As a quake-stricken Japanese nuclear plant continues to spew radiation into the environment, journalists and people across the world are getting an unwelcome lesson in how secrecy can threaten people's health and safety. A New York Times team finally on March 16 did the story on the withholding of information. Read their coverage, as well as others.
"A spike in radiation levels in Tokyo tap water spurred new fears about food safety Wednesday as rising black smoke forced another evacuation of workers trying to stabilize Japan's radiation-leaking nuclear plant."
"Behind Japan's escalating nuclear crisis sits a scandal-ridden energy industry in a comfy relationship with government regulators often willing to overlook safety lapses."
The aging fleet of US nuclear power reactors have some technological similarities to the reactors failing in Japan. Could similar loss-of-cooling events happen at some US reactors — whether caused by earthquake, tsunami, terrorist attack, electrical outage, flooding, equipment failure, or some other problem?
"A second explosion rocked a troubled nuclear power plant Monday, blowing the roof off a containment building but not harming the reactor, Japanese nuclear officials announced on public television. The explosion underscores the difficulties Japanese authorities are having in bringing several stricken reactors under control three days after a massive earthquake and a tsunami hit Japan’s northeast coast and shut down the electricity that runs the crucial cooling systems for reactors.
An explosion at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan on Saturday blew the roof off one building, brought down walls and caused a radiation leak of unspecified proportions, Japanese officials said, after Friday’s huge earthquake caused critical failures in the plant’s cooling system."
The massive trove of diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks disclosed one of the Obama administration's darkest environmental secrets — that the U.S. held secret diplomatic talks on climate change during the run-up to the December 2009 Copenhagen meeting.
"Governments in the Asia-Pacific region face the risk of unprecedented numbers of people displaced by floods, storms and other impacts of climate change, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report on Monday."
"Nuclear power and high speed rail will top the focus of China's plan to invest $1.5 trillion in seven key industries and shift the world's number two economy away from its role as a supplier of cheap goods, sources said."
"As temperatures drop well below freezing during [Afghanistan's] harsh winter, bombs and bullets from a near-decade long war against a Taliban-led insurgency are not the only threat -- just trying to light a home and stay warm can be deadly." Heating and cooking with solid fuels like wood and coal kills some 54,000 Afghans a year, most of them children under five. By contrast, 2412 civilians were killed by conflict-related violence in the first 10 months of 2010."