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Predicting the global health consequences of the Chernobyl accident


There have been a number of calculations and predictions of the health consequences of the Chernobyl accident exposures. These range from virtually none (The UN Chernobyl Forum) through 60,000 excess cancer deaths (Fairlie and Sumner 2006) to 1.8 million cancers (Rosalie Bertell 2006) and include the prediction of between 900,000 and 1.4 million cancers in the last 25 years made recently by...

Sick fish suggest oil spill still affecting Gulf


Some red snapper caught in the area of the oil spill have severe fin rot, particularly on their anal fins. A healthy fish would be able to fight off such infections, scientists say. They suspect that the immune systems have collapsed as a result of a toxin. A year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida beaches are relatively clean, the surf seems...

BP is looking strong a year after Gulf oil spill


It’s hard to tell that just a year ago BP was reeling from financial havoc and an American public out for blood. The oil giant at the center of one of the world’s biggest environmental crises is making strong profits again, its stock has largely rebounded, and it is paying dividends to shareholders once more. It is also pursuing new ventures from the Arctic to India. It is even...

BP Voted “Worst Company in America”


NEW YORK CITY, New York – BP has been named the “Worst Company in America” after winning an on-line contest hosted by Consumerist.com. The oil giant’s victory comes just two days before the first anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill. BP finished with 50.87% of the vote in the championship round. Bank of America finished with 49.13%. “This was the closest battle in...

Japan nuclear plant starts pumping out radioactive water to clear access to damaged reactors


TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s crippled nuclear plant began pumping highly radioactive water Tuesday from the basement of one of its buildings to a makeshift storage area in a crucial step toward easing the nuclear crisis. Removing the 25,000 tons of contaminated water that has collected in the basement of a turbine building at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant will help allow access for...

On anniversary, still hard to measure full damage from BP oil spill


You can’t measure what you can’t see. For all the non-stop news coverage of the massive oil spill that fouled the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion at an offshore rig a year ago Wednesday, there is still much about the damage that’s not visible to the naked eye — at least not yet. The explosion, the flames, the glops of oil that smothered and killed not just birds but the marshes where they fed...

Oil companies making unrealistic projections about spill-fighting abilities, review suggests


A Press-Register examination of response plans for the first deepwater drilling permits approved since the Gulf oil spill suggests companies continue to make unrealistic projections about spill-fighting abilities, and are drilling without ready access to basic spill response equipment that is required by law in Alaska and South America. In addition, a spill response plan for a newly permitted...

Japan Discloses Data on Radioactive Water Release


TOKYO — The Japanese government Friday published a report on the discharge of more than 10,000 metric tons of low-level radioactive water from the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, in a bid to allay concerns among neighboring countries that it was spreading contamination into the ocean. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. released a total of 10,393 tons of radioactive water April 4...

Japan’s officials try to take a bite out of radiation fears about Fukushima vegetables


Now offered at lunch at a Japanese government restaurant: a rich curry and rice, topped with Fukushima vegetables fresh from the nuclear-emergency zone. It is part of an unlikely twist in the eat-local movement as the government presses a skeptical public to accept that food from the contaminated northeastern coastline should be purchased, roasted and devoured, not avoided. “Damage by...

BP anniversary: Toxicity, suffering and death


The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has caused the biggest chemical poisoning crisis in US history, experts say. April 20, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of BP’s catastrophic oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. On this day in 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, causing oil to gush from 5,000 feet below the surface into the ninth largest body of water on the planet. At least 4.9...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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