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Germany will 'exit' nuclear power industry, Merkel vows

nuclear

Berlin - Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Thursday that Germany would speed up the transition to renewable energy as Europe's top economy mulled a "measured exit" from nuclear power after the events in Japan.

"We want to reach the age of renewable energy as soon as possible. That is our goal," the chancellor told parliament during a fiery speech that drew frequent opposition jeers, indicating the depth of passion over the issue.

Merkel, a former environment minister, called for a "measured exit" from nuclear power and said "everything would be put under the microscope" during a three-month study to consider the future of energy policy in Germany.

Wall Street

USA: Gas line explosion shoots fireball into Minneapolis sky

Officials say there are no known injuries; assistant fire chief says gas now off

Minneapolis - Officials said a fiery blast in south Minneapolis Thursday morning was a natural gas line explosion and that there are no known injuries.

Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn said people are still being evacuated from the area, but he described the evacuations as precautionary.

TV reports showed flames shooting high into the air near the interchange of Interstate 35W and Highway 62, at 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue.

Video shot near the explosion reveals the size - and heat - of the towering fireball. Narrating as he drives by at a safe distance, Twitter user Robert Stephens said, "from about two blocks away I can feel the heat on my face, and as it got closer, you can hear the hissing sound."


Nuke

GE Scientist Quit Over Troubled Reactor's Design

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© Unknown

Scientist Dale Bridenbaugh and two colleagues at General Electric quit their jobs in the 1970s to express their concern about the company's Mark 1 nuclear reactor - the design of the troubled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.

As Newsmax reported earlier, there are 23 GE Mark 1 nuclear reactors operating in the United States.

"The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant," Bridenbaugh told ABC News.

Nuke

Canadian nuclear plant leaked radioactive water

Thousands of liters of radioactive water have been released into Lake Ontario as a result of an accident at a Canadian nuclear power plant, according to authorities.

"The event was a low level regulatory event with only negligible effect to the environment and no public health implications," Ontario Power said in a statement on Wednesday.

The power company, which is owned by the Ontario provincial government, said 73,000 liters (19,280 gallons) of radioactive water was released into Lake Ontario from the Pickering Nuclear Station.

Nuke

China Urges Japan to Give Swift Radiation Information

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© Reuters
'Out of control': This dramatic pictures shows radioactive steam pouring from the Fukushima reactor number three after it was damaged in an explosion
China urged Japan on Thursday to give the world prompt and accurate information about radiation leaks from a crippled nuclear plant, but said Tokyo had already been giving regular updates to Beijing.

Japan has stepped up efforts to cool the overheating Fukushima nuclear plant damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami last week.

Officials fear that a major breakout of radioactive pollution from the complex could pose a health risk, and China and other nearby countries have stepped up monitoring of radiation levels.

So far, there have been no signs of abnormal radiation levels in China.

"The Japanese government has taken the initiative to report to relevant authorities in China on the nuclear leak situation at the Fukushima plant and the measures taken by the Japanese government via the Chinese embassy in Japan," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

"China and Japan have been in constant touch on this issue," she told a regular news briefing. "We hope that Japan tells the world what is happening on the site in a timely and accurate manner as well as their evaluation of and predictions for the situation as it develops.

Newspaper

US: 4 New York Times Journalists Missing in Libya

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© The Associated Press
This combination made from photos provided by the New York Times and an Associated Press file photo shows New York Times journalists, from left, photographer Lynsey Addario, reporter Stephen Farrell, photographer Tyler Hicks, and Beirut bureau chief Anthony Shadid. The four journalists covering the fighting in Libya were reported missing Wednesday, March 16, 2011, and the newspaper held out hope that they were alive and in the custody of the Libyan government.A
The New York Times say it's holding out hope that four of its journalists who went missing while covering the Libyan conflict are alive and in the custody of the Libyan government.

Editors at the paper say they last heard from the journalists Tuesday morning. They were covering the retreat of rebels from the northern port city of Ajdabiya.

The Times says Libyan officials told the newspaper they were trying to locate them.

Nuke

Japan Nuclear Plant: Just 48 Hours to Avoid 'Another Chernobyl'

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© The Associated Press
Collecting water: The Self-Defense Forces's helicopter scoops seawater on Japan's northeast coast en route to the Fukushima plant
Japan has 48 hours to bring its rapidly escalating nuclear crisis under control before it faces a catastrophe "worse than Chernobyl", it was claimed last night.

Nuclear safety officials in France said they were "pessimistic" about whether engineers could prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant after a pool containing spent fuel rods overheated and boiled dry.

Last night radiation levels were "extremely high" in the stricken building, which was breached by an earlier explosion, meaning that radiation could now escape into the atmosphere.

Tokyo Electric, the owners of the plant, said five workers had been killed at the site, two were missing and 21 had been injured.

Last night, a US nuclear safety chief said the Japanese government had failed to acknowledge the full seriousness of the situation at the Fukushima plant and that warnings to citizens had been insufficient and understated.

Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, warned that if "extremely high" radiation levels increased it would become impossible for workers to continue to take corrective measures at the plant as "the doses they could experience would potentially be lethal doses in a very short period of time".

Eye 2

US: Killer kept boy's shellacked bones and skull on dresser

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© The Providence Journal Files / Ray Clayton
Woodmansee at his 1982 arraignment. He told police he had stabbed the 5-year-old to see “what it would be like” to kill someone.
South Kingston - - Michael Woodmansee had been put away for good.

Or that's how revulsion and hope fused over the years in the village of Peace Dale, distorting memories. In people's minds, the monster who killed 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975 and kept the boy's shellacked bones and skull on his bedroom dresser would remain behind bars forever.

But Woodmansee, who in 1982 tried to strangle the local paperboy and ended up confessing to killing Jason, wasn't sentenced to forever. He got 40 years to serve.

Now, because of a prison reward system that shaves 10 days or more a month off inmates' sentences for good behavior, the perpetrator of one of Rhode Island's most detestable crimes is scheduled to be released 12 years sooner.

Bell

U.S. shows growing alarm over Japan nuclear crisis

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© Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Official in protective gear talks to a woman who is from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama March 13, 2011.
The United States showed increasing alarm about Japan's nuclear crisis on Wednesday and urged its citizens to stay clear of an earthquake-crippled power plant, going further in its warnings than Japan itself.

The State Department said the United States has chartered aircraft to help Americans leave Japan and had authorized the voluntary departure of family members of diplomatic staff in Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama -- about 600 people.

"The State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and those in Japan should consider departing," it said.

As operators of the Fukushima plant tried to douse overheating reactors, U.S. officials warned about the risks of getting anywhere near the area and relied on their own officials for details about the danger.

"The situation has deteriorated in the days since the tsunami and ... the situation has grown at times worse with potential greater damage and fallout from the reactor," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

U.S. officials took pains not to criticize the Japanese government, which has shown signs of being overwhelmed by the crisis that began after last Friday's devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami.

But Washington's actions indicated a divide with the Japanese about the perilousness of the situation.

Newspaper

Guatemalans sue US over experiments

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© Unknown
Attorneys for a group of Guatemalans have sued top US officials, accusing them of "intentionally" experimenting on them in the 1940's and infecting them with syphilis.

Hundreds of Guatemalan prisoners, psychiatric patients and orphans were infected in a program to study penicillin.

The lawsuit was filed on Monday by lawyers for seven Guatemalan plaintiffs. But there is a high possibility that the number of the plaintiffs could reach to hundreds.

Last year, the United States apologized for the "reprehensible" experiments, according to state-run BBC.

The Obama administration, however, has not yet responded to a request for an out-of-court compensation settlement.

Image
© Unknown
The experiments took place between 1946 and 1948 and around 700 Guatemalan nationals were used to test the efficiency of penicillin as a treatment and a preventative agent.

Evidence of the program was exposed by Professor Susan Reverby at Wellesley College in the US.

Reverby believes the then Guatemalan government gave permission for the tests but the people infected were unaware they were being experimented on.

In the experiments, researchers bribed care workers to let them inject their charges, while prisoners were encouraged to sleep with infected prostitutes.