Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Luce Irigaray – Quotes

Luce Irigaray – Quotes

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Posted 24 September 2011, by Staff, The European Graduate School, egs.edu

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…more than other senses, the eye objectifies and masters. it sets at a distance, maintains the distance. in our culture, the predominance of the look over smell, taste, touch, hearing, has brought about an improverishment of bodily relations…the moment the look dominates, the body loses its materiality.

Irigaray, Luce.

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“Sexual difference is probably the issue in our time which could be our ‘salvation’ if we thought it through.

Irigaray, Luce.

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Between gods and men, territories are set up. At least in the no-man’s land of the heights of heaven, the depths of hell, and inside the boundary traced by the oceans. Dimensions installed by a cosmogonic trilogy that leaves each term in its generic place. There remains the earth ancestress, a fourth term, that was once the most fertile, that has been progressively buried and forgotten beneath the architectonic of patriarchal sovereignty. And this murder erupts in the form of ambivalences that have constantly to be solved and hierarchized, in twinned pairs of more or less good doubles.

Irigaray, Luce and Gillian C. Gill (Translator). Marine Lover: Of Friedrich Nietzsche. Columbia University Press. April 15, 1991. Hardcover 176 pages, Language English, ISBN: 0231070829.

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Is E=Mc² a sexed equation? Perhaps it is. Let us make the hypothesis that it is insofar as it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us. What seems to me to indicate the possible sexed nature of the equation is not directly its uses by nuclear weapons, rather it is having privileged that which goes faster.

Irigaray, Luce. Parler n’est jamais neutre. Éditions de Minuit. 1987. p.110. (Quoted in and translated by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, Intellectual Impostures, London: Profile Books, 1998, p.100.)

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“The ‘feminine’ is always described in terms of deficiency or atrophy, as the other side of the sex that alone holds a monopoly on value: the male sex. Hence the all too well-known ‘penis envy.’ How can we accept the idea that woman’s entire sexual development is governed by her lack of , and thus by her longing for, jealousy of, and demand for, the male organ? Does this mean that woman’s sexual evolution can never be characterized with reference to the female sex itself? All Freud’s statements describing feminine sexuality overlook the fact that the female sex has its own ‘specificity’.

Irigaray, Luce and Catherine Porter and Carolyn Burke (Translator). This Sex Which Is Not One. Cornell Univeristy Press. 1985. Paperback, 223 pages, Language English, ISBN: 0801493315.

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Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a … divine composure), hasn’t accused herself of being a monster? Who, feeling a funny desire stirring inside her (to sing, to write, to dare to speak, in short, to bring out something new), hasn’t thought she was sick?

Irigaray, Luce. “Body against Body: In relation to the Mother.” in: Fifth Conference on Mental Health entitled ‘Women and Madness”. May 13, 1980.

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http://www.egs.edu/faculty/luce-irigaray/quotes/

Why the world is running out of helium

 

Why the world is running out of helium

An employee at the Eden Project in Cornwall uses a helium-filled balloon to prune the upper branches of the tropical zone's plants

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Posted 23 August 2011, by Steve Connor, The Independent, independent.co.uk

 

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It is the second-lightest element in the Universe, has the lowest boiling-point of any gas and is commonly used through the world to inflate party balloons. But helium is also a non-renewable resource and the world’s reserves of the precious gas are about to run out, a shortage that is likely to have far-reaching repercussions.

Scientists have warned that the world’s most commonly used inert gas is being depleted at an astonishing rate because of a law passed in the United States in 1996 which has effectively made helium too cheap to recycle.

The law stipulates that the US National Helium Reserve, which is kept in a disused underground gas field near Amarillo, Texas – by far the biggest store of helium in the world – must all be sold off by 2015, irrespective of the market price.

The experts warn that the world could run out of helium within 25 to 30 years, potentially spelling disaster for hospitals, whose MRI scanners are cooled by the gas in liquid form, and anti-terrorist authorities who rely on helium for their radiation monitors, as well as the millions of children who love to watch their helium-filled balloons float into the sky.

Helium is made either by the nuclear fusion process of the Sun, or by the slow and steady radioactive decay of terrestrial rock, which accounts for all of the Earth’s store of the gas. There is no way of manufacturing it artificially, and practically all of the world’s reserves have been derived as a by-product from the extraction of natural gas, mostly in the giant oil- and gasfields of the American South-west, which historically have had the highest helium concentrations.

Liquid helium is critical for cooling cooling infrared detectors, nuclear reactors and the machinery of wind tunnels. The space industry uses it in sensitive satellite equipment and spacecraft, and Nasa uses helium in huge quantities to purge the potentially explosive fuel from its rockets.

In the form of its isotope helium-3, helium is also crucial for research into the next generation of clean, waste-free nuclear reactors powered by nuclear fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the Sun.

Despite the critical role that the gas plays in the modern world, it is being depleted as an unprecedented rate and reserves could dwindle to virtually nothing within a generation, warns Nobel laureate Robert Richardson, professor of physics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

“In 1996, the US Congress decided to sell off the strategic reserve and the consequence was that the market was swelled with cheap helium because its price was not determined by the market. The motivation was to sell it all by 2015,” Professor Richardson said. The basic problem is that helium is too cheap. The Earth is 4.7 billion years old and it has taken that long to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will dissipate in about 100 years. One generation does not have the right to determine availability for ever.” Soon after helium mining was developed at the turn of the previous century, the US established a National Helium Reserve in 1925. During the Second World War, helium was strategically important because of its use in military airships.

When the Cold War came along, it became even more important because of its uses in the purging of rocket fuel in intercontinental ballistic missiles. The national reserve was established in the porous rock of a disused natural gasfield 30 miles north of Amarillo, which soon became known as the Helium Capital of the World.

A billion cubic metres – or about half of the world’s reserves – are now stored in this cluster of mines, pipes and vats that extend underground for more than 200 miles from Amarillo to Kansas.

But in 1996, the US passed the Helium Privatisation Act which directed that this reserve should be sold by 2015 at a price that would substantially pay off the federal government’s original investment in building up the reserve.

The law stipulated the amount of helium sold off each year should follow a straight line with the same amount being sold each year, irrespective of the global demand for it. This, according to Professor Richardson, who won his Nobel prize for his work on helium-3, was a mistake. “As a result of that Act, helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource,” he said. “It’s being squandered.”

Professor Richardson co-chaired an inquiry into the impending helium shortage convened by the influential US National Research Council, an arm of the US National Academy of Sciences. This report, which has just been published, recommends that the US Government should revisit and reconsider its policy of selling off the US national helium reserve.

“They couldn’t sell it fast enough and the world price for helium gas is ridiculously cheap,” Professor Richardson told a summer meeting of Nobel laureates from around the world at Lindau in Germany. “You might at first think it will be peculiarly an American topic because the sources of helium are primarily in the US but I assure you it matters of the rest of the world also,” he said.

Professor Richardson believes the price for helium should rise by between 20- and 50-fold to make recycling more worthwhile. Nasa, for instance, makes no attempt to recycle the helium used to clean is rocket fuel tanks, one of the single biggest uses of the gas.

Professor Richardson also believes that party balloons filled with helium are too cheap, and they should really cost about $100 (£75) to reflect the precious nature of the gas they contain.

“Once helium is released into the atmosphere in the form of party balloons or boiling helium it is lost to the Earth forever, lost to the Earth forever,” he emphasised.

What helium is used for

*Airships

As helium is lighter than air it can be used to inflate airships, blimps and balloons, providing lift. Although hydrogen is cheaper and more buoyant, helium is preferred as it is non-flammable and therefore safer.

*MRI scanners

Helium’s low boiling point makes it useful for cooling metals needed for superconductivity, from cooling the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners to maintaining the low temperature of the Large Hadron Collider at Cern.

*Deep-sea diving

Divers and others working under pressure use mixtures of helium, oxygen and nitrogen to breathe underwater, avoiding the problems caused by breathing ordinary air under high pressure, which include disorientation.

*Rockets

As well as being used to clean out rocket engines, helium is used to pressurise the interior of liquid fuel rockets, condense hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket fuel, and force fuel into the engines during rocket launches.

*Dating

Helium can be used to estimate the age of rocks and minerals containing uranium and thorium by measuring their retention of helium.

*Telescopes

The gas is used in solar telescopes to prevent the heating of the air, which reduces the distorting effects of temperature variations in the space between lenses.

Sofia Piazza

 

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/why-the-world-is-running-out-of-helium-2059357.html

Tamil Nadu nuclear row: Manmohan’s man in Chennai, thousands protest

Tamil Nadu nuclear row: Manmohan’s man in Chennai, thousands protest

The Koodankulam nuclear plant has been the eye of the storm for past 10 days with locals agitating to close it fearing a Fukushima type of situation could be repeated in the event of a Tsunami or earthquake.

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Posted 20 September 2011, by V Narayanasamy, The Times of India (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.), articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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CHENNAI: Minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy arrived in Chennai on Tuesday en route to Koodankulam to hold talks with the locals who are agitating for the past 10 days against the proposed nuclear plant there.

“All safety measures in the plant are intact. We are hopeful that we will be able to convince the people and allay their fears over the plant,” he told reporters.

Narayanasamy has been deputed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Koodankulam to talk to the people agitating against the project.

 Singh’s action came after he spoke to Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa yesterday seeking her guidance to resolve the issue after she shot off a letter to him, accusing the Centre of “abdicating” its responsibilities to address the safety concerns of the people.

Jayalalithaa had written to the Prime Minister, asking him to halt the project till the issue is settled.

The agitation against the project has intensified since late last month after the authorities announced that the first of the two 1×1000 MWe reactors set up at the coastal village of Koodankulam would be commissioned in December.

Thousands of local population and fishermen in and around Koodankulam have been protesting against the project. Around 100 persons are sitting on an indefinite fast for the past nine days, demanding the scrapping of the project.

Protesters fear that a Fukushima type of situation could be repeated in the coastal town in case of tsunami or an earthquake.

Protest to continue: Medha

Pledging her support to the agitation, social activist Medha Patkar said the protesting villagers have decided to continue their 10-day old fast till the state cabinet passed a resolution for stopping work on the project.

“The villagers (living in and around the project site) demand that the state cabinet pass a resolution for stopping the ongoing work and ensure the safety of the people and the natural resources. We completely support them,” she told a press conference here.

Patkar, speaking on her return from a visit to the protest venue near Koodankulam in Tirunelveli District, said the Central government should show the same urgency on the Koodankulam issue as it attached to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

“When West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could stop Haripur nuclear power plant, why not the Koodankulam plant (be halted)? Tamil Nadu government should also follow a similar approach”, she said.

Hitting out at Jayalalithaa for sending two AIADMK leaders to express solidarity with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day fast, Patkar said she had not bothered to depute even a single emissary to talk to the protesters.

While the villagers thanked Jayalalithaa for her steps, including writing a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said they had decided to continue the fast until a resolution was passed by the cabinet.

“It is not a battle between Jayalalithaa and (Union Minister) Jayanti Natarajan but a battle between the people and the state”, she said referring to the Chief Minister’s charge that Natarajan had washed off her hands over the impasse.

Patkar, who is also the convenor of National Alliance of People’s Movement, said an inquiry commission would be formed with eminent scientists to go into the impact of nuclear policy and power plants vis-a-vis the rights of people to know about the safety of such projects.

(With inputs from PTI)

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http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-09-20/india/30179808_1_koodankulam-thousands-protest-jayalalithaa

Sociology of a shaping tsunami

Sociology of a shaping tsunami

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Posted22 September 2011, by Jawed Naqvi, Dawn, dawn.com

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TSUNAMIS and earthquakes come unannounced but their apparent `suddenness` is embedded in decades, possibly centuries, of subterranean activity.

Political tsunamis are equally hard to detect or predict. But we know that they move along societal fault lines. The world missed Iran by a long shot and it is today trying to divine a glimpse of an Arab Spring even if it all looks more of a media expediency than a movement.

India`s main TV channels and through them much of the world have similarly misread recent events in the country that were and still are projected as tsunamis of sorts. These are, however, more likely to prove to be a figment of the way India`s corporate elite wants to see the country developing.

For their vision not to remain a pipe dream India must first become a police state. It may be getting there but there`s still some steps left to invoke complete disaster.

The media build-up of Narendra Modi`s three-day fast (or fest) in Gujarat and its slightly longer version in Delhi by the quixotic anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare presented an elitist politics as popular to the exclusion of complex issues that traumatise the majority.

We now know that both events were tailor-made to impose a political choice in the Uttar Pradesh elections due early next year. A rare Dalit woman runs the state and whoever dethrones her or wins her support will be best equipped to capture power in 2014 when general elections are due.

Modi is the political mascot of India`s right. Hazare has idolised him as a model for the country`s economic development. Hazare`s view on Modi tallies with that of business captains dominating India`s economic skyline.

They all see in the Gujarat chief minister their next prime minister who would deliver them from Dr Manmohan Singh`s unexpectedly curtailed zeal for unpopular and environmentally untenable prescriptions. Outlook Indian Express

Delhi`s magazine recently carried a cover story on how the middle class had dumped Manmohan Singh. There are warnings now that the world may be preparing to disown him. A typical column in the advised Dr Singh to accelerate pro-market reforms or prepare for a rude regime change. Durbar Express

“If the current government is not seen as a credible interlocutor, outsiders can only get impatient for the next set of rulers to take charge of the Delhi .” WikiLeaks has already established how the BJP has been making a beeline to the US embassy to reiterate its pro-Washington credentials. Given this, the columnist makes eminent sense.

When earthquakes occur they lay bare not just a people`s material capacity to cope with natural disasters, they also test victims` social cohesion. The massive tremor centred in Gujarat`s Bhuj district in 2001 framed not just the geological fault lines but also its victims` sociology. Upper-caste Gujaratis refused to share shelters with the lower castes.

Modi`s antidote dovetailed with corporate exigencies. He fomented hatred of one community to cement his other constituents. There are no more agitating mill workers in Gujarat. They have become polarised Hindus and Muslims.

But the prospective prime minister is suddenly projecting a hitherto absent religious tolerance. His public embrace of visually identifiable Muslim clerics — replete with beards, caps and cloaks — though some reports said they were rented for publicity — indicates a political quandary.

In India, political challenges are often reflected in acronyms. The composition of Gujarat votes thus carries the sobriquet of KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim). In Rajasthan, this takes the form of MAJGAR (Muslim, Ahir, Jat, Gujar, Adivasi and Rajput). Laloo Prasad deployed the MY factor (Muslim-Yadav) to beat the political odds for years in Bihar. There are countless such acronyms that are the building blocks of India`s sociology and thus its politics.

It is this reality that constitutes India`s parliament. It was this that would become an obstruction to domestic and foreign economic prescriptions. It was thus that MPs had to be bribed to pass a vote first on Dr Singh`s economic agenda that did not have a popular mandate and then to push a nuclear deal with Washington that growing throngs of ordinary people (minus the televised middle class) want to shun.

Chernobyl, Fukushima and the recent disaster in France have all contributed to the coalescing of a growing resistance against a rush for energy by any means at any cost.

It was therefore tamely predictable that TV cameras and anchors that had built up Anna Hazare and Narendra Modi as messianic leaders who had shunned food for the national cause would completely ignore the 127 men and women who could perish due to their indefinite fast going on for a week now against a nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu.

There were violent protests earlier this year in Maharashtra against another nuclear project. That the new protesters are backed by hundreds of thousands of villagers in Koodunkulum is of no importance to private TV. That the very coast had suffered a tsunami havoc seven years ago is of no consequence to the televised middle classes.

Another hitherto silent political tsunami is building in the sensitive Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China, not far from the epicentre of Saturday`s devastating earthquake.

Away from public gaze the government has quietly called in dozens of foreign firms to the ecologically fragile zone to build a series of dams there, a move the local tribes resent and fear. Their resistance has so far gone unnoticed in the rest of India. But already there is ferment in Assam about the consequences for its lower riparian regions. Indian Express

International and domestic pressures on the government are enormous, as the columnist has indicated, to deliver or perish on what is an obvious bonanza involving rape of the environment and uprooting of its traditional inhabitants.

Corporate greed is not abating and it could only happen in India that a ragtag army of Maoist guerrillas, whose peers didn’t spare a chance to rape the ecology in China, are compelled to defend it in Chhattisgarh.

This doesn’t mean that people who resist the plunder of India will win. All that they know is that there is yet a small chance of averting an unimaginable disaster.

The writer is Dawn`s correspondent in Delhi.

jawednaqvi@gmail.com

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http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/22/sociology-of-a-shaping-tsunami.html

Fracking Mother Earth for Dollars Scheme Exposed


Fracking Mother Earth for Dollars Scheme Exposed

Non-Indians target Blood Nation, Kawacatoose and Fort Peck

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Posted 13 September 2011, by Brenda Norrell, Censored News, bsnorrell.blogspot.com

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Blood Nation women blockade /Photo Arnell Tailfeathers

Non-Indians have targeted First Nation and American Indian lands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, and Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in Montana, throwing large sums of money at elected leaders for oil and gas drilling, with no regard for future generations or the environment.

Blood Nation women formed a blockade to halt fracking on their land on Friday, exposing a non-Indian corporate scheme behind the new fracturing Mother Earth for dollars.

Lois Frank said the Blood Nation members were never consulted about the widespread oil and gas drilling and fracking that they are now faced with in southern Alberta, near the Montana border.

In the corporate flush of dollars, an in-between fixer has emerged, the non-Indians at Native American Resource Partners in Utah. NARP is designed to entice First Nations and American Indian elected leaders with large sums of money. NARP, as shown on its website, is owned by non-Indians who use the name “Native American” because the company targets Native American lands for exploitation. 

NARP owners began destroying the land for oil and gas drilling on Southern Ute in Colorado and on Uintah and Ouray lands in Utah, before expanding into Canada.

NARP’s investment money comes from another corporation of more non-Indians, Quantum, based in Houston, who are exploiting natural resources around the world.

Besides entering into an agreement with the Blood Nation, NARP also entered into an oil and gas deal with Fort Peck in Montana. The Fort Peck Energy Company formed a new co-partnered Tribal energy company with NARP in August, according to the Fort Peck Journal. NARP provided capital dollars to Fort Peck.

Fort Peck Energy Company is initially owned 50 percent by the Tribe and 50 percent by NARP, with the capital investment made by Quantum, Fort Peck Journal reported.

NARP also provided dollars to the Kawacatoose First Nation in Saskatchewan, focusing on treaty land rights, in August.

NARP announced a partnership with the Kawacatoose First Nation (Kawacatoose) of Saskatchewan, Canada. “The newly-created company, Kawacatoose Energy Company, will pursue the development of resource projects on lands and minerals secured by the Nation through the Saskatchewan Treaty Land Entitlement program (TLE,)” according to the press statement.

On the Blood Nation in Alberta in April, Kainaiwa Resources, Inc., the natural resource development company of the Blood Nation, announced that it had formed Kainai Energy in partnership with NARP.

Kainai Energy entered into two joint venture agreements, with NARP kicking in $100 million in capital commitment, according to the Blood Tribe’s press release.

“In forming Kainai Energy, the Blood Tribe has retained all of its rights to royalty payments from development of its reserve land by industry partners Murphy Oil Company Ltd. (“Murphy”) and Bowood Energy Ltd. (“Bowood”), while securing needed capital to participate in its own resource development. The Tribe has also retained exclusive rights to reserve lands outside the existing joint ventures for future development.”

Kainai Energy will initially focus on the existing joint venture areas in the Alberta Bakken, the press release states.

Hydraulic fracturing poisoning drinking water and rivers

Hydraulic fracturing is already poisoning drinking water and rivers, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times obtained concealed documents from the government and drilling industry that show hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells is even more dangerous than previously known.

The secret documents from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and drilling industry participants, prove hydraulic fracturing wastewater from gas drilling operations contains high levels of radioactive contaminants. It is being released into waterways supplying drinking water.

The process of injecting “fracking” fluid at extreme pressure creates fissures in the rock formations and extracts gas that was previously trapped.

Drilling companies use between two and five million gallons of “fracking” fluid in the hydrofracking of just one gas well. This toxic cocktail is a mixture of water, sand and hazardous chemicals. Then, 50 percent to 75 percent of fracking fluids stay in the ground, potentially leaking into soil and ground water by way of rock faults or faulty well casings, according to the New York Times.

Then, the situation becomes more critical. The used fracking fluid, called produced water, once it comes back up, is even more dangerous after exposure to rock deep in the earth. This drilling wastewater is hazardous waste because it now also contains heavy metals, radioactive elements such as radium, known carcinogens including benzene and other toxins.

Sewage treatment facilities of the wastewater are incapable of removing some contaminants from drilling wastewater, including radioactive contaminants. These releases are discharged into rivers and waterways and are currently contaminating drinking water sources.

The media is playing its role in the exploitation and destruction of Mother Earth, cheerleading for revenues and economic development, without researching the detrimental effects of oil and gas drilling, or fracturing,  on the land and health of the people. 

Blood Nation: Toxic drilling and dealsBlood Nation members released this statement on Friday:

“The first issue is the toxic nature of the drilling and its capacity to do irreversible damage to the land and water on the Blood Reserve and surrounding areas. Furthermore, fracking poses a major threat to human health, wildlife and livestock.

“The second issue at hand is the nature of the deal between KRI, Murphy Oil, and Bowood Energy. We believe this to be highly problematic for a number of reasons: Blood Tribe members were not consulted during the negotiations of this deal even though the drilling will occur on Blood Tribe land.

“KRI and the Blood Tribe Chief and Council neglected to maintain any degree of transparency during and after the negotiations. Ultimately, leaving a large population of tribal members completely unaware of the situation until after the deal was made.

“Above all else, the health and well-being of Blood Tribe members and all future generations will be compromised due to the rash and reckless decision by KRI and Blood Tribe Chief and Council to sign this deal with Murphy Oil and Bowood Energy.”

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/09/fracking-mother-earth-for-dollars.html

Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

MSU microbiologist Gemma Reguera (right) and her team of researchers have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste. (Credit: Michael Steger)

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Posted 06 September 2011, by Staff, ScienceDaily (iVillage), sciencedaily.com

 

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ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2011) — Researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals.

Details of the process, which can be improved and patented, are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The implications could eventually benefit sites forever changed by nuclear contamination, said Gemma Reguera, MSU microbiologist.

“Geobacter bacteria are tiny micro-organisms that can play a major role in cleaning up polluted sites around the world,” said Reguera, who is an MSU AgBioResearch scientist. “Uranium contamination can be produced at any step in the production of nuclear fuel, and this process safely prevents its mobility and the hazard for exposure.”

The ability of Geobacter to immobilize uranium has been well documented. However, identifying the Geobacters’ conductive pili or nanowires as doing the yeoman’s share of the work is a new revelation. Nanowires, hair-like appendages found on the outside of Geobacters, are the managers of electrical activity during a cleanup.

“Our findings clearly identify nanowires as being the primary catalyst for uranium reduction,” Reguera said. “They are essentially performing nature’s version of electroplating with uranium, effectively immobilizing the radioactive material and preventing it from leaching into groundwater.”

The nanowires also shield Geobacter and allow the bacteria to thrive in a toxic environment, she added.

Their effectiveness was proven during a cleanup in a uranium mill tailings site in Rifle, Colo. Researchers injected acetate into contaminated groundwater. Since this is Geobacters’ preferred food, it stimulated the growth of the Geobacter community already in the soil, which in turn, worked to remove the uranium, Reguera said.

Reguera and her team of researchers were able to genetically engineer a Geobacter strain with enhanced nanowire production. The modified version improved the efficiency of the bacteria’s ability to immobilize uranium proportionally to the number of nanowires while subsequently improving its viability as a catalytic cell.

Reguera has filed patents to build on her research, which could lead to the development of microbial fuel cells capable of generating electricity while cleaning up after environmental disasters.

The research team included Dena Cologgi and Allison Speers, MSU graduate students, and Sanela Lampa-Pastirk and Shelly Kelly, post-doctoral researchers. The National Institute of Environmental Health Science and the U.S. Department of Energy funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Michigan State University.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dena L. Cologgi, Sanela Lampa-Pastirk, Allison M. Speers, Shelly D. Kelly, Gemma Reguera. Extracellular reduction of uranium via Geobacter conductive pili as a protective cellular mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1108616108

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AD states “it is time for a rethink of Malta’s foreign policy”

 

AD states “it is time for a rethink of Malta’s foreign policy”

 

Posted 03 September 2011, by Staff, Gozo News Service, gozonews.com

 

Alternattiva Demokratika  (AD) – The Green Party, said that the Libyan experience showed that Malta needs a rethink in aspects of its foreign policy, especially in relation to human rights, social justice and environmental justice.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said, “The Libyan experience should serve as an eye opener with regards to the servilism of the Nationalist Government and the Labour opposition towards brutal regimes. Labour, in particular, did not pronounce a word of condemnation against Gaddafi before he was clearly defeated. Whilst the Gaddafi brutal regime refused to sign the Geneva Convention and blatantly disregarded global norms regarding human rights, different Governments saw no problem in having a privileged partnership with Libya. Whilst AD and various NGOs frequently showed their concern on the brutality of the Gaddafi regime, others frequently boasted of their good relationship with the dictator. Now that the PN and PL have joined AD in denouncing the Gaddafi regime, it is time for a rethink of Malta’s foreign policy, especially in relation to areas such as human rights, democracy, environment, peace and economic affairs. The Government should also support calls for solidarity with democratic forces of opposition to such regimes.”

Ralph Cassar, AD General Secretary, said, “An ethical foreign policy demands that trade respects human rights, social justice and environmental justice. For example, the Maltese Government should take a more pro-active role on issues such as nuclear energy at our doorstep. In the recent past, the Nationalist Government and the Labour Party both remained silent on dangerous deals by Sarkozy and Berlusconi to sell nuclear technology to Gaddafi. One shudders to think what would have happened if Gaddafi had nuclear technology in his hands.”

Robert Callus, AD spokesperson for Migration and Citizenship, said: “As regards the immigration aspect of Malta’s foreign policy, Malta’s Government, with the support of Labour, should stop turning a blind eye on human rights abuses, as was the case when, for example, the Government agreed with Berlusconi’s invitation to give extortion money to Gaddafi for keeping immigrants in inhumane conditions. Malta should now exert necessary pressure for a humane immigration processe in partnership with the EU, free from blackmail. As regards Libya, it is also an imperative that Malta actively supports the UNHCR so that it can be allowed back in Libya and work in a safe environment”.

 

Related stories:

  1. AD welcomes the ousting of the Gaddafi regime in Libya Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party salutes the birth of a post-Gaddafi Libya. Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said, “The dramatic developments in Libya in the…
  2. Any dealings with Gaddafi regime should be delcared – AD In view of the freezing of all assets belonging to the Gaddafi family and their immediate entourage, Alternattiva Demokratika said that those who are playing…
  3. Freeze Gaddafi’s assets and stop French armaments – AD Alternattiva Demokratika is asking the Maltese government to freeze any assets the Libyan dictator and his family might have in Malta and to intervene with…
  4. Libya: Finally a No Fly Zone – Alternativa Demokratika Alternativa Demokratika has welcomed the decision to impose a no fly zone over Libyan territory by the UN Security Council. Alternattiva Demokratika EU and International…
  5. Government shouldn’t do deals on migrants with Libya – AD Alternattiva Demokratika-The Green party expresses its deep concern on the refoulement of Somali migrants, handed over to Libyan authorities. Prof Arnold Cassola, AD spokesperson on…

 

http://gozonews.com/19177/ad-states-it-is-time-for-a-rethink-of-maltas-foreign-policy/