Japan nuclear plant

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Ultrasounds on Fukushima Kids Alarm Researchers

Study: Kids near the nuclear plant have thyroid cancer rates 20 to 50 times higher

(Newser) - For four years, nearly all kids living in Japan's Fukushima prefecture have received ultrasounds to gauge the effects of the nuclear disaster there in March 2011. Now a research team says the alarming results are in: Children living near the nuclear plant have thyroid cancer rates that are 20... More »

Fukushima Hot Zone Ready for Residents

District's 357 residents were booted 3 years ago

(Newser) - Some 357 Japanese citizens are getting the green light to return home after three years in exile—if they dare. The former residents of the Miyakoji area of Tamura were forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago; those homes were roughly... More »

Fukushima Springs Big New Toxic Leak

100 tons of radioactive water flow from tank

(Newser) - Almost three years after Japan's triple disaster, there has been yet another leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant, seriously shaking public confidence in the ongoing cleanup and containment effort. In the latest leak—the biggest since last August —around 100 metric tons of highly contaminated water overflowed from... More »

Gangsters Hiring Homeless to Wipe Up Fukushima Mess

There's some shady stuff going on, Reuters finds

(Newser) - Nearly three years after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the $35 billion effort to scrub an area of Japan bigger than Hong Kong of radioactive fallout has become an enormous operation involving some pretty shady dealings. A lack of oversight is part of the issue: Between top government contractors and... More »

Japan's Nuclear Cleanup Enters Critical New Phase

Fuel-rod transfer poses serious danger

(Newser) - Teams working at the Fukushima power station are facing a critical—and extremely dangerous—new task: pulling 13-foot nuclear fuel rods from the Unit 4 structure slammed by the tsunami. "It's going to be very difficult, but it has to happen," an official tells the BBC . To... More »

Fukushima Springs a New Toxic Leak

Contaminated water likely went into Pacific Ocean

(Newser) - For the second time in less than two months , a tank holding highly contaminated water has overflowed at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Tepco said today. The tank was tilted on uneven ground and a worker misjudged its capacity; about 113 gallons of water spilled over a period as... More »

Earthquake Rattles Fukushima Area

No trouble reported after 5.3-magnitude quake

(Newser) - A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the Japanese prefecture that is home to the shuttered Fukushima nuclear power plant. The US Geological Survey says the quake struck at a depth of about 13 miles under Fukushima Prefecture and about 110 miles northeast of Tokyo. The Japanese news agency Kyodo News... More »

Japan Will Go Nuclear Power-Free (Again) Tomorrow

Last reactor will be turned off

(Newser) - Japan will soon be completely without nuclear power. Again. The country is switching off the last of its 50 nuclear reactors—reactor 4 at Oi in western Japan—for maintenance tomorrow, and it's unclear if or when it will go online again, reports CNN . The country went completely nuclear... More »

Radiation Soars to Lethal Levels at Fukushima

18 times worse than previously thought

(Newser) - New tests at Fukushima have found radiation levels around its tanks are up to 18 times worse than previously thought—high enough to kill someone within four hours of exposure, reports the BBC . What's caused the alarming spike? More accurate measuring equipment, says plant operator TEPCO. The previous equipment... More »

Fukushima Alert Level Gets First Upgrade Since 2011

Meaning it's at its highest since the meltdown

(Newser) - With Fukushima's radioactive leak now leakier , Japan's nuclear agency plans to up the alert level of the problem from a one to a three, reports the BBC —that's from an "anomaly" to a "serious incident," per the UN's International Nuclear and Radiological... More »

Fukushima Has Massive Leak of Contaminated Water

And Japan is considering an ice wall to fix it

(Newser) - The Fukushima Dai-ichi nightmare just got even more nightmarish. A storage tank at the devastated nuclear plant has sprung a leak, spilling out roughly 300 tons of contaminated water, Reuters reports. And by contaminated, we mean that standing within a couple feet of it for an hour would give a... More »

Fukushima Leak Finally Declared Reality

TEPCO admits radioactive water likely seeped into the sea

(Newser) - More than two years after disaster struck the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, TEPCO has confirmed what pretty much everybody thought: radioactive water that leaked from the wrecked reactors is believed to have seeped into the underground water system, TEPCO officials finally admitted today at a regular news conference. Japan's... More »

Hero Fukushima Boss Dies of Cancer

Masao Yoshida defied orders in effort to prevent nuclear disaster

(Newser) - The Fukushima nuclear plant manager hailed as a hero for defying orders and putting public safety ahead of the company's bottom line has died of cancer at the age of 58. Masao Yoshida stayed at the plant to try to stabilize it after the March 2011 quake and tsunami... More »

More Bad Fukushima News

Radioactive substances found in groundwater

(Newser) - The fallout from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster continues . The latest: Tests found that groundwater there contained 30 times the legal level of the radioactive substance Strontium-90, and eight times the legal amount of the radioactive isotope tritium, reports the BBC . A TEPCO official says the working theory is... More »

Fukushima Watchdog Doing Crummy Job: Experts

Regulators routinely approve TEPCO plans: investigators

(Newser) - Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority was launched in September to keep a closer watch on the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and TEPCO's work there—but what was supposed to be a more independent, tougher regulator is simply running "the same old routine," says an investigator. The NRA... More »

Fukushima Plant's Cooling System Fails—Again

Second cooling glitch in a month

(Newser) - Japanese nuclear regulators say the cooling system has failed for a storage pool for fuel at one of the reactors at the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant in the northeast. There was no immediate danger from the failure, the second at the plant in a month. A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulation... More »

Japan Marks 2 Years Since Quake, Tsunami

300K still displaced as recovery continues

(Newser) - Japan fell silent today to mark the second anniversary of the country's worst natural disaster in living memory, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that left 19,000 people dead or missing and devastated large areas along its northeast coast. "I pray that the peaceful lives of those affected... More »

Japan to Fire Back Up Its Nuclear Plants

PM says new standards could come as soon as July

(Newser) - Japan isn't going to let one catastrophic meltdown scare it off of nuclear power forever. The country will restart its idled reactors later this year after implementing new safety guidelines, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament today. Abe didn't say when the first reactor would come online, but... More »

Fukushima Running Out of Room for Toxic Water

There's 200K tons of contaminated water and counting

(Newser) - If you thought the environmental crisis that is Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant was last year's news, think again. The plant is still struggling with thousands of tons of contaminated water, which it used to cool down overheated reactors following the 2011 earthquake, says the water treatment manager at... More »

Fukushima Fallout: Scads of Mutant Butterflies

Radiation link clear, scientists say, and it's only the beginning

(Newser) - The radiation that poured out of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor last year looks like it's doing a number on Japan's animal populations, researchers warn, after discovering rampant mutations among butterflies. Scientists collected 144 adult pale grass blue butterflies—which would have been overwintering as larvae during the... More »

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