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University at Buffalo to host fracking lectures, nuclear levels in NYS not a threat

The University at Buffalo is hosting a series of eight lectures about hydrofracking, as New York nears closer to the July 1 deadline for the end of a moratorium on the drilling practice.  David Robinson reports at the Buffalo News that the lectures are happening Thursday nights at 8, starting this week, at UB's north campus:

“It’s an opportunity to let the public know about the actual exploration and production of energy resources in New York, said Marcus Bursik, chairman of UB’s geology department. Topics will include how geologists explore for resources; how companies get rights to the resources; how gas resources are drilled, “fracked” and distributed; and what legal, environmental and regulatory issues are involved, he said.

Innovation Trail partner station WNED is also hosting a fracking forum, on May 4 at 7 p.m. in WNED's Buffalo studios.  Mark your calendar and join our studio audience for this recorded radio show.

Nuclear

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group is calling for a moratorium of its own, on building new nuclear plants, reports Paul Post at the Saratogian:

"This is a real gamble we’re playing with, nuclear energy," said Laura Haight of the New York Public Interest Research Group. "Nuclear power can be made safer, but it cannot be made safe. It’s not a matter of whether a serious accident could occur here in the United States, like Japan. It’s a matter of when." The report was released one day after the 32nd anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania on March 28, 1979.

You can read the report here.

Meanwhile the state's Department of Health says trace amounts of radioactive iodine, from the plant leaking in Japan, have been found in New York - but not to worry.  Brian Nearing at the Times Union reports that officials say the radiation is "too week to pose a threat to public health:"

"We continue to advise New Yorkers that they do not need to take any precautions because of the radioactive emissions from Japan's nuclear plants. ... New York continues to have safe drinking water supplies," [Health Department Commissioner Nirav] Shah said in a statement. He said radiation detected from Japan, which has traveled thousands of miles in the atmosphere to reach the U.S., is thousands of times lower than a person would receive in an X-ray or other medical imaging procedure. Released into the air from the Japanese tsunami-damaged reactors after March 11, radioactive iodine-131 has a half-life of about eight days. That means the material degrades to become half as radioactive every eight days.

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