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Nuclear energy in China, animal cloning and more environmental news

Be informed of the most important environmental news of the week .

Nuclear power plant

These were the most relevant environmental news of this week. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Energía nuclear en China, clonación de animales y más noticias medioambientales

China boosts nuclear energy

In order to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, China announced that it will finance the construction of new nuclear plants (20 reactors specifically) that will mean a nuclear capacity of 70 gigawatts. This decision presented to the National People's Congress was taken within the framework of the emission reduction targets for 2030 of the Paris Agreements to combat the climate change crisis.

Likewise, the Asian country aims to increase, by 2030, nuclear capacity to 130 gigawatts in order to surpass France and the United States, and become the largest nuclear power generator in the world in the 2020s .

Ten years since the Fukushima accident

Regarding the previous news, a discussion has been generated about whether it is beneficial in the long term to invest and develop nuclear energy, since the nuclear accident in Fukushima I, which turned ten years old on March 11th, the precautions against this type of energy are high. This accident occurred as a result of an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale which caused a tsunami on the northeast coast of Japan, leaving more than 18,000 dead and missing .

Ten years after this event, the plant is still in its initial phase of dismantling and there are around 36,000 direct victims and 1.2 million meters of contaminated cubic water . One of the most viable options for the Japanese government is to dump the contaminated water in a controlled manner into the sea , which would produce little pollution without generating a serious environmental impact. Likewise, the contaminated soil has not been completely cleaned, exactly 2.4% of the surface.

On its 10th anniversary, the environmental consequences of the Fukushima nuclear accident remains unclear.

For the first time: cloning an endangered animal

The Fish and Wildlife Service in Fort Collins, Colorado , recently cloned a blackfoot ferret from the DNA of another ferret that has been dead for more than thirty years and was cryogenized . The cloned puppy was born directly from the womb of a domesticated ferret on December 10 and was given the name Elizabeth Ann.

In an interview with the Associated Press , Peter Gober, coordinator of the Fish and Wildlife Service in the United States, stated that “with these techniques, you can basically freeze time and regenerate cells. We are far from being able to modify them to give them genetic resistance, although that will be a possibility in the future ”.

In this way, this news gives hope to be able to conserve species that are in danger of extinction due to environmental crises . If this is good news, the same experts say that there is still a long way to go before this is a viable option.