Post-disaster Waste

Millions of Stowaway Passengers Circling Around the Pacific Ocean

31 May 2011

Millions of Stowaway Passengers Circling Around the Pacific Ocean

The tsunami which followed the Japanese earthquake devastated around 300km of coastal cities, towns, farmlands and greenhouses along Japan’s Pacific coastline. The wave was reported to have spread up to 10km (six miles) inland and inundated around 500km². Not only did the earthquake and tsunami create an estimated 25 million tonnes of rubble, but when the tsunami receded it dragged with it countless quantities of waste in the flooded zone.

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The After Shock

15 Apr 2011

Climatic, geological, or anthropogenic natural disasters produce in a couple of seconds, hours or days, enormous amounts of waste, so much so that authorities are unable to handle the quantity with ordinary means. The rupture of “lifelines”, namely water, electricity, transportation routes and communication lines, send survivors into a deep confusion. The accumulation of rubble and waste increases the shock of the populations and postpones the first steps towards the return to normalcy.

The 3 million tonnes of rubble generated by the earthquake in Los Angeles in January 1994 led the city to reinforce and multiply its recycling capacities. Provisional transit and elimination sites for future earthquakes were pre-selected.

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The Disaster Domain Expands

30 Mar 2011

The extravagant iodine-131 content around the area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is a result of leaching of emergency cooling waters used by firefighters and emergency workers. At Fukushima and at French nuclear facilities, there is no collection device for these cooling waters whereas all warehouses storing chemical products are legally bound to be equipped with a collection basin of polluted water used to extinguish fires. The iodine-131 content is also a result of the consequent radioactive dust deposits of the explosions in the heights of the nuclear islets, namely the buildings, the reactors, and the pools. The iodine-131 is one of the indicators of pollution. Other measures will later show similar deviations from standards for cesium-137 and plutonium.

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(Français) Retour sur les boues rouges

21 Dec 2010

(Français) Retour sur les boues rouges

Only in French.

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Red Mud

20 Oct 2010

An ecological meddling is necessary in Hungary. The red mud from Ajka contains notably significant levels of sulphur (around 3,000 mg / kg), chromium (600 mg / kg), nickel (200 mg / kg), arsenic (100 mg / kg) and mercury (1 mg / kg). The spreading of red mud presents health risks for the population that cannot be considered as minor. To give an order of magnitude, if one considers that half of the substance was spilt on farmlands covering an area of 5,000 hectares, then each hectare would be covered by approximately 500 tons of waste.

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Red Mud in Hungary: A Predictable, International and Major Disaster.

6 Oct 2010

Red Mud in Hungary: A Predictable, International and Major Disaster.

Subject:: The Hungary Disaster

Characteristics: The processing of bauxite mineral with caustic soda to extract alumina produces red mud residual. Red mud contains caustic soda, iron, alumina, silicium, sodium, calcium, titanium, manganese, vanadium, hexavalent chromium, lead and cadmium. Because of the accumulation of all these metals and minerals red mud is a waste toxic for aquatic life, pets and farm animals.

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(Français) Les déchets de la tempête Xynthia – 2010

30 Sep 2010

(Français) Les déchets de la tempête Xynthia – 2010

Only in French.

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“Forest Fires: Beware the Radioactive Fallout”

13 Aug 2010

“Forest Fires: Beware the Radioactive Fallout”

The site Arzamas-16 is threatened by forest fires since the middle of July 2010. The exact location of the storage and waste on the site is unknown. The current management of plutonium storage, enriched uranium and nuclear warheads are the subject of diverging information. The military site is in activity since 1946. For more than half a century, experiments and nuclear activities have left undeniable traces on the site (see the assembly of photos). If the fire reaches strategic and radioactive sectors this could spark a major event but also cause global contamination. The Russian government and fire fighters lack of insight to foresee the risk caused by the fires around this dangerous site and to control them is shocking.

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Forest Fires: Beware the Radioactive Fallout

3 Aug 2010

Forest fires and slash and burn farming are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gases which in his book “Forests: The Shadow of Civilization”*, Professor Robert Harrison suggests to call the “fever effect”.

Russia is an expert in the matter. Satellite observations show that the extent of forest fires is always downplayed by the authorities. 2 million hectares were declared burnt in 2003 while 14 million were observed. During the summer of 2006, cinders and soot from fires around St Petersburg caused high concentrations of particles and air pollution in Finland, Scotland and Northern England. Forest fires are an important source of mercury scattering in the atmosphere.

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(Français) Union Ecologique pour la Méditerranée

25 Jun 2009

Only in French.

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