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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A recent study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the oil and gas industry are creating earthquakes. New information from the Midwest region of the United States points out that these man-made earthquakes are happening more frequently than expected. While more frequent earthquakes are less of a problem for regions like the Midwest, a geology professor from the University of Southern Indiana, Dr. Paul K. Doss, believes the disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) process used in extracting oil and gas has the possibility to pose potential problems for groundwater.

“We are taking this fluid that has a whole host of chemicals in it that are useful for fracking and putting it back into the Earth,” Doss said. “From a purely seismic perspective these are not big earthquakes that are going to cause damage or initiate, as far as we know, any larger kinds of earthquakes activity for Midwest. [The issue] is a water quality issue in terms of the ground water resources that we use.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used by the oil and gas industries which inject highly pressurized water down into the Earth’s crust to break rock and extract natural gas. Most of the fluids used for fracking are proprietary, so information about what chemicals are used in the various fluids are unknown to the public and to create a competitive edge.

Last Monday four researchers from the University of New Brunswick released an editorial that sheds light on the potential risks that the current wastewater disposal system could have on the province’s water resources. The researchers share the concern that Dr. Doss has and have come out to say that they believe fracking should be stopped in the province until there is an environ­mentally safe way to dispose the waste wastewater.

“If groundwater becomes contamin­ated, it takes years to decades to try to clean up an aquifer system,” University of New Brunswick professor Tom Al said.

While the USGS group which conducted the study says it is unclear how the earthquake rates may be related to oil and gas production, they’ve made the correlation between the disposal of wastewater used in fracking and the recent upsurge in earthquakes. Because of the recent information surfacing that shows this connection between the disposal process and earthquakes, individual states in the United States are now passing laws regarding disposal wells.

The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak.

“The problem is that we have never, as a human society, engineered a hole to go four miles down in the Earth’s crust that we have complete confidence that it won’t leak,” Doss said. “A perfect case-in-point is the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, that oil was being drilled at 18,000 feet but leaked at the surface. And that’s the concern because there’s no assurance that some of these unknown chemical cocktails won’t escape before it gets down to where they are trying to get rid of them.”

It was said in the study released by the New Brunswick University professors that if fracking wastewater would contaminate groundwater, that current conventional water treatment would not be sufficient enough to remove the high concentration of chemicals used in fracking. The researchers did find that the wastewater could be recycled, can also be disposed of at proper sites or even pumped further underground into saline aquifers.

The New Brunswick professors have come to the conclusion that current fracking methods used by companies, which use the water, should be replaced with carbon diox­ide or liquefied propane gas.

“You eliminate all the water-related issues that we’re raising, and that peo­ple have raised in general across North America,” Al said.

In New Brunswick liquefied propane gas has been used successfully in fracking some wells, but according to water specialist with the province’s Natural Resources De­partment Annie Daigle, it may not be the go-to solution for New Brunswick due its geological makeup.

“It has been used successfully by Corridor Resources here in New Bruns­wick for lower volume hydraulic frac­turing operations, but it is still a fairly new technology,” Daigle said.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with U.S. states to come up with guidelines to manage seismic risks due to wastewater. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA is the organization that also deals with the policies for wells.

Oil wells, which are under regulation, pump out salt water known as brine, and after brine is pumped out of the ground it’s disposed of by being pumped back into the ground. The difference between pumping brine and the high pressurized fracking fluid back in the ground is the volume that it is disposed of.

“Brine has never caused this kind of earthquake activity,” Doss said. “[The whole oil and gas industry] has developed around the removal of natural gas by fracking techniques and has outpaced regulatory development. The regulation is tied to the ‘the run-of-the-mill’ disposal of waste, in other words the rush to produce this gas has occurred before regulatory agencies have had the opportunity to respond.”

According to the USGS study, the increase in injecting wastewater into the ground may explain the sixfold increase of earthquakes in the central part of the United States from 2000 – 2011. USGS researchers also found that in decades prior to 2000 seismic events that happened in the midsection of the U.S. averaged 21 annually, in 2009 it spiked to 50 and in 2011 seismic events hit 134.

“The incredible volumes and intense disposal of fracking fluids in concentrated areas is what’s new,” Doss said. “There is not a body of regulation in place to manage the how these fluids are disposed of.”

The study by the USGS was presented at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America on April 18, 2012.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Australian nuclear debate

Australia’s justice minister, Chris Ellison has said that the Australian federal cabinet did not consider security issues when it decided to setup an inquiry into nuclear power.

Speaking to the Nine Network, Senator Ellison said when considering energy, security concerns are not an issue. “When you look at sources of energy you don’t look at any potential terrorist threat,” he said.

The justice minister said that cabinet discussed measures for protecting crucial infrastructure but denies that a nuclear power station is any more of a target than the electricity grid or rail system.

Senator Ellison said that restricting the country’s use on nuclear power because of the threat of terrorism was giving in to terrorists. “Energy sources are very important for the future of any community and I think we’re not about to be stymied or restricted in that approach because of any threat of terrorism,”

“I mean, we’re going to continue living in the way we do. Once we change that, the terrorists win,” he said.

Leader of the Australian Greens Bob Brown says that the failure to consider security implications associated with nuclear power generation is “daft”.

Senator Brown accused the government of failing to consider the possibility of nuclear material becoming available to terrorists. “It’s daft to say the least and it’s really pig-ignorant of the dangers of nuclear material coming into the hands of terrorists,” he said.

Senator Brown said he is concerned that the move encourages Indonesia, a country that he claims to have a terrorist problem to build nuclear reactors. “The Government doesn’t understand that their paving the way for nuclear enrichment or reactors in Australia encourages Indonesia, which has plans for up to 12 nuclear reactors and which the Government knows has real problems with terrorism.”

The Greens leader said that there is a possibility a nuclear reactor could become a terrorist target. “It does make the threat of terrorists getting nuclear materials or targeting a reactor real, and it must be a consideration for any inquiry,” he said.

The opposition has also raised concerns about security risks associated with nuclear energy. Stephen Smith said, “We don’t think that the economics are there for nuclear power stations in Australia, let alone the national security risks that go with that and the waste disposal risks that go with that.”

News briefs:May 16, 2010

Posted November 9th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y
 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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Why Rely On Lawyers Cyprus?

Posted October 30th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Why Rely on Lawyers Cyprus? by Larry TaggartThere are actually so many reasons why you should consider relying on Lawyers Cyprus that as soon as you find out a few of them, you will consider looking for the best possible professionals just in case you might need their help in the near future. First of all, you should be aware of the fact that the right firm will put you in contact with a variety of legal experts from family lawyers to Litigation lawyers Cyprus. You just need to do a bit of research before actually deciding which of them you are going to hire.An important reason as to why you should be so tempted to benefit from the assistance of Litigation lawyers Cyprus is the fact that they are able to manipulate the situation to your advantage, regardless of how serious it can be. You will just need to talk to them about your current situation and needs and just let them do their job. It does not matter if it has to do with family law, with corporations, with Cyprus residency and so on. Instead of trying to find a legal answer on your own, it would be so much easier if you asked your questions so that you can get a real solution. You will be surprised about how good they actually are at what they do. They will ensure that the law is by their side.You should also consider hiring Lawyers Cyprus because these professionals are always up to date with the latest laws and regulations no matter of the field. So, if you are thinking about filling for divorce and would like to find out what can be done so that you can get out of it without losing any of your belongings, you can ask for the advice of actual legal counsellors. Do it before you do anything in this matter because the moment you file for divorce, the situation changes completely.Of course, this is just an example of a situation in which you could use the help of an experienced lawyer. At the same time, you should want to rely on a legal advisor because no matter what situation you find yourself in, your meetings will be confidential. This means that you can talk freely about what is worrying you and wait for the lawyer to tell you what needs to be done. When relying on actual legal experts you know for sure that the course of action they propose is actually the best you could hope for. It does not matter if it has to do with family law, with corporations, with Cyprus residency and so on. Instead of trying to find a legal answer on your own, it would be so much easier if you asked your questions so that you can get a real solution. The best part about it is that the right lawyers will do all the hard work for you. You just need to let them do their job while being honest about your situation. As you can clearly see, the list of reasons why you should be relying on Lawyers Cyprus, moreover on Litigation lawyers Cyprus, is pretty long. If you are tempted to learn more about the cases in which you can opt for their assistance, visit our website and read all about our areas of expertise!Article Source: eArticlesOnline.com

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

Proton rocket fails during launch of JCSAT-11 satellite

Posted October 30th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Proton rocket which was intended to launch the JCSAT-11 satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit lifted off and successfully completed its first stage burn, but the second stage failed leading to loss of the rocket and satellite.

The launch vehicle was a Proton M booster with a Breeze M upper stage. More than 300 Proton rockets have been launched, all from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Following the launch failure, Kazakhstan suspended the launch of Proton rockets from Baikonur, Interfax news agency reported.

JSAT Corporation immediately placed an order with Lockheed Martin, the satellite manufacturer, for an identical replacement satellite based on the A2100AX design.

Four miners trapped in Ecuador mine

Posted October 18th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Friday, October 15, 2010

According to a Government Official, four miners are trapped in an Ecuador mine located 250 miles (405 kilometers) southeast of the country’s capital, Quito. The miners have been trapped since 03:00 (08:00 UTC) local time.

According to the Under-Secretary of Mining Development, Jorge Espinoza, the men are trapped 500 feet (150 meters) below the surface. Rescuers are currently on the scene and they expect to reach the men within 24 hours.

According to a Government Official, the men are believed to be alive “because they were far enough away from the site of the collapse,” however their condition is unknown and rescuers have not been able to make contact with them. It is estimated that there is five to six days of breathable air left in the mine.

The mine is suspected to have collapsed due to a build up of underground water which caused the mine’s supports to buckle and collapse, blocking all exits.

Sydney experiences hottest March day in 35 years

Posted October 18th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Thursday, March 22, 2018

On this Sunday, Sydney, Australia experienced its hottest March day in 35 years. Temperatures reached 40.5°C at Sydney Airport. This followed the two hottest March months in 1983 and 1965 whose maximum temperatures were 41.2°C and 41.1°C respectively, according to post-1940 climate data provided by Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The hot temperatures were caused by north-westerly winds which brought heat from the inside of the continent.

At the beaches any sea breeze was countered by north-westerly winds, and beach-side areas experienced 39°C. BOM reported NQ and NNW winds 20km/h to 40km/h with 40-60km/h gusts.

BOM recorded maximum temperature of 40.5°C at Sydney Airport (AP) weather station, Weatherzone reported. Wikinews obtained data from BOM that contained maximums for every 10 minutes that confirmed the maximum between 15:30 and 15:40 on the day. Wikinews also observed the temperature of 40.7C via a weather station at a residential property at 17:50 Sunday afternoon.

The present record occurred on March 18, more than a week later than the 1965 and 1983 records that had happened on the March 6 and March 9 respectively, according to the climate data published online at the BOM website.

On the hot Sunday, an out-of-control bushfire took place in Tarraganda and Tathra near Bega, southeast New South Wales. The bushfire damaged “dozens” of homes and crossed the Bega river on Sunday afternoon, The Guardian reported. New South Wales Rescue Fire Service issued an emergency warning to residents in Tathra, advising people to seek shelter.

NSW Fire Rescue Service declared total fire bans and fire weather warnings in 11 areas of the state: Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South Coast, Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, North Western, Lower Central W Plains, Sthn Slopes and the Eastern Riverina.

Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control

Posted October 10th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

Professionals and students continue strike in New Delhi

Posted October 10th, 2019 by F4GKcb4Y

Sunday, May 21, 2006

New Delhi — Almost 10,000 people marched to Jantar Mantar from Maulana Azad Medical College in an anti-reservation rally on Saturday. Doctors and medical students say they will continue to strike and protest, despite an appeal from the prime minister to call off their agitation.

Students from Delhi University and medical colleges around the capital, parents, lawyers, and accountants joined the striking medicos, under the banner of ‘Youth for Equality’.

The students and their supporters want total rollback of a proposed quota-hike for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in elite educational institutions, and a review of the present reservation policy. “There are very less seats in the post-graduate streams compared to the undergraduate courses. Hence the reservation move will affect the future of majority students,” said student leader Praful Raj.

The students have support from many groups. They were led by the Youth for Equality, an AIIMS initiative, while United Students, a DU and JNU group, IIT alumni, RWAs (under the banner of United Residents Joint Action), Resident Doctors Associations from various government and private hospitals, Chartered Accountant’s Association, students from private universities like IP, and parents of agitating students also joined in.

Students from medical colleges in Rajasthan, Orissa, Gujarat, Punjab and Karnataka also took part in the rally. Students and doctors say the government has showed “scant regard to the sentiments of the students”, who have been protesting the proposed quota-hike for OBCs in elite educational institutions.

The students had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a non-political judicial committee to review the existing reservation policy and sought an audience with him to discuss the issue.