International Day Against Nuclear Tests

August 25, 2020 by  
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International Day Against Nuclear Tests

We Earthlings: Global Social Cost of CO2 Emissions

August 25, 2020 by  
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Supreme Court votes to uphold Virginia’s ban on uranium mining

June 19, 2019 by  
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The Supreme Court disappointed the Trump administration and an eager mining corporation by voting to keep the country’s largest uranium deposit underground. On June 17, the court voted six to three to uphold Virginia’s uranium mining ban in a move that re-confirms the sovereignty of states to determine the future of their natural resources and the protection of their environments. The uranium deposit in question is worth an estimated $6 billion and is situated on a private estate in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Uranium is an essential ingredient for nuclear energy and contributes to about 20 percent of the country’s electricity production. Uranium is also an essential ingredient in nuclear weapons; therefore, control over its sources is critically important to the government and military. Related: Demand for sand — the largest mining industry no one talks about Despite pressure from the federal government and legal challenges from Virginia Uranium, Inc., the state of Virginia passed a ban on uranium mining due to environmental and health concerns associated with its extraction. “This is a big win for the health and safety of Virginians and our environment,” Attorney General for Virginia Mark Herring said of the Supreme Court ruling. “We are well within our rights as a state to decide that a risky, potentially dangerous activity like uranium mining is not for us.” Uranium is a radioactive material, and the environmental concerns related to its extraction include contaminated water, soil and disrupted landscapes that cause major erosion and landslides. Virginia Uranium, Inc. argued that the state is confiscating a nationally important resource. The corporation said it is disappointed with the ruling and plans to mount a new challenge after its argument that the federal-level Atomic Energy Act of 1954 governs nuclear energy development and supersedes any state ban proved unsuccessful in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruling was written by Justice Neil Gorsch, who was appointed by President Trump in 2017. Via Reuters Image via Shutterstock

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Supreme Court votes to uphold Virginia’s ban on uranium mining

The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

January 31, 2019 by  
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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board has announced that the iconic Doomsday Clock is remaining at two minutes to midnight because of the dangers of climate change and the lack of progress on nuclear risks. Midnight on Doomsday is a symbolic point of annihilation and has reached the familiar point it was once in at the peak of the Cold War in 1953. The Science and Security Board made the decision to keep the clock in its current standing with the Board of Sponsors — which includes 14 Nobel Laureates — and have dubbed the situation as “the new abnormal.” In addition to climate change and nuclear risks, another factor in the decision was “the increased use of information warfare.” “It is still two minutes to midnight. Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats — nuclear weapons and climate change  — were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger,” read the 2019 Doomsday Clock statement. The statement went on to say that this “new abnormal” is unsustainable and extremely dangerous, but nonetheless, the power to improve the severity of the situation remains in the hands of world leaders. The clock can move away from catastrophe if leaders act under pressure from engaged citizens. Related: Is the Green New Deal the all-inclusive climate plan we need? Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , says that they are describing a frightening reality and the clock is the closest it has ever been to an apocalypse and should be recognized as a stark warning by all leaders and citizens of the world. The 2019 Doomsday Clock statement emphasized #RewindtheDoomsdayClock and recommended multiple action steps be taken. They included U.S. and Russian leaders resolving their differences over the INF treaty, adopting measures to prevent peacetime military incidents on the NATO borders and American citizens demanding climate action from their government . Other recommendations were for countries around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to reach the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement and for the Trump administration to revisit their decision to exit the plan for limiting Iran’s nuclear program. Via Bulletin.org Image via Shutterstock

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The world is close to annihilation according to the iconic Doomsday Clock

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

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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