Courtney Flatt

Northwest Public Radio
Wildfire Danger
10:57 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Fire Evacuees Find Help With Donation Centers, Shelters

Volunteers hang cardboard signs to point people in the direction of donation centers and shelters.
Courtney Flatt

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department ordered more homeowners to evacuate Monday afternoon after firefighters saw a brief relief from high winds and hot weather Sunday.

Donations are coming in by the truckload to the Pateros High School in central Washington. Piles of clothes hip-deep fill the gym. Stacks of food, water and pet food line the hallways.

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Wildfire Danger
11:16 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Most Destructive Wildfire In Wash. Leaves Thousands Without AC, Gas, ATMs

A helicopter preparing to drop water is dwarfed by a billowing cloud of smoke from a wildfire Friday, July 18, 2014, in Twisp, Wash. A fire racing through rural north-central Washington destroyed about 100 homes.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The most destructive wildfire currently burning in the Northwest has left thousands of people without air conditioning and refrigeration. The so-called Carlton Complex fire has closed gas stations and shut down ATMs in north-central Washington.

Okanogan County currently estimates 150 to 200 homes burned to the ground. The Okanogan County Utility District says its electrical system is almost a complete loss.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Wed September 4, 2013

A Greener Way To Cool Your Foods On The Way To The Grocery Store

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:13 pm

Your produce and frozen foods could soon arrive at grocery stores in trucks that release fewer emissions. Researchers are developing a clean technology to keep your food cool while it travels.

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Salmon recovery
9:59 am
Wed September 14, 2011

Grant will expand use of ‘sensor fish’ in dams

A new generation of 'robo-salmon' will help scientists better understand how the fish interact with dams.
Carol Munro Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – As salmon wind their way through dams on the Columbia River, a small percentage ultimately end up passing through turbines. A project that helps fish move more safely through turbines recently received a grant to expand its scope.

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Environment
10:35 am
Tue September 13, 2011

Electric vehicles could help store NW wind power

... even the U.S. Army is doing it.
U.S. Army Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – As the Pacific Northwest begins to integrate more renewable energy, grid operators sometimes have trouble predicting the variability that comes with it. Researchers have found a way to use electric vehicles to help balance wind power’s inconsistency.

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Environment
3:37 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Pine white butterflies flit to new homes in Washington desert

Pine white butterflies are finding new homes among the newly planted trees in the Tri-Cities.
Lynette Schimming Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – It's been 30 years since the last outbreak, but now white butterflies are flitting between pine trees across areas of eastern Oregon and Washington.

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Energy development
5:41 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Grants awarded to improve hydropower generation in Wash.

RICHLAND, Wash. – New projects in the Pacific Northwest may soon improve the efficiency and reduce costs of hydropower generation, thanks to a new round of federal spending announced today.

Two projects in Washington received grants to help improve hydropower generation.

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Environment
5:06 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Battelle researchers study efficient carbon capture

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers recently received a grant to develop a better process to capture carbon dioxide that could save more than half of what coal-fired power plants now spend on the technology.

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Pacific laboratory
11:40 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Roman artifact helps nuclear storage research

Denis Strachan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory fellow, traveled to Italy last summer in search of the corroded glass to study how modern-day glass will hold up when storing nuclear waste.
Northwest News Network

Scientists are experimenting with 1,800-year-old glass to better understand how nuclear waste storage will hold up for millennia to come.

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Environment
9:59 am
Wed August 10, 2011

Northwest businesses seek new salmon policy

Northwest business, fishing and food industry leaders are asking for a new approach to salmon policy. From Richland, Courtney Flatt has more.

A group of one thousand businesses is using a ruling recently issued by federal judge James Redden to call for a new look at salmon policy.

In a news conference, business owners and fishermen say they hope to bring key regional stakeholders to the table to restore all salmon runs to the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Spokane outdoor retailer Paul Fish says a healthy environment goes hand-in-hand with a healthy economy.

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Environment
10:48 am
Fri August 5, 2011

Catalyst may lead to more ethanol options

The right balance of zinc and zirconium oxides in this catalyst (purple block) converts ethanol to isobutene with low amounts of unwanted byproducts such as acetone and ethylene.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Ethanol may soon have more uses than just as a fuel additive. Researchers have accidentally discovered an easier, more environmentally friendly biofuel catalyst.

Researchers hope a new catalyst called isobutene will lead to more ways to use ethanol –- from making rubber to solvents to aviation fuel.

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