nuclear meltdown

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Fukushima Woman First to Speak Out About Her Cancer

'Don't rock the boat' culture has left cancer patients scared to talk after nuclear meltdown

(Newser) - She's 21, has thyroid cancer, and wants people in her prefecture in northeastern Japan to get screened for it. That statement might not seem provocative, but her prefecture is Fukushima, and of the 173 young people with confirmed or suspected cases since the 2011 nuclear meltdowns there, she's... More »

Radiation May Not Kill You, but Fear of It Might

David Ropeik: Our dread of nuclear accidents exceeds the facts

(Newser) - Seems like there's a new story every week about a new radioactive leak or accident at Japan's shuttered Fukushima nuclear plant. The headlines may sound terrifying, but David Ropeik in the New York Times points out that scientists have said repeatedly that the radiation has been relatively harmless... 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 »

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 »

Japanese Seethe Over Hushed Radiation Forecasts

Thousands exposed because gov't agencies refused responsibility

(Newser) - Anger is growing in Japan over the government hiding radiation forecasts from the public, causing unnecessary exposure to thousands, letting contaminants into the country's food supply, and not acknowledging that there even was a meltdown for three months after the initial disaster, reports the New York Times . Thousands of... More »

US Reactors Have Same Flaw as Fukushima

Venting system is same as one that failed at Japan plant

(Newser) - US officials have long insisted that American nuclear plants are safe from the kind of crisis that hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, because they have a newer, better venting system. But Tokyo Electric has now revealed that it installed the exact same vents years ago, the New York Times... More »

What Really Happened When Quake Hit Fukushima

Nuclear crisis was more desperate than the world realized

(Newser) - The first 24 hours of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi were more chaotic and dangerous than the outside world ever dreamed. When the tsunami hit and knocked out the plant’s backup generators, workers turned into scavengers, searching nearby homes for flashlights and ripping the batteries out of... More »

Japan Nuke Reactor in Worse Shape Than Thought

Water had leaked from reactor No. 1, exposing fuel rods

(Newser) - Fukushima Dai-ichi's nuclear reactor No. 1 is damaged more seriously than originally thought—it's leaking water, reports the New York Times . The containment vessel at reactor No. 1 had been considered secure; but when Tokyo Electric workers were finally able to gain access to a water gauge yesterday,... More »

What Does Fukushima's Level 7 Mean?

It sounds really, really bad. Is it?

(Newser) - Japan has made the decision to raise the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster severity level from 5 to 7. That obviously means "worse." But what else does it mean?
  • Japan finally has an estimate on how much radiation has been released: The level is an indication of the total
... More »

Japan Nuke Crisis Raised to Chernobyl Level

Fukushima Dai-ichi may have spilled more radiation than thought

(Newser) - Japan has decided to raise the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster from 5 to 7, according to government sources, a severity level only previously seen in Chernobyl, reports Kyodo News. The country's Nuclear Safety Commission today found that at times after the breach, the plant was emitting some 10,000 terabecquerels... More »

Fukushima Endgame: Years, a Fortune Away

Will likely take decades to decommission nuke plant

(Newser) - The day when radiation stops spilling out of Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi is still unknown, but it'll be at least a decade and millions of dollars beyond that by the time the nuclear plant is decommissioned, reports the AP. That's the timeline from Toshiba, which built four of the six reactors,... More »

Fukushima's Disaster Plan: A Stretcher and a Fax

Plant was woefully unprepared for natural disaster

(Newser) - Tokyo Electric Power Co. had a disaster plan in place at its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, but certainly not a very thorough one: It only involved one stretcher, and relied heavily on a satellite phone and fax machine for emergency communications. In a look at the plan, the Wall Street ... More »

Tokyo Electric Will Scrap Fukushima Reactors

Tokyo Electric Power cannot recover reactors 1-4

(Newser) - After three weeks, Tokyo Electric Power still has not been able to bring the first four reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant under control, and the company now says that they will all be decommissioned. “We have no choice but to scrap” them, said the company’s chairman,... More »

Japanese PM: We're on 'Maximum Alert'

But experts say fear over plutonium in soil may be overblown

(Newser) - With fears escalating over the plutonium leaking into the soil around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, Japanese officials sounded a cautious note today, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan telling lawmakers that the government would “tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert,” according to the Economic Times... More »

Inside the Hell That Is Fukushima

Little sleep, food, water; plenty of stress, danger, misery

(Newser) - As if risking their lives to work feverishly to avoid nuclear meltdown wasn't grim enough, there's no respite for the weary workers at Japan's hobbled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. A Japanese nuclear official who just returned from five days at Fukushima paints a picture of life on the inside, reports the... More »

Radiation in Fukushima, Nearby Waters Spikes

Radioactive iodine hits 10 million times normal level, forcing evacuation

(Newser) - Radiation is spiking both in and around the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, forcing workers to evacuate the plant. Radioactive iodine in water leaking from the No. 2 reactor's turbine housing unit soared to 10 million times the usual limit, said Tokyo Electric Power Co., where workers had been struggling... More »

Radioactive Milk a Threat —if You Drink 58K Cups

Heath officials blowing things way out of proportion in Japan: researcher

(Newser) - Japan is finding elevated radiation levels in milk, spinach, and water —scary, right? Richard Knox at NPR sits down with RPI health physicist Peter Caracappa to crunch some numbers about what those levels mean. The gist:
  • The max radiation a US nuclear worker is allowed to be exposed to
... More »

Regulators Ignored Warning Signs at Fukushima

Despite noted problems, an extension was granted for oldest reactor

(Newser) - Government regulators were concerned about the oldest reactor at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant—but still approved a 10-year extension for reactor No. 1, just a month before the devastating earthquake and tsunami that landed the country in its current nuclear crisis. A report from the regulatory committee noted... More »

Japan Nuclear Pool Near Boiling Point

Work resumes at stricken plant

(Newser) - Workers resumed efforts to bring Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex under control today but a pool for storing spent fuel at the plant has presented yet another problem, AP reports. A nuclear safety official says the pool is heating up and temperatures are at or near the boiling point. The pool... More »

Japan Finds Radiation in Water, Milk, Spinach

But official cautions that levels not high enough to affects humans

(Newser) - Japan has detected elevated radiation levels in spinach and milk in the prefecture containing its foundering Fukushima nuclear plant and a neighboring prefecture, reports the Wall Street Journal . Milk produced roughly 30 miles away from the plant had around five times the normal amount of radioactive material iodine-131, while spinach... More »

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