June 10, 2012 |
TOKYO - A panel investigating Japan's nuclear disaster said Saturday the ex-prime minister and his aides caused confusion at the height of last year's crisis by heavily interfering in the damaged and leaking plant's operation. Shuya Nomura, a member of the parliamentary panel, said Naoto Kan's aides made numerous calls to the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, often asking basic questions and distracting workers, causing more confusion. They did not follow the official line of communication - through the regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency - under the country's nuclear disaster management law, he said.
March 12, 2012 |
RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan - For Toshiko Murakami, 70, memories of the terrifying earthquake and tsunami that destroyed much of her seaside town and swept away her sister brought fresh tears Sunday, exactly a year after the disaster. "My sister is still missing, so I can't find peace within myself," she said before attending a ceremony in a tent in Rikuzentakata marking the anniversary of the March 11, 2011, disaster that killed more than 19,000 people and unleashed the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century.
February 29, 2012 |
OKUMA, Japan - Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima power plant remains fragile nearly a year after it suffered multiple meltdowns, its chief said Tuesday, with makeshift equipment - some mended with tape - keeping crucial systems running. An independent report, meanwhile, revealed that the government downplayed the full danger in the days after the March 11 disaster and secretly considered evacuating Tokyo. Journalists who were given a tour Tuesday of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant saw crumpled trucks and equipment still lying on the ground.
February 4, 2012
Amid cold snap, aid for homeless KIEV, Ukraine - Russia and Ukraine both took extra precautions on Friday to protect homeless people after scores of people have frozen to death in Europe during a brutal cold snap. As the continental death toll from the last week rose to at least 175 on Friday, Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of facilities nationwide to feed and provide medical assistance to the homeless. And in Ukraine, the hardest-hit country, health officials have told hospitals to stop discharging the hundreds of homeless patients after they are treated for hypothermia and frostbite.
January 20, 2012 |
TOKYO - Radiation-blurred images taken inside one of Japan's tsunami-hit nuclear reactors Thursday showed steam, unidentified parts, and rusty metal surfaces scarred by 10 months' exposure to heat and humidity. The photos that were the first inside look since the disaster found none of the reactor's melted fuel or its cooling water, but confirmed stable temperatures and showed no major damage or ruptures caused by the earthquake in March, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Pipes and grates inside the reactor's containment vessel were seen in some images.
December 15, 2011 |
TOKYO - Japan is poised to declare its crippled nuclear plant virtually stable nine months after a devastating tsunami, but the facility still leaks some radiation, remains vulnerable to earthquakes, and shows no prospect of cleanup for decades. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said last week that temperatures inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant's three melted reactor cores were almost consistently below the boiling point and that radiation leaks had significantly subsided - two key conditions in a hoped-for "cold shutdown.
October 1, 2011 |
TOKYO (AP) — Japan lifted some evacuation advisories around the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Friday to reassure tens of thousands of residents who fled the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl that it is safe to return home. A 12-mile (20-kilometer) no-go zone remains in place around the plant, which was badly damaged by the March 11 tsunami that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing across Japan's northeast coast. But officials said the advisories for five municipalities 12-19 miles (20-30 kilometers)
August 28, 2011 |
TOKYO - The amount of radioactive cesium that has leaked from the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is about equal to 168 of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II, Japan's nuclear agency said Friday. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency supplied the estimate at a parliamentary panel's request. But, it noted, a simple comparison between an instantaneous bomb blast and a long-term leak is impossible and the results could be "irrelevant. " The report provided estimates of each of the 16 isotopes released from the atomic bomb and 31 of those detected at the Fukushima plant but did not give a total.
June 19, 2011 |
TOKYO - A system to clean massive amounts of contaminated water at the site of Japan's nuclear disaster was shut down Saturday, just hours after it began full operations, because a component filled with radioactivity much more quickly than expected. Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, is investigating the cause and is not sure when it will restart the system, company spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said. Fresh water is being pumped in to cool damaged reactor cores, and is getting contaminated in the process.