According to environmental activists, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued an order that will stop the building of a hydroelectric dam near the western city of Chongqing on the upper Yangtze River. The proposed dam, Xiaonanhai Dam, would have been Chongqing’s largest infrastructure project and was expected to cost billions of dollars to build and operate. The project was fiercely opposed by environmentalists for years while supported by the politician Bo Xilai, who was given prison time for corruption charges in 2013.
The environmental group American Rivers, released a list of the top ten rivers in the country facing imminent threats on Tuesday. A portion of the Colorado River, which winds through the Grand Canyon sits at the top of that list. The group sites plans for a major construction project in the canyon, a proposed expansion of groundwater pumping, and a desire to reopen an inactive uranium mine in the area.
Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, is currently flushing water to keep the reactors' temperature low enough in an effort to avoid radioactive releases. Radioactivity of the used water is reduced through a special treatment procedure, however current technology cannot remove a relatively harmless radioactive isotope called tritium. Tepco now wants to evaporate huge amounts of that water, raising concerns over the particular practice.