Unmanned Predator crashes on BLM land

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.