Report shows that contamination monitors failed at Hanford Nuclear Site

March 12, 2018 by  
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Last December, as crews were demolishing the Hanford Nuclear Reservation site in Washington, work was halted after monitors alerted individuals that they had inhaled radioactive particles – and we now know that it could have been prevented. According to a new report, mismanagement and carelessness caused the exposure of at least 11 workers to nuclear waste after monitors failed to detect contamination. The Hanover site clean-up has been plagued with problems. Storage tanks have triggered alarms after springing leaks . In May of last year, a tunnel collapsed onto train cars containing nuclear waste. Then in December at the Plutonium Finishing Plant, at least 11 workers were exposed to radioactive materials. On the bright side, the Hanford Site was declared a national park in 2015 , so you can stop by if you want to get a good look at what the technology of war does to the environment. Related: America’s most polluted nuclear site is now a national park Contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company recently completed their evaluation on what happened in December. According to their report, continuous air monitors used to detect radioactive contamination failed – and officials ignored alarms signaled by the monitors that workers wear on their clothing. Then, when contamination was discovered, the report states that the steps taken to contain the radiation didn’t work. For instance, a fixative used to help contain particles was diluted, which reduced its effectiveness. Negative air pressure exhausters put in place to help contain radiation were also rendered less effective as parts of the structures were torn down. Pieces of debris were sprayed with fixative on one side, but not the other, the report also revealed. Radioactive particles were also found in areas where it shouldn’t be – including in areas where the public is allowed to visit. The report is being reviewed by a Department of Energy panel, and CH2M provided 42 steps that it plans to take to prevent something like this from happening in the future. Via The Tri-City Herald Images via Deposit Photos , Wikimedia, The Department of Energy and Flickr

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Report shows that contamination monitors failed at Hanford Nuclear Site

Russia is building nuclear bomb shelters and warning residents of imminent attack by US

October 20, 2016 by  
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Russia has been all over the headlines of American news media lately (did you catch the Presidential debate last night?), and it’s now come to light that the country is preparing for war – or so it says. The  country’s Ministry of Emergency Situations wants to turn a giant half-constructed stadium just outside St Petersburg into a nuclear fallout shelter . The Ministry sent a demand letter to the managers of the Zenit Arena, which is currently being build for World Cup 2018, calling for the establishment of an emergency shelter. Reportedly, this move is just one of several ways Russia ’s leaders are gearing up for nuclear war . The letter describes the stadium as being in the potential “zone of war destruction and radiation fallout” should a nuclear attack occur. Recent Russian state-run television broadcasts have warned the public that nuclear war with the US is “imminent,” accompanied with reminders to learn the location of the nearest bomb shelter. Video tours of fallout shelters also aired, giving the public a glimpse at how life after nuclear war might look. Russian authorities also report that 40 million people recently participated in a drill, complete with crowds of children evacuating schools and donning gas masks. Russian leaders have warned that the threat of nuclear attack will increase, should Hillary Clinton win the presidential election next month. Related: President Obama visits Hiroshima, speaks out against nuclear weapons It’s been 20 or so years since Russian leaders were last heard talking this seriously about preparing for a nuclear attack. Yet, despite the increase in discussions about nuclear attacks inside Russia’s borders, most analysts elsewhere in the world don’t believe there is any particular threat. In fact, many say it’s more likely that Russia is using the age-old tactic of fear mongering in order to control its people. Among the television broadcasts was an interview with a retired colonel “showing several possible scenarios of the catastrophe” on a map. That map, apparently, was lifted from an American video game, and not a real representation of any planned military action. Via The Daily Beast and ABC Images via Kate Brady/Flickr and NTV via screenshot

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Dutch man with no formal architecture training built his mom a transforming garden shed

October 20, 2016 by  
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The Garden House sits on the edge of a pond located on a site owned by Schols’ parents. It may look like a typical garden shed, but if you slide the central timber and glass walls along runners, the structure transforms into a beautiful pavilion. In order to facilitate this transformation , Schols separated the inner beam-and-glass structure from the outer wooden walls and metal roof and put them on runners. By wheeling the middle part inwards and outwards, the user can create different layouts for varying weather conditions. Related: Solar-Powered Greenhouse in Finland Doubles as a Spare Summer Room “I was looking for a design with a lot of flexibility, if possible a design that has the flexibility of clothes,” Schols said. “You should be able to get away with changing the layers of the house almost as easily as changing clothes when desired.” Via Dezeen Photos by Jorrit ‘t Hoen

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Dutch man with no formal architecture training built his mom a transforming garden shed

North Korea bomb test wasn’t big enough to be an H-bomb, skeptics say

January 6, 2016 by  
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Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you’ve probably already heard North Korea’s announcement that it completed an underground test of a miniaturized hydrogen bomb . In a video released to the press, a female news anchor on the country’s state-run television station reports “the first H-bomb test was successfully conducted” on 6 January. The size of the explosion, however, is only slightly more than the last incident of nuclear weapons testing in 2013, leading skeptics to question what type of bomb was actually detonated. Read the rest of North Korea bomb test wasn’t big enough to be an H-bomb, skeptics say

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Alison Douglas recycled concrete pipes to create a dreamy urban oasis

January 6, 2016 by  
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America’s most polluted nuclear site is now a national park

December 22, 2015 by  
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A new kind of tourist attraction is expected to bring thousands of visitors to Washington state next year. Hanford Nuclear Reservation is home to the world’s first full-sized nuclear reactor and also holds the designation of being the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site. As of November, it is also one of the locations that make up the Manhattan Project National Historic Park , along with sites in Tennessee and New Mexico. Officials insist that radioactive waste will be kept “miles away” from the park’s visitors, but is that enough to make you want to spend your vacation at a nuclear weapons site? Read the rest of America’s most polluted nuclear site is now a national park

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Stylish and minimalist micro-apartment makes the most of small-space living

December 22, 2015 by  
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The Department of Saving the World

August 22, 2011 by  
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The idea of “saving the world” is now too cliche to throw around loosely, but sometimes it is warranted. While not as sexy as saving the whales or reusable water bottles – both important in their own way – one deathly important component of creating a safe, sustainable world is preventing the ingredients for a nuclear bomb or “dirty bomb” from entering the black market. Call me old fashioned, but I like my highly enriched uranium and other radioactive material nice and secure and not in the hands of international terrorists. That’s hard to fit on a bumper sticker, I know, but most people would probably agree that is sti… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Blog Debunks 13-Year-Old’s Solar Power Breakthrough

August 22, 2011 by  
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image via American Museum of Natural History Last week, EarthTechling let us know that a 13-year-old came up with a solar breakthrough, noticing that using the Fibonacci sequence to organize solar cells could boost efficiency. The news story was big on TreeHugger, as well as on dozens of other news outlets around the nation. Everyone was excited for a teen to do such an interesting science project, and to be recognized with a Young Naturalist award by the American Museum of Natural History. However, the teen’s glory is short lived — a science blog has debunked the project. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Dr Who Embraces Solar Power

August 22, 2011 by  
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Given that Robert Llewellyn, the former star of the cult comedy Red Dwarf, is now creating the popular online electric car series Fully Charged , and is raving about his own solar-powered car charging set up , British sci-fi has already contributed to a greener world. But now comes news that the Timelord himself is taking some very concrete steps to save the planet (as if he hasn’t saved it a few times already). Business Green reports that

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