1. AFTER THE DISASTER

    Japan to Restart Nuke Plants

    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  meets with President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev (unseen) in Tokyo on February 27, 2013.   Atambayev is in Japan for a four-day visit.   AFP PHOTO / Issei Kato / POOL        (Photo credit should read ISSEI KATO/AFP/Getty Images)

    Prime Minister Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday. (Pool photo by Issei Kato)

    Japan plans to restart its currently disabled nuclear reactors later this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday. Abe said the plants could restart as soon as July under stricter safety guidelines that will be overseen by the newly created Nuclear Regulation Authority—although Abe did not specify when any of the plants will be up and running, and news reports estimated it could take years for the aging plants to undergo the new rules. The World Health Organization said Thursday that women who lived in the surrounding area face a 70 percent greater risk for thyroid cancer, and the rate of leukemia increased by 7 percent for boys exposed as infants.

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