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Nadia Prupis – Public Cost of Fukushima Cleanup Tops $628 Billion and Is Expected to Climb

The public cost of cleaning up the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster topped ¥4.2 trillion (roughly $628 billion) as of March, and is expected to keep climbing, the Japan Times reported on Sunday. That includes costs for radioactive decontamination and compensation payments. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will sell off its shares to eventually pay back the cost of decontamination and waste disposal, but …

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Melanie Benesh – Will New Chemical Law Hide The Fracking Industry’s Toxic Secrets?

The makeup of hydraulic fracturing fluid – the slurry of chemicals, sand and water injected deep underground to free petroleum deposits trapped by bedrock – is a closely guarded secret of the oil and gas industry. Fracking has contaminated drinking water and is linked to health problems in people living near drilling sites, and also to triggering earthquakes. But federal law doesn’t require drillers to disclose what’s …

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Mediterranean may be driest for 900 years

The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is easily the worst in half a millennium, and perhaps for nearly twice as long, scientists find. The drought that has blighted the eastern Mediterranean since 1998 could be the worst in nine centuries, according to new research led by scientists from the US space agency Nasa. They report in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheresthat they …

drought

California is pumping water that fell to Earth 20,000 years ago

By now, the impacts of California’s unchecked groundwater pumping are well-known: the dropping water levels, dried-up wells and slowly sinking farmland in parts of the Central Valley. But another consequence gets less attention, one measured not by acre-feet or gallons-per-minute but the long march of time. As California farms and cities drill deeper for groundwater in an era of drought …

Arsenic

ARE WE OVERLOOKING THE REAL ARSENIC RISK?

Geologist Qusheng Jin had “a wild hypothesis” in 2008 that a bacterial process was at work in an arsenic-contaminated aquifer in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. In a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Jin’s team shows the process is in play and concludes the practice of just monitoring total arsenic levels for groundwater safety is not enough. They suggest organic …