FDL Book Salon Welcomes David Lochbaum, Susan Q. Stranahan, Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

By: Saturday March 8, 2014 1:59 pm

David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists examine this question carefully in the long shadow of Fukushima Daiichi. The book contains both a gripping narrative of the nuclear accidents at Fukushima three years ago and a careful examination of the relationships between the nuclear industry and its regulators in Japan, especially as viewed from an American perspective, and as replayed on the American stage. The authors are experts in these matters and the writing is terrific.

 

Workers Can ‘Don and Doff’ Off the Clock, Says Court

By: Thursday February 13, 2014 6:00 pm

For workers in dangerous industries, safety should be non-negotiable. But the Supreme Court may have just given employers a little more leeway to put critical protections for workers on the table when bargaining over labor contracts.

In a unanimous decision issued n Sandifer v. United States Steel Corporation, the Supreme Court ruled against a group of steelworkers who argued that they should be compensated for the time they spend suiting up before and after their workdays, or “donning and doffing” protective gear including hard hats and safety glasses.

A New Day, A New Danger: Temporary Workers Face Safety Hazards at Work

By: Wednesday December 4, 2013 6:02 pm

Rosa Ramirez, a 49-year-old Mexican immigrant and mother in Illinois, knew something was odd about the plastics factory where her temporary-labor agency had sent her. “From the minute one walks into that factory, one is hit by this incredible odor of [chemical] thinner … It just goes right through you,” she recalled.

Toxic Train Wreck Exposes Weakness in Federal Chemical Policy

By: Saturday December 15, 2012 7:53 am

In late November, while other parts of New Jersey were recovering from the superstorm, the quiet town of Paulsboro was blindsided by a very unnatural disaster. A train derailed while crossing a local bridge, sending freight cars tumbling into the water below and releasing a toxic swirl of the flammable gas known as vinyl chloride, used to make PVC plastics. In the following days, chaos ensued as residents hurriedly evacuated. Authorities struggled to manage the emergency respons, leaving people confused and frustrated by a lack of official communicationabout hazards.

Though the derailment came as a shock to residents, this was an accident waiting to happen.

NRC Cites San Onofre Nuclear Plant for Lapse in Security

By: Friday August 17, 2012 3:00 pm

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission hit Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) with a violation for what it called a lapse in plant security, the agency announced late Thursday.

The NRC noted the violation during a four-day inspection in May. SONGS has been completely offline since January, when a radioactive leak led to the discovery of severely degraded heat exchanger tubes in both of the plant’s (nominally) operating reactors. (In July, the NRC released its report on the tube failures, saying that although plant operators had made major design changes that affected the stability of the tubes, they had not violated any laws.)
Regulators said Edison “failed to develop procedures to monitor electronic devices related to security,” but the NRC has withheld most of the details of the violation.

For Nuclear Power This Summer, It’s Too Darn Hot

By: Wednesday August 1, 2012 3:50 pm

Nuclear power was already understood to be dirty, dangerous and absurdly expensive, even without the pressures of climate change. Far from being the answer to growing greenhouse gas emissions, the lifecycle of nuclear power–from mining and milling to transport and disposal–has turned out to be a significant contributor to the problem. And now, the global weirding brought on by that problem has made nuclear even more precarious–more perilous and more pricy–and so an even more pernicious bet.

FDL Movie Night: Broadcast Blues

By: Monday July 9, 2012 5:00 pm

Tonight’s guest Sue Wilson is a firebrand – smart, driven and articulate. A longtime journalist, she got fired up about how the public airways, which belong to the citizens, are controlled by mega-corps which do not act in the public interest. Broadcast Blues, which she wrote, directed and narrates traces the history of the airwaves, the gutting of the Fairness Doctrine, and explains how the consolidation of stations has limited Americans access to a wide range of voices and views—and has actually put citizens at physical risk during emergencies.

As World Honors Fukushima Victims, NRC Gives Them a One-Fingered Salute

By: Friday March 16, 2012 2:52 pm

Rather than it being a salutary moment, a tribute of sorts to the victims in Japan on the anniversary of their disaster, the announcement by the NRC stands more as an insult. It’s as if the US government is saying, “Sure, there are lessons to be learned here, but the profits of private energy conglomerates are more important than any citizen’s quaint notions of health and safety. “

You Could Even Say It Glows: NRC Votes to Fast-Track a More Dangerous Nuclear Future

By: Friday December 23, 2011 8:59 am

To paraphrase the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Merry Effin’ Christmas.

In a news dump that came a day early (because who really wants to dump on Christmas-Eve Eve?), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission made a pair of moves Thursday that could have significant consequences for America’s nuclear industry–and all the people who have to live with it.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Steven Greenhouse: ‘The Big Squeeze’

By: Sunday August 17, 2008 2:00 pm

Quick, let’s all raise our hands: How many of us could live on less than $10 an hour?

That’s a take-home pay of roughly $300 a week. Most one-bedroom apartments cost at least $1,000 a month. Ooops. There goes nearly the entire salary in one rent check.

So how do the nearly 33 million U.S. workers who make less than $10 an hour survive?

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