IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Update on Japan's nuke crisis: Tap water warning lifted for Tokyo infants, but spreading elsewhere; Workers at stricken plant hospitalized for radiation exposure; Nukes now less popular in the US (for some reason); King crab invasion at the South Pole; PLUS: Japanese villages struggle to maintain tradition amidst disaster... All that and more in today's Green News Report!...
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Head exploder: GOPer wants creationism taught in school; WorldWaterDay: Which nations are most at risk?; BP Oil Disaster: Pipe piece caused blowout preventer failure; Google Maps now displaying EV charging stations; GA tree farm re-establishing American Chestnut; USDA gives GM crops boost over organics; Road salt killing Twin Cities' lakes; EU Chief: French GM maize ban illegal; HUGE lease sale for WY coal; Lead, chemicals taint some urban gardens; EPA, DOJ sue MI's largest coal plant; Canada is getting warmer: study ... PLUS: MacGyver It: $3 Emergency Solar-Powered Radio Made With an Altoids Tin! ....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- LISTEN: Brad's KPFK Interview with VOA Northeast Asia Bureau Chief Steve Herman: Latest out of Fukushima & Tokyo (BRAD BLOG):
'Neutron beams', water 'panic', black smoke and the responses from TEPCO, the government and the people of Japan, Steve Herman LIVE from Tokyo...
- Houston Oil Company "Accepts Responsibility" for Mystery Oil Slick in Gulf:
- Houston company accepts responsibility for oil spill off Louisiana (NOLA.com):
In three reports to the Coast Guard since Friday, the company had reported that less than 5 gallons of crude had escaped. But state Wildlife and Fisheries agents traced the oil to the Anglo-Suisse well at its Platform E facility on Monday afternoon and found a crew on a boat trying to close in the well with a remotely operated submarine.
- Houston company denies role in Grand Isle oil mess (WVUE New Orleans)
- Warming Up the Poles: King Crab Invasion in Antarctica, Record Low Ice Cover in Arctic:
- 2011 Arctic sea ice coverage matches a record low (Nunatsiaq Online):
This year's maximum Arctic sea ice coverage ties with the lowest in the satellite record, reports U.S. research institute.
- NOT Good: King Crabs Invade Antarctica for First Time in 40 Million Years (Treehugger)
- ONGOING COVERAGE: Natural Disaster, Humanitarian Disaster, Man-Made Disaster in Japan:
- How to Help: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (NY Times)
- UPDATED Coverage of Japan's Nuclear Disaster at BRAD BLOG.COM (BradBlog.com)
- Updated: Japan's Nuclear Emergency Explained (Mother Jones)
- 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:
- Evacuation Ordered at Japan Plant as Workers Burned by Radiation (BusinessWeek)
- First pictures emerge of the Fukushima Fifty as steam starts pouring from all four reactors at the stricken nuclear power plant (Daily Mail)
- New Problems at Japanese Plant Subdue Optimism (NY Times)
- Radiation in Tokyo's Water Has Dropped, Japan Says (NY Times)
- Japan says it must review nuclear power policy (Reuters):
Japan will have to review its nuclear power policy, its top government spokesman said, as radiation from a damaged nuclear complex briefly made Tokyo's tap water unsafe for babies and led to people emptying supermarket shelves of bottled water.
- Japan nuclear crisis still a serious concern (Reuters)
- Neutron beam observed 13 times (JapanTimes)
- Singapore finds radioactivity in imported Japan vegetables (Reuters):
Singapore said on Thursday its authorities had found low levels of radioactive contaminants in four samples of vegetables imported from Japan.
- 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.
- The IMPACT of Triple Disasters on Japan --- Most Expensive Disaster Ever:
- Japanese earthquake could be most expensive ever (CNN Money)
- MAP: The Troubling Spread of Radiation in Japan (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
A map of radiation levels in Japan released by the US Department of Energy on Tuesday evening indicates that potentially dangerous levels of radioactive contamination have spread beyond the 13-mile evacuation zone surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The data is sure to further undermine confidence in Japan's response to the disaster. US authorities have recommended that Americans stay at least 50 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The map was generated from the DOE's Aerial Monitoring System and ground sensors...
- Tsunami Was More Than 77 Feet High At Its Peak (NPR)
- Parents in Japan comb through school that's now a graveyard (LA Times):
Students and teachers at Ookawa Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Japan, knew just what to do in an earthquake. Yet nearly 100 of them died as the tsunami swept in.
- How Cut-Off Villagers Coped (NY Times)
- Supply chain disruptions force more delays in Japan (Reuters)
- Toyota Says Scarce Parts to Idle Some U.S. Plants (NY Times)
- America's 'Oldest' Wild Bird Survived Tsunami That Hit Midway Atoll (NPR)
- Nuclear fears: The impact on Japan's food industry (BBC)
- 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 Syndrome": Background Info on Nuclear Power
- Japanese Nuclear Plant's Safety Analysts Brushed Off Risk of Tsunami (Washington Post):
A Japanese government agency that spent several years evaluating the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant declared the facility safe after dismissing concerns from a member of its own expert panel that a tsunami could jeopardize its reactors.
- Awesome chart puts nuclear radiation in perspective (XKCD, via Grist)
- Doomsday Scenario at Fukushima (Huffington Post Green)
- NEW POLLS: Nuclear Power Now Less Popular in U.S., For Some Reason:
- Public Opinion on Nuclear Goes Critical (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Op-Ed: It Could Happen Here (NY Times):
The Fukushima crisis provides a chance to reform America's nuclear power regulations.
- Risk, Trust, and the Arrogance of Numbers (Almost Diamonds blog):
Numbers are nice and reassuring, but you need to know what's behind them too. In this case, you need to understand that at least some of your comfort relies on the energy industry stepping up and behaving.
- Japan Nuclear Crisis Revives Long U.S. Fight on Spent Fuel (NY Times):
The threat of the release of highly radioactive spent fuel at a Japanese nuclear plant has revived a debate in the United States about how to manage such waste and has led to new recriminations over a derailed plan for a national repository in Nevada.
- 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)
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu: Indian Point Nuclear Plant Near New York City Will Be Reviewed (Huffington Post Green)
- Critics question safety at San Onofre: It is designed to handle a 7.0 earthquake and is buffered from a tsunami by a barrier capable of stopping a 25-foot wave. Regulations for its construction were written with the disaster at Three Mile Island in mind. (San Diego Press Enterprise)
- 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)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- GOP Creationism v. Actual Science: "Are You Saying a Windstorm Is Like the Big Bang?" (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
"Evolutionists will go 'Oh, it just happened by chance.' Today we know that's false. Today we know that even a single-celled organism is hugely complex. When was the last time we've seen someone go into a windstorm or a tornado or any other kind of natural disaster, and say "Guess what? That windstorm just created a watch."
- WorldWaterDay: Which nations are most at risk? (Huffington Post Green)
- BP oil probe: Pipe piece caused blowout preventer failure (USA Today):
The blowout preventer that should have stopped the BP oil spill failed largely because of a faulty design and a trapped piece of pipe, an official probe found Wednesday, appearing to shift some blame for the blowout from the oil giant and toward those who built and maintained the 300-ton safety device.
The Norwegian firm hired by the government to test the blowout preventer also faulted the performance and design of the failsafe device.
"This is the first time in all of this that there has been a clear design flaw in the blowout preventer cited," he said. "My reaction is, "Holy smokes, every set of blind shear rams out there may have this problem.' We need to take a look at every set of blind shear rams out there and make sure they all don't have this problem."
- Google Maps Now Displaying EV Charging Stations (Environment News Service):
Charging up electric vehicles on the road is easier and more convenient now that Google has started adding charging station locations to the Google Maps platform.
- Georgia Tree Farm Helping to Re-Establish American Chestnut (Macon, GA Telegraph):
Rock keyboardist and tree farmer Chuck Leavell is planting chestnut trees bred to withstand the blight that killed billions of American chestnuts since 1904.
- GM Crops Get Boost Over Organics With Recent USDA Rulings: (Washington Post):
At the supermarket, most shoppers are oblivious to a battle raging within U.S. agriculture and the Obama administration's role in it. Two thriving but opposing sectors - organics and genetically engineered crops - have been warring on the farm, in the courts and in Washington.
- Road Salt Turning Twin Cities' Lakes Into Dead Seas (Minneapolis Star-Tribune):
Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency is trying to address the impact of dissolved chlorides in Twin Cities lakes --- road salt harming aquatic life. It may require changes in what it means to be a good neighbor in the snowy state.
- French GM Maize Ban Was Done Illegally: EU Court Official (Reuters)
- Interior Dept. Announces HUGE Lease Sale in Wyoming for Coal Mining (AP):
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced plans Tuesday to auction off vast coal reserves in Wyoming over the next five months, unleashing a significant but controversial power source amid uncertainty about clean and safe energy development.
- Lead, Other Chemicals Taint Some Urban Gardens (AP):
With remnants of once-legal lead paint, leaded gasoline and other pollutants from the nation's industrial past tainting land in U.S.
cities, soil researchers warn that the growing number of urban farmers and community gardeners need to test their dirt and take steps to make sure it's safe.
- Indiana Power Co. Had Over 8,000 Violations (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review):
The operator of an Indiana County (PA) coal-fired power plant is liable for more than 8,600 violations of the Clean Water Act that polluted the Conemaugh River with metal discharges, a federal judge ruled, which would lead to a maximum civil penalty of more than $300 million.
- EPA Pursues Michigan's Largest Coal-Fired Plant: The EPA and the Justice Department are aggressively suing electric utilities across the Midwest to get them to install the latest technology to capture smog-causing emissions. (AP)
- Canada Study: Climate Change Models Have It Right: Canada is getting warmer as temperatures are rising, especially in the north, just as predicted by climate change models, researchers say. (UPI)
- $3 Emergency Solar-Powered Radio Made With an Altoids Tin! (Treehugger)