IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Not out of the woods yet: Japan's nuclear and humanitarian crisis continues as electricity returns to the Fukushima nuclear plant which remains precariously on edge while radiation poisoning is found in milk, vegetables and sea water --- but Japan's wind farms come to the rescue and new nuke reviews are set for US plants; PLUS: Surprise! A new 100-mile oil slick spotted in the Gulf of Mexico ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New tech could make desalination portable, cheaper; Delay in coal plant rules cost thousands of lives; Record rains hit Phillipines, cause more flooding in Australia; German town where recycling really pays; US Chamber of Commerce: "The gang that couldn't lobby straight"; New UK plastic recycling plant takes all sorts; How not to change a climate skeptic's mind; Shipwreck threatens island's penguins; Wolves could be de-listed; King Crabs Invade Antarctica for First Time in 40 Million Years ... PLUS: World Water Day: Which nations are most at risk?....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Image credit:John Berkeley
- Ann Coulter Says "A Little Radiation Is Good For You":
- Ann Coulter: Nuclear Meltdowns Are Healthy for Children and Other Living Things
(May I have another glass of plutonium, please?) (Little Green Footballs)
- Wikipedia: Radiation Hormesis:
In popular treatments of radiation hormesis, a study of the inhabitants of apartment buildings in Taiwan has received prominent attention. The building materials had been accidentally contaminated with Cobalt-60 but the study found cancer mortality rates 96.4% lower than in the population as a whole. However, this study compared the relatively young irradiated population with the much older general population of Taiwan, which is a major flaw.
- Judge: California Global Warming Law On Hold
- Judge places California's global warming program on hold (LA Times):
A San Francisco superior court judge has put California's sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program.
The California lawsuit was filed by six environmental groups that represent low-income communities...
The groups contend that a cap-and-trade program would allow refineries, power plants and other big facilities in poor neighborhoods to avoid cutting emissions of both greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants.
- US Interior Dept. Approves First NEW Deepwater Drilling Permit --- While A NEW Oil Slick Is Discovered in the Gulf
- Oil Spill Washes Up On Louisiana Coast As Administration Approves Drilling Plan (Wonk Room)
- First NEW deepwater oil and gas exploration plan approved since Gulf oil spill (NOLA.com)
- Source of Oil Slick Puzzles Officials (NOLA.com)
- Obama administration approves first post-spill deepwater exploration plan (The Hill)
- Obama administration approves fourth Gulf deepwater drilling permit (The Hill)
- ONGOING COVERAGE: Natural Disaster, Humanitarian Disaster, Man-Made Disaster in Japan:
- How to Help: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (NY Times)
- UPDATED Live Coverage of Japan's Nuclear Disaster at BRAD BLOG.COM (BradBlog.com)
- Updated Full Coverage: JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS (Kyodo News)
- Updated Full Coverage Page at Reuters (Reuters)
- IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake (International Atomic Energy Agency)
- Facts: Nuclear Power Safety (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: JAPAN'S ONGOING NUCLEAR CRISIS:
- THIS JUST IN: Some Radiation-Tracking Air Monitors May Not Be Working Properly, EPA Says (Bloomberg):
Eight of 18 air monitors in California, Oregon and Washington state that track radiation from Japan’s nuclear reactors are “undergoing quality review,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. [h/t Brad Blog commenter "plunger"]
- New Repairs Delay Work at Nuclear Plant in Japan (NY Times)
- Power Restored to Japan’s Nuclear Reactors as Radiation Detected (BusinessWeek):
“They’ve made considerable progress bringing equipment to the plant and restoring power,” David Lochbaum, director of nuclear safety at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Union of Concerned Scientists, said today on a conference call with reporters. “But they’re not out of the woods yet. They are working with razor-thin margins.”
“On March 10 they had a multibillion-dollar asset that generated a lot of electricity,” Lochbaum said. “On March 11 they had a multibillion-dollar liability that’s going to cost a lot to clean up.”
- The Truth About the Fukushima 'Nuclear Samurai' (UK Guardian)
- Radiation found in seawater near Fukushima plant (LA Times):
Officials insist the levels of radiation discovered are not cause for alarm. But after radiation was detected Monday in seawater about 0.2 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi complex in northeastern Japan, radiation was detected in a wider area Tuesday, in samples taken from as far as 10 miles south of the damaged plant.
- Japan says high seawater radiation levels are no cause for alarm: Japanese authorities began testing for radiation in seawater near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Tuesday, but officials stressed that the elevated levels are no cause for worry. (LA Times)
- Nuclear fears: The impact on Japan's food industry (BBC)
- Scientists: Radiation in Japan food poses low risk (USA Today)
- World Bank: Japan reconstruction may take 5 years (AP):
The bank cited damage estimates between $123 billion and $235 billion, and cost to private insurers of between $14 billion and $33 billion. It said the government will spend $12 billion on reconstruction in the current national budget and "much more" in the next one.
Japan's northeast, the epicenter of the disaster, is home to ports, steel mills, oil refineries, nuclear power plants and manufacturers of auto and electronics components. Many of those facilities have been damaged, while nationwide power shortages have severely crimped auto and electronics production.
- "Everything's Gone": Survivors of Japan quake take stock (USA Today)
- TEPCO Criticized for Handling of Nuclear Crisis, History of Cover-ups:
- Japan Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents (BusinessWeek)
- Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning (NY Times):
NYT's Andrew Revkin: Did Tokyo Electric hesitate to flood reactors because it had just gotten 10-year renewal on one?
- Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants: The No BS Info on Japan's Disastrous Nuclear Operators (Truthout)
- LISTEN: BRAD BLOG's KPFK Interview With Greg Palast on the Plan for TEPCO to Build Nuclear Reactors in Texas (BRAD BLOG)
- Japan's Battle-Built Wind Farms Provide Much-Needed Power:
- Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan's Trial by Fire (Huffington Post Green)
- Japan’s wind farms save its ass while nuclear plants founder (Grist)
- Still nuclear power, but the reactor is 93 million miles away: Germany’s solar panels produce more power than Japan’s entire Fukushima complex (Grist)
- "Japan Syndrome": Background Info on Nuclear Power
- Japan's hydra-headed disaster: Some natural disasters change history. Japan’s tsunami could be one (The Economist)
- Awesome chart puts nuclear radiation in perspective (XKCD, via Grist)
- What we can learn from Japan’s nuclear disaster: As heroic workers and soldiers strive to save stricken Japan from a new horror --- radioactive fallout --- some truths known for 40 years bear repeating: Nuclear power is neither safe nor is it cost-effective. (Amory Lovins, Grist)
- Doomsday Scenario at Fukushima (Huffington Post Green)
- Numerous Risks Posed By US Nuclear Reactors (Friends of the Earth)
- Equation for disaster: Risk is often defined as a product of two factors: probability and impact. Yet when it comes to the endless quest for fossil fuel energy, it's become all too easy to minimize the latter. (EarthWorks.org)
- NEW Nuke Review for US Nuclear Power Plants:
- NRC: Japan nuke crisis does not warrant US changes (AP):
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's executive director for operations, Bill Borchardt, said officials have "a high degree of confidence" that operations at the 104 nuclear reactors in 31 states are safe. He said inspectors at each of the plants have redoubled efforts to guard against any safety breaches.
"Are we less prudent than the Germans?" [Commissioner George] Apostolakis asked.
Borchardt replied that officials "asked ourselves the question every single day..."
- Union of Concerned Scientists Report: 14 'Near Misses' at US Plants Due to 'Lax Oversight' (Christian Science Monitor)
- UN Nuke Chief: Revamped Emergency Responses Needed (AP)
- The Nukes of Hazard (Climate Progress)
- Initial review of US reactors to be completed in 90 days (The Hill)
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Indian Point Nuclear Plant Near New York City Will Be Reviewed (Huffington Post Green)
- Top nuke regulator eyes two-part safety review, wont rule out licensing changes (the Hill)
- What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk (MSNBC):
So much for San Andreas: Reactors in East, Midwest, South have highest chance of damage
- VIDEO: Before Japan disaster, GOP mocked concerns about nuclear safety (MediaMatters.org)
- Taxpayer Meltdown?: Taxpayers, Not Utilities, Liable for Most of the Bill (National Journal)
- Cost, not Japan crisis, should scrub nuclear power (Grist)
- Japan Quake May Alter Where U.S. Builds Nuke Plants (Reuters)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Delay in Coal Pollution Rules Took Toll in Lives (NYT Green):
That it would take more than 20 years for federal regulators to finally propose toxic emissions standards for the power industry is testament to both the slow wheels of bureaucracy and the clout of the nation’s utility and coal interests, which bitterly — and for years, successfully — fought the controls, even as other industries bowed under.
- "Staggering" rains hit Philippines. 16 inches fall in one day.
- Record flooding on the Fitzroy river as heavy rains hit western Australia
- The Gang That Couldn't Lobby Straight (Bill McKibben, Huffington Post Green):
From the outside, you'd think the U.S. Chamber of Commerce must know what it's doing. It's got a huge building right next to the White House. It spends more money on political campaigning than the Republican and Democratic National Committees combined. It spends more money on lobbying that the next five biggest lobbyists combined. And yet it has an unbroken record of error stretching back almost to its founding.
- New Technology Could Make Desalination More Accessible (NY Times)
- A small town in Germany where recycling pays (Guardian UK)
- New plastic recycling plant takes all sorts (Guardian UK):
Teesside factory the first in Britain to reuse all types of plastic as deprived area focuses on green jobs
The processing unit at Redcar, on Teesside - an area of high unemployment in spite of the recent rescue of the Tata steelworks - is the first in Britain to integrate all forms of plastic reuse.
"Recycling mixed plastics adds value to the UK economy by transforming a waste into a usable, commercial product, retaining the value rather than allowing it to end up in landfill."
- Shipwreck Threatens Island's Penguins (UK Independent)
- How not to change a climate sceptic's mind (New Scientist):
For Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale University, the result was predictable. He has previously shown that simply explaining the science behind contentious issues drives the two sides further apart. But Kahan's work also suggests how warring parties can move towards consensus.
[P]eople's views do change if the right person is offering the evidence.
In short, evidence from someone you identify with sways your view.
- NOT Good: King Crabs Invade Antarctica for First Time in 40 Million Years (Treehugger)
- Wolves Could Be Removed From US Endangered Species List: The U.S. government said on Friday it had struck a deal with wildlife advocates to remove some 1,200 wolves in Idaho and Montana from the endangered species list. (Reuters)
- WorldWaterDay: Which nations are most at risk? (Huffington Post Green)