Dangerous gas may lurk in third of homes

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More than a third of the homes tested in Carson Valley have elevated levels of a poisonous radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension reports 35 percent of homes tested in Minden and Gardnerville have elevated levels of radon. Nearly 60 percent of homes in Stateline, Glenbrook and Zephyer Cove have higher levels of the gas.

“It is a serious health risk that is preventable and fixable,” said Cooperative Extension Educator Steve Lewis. “People are starting to take radon more seriously and becoming more aware of the health effects and the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes.”

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/20090103/NEWS/901039998/1070&ParentProfile=1058&title=Dangerous%20gas%20may%20lurk%20in%20third%20of%20homes

EPA found high arsenic levels day after ash spill

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HARRIMAN – Local officials vouched for the safety of Roane County’s drinking water and criticized environmental groups on Friday, even as data from the EPA found elevated levels of arsenic in the Emory River on the day after a Tennessee Valley Authority massive ash spill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released figures from Dec. 23, showing that one surface water sample from the Emory River had arsenic levels that were 149 times higher than maximum contaminant levels.

The water sample from the Emory River near the spill site also showed a total concentration of lead five times above normal and slightly elevated total levels of beryllium, cadmium and chromium. However, the EPA has said samples obtained at municipal water intakes do not contain dangerous levels of chemicals or heavy metals.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/jan/03/epa-found-high-arsenic-levels-day-after-ash-spill/

6 Reasons Why Nuclear Power Can’t Save Us

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1. Length of time to come on stream

Commissioning and building new plants is a time-consuming business (at least twenty years), so they would have little or no impact on cutting emissions over the next twenty years, nor build any resilience in the face of peak oil.

2. Insurance

The insurance industry refuses to underwrite nuclear power, a gap it looks like the government will have to fill, resulting in a huge invisible subsidy for nuclear power.

3. Waste

Nuclear waste is a huge problem. The UK alone has 10,000 tons of nuclear waste, a pile which will increase 25-fold when the existing plants are decommissioned, with no solution in sight other than deep burial. The disposal of nuclear waste requires a great deal of embodied energy, including that in the materials used to maintain the disposal facilities (i.e. concrete and steel). It is often said that nuclear waste has a half-life of 100,000 years…it is worth remembering that Stonehenge was built only 4,000 years ago.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/116854/6_reasons_why_nuclear_power_can%27t_save_us/

China tested first nuke-bomb for Pak in 1990: US arms expert

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Washington (PTI): China had tested for Pakistan its first nuclear bomb as early as in 1990, enabling Islamabad to respond within weeks to the Indian atomic tests eight years later, a top US nuclear expert has claimed.

“The Chinese did a massive training of Pakistani scientists, brought them to China for lectures, even gave them the design of the CHIC-4 device, which was a weapon that was easy to build a model for export,” former US Air Force Secretary Thomas Reed told American news magazine ‘US News and World Report’.

Reed, who had worked at Livermore National Laboratory as a weapons designer, had co-authored a new book — The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation — with Danny Stillman, the former director of the technical intelligence division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200901031653.htm

Bush administration’s uranium mining decision could affect tribes

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WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior, in early December eliminated a regulation that gave two congressional committees the power to require the secretary of interior to set aside public lands from uranium mining and other extractive activities. The action, coupled with renewed federal interest in uranium mining, is causing concern for some Western tribes.

In effect, the Bush administration’s decision could open up public lands in and around the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. The aftereffects of such developments could have devastating effects on the health of tribes in and around the Grand Canyon, according to environmentalists and health and legal experts.

Roger Clark, an energy director with the Grand Canyon Trust environmental group, said that two tribes, the Havasupai and the Hualapai, could be directly affected by the decision. They are both located in the Grand Canyon region.

http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/36997839.html