A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, became the only people remaining at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday — and perhaps Japan’s last chance of preventing a broader nuclear catastrophe. They crawl through labyrinths of equipment in utter darkness pierced only by their flashlights, listening for periodic explosions as hydrogen gas escaping from crippled reactors ignites on contact with air.
Japan has raised the maximum radiation dose allowed for nuclear workers, citing the urgent need to prevent a crisis at a tsunami-stricken power plant from worsening.
Journalists used to wading into natural disasters and war zones faced an unusual menace in Japan this week: exposure to radiation. As radiation levels rose and fell around the crippled nuclear power plant near Sendai , Japanese officials added to the uncertainty by giving sometimes vague and conflicting information about the dangers that followed a series of explosions. That left Western news organizations pondering how to cover the unfolding story. The hazards of exposure raised an implicit ethical question rarely pondered in the news business: Is getting the story worth risking an invisible but lethal dose of radiation?
Four New York Times journalists who were covering the conflict in Libya were unaccounted for Wednesday and are feared missing, the newspaper said.
Fighting back tears as he spoke, the brother of one of 11 workers killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig begged lawmakers Wednesday to toughen worker safety laws and increase oil company liability for such accidents.
- Salazar names members of Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee to guide oil and gas regulatory program reform
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael R. Bromwich today announced the members of the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, a permanent advisory body of the nation’s leading scientific, engineering, and technical experts who will provide critical guidance on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response as we explore new energy frontiers.
With the world’s attention focused on Japan’s attempts to avoid a nuclear catastrophe, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for a nuclear plant just 24 miles from New York City to be shuttered. As the New York Daily News reports, the Indian Point nuclear power plant lies within 50 miles of 20 million people, and has suffered a number of safety accidents during its 40-year history, from radiation leaks to oil spills.
On March 25, 1911, 146 garment workers, mostly Jewish and Italian immigrant girls in their teens and 20s, perished after a fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Co. factory in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Even after the fire, the city’s businesses continued to insist they could regulate themselves, but the deaths clearly demonstrated that companies like Triangle would not, on their own, concern themselves with their workers’ safety. Despite this business opposition, the public’s response to the fire led to landmark state regulations.
Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC faces $212,000 in fines for what a federal agency described Wednesday as nine “alleged repeat and serious” safety violations, including a September 2010 incident in which a mill employee suffered serious burns.
The federal government has fined PEP Direct, a Wilton, N.H., direct mail printer, a total of $170,000 for what is says are willful and serous violations of workplace safety standards, including presses that lacked safeguards “to protect operators … against being caught.”