"Crisis Underscores Fears About Safety of Nuclear Energy"

"The official announcement that two reactors at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant could be suffering meltdowns underscores the Japanese nuclear industry’s troubled history, and years of grass-roots objections from a people uniquely sensitive to the ravages of nuclear destruction."

Source: ,

"Second Explosion at Reactor as Technicians Try to Contain Damage"

"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.

Source: NY Times, 03/14/2011

Evaporating Oil From BP Spill Likely Posed a Health Threat: Study

"A new study about the way oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon accident evaporated into the air confirms that cleanup workers were exposed to high levels of airborne pollution, and that the fumes also may have made their way onshore in Louisiana."

Source: New Orelans Times-Picayune, 03/11/2011

Tsunami Hits Hawaii; Wash., Ore., Calif. Evac Warnings

An 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck Japan, shutting down major systems, killing at least 40, and causing a tsunami. Nuclear plants were shut down on an emergency basis after the cooling system at one plant failed. Tsunami warnings were issued through much of the Pacific, including Hawaii and parts of the U.S. West Coast and South America. Potential impact of tsunami on Hawaii within minutes of 8 am EST as hotels evacuate vertically.

Source: Wires, 03/11/2011

"Could Cornstarch Have Plugged BP's Oil Well?"

As a kids' plaything, it's called oobleck -- a cornstarch suspension that flows at slow speeds but freezes into a solid when you try to move it fast. Washington University scientist Jonathan Katz has just published an article saying it might have succeeded in a "top kill" of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf well where ordinary drilling mud failed.

Source: NPR, 03/08/2011

"Author Explains History Behind Tunnel Disaster"

An author tells the story of the Hawks Nest, WV, hydroelectric tunnel, whose drilling Union Carbide began in 1927. It was run as a mining operation, but not regulated by any government agency. Of the 5,000 men who worked on the tunnel over 18 months, at least 764 men, mostly African-American migrant workers, died of the industrial disease silicosis, well known even then. Managers wore protective masks during inspection visits, but did not provide any to workers. The company hired doctors to tell the men it was their fault, and buried them in unmarked mass graves. West Virginia kept the story out of the state's history curriculum until last year.

Source: Beckley Register-Herald, 03/07/2011


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