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International Update Volume 48, Issue 3

SANCHI SPILL COULD SPREAD TO JAPAN

Japan

The Sanchi, an Iranian oil tanker carrying more than 100,000 tons of toxic oil, collided with a freighter and exploded, killing all 32 crew onboard. The Sanchi was carrying the equivalent of nearly 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude, plus its own fuel, to South Korea. An updated emergency ocean model simulation shows that waters polluted by the sinking Sanchi oil tanker could reach Japan within a month. For the full story see https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-spill/how-sanchis-spill....

FRANCE COMMITTED TO LOWERING CO2 LEVELS EVEN AS NUCLEAR PLANTS CLOSE

France

France will not increase carbon emissions as it reduces its reliance on nuclear energy in coming years. Currently, nuclear is about 75% of the country's energy mix. Grid operator RTE has prepared scenarios for cutting nuclear energy’s share from 56 percent to 11 percent by 2035, and an additional scenario on reducing nuclear reliance to 50 percent by 2025. Environment activists complain that the government has withheld scenarios cutting back nuclear capacity the most, when it held workshops this month to prepare for the public debate.

SCIENTISTS ATTEMPT TO SAVE ELEPHANTS USING SEIZED IVORY

Africa

Scientists are using information gleaned from both illegal ivory art and elephant dung to provide clues that could help save their lives. The process consists of cutting up seized artifacts and subjecting them to carbon dating to determine when the elephants were killed. DNA from the ivory art is then compared to a DNA database derived from elephant dung to pinpoint where they lived. Previous work by the researchers has provided valuable information to focus poaching law enforcement in Africa and prosecute ivory traffickers elsewhere.