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Where does Bangalore’s power come from?

Posted by Admin on November 12, 2012

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/4648-bescoms-power-sources

Bangalore had been reeling under a power shortage until recently. The city alone consumes about a third of the state’s total power. What are Bangalore’s power sources?

By Navya P K
06 Nov 2012, Citizen Matters

For over a month, there have been reports about power shortage in the city. Early October, BESCOM had contemplated power cuts for industries, but later changed the plan when rains started.

Currently, the city has shortage of around 100 MW daily, which is only less than 5% of its total requirement, says P Manivannan, MD of BESCOM [1]. The shortage for entire BESCOM area is upto 600 MW. Manivannan says, “The shortage cannot be quantified, but varies from 0-600 MW through the day depending on wind and other sources. We are able to handle it, and are not contemplating any load shedding for the city.”

Bangalore’s daily power demand is about 2300 MW (Mega Watt). That is, 2300 MW of power is transmitted throughout the day to the city on average (there are sharp differences in peak and non-peak hour consumption though). Bangalore consumes about one-third of the state’s total power. Karnataka‘s average demand is 6000 MW per day.

Pic: wikimediacommons

Overall, Bangalore consumes 42 Million Units (MU) energy per day, as opposed to state’s 140 MU. The transmission of 2300 MW through the day, leads to consumption of 42 MU of energy.

What are our power sources?

Bangalore is powered by the same grid that supplies to the entire state – there are no specific sources for Bangalore alone. The sources include hydel, thermal and non-conventional sources like wind and sun. The state also gets power from Central Generating Stations (CGS) like Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Kaiga Atomic Power Station in North Karnataka etc. Together, the sources have the maximum capacity to produce 12,000 MW of power, but actual generation is about 6000 MW and the extent of generation from each source varies through the day. Major sources are the state’s own hydel and thermal power stations.

Hydel power:

The state has over 15 hydel power stations – Shivanasamudra, Sharavathy and Bhadra are some of them. Though hydel power is a major part of state’s power, BESCOM gets only a small share of it. The amount of hydel power allocation is fixed for ESCOMs (Electricity Supply Companies).

BESCOM gets 12% of state’s hydel power for its entire area which also includes Tumkur, Chitradurga, Davanagere etc (not just Bangalore). Because of this low dependency on hydel power, poor monsoon rains do not hinder power supply to Bangalore as much.

Thermal power:

Thermal power comes from coal, gas and diesel stations. Raichur and Bellary Thermal Power Stations (RTPS and BTPS), and Yelahanka Diesel Generating Station (YDGS) are the state’s major thermal stations. Unlike hydel power, thermal power is stable as long as there is no shortage of coal/diesel.

Central Generating Stations (CGS):

CGS are thermal/nuclear stations. The stations are maintained by central government, and each state gets a specified share of the power generated. The state in which the station is located, will get majority of the power while neighbouring states will get a smaller share. Karnataka gets about 1000 MW from CGS, on average.

Non Conventional Energy Projects (NCEPs):

This power is produced not by government agencies, but by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). NCE sources mainly are wind, sun, biomass etc. Wind generation is a major part of NCEPs, but depends on wind availability. While IPPs like Tata BP Solar exclusively generates solar power, much of NCE is generated in factories as by-product.

For instance, in sugar and steel factories, while production process goes on, power can be generated simultaneously. The factories use part of this power for themselves, and sell the excess to the state. Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL), a major IPP, produces power from imported coal.

How power reaches Bangalore

Three agencies are involved in the procurement, transmission and supply of power, before it reaches consumers. Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) is the state agency that gets power from different generating stations. KPCL also buys power from other states when required.

Another agency, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (KPTCL) is in charge of transmitting power to different ESCOMs, including BESCOM. Once it gets the power from KPTCL, BESCOM’s local network supplies it to consumers.

All of this is co-ordinated by KPTCL’s State Load Despatch Centre (SLDC). ESCOMs inform SLDC about their power requirement forecast for the next day, 24 hours earlier. Similarly, KPCL informs SLDC of its generation forecast, a day before. Depending on this, the total power is distributed among each ESCOM for the next day. Demand and supply varies through the day, and SLDC maintains real-time data on this.

06 Nov 2012

Navya P K is Senior Staff Journalist at Citizen Matters.

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Power cut hits millions, among world’s worst outages

Posted by Admin on August 1, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/power-blackout-sweeps-north-india-second-day-081130063.html

By Frank Jack Daniel | Reuters – 2 hours 10 minutes ago

              NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Hundreds of millions of people across India were left without power on Tuesday in one of the world’s worst blackouts, trapping miners, stranding train travellers and plunging hospitals into darkness when grids collapsed for the second time in two days.

Stretching from Assam to the Himalayas and the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, the outage covered states where half of India’s 1.2 billion people live and embarrassed the government, which has failed to build up enough power capacity to meet soaring demand.

“Even before we could figure out the reason for yesterday’s failure, we had more grid failures today,” said R.N. Nayak, chairman of the state-run Power Grid Corporation.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had vowed to fast-track stalled power and infrastructure projects as well as introduce free market reforms aimed at reviving India’s flagging economy. But he has drawn fire for dragging his feet.

By nightfall, power was back up in the humid capital, New Delhi and much of the north, but a senior official said only a third was restored in the rural state of Uttar Pradesh, itself home to more people than Brazil.

The cuts in such a widespread area of the world’s second most populous nation appeared to be one of the biggest in history, and hurt Indians’ pride as the country seeks to emerge as a major force on the international stage.

“It’s certainly shameful. Power is a very basic amenity and situations like these should not occur,” said Unnayan Amitabh, 19, an intern with HSBC bank in New Delhi, before giving up on the underground train system and flagging down an auto-rickshaw to get home.

“They talk about big ticket reforms but can’t get something as essential as power supply right.”

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde blamed the system collapse on some states drawing more than their share of electricity from the over-burdened grid, but Uttar Pradesh’s top civil servant for energy said outdated transmission lines were at fault.

Asia’s third-largest economy suffers a peak-hour power deficit of about 10 percent, dragging on economic growth.

Between a quarter and 40 percent of Indians are not connected to the national grid.

Two hundred miners were stranded in three deep coal shafts in the state of West Bengal when their electric elevators stopped working. Eastern Coalfields Limited official Niladri Roy said workers at the mines, one of which is 700 metres (3,000 feet) deep, were not in danger and were being taken out.

Train stations in Kolkata were swamped and traffic jammed the streets after government offices closed early in the dilapidated coastal city of 5 million people.

The power failed in some major city hospitals and office buildings had to fire up diesel generators.

By mid-evening, services had been restored on the New Delhi metro system.

“PUSHED INTO DARKNESS”

On Monday, India was forced to buy extra power from the tiny neighbouring kingdom of Bhutan to help it recover from a blackout that hit more than 300 million people.

Indians took to social networking sites to ridicule the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, in part for promoting Shinde despite the power cuts.

Narendra Modi, an opposition leader and chief minister in Gujarat, a state that enjoys a surplus of power, was scornful.

“With poor economic management UPA has emptied the pockets of common man; kept stomachs hungry with inflation & today pushed them into darkness,” he said on his Twitter account.

The country’s southern and western grids were supplying power to help restore services, officials said.

The problem has been made worse by a weak monsoon in agricultural states such as wheat-belt Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in the Ganges plain, which has a larger population than Brazil.

With less rain to irrigate crops, more farmers resort to electric pumps to draw water from wells.

India’s electricity distribution and transmission is mostly state run, with private companies operating in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Less than a quarter of generation is private nationwide.

More than half the country’s electricity is generated by coal, with hydro power and nuclear also contributing.

Power shortages and a creaky road and rail network have weighed heavily on India’s efforts to industrialize. Grappling with the slowest economic growth in nine years, the government recently scaled back a target to pump $1 trillion into infrastructure over the next five years.

Major industries have their own power plants or diesel generators and are shielded from outages. But the inconsistent supply hits investment and disrupts small businesses.

High consumption of heavily subsidized diesel by farmers and businesses has fuelled a gaping fiscal deficit that the government has vowed to tackle to restore confidence in the economy.

But the poor monsoon means a subsidy cut is politically difficult.

On Tuesday, the central bank cut its economic growth outlook for the fiscal year that ends in March to 6.5 percent, from the 7.3 percent assumption made in April, putting its outlook closer to that of many private economists.

“This is going to have a substantial adverse impact on the overall economic activity. Power failure for two consecutive days hits sentiment very badly,” said N. Bhanumurthy, a senior economist at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

(Reporting by Delhi Bureau; Sujoy Dhar in Kolkata and Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Robert Birsel and Diana Abdallah)

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What is causing power grid failure in India?

Posted by Admin on August 1, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/what-is-causing-power-grid-failure-in-india-.html

Power failure hit India for a second day running, cutting power to more than 600 million people. Here are a few facts about the power crisis:

Yahoo! India News – 7 hours ago

NEW DELHI: Power failure hit India for a second day running on Tuesday due to the collapse of the Northern and Eastern grids, cutting power to more than 600 million people in the populous northern and eastern states including the capital Delhi and major cities such as Kolkata. Around over 300,000 passengers were stranded in over 300 trains across eight states after the northern and eastern grids failed, crippling operations across six railway zones in the country. Here are a few facts about the power crisis in India:

What is an electrical grid?

A power grid is an interconnected network of transmission lines for supplying electricity from power suppliers to consumers. Any disruptions in the network causes power outages. India has five regional grids that carry electricity from power plants to respective states in the country.

What leads to a grid failure?

Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said the blackout may have been caused by a mix of coal shortages and other problems on the grid. The power deficit was worsened by a weak monsoon that lowered hydroelectric generation and kept temperatures high, feeding the appetite for electricity.

Farmers using energy-intensive water pumps for irrigation to save their recently sown crops may also have pushed up the demand.

If the monsoon does not pick up, the grids are expected to come under more stress. Hydro-power accounts for about 20 per cent of installed power capacity but reservoirs have only 24 per cent of the water they can hold — just about half of what they carried at this time last year.

Many state governments give farmers free or near-free electricity, triggering a vicious cycle of unviable power boards whose supply is so erratic that farmers are forced to pay a steep price to run diesel pumps and generators. Many states have not adjusted tariff for 10 years.

The industry has advocated abolishing a 1973 Act that nationalised coal mining. Changes to the law are expected to allow professional miners to scout for and mine coal.

India’s power shortage

India is slow to set up new power capacity principally because it is short of fossil fuels. Coal is mined hesitantly and natural gas, the other feedstock for power plants, is just beginning to flow in from new offshore finds. The government rations both.

The immediate response to a power sector in distress – thermal plants are idling a quarter of their capacity – is to give it a bigger slice of the pie. The sustainable response will need the pie to grow overall.

This January, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up a committee to work through the issues that have been bedeviling electricity generation: a host of problems ranging from coal and gas shortages to environmental clearances to the price at which power is sold in the country.

India’s basic energy shortage is compounded by the policy of selling electricity to consumers at politically correct prices. The government-owned distribution monopolies in the states have all but lost their ability to buy power because their political bosses force them to sell it cheap, sometimes free, to voters. This opportunism is hurting the economy: the government estimates unaccounted for sale of power in India, at a third of the total, costs the country 1% of its gross domestic product.

The road ahead

The road ahead for reforms in the power sector is well lit. Introduce competition in all three areas of the business – generation, transmission and distribution – to enhance productivity and contain leakages. Create an independent watchdog that can withstand the political pressures playing on different links of the nation’s power supply chain.

Finally, free up pricing to make consumers more responsible for the electricity they use. This has been the broad course of electricity reforms the world over. India’s energy pricing, including transport and cooking fuels, is hopelessly caught in competitive populism. Serious attempt to extricate it will need more grids to trip.

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Shed a tear for Mysore’s disappearing scrublands

Posted by Admin on May 18, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/blogs/traveler/shed-tear-mysore-disappearing-scrublands-034344420.html;_ylt=AjXYtrlOTszuc8w2.zwSdpNgmeh_;_ylu=X3oDMTRlZWRvb2w3BG1pdANIZXJpdGFnZSBNaW51cyBTdG9yeSBMaXN0BHBrZwMzYTU4NDM0OS04ZDkxLTM5ODQtYTU4NS05ZTE3N2ViMzI2OTMEcG9zAzQEc2VjA01lZGlhU3RvcnlMaXN0TFBUZW1wBHZlcgM1YTIzOTJmYS04NzgwLTExZTEtYjZjNy04MWU5MDZkNDBiMmE-;_ylg=X3oDMTI2MDBoMXA1BGludGwDaW4EbGFuZwNlbi1pbgRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAN0cmF2ZWx8c2F5c29tZXRoaW5nZnVubnkEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

Shed a tear for Mysore’s disappearing scrublands

By Yahoo! India Travel | Traveler – Mon 16 Apr, 2012 9:13 AM IST

By Sandeep Somasekharan

Sprawled around Mysore are hectares of land known to naturalists as scrublands. To real estate developers, however, they are ‘wastelands’, fit for nothing but ‘development’. These important natural ecosystems, which support rich biodiversity and maintain the health of the water table, are being turned into residential layouts, industrial estates and software parks. Before long, they will be wiped out without a trace, and without measure of what has been lost.

A lark in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsTo a layperson, scrublands connote territory that is laid to waste. Dead, deserted places to stay away from. But that impression deserves to be tested. Scrublands, in fact, are dry, open spaces with a thin layer of surface grass, occasional shrubs and small, hardy trees such as acacias. Visit one such landscape after a shower, and the green grass has a carpeted appearance. A few months later, everything turns golden-yellow and then brown. But the terrain still looks deserted and inhospitable, until you stop for a while and look keenly around you. Prepare to be surprised by the abundance of life.

Larks rise up with a series of whistles and float down on outspread wings. Flocks of pipits erupt like clouds of undulating dust. Mornings and evenings, grey francolins rend the air with crescendos of “katri chor …katri chor”. And if you make yourself invisible, you can see them emerge and dawdle about. Your slightest movement is enough to make them scamper away, shaking their heavy posteriors, and take cover.

Calotes lizards soak up the sun, sitting on rocks with their heads raised. Spotting them, Black-shouldered Kites, Shikras and Short-toed Snake Eagles swoop down for the kill. A few steps on the grass disturb tiny blue butterflies, which take off and settle a few paces away.

A female Kestrel looks out for prey in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsBlack ibises dig their curved bills deep into the earth, looking for grubs, worms and insects. Quails wait until you almost step on them before whirring up in a startling escape flight. Winter beckons harriers, kestrels and Booted Eagles to take refuge in these habitats, as they take flight from the cold of the northern territories. Jackals, foxes and hares can be spotted, often with stray dogs in hot pursuit.

A Grey Francolin calls in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsOutside Mysore’s Ring Road, there used to be a continuous, uninterrupted belt of scrublands. These have slowly started getting converted to residential layouts. Earthmovers scour the soil and roads are laid. Electric poles are erected. Drains are dug. And it’s not long before the buildings come up.

An earthmover excavates in Mysore’s disappearing scrublandsStill, some life persists amidst this chaos, only to be driven further away. At times they are cornered from all directions with no place to go. Each year, the number of birds seen in these scrublands has declined. So have the scrublands themselves.

A section of Mysore scrublands after excavationNext year, maybe the birds coming this side from the north might be in for a rude surprise… It really seems to be sunset for Mysore’s scrublands.

Sandeep Somasekharan is a software professional and photographer based in Thiruvananthapuram. He spent the better part of the last decade in Mysore, Karnataka, where he used his spare time to document the city’s nature, birds, trees and urban wildlife in photographs. He writes at The Green Ogre.

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Clinton pitches for FDI in multibrand retail

Posted by Admin on May 7, 2012

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/clinton-pitches-fdi-multibrand-retail-090131043.html

Note from Admin : – As usual one of the biggest most insidiously jobful bitches of the West is as usual again at it, doing what she does best, fulfilling the geo-political strategical wishes of her servant manor masters of the 13 messed up royalty banking bloodlines by coming over to the east, to my country and poking her disgusting dirty little nose into the local politics of local states in my nation.

How the hell is it even allowed to happen by all who notice this. Why the hell would a Secretary of State of the most gluttonous country in the world come over to talk politics with local chief ministers of my country. We are sovereign and independent and we don’t need any form of outside interference and/or assistance with how we should run our nation. Please F**K OFF!!

Bringing in the NCTC Act and FDI Retail Investments from the likes of Wal-Mart and others will wreck the SMBs and Cottage/Rural industries in my nation. They get mowed down by your wicked and greedy MNCs.

One of the prime opposers to this move is the Bengal Chief Minister and top political leader Mamata Bannerjee and so she is right now being coaxed to do the unthinkable and actually listen to the wonderful advice given my Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Great news for the NWO as it rumbles on in full gear forward. Either that peaks in 4 years from now or I am leaving this planet for so many other reasons.

Kolkata, May 7 (IANS) Making a strong pitch for further opening up of the Indian economy, especially with regard to foreign direct investment (FDI) in multibrand retail, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday said it would raise the standard of living in India.

“I come with certainly a belief that India can compete with anybody, anywhere. And the more open India becomes over time, the greater is the rise in the standard of living and (the more) the opportunity for the broader number of people,” Clinton said during an interaction at the La Martiniere school for girls here.

“But I also understand politics. And I understand how lots of these decisions are difficult,” she said.

Referring to the US desire to try to open the (Indian) market to multibrand retail, she said the primary reason for this was the “enormous amount of experience that has been brought to India by supply chain management in developing relationships with producers” so that their produce was easily and abundantly available and of larger quantity.

In this connection, she mentioned the factory of Fritolay India, the snack food division of Pepsico, in West Bengal, and said: “There are a lot of benefits that may not be immediately perceived.”

With her visit taking place in the backdrop of speculation that she would raise the India-Bangladesh Teesta treaty with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Clinton said: “Water is an issue about the world that will be increasingly contentious.”

“We have to do a better job of trying to find a win-win solution for everybody because the alternative will be perhaps worst than conflict, leading up to dislocation, destabilisation, refugee flows, famine and other kinds of problems that we are seeing in places like north Africa.”

“We have to work together in the international community,” she said.

Clinton clarified that the US does not have any interest on how water issues are resolved. “But we know from working on our own projections what will be the hard issues in future unless water issues are properly dealt with,” she added.

Besides FDI, she also said the US wants “greater debate” on civil nuclear cooperation.

“We want to have far greater debate and dialogue on FDI and civil nuclear cooperation. US was in conversation with Indian government on those issues for a long time,” she said.

Replying to a question on the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act passed by parliament last August, Clinton said: “We have made it clear to the government that under the legislation that was passed, it would be difficult for US companies to participate.”

“We’re still discussing this and hoping there’s a way to work it out,” she said.

The US has objected to some provisions of the Indian nuclear liability bill which allows citizens to file tort claims for damages and the nuclear plant operator’s right of recourse against nuclear suppliers.

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Economic Upheavals, Geo-Politics, India Forgotten, Pollution, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Clinton pitches for FDI in multibrand retail

Four Hundred Chernobyls: Solar Flares, Electromagnetic Pulses and Nuclear Armageddon

Posted by Admin on March 28, 2012

http://truth-out.org/news/item/7301-400-chernobyls-solar-flares-electromagnetic-pulses-and-nuclear-armageddon

Saturday, 24 March 2012 00:00By Matthew Stein, Truthout | News Analysis

There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more being planned or under construction. There are 104 of these reactors in the United States and 195 in Europe. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear meltdowns, but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible, but probable.

Consider the ongoing problems caused by three reactor core meltdowns, explosions and breached containment vessels at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility and the subsequent health and environmental issues. Consider the millions of innocent victims who have already died or continue to suffer from horrific radiation-related health problems (“Chernobyl AIDS,” epidemic cancers, chronic fatigue, etcetera) resulting from the Chernobyl reactor explosions, fires and fallout. If just two serious nuclear disasters, spaced 25 years apart, could cause such horrendous environmental catastrophes, it is hard to imagine how we could ever hope to recover from hundreds of similar nuclear incidents occurring simultaneously across the planet. Since more than one-third of all Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, this is a serious issue that should be given top priority.[1]

In the past 152 years, Earth has been struck by roughly 100 solar storms, causing significant geomagnetic disturbances (GMD), two of which were powerful enough to rank as “extreme GMDs.” If an extreme GMD of such magnitude were to occur today, in all likelihood, it would initiate a chain of events leading to catastrophic failures at the vast majority of our world’s nuclear reactors, similar to but over 100 times worse than, the disasters at both Chernobyl and Fukushima. When massive solar flares launch a huge mass of highly charged plasma (a coronal mass ejection, or CME) directly toward Earth, colliding with our planet’s outer atmosphere and magnetosphere, the result is a significant geomagnetic disturbance.

The last extreme GMD of a magnitude that could collapse much of the US grid was in May of 1921, long before the advent of modern electronics, widespread electric power grids, and nuclear power plants. We are, mostly, blissfully unaware of this threat and unprepared for its consequences. The good news is that relatively affordable equipment and processes could be installed to protect critical components in the electric power grid and its nuclear reactors, thereby averting this “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” scenario. The bad news is that even though panels of scientists and engineers have studied the problem, and the bipartisan Congressional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) commission has presented a list of specific recommendations to Congress, our leaders have yet to approve and implement any significant preventative measures.

Most of us believe that an emergency like this could never happen, and that, if it could, our “authorities” would do everything in their power to prevent such an apocalypse. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. “How could this happen?” you might ask.

Nuclear Power Plants and the Electric Power Grid

Our current global system of electrical power generation and distribution (“the grid”), upon which our modern lifestyles are utterly dependent, is extremely vulnerable to severe geomagnetic storms, which tend to strike our planet on an average of approximately once every 70 to 100 years. We depend on this grid to maintain food production and distribution, telecommunications, Internet services, medical services, military defense, transportation, government, water treatment, sewage and garbage removal, refrigeration, oil refining, gas pumping and all forms of commerce.

Unfortunately, the world’s nuclear power plants, as they are currently designed, are critically dependent upon maintaining connection to a functioning electrical grid, for all but relatively short periods of electrical blackouts, in order to keep their reactor cores continuously cooled so as to avoid catastrophic reactor core meltdowns and fires in storage ponds for spent fuel rods.

If an extreme GMD were to cause widespread grid collapse (which it most certainly will), in as little as one or two hours after each nuclear reactor facility’s backup generators either fail to start, or run out of fuel, the reactor cores will start to melt down. After a few days without electricity to run the cooling system pumps, the water bath covering the spent fuel rods stored in “spent-fuel ponds” will boil away, allowing the stored fuel rods to melt down and burn [2]. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently mandates that only one week’s supply of backup generator fuel needs to be stored at each reactor site, it is likely that, after we witness the spectacular nighttime celestial light show from the next extreme GMD, we will have about one week in which to prepare ourselves for Armageddon.

To do nothing is to behave like ostriches with our heads in the sand, blindly believing that “everything will be okay” as our world drifts towards the next natural, inevitable super solar storm and resultant extreme GMD. Such a storm would end the industrialized world as we know it, creating almost incalculable suffering, death and environmental destruction on a scale not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.

The End of “The Grid” as We Know It

There are records from the 1850s to today of roughly 100 significant geomagnetic solar storms, two of which, in the last 25 years, were strong enough to cause millions of dollars worth of damage to key components that keep our modern grid powered. In March of 1989, a severe solar storm induced powerful electric currents in grid wiring that fried a main power transformer in the HydroQuebec system, causing a cascading grid failure that knocked out power to 6 million customers for nine hours and damaging similar transformers in New Jersey and the UK. More recently, in 2003, a less intense but longer solar storm caused a blackout in Sweden and induced powerful currents in the South African grid that severely damaged or destroyed 14 of their major power transformers, impairing commerce and comfort over major portions of that country as it was forced to resort to massive rolling blackouts that dragged on for many months.[3]

During the great geomagnetic storm of May 14-15, 1921, brilliant aurora displays were reported in the Northern Hemisphere as far south as Mexico and Puerto Rico, and in the Southern Hemisphere as far north as Samoa.[4] This extreme GMD produced ground currents roughly ten times as strong as the 1989 Quebec incident. Just 62 years earlier, the great granddaddy of recorded GMDs, referred to as “the Carrington Event,” raged from August 28 to September 4, 1859. This extreme GMD induced currents so powerful that telegraph lines, towers and stations caught on fire at a number of locations around the world. Best estimates are that the Carrington Event was approximately 50 percent stronger than the 1921 storm.[5]Since we are headed into an active solar period much like the one preceding the Carrington Event, scientists are concerned that conditions could be ripe for the next extreme GMD.[6]

Prior to the advent of the microchip and modern extra-high-voltage (EHV) transformers (key grid components that were first introduced in the late 1960s), most electrical systems were relatively robust and resistant to the effects of GMDs. Given that a simple electrostatic spark can fry a microchip and thousands of miles of power lines could act like giant antennas for capturing massive amounts of GMD-spawned electromagnetic energy, modern electrical systems are far more vulnerable than their predecessors.

The federal government recently sponsored a detailed scientific study to better understand how much critical components of our national electrical power grid might be affected by either a naturally occurring GMD or a man-made EMP. Under the auspices of the EMP Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and reviewed in depth by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Academy of Sciences, Metatech Corporation undertook extensive modeling and analysis of the potential effects of extreme geomagnetic storms on the US electrical power grid. Based upon a storm as intense as the 1921 storm, Metatech estimated that within the United States, induced voltage and current spikes, combined with harmonic anomalies, would severely damage or destroy over 350 EHV power transformers critical to the functioning of the US grid and possibly impact well over 2000 EHV transformers worldwide.[7]

EHV transformers are made to order and custom-designed for each installation, each weighing as much as 300 tons and costing well over $1 million. Given that there is currently a three-year waiting list for a single EHV transformer (due to recent demand from China and India, lead times grew from one to three years), and that the total global manufacturing capacity is roughly 100 EHV transformers per year when the world’s manufacturing centers are functioning properly, you can begin to grasp the implications of widespread transformer losses.

The loss of thousands of EHV transformers worldwide would cause a catastrophic grid collapse across much of the industrialized world. It will take years, at best, for the industrialized world to put itself back together after such an event, especially considering the fact that most of the manufacturing centers that make this equipment will also be grappling with widespread grid failure.

Our Nuclear “Achilles Heel”

Five years ago, I visited the still highly contaminated areas of Ukraine and the Belarus border where much of the radioactive plume from Chernobyl descended on 26 April 1986. I challenge chief scientist John Beddington and environmentalists like George Monbiot or any of the pundits now downplaying the risks of radiation to talk to the doctors, the scientists, the mothers, children and villagers who have been left with the consequences of a major nuclear accident. It was grim. We went from hospital to hospital and from one contaminated village to another. We found deformed and genetically mutated babies in the wards; pitifully sick children in the homes; adolescents with stunted growth and dwarf torsos; fetuses without thighs or fingers and villagers who told us every member of their family was sick. This was 20 years after the accident, but we heard of many unusual clusters of people with rare bone cancers…. Villages testified that ‘the Chernobyl necklace’ – thyroid cancer – was so common as to be unremarkable.
– John Vidal, “Nuclear’s Green Cheerleaders Forget Chernobyl at Our Peril,” The Guardian, April 1, 2011
 [8]

What do extended grid blackouts have to do with potential nuclear catastrophes? Nuclear power plants are designed to disconnect automatically from the grid in the event of a local power failure or major grid anomaly; once disconnected, they begin the process of shutting down the reactor’s core. In the event of the loss of coolant flow to an active nuclear reactor’s core, the reactor will start to melt down and fail catastrophically within a matter of a few hours, at most. In an extreme GMD, nearly every reactor in the world could be affected.

It was a short-term cooling-system failure that caused the partial reactor core meltdown in March 1979 at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. Similarly, according to Japanese authorities, it was not direct damage from Japan’s 9.0 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011, that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster, but the loss of electric power to the reactor’s cooling system pumps when the reactor’s backup batteries and diesel generators were wiped out by the ensuing tidal waves. In the hours and days after the tidal waves shuttered the cooling systems, the cores of reactors number 1, 2 and 3 were in full meltdown and released hydrogen gas, fueling explosions which breached several reactor containment vessels and blew the roof off the building housing reactor number 4’s spent-fuel storage pond. Of even greater danger and concern than the reactor cores themselves are the spent fuel rods stored in on-site cooling ponds. Lacking a permanent spent nuclear fuel storage facility, so-called “temporary” nuclear fuel containment ponds are features common to nearly all nuclear reactor facilities. They typically contain the accumulated spent fuel from ten or more decommissioned reactor cores. Due to lack of a permanent repository, most of these fuel containment ponds are greatly overloaded and tightly packed beyond original design. They are generally surrounded by common light industrial buildings with concrete walls and corrugated steel roofs. Unlike the active reactor cores, which are encased inside massive “containment vessels” with thick walls of concrete and steel, the buildings surrounding spent fuel rod storage ponds would do practically nothing to contain radioactive contaminants in the event of prolonged cooling system failures.

Since spent fuel ponds typically hold far greater quantities of highly radioactive material then the active nuclear reactors locked inside reinforced containment vessels, they clearly present far greater potential for the catastrophic spread of highly radioactive contaminants over huge swaths of land, polluting the environment for multiple generations. A study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined that the “boil down time” for spent fuel rod containment ponds runs from between 4 and 22 days after loss of cooling system power before degenerating into a Fukushima-like situation, depending upon the type of nuclear reactor and how recently its latest batch of fuel rods had been decommissioned.[9]

Reactor fuel rods have a protective zirconium cladding, which, if superheated while exposed to air, will burn with intense, self-generating heat, much like a magnesium fire, releasing highly radioactive aerosols and smoke. According to nuclear whistleblower and former senior vice president for Nuclear Engineering Services Arnie Gundersen, once a zirconium fire has started, due to its extreme temperatures and high reactivity, contact with water will result in the water dissociating into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which will almost certainly lead to violent explosions. Gundersen says that once a zirconium fuel rod fire has started, the worst thing you could do is to try to quench the fire with water streams, which would cause violent explosions. Gundersen believes the massive explosion that blew the roof off the spent fuel pond at Fukushima was caused by zirconium-induced hydrogen dissociation.[10]

Had it not been for heroic efforts on the part of Japan’s nuclear workers to replenish waters in the spent fuel pool at Fukushima, those spent fuel rods would have melted down and ignited their zirconium cladding, which most likely would have released far more radioactive contamination than what came from the three reactor core meltdowns. Japanese officials have estimated that Fukushima Daiichi has already released just over half as much total radioactive contamination as was released by Chernobyl into the local environment, but other sources estimate it could be significantly more than at Chernobyl. In the event of an extreme GMD-induced long-term grid collapse covering much of the globe, if just half of the world’s spent fuel ponds were to boil off their water and become radioactive, zirconium-fed infernos, the ensuing contamination could far exceed the cumulative effect of 400 Chernobyls.

Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack

Many of the control systems we considered achieved optimal connectivity through Ethernet cabling. EMP coupling of electrical transients to the cables proved to be an important vulnerability during threat illumination…. The testing and analysis indicate that the electronics could be expected to see roughly 100 to 700 ampere current transients on typical Ethernet cables. Effects noted in EMP testing occurred at the lower end of this scale. The bottom line observation at the end of the testing was that every system failed when exposed to the simulated EMP environment.
— Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack [11]

Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) and solar super storms are two different, but related, categories of events that are often described as high-impact, low frequency (HILF) events. Events categorized as HILF don’t happen very often, but if and when they do, they have the potential to severely affect the lives of millions of people. Think of an EMP as a super-powerful radio wave capable of inducing damaging voltage spikes in electrical wires and electronic devices across vast geographical areas. (Note that the geomagnetic effects of solar storms are also described as “natural EMP.”)

What is generally referred to as an EMP strike is the deliberate detonation of a nuclear device at a high altitude, roughly defined as somewhere between 24 and 240 miles (40 and 400 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth. Nuclear detonations of this type have the potential to seriously damage electronics and electrical power grids along their line of sight, covering distances on the order of an area 1,500 miles (2,500 kilometers) in diameter, an area roughly equal to the distance between Quebec City in Canada and Dallas, Texas.

The concern is that some rogue state or terrorist organization might build its own nuclear device from scratch or buy one illegally, procure a Scud missile (or similar weapon) on the black market and launch the nuclear device from a large fishing boat or freighter somewhere off the coast of the United States, causing grid collapse and widespread damage to electronic devices across roughly 50 percent of America. Much like an extreme GMD, a powerful EMP attack would also cause widespread grid collapse, but one limited to a much smaller geographical area.

A powerful EMP from a sub-orbital nuclear detonation would cause extreme electromagnetic effects, starting with an initial, short-duration, “speed of light” pulse, referred to as an “E1” effect, followed by a middle-duration pulse called an “E2” effect, followed by a longer-duration disturbance known as an “E3” effect. The “E1” effect lasts a few nanoseconds and is similar to massive discharges of electrostatic sparks, which are particularly damaging to digital microelectronic chips used in most modern electronic equipment.

The “E2” effects last a fraction of a second and are equal to many thousands to millions of lightning strikes hitting over a widespread area at almost exactly the same time. In the case of a nuclear-induced EMP, its E3 effect starts after about a half-second and may continue for several minutes. The E3 effect can be thought of as a “long, slow burn,” and, electromagnetically, it is quite similar to the effects from an extreme GMD, except that the latter may continue for a number of hours or days.

A “successful” EMP attack launched against the US would most likely result in the immediate collapse of the grid across roughly 50 percent of the country, a stock market crash and critical failures in many affected areas’ electronic systems that control nuclear reactors, chemical plants, telecommunications systems and industrial processes. These systems include programmable logic controllers (PLC), digital control systems (DCS), and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA).

The only good news about an EMP strike is that its effect will cover a much smaller area than an extreme GMD, so there will be a significant portion of the rest of the United States, as well as the rest of the outside world, left intact and able to lend a hand toward rebuilding critical infrastructure in the affected areas. Imagine the near-total loss of a functioning infrastructure across an area of about a million square miles (approximately 1.6 million square kilometers, roughly equivalent to 50 Hurricane Katrinas happening simultaneously) and you will have some idea of the potentially crippling effect of an EMP attack from a single, medium-sized, sub-orbital nuclear detonation!

Preventing Armageddon

The Congressionally mandated EMP Commission has studied the threat of both EMP and extreme GMD events and made recommendations to the US Congress to implement protective devices and procedures to ensure the survival of the grid and other critical infrastructures in either event. John Kappenman, author of the Metatech study, estimates that it would cost about $1 billion to build special protective devices into the US grid to protect its EHV transformers from EMP or extreme GMD damage and to build stores of critical replacement parts should some of these items be damaged or destroyed. Kappenman estimates that it would cost significantly less than $1 billion to store at least a year’s worth of diesel fuel for backup generators at each US nuclear facility and to store sets of critical spare parts, such as backup generators, inside EMP-hardened steel containers to be available for quick change-out in the event that any of these items were damaged by an EMP or GMD.[12]

For the cost of a single B-2 bomber or a tiny fraction of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bank bailout, we could invest in preventative measures to avert what might well become the end of life as we know it. There is no way to protect against all possible effects from an extreme GMD or an EMP attack, but we could implement measures to protect against the worst effects. Since 2008, Congress has narrowly failed to pass legislation that would implement at least some of the EMP Commission’s recommendations.[13]

We have a long ways to go to make our world EMP and GMD safe. Citizens can do their part to push for legislation to move toward this goal and work inside our homes and communities to develop local resilience and self reliance, so that in the event of a long-term grid-down scenario, we might make the most of a bad situation. The same tools that are espoused by the Transition movement for developing local self-reliance and resilience to help cope with the twin effects of climate change and peak oil could also serve communities well in the event of an EMP attack or extreme GMD. If our country were to implement safeguards to protect our grid and nuclear power plants from EMP, it would also eliminate the primary incentive for a terrorist to launch an EMP attack. The sooner we take these actions, the less chance that an EMP attack will occur.

For more information or to get involved, see http://empactamerica.orghttp://survive-emp.com and http://www.transitionnetwork.org, or contact your Congressperson athttp://www.contactingthecongress.org.

Endnotes
[1] Bill Dedman, “Nuclear Neighbors: Population Rises Near Nuclear Reactors,” MSNBC.com. Accessed December 2011.

[2] Dina Cappiello, “Long Blackouts Pose Risk to U.S. Nuclear Reactors,” Associated Press, March 29, 2011.

[3] Lawrence E. Joseph, “The Sun Also Surprises,” New York Times, August 15, 2010. Accessed August 2010.

[4] S. M. Silverman and E. W. Cliver, “Low-Altitude Auroras: The Magnetic Storm of 14-15 May 1921,” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 63, (2001), p. 523-535. Additionally, “High-Impact, Low-Frequency Event Risk to the North American Bulk Power System: A Jointly Commissioned Summary Report of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s November 2009 Workshop,” June, 2010, p. 68.

[5] Committee on the Societal and Economic Impacts of Severe Space Weather Events: A Workshop National Research Council, “Severe Space Weather Events: Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts Workshop Report,” National Research Council of the National Academies (2008), p. 7-13, and p. 100. Additionally, E. W. Cliver and L. Svalgaard, “The 1859 Solar-Terrestrial Disturbance and the Current Limits of Extreme Space Weather Activity,” Solar Physics (2004) 224, P. 407-422.

[6] Richard A. Lovett, “What if the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?” National Geographic News, March 2, 2011. Accessed December 2011.

[7] John Kappenman, “Geomagnetic Storms and Their Impacts on the U.S. Power Grid,” Metatech Corporation, prepared for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Meta-R-319, January 2010, p. 2-29.

[8] John Vidal, “Nuclear’s Green Cheerleaders Forget Chernobyl at Our Peril,” Guardian.co.uk, April 1, 2011.  Accessed May 2011.

[9] NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,” February 2001, as reported in “Petition for Rulemaking: Docket No. PRM-50-96,” Foundation for Resilient Societies before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, p. 3-9 and 49-50. Accessed December, 2011.

[10] Arnold Gundersen, interview by author, November 2011.

[11] “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: Critical National Infrastructures,” April, 2008, p. 6.

[12] John Kappenman, interview by author, December 2011.

[13] Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, “Statement Before the Congressional Caucus on EMP,” EMPact America, February 15, 2011. Accessed November 2011.

This article may not be republished without permission from Truthout.

MATTHEW STEIN

Matthew Stein is a design engineer, green builder and author of two bestselling books, “When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival” (Chelsea Green 2011), and “When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency” (Chelsea Green 2008). Stein is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he majored in mechanical engineering. Stein has appeared on numerous radio and television programs and is a repeat guest on Fox News, Lionel, Coast-to-Coast AM and the Thom Hartmann Show. He is an active mountain climber, serves as a guide and instructor for blind skiers, has written several articles on the subject of sustainable living and is a guest columnist for The Huffington Post.

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The Olympics – Guts and the gory

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.video.yahoo.com/blogs/vw/olympics-gory-075611209.html

By Tisha Srivastav | Video Wall – Fri 17 Feb, 2012 3:12 PM IST

Note by Admin: This is the same company responsible for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took place in the capital city Bhopal of Madhya Pradesh one of the central and largest states in the country of India.

It occurred on the night of December 2nd, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant.

A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. Methyl isocyanate (MIC), a heavier-than-air gas, leaked from Tank 610 allowing 30 metric tons of the existing 42 tons to escape into the atmosphere in a matter of 45 to 60 minutes. The toxic substance made its way in and around the shantytowns located near the plant. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. As many as 25,000 deaths have been attributed to the disaster in recent estimates.

The company Dow chemicals responsible for the operations at large washed its hands off through legislation and legal affairs.

Remember far greater tragedies have befallen on the people of this world outside of the western nations and more so happen increasingly but go unrecognised, unreported and unnoticed because your MNCs are not liable for compensation to their actions outside the purview of your jurisdictions and also because rich people with fair skin and very high standards of living don’t really like seeing poor and darker looking people pop on their news channels.

9/11 was nothing compared to what some of us have experienced for several centuries on end from the start of imperialism by the western colonial powers.

No doubt it reeks of racism and intolerance and outright callous belligerent contempt for other nations and their free indigenous people to even state that the staged attacks of 9/11 were the most prominent and diabolical of all insidious and sinister conspiracy schemes to forge a New World Order.

That is just western bullshit fed to make the rest of the world sympathise for you people shooting yourselves in your own foot.

I for one was very happy with the events that transpired on the September 11, 2001 because for the first time you people understood what it feels like to get screwed in your own backyard by an unnecessary and arrogant external threat without any of you being able to escape or just ride off into the sunset.

You understood what it was like to be at the receiving end of fear and sorrow and death and tragedy and destruction and to realise with humility that you cannot escape the fruits of your own actions and that all those souls that your twisted soul group at large [mostly conceived as an inbreeding with the lower vibrational Pleaidians and regressive warrior like Orion groups] have troubled and tortured, you will now wail in the haunting cries of their memories and experiences.

Some of your New Age and spiritual researchers and fomenters actually have the ba**s to say that you will lead the entire world into a New Golden Age and through the path of Ascension. Yeah right!

Just step aside once your nation crumbles within the next 5 years and let the rest of us who have ever so been tolerant and patient with your antics step in to create true peace and harmony in along time upon this world, forever.

Remember you cannot escape Karma.

http://www.netphotograph.com/pablo/bhopal/

Check the above link to know through pictures what happened there. This was one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes.

File:Bhopal-Union Carbide 1 crop memorial.jpg

 

 

 

Image Credit: The RootAn image that may evoke a thousand questions or silent rage or a ‘get on with it, the games  are bigger than  one part-time sponsor.’

But what if both were possible? Getting on with the game and yet having something to say during the Games ?

In the down with Dow rage, are the now ex-Olympic Ethics Commissioner, the politicians and NRIs in UK and marginally less, Indian activists and families of those who have directly suffered.

And individuals like graphic designer Nitesh Mohanty who made this disturbing image. The Dow logo being  dropped has been the only symbolic concession.

This is what he has to say.’International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge rejected India’s calls to terminate DOW Chemicals‘ sponsorship deal for the 2012 London Games. DOW may not have created the tragedy but it cannot, from an ethical perspective, absolve itself from cleaning up the toxic mess as part of its inherited legacy. Bhopal might have long stopped being the bonfire it used to be in people’s mind, but the embers still glow. The terrifying image of the dead child’s swollen head rising from the rubble shot by Raghu Rai is a grim reminder of the industrial catastrophe. The IOC would have blood on its unifying rings that represent the five continents of the world which willingly accept healthy competition. Let the Games Begin! The world will not shed their tears for Bhopal. ‘

Vir Sanghvi offers a useful reality check and some pro-active possibilities  here for protesting when the Indian contingent enters the opening ceremony this summer. He also says, ‘The furore over Dow Chemicals sponsorship of the London Olympics and the suggestion that Indian athletes should now boycott the Games to register our protest, reveals an utter and complete lack of conscience on the part of the British organisers of the Olympics and a complete lack of imagination on the part of Indian activists.’ What he suggests is don’t sulk, but shame them imaginatively.  Is an ideal middle possible with our distinctly uncomfortable athletes at this mix of sport and politics. Busy training for the Games with hopes of Olympic glory. There has been no substantial debate in the political arena on the lethal mix that sport and real life issues can be.Bhopal is a bad memory in the nation’s psyche and the Olympics are the near future. Where then is space for the politics of the forgotten ? Tell us what you think?

the politicians and NRIs in UK

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Beijing releases pollution data; US figures higher

Posted by Admin on January 24, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/beijing-releases-pollution-data-us-figures-higher-021659057.html;_ylt=AlKJPQohYJ29ASKTCs8_U1Ws0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTQ3N29ramJpBG1pdANTZWN0aW9uTGlzdCBGUCBTY2llbmNlBHBrZwNhMmNiYTI2Ni1mOGEwLTNkNTAtOGU4Zi03ZDVjZGM3NGY4NzEEcG9zAzMEc2VjA01lZGlhU2VjdGlvbkxpc3QEdmVyA2E2MjQ0MDUwLTQ1ZTAtMTFlMS05ZWZlLTI2OTYwZjY4OWU2NQ–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

By LOUISE WATT | Associated Press – Sat, Jan 21, 2012

BEIJING (AP) — Caving to public pressure, Beijing environmental authorities started releasing more detailed air quality data Saturday that may better reflect how bad the Chinese capital‘s air pollutionis. But one expert says measurements from the first day were low compared with data U.S. officials have been collecting for years.

The initial measurements were low on a day where you could see blue sky. After a week of smothering smog, the skies over the city were being cleared by a north wind.

The readings of PM2.5 — particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in size or about 1/30th the average width of a human hair — were being posted on Beijing’s environmental monitoring center’s website. Such small particulates can penetrate deep into the lungs, so measuring them is considered a more accurate reflection of air quality than other methods.

It is the first time Beijing has publicly revealed PM2.5 data and follows a clamor of calls by citizens on social networking sites tired of breathing in gray and yellow air. The U.S. Embassy measures PM2.5 from a device on its rooftop and releases the results, and some residents have even tested the air around their neighborhoods and posted the results online.

Beijing is releasing hourly readings of PM2.5 that are taken from one monitoring site about 4 miles (7 kilometers) west of Tiananmen Square, the monitoring center’s website said Saturday. It said the data was for research purposes and the public should only use it as a reference.

The reading at noon Saturday was 0.015 milligrams per cubic meter, which would be classed as “good” for a 24-hour exposure at that level, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The U.S. Embassy reading taken from its site on the eastern edge of downtown Beijing said its noon reading was “moderate.” Its readings are posted on Twitter.

Steven Andrews, an environmental consultant who has studied Beijing’s pollution data since 2006, said he was “already a bit suspicious” of Beijing’s PM2.5 data. Within the 24-hour period to noon Saturday, Beijing reported seven hourly figures “at the very low level” of 0.003 milligrams per cubic meter.

“In all of 2010 and 2011, the U.S. Embassy reported values at or below that level only 18 times out of over 15,000 hourly values or about 0.1 percent of the time,” said Andrews. “PM2.5 concentrations vary by area so a direct comparison between sites isn’t possible, but the numbers being reported during some hours seem surpisingly low.”

The Beijing center had promised to release PM2.5 data by the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year on Monday. It has six sites that can test for PM2.5 and 27 that can test for the larger, coarser PM10 particles that are considered less hazardous. The center is expected to buy equipment and build more monitoring sites to enable PM2.5 testing.

Beijing wasn’t expected to include PM2.5 in its daily roundups of the air quality anytime soon. Those disclosures, for example “light” or “serious,” are based on the amount of PM10, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air.

Beijing interprets air quality using less stringent standards than the U.S. Embassy, so often when the government says pollution is “light,” the embassy terms it “hazardous.”

“There has been tremendous amounts of attention in the Chinese media — whichever newspaper you pick up, whichever radio station you listen to, channel you watch — they are all talking about PM2.5 and how levels are so high,” said Andrews.

“What has been so powerful is that people are skeptical, and I think rightly skeptical,” about the government’s descriptions of data, he said.

___

Online:

Beijing center’s readings (in Chinese): http://zx.bjmemc.com.cn/

The U.S. Embassy’s Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/beijingair

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FUKUSHIMA: Public health Fallout from Japanese Quake “Culture of cover-up” and inadequate cleanup. Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28401

by Canadian Medical Association Journal

Global Research, December 30, 2011

Canadian Medical Association Journal – 2011-12-21

A “culture of cover-up” and inadequate cleanup efforts have combined to leave Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks nine months after last year’s meltdown of nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, health experts say.

Although the Japanese government has declared the plant virtually stable, some experts are calling for evacuation of people from a wider area, which they say is contaminated with radioactive fallout.

They’re also calling for the Japanese government to reinstate internationally-approved radiation exposure limits for members of the public and are slagging government officials for “extreme lack of transparent, timely and comprehensive communication.”

But temperatures inside the Fukushima power station’s three melted cores have achieved a “cold shutdown condition,” while the release of radioactive materials is “under control,” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/coldshutdown.html).

That means government may soon allow some of the more than 100 000 evacuees from the area around the plant to return to their homes. They were evacuated from the region after it was struck with an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and a tsunami last March 11.

Although the potential for further explosions with substantial releases of radioactivity into the atmosphere is certainly reduced, the plant is still badly damaged and leaking radiation, says Tilman Ruff, chair of the Medical Association for Prevention of Nuclear War, who visited the Fukushima prefecture in August. “There are major issues of contamination on the site. Aftershocks have been continuing and are expected to continue for many months, and some of those are quite large, potentially causing further damage to structures that are already unstable and weakened. And we know that there’s about 120 000 tons of highly contaminated water in the base of the plant, and there’s been significant and ongoing leakage into the ocean.”

The full extent of contamination across the country is even less clear, says Ira Hefland, a member of the board of directors for Physicians for Social Responsibility. “We still don’t know exactly what radiation doses people were exposed to [in the immediate aftermath of the disaster] or what ongoing doses people are being exposed to. Most of the information we’re getting at this point is a series of contradictory statements where the government assures the people that everything’s okay and private citizens doing their own radiation monitoring come up with higher readings than the government says they should be finding.”

Japanese officials in Tokyo have documented elevated levels of cesium — a radioactive material with a half-life of 30 years that can cause leukemia and other cancers — more than 200 kilometres away from the plant, equal to the levels in the 20 kilometre exclusion zone, says Robert Gould, another member of the board of directors for Physicians for Social Responsibility.

International authorities have urged Japan to expand the exclusion zone around the plant to 80 kilometres but the government has instead opted to “define the problem out of existence” by raising the permissible level of radiation exposure for members of the public to 20 millisieverts per year, considerably higher than the international standard of one millisievert per year, Gould adds.

This “arbitrary increase” in the maximum permissible dose of radiation is an “unconscionable” failure of government, contends Ruff. “Subject a class of 30 children to 20 millisieverts of radiation for five years and you’re talking an increased risk of cancer to the order of about 1 in 30, which is completely unacceptable. I’m not aware of any other government in recent decades that’s been willing to accept such a high level of radiation-related risk for its population.”

Following the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, “clear targets were set so that anybody anticipated to receive more than five millisieverts in a year were evacuated, no question,” Ruff explains. In areas with levels between one and five millisieverts, measures were taken to mitigate the risk of ingesting radioactive materials, including bans on local food consumption, and residents were offered the option of relocating. Exposures below one millisievert were still considered worth monitoring.

In comparison, the Japanese government has implemented a campaign to encourage the public to buy produce from the Fukushima area, Ruff added. “That response [in Chernobyl] 25 years ago in that much less technically sophisticated, much less open or democratic context, was, from a public health point of view, much more responsible than what’s being done in modern Japan this year.”

Were Japan to impose similar strictures, officials would have to evacuate some 1800 square kilometres and impose restrictions on food produced in another 11 100 square kilometres, according to estimates of the contamination presented by Dr. Kozo Tatara for the Japan Public Health Association at the American Public Health Association‘s 139th annual meeting and exposition in November in Washington, District of Columbia.

“It’s very difficult to persuade people that the level [of exposure set by the government] is okay,” Tatara told delegates to the meeting. He declined requests for an interview.

The Japanese government is essentially contending that the higher dose is “not dangerous,” explains Hefland. “However, since the accident, it’s become clear the Japanese government was lying through its teeth, doing everything it possible could to minimize public concern, even when that meant denying the public information needed to make informed decisions, and probably still is.”

“It’s now clear they knew within a day or so there had been a meltdown at the plant, yet they didn’t disclose that for weeks, and only with great prodding from the outside,” Hefland adds. “And at the same moment he was assuring people there was no public health disaster, the Prime Minister now concedes that he thought Tokyo would have to be evacuated but was doing nothing to bring that about.”

Ruff similarly charges that the government has mismanaged the file and provided the public with misinformation. As an example, he cites early reports that stable iodine had been distributed to children and had worked effectively, when, “in fact, iodine wasn’t given to anyone.”

Public distrust is at a level that communities have taken cleanup and monitoring efforts into their own hands as the government response to the crisis has been “woefully inadequate” and officials have been slow to respond to public reports of radioactive hotspots, Gould says. “That’s led to the cleanup of some affected areas, but there are also reports of people scattering contaminated soil willy-nilly in forests and areas surrounding those towns.”

“In some places, you can see mounds of contaminated soil that have just been aggregated under blue tarps,” he adds.

Even with government assistance, there are limits to the decontamination that can be achieved, explains Hefland. “What do you do with the stuff? Do you scrape entire topsoil? How far down you have to go? And if you wash down the buildings, what do you do with the waste water?”

As well, Ruff argues the government must examine the provision of compensation for voluntary evacuation from areas outside of the exclusion zone where there are high levels of radioactive contamination. Without such compensation, many families have no option but to stay, he says. “At this point, the single most important public health measure to minimize the health harm over the longterm is much wider evacuation.”

The Japanese government did not respond to inquiries.

Global Research Articles by Canadian Medical Association Journal

 

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When a flu virus is made deadlier…Scientists debate whether research should be published — or be done at all!

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2011

http://projects.registerguard.com/turin/2011/dec/27/when-a-flu-virus-is-made-deadlier/

When a flu virus is made deadlier

Scientists debate whether research should be published — or be done at all

BY DENISE GRADY AND DONALD MCNEIL JR.

The New York Times

Appeared in print: Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, page A1

The young scientist, normally calm and measured, seemed edgy when he stopped by his boss’s office.

“You are not going to believe this one,” he told Ron Fouchier, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Holland. “I think we have an airborne H5N1 virus.”

The news, delivered one afternoon last July, was chilling. It meant that Fouchier’s research group had taken one of the most dangerous flu viruses ever known and made it even more dangerous — by tweaking it genetically to make it more contagious.

What shocked the researchers was how easy it had been, Fouchier said. Just a few mutations were all it took to make the virus go airborne.

The discovery has led advisers to the U.S. government, which paid for the research, to urge that the details be kept secret and not published in scientific journals to prevent the work from being replicated by terrorists, hostile governments or rogue scientists.

Journal editors are taking the recommendation seriously, even though they normally resist any form of censorship. Scientists, too, usually insist on their freedom to share information, but fears of terrorism have led some to say this information is too dangerous to share.

Some biosecurity experts have even said that no scientist should have been allowed to create such a deadly germ in the first place, and they warn that not just the blueprints but the virus itself somehow could leak or be stolen from the laboratory.

Fouchier is cooperating with the request to withhold some data, but reluctantly. He thinks other scientists need the information.

The naturally occurring A(H5N1) virus is quite lethal without genetic tinkering. It already causes an exceptionally high death rate in humans, more than 50 percent. But the virus — a type of bird flu — does not often infect people, and when it does, they almost never transmit it to one another.

If, however, that were to change and bird flu were to develop the ability to spread from person to person, scientists fear, it could cause the deadliest flu pandemic in history.

The experiment in Rotterdam transformed the virus into the supergerm of virologists’ nightmares, enabling it to spread from one animal to another through the air. The work was done in ferrets, which catch flu the same way people do.

“This research should not have been done,” said Richard Ebright, a chemistry professor and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University who has long opposed such research.

Ebright warned that germs that could be used as bioweapons already had been released unintentionally hundreds of times from labs in the United States and predicted that the same thing would happen with the new virus.

“It will inevitably escape, and within a decade,” he said.

But Fouchier and many public health experts argue that the experiment had to be done. If scientists can make the virus more transmissible in the lab, then it also can happen in nature, Fouchier said.

Knowing that the risk is real should drive countries where the virus is circulating in birds to take urgent steps to eradicate it, he said. And knowing which mutations lead to transmissibility should help scientists who monitor bird flu to recognize if and when a circulating strain starts to develop pandemic potential.

“There are highly respected virologists who thought until a few years ago that H5N1 could never become airborne between mammals,” Fouchier said.

“I wasn’t convinced. To prove these guys wrong, we needed to make a virus that is transmissible.”

Other virologists differ.

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University questioned the need for the research. He rejected Fouchier’s contention that making a virus transmissible in the laboratory proves that it can or will happen in nature.

But Richard Webby, a virologist at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., said Fouchier’s research was useful, with the potential to answer major questions about flu viruses, such as what makes them transmissible and how some that appear to infect only animals suddenly can invade humans as well.

“I would certainly love to be able to see that information,” Webby said, explaining that he has a freezer full of bird flu viruses from all over the world. “If I detect a virus in our activities that has some of these changes, it could change the direction of what we do.”

The A(H5N1) bird flu first was recognized in Hong Kong in 1997, when chickens in poultry markets began dying and 18 people fell ill, six of them fatally. Hoping to stamp out the virus, the government in Hong Kong destroyed the country’s entire poultry industry — killing more than 1 million birds in just a few days .

But the virus persisted in other parts of Asia, and it reached Europe and Africa. Millions of infected birds have died. Since 1997, about 600 humans have been infected, and more than half died.

Dr. Donald Henderson, a leader in the eradication of smallpox and now a biosecurity expert at the University of Pittsburgh, noted that even the notorious flu pandemic of 1918 killed only 2 percent of patients.

“This is running at 50 percent or more,” Henderson said. “This would be the ultimate organism as far as destruction of population is concerned.”

The medical center in Rotterdam built a special 1,000-square-foot virus lab for this work, a locked-down locale where people work in spacesuits in sealed chambers with filtered air and multiple precautions to keep germs in and intruders out and to protect the scientists.

The Dutch government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the laboratory, and the National Institutes of Health gave the Erasmus center a seven-year contract for flu research.

 

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“Stage Two” of the BP Gulf of Mexico Environmental Disaster New Drilling Permits amid 28,000 Unmonitored Abandoned Wells

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27279

by Rady Ananda

Global Research, October 25, 2011
24,486 permanent and 3,593 temporarily abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico [Image]
Since BP’s catastrophic Macondo Blowout in the Gulf of Mexico last year, the Obama Administration has granted nearly 300 new drilling permits [1] and shirked plans to plug 3,600 of more than 28,000 abandoned wells, which pose significant threats to the severely damaged sea. Among those granted new permits for drilling in the Gulf, on Friday Obama granted BP permission to explore for oil in the Gulf, allowing it to bid on new leases that will be sold at auction in December.

Reports Dow Jones: “The upcoming lease sale, scheduled for Dec. 14 in New Orleans, involves leases in the western Gulf of Mexico. The leases cover about 21 million acres, in water depths of up to 11,000 feet. It will be the first lease auction since the Deepwater Horizon spill.” [2]

Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey objected to BP’s participation in the upcoming lease sale, pointing out that: “Comprehensive safety legislation hasn’t passed Congress, and BP hasn’t paid the fines they owe for their spill, yet BP is being given back the keys to drill in the Gulf.”

Environmental watchdog, Oceana, added its objection to the new permits, saying that none of the new rules implemented since April 2010 would have prevented the BP disaster. “Our analysis shows that while the new rules may increase safety to some degree, they likely would not have prevented the last major oil spill, and similarly do not adequately protect against future ones.” [3]

Detailing the failure of the Dept. of Interior’s safety management systems, Oceana summarizes:

  • Regulation exemptions (“departures”) are often granted, including one that arguably led to the BP blowout;
  • Economic incentives make violating rules lucrative because penalties are ridiculously small;
  • Blowout preventers continue to have critical deficiencies; and
  • Oversight and inspection levels are paltry relative to the scale of drilling operation.

Nor have any drilling permits been denied [4] since the BP catastrophe on April 20, 2010, which still spews oil today [5].

28,079 Abandoned Wells in Gulf of Mexico

In an explosive report at Sky Truth, John Amos reveals from government data that “there are currently 24,486 known permanently abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico, and 3,593 ‘temporarily’ abandoned wells, as of October 2011.” [6]

Over a year ago, the Dept. of Interior promised to plug the “temporarily abandoned” (TA) wells, and dismantle another 650 production platforms no longer in use. [7] At an estimated decommissioning cost of $1-3 billion [8], none of this work has been started, though Feds have approved 912 permanent abandonment plans and 214 temporary abandonment plans submitted since its September 2010 rule. [9]

Leaking abandoned wells pose a significant environmental and economic threat. TA wells are those temporarily sealed so that future drilling can be re-started. Both TA wells and “permanently abandoned” (PA) wells endure no inspections.

Over 600 of those abandoned wells belong to BP, reported the Associated Press last year. “Experts say abandoned wells can repressurize, much like a dormant volcano can awaken. And years of exposure to sea water and underground pressure can cause cementing and piping to corrode and weaken.” [10]

The AP added that some of the permanently abandoned wells date back to the 1940s.  And Amos advises that some of the “temporarily abandoned” wells date back to the 1950s.

A three-month EcoHearth investigation revealed that a minimum of 2.5 million abandoned wells in the US and 20-30 million worldwide receive no follow up inspections to ensure they are not leaking. Worse:

“There is no known technology for securely sealing these tens of millions of abandoned wells. Many—likely hundreds of thousands—are already hemorrhaging oil, brine and greenhouse gases into the environment. Habitats are being fundamentally altered. Aquifers are being destroyed. Some of these abandoned wells are explosive, capable of building-leveling, toxin-spreading detonations. And thanks to primitive capping technologies, virtually all are leaking now—or will be.” [11]

Sealed with cement, adds EcoHearth, “Each abandoned well is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. The triggers include accidents, earthquakes, natural erosion, re-pressurization (either spontaneous or precipitated by fracking) and, simply, time.”

As far back as 1994, the Government Accountability Office advised that there was no effective strategy in place to inspect abandoned wells, nor were bonds sufficient to cover the cost of abandonment. Lease abandonment costs estimated at “$4.4 billion in current dollars … were covered by only $68 million in bonds.” [12]

The GAO concluded that “leaks can occur… causing serious damage to the environment and marine life,” adding that “MMS has not encouraged the development of nonexplosive structure removal technologies that would eliminate or minimize environmental damage.”

Not only cement, but seals, valves and gaskets can deteriorate over time. A 2000 report by C-FER Technologies to the Dept. of Interior identified several  different points where well leaks can occur, as this image (p. 26) reveals.  [13]

To date, no regulations prescribe a maximum time wells may remain inactive before being permanently abandoned. “The most common failure mechanisms (corrosion, deterioration, and malfunction) cause mainly small leaks [up to 49 barrels, or 2,058 gallons]. Corrosion is historically known to cause 85% to 90% of small leaks.”

Depending on various factors, C-FER concludes that “Shut-In” wells reach an environmental risk threshhold in six months, TA wells in about 10-12 years, and PA wells in 25 years.  Some of these abandoned wells are 63 years old.

The AP noted that none of the 1994 GAO recommendations have been implemented. Abandoned wells remain uninspected and pose a threat which the government continues to ignore.

Agency Reorganization

Not only was nothing was done with the 1994 GAO recommendations to protect the environment from abandoned wells, its 2003 reorganization recommendations [14] were likewise ignored.  In a June 2011 report on agency reorganization in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, the GAO reports that “as of December 2010,” the DOI “had not implemented many recommendations we made to address numerous weaknesses and challenges.” [15]

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) was renamed the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) last May after MMS drew heavy fire for malfeasance, including allowing exemptions to safety rules it granted to BP. An Office of Inspector General investigation revealed that MMS employees accepted gifts from the oil and gas industry, including sex, drugs and trips, and falsified inspection reports. [16]

Reorganization proceeded.  Effective October 1, 2011, the Dept. of the Interior split BOEMRE into three new federal agencies: the Office of Natural Resources Revenue to collect mineral leasing fees, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) “to carry out the offshore energy management and safety and environmental oversight missions.” The DOI admits:

“The Deepwater Horizon blowout and resulting oil spill shed light on weaknesses in the federal offshore energy regulatory system, including the overly broad mandate and inherently conflicted missions of MMS which was charged with resource management, safety and environmental protection, and revenue collection.” [17]

BOEM essentially manages the development of offshore drilling, while BSEE oversees environmental protection, with some eco-protection overlap between the two agencies. [18]

Early this month, BSEE Director Michael Bromwich spoke at the Global Offshore Safety Summit Conference in Stavanger, Norway, sponsored by the International Regulators Forum. He announced a new position, Chief Environmental Officer of the BOEM:

“This person will be empowered, at the national level, to make decisions and final recommendations when leasing and environmental program heads cannot reach agreement. This individual will also be a major participant in setting the scientific agenda for the United States’ oceans.” [19]

Bromwich failed to mention anything about the abandoned wells under his purview. Out of sight, out of mind.

Cost of the Macondo Blowout

Today, the GAO published its final report of a three-part series on the Gulf oil disaster. [20]  Focused on federal financial exposure to oil spill claims, the accountants nevertheless point out that, as of May 2011, BP paid $700 million toward those spill claims out of its $20 billion Trust established to cover that deadly accident. BP and Oxford Economics estimate the total cost for eco-cleanup and compensatory economic damages will run to the “tens of billions of dollars.” [21]

On the taxpayer side, the GAO estimates the federal government’s costs will exceed the billion dollar incident cap set by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (as amended). As of May 2011, agency costs reached past $626 million.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund’s income is generated from an oil barrel tax that is set to expire in 2017, notes GAO.

With today’s District Court decision in Louisiana, BP also faces punitive damages on “thousands of thousands of thousands of claims.” U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier denied BP’s appeal that might have killed several hundred thousand claims, among them that clean up workers have still not been fully paid by BP. [22]

Notes

[1] U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, “Status of Gulf of Mexico Well Permits,” n.d. http://www.bsee.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Permits/Status-of-Gulf-of-Mexico-Well-Permits.aspx

[2] Tennille Tracy, “US Govt Approves First BP Deepwater Exploration Plan in US Gulf Under New Rules,” Dow Jones News Wire, 24 Oct. 2011. Reproduced athttp://www.firstenercastfinancial.com/news/story/45441-us-govt-approves-first-bp-deepwater-exploration-plan-us-gulf-under-new-rules

[3] Michael Craig and Jacqueline Savitz, “False Sense of Safety: Safety Measures Will Not Make Offshore Drilling Safe,” Oceana, 20 Oct. 2011http://na.oceana.org/sites/default/files/reports/OffshoreSafetyReport_Oceana_10-18-11.pdf

Also see Oceana’s online appendix showing an analysis of each new safety measure’s effect on safety.http://na.oceana.org/sites/default/files/OnlineAppendix_SafetyReport_Oceana_10-19-11.pdf

[4] U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, “Application for Permit to Drill (APD) Approval Process and Definitions,” n.d.http://www.bsee.gov/uploadedFiles/APD_Facts_and_Definitions_BSEE.pdf

[5] See, e.g.: David Edwards, “New evidence of a massive oil slick near Deepwater Horizon site,” Raw Story, 1 Sept. 2011.http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/09/new-evidence-of-a-massive-oil-slick-near-deepwater-horizon-site/

Frank Whalen, “Oil Still Gushing from Bp Well in Gulf,” American Free Press, 2 Sept. 2011. http://americanfreepress.net/?p=341

Dahr Jamail, “Environmental Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: The Escalation of BP’s Liability,” Global Research, 5 Oct. 2011. 
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26947

Luis R. Miranda, “Gulf of Mexico Sea Floor Unstable, Fractured, Spilling Hydrocarbons,” The Real Agenda, 10 Oct. 2011. http://real-agenda.com/2011/10/10/gulf-of-mexico-sea-floor-unstable-fractured-spilling-hydrocarbons/

[6] John Amos, “Over 28,000 Abandoned Wells in the Gulf of Mexico,” 18 Oct. 2011. http://blog.skytruth.org/2011/10/abandoned-wells-in-gulf-of-mexico.html

[7] U.S. Dept. of the Interior, “Interior Department Issues ‘Idle Iron’ Guidance,” 15 Sept. 2010. http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Interior-Department-Issues-Idle-Iron-Guidance.cfm

[8] Siobhan Hughes, “Plugs Ordered on Idle Wells: Move to Permanently Seal Sites in Gulf Could Cost Billions but Create New Work,” Wall Street Journal, 16 Sept. 2010.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703743504575493782591743858.html

[9] U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, “Idle Iron Update,” n.d. (pp. 9-16) https://www.noia.org/website/download.asp?id=47290

[10] Jeff Donn and Mitch Weiss, “Gulf of Mexico hides 27,000 abandoned wells,” Associated Press, 7 July 2010. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/state/headlines/20100707-Gulf-of-Mexico-hides-27-000-1068.ece

[11] Steven Kotler, “Planet Sludge: Millions of Abandoned, Leaking Oil Wells and Natural-Gas Wells Destined to Foul Our Future,” EcoHearth, 17 Aug. 2011.http://ecohearth.com/eco-zine/green-issues/1609-abandoned-leaking-oil-wells-natural-gas-well-leaks-disaster.html 

[12] U.S. Government Accounting Office, “Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Interior Can Improve its Management of Lease Abandonment,” (GAO/RCED-94-82) May 1994.http://archive.gao.gov/t2pbat3/151878.pdf

[13] J.R. Nichols and S.N. Kariyawasam, “Risk Assessment of Temporarily Abandoned or Shut-in Wells,” C-FER Technologies, Oct. 2000.http://www.boemre.gov/tarprojects/329/329AA.pdf

[14] U.S. Government Accounting Office, “Results-Oriented Cultures: Implementation Steps to Assist Mergers and Organizational Transformations,” (GAO-03-669) 2 July 2003. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-03-669

[15] U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Oil and Gas: Interior’s Restructuring Challenges in the Aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill,” (GAO-11-734T) 2 June 2011.http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11734t.pdf

[16] U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Office of Inspector General, “Investigative Report – Island Operating Company, et al.,” 31 March 2010.http://www.govexec.com/pdfs/052510ts1.pdf

[17] U.S. Dept. of the Interior, “Interior Department Completes Reorganization of the Former MMS,” 30 Sept. 2011. http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Interior-Department-Completes-Reorganization-of-the-Former-MMS.cfm#

[18] U.S. Dept. of the Interior, untitled document distinguishing the areas of responsibility between the BOEM and the BSEE. n.d.http://www.bsee.gov/uploadedFiles/A%20to%20Z%20Guide%20web%20version%281%29.pdf

[19] U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, “BSEE Director Delivers Remarks at the International Regulators Forum 2011 Global Offshore Safety Summit Conference,” 4 Oct. 2011. http://www.boemre.gov/ooc/press/2011/press1004.htm

[20] U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Actions Needed to Reduce Evolving but Uncertain Federal Financial Risks,” (GAO-12-86), 24 Oct. 2011. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1286.pdf

[21] U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Preliminary Assessment of Federal Financial Risks and Cost Reimbursement and Notification Policies and Procedures,” 9 Nov. 2010. http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1190r.pdf

[22] Sabrina Canfield, “Judge Denies BP Appeal That Might Have Killed Thousands of Claims, Courthouse News Service,” 24 Oct. 2011.http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/10/24/40864.htm

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