With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
50th Anniversary Meltdown Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 7/14/2009, 12:59pm PT  

IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Bush smacked down on smog; Texans told to conserve; Naked & recycled .... PLUS: The 50th Anniversary of the nation's first --- and worst --- nuclear accident ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, melted radioactive fuel rods? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Obama warns of return of swine flu in the fall --- and how to be prepared!; How does your grocery store rate on sustainable seafood?... PLUS: China seeks worldwide dominance in clean energy...

Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...

  • Power plant slap-down in federal court (LA Times):
    Under the Clean Air Act, new polluters can build in areas where the air has yet to meet federal health standards, but only if they purchase credits from other plants that close down, thus reducing pollution. But the Bush administration expanded those rules, allowing new polluters to buy credits from plants that were shuttered decades ago.
    ...
    The Los Angeles air basin is one of the dirtiest regions in the nation. Power plants are a leading source of the pollutants that make up ozone, a precursor to smog, which is linked to premature deaths and respiratory disease. They are also major sources of soot and particles that are linked to cancer and heart disease.
  • Court Overturns Bush-Era Smog Rule(NY Times)
  • L.A.'s Coal Ban Leads to Another Abandoned Power Plant (Greenbiz.com)
  • Naked Juice, Earthbound Farms Switch to Recycled Packaging (Greenbiz.com)
  • Texas braces for another record electric-use day (Reuters)
  • Record energy use expected again Thursday --- but not in Austin (KVUE Austin)
  • City of Austin Guidelines to conserve electricity:
    Customers can help manage peak demand by reducing energy use between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The key is to reduce heat in the home, which in turn reduces air conditioning needs. Air conditioning is about 70 percent of the average summer electric bill. Tips for reducing energy use and air conditioning:

    * Turn off all lights and electronic equipment not needed
    * Close blinds and drapes to keep direct sunlight from shining into rooms
    * Use a microwave rather than the stove/oven as possible
    * Dry clothes at night or during mornings
    * Use fans, which can make you feel several degrees cooler
    * Set your thermostat a few degrees higher than settings you normally use

  • Heat, Water, Power: weak climate bill precedes nuke-cost announcement (San Antonio Current):
    Still, while nuclear costs continue to track a course into our warming atmosphere, critics of the plan are quick to point out solar is the only significant power source seeing its costs drop, rapidly.

    Then there is the issue of water.

    If San Antonio ever performs an honest cost-benefit analysis of our power options, we may find that carbon isn’t the only risk to be avoided.

    Just think: STP expansion would evaporate 37,000 acre-feet of water per year — 12 billion gallons. It would rinse-and-release far more than that.

  • Solar Push in Texas Fails (Green Inc.)
  • Marking the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. nuclear meltdown (LA Times)
  • '59 nuclear reactor accident remains vivid for former Santa Susana Field Laboratory worker (Ventura County Star):
    Something was wrong. John Pace saw it in the men’s faces, heard the anxiety in their voices and felt the nervous excitement in the nuclear reactor control room at the sprawling Santa Susana Field Laboratory. “I knew something had happened,” said Pace, then a 20-year-old Moorpark resident working as a reactor trainee at the Sodium Reactor Experiment in the hills of eastern Ventura County.

    At 6:25 p.m. on July 13, 1959, the experimental reactor’s power went out of control, forcing a manual emergency shutdown after an automatic shutdown failed to kick in. It was the beginning of a partial meltdown, a rarity in U.S. history.

    For 13 days, officials turned the damaged reactor on and off despite high radiation levels, more emergency shutdowns, and the release of radioactive gases into the air. In some cases, the readings exceeded monitoring instruments’ capacity to measure them...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!