Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα environmental disaster. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα environmental disaster. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Κυριακή 30 Νοεμβρίου 2014

Turkey nuke plant to last 100 years (Rosatom CEO)

Turkey’s first nuclear power plant to be built on the country’s southern coast will connect Turkey and Russia for at least 100 years, said the plant’s Russian builder, Rosatom.

“We are giving 60 years of guarantee for the Akkuyu nuclear plant, but I’m sure that it will have a lifespan of 80-100 years,” said Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko.

“We signed an agreement that undertakes mutual commitments for over 100 years,” he also added, speaking to the media in Moscow on Nov. 29.

Rosatom, Russia’s state-run atomic energy corporation, signed an agreement with Turkey in 2011 to build and operate a four-reactor nuclear power plant in the Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

“Russia will provide $4 billion from its state budget for this project. We will not reduce the financial support of this project,” Kirienko said.

“Russian and Turkish investors will be preferred at first. The project is expected to draw 50-70 percent of investment. This will happen through investors mostly, not bank loans,” he added.

Training support

The Akkuyu plant, which is a sister project to Russia’s Novovoronezh plant in Voronezh Oblast, central Russia, will require $22 billion with construction beginning in 2016 and it becoming operational in 2020.

Kirienko said the use of Russian expertise and technology for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant is a sign of “trust” for Russia, adding that the plant is significant for the strategic cooperation between the two countries, while it will contribute to Turkey’s energy needs.

Recalling that Russia is giving nuclear energy training to 250 Turkish experts, Kirienko emphasized that Russia will help Turkey with the technical and infrastructural aspects. 



Κυριακή 19 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Tugboat Prepares to Tow Russian Cargo Ship Into Sheltered Waters

A tugboat arrived Saturday night to tow the disabled Russian container ship carrying hundreds of tons of fuel further away from Canada's British Columbia shores and into more sheltered waters, a spokesperson with the Canadian Forces' Joint Rescue Coordination Center said.
"When they get the vessel under tow, they'll first head in a northwesterly direction and get it further from the coastline and eventually into more sheltered waters to the north of Haida Gwaii… Then a decision will be made on where to take it," Navy Lt. Pendergast told Canadian TV news channel CTVNews.

He said the Barbara Foss tugboat arrived in the area after 5 p.m. local time and was hooking onto the drifting Simushir vessel.

Officials said there was no risk of the ship hitting rocks after it was moved 24 nautical miles (44 kilometers) away from the rocky shore. Fears were it could spill its cargo of 400 metric tons of bunker fuel and 60 metric tons of diesel, triggering an environmental disaster.
On Friday, British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak said "the province is also contacting its partners in the B.C. Pacific States Oil Spill Task Force both to notify them of the risk and to ask them to provide mutual aid as needed based on the outcome of efforts to restore power to the vessel".

The Simushir carrier ship, with a crew of 11, was going from the US state of Washington to Russia when it lost power on Friday morning. The captain was injured and rescued from the vessel.

British Columbia still remembers the massive oil spill that occurred near Alaska in 1989, when Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil over the next days.
(RIA Novosti)

Emergency: Russian cargo ship with 450 tons of fuel adrift off Canada coast (VIDEO)

Canadian and US coast guards have been struggling to tow a 135-meter Russian cargo ship after it lost power in gale force wind conditions. As 450 tons of bunker oil and diesel were on board the ship, the situation prompted fears of an ecological disaster.

Cargo ship Simushir went adrift on Thursday off the West coast of Haida Gwaii, located near British Columbia. The vessel left Everett, Washington and was bound to Russia.

As the ship became incapacitated amid the storm, its plight raised an alarm in the regional media, as 400 tons of oil and about 50 tons of diesel fuel it was carrying were deemed enough for an environmental catastrophe, in case the vessel ran aground...............................http://rt.com/news/197192-ship-adrift-oil-canada/

Παρασκευή 15 Αυγούστου 2014

Akkuyu nuclear power plant: No reasons for deteriorating relations with Russia (Turkish energy minister)

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said on Friday he did not see any reasons for deteriorating relations with Russia in the energy sector.

“As for the projects that we are currently implementing with Russia there are no reasons, which can cause problems due to the EU sanctions. Our relations are stable in gas issues and in other spheres,” Yildiz said.

Russia and Turkey are implementing a project to build the Akkuyu nuclear power plant at Mersin Province on the Mediterranean coast, he said.

Turkish specialists continue training in Russia to work at the nuclear power plant, Yildiz said, adding that his ministry and the Ministry of Environment were studying the environmental impact assessment report, given by Russia.
Further implementation of the project depends on this document, Yildiz said.
In May 2010 the Russian and Turkish government signed an agreement on cooperation to build and develop the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
The Akkuyu nuclear power plant will be the first power plant. It is built by Russian companies. The project envisages creating four units with the capacity of 1200 MWt. The nuclear plant will generate about 35 billion kWt electricity per hour.


Παρασκευή 18 Ιουλίου 2014

Environment report for first nuclear plant in Akkuyu yells out: ‘Don’t build it’ (Coastal nuclear plants mostly in cold seas)

Data collected in the controversial environmental impact assessment report (ÇED) regarding Turkey’s prospective first nuclear plant in Akkuyu in Mersin has provided serious warnings that the plant could hurt the region’s ecosystem once it comes operational.

A leading expert on marine sciences who spoke to Doğan News Agency said the data was not interpreted in the light of its potential ecological damage.

“When you look at the data, the report yells, ‘This shouldn’t be built here,’” said Ali Cemal Gücü, a professor at the Marine Sciences Institute at Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara.
Gücü said it was impossible to suggest there would be no environmental impact after the release of a million cubic meters of 35-degree water into the sea each hour for the next 60 years.

  • According to the 3,600-page report, which had to be revised after being returned three times over the past two years, the water needed to cool the four-reactor plant will be supplied from Mediterranean Sea and will be poured back into the sea at 35 degrees. Although the report admits the discharge will cause a rise in the water temperature, it argues that this would not exceed 0.5 degrees and poses no danger to any species living in the habitat, including loggerhead turtles and monk seals.
But government officials and investors in the planned 4,800 megawatt (MW) plant built by Russia’s Rosatom quickly dismissed the environmental concerns with construction already falling behind schedule.

Coastal nuclear plants mostly in cold seas

According to Gücü, the assurances regarding sea life in the zone are not credible when confronted with the data provided by the report.

Gücü said similar nuclear plants designed to discharge hot water into the sea were usually build in areas such as the Baltic states, Russia or Finland.

“So the same interpretations that could be made for a sea at 17 degrees are made for the northeastern Mediterranean, whose waters are at 31 degrees and can almost be considered tropical,” Gücü said.

The professor said the bays between Mersin and İskenderun in the eastern Mediterranean had been invaded by species that poured into the Mediterranean from the Red Sea following the opening of the Suez Canal, resulting in the deaths of local species. The increase in the temperatures in the bay would only accelerate the process, Gücü said, threatening the whole fish population.

Gücü also claimed that monk seals will have to abandon the area as soon as the construction starts.
“[At a time] when monkey seals are disappearing in the whole Mediterranean, they are building a nuclear plant, instead of protecting this area. They chose that area for its untouched nature, but won’t care at all if they lose all those species,” he said.

Officials have solemnly vowed that those who will work at Akkuyu NGS, the company established by Rosatom to operate the plant, will be trained to increase awareness about the protection of marine fauna.

The start of construction for the plant is scheduled for mid-2015, as pressure by the government has already increased as the project still has to obtain a construction license. By 2023, all four planned reactors are slated to have started generating power. 


Πέμπτη 10 Απριλίου 2014

Russia gives $1.39 bln for Turkey’s first nuclear plant. --The reactor’s construction is estimated to begin in 2016

Akkuyu NPP
Turkey has received $1.39 billion from Russia for the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu for the first quarter of 2014.

Akkuyu NGS, Russia’s state-run nuclear company Rosatom’s subsidiary in Turkey, has started increasing its investments. 

According to company officials, once the environmental evaluation report (ÇED) is approved, ground preparations and infrastructural investments will speed up in the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant.

The Akkuyu NPP project is estimated to cost around $20 billion and total of $3.5 billion worth of equipment is expected to be used in the construction process, of which $1.8 billion will be spent this year alone.

Funds received from Russia are expected to be used, particularly in building the infrastructure for the plant, in constructing roads, power lines, water pipelines, temporary housing and cranes.

  • If the project license is approved, the reactor’s construction is estimated to begin in 2016, and to be operational by 2020 with the entire plant being fully operational by 2023.

The Russian energy company Rosatom signed an agreement in 2011 to build and operate a four reactor nuclear power plant in the province of Mersin on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, with the aim of having the plant fully-operational by the Turkish republic’s 100-year anniversary in 2023. 


Δευτέρα 18 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Ισπανία: Η κυβέρνηση θα ασκήσει έφεση στην απόφαση για το "Prestige"/España apelará sentencia del "Prestige" (video)

Η ισπανική κυβέρνηση πρόκειται να εφεσιβάλει την πρόσφατη απόφαση του δικαστηρίου στο οποίο εκδικαζόταν η υπόθεση του ναυαγίου, το 2002, του πετρελαιοφόρου δεξαμενόπλοιου Prestige, για να ζητήσει αποζημίωση για την χειρότερη περιβαλλοντική καταστροφή στην ιστορία της Ισπανίας, όπως διεμήνυσε σήμερα ο υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης Αλμπέρτο Ρουίθ-Γκαγιαρδόν.

Δικαστήριο στην Λα Κορούνια αποφάνθηκε την περασμένη εβδομάδα ότι δεν είναι δυνατόν να αποδοθούν ποινικές ευθύνες για τη βύθιση του πλοίου, το οποίο προκάλεσε μια τεράστια πετρελαιοκηλίδα στα ανοικτά της βορειοδυτικής περιφέρειας της Γαλικίας και μόλυνε 2.000 χλμ. της ακτογραμμής.

Το δικαστήριο αθώωσε τον καπετάνιο του Πρεστίζ, τον πρώτο μηχανικό και τον τότε διευθυντή της υπηρεσίας του εμπορικού ναυτικού από την κατηγορία της πρόκλησης της καταστροφής. Ο πλοίαρχος Απόστολος Μαγκούρας καταδικάστηκε σε εννέα μήνες φυλάκιση διότι δεν είχε υπακούσει στις εντολές των ισπανικών αρχών.

Ο Ρουίθ-Γκαγιαρδόν δήλωσε ότι η κυβέρνηση θα ασκήσει έφεση εναντίον της απόφασης αυτής διότι δεν καθιστά κανέναν υπεύθυνο για την κάλυψη των οικονομικών ζημιών, οι οποίες έχει υπολογιστεί ότι υπερέβησαν τα 4 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ.

Η κυβέρνηση πρόκειται επίσης να αναλάβει άλλα μέτρα νομικού χαρακτήρα για να λάβει αποζημίωση από τη ναυτιλιακή και την ασφαλιστική ευκαιρία και προσφεύγοντας κατά παντός υπευθύνου βάσει του αστικού δικαίου.

Σύμφωνα με τον πρωθυπουργό της αυτόνομης περιφέρειας της Γαλικίας Αλμπέρτο Νούνιεθ Φεϊχό, η κυβέρνησή του επιδιώκει να λάβει αποζημίωση μέχρι του ποσού που κατέβαλε για την διαδικασία απορρύπανσης των ακτών μετά το ναυάγιο του Πρεστίζ.

Madrid busca, por lo menos, recuperar el dinero que costó la limpieza de las costas contaminadas por la marea negra. "El propósito del gobierno no es revisar las decisiones" judiciales, sino "insistir en la necesidad de que existan responsabilidades civiles y que sean satisfechas por los autores y responsables del siniestro", manifestó el ministro de Justicia, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, al confimar hoy que la Abogacía del Estado presentará el recurso.

A él se unirá el gobierno regional de Galicia, frente a cuyas costas se hundió el petrolero hace ahora 11 años. "Lo que tenemos que hacer es ocuparnos en quién paga", manifestó el jefe del Ejecutivo gallego, Alberto Núñez-Feijóo. El tribunal que juzgó el caso del "Prestige" exoneró la semana pasada de responsabilidad en la catástrofe al capitán, al jefe de máquinas y al entonces director general de la Marina Mercante española, los tres acusados juzgados, en un fallo que causó estupor y tristeza en España.

60.000 toneladas de carburante derramadas en el mar
El capitán recibió una condena, pero leve y no relacionada con la causa de la tragedia: nueve meses de prisión por haber desobedecido durante tres horas las órdenes de las autoridades españolas. Hace justo once años, el buque monocasco, bajo bandera de conveniencia de Bahamas, se partió en dos y se hundió frente a la costa de Galicia tras seis días a la deriva. De él salieron unas 60.000 toneladas de fuel. Otras 13.000 se sacaron después del pecio hundido en una complicada operación.
El Estado iniciará además "procesos paralelos" para exigir responsabilidad civil a la naviera y a la aseguradora, según dijo Ruiz-Gallardón. El "Prestige" era una "chatarra flotante", manifestó por su parte el presidente del gobierno regional gallego. "La aseguradora sabía muy bien cómo estaba ese barco".
El desastre afectó la principal fuente de ingresos de la costa gallega: hubo que prohibir la pesca y el marisqueo. Las cofradías de pescadores, sin embargo, no tienen intención de recurrir la sentencia judicial porque no ven "posibilidades", según medios españoles.
Además de la costa gallega, el fuel alcanzó las de las regiones españolas de Asturias, Cantabria y País Vasco, y llegó a las de Portugal y Francia. En total, 1.600 kilómetros de litoral con su fauna y su flora se tiñeron de negro. Un total de 250.000 aves murieron y más de 1.000 playas quedaron contaminadas.
En el plano político, el gobierno presidido entonces por José María Aznar sufrió uno de los mayores cuestionamientos sociales por su gestión del accidente. Once años después, el "Prestige" continúa a casi 4.000 metros de profundidad frente a la costa gallega.
jov (dpa, elmundo.es)

Τετάρτη 13 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Αθωώθηκαν τα μέλη του πληρώματος του πετρελαιοφόρου Prestige. -Kαταδίκασε τον έλληνα καπετάνιο.

Η ισπανική δικαιοσύνη απήλλαξε των κατηγοριών τα μέλη του πληρώματος του πετρελαιοφόρου Prestige, το ναυάγιο του οποίου προκάλεσε τη μεγαλύτερη θαλάσσια οικολογική καταστροφή στην ιστορία της Ισπανίας.

Ωστόσο το δικαστήριο καταδίκασε τον έλληνα καπετάνιο του Πρεστίζ Απόστολο Μαγκούρα σε ποινή φυλάκισης εννέα μηνών επειδή αρνήθηκε τη ρυμούλκηση του πλοίου πριν από το ναυάγιο.

Το ελληνόκτητο δεξαμενόπλοιο Prestige, με σημαία Μπαχαμών, το οποίο είχε κατασκευαστεί το 1976 μετέφερε 77.000 τόννους πετρέλαιο από τη Λιθουανία στη Σιγκαπούρη.

>>>>>Αρνείται κάθε ευθύνη για την οικολογική καταστροφή ο Έλληνας καπετάνιος του Prestige.

El capitán del ‘Prestige’ admite que detectó “corrosión” en los tanques<<<<<

Το πλοίο εξέπεμψε σήμα κινδύνου εν μέσω καταιγίδας στις 13 Νοεμβρίου του 2002. Επί έξι ημέρες έπλεε στ΄ανοικτά της Γαλικίας με ένα ρήγμα στις δεξαμενές του. Η ισπανική κυβέρνηση έδωσε εντολή να ρυμουλκηθεί στην ανοικτή θάλασσα. Το πετρελαιοφόρο δεν άντεξε στα μεγάλα κύματα. Κόπηκε στα δυο και βυθίστηκε το πρωί της 19ης Νοεμβρίου, στ΄ανοικτά της Γαλικίας. Πάνω από 60.000 τόννοι καυσίμου διέρρευσαν στη θάλασσα ρυπαίνοντας ακτογραμμή 2.000 χιλιομέτρων και προκαλώντας τεράστια οικολογική καταστροφή.

Δευτέρα 9 Σεπτεμβρίου 2013

Καναδάς: Επιστολή-έκκληση προς τον Ομπάμα για τον αγωγό Keystone. -Προσφέρει ως αντάλλαγμα μείωση εκπομπών / Canada implores Obama for Keystone XL decision

Ο πρωθυπουργός του Καναδά Στίβεν Χάρπερ υπογράφει επιστολή με παραλήπτη τον αμερικανό πρόεδρο, ζητώντας του να συμφωνήσει στην κατασκευή του αμφιλεγόμενου αγωγού Keystone XL με αντάλλαγμα στενότερη συνεργασία για τη μείωση των εκπομπών αερίων του θερμοκηπίου από τον κλάδο του πετρελαίου και του φυσικού αερίου, επιβεβαίωσαν καναδοί αξιωματούχοι, τους οποίους επικαλούνται τα μέσα ενημέρωσης της χώρας.

Οι δύο ηγέτες συναντήθηκαν για λίγη ώρα στο περιθώριο της συνόδου των G20, στην Αγία Πετρούπολη, όμως το θέμα της Συρίας κυριάρχησε στη συζήτηση. Σύμφωνα με το καναδικό δίκτυο CBC, ο Λευκός Οίκος δεν απάντησε στην επιστολή, η οποία εστάλη στο τέλος του περασμένου μήνα.

Υπενθυμίζεται ότι ο Μπαράκ Ομπάμα δεν έχει ακόμη λάβει την τελική απόφαση, λέγοντας ότι θα δώσει το «πράσινο φως» για την κατασκευή του αγωγού μόνο εφόσον «δεν επιδεινώνει σημαντικά το πρόβλημα της ρύπανσης από άνθρακα». Υπό καθεστώς ανωνυμίας, καναδοί αξιωματούχοι εκφράζουν κατά καιρούς τη δυσαρέσκειά τους για το γεγονός ότι ο αμερικανός πρόεδρος δεν έχει διευκρινίσει τι ανταλλάγματα επιθυμεί.
Το έργο, που αναμένεται να στοιχίσει 5,3 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια, θα μεταφέρει καθημερινά έως και 830.000 βαρέλια αργού πετρελαίου από την πετρελαιοφόρο άμμο της Αλμπέρτα στα διυλιστήρια του Κόλπου του Μεξικού.

Περιβαλλοντικές οργανώσεις και στις δύο χώρες επέκριναν τον καναδό πρωθυπουργό, μετά από τις αναφορές για την επιστολή. Σε ανακοίνωσή της, η 350.org έκανε λόγο για μια «απελπισμένη», «ύστατη απόπειρα εξαπάτησης από την κυβέρνηση του Καναδά», ενώ το καναδικό παράρτημα της Greenpeace υποστήριξε ότι, έπειτα από χρόνια αδράνειας στο μέτωπο της κλιματικής αλλαγής, κάθε υπόσχεση από την πλευρά του Καναδά φαντάζει πολύ «ρηχή».

Σημειώνεται ότι οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες βρίσκονται σε τροχιά επίτευξης του στόχου που έχουν θέσει για μείωση των εκπομπών αερίων του θερμοκηπίου έως το 2020, όμως με τα σημερινά δεδομένα ο Καναδάς φαίνεται πως θα πιάσει μόλις το 50% του δικού του στόχου. Πολέμιοι του Keystone XL προειδοποιούν ότι οι στόχοι θα παραμείνουν άπιαστο όνειρο με την κατασκευή του αγωγού.
  • Canada implores Obama for Keystone decision..

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper sent President Obama a letter in August that all but begged him to OK the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Citing high-level sources, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported that the letter indicates "the prime minister is willing to accept targets proposed by the United States for reducing the climate-changing emissions and is prepared to work in concert with Obama to provide whatever political cover he needs to approve the project."

Obama has yet to respond to the letter.

The $7 billion project would build a pipeline from Canada south through the plains states to the Gulf of Mexico. While privately funded, it requires the approval of both governments......http://washingtonexaminer.com/canada-implores-obama-for-keystone-decision/article/2535419

Δευτέρα 5 Αυγούστου 2013

Danish divers launch mission to remove oil from a ten-year-old wreck

Danish divers have launched a major operation in the Baltic Sea in a bid to avert an environmental disaster.

They are trying to remove hundreds of cubic metres of fuel oil which are still on board a Chinese cargo ship which sank ten years ago.

It's a dangerous mission for the specialist divers who are having to work in depths of around 70 metres to locate the fuel tanks which have corroded and are in danger of leaking.

The Baltic Sea can be very rough and the operation which depends on calm waters could take up to a month to complete.

Σάββατο 18 Μαΐου 2013

No peace pipe: Native American tribes on warpath over Keystone XL pipeline

Leaders from 11 Native American tribes stormed out of a meeting with US federal officials in Rapid City, South Dakota, to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which they say will lead to ‘environmental genocide.’
Native Americans are opposed to the 1,179-mile (1,897km) Keystone XL project, a system to transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in Texas for various reasons, including possible damage to sacred sites, pollution, and water contamination.
Although the planned pipeline would not pass directly through any Native American reservation, tribes in proximity to the proposed system say it will violate their traditional lands and that the environmental risks of the project are simply too great.

Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada, the company that hopes to build the pipeline, has promised in the past that Keystone XL will be “the safest pipeline ever built.”
The Indian groups, as well as other activist organizations, doubt the claim, saying the risks involved in the project are too high.
In an effort to ease their concerns, officials from the Department of State agreed to meet with tribal leaders on Thursday in the Hilton Garden Inn in Rapid City, Michigan.
Before the talks could begin, however, tribal leaders walked out, angered that the government had sent what they considered low-level representatives.
In a press conference following the walkout, tribal leaders took turns criticizing the project, as well as the Obama administration.
"I will only meet with President Obama," Bryan Brewer, president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, told the Rapid City Journal.
Others mentioned environmental concerns with the proposed pipeline, which echo the concern of environmental groups across the country.

President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma (AFP Photo / Tom Pennington)
President Barack Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma (AFP Photo / Tom Pennington)

Casey Camp-Horinek, an elder with the Southern Ponca Tribe based in Oklahoma, compared the pipeline and other environmental damage to the historical events that had decimated her people during European colonization.
"We find ourselves victims of another form of genocide, and it's environmental genocide, and it's caused by the extractive industries," she said.
Charles LoneChief, vice president of the Pawnee Business Council, headquartered in Oklahoma, said the public was misinformed about the pipeline's environmental risks.
Unlike a traditional crude oil pipeline, Keystone XL will pump oil that is collected from tar sands. To turn this substance into a transportable liquid, oil companies must add chemicals that environmental groups warn are highly toxic.
"That gets into our waterways, our water tables, our aquifers, then we have problems," LoneChief said.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that the Keystone XL pipeline will increase annual US carbon pollution emissions by up to 27.6 million metric tons – the impact of adding nearly 6 million cars on the road, according to the Environment News Service.
Robin LeBeau, a council representative for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe based in South Dakota, pledged to protest against any construction, even if that meant standing in front of bulldozers.
"What the State Department, what President Obama needs to hear from us, is that we are going to be taking direct action,"she said.
I believe this is going to be one of the biggest battles we are ever going to have, LeBeau added.
This is not the first time that Native American groups have spoken out on the project.
Leaders from ten Canadian and US indigenous groups gathered in Ottawa, Ontario in March to protest the construction of pipelines.
“Tar sands pipelines will not pass through [our] collective territories under any conditions or circumstances,” the tribes said at a press conference.

Σάββατο 23 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

Natural disasters: 'for whom the bell tolls'

The recent devastating Winter Storm Nemo caused massive blackouts and numerous casualties in the US Northeast. More than one million households were without electricity. As the US northeastern states are struggling to recover from the unprecedented blizzard, governors have declared a state of emergency in six states.
Nemo walloped the US East Coast shortly after it was hit by yet more devastating Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Hurricane Sandy, the 18th tropical storm that occurred on the territory of the US in 2012, claimed 72 lives and inflicted $50 billion in damage.

After two Japanese cities were wiped out in the hell of a nuclear attack in May 1945, humanity was quick to realize that a nuclear disaster had to be avoided at all costs. The looming threat of a nuclear apocalypse forced people all over the world to join forces and prompted politicians to adopt a wide range of laws and sign a large number of treaties that are still in force and are part and parcel of the international law. Those efforts turn out to be crucial in warding off what scientists describe as ‘nuclear winter’.
The currently looming threat of environmental disaster is as dangerous. However, the international community and political leaders seem unaware of that. Meanwhile, erosion makes 26 million hectares of land infertile every year, desert areas expand by 6 million hectares annually, thousands of rivers and lakes of the industrial North are biologically dead and thousands of others become dead every year. Scientists warn that one fifth of the world’s animal species and plants may disappear in the next 20 years. According to the World Health Organization, six percent of deaths that have occurred in the world over the past few years were related to ‘deadly warming’. At least ten million people will perish because of environmental pollution in the near future, the WHO says.
The US industrial sector is responsible for most pollution-related problems. Up to 60% of noxious emissions come from American manufacturers. The production of shale gas which is designed to make the US less dependent on imported gas, would be OK if it were not for the price the US and the rest of the world are going to pay for this so-called ‘gold vein’. The barbaric method of shale gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’, inflicts irreparable damage on the environment.
Even though President Obama pledged to take measures to ensure a cleaner environment in his recent address on the situation in the country, these promises did not lead to action.
The misfortunes that have been plaguing the US should serve as a reminder of what is coming if it remains deaf to nature’s warnings. Not only Washington, but politicians in Europe as well should be alerted to these warnings. This winter Europe was hit by devastating blizzards and was exposed to Arctic temperatures. Natural anomalies pummeled Russia as well.
It’s time to put an end to endless and fruitless talk at international conferences and get down to business. Paper protocols are powerless against the rapidly approaching environmental catastrophe. It’s not words that are needed now but action, the way it was in wake of the atomic bombardments in 1945.
Otherwise, it will be too late!

Τρίτη 1 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Shell Drill Ship Runs Aground On Island Off Alaska

Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC's foray into Arctic offshore drilling has suffered a serious setback after one of its two Alaska drilling rigs ran aground in shallow water off a small island.
Officials at a unified command center run by the Coast Guard, Shell, state responders and others said the Kulluk grounded Monday night on rocks off the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Alaska.
The Kulluk was being towed by a 360-foot anchor handler, the Aiviq, and a tugboat, the Alert. The vessels were moving north along Kodiak Island, trying to escape the worst of a North Pacific storm that included winds near 70 mph and swells to 35 feet. Sitkalidak is on the southeast side of Kodiak Island.

About 4:15 p.m., the drill ship separated from the Aiviq about 10 to 15 miles off shore and grounding was inevitable, Coast Guard Cmdr. Shane Montoya, the acting federal on-scene coordinator, told reporters.
"Once the Aiviq lost its tow, we knew the Alert could not manage the Kulluk on its own as far as towing, and that's when we started planning for the grounding," he said.
The command center instructed the nine tug crew members to guide the drill ship to a place where it would cause the least environmental damage. The tug cut the unmanned ship loose at 8:15 p.m. and it grounded at 9 p.m. near the north tip of Ocean Bay on Sitkalidak.
"The Alert was not able to do anything as far as towing the Kulluk but tried to maintain some kind of control," Montoya said.
The drill ship drafts 35 to 40 feet of water. The Coast Guard planned to fly out early Tuesday to plan a salvage operation and possible spill response. It is carrying 150,000 gallons of diesel and about 12,000 gallons of lube oil and hydraulic fluid, Montoya said.
Susan Childs, Shell's on-scene coordinator, said it was too early to know how the vessel would react to the pounding of the storm when it was aground and stationary.
She was optimistic about its salvage prospects and chances for staying intact.
"The unique design of the Kulluk means the diesel fuel tanks are isolated in the center of the vessel and encased in very heavy steel," she said. "When the weather subsides and it is safe to do so, we will dispatch crews to the location and begin a complete assessment."
The Kulluk is designed for extended drilling in Arctic waters and underwent $292 million in technical upgrades since 2006 to prepare for Alaska offshore exploration. The drill ship worked during the short 2012 open water season in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska's north coast. Its ice-reinforced, funnel-shape hull can deflect moving ice downward and break it into pieces.
Attached to a drilling prospect, the Kulluk is designed to handle waves 18 feet high. When disconnected from a well, it's designed to handle seas to 40 feet. Garth Pulkkinen of Noble Corp., the operator of the drill ship, said it was never in danger of capsizing.
The vessel first separated from a towing vessel Thursday night south of Kodiak Island. It was carrying a skeleton crew of 17 as it was towed by the Aiviq from Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands to Seattle for maintenance. The tow line broke at a shackle attached to one of the vessels.
"It was new. It was inspected before it left Dutch, but it broke," said Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith.
Before a line could be reattached, the Aiviq's engines failed, possibly from contaminated fuel. The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley attempted to secure the drifting drill ship but that line failed and wrapped itself around one of the cutter's propellers, requiring the cutter to return to Kodiak on one propeller.
With bad weather predicted, the Kulluk's crew was evacuated Saturday. They hooked up emergency tow lines and left them trailing behind the vessel in case they were needed.
The Aiviq, with its engines restored, and a tug re-established lines to the drill ship, but lines broke Sunday. During a lull in the storm early Monday, the crew of Alert grabbed the original 400-foot line trailing the drill ship and later the Aiviq grappled aboard one of the emergency lines.

Κυριακή 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Η πυρηνική «κληρονομιά» της ΕΣΣΔ μολύνει ακόμα το Τατζικιστάν

Δεκάδες εκατομμύρια τόνοι ραδιενεργών αποβλήτων από ορυχεία ουρανίου της σοβιετικής εποχής παραμένουν εκτεθειμένα κοντά σε μεγάλες πόλεις του Τατζικιστάν, προειδοποιεί έκθεση του ΟΗΕ. Πρόκειται μάλιστα για ένα «από τα μεγαλύτερα προβλήματα της χώρας», το οποίο όμως είναι «απίθανο να επιλυθεί στο προσεχές μέλλον».

Η πρώτη πυρηνική βόμβα της Σοβιετικής Ένωσης, η οποία δοκιμάστηκε επί Στάλιν στις 29 Αυγούστου 1949, περιείχε ουράνιο από το βόρειο Τατζικιστάν, το οποίο ήταν τότε μέρος της ΕΣΣΔ.

Εξήντα και πλέον χρόνια μετά, σχεδόν 55 εκατομμύρια τόνοι ραδιενεργού υλικού παραμένουν σε ανοιχτούς χώρους χωρίς να έχουν υποστεί καμία επεξεργασία, προειδοποιεί η Οικονομική Επιτροπή για την Ευρώπη των Ηνωμένων Εθνών (UNECE).

Στη δεύτερη έκθεσή της για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος στην πρώην σοβιετική δημοκρατία, η UNECE διαπιστώνει ότι οι τεράστιες ποσότητες αποβλήτων παραμένουν σήμερα στα επίπεδα όπου βρίσκονταν το 1990.

«Η αποθήκευση των πυρηνικών αποβλήτων είναι ένα από τα κυριότερα προβλήματα του Τατζικιστάν» εκτιμούν οι συντάκτες της έκθεσης.

Αρκετά από τα εγκαταλειμμένα ορυχεία βρίσκονται κοντά στο Κουτζάντ, τη δεύτερη μεγαλύτερη πόλη, η οποία φιλοξενούσε κέντρο επεξεργασίας στο οποίο κατέφθανε μετάλλευμα ουρανίου και από την Κιργιζία και το Ουζμπεκιστάν. Σύμφωνα με την UNECE, στην εγκατάσταση αυτή είχαν συσσωρευτεί 35.000 κυβικά μέτρα αποβλήτων με χαμηλά επίπεδα ραδιενέργειας.

Η υπηρεσία του ΟΗΕ συγχαίρει τις πρωτοβουλίες της Διεθνούς Υπηρεσίας Ατομικής Ενέργειας για την αντιμετώπιση της κατάστασης, εκτιμά ωστόσο ότι «λόγω της έκτασης του προβλήματος, είναι δύσκολο να φανταστεί κανείς ότι το ζήτημα θα επιλυθεί στο προσεχές μέλλον.

Η χρόνια έκθεση σε υψηλές συγκεντρώσεις ουρανίου είναι επικίνδυνη για την υγεία καθώς μπορεί να προκαλέσει βλάβες στους νεφρούς και αύξηση του κινδύνου εμφάνισης καρκίνου. 

.tanea gr

  • Second Environmental Performance Review of Tajikistan highlights lack of access to clean water and sanitation and need for improved waste management

Access to clean water and improved sanitation and waste management remain some of the most pressing environmental challenges for Tajikistan according to the second Environmental Performance Review of Tajikistan published today. The Review, performed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), takes stock of progress made by the country in the management of its environment since the country was first reviewed in 2004.
The Review covers 10 issues of importance to the country related to policymaking, planning and implementation, the financing of environmental policies, climate change, water management, waste management, human health and the environment and biodiversity conservation. It notes a series of improvements, including significant changes to the legal and policy framework in the area of the environment, as well as challenges that the country is still facing.
Tajikistan has abundant water resources. However, due to institutional weaknesses as well as inadequate funding and outdated infrastructure in the water sector, there are multiple challenges in the use and protection of water resources. Only one third of Tajikistan’s 7.2 million inhabitants have access to chlorinated piped water. Some 30% rely on spring water and the remainder of the population depend on river and ditch water sources. Only 5% of the population are connected to public sewerage. The functioning of the water supply and sewerage systems is, moreover, frequently interrupted by power outages, which is also a source of water contamination. Frequent power cuts limit water supply to a few hours per day. Although there has been an overall improvement since 2004 in the quality of drinking water, 15% of samples do not meet bacteriological standards today.
Waste management has been receiving more attention since 2004. Nevertheless, today municipal solid waste collection services are only provided for the urban population, which represents about 26% of the total population. Waste disposal practices require urgent improvement as even in the capital, Dushanbe, the city’s single disposal site does not meet sanitary norms and standards.
Tailing ponds from mining activities also pose a threat to human health in the country. Approximately 54.8 million tons of waste from past uranium mining operations are still located in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan, a number of them close to Khujand, the country's second-largest city.
The Review concludes with a set of 47 recommendations to the country to improve management of its environment, to better integrate the goals of sustainable development into sectoral policies, to promote greater accountability to the public and to strengthen cooperation with the international community. The recommendations were approved by the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy.
The Review is available at: http://www.unece.org/env/epr/publications.html
For more information on the EPR Programme, please visit: http://www.unece.org/env/epr or contact info.epr@unece.org. 
Note to editors
In 1993, at the Second “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, ministers requested UNECE to undertake Environmental Performance Reviews in countries that were not Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members. By 2004, the first cycle of Reviews was completed (with the exception of Turkmenistan). UNECE is now finalizing the second round of reviews, taking stock of the progress made since the first review, and putting particular emphasis on implementation, integration, financing and the socio-economic interface with the environment.
At the seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference in Astana in September 2011, ministers invited UNECE to conduct the third cycle of EPRs, which may additionally look at environmental governance and financing in a green economy context, countries’ cooperation with the international community and environmental mainstreaming in priority sectors.

Τρίτη 13 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Αρνείται κάθε ευθύνη για την οικολογική καταστροφή ο Έλληνας καπετάνιος του Prestige

Ο καπετάνιος του πετρελαιοφόρου Prestige, το οποίο βυθίστηκε στα ανοικτά της βορειοδυτικής Ισπανίας το 2002, δήλωσε σήμερα Τρίτη ενώπιον του δικαστηρίου ότι δεν φέρει καμία ευθύνη για τη χειρότερη οικολογική καταστροφή που έχει σημειωθεί ποτέ στη χώρα και ότι το πλοίο είχε περάσει από όλους τους απαραίτητους ελέγχους.
Ο Έλληνας καπετάνιος Απόστολος Μαγκούρας, 77 ετών, δήλωσε στο δικαστήριο της Λα Κορούνια ότι είχε παρατηρήσει πως κάποια από τις δεξαμενές πετρελαίου έφεραν σημάδια διάβρωσης, αλλά επεσήμανε ότι δεν είχε τις γνώσεις για να εκτιμήσει τη σοβαρότητά τους.
«Κάναμε όλους τους οπτικούς ελέγχους», στον σκελετό του πλοίου και τις δεξαμενές έρματος πριν τον απόπλου του από την Αγία Πετρούπολη, διαβεβαίωσε ο Μαγκούρας, προσθέτοντας ότι διαθέτει τα απαραίτητα έγγραφα που πιστοποιούν τη διενέργεια των ελέγχων αυτών.

Το ελληνόκτητο πετρελαιοφόρο Prestige, με σημαία Μπαχάμες και φορτίο 77.000 τόνους πετρελαίου, εξέπεμψε σήμα κινδύνου εν μέσω καταιγίδας στις 13 Νοεμβρίου 2002.
Επί έξι ημέρες το Prestige παρέπλεε στον Ατλαντικό ωκεανό με ένα ρήγμα στις πλευρικές δεξαμενές του. Η ισπανική κυβέρνηση του τότε πρωθυπουργού Χοσέ Μαρία Αθνάρ αποφάσισε να το οδηγήσει στην ανοικτή θάλασσα, παρά τις εκκλήσεις των ειδικών που έλεγαν ότι το Prestige πρέπει να επιστρέψει σε ένα λιμάνι για να γίνει απόπειρα να περιοριστεί η διαρροή πετρελαίου. Λίγες ημέρες αργότερα το πλοίο κόπηκε στα δύο και βυθίστηκε με αποτέλεσμα το πετρέλαιο να εξακολουθήσει να διαρρέει στη θάλασσα.
Περισσότεροι από 60.000 τόνοι πετρελαίου διέρρευσαν από το Prestige και μόλυναν χιλιάδες χιλιόμετρα παράκτιων περιοχών στην Ισπανία, την Πορτογαλία και τη Γαλλία.
Οι ισπανοί εισαγγελείς έχουν ζητήσει την καταδίκη του Μαγκούρα σε 12 χρόνια κάθειρξη, ενώ περισσότεροι από 2.000 άνθρωποι ζητούν αποζημιώσεις συνολικά περίπου 4 δισεκατομμυρίων ευρώ.
Οι άλλοι κατηγορούμενοι στη δίκη που ξεκίνησε στις 16 Οκτωβρίου είναι ο επικεφαλής μηχανικός του Prestige, ο Έλληνας Νικόλαος Αργυρόπουλος, ο αξιωματικός Α’ ένας Φιλιππινέζος που δικάζεται ερήμην και ο τότε επικεφαλής εμπορικής ναυτιλίας της Ισπανίας Χοσέ Λουίς Λόπεθ-Σορς.
Τέσσερις ακτιβιστές της περιβαλλοντικής οργάνωσης Greenpeace σκαρφάλωσαν στην πρόσοψη του δικαστηρίου σήμερα ζητώντας να λογοδοτήσουν για την καταστροφή οι υπουργοί της τότε κυβέρνησης.
Μεταξύ αυτών είναι και ο Μαριάνο Ραχόι, νυν πρωθυπουργός της Ισπανίας, ο οποίος την περίοδο εκείνη ήταν υπουργός Εσωτερικών της χώρας.

  • El capitán del ‘Prestige’ admite que detectó “corrosión” en los tanques
El capitán del petrolero 'Prestige', Apostolos Mangouras, ha admitido este martes en su declaración que detectó "corrosión" en los tanques de lastre cuando asumió el relevo del barco en septiembre de 2002, pero descartó que hubiese "ningún tipo de rotura".
Sin embargo, Mangouras, que pasó 83 días en la cárcel tras la catástrofe, no ha concretado, durante el juicio por la catástrofe marítima que se ha reanudado este martes con su declaración en el décimo aniversario del siniestro, por qué no alude a esta corrosión en un informe firmado por él, el 30 de octubre de 2002, en el que certifica que "no hay defecto" en los tanques y que están "en buenas condiciones".
Mangouras, que ha mostrado entereza y claridad en sus contestaciones, excepto en las que ha dicho "no recordar" algunos detalles, ha precisado que no estaba "capacitado" para determinar el grado de corrosión que podían tener los tanques, a preguntas del fiscal Álvaro García Ortiz sobre las inspecciones al barco, la situación de los tanques de lastre, el estado de la máquina del buque o una posible sobrecarga. Asimismo, ha indicado que él no participaba en las revisiones del barco. "No tenía nada que ver conmigo", ha recalcado Mangouras, quien, preguntado por qué en una de ellas el inspector no supervisó los tanques, el capitán ha admitido que éste "tenía que verlos", pero que no le pidieron que los vaciase para poder inspeccionarlos......ELPAIS
Three seamen accused of causing Spain's worst ever environmental disaster are going on trial. The Prestige tanker sank in 2002, spilling more than 50,000 tonnes of crude into the Atlantic.

Prosecutors are demanding a 12 year prison sentence for the captain Apostolos Mangouras, now 77. The chief engineer and the former head of Spain's merchant marine department are also being held responsible.

The Prestige went down off the coast of Galicia a decade ago, polluting beaches across northern Spain and parts of France.

Lawyers say the investigation took so long because of the nationalities involved. The ship sailed under the Bahamas flag with a largely Greek crew, and was insured in the UK.

The damage caused by the spill has been estimated at around 4 billion euros, according to court documents.

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...