Prime Minister Declares 'Cold Shutdown' of Fukushima Reactors

"TOKYO -- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan today declared that the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been brought to a state of cold shutdown, turning a corner in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

'The nuclear reactors have reached a state of cold shutdown and therefore we can now confirm that we have come to the end of the accident phase of the actual reactors,' Prime Minister Noda told a news conference.

Source: ENS, 12/20/2011

"Aging Pipes, Deadly Hazards"

"Despite a long history of accidents, and a stack of warnings from safety investigators, there are still thousands of miles of antiquated, leak-prone, cast-iron pipelines running under the streets of Pennsylvania cities and towns. Some are more than 100 years old."

Joseph Tanfani and Craig R. McCoy report the last of a four-part "Battle Lines" series for the Philadelphia Inquirer's Deep Drill reports December 18, 2011.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/20/2011

"Gulf Oil Spill Restoration: First Round of Projects Total $57 Million"

"Officials released a first round of oil spill restoration projects Wednesday that included proposals to create or enhance oyster habitat, salt marshes, sand dunes, and nearshore reefs in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida."

"Drawing from a $1 billion pool established by BP as a down payment on fines related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, representatives from the Gulf States agreed on $57 million worth of restoration projects.

Those proposals will be up for public comment at a series of meetings in January and February."

Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/15/2011

"Is It Safe To Drill? Learn What New Oil-Spill Report Says"

"BP and the oil industry drilling in the Gulf of Mexico lacked the proper safety attitude to handle the large risks of deepwater drilling, leading to the many bad decisions behind the nation's worst offshore spill, a panel of expert engineers said today.

More specifically, the industry needs to radically redesign the blowout preventers that are meant to be a last line of defense against runaway wells or else risk a repeat of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, the National Academy of Engineering concluded.

Source: AP, 12/15/2011

"Senate Passes Pipeline Safety Bill Doubling Fines"

"WASHINGTON — The Senate has given final approval to a bill that doubles the maximum fine for pipeline safety violations and adds penalties for obstructing safety investigations.

The compromise bill cleared the Senate Tuesday by a voice vote and now goes to the White House. The House approved the same measure on Monday."

The Associated Press had the story December 13, 2011.


Source: AP, 12/14/2011


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