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After Japan, where's the next nuclear weak link?

Where is the next nuclear weak link?Imagine a country where corruption is rampant, infrastructure is very poor, or the quality of security is in question. Now what if that country built a nuclear power plant?

It may sound alarming but that is what could happen in many developing countries which are either building nuclear power plants or considering doing so - a prospect that raises serious questions after Japan's experience handling a nuclear crisis.

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Swiss Move to End Nuclear Era

Swiss phase out nuclear powerThe Swiss government Wednesday decided to exit nuclear energy by phasing out the country's existing nuclear plants and seeking alternative energy sources, in a response to security concerns following Japan's nuclear disaster.

Switzerland is the second country in Europe, after Germany, to drop nuclear energy as an electricity source after protests flared up amid fears that the reactor meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami in March, could be repeated elsewhere.

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3 nuclear reactors melted down after quake, Japan confirms

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday.

The nuclear group's new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Tokyo Electric avoided using the term "meltdown," and says it was keeping the remnants of the core cool. But U.S. experts interviewed by CNN after the company's announcement in May said that while it may have been containing the situation, the damage had already been done.

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Germany to close all of its nuclear plants by 2022

Germany to close nuclear plants by 2022Germany, the economic engine of Europe, said Monday that it will close all of its nuclear power plants over the next 11 years, the latest aftershock from the Japanese earthquake and partial meltdown it set in motion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.

The move is an about-face for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government until recently had supported nuclear power as a way to generate electricity without releasing additional greenhouse gases — and without increasing reliance on Russia, Germany’s main source of natural gas.

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WikiLeaks: Saudis often warned U.S. about oil speculators

Chinese super tankerWhen oil prices hit a record $147 a barrel in July 2008, the Bush administration leaned on Saudi Arabia to pump more crude in hopes that a flood of new crude would drive the price down. The Saudis complied, but not before warning that oil already was plentiful and that Wall Street speculation, not a shortage of oil, was driving up prices.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi even told U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker that the kingdom would have difficulty finding customers for the additional crude, according to an account laid out in a confidential State Department cable dated Sept. 28, 2008,

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Understanding Millisieverts And Radiation Effects On Humans

The main purpose of this article is to help define radiation damage to humans.

Biological damage for various radiation levels was determined about 50 years ago by the US government's Civil Defense Agency, now known as FEMA. I trust human radiation damage exposure levels listed in this older manual than those in the July 1990 FEMA manual which replaced it.

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Study blames deadly mining disaster on company's safety failings

W. Virginia mine blast balmed on ownersAn independent study concludes that the West Virginia coal mine explosion that killed 29 men last year was the result of safety failings by owner Massey Energy Co.

"The disaster at Upper Big Branch was man-made and could have been prevented had Massey Energy followed basic, well-tested and historically proven safety procedures," investigators wrote in the study, which was released today.

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