear power by the end of 2025.
Anti-nuclear Greens likely to form coalition with Social Democrats in Baden-Wuerttemberg, preliminary results show. Germany's anti-nuclear Green Party has scored a remarkable state election victory, dealing a blow to the party of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, according to preliminary poll results. "This is a day that has strongly changed the political landscape in Germany," Claudia Roth, the Greens party chairwoman, said in Berlin.
Never. Those who think Japan’s Fukushima disaster is today’s headlines and tomorrow’s history need to take a good look at the Chernobyl disaster, which to this day is a continuing threat to the people of Ukraine. It will be hundreds of years before the area around the destroyed reactor is inhabitable again and there are disputes over whether or not Chernobyl’s nuclear fuel still poses a threat of causing another explosion. There is also a teetering reactor core cover and the deteriorating sarcophagus itself that may collapse and send plumes of radioactive dust in all directions.
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