Disasters

"Nuclear Rules in Japan Relied on Old Science"

"In the country that gave the world the word tsunami, the Japanese nuclear establishment largely disregarded the potentially destructive force of the walls of water. The word did not even appear in government guidelines until 2006, decades after plants — including the Fukushima Daiichi facility that firefighters are still struggling to get under control — began dotting the Japanese coastline."

Source: NY Times, 03/28/2011

"BP Faces Up To $13.7 Billion in Fines for 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster"

"A federal judge in New Orleans ruled Thursday that 3.19 million barrels of oil were spilled during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. The ruling means BP now faces up to $13.7 billion in pollution fines for the spill, well below the amount federal prosecutors want the company to pay."

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 01/16/2015

More Secret Reports from Congressional Research Service

Nobody has ever explained why Congress refuses to release the tax-funded explainers produced by the Congressional Research Service. They are a gold standard for journalists needing quick background. Here are some recent CRS reports relevant to environmental journalists, helpfully released by the Federation of American Scientists.

"At Least 16 Drilling Industry Workers Died in Fires, Explosions Last Year"

"It was a few minutes before 8 on a cool spring morning at an oil well in West Texas last year when truck driver Roberto Magdaleno walked over to the site supervisor to get some papers signed. At that moment, a sand separator at the well site exploded, spraying shrapnel more than 1,400 feet, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials who investigated the April 30, 2014, explosion outside Orla, Texas."

Source: EnergyWire, 01/13/2015

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