Unmanned Predator crashes on BLM land

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

An unmanned MQ-1B Predator spy plane crashed today on public land 1 and one-half miles west of Creech Air Force Base during a routine training mission, a spokeswoman for the 432nd Wing at the base said.

No injuries or private property damage were reported.

Base personnel responded to the crash site to work with local officials to secure the wreckage of the $4 million aircraft.


Nine Mile Canyon: The Longest Art Gallery

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Nine Mile Canyon is often referred to as the world’s longest art gallery. Located in the state of Utah, the Canyon is five times longer than its name indicates and full of cliffs. But it is also loaded with thousands of ancient images or petroglyphs that go back in time to the mysterious disappearance of a Native American culture.

Ancient carving with circular rings
Ancient carving with circular rings

At Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon, breathtaking views like this one are everywhere. In this arid environment of cliffs and rocks, there are also thousands of ancient carvings known as petroglyphs. As a result, the area has become known as the world’s longest art gallery.

“There is a lot of bighorn sheep on this one,” Jim Lindsay, the guide at Utah’s Natural History Museum points out to visitors. “But there is really no interpretation, I suspect it may be what they call a shadow calendar, which basically uses the circular rings to determine the time of the year,” he said.


VIDEO: Radiation Exposure from 50 Years of Uranium Mining Continues to Affect Spokane Indian Reservation

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Radiation Exposure from 50 Years of Uranium Mining Continues to Affect Spokane Indian Reservation

We speak with Twa-le Abrahamson of the Spokane Indian Reservation, where the only uranium mining in Washington State took place. She helped found the SHAWL (Sovereignty, Health, Air, Water, and Land) Society, which addresses the impact of radiation exposure caused by over fifty years of uranium mining in the area. [includes rush transcript]

View video by clicking link below:


Native Americans Descended From A Single Ancestral Group, DNA Study Confirms

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 29, 2009) — For two decades, researchers have been using a growing volume of genetic data to debate whether ancestors of Native Americans emigrated to the New World in one wave or successive waves, or from one ancestral Asian population or a number of different populations.

Now, after painstakingly comparing DNA samples from people in dozens of modern-day Native American and Eurasian groups, an international team of scientists thinks it can put the matter to rest: virtually without exception, the new evidence supports the single ancestral population theory.

“Our work provides strong evidence that, in general, Native Americans are more closely related to each other than to any other existing Asian populations, except those that live at the very edge of the Bering Strait,” said Kari Britt Schroeder, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and the first author on the paper describing the study.


N.Korea vows to conduct nuclear test

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

SEOUL (AFP) — North Korea on Wednesday threatened to conduct a second nuclear test unless the United Nations apologises for condemning its rocket launch, sharply raising the stakes in the dispute over its weapons programmes.

Unless the Security Council apologises immediately, the North vowed to take what it called additional defensive measures.

“The measures will include nuclear tests and test-firings of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” its foreign ministry said in a statement on official media.


Energy Roundup: Vestas Layoffs, Geothermal Setback, Nuclear Waste Fight, and More

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Vestas trims 1,900 workers despite rising profits — The world’s top wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas, is cutting free almost 10 percent of its workforce despite a 70 percent rise in first-quarter profit over last year. The reason is a largely regional downturn in the market, with the pain is focused around two plants in the United Kingdom and Denmark. However, the company is also issuing 18.5 million shares, about 10 percent of the outstanding total, to raise money for new projects. [Source: Forbes]

Geothermal explodes, but not in a good way — Hot rock geothermal, a cutting-edge technique involving drilling deep holes in the earth and piping water down to create steam, has been called one of our best renewable energy hopes. But the technique is unproven, and Geodynamics, an Australian company, is now trying to figure out why one of its first holes in a one-megawatt pilot plant ruptured. Until the kinks are worked out, hot rock geothermal will likely remain limited. [Source: New Scientist]

Senators pose challenge over nuclear waste — One of the senate’s top supporters of nuclear power, Lindsey Graham, has introduced a bill to return $30 billion to taxpayers that was set aside for development of the Yucca Mountain storage site in Nevada. President Obama put Yucca on hold soon after being elected, likely under the urging of senator Harry Reid, who represents Nevada. Graham’s move is probably more focused on forcing action than actually returning the money. [Source: World Nuclear News]


State of Nevada Comments on The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management’s Draft National Transportation Plan (DOE/RW-0603)–April 21, 2009

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

In response to the Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register on January 16, 2009, enclosed are the State of Nevada comments on the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management’s (OCRWM) National Transportation Plan, Revision 0 (NTP).
Nevada joins the Western Interstate Energy Board’s High-Level Radioactive Waste Committee and the other states regional groups in expressing concern over the paucity of meaningful planning reflected in the NTP. The current draft lacks specificity, continues the fragmentation and “stove-piping” of transportation system components, and hinders rather than promotes a systems approach to planning for and managing spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) shipments. It is neither ‘national’ in its orientation and concept nor is it in any sense a useful or meaningful ‘plan’.
Nevada is also concerned that DOE is not prepared to review or otherwise act on comments received from states, regional groups, local governments and other stakeholders in response to the Federal Register notice. Speaking to attendees at the March 25, 2009 meeting of the Western Interstate Energy Board’s High-Level Radioactive Waste Committee in Denver, OCRWM representatives indicated that no funds or staff remain in the Office of Logistics Management to review, let alone respond to, comments on the NTP. All comments, apparently, will be placed on the shelf to be dealt with at some future time, if ever at all.


Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit for the Desert Rock Energy Facility

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

In 2004, Sithe Global Power, LLC. proposed construction of the Desert Rock Energy Facility, a new 1500 megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation tribal reservation, approximately 25 miles southwest of Farmington, New Mexico. In consideration of over 1,000 oral and written comments received during an extended public comment period in 2006, EPA made a final decision on July 31, 2008 to issue a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit for this facility. The administrative record for the initial permit is available through regulations.gov. See docket EPA-R09-OAR-2007-1110.Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Following EPA’s final permit decision, several parties appealed that decision to the Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). The Desert Rock Energy Company can not begin construction of the facility until this appeal process is completed. Documents filed in the appeal are available in the Desert Rock Energy Company, LLC docket on the EAB’s website.

On January 7, 2009 EPA notified the EAB that it was withdrawing a portion of our permitting decision for further consideration. Following the withdrawal EPA prepared an addendum to the statement of basis for the permit which addresses the issue of whether a final PSD permit for the Desert Rock Energy Company should contain emissions limitations for carbon dioxide. EPA requested public comments on this addendum from January 22, 2009 through March 25, 2009. The administrative record for the addendum to the statement of basis is available through regulations.gov. See docket EPA-R09-OAR-2009-0259. Exiting EPA (disclaimer)


The nuclear dilemma

Please read article, cited after the quote. Articles open in a new window.

Twenty-three years ago today, the world’s worst ever nuclear accident took place at Chernobyl, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). On this day nuclear reactor No 4 of the power plant exploded, sending considerable amounts of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. This produced major damage at the plant and in its vicinity, and created environmental health problems as far afield as Wales. Only 56 deaths in the Chernobyl area were directly attributed to the disaster, but over half a million people were exposed to radioactivity, and it is not yet known how many of these have suffered from cancer or other conditions as a result.

Chernobyl became a byword for the risks and dangers of nuclear power. Apart from the damage it caused directly, it seriously undermined the cause of nuclear energy and gave additional life to campaigns seeking to end its use. Two decades on, the world is having to face the fact that our traditional assumptions about energy need to be revised. We may have reached ‘peak oil’ (the moment at which new oil discovery is no longer keeping pace with the exhaustion of existing resources), and other carbon fuels (such as coal) are also being phased out. In this setting, many experts are arguing that nuclear power represents one of the key ingredients of a viable energy policy of the future.


Peruvian Indigenous Peoples Mobilize Across the Amazon

Peruvian Indigenous Peoples Mobilize Across the Amazon

Thousands of indigenous people are mobilizing across the Peruvian Amazon in continued protest over a set of legislative decrees that undermine indigenous land rights and violate Peru’s constitution as well as international law.

Coordinated by the National Organization of the Amazon Indigenous people of Peru (AIDESEP), as many as 1,350 Indigenous communities are involved in what is being called the “Mobilization for Indigenous Peoples.”

The main focus of the mobilization appears to be on the Napo and Corrientes Rivers, two of the Amazon’s main tributaries. Several communities have been holding blockades on both rivers since late last week, reports The Latin American Herald Tribune.

The situation is particularity tense on the Napo right now. Two boats reportedly broke through the blockade, including one from the Anglo-French company Perenco. “Three shots were allegedly fired at the Indians who chased after them,” says Survival International.

Following this, 80 police officers from the National Directorate of Special Operations of the National Police of Peru (DINOES) were ordered to clear the road blockade at the “El Vado” port on the Napo.

In preparation for a possible confrontation, a group of 300 indigenous people were sent in yesterday morning for additional support.

In recent weeks, protests and other blockades have also taken place along the Cenepa and Santiago Rivers, on a set of train tracks leading to Machu Picchu, and in several other commercially-important areas in the departments of Amazonas, Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, Cuzco and Junin.

Several protests are ongoing, and, as AIDESEP president Alberto Pizango indicated a few days ago, many more are likely to emerge. Speaking on CNR radio he said, “We are going to keep insisting.”

AIDESEP is demanding the annulment of legislative decrees 1020, 1064, 1080, 1081, 1083, 1089 and 1090.

They also want the formal recognition and entitlement of indigenous communities, and the suspension of all concessions currently on indigenous lands.

More information



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.