In March 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami set off a partial meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant on Japan's coast. A recent study led by European researchers found Fukushima is not alone, as 22 other plants around the world may be similarly susceptible to destructive tsunami waves, with most of them in east and southeast regions of Asia.
Japan is planning a move to shutter all nuclear plants by the 2030s, Japanese media reported Thursday, a major policy shift for a resource-poor nation that once depended on atomic power for a third of its energy.
The nuclear phaseout, reported by both the Kyodo News agency and broadcaster NHK based on a draft of the policy, comes amid fierce political debate about this country’s 50 operable reactors, which are both prone to disaster and vital to the economy.
With the world focused on a BP rig explosion in the spring of 2010 that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, a massive release of pollutants from the company’s Texas City refinery went largely unnoticed.
The April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico came two weeks after the BP refinery began releasing pollutants into the air through a 300-foot flare that is designed to burn them away. BP reported at least 538,000 pounds of gases, including 17,371 pounds of cancer-causing benzene, spewed from the flare over 40 days.
The bulldozer was clearing land outside a day care center in Hapeville, Ga., when it broke open a buried 1-inch pipeline. The escaping gas ignited into a fireball that killed nine people, including seven children settling down for their afternoon naps.
That was 1968. Since then, there have been at least 270 similar accidents across the country that could have been prevented or made less dangerous by a valve that cuts off leaking gas and costs as little as $10-$15 for homes and small businesses and $200-$300 for larger buildings, an Associated Press investigation found.
Federal regulators Thursday concluded that the operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California did not mislead the government about extensive modifications to its troubled steam generators, where damage has been found on scores of tubes that carry radioactive water.
Environmental activists have accused Southern California Edison of duping the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about a series of changes to the massive machines, including boosting the number of tubes and redesigning internal supports.
As head of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Mineral Resources, Bradley J. Field is a prominent figure in an agency that has promoted hydraulic fracturing as a risk-free and impeccably regulated technology with a proven track record in New York.
Perhaps it's relevant that Field also sees global warming as a good thing. Field is listed on the Global Warming Petition Project calling for the U.S. to reject international global warming agreements, while claiming there is “no convincing evidence” that manmade greenhouse gases will disrupt the earth’s climate.
The United States lags in ninth place out of 12 of the world's major economies in overall energy efficiency, a survey indicates.
The survey by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked countries on a 100-point scale, using 27 metrics grouped into four major categories: national efforts, buildings, industry and transportation.
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