Japanese regulators yesterday said that two ageing nuclear reactors can stay online for up to 20 more years — the first such exception under tighter safety rules imposed after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant crisis in 2011.
Environmental group Greenpeace criticized the decision, saying earthquake risks were being ignored.
Japan shut down dozens of reactors after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake-generated tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the northeast, the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
The ensuing decrease in nuclear power generation forced resource-poor Japan to turn to pricey fossil fuels. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared that nuclear power is essential for the economy as he pushes to get reactors back in operation.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at Kansai Electric’s Takahama nuclear power plant can operate for up to 20 more years because they meet safety guidelines.
The utility had asked the nuclear watchdog to extend the operational period of the reactors. Both are more than 40 years old, normally the maximum period under NRA rules.
The reactors have been switched off since 2011.
The move comes after a district court in March issued an injunction ordering a temporary shutdown of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the same plant.
The Takahama facility is located about 350km west of Tokyo.
Yesterday’s decision was quickly denounced by Greenpeace, which said the move “goes far beyond regulatory failure.”
A German baker has drummed up some much-needed demand during the COVID-19 pandemic by making cakes in the shape of toilet rolls. Faced with a slump in sales as customers stayed away, baker Tim Kortuem got the idea when people complained about a shortage of goods in supermarkets after people started stockpiling. Sales of toilet rolls rose 700 percent this month and last month, grocers say. “We thought: We should just create toilet rolls for eating. And that’s how the idea emerged,” Kortuem told reporters. The marble cake with white fondant icing has been a big hit. Kortuem’s shop, Das Schuerener Backparadies, in the
MORE RESOURCES: The prime minister announced an extra A$1.1bn in health-related spending, of which A$150m would be spent on domestic violence support services Australia yesterday announced a nearly US$100 million boost in funding to tackle domestic violence after support services reported a spike in coronavirus-related family abuse. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there had been a 75 percent surge in Google searches for help during the ongoing nationwide shutdown of non-essential services to curb the spread of COVID-19. Women’s Safety, a domestic violence charity in Australia’s most populous New South Wales state, has reported that more than 40 percent of workers had seen an increase in client numbers, with more than one-third of cases directly linked to the virus outbreak. In neighboring Victoria, women’s support
RICKSHAW EPIC: Two men on a cycle rickshaw said that they were taking over pedaling when the other became exhausted on their journey, which they said was one-way With India locked down over COVID-19 and no way to earn money, Dilipji Thakor faces a grim choice: either walk home or die hungry. Thakor is among millions of migrant workers left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country on Wednesday that has sparked an exodus from major cities. Thousands are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak, which has infected more than 700 people in India. Huge numbers had crammed onto trains and buses before the country of 1.3 billion people
A former child bride who spent 19 years in prison for a murder she did not commit is to sue the Pakistani authorities in an effort to persuade the country to help other victims of miscarriages of justice. Rani Bibi was just 14 when she was convicted, alongside her father, brother and cousin, of the murder of her husband and spent the next two decades sweeping the floors of an overcrowded Pakistan prison. Last year a Lahore High Court judge acquitted her of all charges, saying that she “was left to languish in the jail solely due to [the] lackluster attitude of