Japan restarted a second reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant on the southwestern island of Kyushu on Thursday (15 October), as the government pushes ahead with an unpopular return to atomic energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.The restart of the Sendai No 2 unit marks progress for Japans utilities, which have been hit by huge losses after being forced to shut down nuclear plants for safety checks.Weve actively implemented various safety measures including disaster prevention schemes to never let anything like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident happen again, chief manager of Sendai nuclear plant Rei Sudou said, after his staff switched on the dormant reactor No 2 at 10.30am.The unit will begin power generation on 21 October and is expected to enter commercial operation from around mid-November. Kyushu Electric Power Co restarted the No 1 unit at the Sendai plant in August after approval from the countrys atomic regulator came following two years of reviews and equipment checks.Anxious to cut fuel bills, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants atomic power to account for 20-22% of the countrys energy mix by 2030, but the goal is widely seen as unrealistic and opposition to nuclear power remains widespread. Opinion polls have consistently shown strong opposition to nuclear power among the public, even as electricity bills surged following the switch to expensive fossil fuels.We will continue to restart nuclear reactors that meet whats called one of the most strict safety standards in the world, respecting the judgement of the governments nuclear authority, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said during a regular news conference on Thursday.The government is unchanged with its determination that we should restart nuclear reactors that meet the safety standards as were currently relying on old fuel generators that are forcedly put into operation, Suga added. Close
GABRIEL CRISTÓVER PÉREZ / KUTTexas leads the country in wind energy production and, because of the way the state’s electric grid is set up, most of that power stays right here. But a plan that would allow the state to make money exporting wind and solar power is moving slowly. The Southern Cross Transmission Project aims to move around 2,000 megawatts between Texas and states in the Southeast, enough to power up to a million homes depending on demand. Pattern Energy has been shepherding the project since around 2010, and David Parquet, Pattern’s senior vice president for special projects, says there have been a lot of twists and turns along the way.“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” Parquet said.When the plan was first conceived, there were federal rules proposed to encourage renewables like a Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, which would have required more renewables to be put on the grid. But the RPS idea soon evaporated and was replaced by the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Parquet says, overall, both options would have been good for the project’s business model. But, now that the GOP controls Washington, the Clean Power Plan option is likely off the table for the project. Still, Parquet says, Southern Cross Transmission makes business sense.“The states in the Southeast, regardless of an RPS or a Clean Power Plan, are interested in renewables and that is what has kept the project alive,” he said.Why are they still interested? For one thing, renewables are cheap and getting cheaper.“It’s the market,” said David Spence, who teaches energy regulation at UT-Austin’s School of Law. “We’re still seeing a demand for renewable energy from consumers and particularly businesses.”Spence said it’s hard to export electricity from Texas because of the way the state’s grid is set up. Much of Texas runs on an electric grid that’s largely independent from the rest of the country. So, companies like Pattern need to find a way to connect to the rest of the country in a way that doesn’t threaten the sovereignty of the Texas energy grid.KUT’s Mose Buchele reports“I think Texas regulators and politicians like to be able to control the terms and conditions, and particularly the wholesale market, in Texas,” Spence said.The Southern Cross project is awaiting final approval from the Texas Public Utility Commission. But it has already managed to overcome many regulatory hurdles. The project recently proposed a route for its transmission lines through Mississippi.As the cost of renewable energy continues to drop, some believe more companies may try to export wind and solar power from Texas.“It might be a project whose time has come,” said Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at UT-Austin.“It’s a little like what we did with oil a hundred years ago – where, at some point, we produced more oil than we needed and had to create a market to export it.” But, Parquet says, the process has been so difficult, he’s not sure other companies would want to try. “It’s been a tough row,” he said. “There are a lot of issues to deal with here. This is not going to be like something that happens routinely. This has been very comprehensive.”Ultimately, whether other projects follow suit may depend on how profitable the Southern Cross Transmission line becomes – when, or if, it gets off the ground. Copyright 2017 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM. Share
Share By Robin Jerstad for The Texas TribuneU.S. Sen. Ted Cruz at a campaign event for congressional candidate Chip Roy in New Braunfels on Saturday, Feb. 10. 2018U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign was assured the much-touted data firm it used during the 2016 race, Cambridge Analytica, was operating above the board, a spokeswoman for the U.S. senator said Tuesday, weighing in as the company faced growing scrutiny over its practices. Cruz’s data-driven 2016 campaign relied on Cambridge Analytica for over $5.8 million in services, according to Federal Election Commission records, before the firm went on to work for the Republican Party’s nominee and now-president, Donald Trump. On Friday, Facebook announced it was suspending Cambridge Analytica from the social network ahead of reports that it had improperly harvested information from the profiles of over 50 million users. The firm has denied any wrongdoing.Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in a statement: “In explicit contractual language, Cambridge Analytica affirmatively represented that all data used by them were obtained legally, that they would conduct their operations ‘in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations,’ and that they ‘hold all necessary permits, licenses and consents to conduct its operations.’ The campaign relied upon those representations throughout our engagement, which were reiterated by Cambridge Analytica upon inquiries of the media back in 2015, when they assured us the claims made in the press were false.”As controversy has mounted over the firm’s practices in recent days, Democrats have sought to make Cruz answer for its starring role in his White House bid. The Texas Democratic Party issued a statement Monday afternoon saying Cruz “will stop at nothing to weasel his way into power, even if it means weaponizing stolen information to manipulate people to like him.” And on Monday night, Cruz’s Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso got in on the action, tweeting a dig at Cambridge Analytica’s claims of sophisticated voter targeting. “We also wanted to know what was on Texans’ minds,” O’Rourke said. “So we’ve been showing up and asking them in person at hundreds of town halls across the state.”In suspending Cambridge Analytica, Facebook said it learned in 2015 that the firm improperly obtained data from about 270,000 users through a third party and subsequently asked the firm to delete the data. While Cambridge Analytica assured Facebook it had erased the data, the social network said it discovered in recent days that the firm may not have done that.The story has since grown only more complicated, with the publication over the weekend of newspaper investigations revealing how the firm harvested private information from the 50 million profiles without users’ permission. On Monday, a London TV station unveiled an undercover investigation in which Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was secretly filmed discussing how the firm could entrap politicians through bribes and sex workers.Cambridge Analytica had factored prominently into many accounts of Cruz’s data-savvy 2016 operation. At the time, the firm was a little-known company that boasted of being able to use “psychographic” analysis of voters to narrowly tailor messages that could win them over.“The campaign hired Cambridge Analytica as a vendor to assist with data analysis and online advertising,” Frazier said in the statement. “The campaign’s data analysis program followed and built upon the successful data-modeling and micro-targeting approach pioneered by the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012.”Cambridge Analytica is reportedly owned in part by Robert Mercer, a New York hedge-fund magnate who poured $11 million into a super PAC network that supported Cruz’s 2016 effort. In addition to the more than $5.8 million that the firm billed Cruz’s campaign, it did $570,000 in business with one of the pro-Cruz super PACs, Keep the Promise II.Mercer and his daughter Rebekah — who helps guide his political spending — ultimately switched their alliances to Trump when Cruz dropped out of the presidential race.Even then, Cambridge Analytica maintained a strong connection to Texas — it was part of the Trump campaign’s San Antonio-based digital operation operation, which was helmed by then-local web developer Brad Parscale.
Marvel’s “Black Panther,” distributed by Walt Disney Studios, held back a pair of newcomers to handily top the home video sales charts for a second consecutive week.The top new release on NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended May 26 was 20th Century Fox’s spy thriller “Red Sparrow,” which debuted at No. 2 selling 22% as many discs as the returning superhero actioner.“Sparrow” stars Jennifer Lawrence as a Russian ballerina who is forced into becoming a seductive secret agent after her dancing career is cut short due to injury. It earned $46.9 million at the domestic box office.No. 3 on both charts was Warner’s “Game Night,” a comedy about a group of friends who are caught up in a life-and-death caper that they believe is an elaborate role-playing game. It took in $68.9 million at U.S. theaters. Top 10 Media Play News rental chart for the week ended 5/27/18:1. Game Night (new)2. Black Panther3. 12 Strong4. Peter Rabbit5. Den of Thieves6. Fifty Shades Freed7. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle8. The Greatest Showman9. Maze Runner: The Death Cure10. Early Man (new)For complete sales and rental charts, visit MediaPlayNews.com ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Rounding out the top five on both charts were Universal Pictures’ “Fifty Shades Freed” at No. 4 and Fox’s “The Greatest Showman” at No. 5.Three other new releases managed to crack the top 20, led by Warner’s “The 15:17 to Paris,” which bowed at No. 6 overall and No. 8 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart. The Clint Eastwood-directed docudrama, which earned $36.3 million domestically, tells the story of the three American servicemen (playing themselves) who foiled a terrorist attack on a European train in 2015.Debuting at No. 11 (No. 14 on the Blu-ray Disc Sales chart) was the Image Entertainment fantasy “I Kill Giants,” followed by Lionsgate’s “Early Man,” a stop-motion animated film from the creators of “Wallace and Gromit,” at No. 12 (No. 13 on the Blu-ray chart).Universal’s re-release of the four “Jurassic Park” films in a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray boxed set pushed the “Jurassic Park Collection” back onto the charts at No. 15 overall and No. 11 on the Blu-ray charts. The new 4K edition accounted for 73% of total unit sales of the four-movie set. A fifth film, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” is slated for theaters June 22.Among the new releases, “Red Sparrow” saw 62% of its total copies sold in the Blu-ray format, with 12% of the total being in the UHD format. Blu-ray accounted for 48% of “Game Night” and “I Kill Giants” sales, 45% for “15:17 to Paris,” and 50% for “Early Man.”For the second week of “Black Panther,” Blu-ray contributed 68% to its total copies sold, with 11% from UHD Blu-ray.On the Media Play News rental chart for the week ended May 27, “Game Night” debuted at No. 1, with “Black Panther” slipping a spot to No. 2.Warner’s “12 Strong” dropped to No. 3, while Sony Pictures’ Peter Rabbit and Universal’s Den of Thieves held onto No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.“Early Man” entered the rental chart at No. 10.John Latchem is executive editor of Media Play News.Top 20 NPD VideoScan First Alert chart for the week ended 5/26/18:1. Black Panther2. Red Sparrow (new)3. Game Night (new)4. Fifty Shades Freed5. The Greatest Showman6. The 15:17 to Paris (new)7. Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi8. Peter Rabbit9. Deadpool10. Thor: Ragnarok11. I Kill Giants (new)12. Early Man (new)13. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle14. 12 Strong15. Jurassic Park Collection16. Coco17. Maze Runner: The Death Cure18. Rick and Morty: Season 319. Spider-Man: Homecoming20. Justice League Popular on Variety
Bankura: Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee urged party workers to put up a united fight to defeat BJP in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.Addressing party workers here at a meeting on Monday afternoon, he said: “It is not Panchayat or Assembly elections. It is a fight between communal Narendra Modi and ‘agnikanya’ Mamata Banerjee. So work hard to ensure the victory of Trinamool Congress candidates.” The candidates from Bankura and Bishnupur, Subrata Mukherjee and Shyamal Santra were present at the meeting, along with MLAs, Panchayat and Zilla Parishad members and councillors of the civic bodies. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseComparing the work carried out by Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee, he said the former has “only lied to the people while the latter has kept all her promises.” “Before the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Modi had assured us that he would bring black money from abroad and Rs 15 lakh would be credited to the account of every person. He had also assured that 2 crore youths would get jobs. But he did not keep his promises. On the other hand, Mamata Banerjee has kept all her promises. The Panchayat and Rural Development department has chalked out elaborate plans to provide drinking water in every household. There is electricity in every rural house and superspeciality hospitals have come up where treatment is free.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe urged the workers to put up a united fight to oust BJP and develop contacts with the local people. “You should listen to them carefully and try to address their problems,” he said, adding: “Those who are looking after the booths should concentrate on their work and will not have to work in the anchal level. Those who work in the block level will not have to work in the district level. Do your work seriously to ensure victory of Trinamool candidates.” The workers will have to aim for fulfilling Mamata Banerjee’s dream of winning in 42 out of 42 Lok sabha seats, he said.