Tag Archive: Salem


Hazmat

Photo of two hazmat technicians wearing bio-hazard suits

 

02.04.2013 HAZMAT USA State of Massachusetts, Salem Damage level Details

HAZMAT in USA on Tuesday, 02 April, 2013 at 10:58 (10:58 AM) UTC.

Description
A mercury spill forced the evacuation of a Highland Avenue medical practice yesterday while crews mounted a lengthy cleanup effort. Deputy fire Chief Gerry Giunta said a wall-mounted mercury sphygmomanometer – or blood pressure meter – was somehow tipped over in an examination room at North Shore Cardiovascular Associates shortly after noon, causing the mercury inside to spill out onto the linoleum floor. “When it’s out of its containers, it turns into all these little BBs and they go rolling all over everything,” Giunta said. An employee was in the room with a patient at the time of the spill, but it was unclear exactly how exactly how it occurred.

“Someone was either cleaning or bumped it,” Giunta said, adding that the amount of mercury spilled could have been as little as 30 milliliters. Mercury is a volatile liquid that can produce its own vapors when not contained and becomes more volatile the more heated it becomes. Giunta said any inhalation of its vapors is considered particularly dangerous. Nobody was injured in the accident, and the people in the room extricated themselves. The woman who was closest to the spill removed her shoes on the way out and left them by the room – but Giunta said they were determined to be uncontaminated.

Firefighters sealed off the room, cordoned off a section of the floor and called for help from the District 6 Hazardous Materials Team, which was conducting a drill in Dracut and took about 40 minutes to arrive. When they showed up, the crew used a mercury vacuum to pick up the largest particles on the floor. But a representative of the Department of Public Health then conducted further testing of the area with more sensitive equipment and determined that the mercury hadn’t been entirely cleaned up. The entire floor was then evacuated, and an outside company was called in to conduct a more through decontamination. Engine 4 and Ladder 1 ventilated the building. Giunta said the practice was hoping to reopen by this morning, but that it was unclear how long the decontamination process would take.

Mass. Medical Office Evacuated by Mercury Spill

Neil H. Dempsey
The Salem News, Beverly, Mass.
Created: April 2, 2013

A wall-mounted mercury sphygmomanometer broke in a Salem medical practice building forcing firefighters to evacuate the office.

April 02–SALEM — A mercury spill forced the evacuation of a Highland Avenue medical practice yesterday while crews mounted a lengthy cleanup effort.

Deputy fire Chief Gerry Giunta said a wall-mounted mercury sphygmomanometer — or blood pressure meter — was somehow tipped over in an examination room at North Shore Cardiovascular Associates shortly after noon, causing the mercury inside to spill out onto the linoleum floor.

“When it’s out of its containers, it turns into all these little BBs and they go rolling all over everything,” Giunta said.

An employee was in the room with a patient at the time of the spill, but it was unclear exactly how exactly how it occurred.

“Someone was either cleaning or bumped it,” Giunta said, adding that the amount of mercury spilled could have been as little as 30 milliliters.

Read Full Article Here

Earthquakes

 

 

EMSC     Central Alaska
Apr 20 23:56 PM
4.2     123.0     MAP

USGS     Central Alaska
Apr 20 23:56 PM
3.8     122.8     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 20 23:47 PM
2.6     41.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 23:40 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 23:32 PM
2.5     21.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 23:27 PM
2.9     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 23:21 PM
2.9     5.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 23:14 PM
5.7     25.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra     
Apr 20 23:14 PM     
6.0     10.0     MAP   

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 23:14 PM
5.8     40.0     MAP

EMSC     Strait Of Gibraltar
Apr 20 23:04 PM
2.5     69.0     MAP

USGS     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 20 22:56 PM
4.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Oaxaca, Mexico
Apr 20 22:56 PM
4.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 20 22:39 PM
2.9     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:29 PM
5.5     40.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:29 PM
5.5     28.3     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:28 PM
5.8     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 20 22:23 PM
2.5     119.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:19 PM
5.6     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:19 PM
5.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 22:19 PM
5.6     16.9     MAP

USGS     South Of Java, Indonesia
Apr 20 21:45 PM
4.4     70.8     MAP

EMSC     South Of Java, Indonesia
Apr 20 21:45 PM
4.6     54.0     MAP

GEOFON     South Of Java, Indonesia
Apr 20 21:45 PM
4.7     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 21:40 PM
3.7     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 21:31 PM
2.5     5.0     MAP

USGS     Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Apr 20 21:28 PM
2.6     63.2     MAP

EMSC     Albania
Apr 20 21:05 PM
2.5     17.0     MAP

USGS     Central Alaska
Apr 20 21:04 PM
3.4     12.2     MAP

USGS     Mona Passage, Puerto Rico
Apr 20 21:03 PM
2.9     15.1     MAP

GEONET     Taupo
Apr 20 20:56 PM
2.5     4.0     MAP

USGS     Kodiak Island Region, Alaska
Apr 20 20:37 PM
2.8     34.4     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 20 20:25 PM
3.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 19:48 PM
2.8     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 20 19:47 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 19:34 PM
5.2     40.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 19:34 PM
5.0     10.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 19:34 PM
5.2     11.8     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 19:32 PM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 19:16 PM
3.1     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 18:26 PM
2.7     13.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 18:05 PM
3.7     11.0     MAP

GEOFON     Macquarie Island Region
Apr 20 18:02 PM
4.8     10.0     MAP

USGS     Macquarie Island Region
Apr 20 18:02 PM
4.8     7.3     MAP

EMSC     Macquarie Island Region
Apr 20 18:02 PM
4.9     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 17:45 PM
2.7     6.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 17:20 PM
4.5     30.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 17:20 PM
4.4     10.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 17:19 PM
4.6     44.3     MAP

GEOFON     Turkey
Apr 20 16:39 PM
4.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 16:39 PM
4.4     22.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 16:32 PM
4.2     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Iran
Apr 20 16:18 PM
4.6     60.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 16:17 PM
4.7     34.1     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 16:17 PM
5.0     10.0     MAP

USGS     Island Of Hawaii, Hawaii
Apr 20 16:11 PM
2.6     6.6     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:57 PM
3.6     5.0     MAP

GEONET     Hawke’s Bay
Apr 20 15:55 PM
3.8     40.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:48 PM
3.8     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Central Turkey
Apr 20 15:45 PM
2.5     26.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:37 PM
4.9     60.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:37 PM
4.9     10.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:37 PM
4.8     40.0     MAP

EMSC     Turkey-syria Border Region
Apr 20 15:23 PM
2.4     18.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 15:09 PM
3.7     28.0     MAP

EMSC     Magadanskaya Oblast’, Russia
Apr 20 14:54 PM
4.2     20.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 14:51 PM
2.4     28.0     MAP

USGS     Baja California, Mexico
Apr 20 14:46 PM
2.7     21.5     MAP

USGS     Puerto Rico
Apr 20 14:34 PM
2.9     125.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 14:00 PM
2.5     24.0     MAP

USGS     Mona Passage, Dominican Republic
Apr 20 13:19 PM
3.3     105.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 12:15 PM
2.4     4.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 12:13 PM
2.5     21.0     MAP

USGS     Southern Alaska
Apr 20 11:52 AM
2.7     203.6     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 11:23 AM
3.0     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 20 10:49 AM
2.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 10:17 AM
4.6     10.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 10:17 AM
4.6     10.0     MAP

USGS     Puerto Rico Region
Apr 20 09:55 AM
2.7     9.0     MAP

USGS     Bougainville Region, Papua New Guinea
Apr 20 09:44 AM
4.6     147.1     MAP

EMSC     Bougainville Region, P.n.g.
Apr 20 09:44 AM
4.6     147.0     MAP

EMSC     Greece
Apr 20 08:35 AM
2.5     16.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 20 08:17 AM
2.8     115.0     MAP

EMSC     Off W Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 07:51 AM
4.9     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 07:51 AM
4.9     10.0     MAP

USGS     Off The West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 07:51 AM
4.9     12.8     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 07:31 AM
2.5     13.0     MAP

GEOFON     Off West Coast Of Northern Sumatra
Apr 20 07:29 AM
4.4     10.0     MAP

USGS     Virgin Islands Region
Apr 20 07:25 AM
2.7     7.5     MAP

USGS     Baja California, Mexico
Apr 20 07:07 AM
2.6     12.8     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 07:02 AM
3.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Southern Italy
Apr 20 06:52 AM
2.7     22.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 06:50 AM
2.4     17.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 06:11 AM
2.4     6.0     MAP

USGS     Virgin Islands Region
Apr 20 05:51 AM
3.2     51.2     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 05:22 AM
3.7     6.0     MAP

EMSC     France
Apr 20 04:57 AM
2.9     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 04:49 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 04:43 AM
2.4     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 04:12 AM
4.3     15.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 04:11 AM
4.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Romania
Apr 20 04:03 AM
2.8     113.0     MAP

EMSC     Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Apr 20 03:59 AM
3.5     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:56 AM
4.6     30.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:56 AM
4.7     8.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iraq
Apr 20 03:56 AM
4.6     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:52 AM
4.2     2.0     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:43 AM
4.3     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:43 AM
4.1     40.0     MAP

EMSC     Eastern Turkey
Apr 20 03:41 AM
2.4     6.0     MAP

USGS     Libertador General Bernardo O’higgins, Chile
Apr 20 03:37 AM
4.6     111.7     MAP

EMSC     Libertador O’higgins, Chile
Apr 20 03:37 AM
4.6     112.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:31 AM
4.4     44.3     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:31 AM
4.4     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:05 AM
4.9     30.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:05 AM
5.0     45.5     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 03:05 AM
5.1     10.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:55 AM
2.7     5.0     MAP

USGS     Virgin Islands Region
Apr 20 02:55 AM
3.0     7.8     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:54 AM
3.5     7.0     MAP

USGS     Utah
Apr 20 02:53 AM
2.6     6.8     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:48 AM
3.6     7.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:45 AM
2.8     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Aegean Sea
Apr 20 02:43 AM
3.6     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:43 AM
3.6     5.0     MAP

GEOFON     Southern Peru
Apr 20 02:43 AM
4.5     87.0     MAP

USGS     Alaska Peninsula
Apr 20 02:42 AM
2.5     121.3     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 02:17 AM
3.2     7.0     MAP

USGS     Virgin Islands Region
Apr 20 01:57 AM
3.3     121.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 01:51 AM
2.8     3.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 01:48 AM
4.1     2.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 01:30 AM
2.6     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Sicily, Italy
Apr 20 01:29 AM
2.4     116.0     MAP

EMSC     Near The Coast Of Western Turkey
Apr 20 01:28 AM
3.1     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 01:21 AM
5.0     40.0     MAP

USGS     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 01:21 AM
5.1     34.2     MAP

GEOFON     Iran-iraq Border Region
Apr 20 01:21 AM
5.2     10.0     MAP

GEONET     Canterbury
Apr 20 01:14 AM
3.3     8.0     MAP

EMSC     Northern Italy
Apr 20 01:07 AM
2.4     24.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 01:00 AM
2.5     5.0     MAP

EMSC     Western Turkey
Apr 20 00:17 AM
3.2     7.0     MAP

GEOFON     Near Coast Of Guerrero, Mexico
Apr 20 00:06 AM
4.5     118.0     MAP

USGS     Guerrero, Mexico
Apr 20 00:06 AM
4.6     35.3     MAP

EMSC     Guerrero, Mexico
Apr 20 00:06 AM
4.6     35.0     MAP

 

 

Two earthquakes rock Indonesia

Posted: 21 April 2012 0946 hrs

JAKARTA: A strong 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Papua region on Saturday, sending panicked residents running from their homes and schools, officials said.

Authorities said there was no threat of a tsunami, and that the worst-hit area was the town of Ransiki in western Papua, where students attending morning classes ran from school buildings that shook for around a minute.

“We’ve had reports of mostly superficial damage to buildings, but two houses have caved and a church wall has collapsed,” Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) official Yulson Sineri, told AFP.

“There are so far no reports of victims, but there has been some damage to buildings in Ransiki,” he said.

The quake struck at 10:16 am (0116 GMT) at a depth of 30 kilometres (19 miles), 83 kilometres southeast of Manokwari, according to the USGS.

Authorities said the quake was felt in various parts of the West Papua province, on the western tip of New Guinea island.

The BMKG reported the quake’s magnitude at 6.8, with a depth of 10 kilometres.

A hotel receptionist at the Mansinam Beach Resort in Manokwari reported a minute of shaking, but said she saw no damage.

“All our guests panicked and ran out of the building, but they went back after the quake was over and everything is back to normal as far as I can see,” Anita, who goes by one name, told AFP.

The Papua region was struck by two mild aftershocks, while a 6.1-magnitude quake hit off Sumatra island, with no reports of damage or casualties.

Earlier on Saturday, a strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia’s Sumatra island on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

The quake struck at 5:14 am (2314 GMT Friday) at a depth of about 34 kilometres (21 miles), 427 kilometres southwest of Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Aceh province was shaken earlier this month by two huge earthquakes, triggering an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami alert.

At a magnitude of 8.6, the first of the two quakes was the strongest to hit since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 170,000 in Aceh. No major damage was reported.

– AFP/ck

 

 

 

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Volcanic Activity

Colombia prepares for imminent volcano eruption

Friday, 20 April 2012 11:14 Mary Cecelia Bittner

Nevado del Ruiz

Colombia‘s government has called for high risk areas to be prepared for the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.

The Interior Ministry has ordered the fire departments of 19 municipalities in the central Caldas and Tolima departments to be on high alert after the Colombian Geological Survey (SGC) announced that an eruption is “probable” in the coming days or weeks.

The alert level was raised from yellow to orange in March as the volcano became increasingly active. Last week a column of gas and steam approximately 1,200 meters tall extended from its crater.

The national director of the firefighting system warned that there is urgent need for a special contingency plan that outlines tactics to be used in emergency volcanic situations, especially for search and rescue groups. He called for a focus on high risk areas in or near the paths of rivers that originate in the Ruiz, whose levels may be elevated by pyroclastic fragments and the melting of ice.

The director of the Colombian Fire Department Federation in the town of Riosucio explained that local firemen are preparing a plan and educating communities.

In 1985 The Nevado del Ruiz erupted, wiping out the town of Armero and killing 25,000 people.

Villages rocked by volcano eruption

(UKPA) – 6 hours ago

A 17,886ft volcano outside Mexico City has exhaled dozens of towering plumes of ash and shot fragments of glowing rock down its slopes, frightening the residents of surrounding villages with hours of low-pitched roaring not heard in a decade.

A white cloud of ash, gas, water vapour and superheated rock spewed from the cone of Popocatepetl high above the village of Xalitzintla, whose residents said they were awakened by a window-rattling series of eruptions.

Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Centre said that a string of eruptions had ended in the early morning, then started up again at 5.05am, with at least 12 in two hours.

“Up on the mountain, it feels incredible,” said Aaron Sanchez Ocelotl, 45, who was in his turf grass fields when the eruptions happened. “It sounds like the roaring of the sea.”

The white cone of Popo, as most call the mountain, is an iconic backdrop to Mexico City’s skyline on clear days, but its 40-mile distance means even a moderately large eruption is unlikely to do more than dump ash on one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas.

It is a different matter for the villages on the flanks of the volcano, where the quiet of the corn fields and fruit orchards was pervaded by the volcano’s spooky roaring.

“Everyone needs to take this seriously. This buzzing, this roaring isn’t normal,” said Gregorio Fuentes Casquera, the assistant mayor of Xalitzintla, a village of 2,600 people about seven miles from the summit. He said the town had prepared 50 buses and was sending out its six-member police forces to alert people to be ready to evacuate.

Dozens of women lined up in Xalitzintla’s main square to get free face masks and bottles of water. Health authorities were giving out 10 masks and 10 bottles of water to each family, and the surgical-style masks, intended to filter out the fine ash released by the volcano, were becoming common among the town’s students, who are required to wear them in school. Few adults wore them.

President Felipe Calderon said live on national television that authorities are keeping open roads around the mountain, preparing emergency shelters and making sure residents know the latest information about a potential eruption.

Authorities this week raised the alert level due to increasing activity at the volcano, whose most violent eruption in 1,200 years occurred on December 18 2000. More than 30 million people live within view of the volcano, which sits at a point where the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Morelos come together. It has been erupting intermittently since December 1994.

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Extreme Temperatures/ Weather

 

  Current Emergencies
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
1 19.04.2012 Biological Hazard China Ningxia Autonomous region, [Touying township] Damage level
Details
1 21.04.2012 Epidemic Hazard Vietnam Province of Quang Ngai, [Son Ky Commune] Damage level
Details
10 21.04.2012 Volcano Activity Mexico State of Puebla, [Popocatepetl Volcano] Damage level Photo available! Details
  Short Time Event(s)
Upd. Date (UTC) Event Country Location Level Details
  Today Complex Emergency Trinidad and Tobago Tobago, [Tobago-wide] Damage level
Details
  Today Heat Wave India State of Uttar Pradesh, [UP-wide] Damage level
Details
  Today Vehicle Accident Mexico State of Veracruz, Alamo Damage level
Details
  Today Nuclear Event USA State of California, [San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station] Damage level
Details
  Today HAZMAT USA State of Minnesota, loc: 1350 Gardena Avenue Northeast, Fridley, MN [Totino-Grace High School] Damage level
Details
  20.04.2012 Vehicle Accident Pakistan State of Punjab, [Residential area of Rawalpindi] Damage level
Details
  20.04.2012 Extreme Weather Israel [Jordan Valley-wide] Damage level
Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freeze Warning

 

LA CROSSE WI
QUAD CITIES IA IL
GRAND RAPIDS MI
GREEN BAY WI
CHICAGO IL

 

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Storms, Flooding

 

 

Gale Warning

 

CAPE FEAR TO 31N OUT TO 32N 73W TO 31N 74W
JUNEAU AK
NEW ORLEANS LA
ANCHORAGE ALASKA

 

Flood Warning

 

LITTLE ROCK AR
SHREVEPORT LA


Flood Advisory

 

FAIRBANKS AK



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Radiation/Nuclear

NRC Action Will Force Major Court Fight

by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 18, 2012


File image: Vogtle nuclear reactor project.

An adverse decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will force parties concerned about the already troubled Vogtle nuclear reactor project in Georgia to file a motion this week in federal court, according to representatives of nine organizations that are seeking to slow down the Vogtle project so that necessary post-Fukushima safety enhancements can be taken into account on the front end – before billions of ratepayer dollars are spent.

In a phone-based news conference held just hours after the NRC rejection of their motion to stay construction, the groups explained that the NRC is violating federal law by issuing the Vogtle license without fully considering important public safety and environmental implications of the catastrophic Fukushima accident in Japan.

The new court proceeding would unfold against a backdrop of more than 30-plus license changes for the Vogtle reactors that Southern Company has said are needed and that the nine groups believe may result in possible delays and cost overruns.

The nine groups are the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Citizens Allied for Safe Energy, Friends of the Earth, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Nuclear Watch South, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

They have asked federal judges to order the NRC to prepare a new environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Vogtle reactors that would detail how cooling systems for the proposed reactors and spent fuel storage pools would meet new regulatory requirements in light of the Fukushima accident to protect the site, and nearby communities, against earthquakes, flooding and prolonged loss of electric power to the site.

Post-Fukushima safety requirements may also lead to a change in the economics of the Vogtle project compared to other energy alternatives.

Sara Barczak, High Risk Energy Choices program director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said: “As evidenced by today’s NRC decision, regulators unfortunately continue to ignore the real ramifications that this risky, expensive nuclear project could have on utility customers and local communities. There are serious safety and economic concerns that will eventually come to a front. Before billions more dollars are spent, post-Fukushima issues should be dealt with in order to best protect surrounding communities and ratepayers’ pocketbooks.”

Diane Curran, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg and Eisenberg, L.L.P., attorney for organizations, said: “The NRC predicts we are going to lose our case in federal court and therefore it refuses to order the suspension of construction at Vogtle while our court case proceeds. But the NRC only digs itself in deeper with this decision, which confirms that the NRC applied the wrong standard in refusing to supplement the EIS for Vogtle to address the environmental implications of the Fukushima accident – whether there was an ‘imminent risk’ of a Fukushima-like accident.

“But that is not the correct standard for whether a supplemental environmental analysis should be required. The standard is whether there is a significant risk of a severe accident sometime during the operating life of the reactor – not tomorrow.”

Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, said: “In denying a stay of the license, the Commission completely ignored our principal concern about the harm that will be caused by going ahead with construction now – that the costs of Fukushima-related backfits that may be required will be much greater after construction starts than if that issue is settled before construction, which is what we ask. The NRC gave short shrift to the interests of the public and specifically the ratepayers who are bearing the risks of Vogtle 3 and 4.

“For instance, the NRC ignored its own statements, as recent as January 2012, that the frequency of earthquakes of a given ground motion in the eastern region is now estimated to be higher than before. The Commission has failed to learn the lessons of the more than one hundred reactors to which it gave construction licenses in the 1970s that were later cancelled at great damage to ratepayers and the public in general in part because safety-related backfits were needed once construction had begun.”

Rev. Charles Utley, Environmental Justice coordinator, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, said: “As residents living within view of Plant Vogtle, we oppose the siting yet another nuclear plant in our backyard. For years we have participated in public hearings, legal actions and many other tactics to slow, stop and reverse this fundamental injustice. For our children, our homes and our community, we will never give up.”

Curran added: “The decision also vividly illustrates how NRC tries to have it both ways, telling the public to ‘trust us’ that it is taking the Fukushima accident seriously, at the same time it refuses to be accountable to the public by supplementing the environmental impact statement for Vogtle or by even holding a hearing on whether it should be supplemented.

“Attendance at the only hearing the NRC has held on the question of whether the NRC should supplement the environmental study for Vogtle was limited to Southern Nuclear Operating Co. and the NRC technical staff. The NRC would not let the public participate and refused these groups’ request for a hearing on the very same issue. We should have learned from the Japanese accident that such a cozy relationship between industry and government regulators leads to complacency and poor regulatory decisions.”

In February, the groups asked the NRC to delay construction of the new Vogtle reactors until the court decided their case. Since the NRC refused their request today, they will re-file the stay motion on construction with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit later this week. They contend that construction should not be allowed until the NRC decides whether the proposed new reactors should be re-designed to provide for more rigorous protection against earthquakes and extended power outages.

To build reactors that might need to be significantly modified later and extensively backfitted in light of new post-Fukushima regulatory requirements risks wasting ratepayer dollars, causing unnecessary pollution, and even possible abandonment of the project.

The NRC’s order today is available online.

Related Links
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
Nuclear Power News – Nuclear Science, Nuclear Technology
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

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Solar Activity

2MIN News Apr20

 

 

 

Incoming Plasma Clouds to hit Mercury, Earth, Mars

Spaceweather.com
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:08 CDT

On April 18th and 19th, a series of minor CMEs puffed away from the sun. Three of them are heading in our general direction. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have prepared an animated forecast track of the ensemble.

© Goddard Space Weather Lab

According to the forecast, the clouds are going to hit Mercury, Earth, Mars and rover Curiosity en route to Mars. The impact on our planet, on April 22nd around 00:50 UT, is expected to be minor with auroras likely only at higher latitudes.
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Space

Black Hole In Scorpius Seen Firing Fast Cosmic Bullets 20 April, 2012 MessageToEagle.com – Located about 28,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius, there is a black hole named H1742-322.

Racing outward at about one-quarter the speed of light, “bullets” of ionized gas are thought to arise from a region located just outside the black hole’s event horizon, the point beyond which nothing can escape.

Using the Very Large Baseline Array and Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite, an international team of astronomers have successfully managed to capture a detailed image of the black hole eruption.

The Very Large Baseline Array is a set of 10 radio telescopes that spans 5,000 miles from Mauna Kea in Hawaii to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides astronomers with the sharpest vision of any telescope on Earth or in space.

A black hole in the constellation Scorpius is firing fast cosmic bullets.“If your eyes were as sharp as the VLBA, you could see a person on the moon,” said physicist Gregory Sivakoff of the University of Alberta.

“Like a referee at a sports game, we essentially rewound the footage on the bullets’ progress, pinpointing when they were launched,” said Gregory Sivakoff of the University of Alberta in Canada.

Discovered by NASA’s HEAO-1 satellite in 1977, the system is composed of a normal star and a black hole of modest but unknown masses.Their orbit around each other is measured in days, which puts them so close together that the black hole pulls a continuous stream of matter from its stellar companion.

The flowing gas forms a flattened accretion disk millions of miles across, several times wider than our sun, centered on the black hole.

As matter swirls inward, it is compressed and heated to tens of millions of degrees, so hot that it emits X-rays.

Some of the infalling matter becomes re-directed out of the accretion disk as dual, oppositely directed jets.

Read Full Article Here

A wonderful night in April – April 21 and the 3D Lyrid Meteor Shower

Dr. Tony Phillips
Science@NASA
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:02 CDT

This weekend, NASA scientists, amateur astronomers, and an astronaut on board the International Space Station will attempt the first-ever 3D photography of meteors from Earth and space.

“The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 21-22,” says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “We’re going to try to photograph some of these ‘shooting stars’ simultaneously from ground stations, from a research balloon in the stratosphere, and from the space station.”

 

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Articles of Interest

Vietnam baffled by mystery disease

(UKPA)

Vietnam has asked the World Health Organization to help investigate a mystery disease that has killed 19 people and left 171 others sick.

Le Han Phong, chairman of the People’s Committee in Ba To district in Quang Ngai province, said patients first experience a rash on their hands and feet along with high fever, loss of appetite and eventually organ failure.

He said nearly 100 people remain in hospital, including 10 in critical condition. Patients with milder symptoms are being treated at home.

Mr Phong said the first case was detected last year and that the disease had died down until a spate of new infections were recently reported, mostly in one impoverished village.

A Ministry of Health investigation was inconclusive.

 

 

Incurable Mystery Hand, Foot and Mouth Virus Kills 19 Vietnamese Children to Date

Russia Today
Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:41 CDT
Print
Red Cross volunteer

© Quang Tuan / Vietnam Red Cross
A Red Cross volunteer talks to Hoang Thi Kim Phung, whose two-and-a-half -month-old son was admitted to hospital in Long An, Vietnam, with symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease
Hanoi has asked the World Health Organization for help to cure a virulent disease affecting children. Symptoms include blistering on hands, feet and mouths accompanied by high fever and eventual organ failure.

­Nineteen children died from the illness in 2011 alone.

The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person’s oral discharges or saliva, the fluid from burst blisters or the stool of infected persons.

The Red Cross mission in Vietnam reports the disease has already infected over 28,000 children this year, which is more than 10 times the number of infected children in the same period last year.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), last year a record 110,000 children became infected, with 169 deaths.

The hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) disease mostly affects children under three years old (80 per cent of totals cases) the Red Cross said. There is no known treatment for HFMD.

Human HFMD differs from a similar foot-and-mouth disease affecting cattle, sheep, and pigs.

The virus was first detected last year in central Vietnam. Initially the disease died away, but later many new infections were reported. Most of those infected are from one impoverished villages.

Last year HFMD killed 19 people, reportedly most of them children. One hundred and seventy-one people were hospitalized, 10 in a critical condition. Some patients get milder symptoms and are able to be treated at home.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health launched a fruitless investigation.

In previous years the registered HFMD cases were mild and most patients recovered after a maximum 10 days, but the new virulent strain EV71 has developed into a fatal disease.

The IFRC say it needs $840,000 to sponsor a program preventing the spread of the disease.

Vietnamese authorities are conducting a campaign to improve sanitation and hygiene practices in internal migrant families living in densely-populated areas.

Cases of HFMD are also on increase in other Asian countries, including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

HFMD (Hand, foot and mouth disease) awareness posters (Vietnam Red Cross / p-VNM0322)

 

 

Did Climate Change Cause Witch Hysteria?

Alan Burke
Salem News
Salem Witch Trials

© Public domain / Artist unknown
An engraving depicting a scene from the Salem Witch Trials. The central figure in this 1876 illustration of the courtroom is usually identified as Mary Walcott, 17, one of several girls in Salem with a psychological disorder known as mass hysteria, and whose condition was blamed on witchcraft..

Salem – The Salem witch tragedy of 1692 took less than two years to play out. Yet 300 years later, explanations for how and why it happened are still coming.

One theory recently gaining exposure thanks to bloggers comes from a 2004 college thesis that places the blame on something we think of as a strictly modern phenomenon: climate change.

Proposed in a Harvard thesis, the paper by economist Emily Oster has earned attention due to the modern swirl of controversy surrounding the possibility that human interaction has altered world temperatures.

Currently an assistant professor at the University of Chicago, Oster linked periodic outbreaks of violence against people accused of witchcraft with dramatic temperature drops.

“The most active period of the witchcraft trials (mainly in Europe) coincides with a period of lower-than-average temperature known to climatologists as the ‘little ice age,'” Oster wrote. “The colder temperatures increased the frequency of crop failure, and colder seas prevented cod and other fish from migrating as far north, eliminating this vital food source for some northern areas of Europe.”

When crops failed, “people would have searched for a scapegoat in the face of deadly changes in weather patterns,” she wrote. Thus, desperate people traced their troubles to unpopular neighbors and outcasts allied to the devil.

Oster noted that the persecutions “spread even across the Atlantic Ocean to Salem, Massachusetts.”

Moreover, she added, “The coldest segments of this ‘little ice age’ period were in the 1590s and between 1680 and 1730.”

 

 

 

 

Mysterious Balancing Rocks Resist Quakes’ Shakes

Andrea Mustain
OurAmazingPlanet
PBR

© James Brune
A Precariously Balanced Rock, or PBR.

San Diego – In the western San Bernardino Mountains, near the highway that links Los Angeles and Las Vegas, scientists recently discovered a geological mystery: colossal rocks perched in precarious poses right next door to the San Andreas Fault.

It’s not the rocks’ balancing act that is perplexing, said Lisa Grant Ludwig, a scientist who presented this puzzle to colleagues this week here at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America.

It’s how the rocks have managed to stay that way with such an aggressive maker of powerful earthquakes just a few miles away.

 

 

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