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catastrophe 5 articles

Nuclear waste leak in Washington much worse than originally feared, officials say

Last week, Washington state officials announced that one of the 177 underground storage tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the state’s south-central region is leaking radioactive nuclear waste at a rate of 150 to 300 gallons per year, threatening the water table and nearby Columbia River. Further inspections, however, reveal the problem to be much worse. In meetings Friday, Washington governor Jay Inslee learned that six of the tanks containing hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive sludge were found to be leaking. Combined, the tanks contain some 53 million gallons of nuclear waste, a byproduct of the federal ... Read More

Nuclear waste leak threatens Washington State’s groundwater, rivers

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and other state officials sounded an alarm Friday over a leaking underground storage tank at south-central Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation, a former plutonium production facility that is already the nation’s most contaminated nuclear waste site. The leaking tank contains hundreds of thousands of gallons of radioactive nuclear waste and is one of 177 World War II-era tanks at the site designed to last 20 years. Gov. Inslee said that officials estimate the tank could be leaking 150 gallons to 300 gallons of nuclear waste over a year and that the long-term threat to the state’s groundwater ... Read More

Scientists say BP oil spill likely culprit in massive coral die-off

According to National Geographic magazine, scientists discovered a massive deep-sea coral die-off this month about 7 miles southwest of the site where BP’s blown-out well spewed millions of gallons of crude oil for months. Scientists who made the discovery said that vast communities of bottom-dwelling coral in the Gulf of Mexico were dead or dying under a strange dark substance. The damaged coral beds were found at depths of up to 4,600 feet. Scientific team member Timothy Shank of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution told National Geographic that he’s never seen anything like it before. “When we tried to take samples ... Read More

Would an offshore drilling moratorium make a bad oil spill worse?

Many news reports have called President Obama’s six-month moratorium on deepwater offshore drilling an unwarranted knee-jerk reaction to BP’s catastrophic offshore explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Opponents of the moratorium say that the ban would deal a devastating economic blow to Gulf Coast communities already besieged by oil. After two court rulings against Obama’s earlier ban on new offshore drilling, the President has issued a new moratorium that he hopes will stand up in court. The move has sparked further outrage in the oil industry and throughout those states that benefit directly from offshore drilling. Louisiana Democrat Nancy Landrieu, ... Read More

BP's top kill fails to stop oil, company prepares risky attempt

BP’s latest efforts to plug the Deepwater Horizon oil well have failed again, and the growing oil slick that CEO Tony Hayward earlier called a “tiny” bit of oil in the “vast ocean” is now by his own admission an “environmental catastrophe.” BP’s latest efforts to stop the geyser of oil with heavy drilling mud – a procedure the company called a “top kill” — appeared successful in its initial stages but ultimately failed over the weekend. BP also tried to blow golf balls and chunks of rubber tire into the well, but that, too, failed to stop the leak. ... Read More