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Power Restored After Shutdown Brings New Fears Of Fukushima Disaster



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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For Seniors, Friendship May Be More Important Than Family

Even if the aging and elderly tend to wind up confined to family circles, Argentine academics Laura Belli and Danila Suárez explore the often untapped benefits of friendship in our later years.

Photograph of two elderly women and an elderly man walking arm in arm. Behind the, there are adverts for famous football players.

Two elderly women and a man walk arm in arm

Philippe Leone/Unsplash
Laura F. Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé

Updated Dec. 10, 2023 at 10:10 p.m.

BUENOS AIRES — What kind of friendship do people most talk about? Most often it is childhood or teenage friendships, while friendships between men and women are repeatedly analyzed. What about friendships among the elderly? How are they affected when friends disappear, at a stage when grieving is already more frequent?

Argentines Laura Belli and Danila Suárez Tomé, two friends with PhDs in philosophy, explore the challenges and benefits of friendship in their book Filosofía de la amistad (Friendship Philosophy).

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They consider how friendships can emerge later in life, in profoundly altered circumstances from those of our youth, with people living through events like retirement, widowhood, reduced autonomy or to a greater or lesser degree, personal deterioration. All these can affect older people's ability to form and keep friendships, even if changes happen at any stage in life.

Filosofía de la amistadexplores the place of friendships amid daunting changes. These are not just the result of ageing itself but also of how one is perceived, nor will they affect everyone exactly the same way. Aging has firstly become a far more diverse experience, with increasing lifespans and better healthcare everywhere, and despite an inevitable restriction in life opportunities, a good many seniors enjoy far greater freedom and life choices than before.

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