Japanese nuclear disaster

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The Story Behind the 'Mutant Daisies'

Plant deformities or 'fasciation' not uncommon: experts

(Newser) - The Internet is aflutter over two rather bizarre photographs of what appear to be daisies taken near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site in Japan. We say they appear to be daisies because the flowers in Nasushiobara City actually feature multiple stems and mutant centers. While many have claimed the plants... More »

Japanese Radiation Nears US Shores

But it won't cause any harm, crowdfunded study says

(Newser) - Radiation from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster is finally nearing the West Coast, but at levels so low there's apparently nothing to worry about. A crowdfunded research group came to that conclusion after trolling for evidence of Fukushima's unique radiation "fingerprint" in the Pacific Ocean, Science reports... 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 »

Japan Marks 3 Years Since Triple Disaster

270K tsunami survivors still can't go home

(Newser) - Japan is marking the third anniversary of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing, turned coastal communities into wasteland, and triggered a nuclear crisis. In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito spoke at a memorial service, marking the moment the magnitude... More »

Bizarre Tsunami Ghost Stories Haunt Japan

But is the country's cult of ancestors behind it all?

(Newser) - An unusual outbreak has struck Japan in the wake of the 2011 tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people—of ghosts, possessions, and exorcisms. Reverend Kaneda, the top priest at a Zen temple, says he personally exorcised several people who had been invaded by the spirits of tsunami victims, writes... 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 »

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 »

Tons of Fukushima's Tainted Water Entering Pacific

And we literally mean tons, some 300 a day

(Newser) - Things have gone from bad to worse to this at Fukushima: A government official says roughly 300 tons of contaminated water are leaking from the crippled nuclear plant into the Pacific each day. The New York Times paints a mental picture: That's enough to fill one Olympic-sized pool per... 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 Was 'Man-Made Disaster'

Japanese government and regulators not off the hook

(Newser) - Maybe Mother Nature wasn't entirely to blame. Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear meltdown was really caused by good old-fashioned human error, rather than quavering earth or massive waves, according to an independent investigation that's upending earlier assumptions about the disaster and blasting regulators, the government response, Tepco, and... More »

Fukushima Fish Go on Sale

Octopus, marine snails tested negative for radiation

(Newser) - Today you can buy fish caught off Japan's Fukushima coastline for the first time since the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant last year, although you're stuck with octopus or whelk, a type of marine snail. Testing showed no detectable radiation, but radiation fears are still keeping... More »

Japan Shutting Down Last Nuclear Reactor

Country faces energy crunch

(Newser) - Japan is shutting down its last nuclear reactor Saturday, meaning a long, hot summer as the Japanese are forced to conserve a power supply that could fall 16% below demand. Oil- and gas-based power has been ramped up to ease the energy shortage—nuclear power provided one-third of the country’... More »

Somber Japan Marks Year Since Quake

Country pauses to remember its dead

(Newser) - At 2:46pm local time today, people all across Japan stood in silence to remember the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami exactly one year ago that killed more than 19,000 people, destroyed 370,000 homes, and created the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, reports the AP... More »

Japan Kept Worst-Case Nuclear Fears Under Wraps

Fukushima report warned that all of Tokyo might need to be evacuated

(Newser) - Japanese officials were told that last year's nuclear disaster could have required the evacuation of tens of millions—but they didn't mention it, worried that the information might cause a panic. A 15-page report, given to the prime minister two weeks after the earthquake, was obtained by the... More »

New Trouble for Fukushima Reactor

Officials detect radioactive xenon, but reactor is stable

(Newser) - A potential new setback for Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: Utility officials have detected radioactive xenon particles inside the No. 2 reactor, suggesting unexpected nuclear fission may have taken place. Boric acid, which can counteract nuclear fission, was injected as a precaution, but Tokyo Electric Power says that... More »

Experts: 30 Years Until Fukushima Can Be Closed

Process will be time-consuming and costly

(Newser) - Officials say Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is relatively stable, but a government panel still believes it will be at least 30 years before it can be safely decommissioned and closed. The panel of experts, named by Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission, noted that it took a decade... More »

Want to Go to Japan? It's Doling Out 10K Flights

Officials reassure foreign travelers that country is safe to visit

(Newser) - How to cope with the unpleasant reality of a major drop in tourism following March's earthquake and tsunami? Free stuff for tourists! Japan will attempt to woo back wary travelers by doling out 10,000 free airline tickets next year, the Japan Tourism Agency announced this week. Officials are... More »

Japan Minister Quits Over Nuke Joke

PM moves quickly to quell gaffe fallout

(Newser) - Japan still isn't laughing about the devastating nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Dai-ichi, but its newest ex-minister of the nuclear industry apparently thinks it's quite amusing. After returning from a trip to Fukushima on Thursday, Yoshio Hachiro reportedly rubbed against a journalist, joking, "I'll give you radiation.... More »

Japan PM Resigning

Naoto Kan will officially quit next week

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced today he would resign after almost 15 months in office amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis. In a nationally televised speech, Kan said he was stepping down as chief of the ruling Democratic Party... More »

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