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'Dirty 30' and its toxic siblings: the most dangerous parts of the Sellafield nuclear site

The Guardian > Energy

In the early 1950s, a huge hole was dug into the Cumbrian coast and lined with concrete. Roughly the length of three Olympic swimming pools and known as B30, it was built to hold skip loads of spent nuclear fuel. Those highly radioactive rods came from the 26 Magnox nuclear reactors that helped keep Britain's lights on between 1956 and 2015. When B30 was first put to work, it was designed to keep the fuel rods submerged for only three months before reprocessing work was carried out. But when 1970s miners' strikes shut down coal power stations and forced greater reliance on nuclear plants, more spent fuel than could be quickly reprocessed was generated.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 618

Al Jazeera

Two people were killed and the power supply was disrupted in Russian shelling of Ukraine's southern Kherson region. There were more than 40 hits in the village," regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on the Telegram messaging app. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces repelled a new Russian assault near the town of Vuhledar between the eastern and southern front lines in eastern Donetsk. Zelenskyy said the Russians had suffered "heavy losses" with many soldiers killed and wounded. Oleksandr Shtupun, a spokesman for Ukraine's military command, said Russian forces were trying to regroup and recover their losses near the eastern city of Avdiivka before trying to press ahead with its attempt to encircle the ruined town. Russia accused Ukraine of risking nuclear disaster after it shot down nine Ukrainian drones near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which has been occupied by Russia since early March 2022. The drones were shot down near the Russian-held city of Enerhodar, where many of the plant's workers live. Russia and Ukraine have each accused the other of attacks near the plant. Russia said its air defences also brought down five Ukrainian drones over Crimea and one over the Black Sea. Russia jailed two more Ukrainian soldiers who fought in the city of Mariupol to lengthy prison sentences, as it continued to put dozens of prisoners of war on trial. Russia took thousands of Ukrainian soldiers captive after it seized Mariupol last May. Some were sent to Russia while others have been tried by Moscow-backed courts in occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. Under international law, soldiers cannot be prosecuted for having fought for their country. Two people were killed and the power supply was disrupted in Russian shelling of Ukraine's southern Kherson region. There were more than 40 hits in the village," regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 612

Al Jazeera

Russia said Ukrainian drones damaged a nuclear waste storage facility at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday evening. This comes after the press service for the plant told journalists on Friday that there had been no significant damage from the attacks and that operations were continuing as normal. Intense fighting continued close to the city of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. Russia's Ministry of Defence said its air defence systems destroyed 36 Ukraine-launched drones over the Black Sea off the Crimean Peninsula overnight. A statement from the ministry on Telegram did not provide much additional detail.

As winter nears, Ukraine braces for attacks on energy grid

The Japan Times

Russian drone strikes near a nuclear power plant in western Ukraine this week have revived anxiety among Ukrainian officials and civilians over one of the most oppressive hardships of the war: a winter assault on their nation's energy grid. The strikes Wednesday, which landed near the Khmelnytsky nuclear facility, drew an angry response from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, who said it was "highly likely" that the power plant was the target. They also prompted another warning from the head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency about the precarious nuclear safety situation in Ukraine. Zelenskyy vowed Wednesday night that Ukraine would hit back at targets inside Russia if Moscow tried once again to plunge his nation into cold and darkness.

How AI Can Be Regulated Like Nuclear Energy

TIME - Tech

Prominent AI researchers and figures have consistently dominated headlines by invoking comparisons that AI risk is on par with the existential and safety risks that were posed with the coming of the nuclear age. From statements that AI should be subject to regulation akin to nuclear energy, to declarations paralleling the risk of human extinction to that of nuclear war, the analogies drawn between AI and nuclear have been consistent. The argument for such extinction risk has hinged on the hypothetical and unproven risk of an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) imminently arising from current Large Language Models (e.g., ChatGPT), necessitating increased caution with their creation and deployment. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has even referenced to the well established nuclear practice of "licensing", deemed anti-competitive by some. He has called on the creation of a federal agency that can grant licenses to create AI models above a certain threshold of capabilities.

As Japan releases more Fukushima water, what about the rest of the plant?

Al Jazeera

Before the 2011 tsunami inundated Ukedo elementary school's classrooms, the ocean was central to the school's identity. In the summer, pupils would run down the 300-metre path to the beach, splitting up into groups to see who could make the best animals out of sand. Every year, students also painted local fishermen's boats, a tradition that resonated strongly in Namie town, where many parents worked in the fishing industry. But when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, a subsequent tsunami and a nuclear disaster brought devastation to Japan's northeastern Tohoku region, that all changed, Shinichi Sato, a teacher who taught at Ukedo elementary school, told Al Jazeera. "For years after the disaster, we weren't allowed to teach lessons outside, in fear that kids would touch radioactive soil," Sato said.

Ambassador Rahm Emanuel slams Chinese ban on Japanese seafood

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel accused China on Friday of using "economic coercion" against Japan by banning imports of Japanese seafood in response to the release of treated wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, while Chinese boats continue to fish off Japan's coasts. "Economic coercion is the most persistent and pernicious tool in their economic toolbox," Emanuel said in a speech Friday in Tokyo, calling China's ban on Japanese seafood the latest example. China is the biggest market for Japanese seafood, and the ban has badly hurt Japan's fishing industry.

How the U.N. Plans to Shape the Future of AI

TIME - Tech

As the United Nations General Assembly gathered this week in New York, the U.N. Secretary-General's envoy on technology, Amandeep Gill, hosted an event titled Governing AI for Humanity, where participants discussed the risks that AI might pose and the challenges of achieving international cooperation on artificial intelligence. Secretary-General António Guterres and Gill have said they believe that a new U.N. agency will be required to help the world cooperate in managing this powerful technology. But the issues that the new entity would seek to address and its structure are yet to be determined, and some observers say that ambitious plans for global cooperation like this rarely get the required support of powerful nations. Gill has led efforts to make advanced forms of technology safer before. He was chair of the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons when the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, which sought to compel governments to outlaw the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, failed to gain traction with global superpowers including the U.S. and Russia.

Full text: Zelenskyy's speech to the UN General Assembly

Al Jazeera

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy travelled to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly in person for the first time since Moscow began its full-scale invasion of his country in February 2022. Dressed in his trademark khaki green shirt, he urged member states to come together to oppose Russian aggression and stressed the need for a peace recognising Ukraine's territorial integrity. Here is the full text of Zelenskyy's speech from September 19. I welcome all who stand for common efforts! And I promise – being really united we can guarantee fair peace for all nations.

Fukushima wastewater has been released, but other challenges, like removing melted nuclear fuel, remain

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on At a small section of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant's central control room, the treated water transfer switch is on. A graph on a computer monitor nearby shows a steady decrease of water levels as treated radioactive wastewater is diluted and released into the Pacific Ocean. In the coastal area of the plant, two seawater pumps are in action, gushing torrents of seawater through sky blue pipes into the big header where the treated water, which comes down through a much thinner black pipe from the hilltop tanks, is diluted hundreds of times before the release.