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Japan

Power Restored After Shutdown Brings New Fears Of Fukushima Disaster

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, TEPCO, KYODO(Japan)

Worldcrunch

TOKYO – Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) announced on Tuesday that cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant have been partially restored after a power failure had suspended cooling operations at three spent fuel ponds on Monday.

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Map Saneef/Babbage

The shutdown of cooling systems occurred after a power outage on Monday night, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

TEPCO, which has yet to find the cause of the outage, announced that it had restarted cooling systems for two out of three spent fuel pools. The cooling systems for the third reactor should be restarted later Tuesday.

On Monday night, Fukushima residents were worried about news of the crippling power outage, even though no abnormality had been detected in radiation levels in areas surrounding the plant, reports Kyodo.

“It revived the memory of the nuclear accident two years ago,” Takashi Haga, an office worker, told Kyodo. “I thought it was under control.”

A 27-year-old housewife in the city of Fukushima said, “I am very worried because I have a baby. I want the information to be disclosed as quickly as possible because it will be difficult to evacuate promptly if (an emergency occurs) at night.”

TEPCO announced the power outage more than three hours after it occurred, said the Asahi Shimbun. According to the company’s estimates, it would take four days for the spent fuel pool at the No.4 reactor to reach unsafe levels – 65° Celsius. Temperatures had reached 31.6° on Tuesday.

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Geopolitics

How A Drone Strike Inside Iran Exposes The Regime's Vulnerability — On All Fronts

It is still not clear what was the exact target of an attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory in central Iran. But it comes as Tehran authorities appear increasingly vulnerable to both its foreign and domestic enemies, with more attacks increasingly likely.

Screenshot of one of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

One of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

Screenshot
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — It's the kind of incident that momentarily reveals the shadow wars that are part of the Middle East. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory complex north of Isfahan in central Iran.

But the explosion was so strong that it set off a small earthquake. Iranian authorities have played down the damage, as we might expect, and claim to have shot down the drones.

Nevertheless, three armed drones reaching the center of Iran, buzzing right up to weapons factories, is anything but ordinary in light of recent events. Iran is at the crossroads of several crises: from the war in Ukraine where it's been supplying drones to Russia to its nuclear development arriving at the moment of truth; from regional wars of influence to the anti-government uprising of Iranian youth.

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That leaves us spoiled for choice when it comes to possible interpretations of this act of war against Iran, which likely is a precursor to plenty of others to follow.

Iranian authorities, in their comments, blame the United States and Israel for the aggression. These are the two usual suspects for Tehran, and it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list.

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