Injury-hit Cyprus face daunting Belgium trip

first_imgBy Andreas VouTHE Cyprus national team face the biggest challenge of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign so far as they travel to take on group favourites Belgium on Saturday (9.45pm) with a host of senior absentees.Cyprus have started their campaign brightly, with two wins from four matches and currently sit in third place, one point above the Red Devils in Group B, though the Belgians have played one match less.Manager Pambos Christodoulou has inspired new life into a previously depleted national team and will be looking for another brave performance when they take on a much-fancied Belgium team at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.Having already recorded wins against Bosnia and Andorra, spirits are high in the Cypriot camp. A restructuring of the qualification process will see two sides automatically reach the Euro 2016 finals while third place, which Cyprus currently occupy, will enter a playoff round, giving the island an outside chance of earning a first ever major tournament appearance. Heading into Saturday’s encounter, Christodoulou has added a number of new faces to the squad with a host of established senior squad members ruled out through injury.Giorgos Efrem and Demetris Christofi who have scored three each so far in qualifying are out, as too are Stathis Aloneftis, Antonis Georgallides, Dossa Junior, Jason Demetriou and Nektarios Alexandrou. Goalkeepers Andreas Kittos and Constantinos Panagi of Ayia Napa and Omonia respectively have earned their first senior call-ups, as too has AEK Larnaca’s Nikos Englezou. The surprise inclusion, however, is 17-year-old Grigoris Kastanos, who is plying his trade for Italian giants Juventus after joining from Paralimni in late 2013.In the final training session in Cyprus on Wednesday, before setting off for Belgium, the focus was very much on defence and tactical organisation, fully aware of the threat their opponents pose.The Cypriot defence will have their hands full trying to contain Chelsea’s Eden Hazard while, at the other end, scoring may prove to be an even tougher task with Hazard’s club colleague Thibaut Courtois in goal.Everton striker Romelu Lukaku will miss both of Belgium’s upcoming internationals after suffering an injury last weekend against Queens Park Rangers. However, the hosts have been boosted by Christian Benteke’s return to training on Wednesday.Belgium are seen as one of the emerging forces of the international game with the majority of their squad competing in Europe’s top leagues.Marc Wilmots’ young side impressed in last summer’s World Cup, winning all three group games before eventually falling to finalists Argentina in the quarter-finals. Belgium have not lost a competitive home match since suffering a 0-1 defeat to Germany back in September 2010, meaning Cyprus face an almighty challenge come Saturday.last_img read more

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Reid wins third straight junior skeet champs

first_imgDefending champion Brandon Reid staved off a tough challenge from Nicholai Clarke to capture his third successive NCB Capital Market National Junior Skeet Championship at the Portmore range yesterday. The US-based Reid also topped the extended juniors section by virtue of a shoot-off after ending the main competition tied on 96 points with Clarke. Reid and Clarke were joined by Roman Tavares-Finson, Zachary Chen, Todd Lazarus, and Diallo Richardson in the top six shoot-off. However, for four out of the five stations, nothing could separate Reid and Clarke as they went neck to neck. But by virtue of shooting before his main competitor, Clarke put the champion under pressure as he was near perfect at all his shoot-off stations. But after coming into the final station tied at 113-113, Clarke choked and missed his first pair and last pair of birds and only accounted for two hits. Reid then held his nerve and hit all six (three pairs) birds in his final three attempts. The 18-year-old told The Gleaner that he really enjoyed the challenge from Clarke and was hoping for a little more from his rival at the final station. “Pressure is always good. It brings the best out of people, and I strive under pressure anytime. So I always try to do good when I am in those moments because not everyone can come through those moments (victorious),” he said. “It wasn’t really pleasing (Clarke’s final station) because I was looking to compete with him right up to the end. But I am very happy to get the win,” he continued. Reid had very limited practice coming into the tournament and thought he could have scored much higher with more practice. “It’s always nice to shoot against some of the best young shooters … so I feel accomplished and blessed. I don’t know (if he could win bigger with more practice), but practice makes perfect, so if I had practiced more, maybe I would have shot better,” he added. Danzell Knight won the Junior A competition with 92 points, Cameron Phang Sang took the Junior B honours with 88, and Nikolai Azan won the Junior C with 82. Roman Tavares-Finson, the only player not in the extended juniors to qualify for the super six shoot-off, won the Sub Juniors A category with 94. John Chin took the Sub Juniors B section with 85 and Richard Todd the Sub Juniors C section with 79. The girls A title went to Isabella Chin, while the Girls B honours went to Anna Issa. LIMITED PRACTICElast_img read more

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Cech stirred by Arsenal’s FA Cup defence

first_imgWith Arsenal top of the Premier League and chasing a first league title since 2004, they could be forgiven for wanting to manage their resources, but Cech only has eyes for Saturday’s home game with Sunderland.“I always love to play the FA Cup, no matter the team we play, because it is always special to be involved,” the Czech international, 33, told the Arsenal website.“The second reason is if you play in the final or semi-final, you get to play at Wembley Stadium. You always play big games there.“This means once you go to the game you have this pressure, tension and atmosphere, so they are always the games you look forward to playing in and that is why the FA Cup is special for me.”The visit of Sunderland, second from bottom in the Premier League, to the Emirates Stadium is one of five all-top-flight ties in round three.Manchester City, three points below Arsenal in the league, visit Norwich City, while high-flying Leicester City visit fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur.Leicester will be without 15-goal top scorer Jamie Vardy, who is due to undergo minor groin surgery, but the England striker is expected to be fit for the teams’ reunion in the league three days later.The other all-Premier League affairs see Southampton host Crystal Palace and Newcastle United visit Watford.– ‘Give it a go’ –The action begins on Friday with a classic contest between haves and have-nots as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool visit Exeter City, who currently sit in 16th place in England’s fourth tier.Exeter memorably held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford 11 years ago and manager Paul Tisdale, who joined the club a year later, has vowed that they will not be overawed by Liverpool.“We need to go out and give it a go and get the balance right between risk and reward,” he said. “Win, lose or draw, we want to finish the game having given a good and positive account of ourselves.”Manchester United also face lower-league opposition in the form of third-tier cup specialists Sheffield United, who reached the League Cup semi-finals last season and the FA Cup last four the year before.League champions Chelsea, meanwhile, have a home game with Scunthorpe United, as interim manager Guus Hiddink looks to emulate his feat of 2009 by leading the west London club to FA Cup glory.“We can go far in the FA Cup and hopefully we can win it,” says goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, whose side continue to flounder in 14th place in the league.“With the FA Cup and Champions League it can still be a positive season, especially if we end up in the top four in the league.”Perhaps the best chance of an upset will be at Ten Acres on the south coast, modest home of fifth-tier Eastleigh, the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament.The non-league side host four-time FA Cup winners Bolton Wanderers, who are bottom of the Championship and on the brink of bankruptcy.FixturesFriday (1955 GMT):Exeter City v LiverpoolSaturday (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):Arsenal v Sunderland, Birmingham City v Bournemouth, Brentford v Walsall, Bury v Bradford City, Colchester United v Charlton Athletic, Doncaster Rovers v Stoke City, Eastleigh v Bolton Wanderers, Everton v Dagenham and Redbridge, Hartlepool United v Derby County, Huddersfield Town v Reading, Hull City v Brighton and Hove Albion, Ipswich Town v Portsmouth, Leeds United v Rotherham United, Manchester United v Sheffield United (1730 GMT), Middlesbrough v Burnley, Newport County v Blackburn Rovers, Northampton Town v Milton Keynes Dons, Norwich City v Manchester City, Nottingham Forest v Queens Park Rangers, Peterborough United v Preston North End, Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham, Southampton v Crystal Palace, Watford v Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion v Bristol City, West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa (1245 GMT)Sunday (1400 GMT unless otherwise stated):Cardiff City v Shrewsbury Town (1800 GMT), Carlisle United v Yeovil Town, Chelsea v Scunthorpe United, Oxford United v Swansea City (1200), Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City (1600 GMT)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech celebrates at the end of the Champions League Group F match against Olympiacos in Piraeus on December 9, 2015 (AFP Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki)LONDON, January 7 – The FA Cup still holds the same allure for Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech as he embarks upon his quest for a fifth success in the 145-year-old competition this weekend.A four-time FA Cup winner with Chelsea, Cech is hoping to help Arsenal win the FA Cup for the third year running — a feat last achieved by Blackburn Rovers between 1884 and 1886.last_img read more

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Ruling: Woman wasn’t misled about abortion

first_imgNEW JERSEY: The state’s highest court said doctors don’t have a duty to inform patients that an embryo is alive. By Jeffrey Gold THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. – A doctor has no duty to tell a woman considering an abortion that her embryo is an “existing human being,” a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, averting a trial over when human life begins. The decision, citing past rulings, said the court “will not place a duty on doctors when there is no consensus in the medical community or among the public” on when life begins. The 5-0 Supreme Court ruling reversed a unanimous ruling by a three-judge appeals panel. Abortion cases pending in Illinois and South Dakota have raised the same issue. “On the profound issue of when life begins, this court cannot drive public policy in one particular direction by the engine of the common law when the opposing sides, which represent so many of our citizens, are arrayed along a deep societal and philosophical divide,” New Jersey Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for the court. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a woman who accused a doctor of failing to give her enough information before she signed a consent form for him to perform an abortion. Rose Acuna questioned whether Dr. Sheldon C. Turkish misled her in 1996 about the development of the pregnancy, then in the sixth or seventh week. She was 29 at the time and had two daughters following a miscarriage when she consulted Turkish, who had delivered her second child. “According to Acuna, Turkish told her that she `needed an abortion because (y)our kidneys are messing you up,”‘ court papers said. “Acuna asked Turkish whether `the baby was already there.’ According to Acuna, Turkish replied, `Don’t be stupid, it’s only blood.”‘ Acuna signed a consent form, and Turkish did the abortion. Bleeding continued, however, and seven weeks later Acuna went to a hospital. She was diagnosed with an incomplete abortion and had another procedure. “According to her, one of the nurses caring for her explained that the procedure was necessary because Turkish `had left parts of the baby inside of (her).’ Thus, Acuna concluded based on the reference to `the baby’ that she had given consent to an abortion based on erroneous information,” the appellate panel wrote last year. Acuna, now 40, says she suffered emotional distress for the death of an unborn child. Acuna’s lawyer Harold J. Cassidy had no immediate comment.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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Girl’s soap box derby race a tribute to deputy’s faith

first_imgLA MIRADA – Almost from their first meeting, there was something about the spunky girl with the bobbed hairdo, glasses and big smile that convinced Deputy Paul Wilms she had racing in her blood. Wilms, a 17-year veteran who worked out of the sheriff’s Industry Station, was serving as the director of the All American Soap Box Derby Race, an annual event put on by the sheriff’s Youth Activity League. Soon, Wilms was talking with Paige Looney’s parents, urging them to allow their 11-year-old, a double amputee, to enter the National Super Kids Classic, an annual soap box derby race for disabled children held each summer in Akron, Ohio. “In the last part of his career he was dedicated to bettering the lives of children like Paige, and soap box racing was one of his special loves,” said Lt. Tim Murakami, who worked with Wilms at the Industry Station. “It was heart-breaking to us because she had become so close to him and he loved Paige so much,” said Connie Looney, Paige’s mother, who flew a banner in Wilms’ memory during the derby. The two met when Paige became a poster child for a Sheriff’s Department program that raises money for children with physical and mental disabilities. “He was nice and he was my friend,” Paige said of Wilms. Born to a drug-addicted mother, Paige was born with a skeletal deformity that resulted in both of her legs being amputated just above her knees when she was 2 years old. She also has suffered heart problems. The Looneys, who have cared for orphaned or abandoned children with serious medical conditions since 1983, became Paige’s foster parents when she was 3 weeks old. Last December, the couple adopted her. “She’s a very positive little girl who has overcome a lot in life,” said Connie Looney. “We owe a lot of that to people like Deputy Paul Wilms.” For Paige, the derby race Wilms introduced her to is a high point of her summer. In this year’s race, the children – a record 43 entrants from around the nation – are assisted by veteran soap box drivers who act as co-pilots. The derby cars are designed to accommodate children with special needs. The kids crouch low in their cars, which reach speeds of up to 45 mph. “It’s kind of like flying, because we go so fast,” said Paige, who will enter the fifth grade in the fall at Garden Hill Elementary School. “When I get to the bottom I always say, `I sure want to do that again.”‘ debbie.pfeiffer@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesWith Wilms as her sponsor, Paige entered the derby in 2003 – and she’s been racing every year since. She placed third that first year and came in fourth her second year. Last year, she was not feeling well; she placed outside the top five. On Saturday, Paige once again zoomed down Derby Downs hill in Akron, the only California entrant in this year’s event. She again placed outside the top five spots, but organizers said the crowd loved her. Wilms was there, too, in her heart. In March, the deputy accidently shot and killed himself while he was cleaning his gun. last_img

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Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk to re-evaluate future in January

first_img1 Virgil van Dijk Holland defender Virgil van Dijk admits he could look at a move away from Southampton when the transfer window opens again in January.Van Dijk has now been reintegrated into the first-team picture at St Mary’s having been training with the development squad after handing in a transfer request at the start of August.The Dutchman had made it clear he wanted the club to take up the interest from Liverpool, who issued a public apology in June following suggestions of an improper approach for the centre-back.Van Dijk, though, played in the Premier League matches against Crystal Palace and Stoke before the international break, appearing to now be back in Mauricio Pellegrino’s plans.Despite the apparent reconciliation, the 26-year-old revealed during his preparation for the Oranje’s crunch World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Group A rivals Sweden that he may yet review the situation at the turn of the year.Speaking in an interview with Fox Sports in the Netherlands, Van Dijk said: “I am glad I am fit again and I can give 100 per cent.“I am not sorry for anything (that happened). Of course, I wanted to make a step up, but Southampton did not want to sell me, but you’re a professional, so now I will give everything to the club.“Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what is possible.”Van Dijk joined Southampton from Celtic in September 2015 and, at the end of his first season, penned a six-year contract which runs until 2022.last_img read more

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Costa Rican full-back Cristian Gamboa in Glasgow ahead of Celtic move

first_imgGamboa has been at West Brom since 2014 making 11 appearances for the Premier League club.He played for Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup, playing all five games as they reached the quarter-finals and winning 47 caps for his country in total.The right-back has also played for Rosenborg and Fredrikstad in Norway, as well as FC Copenhagen in Denmark. Celtic have already made a number of moves this summer, with Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele, Kolo Toure and Dorus de Vries all joining the Scottish Premiership champions. Costa Rican right-back Cristian Gamboa is in Glasgow ahead of a proposed move to Celtic.The 26-year-old is in the city to undergo a medical ahead of making the permanent switch to the Scottish champions from West Brom.Brendan Rodgers is keen to add some new faces to his squad following the Hoops’ qualification for the group stages of the Champions League last week.Celtic are still looking to sign a creative midfielder before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Tell City Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute with Shots Fired

first_imgAfter arriving on scene, officers learned that earlier in the day, Salter had been in a physical domestic dispute, in which he had shoved a female against a refrigerator and out the door. The female later returned with her father and uncle to pick up clothing and other personal items.After they arrived, Salter came outside and again became involved in an altercation, this time with all three people. A short time later, Salter went back inside, retrieved the shotgun, and threatened all three, insisting that they get off of his property. Salter then fired a round into the left rear tire of the female’s father’s van, while all three were standing next to the vehicle.Salter was taken into custody without further incident and was transported to the Perry County Jail. The Tell City Police Department worked with the State Police during the investigation. A domestic disturbance that involved shots fired ended with a Tell City man going to jail.Around 3:20 P.M. Central Time, Tell City 911 received an emergency call from 8520 Aster Road, which is about 1.5 miles east of Tell City. The caller informed dispatchers that Christopher Ray Salter, 35, Tell City, had fired a 12 gauge shotgun in the direction of a female and two males.last_img read more

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Unvarnished: Is Pete Kazanjy an Evil Genius?

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Unvarnished is a new website where you can post and read anonymous reviews of people and their professional performance. That sounds a little frightening, doesn’t it? TechCrunch has been writing about it for days and the company just started rolling out invites. See Michael Arrington’s thought provoking, if extreme, post Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions and Evelyn Rusli’s review Unvarnished: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place For Defamation. I told Unvarnished founder Pete Kazanjy that I thought he was doing more harm than good, I heard his response and now I’ve tried his site. It turns out that reality is a lot more complex than the hype. Unvarnished is both more intellectually interesting and less freakishly prurient than you might think.Above: A “trusted reviewer” badmouths VC Dave Hornik. But the criticism isn’t anything you couldn’t read elsewhere (like TheFunded) and is pretty debatable in its validity. This was the only criticism of a person I could find on the site in early browsing today, and it’s pretty tame stuff.Unvarnished could be positioned as a place you can anonymously slam your former bosses or a place you’ve got to visit in order to see what’s been written about you. It could just as accurately be described as LinkedIn with teeth: minus the sappy reviews people post to each others’ profiles on that site. LinkedIn with teeth makes it seem more mundane, and that is the truth of the matter. Browse around a little and you’ll calm down pretty quickly. Come back later when you’re considering working with someone and you may find it useful.Could the service be abused? It could, but first let’s look at how it works.Unvarnished operates on top of Facebook, which is both good and bad. You have to get a request to be reviewed sent by a Facebook friend in order to create an Unvarnished account, you have to use FacebookConnect to log-in to the service and you have to have demonstrated a certain amount of activity on Facebook in order to prove that you aren’t setting up a fake account just to post critical reviews of people on Unvarnished. At many points in navigating the site you’re encouraged to post reviews of your Facebook friends. The reviews you post are tied to your profile, but readers and the people you review cannot trace back from your reviews to see who posted them. They can only see your aggregate activity history on the site and how highly rated your other reviews have been. In other words, if you’ve reviewed a lot of people and many other users have approved of your reviews, then your next review is going to carry extra weight in the minds of readers. Chronically judgmental but on balance positive? You’ll love Unvarnished!The downside of the close Facebook integration is that one more time Facebook is centralizing our identity while we navigate around the larger web. Expect to see many more sites do this, though, as it makes authentication really easy and means that every new user automatically arrives with demographic, social and taste data. Sorry OpenID and distributed data portability, 400 million people voted for Facebook. Tags:#Product Reviews#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Opportunities for AbuseYou can’t delete things that get said about you on Unvarnished. It’s like Yelp but for individuals, and many businesses already hate Yelp. What’s to stop people from saying untrue, unkind, unfair and unattributed things about you? Not much. “A lot of people say ‘I don’t want people to make reputation claims about me’,” site founder Kazanjy says, “but they also say ‘I certainly would like to consume repuation claims about other people’.” People on the site have the opportunity to say bad things about you and your supporters have the opportunity to respond. You might be a bully with a posse of bullies who have your back. Your critics might be marginalized people who make no use of Unvarnished other than to shed much-needed light on your abuses of power, or they might be people with an axe to grind who jump onto the site to post terrible, untrue things about you. Kazanjy’s contention is that a low reputation on the site and a group of vocal supporters can overcome any unfair criticism of you. That’s not very convincing. Unvarnished as a Democratic ForceWhen he says that both the offline world and the web at large work in the same way (anyone can post anything about anybody) but that Unvarnished is merely centralizing this discourse, then things start to get interesting.Few people have the knowledge, the broadcast platform or the search engine pull to really post a free-flying slam against a person online in a place it could be easily found. The relatively few people who could do that have an unspoken agreement not to do so. It would be uncouth and open them up to other powerful people doing the same thing to them.Unvarnished aims to create one centralized, democratized place to learn about a person’s reputation. Suddenly even people who are not powerful public figures will have a single, prominent place to post their criticisms of others – and they’ll have very little disincentive to doing so.Is that evil? Perhaps it is, a little. Is it a little bit genius as well? Time will tell. Unvarnished invites have begun filtering through Facebook today. If you see one, take a few minutes to check it out. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts last_img read more

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Five years after the meltdown, is it safe to live near Fukushima?

first_imgA  long, grinding struggle back to normal is underway at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. As workers make progress in cleaning up contaminated land surrounding its infamous reactor, evacuees are grappling with whether to return to homes sealed off since the accident there 5 years ago. The power plant itself remains a dangerous disaster zone, with workers just beginning the complex, risky job of locating the melted fuel and figuring out how to remove it.The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011 and the 40-meter tsunami that followed left 15,893 dead and 2572 missing, destroyed 127,290 buildings, and damaged more than a million more. It also triggered the meltdowns at Fukushima and the evacuation of 150,000 people from within 20 kilometers of the nuclear plant as well as from areas beyond that were hard hit by fallout.Related content: The Fukushima plant is crowded with 10-meter-tall tanks storing tainted water used to cool melted nuclear fuel masses and groundwater that infiltrated the site—some 750,000 tons in all. Now, the nuclear refugees face a dilemma: How much radiation in their former homes is safe? In a herculean effort, authorities have so far scooped up some 9 million cubic meters of contaminated soil and leaves and washed down buildings and roadways with the goal of reducing outdoor radiation exposure to 0.23 microsieverts per hour. Last September, the government began lifting evacuation orders for the seven municipalities wholly or partly within 20 kilometers of the plant. As the work progresses, authorities expect that 70% of the evacuees will be allowed to return home by spring 2017.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But evacuees are torn over safety and compensation issues. Many claim they are being compelled to go home, even though radiation exposure levels, they feel, are still too high. “There has been no education regarding radiation,” says Katsunobu Sakurai, the mayor of Minamisoma, where 14,000 people were evacuated after the accident. “It’s difficult for many people to make the decision to return without knowing what these radiation levels mean and what is safe,” he says. Some citizen groups are suing the national government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the Fukushima plant’s owner, over plans to end compensation payments for those who choose not to return home. Highly contaminated areas close to the nuclear plant will remain off limits indefinitely.Conditions at the plant are “really stable,” the plant manager, Akira Ono, recently told reporters. Radioactivity and heat from the nuclear fuel have fallen substantially in the past 5 years, he says. But cleanup is off to a slow start, hampered by sketchy knowledge of where the nuclear fuel is located. Last year managers agreed to a road map for decommissioning the site over the next 30 to 40 years that calls for removing melted nuclear fuel masses and demolishing the plant’s four reactor halls at a cost that could top $9 billion. TEPCO intends to start removing nuclear debris from the reactors in 2021.There has been no education regarding radiation. It’s difficult for many people to make the decision to return without knowing what these radiation levels mean and what is safe.Katsunobu SakuraiOno puts the decommissioning at “around 10%” complete. One big hurdle was cleared in December 2014, when crews removed the last of 1535 fuel rods stored in the Unit 4 spent fuel pool. At the time of the accident, some feared that cooling water had drained out of the pool and exposed the fuel to air, which might have led to overheating and melting. It hadn’t, but the fuel remained a threat. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images center_img How robots are becoming critical players in nuclear disaster cleanup Mystery cancers are cropping up in children in aftermath of Fukushima The biggest challenge at present, Ono says, is contaminated water. Cooling water is continuously poured over the melted cores of units 1, 2, and 3 to keep the fuel from overheating and melting again. The water drains into building basements, where it mixes with groundwater. To reduce the amount of contaminated water seeping into the ocean, TEPCO collects and stores it in 10-meter-tall steel tanks. They now fill nearly every corner of the grounds, holding some 750,000 tons of water. The government is evaluating experimental techniques for cleansing the water of a key radioisotope, tritium. Ono says a solution is sorely needed before the plant runs out of room for more tanks.TEPCO has found ways to divert groundwater from the site, cutting infiltration to about 150 tons per day. Now it’s about to freeze out the rest. Borrowing a technique for making temporary subsurface barriers during tunnel construction, a contractor has driven 1500 pipes 30 meters down to bedrock, creating something akin to an underground picket fence encircling the four crippled reactor units. Brine chilled to –30°C circulating in the pipes will freeze the soil between the pipes; the frozen wall should keep groundwater out and contaminated water in. TEPCO was planning to start the operation shortly after Science went to press.The most daunting task is recovering the fuel debris. TEPCO modeling and analyses suggest that most, if not all, of the fuel in the Unit 1 reactor melted, burned through the reactor pressure vessel, dropped to the bottom of the containment vessel, and perhaps ate into the concrete base. Units 2 and 3 suffered partial meltdowns, and some fuel may remain in the cores.To try to confirm the location and condition of the melted fuel, the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, set up by TEPCO and other entities, has been probing the reactors’ innards with muons. Wispy cousins of the electron, muons are generated by the trillions each minute when cosmic rays slam into the upper atmosphere. A few muons are absorbed or scattered, at a rate that depends on a material’s density. Because uranium is denser than steel or concrete, muon imaging can potentially locate the fuel debris.In February 2015, a group at Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba supplied two van-sized muon detectors, which TEPCO placed adjacent to the Unit 1 reactor at ground level. After a month of collecting muons, the detectors confirmed there was no fuel left in the core. Because they were positioned at ground level, the devices could not image the reactor building basements and so could not pin down where the fuel is or its condition. TEPCO plans to use robots to map the location of the fuel debris so it can develop a strategy for removing it (see story, right).A second team has developed detectors that observe muons before and after they pass through an object of interest, promising a more precise picture of reactor interiors. For Fukushima, the researchers—from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Japan’s Toshiba Corp.—built mammoth detectors, 7 meters across, which they intended to place outside Unit 2. That work has been postponed because TEPCO decided to first send a robot into the containment vessel; high radiation levels have delayed that plan. “Our current task is to reduce that exposure,” Ono says, using robotic floor and wall scrubbers in the area workers need to access to deploy the robot.While the authorities struggle to clean up the site and resettle residents, some locals are judging safety for themselves. In 2014, a group of enterprising high school students in Fukushima city, outside the evacuation zone, launched an international radiation-dosimetry project. Some 216 students and teachers at six schools in Fukushima Prefecture, six elsewhere in Japan, four in France, eight in Poland, and two in Belarus wore dosimeters for 2 weeks while keeping detailed diaries of their whereabouts and activities. “I wanted to know how high my exposure dose was and I wanted to compare that dose with people living in other places,” explains Haruka Onodera, a member of Fukushima High School’s Super Science Club, which conceived the project. The students published their findings last November in the Journal of Radiological Protection. Their conclusion: “High school students in Fukushima [Prefecture] do not suffer from significantly higher levels of radiation” than those living elsewhere, Onodera says.That’s good news for Fukushima city residents, perhaps, but cold comfort to displaced people now weighing the prospect of moving back to homes closer to the shattered nuclear plant.last_img read more

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