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2011

Multimedia
  1. 03-16-11 Video of Japanese Tsunami (New York Times)
      Provides an amateur video. 03-11

News
  1. -001 Top U.S. Expert: Japanese Radiation "Extremely High" and Crisis Worsening (New York Times)
      "Mr. Jaczko’s most startling assertion was that there was now little or no water in the pool storing spent nuclear fuel at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, leaving fuel rods stored there exposed and bleeding radiation into the atmosphere."

      "As a result, he said, 'We believe that radiation levels are extremely high, which could possibly impact the ability to take corrective measures.' "

      Gregory Jaczko is the the Chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission." 03-11

  2. -02-23-11 Coal Mining to Expand in Wyoming (CNN News)
      "Coal mining on public lands will expand in the coming months in Wyoming, as the federal government makes more coal-rich land available for lease by mining companies."

      Editor's Note: Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human-caused air pollution. 03-11

  3. -03-11-11 Earthquake in Japan Results in Nuclear Crisis (MSNBC News)
      "Coolant systems failed at three quake-stricken Japanese nuclear reactors Saturday, sending radiation seeping outside one and temperatures rising out of control at two others."

      "Radiation surged to around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daichi plant, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Radiation — it was not clear how much — had also seeped outside, prompting widening of an evacuation area to a six-mile radius from a two-mile radius around the plant. Earlier, 3,000 people had been urged to leave their homes." 03-11

  4. -03-14-11 A New Explosion at a Japanese Nuclear Plant (Time.com)
      "For the second time in three harrowing days, a hydrogen explosion at one of Japan's crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant blew the roof off a containment building — this time on Monday morning at reactor unit No. 3."

      "As grim as the news is, the situation is not yet a calamity. Critically, the fuel rods at Fukushima remain inside their steel containment vessels, and there is no indication that those vessels have been damaged."

      "The problem, nuclear scientists say, is that the effort to pump in sufficient amounts of seawater to cool the fuel rods could fail, leading to a partial or full meltdown. James Acton, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that "anytime you have core melting, you have the risk of a substantial release of radiation." 03-11

  5. -03-14-11 Emergency Effort at Japanese Nuclear Plant Failing (New York Times)
      "Japan’s struggle to contain the crisis at a stricken nuclear power plant worsened sharply early Tuesday morning, as emergency operations to pump seawater into one crippled reactor failed at least temporarily, increasing the risk of an uncontrolled release of radioactive material, officials said." 03-11

  6. -03-14-11 Mechanics of a Partial Meltdown (New York Times)
      "The difference between a partial meltdown and a full meltdown at a nuclear plant is enormous, both in the degree of damage and in the potential release of radiation, experts in nuclear power said."

      "If a full meltdown were to occur at one of the Japanese reactors — meaning operators were unable to keep pumping water and the core became completely uncovered — molten fuel would soon pool on the floor of the pressure vessel. 'The worst case is that the molten mass leaves the vessel and creates a steam explosion,' Mr. Gunderson said. 'That would destroy the containment.' " Arnold Gunderson is "a former nuclear engineer who worked on reactors of the same design as those in Japan." 03-11

  7. -03-15-11 President Obama Moves Forward With New Nuclear Plants (CBS News)
      "The Obama administration on Tuesday insisted that nuclear power plants in the United States are safe even as they kept an eye on the unfolding nuclear crisis in Japan."

      "The two plants that have perhaps attracted the most attention for potential earthquake risks are in California: The Diablo Canyon and San Onofre plants, both of which are near Los Angeles - and both of which were built on what were later found to be earthquake fault lines. Pacific Gas and Electric, which owns Diablo Canyon, says the plant is built to withstand a 7.5 magnitude earthquake."

      "Daniel Hirsch, a lecturer in Nuclear Policy at the University of California Santa Cruz, noted that both plants had to be retrofitted after the faults were discovered after they had been built. He said a significant quake in the area could have devastating results." 03-11

  8. -03-16-11 A Meltdown at a Nuclear Power Plant (MSNBC News)
      "Experts on nuclear power say that the seriousness of the Fukushima Dai-ichi currently rates somewhere between Pennsylvania's 1979 Three Mile Island incident, in which the reactor's core melted down halfway but was kept contained within the facility; and the 1986 Chernobyl incident in Ukraine, in which a raging, uncontained fire spread radioactive contamination throughout Europe." 03-11

  9. -03-16-11 Expert: U.S. Not at Risk from Japanese Radiation (CBS News)
      "Dr. Glenn Braunstein, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, sees patients with thyroid cancer -- one of the biggest risks from radiation exposure of a nuclear meltdown. He says the 5,500 miles between the U.S. and the nuclear plant in Japan is more than a safe distance." 03-11

  10. -03-16-11 Symptoms of Radiation Sickness (MSNBC News)
      "Radiation sickness (acute radiation syndrome, or ARS) occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation within a short period of time. The first symptoms of ARS typically are fatigue, hair loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin changes such as swelling, redness, itching and radiation burns. Symptoms may present within a few minutes to days after the exposure, and may come and go. This seriously ill stage may last from a few hours up to several months." 03-11

  11. -05-17-11 China Facing Energy Shortages (Time.com)
      "The amount of new installed capacity is due to fall by 10 million kilowatts next year, compared to this year, while demand continues to climb at double-digit rates, Hu Zhaoguang, vice president of State Grid Energy Research Institute, said in comments posted on the Energy Research Observation Net." 05-11

  12. -06-08-11 East Coast Heat Wave Sets Records (MSNBC News)
      "A brief but intense heat wave set or tied several records across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic on Wednesday."

      Also try Catastrophic Climate Change. 06-11

  13. -06-20-11 Supreme Court Rules that the EPA Can Regulate Greenhouse Gases (Time.com)
      "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said the Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants." 06-11

  14. 03-15-11 Nuclear Containment Vessel Fails in Japan (Time.com)
      "The breach of the containment vessel at unit No. 2, as well as the fire at unit No. 4, led to a spike in the radioactivity levels around the plant to dangerous levels, as a grim-faced Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan acknowledged in a brief nationally televised speech this morning. 'The reading seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out,' Kan warned."

      "It is unclear as of yet whether the apparent breach at reactor No. 2 will lead to a catastrophic release of radiation." 03-11

Papers
  1. Climate Czar Resigns (Time.com)
      "The real fight for climate, energy and the environment will be between the EPA and Republicans in the House, who seem dedicated to making agency administrator Lisa Jackson's life as miserable as possible. You can expect Jackson, a New Orleans native tempered in the unfriendly fields of New Jersey state politics, to play tough. Just since the beginning of 2011, the EPA has continued with the process of greenhouse gas regulations (though they remain limited), and made a controversial decision to deny a permit for a mountaintop removal mine. The question is whether the White House and President Obama will stand behind her. (So far it looks like they will, with the Department of Justice making the defense of greenhouse gas regulations a top priority.) That should matter more to greens than whether we see another White House climate czar."

      "As Politico first reported last night, Carol Browner will be stepping down from her post as White House climate and energy czar. Browner, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator in the Clinton Administration, was a key member of the "Green Dream Team" of cabinet appointees and White House aides who accompanied President Obama into office two years ago, and a strong voice for the environment inside a West Wing that was usually dominated by centrists like former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. From her perch in the White House, Browner helped push for climate and energy legislation in Congress—and since cap-and-trade failed, for lots of reasons, greens are worried that Browner's exit could signal the West Wing's surrender on climate." 01-11

   
   


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