2:30 — The location of this sinkhole and the presence of the sediment… really raised the possibility of a safety concern with the dam… The initial investigation showed that we had internal erosion. A phenomenon called ‘piping’ where voids from water flowing through the dam — more of a stream-like effect — than just seepage. Internal erosion is one of the leading causes of dam failures around the world. So we knew that we had to do something here to protect the safety of the public… particularly downstream risk… Around the clock inspectors [are] keeping surveillance on the dam [and we have] sensors to monitor movements that might occur in the dam itself.
4:00 — One of the key findings so far is that water is flowing through the foundation from multiple sources, and in multiple directions. It’s actually seeping through porous rock — rainwater upstream, through porous rock, through the dam… Continue reading »
Tepco handout (pdf), summary translation by Fukushima Diary, Jul 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Tepco announced Fukushima plant area has irregularly sunk since 311… The report reads Reactor 1 turbine building sank by 730 mm [2.40 ft], Reactor 2 by 725 mm, Reactor 3 by 710 mm, Reactor 4 by 712 mm.
IAEA Headquarters (pdf), 2015: We know that the buildings will decay and become less stable… there is the dilemma of 1) gathering more information… and 2) acting earlier and maybe not having enough information to make good decisions. Continue reading »
AP, Jul 27, 2015 (emphasis added): Scientist says unexplained mass whale deaths off Alaska island may remain a mystery — Researchers may never solve the recent deaths of 18 endangered whales… 10 fin whales [and] eight humpback whales… scientists speculate the animals might have eaten something toxic… One test came back negative for one toxin that would be present in harmful algal blooms [Kate Wynne, a marine mammal specialist for the University of Alaska Sea Grant Program] said. “That’s my leading hypothesis,” Wynne said of an environmental toxin as a cause… “we never will find out what killed those whales, in my mind.” Other test results also are pending, however. A muscle-tissue sample is being tested for the possibility of radionuclides from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster… The deaths are an unusual occurrence, Wynne said. She said she’s never heard of anything similar occurring among large baleen whales in the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also is looking into the deaths of a slightly larger number of whales over a larger area. NOAA is requesting the deaths to be designated nationally as an unusual mortality event… NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle said. Along with the dead whales, dead birds including murres and shearwaters were reported… Tests showed the shearwaters had a high parasite count and were starving, Wynne said. Continue reading »
29 July 2015 – “In recent weeks, thousands of people in the Indonesian Province of Papua have been suffering the effects of a severe cold wave that has left remote communities in need of food and clean water,” says this article from the Red Cross.
“The cold wave first struck at the beginning of July, hitting the district of Lanny Jaya particularly hard. The sub-districts of Kuyawage, West Wanu and Goa Baliem were struck by hailstorms accompanied by freezing temperatures which plunged to minus two degrees Celsius. Continue reading »
Washington State University (WSU) researchers, led by Dr. Michelle (Shelley) McGuire, working alongside Monsanto and the Monsanto service contractor Covance Laboratories, announced last week that U.S. women’s breast milk does not contain the world’s most sold herbicide, glyphosate.
However, following an investigation by Sustainable Pulse and Moms Across America, published last week, the study was found to be full of massive conflicts of interest and also many unanswered scientific questions. Continue reading »
This dangerous, biotech-industry-friendly GMO labeling legislation is on its way to the Senate, but the fight is far from over. Action Alert!
As we reported last week, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced a bill that has been championed by the Monsantos of the world, not to mention the Big Food industry. The deceptively titled “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” would preempt state efforts to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws with a completely voluntary standard. It would also block communities and states from banning the cultivation of GMO crops.
A voluntary standard? What company that uses GMO ingredients would voluntarily disclose that fact? You may remember the devastating quote from an employee of a Monsanto subsidiary back in ’94: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” In other words, if it’s voluntary, consumers will never see a label containing the information they have overwhelmingly said they want. That’s why pro-labeling advocates have called the bill the “DARK” (“Deny Americans the Right to Know”) Act. Continue reading »
Effusion of viscous lava continues at slow pace to feed the lava dome with two active lobes on the SE and E upper flanks of Indonesian Sinabung volcano.
At 12:22 local time today, a small part of the eastern lobe collapsed into a medium-sized pyroclastic flow that traveled approximately 2.5 km (1.55 miles) towards the outskirts of the (already evacuated and destroyed) villages of Bekerah and Simacem, Volcano Discovery reports.
Video courtesy of Ingrid Smet / Volcano Discovery.
During July 18 to 19, BNPB reported pyroclastic flows traveled 2.5 -3 km (1.86 miles) E and SE, ash plumes rose as high as 1 km (0.62 miles), and lava was active as far as 1.5 km (0.93 miles) SE. Seismicity was high and the lava dome continued to extrude. Continue reading »
“The mercury has exceeded 20 degrees C so rarely this year that the summer of 2015 is shaping up as the chilliest in more than half a century of statistics tracked by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI).
This summer, the temperature has only surpassed 20 C (68 F) at FMI monitoring points on 37 days. In Finnish Lapland, there have only 19 such days. Continue reading »
21 Jul 2015 – Heavy ice in the Arctic is making it difficult, if not impossible, for ships to deliver the annual resupply of fuel and goods to some Nunavut and Nunavik communities, says CBC News. Continue reading »
Al Gore said it would be clear water by now … Video
The Arctic ice pack has expanded dramatically despite years of doom-laden predictions that it was melting away for good.
British scientists discovered that it grew by more than 40 percent in 2013 thanks to cooler than expected temperatures, and say they were shocked at the speed of recovery in such a short time.
Three years ago Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University forecast that the Arctic would be ice free by 2015 – or 2016 at the latest. And Al Gore made strong claims that the caps would disappear by 2014.