Nuclear fuel rods from Fukushima disaster reactor 3 are now being painstakingly removed

(CNN)Eight years after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered Japan’s worst ever nuclear disaster, work has begun to remove spent fuel rods from a reactor that went into meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. More than 20,000 people died or went missing in the quake and tsunami, while hundreds of thousands more lost their homes. On Monday, TEPCO announced the beginning of work to remove fuel rods from the storage pool in reactor building No. 3. The building was damaged by a hydrogen explosion during the disaster. “Currently, there are 566 fuel rod assemblies remaining in the spent fuel pool,” TEPCO said in a press release. “As part of the decommissioning efforts, removal of the remaining fuel rods eliminates a …

New Zealand’s Prime Minister will return to Christchurch as families of terror victims prepare for burials

Auckland (CNN)New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will return to the city of Christchurch on Wednesday for the second time since last week’s deadly terror attacks at two mosques. “There is anger that it has happened here. There are questions that need to be answered and I assure you they will be.” Parliament members gathered in the House on Tuesday to share condolences for the victims. They will meet again on Wednesday, the same day Ardern intends to return to Christchurch. Ardern said she will meet with first-responders and victims’ families on Wednesday as they prepare for burials. On Saturday, she visited members of Christchurch’s Muslim community wearing a hijab in what observers lauded as a meaningful gesture of compassion …

Space power plant and a mission to Mars: China’s new plans to conquer the final frontier

Beijing (CNN)China says it is working to develop a solar energy plant in space that could one day beam enough power back to Earth to light up an entire city. But with Beijing pledging to invest 2.5 trillion yuan ($367 billion) in renewable power generation — solar, wind, hydro and nuclear — by 2020, China might just have the financial firepower. The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation hopes to be operating a commercially viable solar space station by 2050, according to a recent report in the country’s official newspaper Science and Technology Daily. Energy could be beamed to Earth via microwaves or lasers. But Pang Zhihao, a researcher at the China Academy of Space Technology, warned that the …