L’à-Côté de l’Actu (16 décembre) Danse, chante et produis de l'électricité ! Fukushima is in cold shutdown, says Japanese prime minister. Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, has declared an end to the most critical phase of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but conceded that the crisis is far from over.
In a nationally televised address on Friday, Noda said the plant had been brought to a state of "cold shutdown", a significant step towards resolving the crisis, nine months after it was struck by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that left almost 20,000 people dead and missing along the country's north-east coast.
Cold shutdown is achieved when the temperature of water used to cool nuclear fuel rods remains below boiling point and radiation emitted by the reactors is no higher than the government-set limit for the public of one millisieverts a year. In April, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said it aimed to stabilise the reactors by the end of the year, but it managed to bring water temperatures to below boiling point for the first time in September. "Les Musulmanes ne peuvent plus toucher de carotte et de banane" - Insolite. Video: Gay couple being told they will become grandparents goes viral.
This Artist's Designs Are For The Birds... Literally. © Lynne HullA 'tree' built for colony-nesting waterbirds near a reservoir in Derbyshire, England.
With the Arctic sea ice they depend on melting due to climate change, couldn't polar bears use a few solar-powered floating platforms to help them hunt? And wouldn't a river-going barge covered with plants, shrubs, and small trees provide a nice replacement stop-over for migratory birds that are getting squeezed out of their normal resting places? Artist Lynne Hull's "Polar Platform" and "Bird Barge" are just concepts right now, but the Colorado-based sculptor has been creating real art installations that double as actual wildlife habitat for more than two decades. Hull's "client list" includes "hawks, eagles, pine marten, osprey, owls, spider monkeys, salmon, butterflies, bees, frogs, toads, newts, bats, beaver, songbirds, otter, rock hyrax, small desert species, waterfowl, and occasional humans," according to her artist statement.