BUENOS AIRES, May 16 (Tierramérica).- An environmental organization in Argentina has proposed a citizen action plan in the event of a nuclear accident for use in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
“The citizens of these four countries are totally unprotected” in the event of an accident at one of Argentina’s nuclear reactors, stressed the Foundation for the Defense of the Environment at the presentation of its citizen action plan, which is being distributed in non-governmental circles in the four South American nations.
In the areas where the reactors are located, citizens are informed of security measures and carry out frequent drills, but these measures only apply to neighbors in the immediate vicinity.
People living near Argentina’s nuclear power plants are advised to stay indoors, cover their windows and other openings, and take iodine tablets.
Nayla Azzinnari, a Foundation representative, told Tierramérica that their proposal was submitted to the Argentine authorities in 2010.
“We sent it to the government of Córdoba (the central province where one of the country’s two nuclear plants is located) in November, before the Fukushima nuclear accident, but got no response either then or later,” she commented.
Nanotechnology Turns to Sugar Cane
RIO DE JANEIRO, May 16 (Tierramérica).- The University of São Paulo Polytechnic School has developed a new technique to produce carbon nanotubes, microscopically thin cylinders of carbon atoms, using the gases generated by burning sugar cane bagasse, a by-product of sugar production.
Nanotubes are one ten-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair and are extremely strong and resistant, as well as excellent conductors of heat and energy. They are used in microelectronic and nanoelectronic circuits, as an additive to polymer materials to make them more resilient, and to absorb heavy metals in effluents.
“Brazil has already mastered nanotube technology, but with costly procedures,” physicist Joner Oliveira Alves, who is leading up the research project, told Tierramérica.
“The sugar cane industry produces millions of tons of bagasse a year, and making use of the gases from the burning of these residues reduces the cost of the production of nanotubes, as well as offering an appropriate means of disposing of this waste,” he explained.
Clean-up of Yojoa Lake Begins
TEGUCIGALPA,, May 16 (Tierramérica).- Over the past month, more than 33,000 square meters of parasitic plants have been removed from the waters of idyllic Yojoa Lake in western Honduras.
The aquatic weed know as water lettuce has invaded a large part of the lake and is destroying the wetlands, Carlos Flores, director of the non-governmental volunteer initiative called Project Water Body Rescue, told Tierramérica.
Clean-up work is focused on four critical sections of the lake, and will later move on to the tourism area where restaurants are located. Yojoa Lake is shared by the departments of Cortés, Santa Bárbara and Comayagua. It was declared a natural reserve area in 1971 in recognition of its significant botanical, historical and archeological wealth.
Cleaner Buses Take to the Streets
MEXICO CITY, May 16 (Tierramérica).- Public transportation contractors are introducing environmentally friendly buses in the eastern section of Mexico City.
“We contractors are willing and committed to modernizing our vehicles,” through substantial investment in 20 new buses, said Noé Rendón, a spokesman for companies licensed to provide public transportation on the east side of this sprawling city.
The new buses, which cost 80,000 dollars each and have room for 60 passengers, use less fuel and emit fewer pollutants thanks to engines designed with EPA-IV technology. *Source: Inter Press Service.
up for Tierramerica's free weekly newsletter!