EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"Japanese engineers battled on Friday to cool spent fuel rods and restore electric power to pumps at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as new challenges seemed to accumulate by the hour, with steam billowing from one reactor and damage at another apparently making it difficult to lower temperatures."
"New worries about a New York nuclear plant's vulnerability to earthquakes could hand the state's governor an opportunity to try to close the plant, but New York City's huge power needs could stall any such moves."
"Two outlets today nailed issues raised by the behavior of Japan’s government leaders and the utility company whose Fukushima Deiichi power station is suffering multiple losses of control and breached containment, and the behavior of many and perhaps most media in trying to tell the story, warn the public, and stay within the bounds of reason."
"Amid widening alarm in the United States and elsewhere about Japan’s nuclear crisis, military fire trucks began spraying cooling water on spent fuel rods at the country’s stricken nuclear power station on Thursday, but later suspended the operation, the NHK broadcaster said."
"Facing its biggest crisis in 25 years, the U.S. nuclear power industry can count on plenty of Democratic and Republican friends in both high and low places."
"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 House Energy and Commerce committee [took] testimony on Wednesday from two witnesses who are suddenly much more prominent because of events in Japan: Steven Chu, the secretary of energy, the chief administration official addressing the crisis involving the Japanese reactors, and Gregory B. Jaczko, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which has sent personnel to Japan and is charged with preventing accidents here in the United States."
"Japan's nuclear crisis intensified dramatically on Wednesday after the authorities announced that a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam."
"The international nuclear watchdog warned Japan in 2008 that powerful earthquakes could be too strong for their nuclear reactors, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks Tuesday night."
"If the containment at the nuclear power plant damaged by Japan's devastating earthquake fails, a potential radiation plume from a full core meltdown could reach Tokyo, a U.S. scientists' organization said on Tuesday."
"Europe's energy chief Tuesday raised the prospect of a nuclear-free future and said the 27-nation bloc is considering 'stress testing' its nuclear power stations to check they can cope with crises."
"In nearly a third of the states with nuclear power plants, nearby residents do not have the protection of federally-supplied potassium iodide pills for treatment in the event of a radiation crisis like that in Japan."
"The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a Mark 1 nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated. Dangerous radiation would spew into the environment."