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Buried plutonium levels triple previous estimate

Plutonium levels triple previous estimateThe amount of plutonium buried at a U.S. nuclear reservation in Washington state is almost triple what the government had previously reported, officials say. The New York Times Sunday reported the discovery of the higher plutonium levels at the 560-square-mile Hanford Nuclear Reservation will likely make long-term cleanup a greater challenge than previously thought.

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India moves to clean up site of deadly 1984 Union Carbide gas leak

India moves to clean up site of deadly 1984 Union Carbide gas leakA month after seven former Union Carbide employees were given two-year jail terms for their role in the deadly gas leak in Bhopal a quarter-century ago, a senior Indian official met with survivors' groups Friday with a new plan to clean up the abandoned factory site.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told survivors in the central Indian city that he will head a panel set up to monitor the government's effort to decontaminate the site, which activists say has polluted the groundwater in the neighborhood and led to chronic ailments.

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Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spill

Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spillFrustrated with limited data on the BP oil gusher, a group of independent scientists has proposed a large experiment that would give a clearer understanding of where the oil and gas are going and where they'll do the most damage.

The scientists say their mission must be undertaken immediately, before BP kills the runaway well. They propose using what's probably the world's worst oil accident to learn how crude oil and natural gas move through water when they're released at high volumes from the deep sea.

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Under the sand, BP oil hidden from easy cleanup

Under the sand, BP oil hidden from easy cleanup There's a dirty secret buried under Gulf of Mexico beaches after cleanup workers scrape away the oil washing ashore. Walk to a seemingly pristine patch of sand, plop down in a chair and start digging with your bare feet, like everyone does at the beach. Chances are you'll walk away with gooey tar between your toes.

So far, cleanup workers hired by BP have skimmed only the surface, using shovels or sifting machines to remove oil. The company is planning a deeper cleaning program that could include washing or incinerating sand once the leak is stopped off the coast of Louisiana.

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China Fears Climate Effects as Consumer Class Rises

A steel mill in Guangzhou will close its doors as part of a government effort to improve energy efficiency.Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to use an “iron hand” this summer to make his nation more energy efficient. The central government has ordered cities to close inefficient factories by September, like the vast Guangzhou Steel mill here, where most of the 6,000 workers will be laid off or pushed into early retirement.

Already, in the last three years, China has shut down more than a thousand older coal-fired power plants that used technology of the sort still common in the United States.

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It's not just BP's oil in the Gulf that threatens world's oceans

It's not just BP's oil in the Gulf that threatens world's oceansA sobering new report warns that the oceans face a "fundamental and irreversible ecological transformation" not seen in millions of years as greenhouse gases and climate change already have affected temperature, acidity, sea and oxygen levels, the food chain and possibly major currents that could alter global weather.

The report, in Science magazine, brings together dozens of studies that collectively paint a dismal picture of deteriorating ocean health.

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Special Report: Should BP nuke its leaking well?

Should BP nuke its leaking well?A nuclear fix to the leaking well has been touted online and in the occasional newspaper op-ed for weeks now. Washington has repeatedly dismissed the idea and BP execs say they are not considering an explosion -- nuclear or otherwise. But as a series of efforts to plug the 60,000 barrels of oil a day gushing from the sea floor have failed, talk of an extreme solution refuses to die.

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