Archive for March, 2014


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Gale halts search for lost plane

The Boeing 777 was just leaving Malaysia-controlled air space when the final words were heard. Photograph: Greg Wood/Pool/EPA

Malaysian authorities have released a new account of the final words spoken by one of the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The last words heard by air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur were “goodnight Malaysian three seven zero” – not “all right, goodnight,” as previously reported, Malaysia‘s civil aviation authority said on Monday.

The correction of the official account of the last words was made as Malaysian authorities face heavy criticism for their handling of the disappearance, particularly from families of the Chinese passengers on board Flight MH370, who have accused Malaysia of mismanaging the search and holding back information.

“We would like to confirm that the last conversation in the transcript between the air traffic controller and the cockpit is at 01:19 (Malaysian Time) and is “goodnight Malaysian three seven zero,” the Department of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

Malaysia’s ambassador to China told Chinese families in Beijing as early as 12 March, four days after the flight went missing, that the last words had been “all right, goodnight.”

“Goodnight Malaysian three seven zero” would be a more formal, standard sign-off from the cockpit of the Boeing 777, which was just leaving Malaysia-controlled air space on its route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

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Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers

Black death

Black death researchers extracted plague DNA from 14th century skulls found in east London. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

Archaeologists and forensic scientists who have examined 25 skeletons unearthed in the Clerkenwell area of London a year ago believe they have uncovered the truth about the nature of the Black Death that ravaged Britain and Europe in the mid-14th century.

Analysis of the bodies and of wills registered in London at the time has cast doubt on “facts” that every schoolchild has learned for decades: that the epidemic was caused by a highly contagious strain spread by the fleas on rats.

Now evidence taken from the human remains found in Charterhouse Square, to the north of the City of London, during excavations carried out as part of the construction of the Crossrail train line, have suggested a different cause: only an airborne infection could have spread so fast and killed so quickly.

The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill five million now. By extracting the DNA of the disease bacterium, Yersinia pestis, from the largest teeth in some of the skulls retrieved from the square, the scientists were able to compare the strain of bubonic plague preserved there with that which was recently responsible for killing 60 people in Madagascar. To their surprise, the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today’s disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.

 

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  • About 200 people evacuated from nearby homes after blast
  • theguardian.com, Monday 31 March 2014 16.18 EDT
washington gas plant
Williams Northwest Pipeline plant is seen after a natural gas pipeline ruptured at the plant in Plymouth, Washington. Photograph: Sarah Gordon/AP

A large explosion and fire Monday at natural gas processing plant near the Washington-Oregon border injured four workers and led to the evacuation of about 200 people from nearby homes as flames and a mushroom-shaped cloud of black smoke reached high into the air.

The 8:20am blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline plant in the town of Plymouth, along the Columbia River, also punctured a liquefied natural gas storage tank.

Benton County sheriff Steven Keane said some gas leaked from the tank to the ground in a containment area and evaporated into the air, but it was only a small amount. “I think if one of those huge tanks has exploded, it might have been a different story,” he said.

Of the four workers injured, one was treated at the scene and three with burns were taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston, Oregon. The three were treated in the emergency room for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, hospital spokesman Mark Ettesvold said.

Across the Columbia River, the blast shook the home of Cindi Stefani.

“It was just a very loud boom,” she said. “I looked across the river and saw a giant mushroom cloud and flames at least a couple hundred feet high.”

Animals on neighboring farms were running around, she added.

“At that point we were pretty scared. I was thinking, ‘We need to get out of here.'”

 

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Sheriff’s update on natural gas fire

 

 

Published on Mar 31, 2014

Joe Lusignan of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office briefs the media on the evacuation. (Video by Bob Brawdy)

 

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Oregon Public Broadcasting

At Least 4 Injured, 400 Evacuated After Explosion At LNG Plant

AP | March 31, 2014 9:14 a.m. | Updated: March 31, 2014 4:23 p.m.

A large explosion and fire Monday at a natural gas processing plant on the Washington-Oregon border injured four workers, led to the evacuation of about 400 people from nearby farms and homes, and sent a mushroom cloud of black smoke high into the air

Witnesses reported hearing a large boom and giant mushroom cloud from the explosion Monday morning.

Witnesses reported hearing a large boom and giant mushroom cloud from the explosion Monday morning.

Courtesy Scott Lucas / Via East Oregonian

The 8:20 a.m. blast at the Williams Northwest Pipeline plant in the Washington town of Plymouth, along the Columbia River, also punctured one of the facility’s two giant storage tanks for liquefied natural gas.

Benton County Sheriff Steven Keane said some gas leaked from the tank to the ground in a moat-like containment area and evaporated into the air, blowing away to the northeast. But it was a relatively small amount, he said.

“I think if one of those huge tanks had exploded, it might have been a different story,” Keane said.

One of the four injured workers was transported to a Portland, Ore., hospital specializing in burns, he said. The other three were taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston, Ore., where spokesman Mark Ettesvold said they were treated in the emergency room for injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

 

 

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Published on Mar 27, 2014

Error suspected in spent fuel removal trouble
TEPCO officials say a worker mistakenly tried to operate the crane with an auxiliary brake on. Noticing the error, he released the brake and retried, but the crane failed to operate once the warning lamp had gone on.

Govt.’s new plan for Fukushima waste storage sites
Japan’s government has shown Fukushima officials a new plan to build interim storage facilities for contaminated soil and other radioactive waste.
The plan calls for reducing the number of towns to host the facilities in Fukushima Prefecture from 3 to 2, following demands by local governments.

Water treatment system halted again
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has halted one of the 3 lines of the key water treatment system at the complex.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the line of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, was suspended on Thursday morning after workers found possible signs of abnormality in the water to be fed into the facility.

TV: More workers rushed to hospital at U.S. nuclear site — 17 sickened in past week — Former Employee: “It’s pretty scary… to have this many in 8 days is really abnormal” — Company: We’re trying to understand what’s happening (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/tv-more-workers-ru…

Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”
http://enenews.com/mexicans-concerned…

Reports: “Experts agree many species of wildlife and fisheries are endangered globally due to large release of radioactivity into ocean” at Fukushima — “Has Fukushima radiation entered New Zealand ecosystem?”
http://enenews.com/reports-has-fukush…

[100m3 overflow] No information obtained about a potential suspect / Tepco practically give up investigation
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/10…

Tanks are decontaminated by human workers getting inside
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/ta…

Tepco “There may be multiple sources of groundwater contamination”
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/te…

Japan Defends Retaining Large Stockpile of Plutonium
http://www.nationaljournal.com/global…

The Fukushima Fallout
Hunting for Hope Amid the Ocean’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster Ever
http://www.independent.com/news/2014/…

[ALPS] Entire system shut down → Reboot → New leakage → Shut down again
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/al…

[100m3 overflow] Tritium density in groundwater spiking up 60m east from the overflowed tank
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/10…

M5.4 hit South part of Japan on 3/26/2014 / Possible aftershock not recorded by Meteorological Agency for some reason
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/m5…

Texas nuclear disposal site steps in to store WIPP-bound waste
http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-…

TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; “A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse” — Public “skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared” — Report: “It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/tv-us-senators-wan…

Fissile Materials
http://fissilematerials.org/library/g…

 

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Oregon Public Broadcasting

Hanford Fumes Lead Some Workers To Seek Medical Attention

Northwest News Network | March 25, 2014 6:31 p.m.

 

Anna King, Northwest News Network

 

Some workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s tank farms were transported to a Richland hospital Tuesday morning.

 

Many employees have been complaining of feeling ill after smelling chemical vapors this week.

Hanford is home to large underground tanks grouped into herds called “farms.” They contain a toxic brew of 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge and industrial chemicals — the leftovers from plutonium production during WWII and the Cold War.

This past week, several batches of workers have complained of smelling vapors during their normal operations. Some of them were examined at Hanford’s own medical center. But two sickened workers were sent to Richland’s hospital and released later.

Washington River Protection Solutions, the company that employs these tank farm workers, acknowledges that Hanford tanks do generate vapors that are vented into the air. The company says it has safety procedures in place and is monitoring the vapors in the farms.

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Full Washington River Protection Solutions statement:

 

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Published on Mar 26, 2014

Trouble stops fuel removal at nuclear plant
Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool at a reactor building in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building.
The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire at that time.
The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool.
Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem.
TEPCO began removing fuel units from the storage pool of the No.4 reactor in November of last year. The pool held 1,533 units of fuel, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent fuel.
As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool.

Japan faces challenges on nuclear material
Japan faces a number of challenges in reducing its stockpiles of nuclear material to prevent its exploitation by terrorists.
Japan agreed in a joint statement with the United States on Monday at the Nuclear Security Summit to return stocks of plutonium provided by other countries for research purposes in the 1960s.
The supply includes 331 kilograms of plutonium from the US used for fast critical assembly experiments.
The United States is collecting nuclear material to prevent terrorists from acquiring it.
Japan also maintains a stockpile of about 44 tons of plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel.
The amount would be enough to make about 5,500 bombs according to calculations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The plutonium is meant to be used as fuel for nuclear power generation, but the accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has put all reactors in Japan offline.
Japan also lacks a law requiring background checks for workers at nuclear facilities.

Leaders aim to minimize nuclear material stocks
World leaders have agreed to try to minimize stocks of weapons-grade uranium and other sensitive materials as a way to counter nuclear terrorism.
Leaders from more than 50 countries adopted a communique at the end of the 2-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
The Hague communique also calls on nations to keep their stockpile of plutonium to the minimum level. It urges political and financial support for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Japan announced at the summit that it will remove all highly enriched uranium and plutonium from a research facility and hand them over to the United States for disposal.
Japan has used the materials for research on a fast reactor with cooperation from the US.

Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return
http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt…

Nearly a dozen Hanford employees sick from unknown fumes
http://www.king5.com/news/investigato…

N.Korea fires ballistic missiles
South Korea’s defense ministry says North Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan early on Wednesday morning.
Ministry officials say the North launched the missiles from an area north of Pyongyang.

Blockage cleared for Fukushima water bypass
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-…

NRC Events
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-col…

How safe is the DOE’s WIPP nuclear dump when sinkholes open in New Mexico?
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”
http://enenews.com/mexicans-concerned…

Federal oversight chair questions safety at Carlsbad’s WIPP nuke dump
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Nuclear reactor threatened by cuts
http://www.timesunion.com/local/artic…

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/

 

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Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

Published time: March 24, 2014 17:37
Edited time: March 26, 2014 12:07

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.”

This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

“This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.

 

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Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”

Published: March 26th, 2014 at 1:27 pm ET
By

U.S. Radiation Leak Concerns Mexicans, by Kent Paterson,  Editor of Frontera NorteSur and Curriculum Developer with the project of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Mar. 24, 2014: Serious problems at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have caught the eyes of the press and government officials in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico [Population: 2.5 million]. [...] Since February 14, additional radiation releases [from WIPP] connected to the original one have been reported, even as more workers are still awaiting test results for possible radiation exposure during the first event. Although Ciudad Juarez is located nearly 200 miles from WIPP, city officials expect to meet with U.S. government representatives on March 26 or 27 to discuss ongoing issues from the February 14 incident. A story in El Diario newspaper said that Ciudad Juarez (and neighboring El Paso and Las Cruces) were well within a transnational evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster. While WIPP spokespersons say that the radiation releases have been minimal and pose no danger to public health, Mexican officials are anxious to hear the message in person. [...] Despite U.S. and Mexican government reports of little or no radioactive contamination from the WIPP leak, public doubts about the gravity of the February 14 incident persist due to incomplete contaminant data reporting, the slowness in getting all the potentially exposed workers tested and informed, spotty or contradictory statements by regulatory officials, and uncertainties over the origin of the radiation leak and how far an area it has impacted. [...] Back in the 1990s, Ciudad Juarez and U.S. environmentalists from the Rio Bravo Ecological Alliance took a stand against WIPP based partly on concerns that the underground storage facility would eventually contaminate the Pecos River Basin and the Rio Grande.

 

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  Daily Herald Tribune

Local science project finds high levels of radiation in seaweed

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune

Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products.  Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune<br /><br />
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Grade 10 Composite High School student Bronwyn Delacruz shows off her Geiger Counter, a handheld detector that measures ionizing radiation in certain food products. Elizabeth McSheffrey/Daily Herald-Tribune

When Bronwyn Delacruz started testing seaweed in her living room last August, she made an incredible discovery: Something unexpected may be lurking in Canadian waters.

The Composite High School Grade 10 student has found disconcerting radiation levels in seaweed products from local grocery stores and is concerned for the health of families who may be consuming them.

Her research on the subject recently earned gold at the regional Canada-Wide Science Fair in Peace River, garnering her a spot at the national competition in Ontario this May.

“I think any dose of radiation can be harmful,” she explained. “Any dose can cause negative health effects, no matter how small it may be.”

Delacruz tested more than 300 individual seaweed samples, with 15 brands exported from New Brunswick, British Columbia, California, Washington, China and Japan.

Each was purchased in an Alberta grocery store, and evaluated for radiation levels using a Geiger counter.

“I just wanted to see if it was contaminated and I did find radioactive contamination in it,” she said. “I’m kind of concerned that this is landing in our grocery stores and that if you aren’t measuring it, you could just be eating this and bringing home to your family.”

Radioactivity is measured in becquerels (Bq), and 0.5 Bq per square centimetre is widely considered an actionable level of contamination.

Delacruz said one Bq is equivalent to 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period, and many of her samples tested well over this amount.

“Kelp was higher than what washttp://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/ considered dangerous,” she explained. “Some of them came up to 1,700, 1,800 (counts).”

The student’s research delves further than surface measurements however, and speculates a cause for the unusual counts.

In March 2011, Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown of two Fukushima nuclear power plants.

Delacruz believes the current has carried dangerous radiation from Japan’s east coast to Canada’s portion of the Pacific Ocean.

From April 2011 to October 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tested more than 250 samples of imported foods from Japan, including fish and seafood, processed product, grain, fruit and vegetables.

None of the samples posed a health risk to consumers, it said, based on a Health Canada action level of 1,000 Bq/kg.

 

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Japan Nuclear Crisis: Information for Canadians Regarding Imported and Domestic Food

Following the March 11 earthquake in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) took several measures to assess and protect the Canadian food supply from potential effects of Japan’s nuclear crisis. In coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other government and international partners, the CFIA implemented enhanced import controls, which did not allow food and animal feed products from affected areas in Japan to enter Canada without acceptable documentation or test results verifying their safety.

The CFIA also launched a sampling and testing strategy to monitor radiation levels of imported food from Japan, domestic milk and domestic fish off the coast of British Columbia. More than 200 food samples were tested and all were found to be below Health Canada’s actionable levels for radioactivity. As such, enhanced import controls have been lifted and no additional testing is planned.

Japan

British Columbia

Nevertheless, the CFIA continues to monitor events in Japan and assess any potential impacts on Canada’s food supply. Canadian officials continue to collect and assess intelligence from Japanese officials, Canada’s mission abroad and international authorities. Domestically, atmospheric monitoring continues and Health Canada continues to regularly monitor for radionuclides in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study. This would include imports from Japan. As well, Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact.

Additional Information

Date modified:
2014-02-25

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Published on Mar 25, 2014

Fishermen approve groundwater diversion plan
A federation of fishermen in Fukushima prefecture has approved a plan to divert groundwater away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and into the sea.
The government and the plant’s operator –Tokyo Electric Power Company — developed the scheme as a measure to manage the increasing volume of radioactive water at the plant.
Every day, about 400 tons of groundwater flows into the reactor buildings and becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel.
Under the plan, groundwater will be brought above ground with pumps and released into the sea, bypassing the reactor buildings.
The government and TEPCO estimated the method would reduce the volume of contaminated water by about 100 tons per day. They asked local fishermen to consider the plan.
The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations gave its approval and conveyed the decision to the government and TEPCO officials at a meeting in Iwaki city on Tuesday.
Fisheries co-operatives in Iwaki and Soma cities had already approved of the plan.

Abe vows to take lead for better nuclear security
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to play a key role in promoting nuclear security. He says Japan learned a lot from the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
He made the remarks at a plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday. 53 leaders are taking part.
Abe said Japan will continue its efforts domestically and internationally to strengthen measures for nuclear security. He said the country will advance nonproliferation and disarmament worldwide and work towards the abolishment of nuclear weapons.

Reactor maker execs to serve decommissioning body
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will appoint senior industry officials to a new division tasked with decommissioning.
Tokyo Electric Power Company will launch the internal division, separate to its power generating business, on April 1st.
The new body will specialize in decommissioning the nuclear plant and dealing with a massive buildup of contaminated water.
TEPCO says senior officials from Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will work as executives to advise the body’s top official.
The 3 makers are helping to deal with problems at the troubled plant, such as developing robots to operate in high radioactivity and removing spent nuclear fuel.
TEPCO hopes that by inviting the personnel, the new body can make better use of their expertise.
TEPCO and the Japanese government plan to start removing fuel from the most damaged reactors in 6 years at the earliest.

TEPCO restarts water treatment system
Engineers at Tokyo Electric Power Company have restarted a key water treatment system at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Two of the 3 lines of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, were suspended on Monday after workers found water leaking from one of the storage tanks.
The workers changed the packing on a side hatch of the tank. They resumed operation of the 2 lines on Tuesday afternoon after confirming that no water was leaking.

Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return
http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt…

Radioactive water from Fukushima nears Pacific
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/video/…

Radiation Alert! Northern Plains Radiation Higher Than Fukushima
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/…

Radiation Expert: 5 types of plutonium were released from WIPP; Officials not informing public — Caldicott: “I predict that facility will never be able to be used again”; Inhaling a millionth of a gram of plutonium will induce lung cancer
http://enenews.com/radiation-expert-5…

Navy to test Treasure Island homes for radiation
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/articl…

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March 31, 2014

Organic Ejecta –Clues to Violent Events in the History of the Universe

 

Pinwheel_Spitzer

 

Exploding stars, random impacts involving comets and meteorites, and even near misses between two bodies can create regions of great heat and high pressure. Researchers from Imperial College London have now developed a method for analysing the pressure experienced by tiny samples of organic material that may have been ejected from dying stars before making a long journey through the cosmos. The researchers have investigated a type of aromatic hydrocarbon called dimethylnaphthalene, which should enable them to identify violent events in the history of the universe.

The team also believe that their new technique could be applied on Mars, potentially using the existing technology on-board roving laboratories such as the one on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission to glean information about sources of organic matter on the red planet. Recognising the pressures recorded in the aromatic hydrocarbons can help to reveal whether it came from processes generated from ancient living organisms.Samples of dimethylnaphthalene are found in meteorites. Previously, scientists have only had the ability to investigate how they have been affected by heat. The Imperial researchers say their method for detecting periods when dimethylnaphthalenes have experienced high pressure will now allow for a much more comprehensive analysis of organic materials.

 

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Published on Jan 3, 2014

“I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews
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