Home > Environment, Trends > Japan: Another Explosion at #2; Germany Announces temporary Closure of 2 Nuclear Facilities

Japan: Another Explosion at #2; Germany Announces temporary Closure of 2 Nuclear Facilities

March 14, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: News Alert — from The Wall Street Journal
Japan’s nuclear safety agency said an explosion was heard at Unit 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The agency said there was no serious radiation leak. The utility operator said it was evacuating workers from Unit 2.

Earlier today: Guardian UK reports:

On Saturday, anti-nuclear protesters formed a 45km (27 mile) human chain from the city of Stuttgart to an older nuclear power plant that will be kept running longer because of the new policy. Between 50,000 and 60,000 demonstrators took part, according to police and organisers.

The German government responded with a rationality….

Germany today announced the temporary closure of its two oldest nuclear power stations and suspended plans to extend the life of all of the country’s remaining plants as jitters over nuclear power spread across the world.

Switzerland also put on hold plans to build and replace nuclear plants and Austria’s environment minister called for atomic stress tests to make sure Europe’s nuclear facilities are “earthquake-proof”. On Tuesday there will be an emergency meeting of European Union nuclear safety authorities and operators to assess Europe’s preparedness in case of an emergency.

After two hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor in Japan, the German chancellor Angela Merkel decided to re-examine her controversial decision last year to renew 17 nuclear plants for an average of 12 years. Merkel announced a “three-month moratorium” while each plant was given a thorough safety check.As a result, Germany’s two oldest nuclear power stations will be taken off the grid imminently, as they have already reached the end of their lifespan. They will only be reconnected if they pass strict safety checks, the chancellor said in Berlin.

Most Germans are opposed to nuclear power, and Japan’s problems have raised fears of the technology and strengthened the nuclear lobby and the opposition Green Party. A poll for the news channel N-TV on Monday showed 88% of Germans wanted plants shut sooner rather than later.

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