A relatively small collection today, starting with another sort of environmental woe from Newswise:
Living in a Disadvantaged Neighborhood Worsens Musculoskeletal Pain Outcomes After Trauma Exposure
Individuals living in disadvantaged neighborhoods have worse musculoskeletal pain outcomes over time after stressful events such as motor vehicle collision than individuals from higher socioeconomic status neighborhoods, even after accounting for individual characteristics such as age, sex, income, education, and employment status.
These were the findings of a multi-site research study led by Samuel McLean, MD, MPH, associate professor of anesthesiology and emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. The results of the study were published online by the journal Pain.
“We all like to believe that we are immune to the circumstances of our environment,” said Dr. McLean. “These results suggest that when it comes to chronic musculoskeletal pain development after traumatic/stressful events, th
The Asahi Shimbun covers Japanese chutzpah:
Whale meat now on the menu at LDP’s headquarters
Ruling party advocates of whaling tucked into whale meat curry at a restaurant inside the party’s headquarters in Tokyo on Sept. 19 to thumb their noses at the International Whaling Commission.
The IWC on Sept. 18 adopted a resolution calling on Japan to postpone its resumption of “research” whaling in the Antarctic Ocean to 2016 or later.
The restaurant added whale curry to the menu at the request of Toshihiro Nikai, who heads the Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council. He is from Wakayama Prefecture, the cradle of Japan’s whaling industry.
From the Guardian, all hat, no cattle:
US will not commit to climate change aid for poor nations at UN summit
- Rich countries pledged to find $100bn a year by 2020, but so far only Germany has made a significant contribution
Barack Obama will not be pledging any cash to a near-empty fund for poor countries at a United Nations summit on climate change next week, the UN special climate change envoy said on Friday.
The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has challenged the 125 world leaders attending the 23 September summit to make “bold pledges” to the fund, intended to help poor countries cope with climate change.
The UN has been pressing rich countries to come up with pledges of between $10bn and $15bn.
Agence France-Presse covers climate action in India:
Climate change rally held in India ahead of UN summit
Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming.
From the Los Angeles Times, Golden State aflame:
King fire burns more than 80,000 acres in Northern California
The massive King fire in Northern California has now burned more than 80,000 acres, according to CalFire.
The fire, in the forest east of Sacramento, has forced the evacuation of more than 2,800 people since it ignited last Saturday. It is now 10% contained.
More than 7,600 firefighters continue to battle nine major wildfires in California, most of them in the northern part of the state. But officials consider the King fire the most dangerous after it doubled in size overnight Wednesday to about 114 square miles, becoming California’s second largest wildfire this year in a matter of hours.
From the Guardian, Aussie ruling party arrogance [whale meat, anyone?]:
Green groups accused of trashing Queensland’s reputation overseas
- State environment minister claims the main aim of conservation groups is to shut down Queensland’s resource industry
Queensland’s environment minister has accused conservation groups of “trashing” the state’s reputation overseas.
Andrew Powell, who is responsible for protecting Queensland’s natural assets, has gone to Paris for talks with Unesco over the status of the Great Barrier Reef.
Unesco has given Australia until February to show that it is properly managing the reef. If it’s not satisfied the reef could be listed as a World Heritage site “in danger”.
On to Fukushimapocalypse Now!, sending the fox to guard the henhouse, via the Mainichi:
New regulator vows to secure independence of nuclear safety body
Satoru Tanaka, who became a commissioner of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday, vowed to proceed with safety screenings of nuclear facilities with independence, brushing off criticism he has close ties with nuclear power companies.
Tanaka has come under fire for receiving payments and donations in the past from bodies including one linked to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi plant. Critics say the regulator’s fairness and independence could be compromised with his addition to the NRA decision-making panel.
A former chairman of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Tanaka said at a press conference he will do his job “on the basis of science and technology” and he will show that stance through “my language and behavior.”
NHK WORLD covers a setback:
Completion of nuclear fuel plant to be delayed
The operator of a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in northeastern Japan is expected to postpone completion of the plant by about 18 months due to the ongoing government screening.
NHK learned that Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited is making final adjustments to a plan to delay completion from October to early 2016.
The plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, has been undergoing screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority since January. Regulators are trying to determine whether the facility meets new requirements for nuclear plants introduced after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima.
But regulators say they have not been able to conduct screening. They say documents submitted by the operator are insufficient.
From the Asahi Shimbun, a vote in opposition:
Tochigi town passes water-protection ordinance to block nuclear waste plans
A town in Tochigi Prefecture has found a novel way to block the construction of a final disposal site for radioactive waste from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis by passing an ordinance that will protect its natural resources.
The ordinance, passed unanimously by the Shioya town assembly on Sept. 19, will protect an area that includes local springs, as well as mountain forest that was designated by the Environment Ministry as a candidate for the final disposal facility.
The ministry plans to use the site to store designated waste which contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram.
From the Los Angeles Times, nuclear woes on this side of the Pacific:
Energy Dept. faces major hurdles to reopen New Mexico nuclear dump
The Energy Department has identified 7,000 steps needed to reopen its badly damaged nuclear waste dump in New Mexico, but cannot say how long it will take or how much it will cost.
The agency was expected to release a written recovery plan Thursday, but instead provided a few details about the plan, which awaits formal approval by the department.
Outside experts say that the dump will probably not reopen until well after the start of 2016 and that the cost of the accident will approach $1 billion.
Although they didn’t talk about the cost, Energy Department officials reiterated at a briefing in Carlsbad, N.M., on Thursday that there was “strong support” in Congress for putting up the unspecified amount of money required to restart the plant. A Senate aide declined a request by the Los Angeles Times earlier this month for details about the cost negotiations.
More from the Carlsbad Current-Argus:
LANL identifies second nuclear waste drum like container that was breached at WIPP
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have identified another nuclear waste drum similar to the drum that caused the February’s radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
Terry Wallace Jr., the LANL WIPP recovery leader and principal associate director for global security, testified that the chemical reaction was likely caused by a discarded glovebox glove on Tuesday in front of the New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee in Carlsbad.
Because scientists have not been able to re-create the chemical reaction, Wallace said he was unsure about the future of the second drum that currently sits underground in Panel 6 at WIPP.
From the Mainichi, ancient fallout heats up:
‘Missing’ documents reveal 1954 U.S. H-bomb test affected 556 more ships
Recently released government documents reveal that the crews of 556 Japanese ships were tested for radiation exposure in the wake of the United States’ 1954 hydrogen bomb tests around the Bikini Atoll — one of which irradiated the crew of the Daigo Fukuryumaru tuna boat from Shizuoka Prefecture.
The records were released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Sept. 19 in accordance with the Access to Government Information Act, following a freedom-of-information request by a citizens group in Kochi Prefecture known as the Pacific Ocean Nuclear Disaster Assistance Center and other organizations.
According to representatives from the group and the health ministry, the national and local governments conducted the testing between March and December 1954 on fishing and cargo ship crews from a total of five Japanese ports that had been in waters affected by the U.S. nuclear test in the central Pacific.
And we close on an upbeat Latin note from Agence France-Presse:
New music with recycled instruments at Colombia fest
Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the “RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival”, in Colombian city of Cali.