Proposal says what can be taken there and how waste is handled An iceberg is seen nearby China's research icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, on its way to Zhongshan station in Antarctic, Dec 22, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] China will soon publish a regulation that urges Chinese travelers to Antarctica to better protect the southernmost continent's environment. The State Oceanic Administration is seeking opinions and suggestions on the draft of the Environmental Protection Regulation on Activities on Antarctica, which was made public on the administration's website on Tuesday. Individuals can submit their thoughts on the regulation before Feb 7. The regulation comes amid a surge in the number of Chinese tourists to the icy continent in past years. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, an industry group in the United States, Chinese tourists were outnumbered in 2017 only by the United States, overtaking Australia for the No 2 spot. The association said 5,289 Chinese travelers visited Antarctica last year, 12 percent of the total number of tourists. More than 97 percent of those Chinese tourists landed on the continent. In 2016, 4,095 Chinese people made trips to Antarctica. The draft regulation stipulates that organizers of activities to Antarctica and participants must use measures to reduce the possible impact caused by their activities on Antarctica's environment and ecosystems. It says organizers and participants will pay for what is needed to clean their pollution and restore the environment, adding they also will cover the expenditures for rescues, medical services or evacuations caused by their trips. The document forbids the carrying of toxic objects, those that pollute and nonnative creatures to the ecologically sensitive continent. Collecting and bringing out local soil, rocks and animals also will be banned. Construction work will only be allowed if it is for scientific or educational purposes. Waste generated during a stay on Antarctica must be taken off the continent and items unfit for transportation should be incinerated and the remnants taken back, the draft states. Organizers must submit a report about their activities on Antarctica to oceanic authorities within 30 days of the tour's conclusion. Violators will be blacklisted and prohibited from entering Antarctica for three years, the draft notes. Lin Shanqing, deputy head of the State Oceanic Administration, said that China pays great attention to environmental protection on Antarctica and has spared no effort to regulate activities by its nationals on the continent. plastic bracelets
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TOKYO - Kansai Electric Power Co. on Wednesday resumed operations of its No. 3 reactor at its Oi nuclear plant on the Sea of Japan coast, despite ongoing local opposition.The No. 3 reactor now comprises three reactors that the utility has brought back online in the same vicinity.The newly rebooted No. 3 reactor is located just 14 km from the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the utility's Takahama plant, also in the the central Japan prefecture of Fukui.The restarting of the reactor marks the first time since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster seven years ago that multiple reactors have been restarted in the same area.Local residents have voiced their concerns that in the case of a similar type of disaster, evacuation plans for the Oi and Takahama nuclear plants remain insufficient.The No. 3 reactor at the Oi plant marks the sixth reactor to be brought back online after passing the stricter safety regulations imposed by Japan's nuclear watchdog after the Fukushima crisis.By fiscal 2030, the government here has said that it wants between 20 and 22 percent of its total electricity to be generated by nuclear power.In February, Japan's nuclear regulator approved a draft assessment by Kansai Electric Power Co. to bring its No. 3 and 4 reactors back online at its Oi plant.Under current plants, the No. 3 reactor will begin commercial operations in April and the No. 4 reactor is scheduled to be restarted in May.The restarting of the reactors came following unanimous approval by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) as the two reactors have or soon will meet the government's new safety guidelines.The NRA said that since July 2013 when Kansai Electric first sought to bring its two reactors at the plant back on line, the utility has increased its expectations for seismic events affecting its reactors in the future.In response to the NRA's request for improvements in this area, the regulator also said that the utility's plans to introduce special equipment that could help prevent the kind of hydrogen explosions that occurred at the Daiichi facility in Fukushima, were suitable.The utility has yet to win public approval for the restart, however, and has already had a lawsuit filed against it over safety concerns and local consternation remains rife, according to local media reports.Its Takahama plant saw two reactors brought back online last year, however, after gaining the NRA's approval to be restarted, only to be swiftly served with a judicial order to take them offline over public safety concerns.The order was overturned by a Japanese high court.
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