Concerns about fracking’s environmental impact—not to mention a scene from fracking documentary Gasland, where a man lights methane-heavy water coming out of his kitchen faucet on fire—is reason for alarm. And such concerns have led to improved regulation in other states. But in California, the state’s regulating agency, the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources, has maintained fracking is used too infrequently to be a concern, and therefore needs minimal oversight.
Archives for August 2011
Solar Trust said today that it will convert a 500-megawatt solar thermal power plant it had been planning in Blythe, California into a 500-megawatt plant made from photovoltaic panels. The shift comes because of “improved market conditions” for building power plants with PV modules.
WASHINGTON—The Interior Secretary Wednesday approved the highest capacity solar-panel plant ever constructed on public-owned land. The approval cleared a permitting hurdle for First Solar Inc.’s 550-megawatt Desert Sunlight project, which needed to pass an environmental review from the Interior Department because it is being built on federal land.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported its second deadly radiation reading in as many days at its wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo. The utility known as Tepco said yesterday it detected 5 sieverts of radiation per hour in the No. 1 reactor building. On Aug. 1 in another area it recorded radiation of 10 sieverts per hour, enough to kill a person “within a few weeks” after a single exposure, according to the World Nuclear Association. Radiation has impeded attempts to replace cooling systems to bring three melted reactors and four damaged spent fuel ponds under control after a tsunami on March 11 crippled the plant. The latest reading was taken on the second floor of the No. 1 reactor building and will stop workers entering the area.