Disasters

"Japanese Struggle to Protect Their Food Supply"

"ONAMI, Japan -- In the fall, as this valley’s rice paddies ripened into a carpet of gold, inspectors came to check for radioactive contamination."

"Onami sits just 35 miles northwest of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which spewed radioactive cesium over much of this rural region last March. However, the government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms.

Source: NY Times, 01/23/2012

2012 Snow Cover Starting Out Very Low

Snow cover has many implications, from ski resorts short on snow and farmers who rely on snowmelt for irrigation to firefighters and residents battling major fires in unusual locations in the middle of winter and smothering blizzards in areas at the other end of the extreme snow spectrum this year.

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"Special Report: Fuel Storage, Safety Issues Vexed Japan Plant"

"When the massive tsunami smacked into Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear power plant was stacked high with more uranium than it was originally designed to hold and had repeatedly missed mandatory safety checks over the past decade. The Fukushima plant that has spun into partial meltdown and spewed out plumes of radiation had become a growing depot for spent fuel in a way the American engineers who designed the reactors 50 years earlier had never envisioned, according to company documents and outside experts."

Source: Reuters, 01/18/2012

Mich. Palisades Nuclear Plant May Be Named One of Nation's 5 Worst

"The Palisades nuclear power plant, which sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, could soon be downgraded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to a status making it among the nation's five worst-performing nuclear plants after a year of accidents, unexpected shutdowns and safety violations."

Source: Detroit Free Press, 01/17/2012

"Panel Challenges Japan's Account of Nuclear Disaster"

"TOKYO — A powerful and independent panel of specialists appointed by Japan’s Parliament is challenging the government’s account of the accident at a Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and will start its own investigation into the disaster — including an inquiry into how much the March earthquake may have damaged the plant’s reactors even before the tsunami. "

Source: NY Times, 01/17/2012

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