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Japan To Switch Off Last Nuclear Reactor

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japan nuclearplant

Japan is to start the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power.

The move on Sunday will leave the world’s third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima crisis erupted in March 2011.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has openly supported the use of nuclear energy, but the public has remained largely opposed to it for fears of possible serious accidents following the world’s worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Kansai Electric Power will gradually take offline the No. 4 reactor at its Oi nuclear plant in Fukui prefecture in western Japan.

The work is scheduled to start by Sunday evening, with the reactor expected to stop power generation after several hours before coming to a complete stop on Monday, according to the utility.

Japan previously was without any nuclear energy in May 2012, when all of the country’s 50 commercial reactors had stopped for scheduled checkups, with utilities unable to restart them due to public opposition.

Last year, government officials and utilities voiced concerns that Japan could experience major blackouts without nuclear power, particularly in the western region that relied heavily on nuclear energy.

Their fears proved to be unfounded but the government gave approval for Kansai Electric to restart No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Oi plant, arguing that nuclear energy was necessary to meet increased electricity demand during the winter.

The reactors were reactivated in July 2012 and resumed full commercial operation the following month, while other reactors have remained idled all along.

Japan has turned to pricey fossil-fuel alternatives to fill the gap left by the shutdown of atomic plants, which had supplied about one-third of the resource-poor nation’s electricity before the Fukushima disaster.

Utilities have raised power fees to cover increased fuel costs for thermal plants while reactors remain offline.

Radiation was spread over homes and farmland in a large area of northern Japan when the massive tsunami swamped cooling systems at Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011.

No one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdowns at Fukushima, but tens of thousands of people were evacuated and many remain so, with some areas expected to be uninhabitable for decades. [AFP]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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