Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Global Disasters/ Significant Events – September 9, 2013

Posted by feww on September 9, 2013

Wildfire near Mt. Diablo forces dozens of evacuations

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 75 homes in Morgan Territory Road in unincorporated Contra Costa County on Sunday, September 8, due to a fast moving wildfire.

The so-called Morgan Fire rapidly burned out of control, consuming at last 800 acres, and threatening homes and other structures in the area.

Morgan Fire
Photographer Mike Oria photographed the Morgan Fire response from Brentwood, Calif., on Sunday evening, Sept. 8, 2013. (Courtesy of Mike Oria Photography)/ via Mercury News. More images…

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UK govt to close air pollution monitoring stations to cut costs

Environmentalists have accused UK govt of covering up pollution figures as it plans to shut down some 600 stations across England to cut costs, said a report.

Government advisers have estimated that one type of pollutant – miniscule particles from diesel engines, fossil fuel power stations and other sources – is killing 29,000 people a year in the UK, and costing health services about £16bn.

But European air pollution limits meant to protect health are being breached in urban areas across the country, with the highest levels in London. According to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the limits for the toxic exhaust gas, nitrogen dioxide, were exceeded in 40 of the UK’s 43 air quality zones in 2010. Read more…

london air pollution
Air pollution in London is comparable to that of Beijing, says the Clean Air in London think tank. Source: Clean Air in London)

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Davis-Besse License Renewal Likely: NRC

Federal regulators say there are no safety issues that would preclude a license renewal for Ohio’s Davis-Besse pressurized water reactor.

The plant operator, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., is seeking a 20-year license extension for the 35-year-old, 889-megawatt nuclear plant located on the SW shore of Lake Erie east of Toledo.

A number of serious incidents have occurred at the plant including

  • On March 5, 2002, workers discovered a football-sized hole in the reactor vessel head, which was caused by corrosion.

Davis-Besse Hole in the Head-
Erosion ate a large hole in the 35-year-old Davis-Besse’s 150-mm thick steel reactor head.

  • On September 24, 1977, the reactor shut down because of a disruption in the feedwater system.
  • On June 9, 1985, the main feedwater pumps, used to supply water to the reactor steam generators, shut down.
  • On June 24, 1998 an F2 tornado struck the plant, damaging the switchyard, and disabling access to external power supplies.
  • In January 2003 the plant’s intranet was infected with the slammer worm, which resulted in a five hour loss of safety monitoring at the plant.
  • On January 20, 2006, the plant operator acknowledged a series of safety violations, and entered into a deferred prosecution plea with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the March 2002 incident
  • On October 22, 2008 a tritium leak was accidentally discovered during an unrelated inspection.
  • In 2010 the plant experienced problems with the replacement head.
  • In October 2011 after the plant was shut down for maintenance workers discovered a 30 foot long hairline crack in the concrete shield building the surrounds the containment vessel.
  • In 2012 the reactor coolant pump seal developed a pinhole leak.

A final decision on the operating license renewal is expected next September.

About 1.8 million people live within an 80-km radius of the nuclear plant.

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