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Fukushima Fishermen: No, You Can't Dump That Water

Tokyo Electric sought permission to pump radioactive groundwater to ocean

(Newser) - The Tokyo Electric Power Co. went before Fukushima fishermen yesterday and asked permission to start pumping "low-level" radioactive water into the ocean where they fish. And the fishermen said, um, no. This was a surprise, apparently, with a report in the Asahi Shimbun stating that TEPCO "officials underestimated...

Fukushima Workers Battle Radioactive Flood

Experts warn plant is still accident-prone

(Newser) - More than two years after a quake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, workers are battling yet another crisis, the New York Times finds. Huge amounts of groundwater have been pouring into the plant, leaving workers struggling to contain a flood of 75 gallons of radioactive water...

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...

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...

Japan: 40 Years to Fully Shut Down Fukushima

Removing nuclear fuel will require tech not yet invented

(Newser) - The predictions are getting worse: Japanese officials today said that it could take as many as 40 years to decommission the Fukushima nuclear plant, upping the previous estimate of 30 years. According to the detailed roadmap, TEPCO intends to spend the next two years clearing the spent fuel rods out...

2011 Google Zeitgeist Shows We&#39;re Pretty Shallow
2011 Google Zeitgeist Shows
We're Pretty Shallow

2011 Google Zeitgeist Shows We're Pretty Shallow

Time to don the hairshirt

(Newser) - There's no way to sugarcoat this: We are one shallow nation. Google today revealed its annual Zeitgeist , in which it crunches billions of Google searches "to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011." Here's what the spirit...

Radiation Found in Japanese Baby Formula

Levels not high enough to pose health risk, parents told

(Newser) - Nearly nine months after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami wrought havoc on Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, the country's nuclear nightmare is continuing. Traces of radiation have been found in infant formula for the first time and while government experts say the levels aren't high enough to...

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...

6.8 Quake Strikes Japan Coast

Tremblor hits 50 miles south of huge March shaker, tsunami alert lifted

(Newser) - A 6.8-magnitude earthquake jolted the northeast coast of Japan just 50 miles south of where the massive March shaker hit. A tsunami advisory was issued but withdrawn some 35 minutes later when waves did not materialize, reports Reuters . TEPCO officials said no new damage was detected at the Fukushima...

Giant Tent Goes Up Over Japan Reactor

TEPCO hopes tent will contain radiation

(Newser) - TEPCO is constructing an airtight polyester tent measuring 177 feet tall and 154 feet in length to cover one of the worst-hit reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, hoping the tent will stop leaked radioactive materials from spreading and prevent possible future leaks, reports the AP . Unsafe radiation...

Japanese Earthquake: 6.4 Temblor Rattles Northeast
 6.4 Quake Rattles Japan 

6.4 Quake Rattles Japan

Northeast hit again, but no serious damage reported

(Newser) - A strong earthquake has jolted northeastern Japan, the same region devastated by March's massive quake and tsunami. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the quake, and no tsunami warning was issued. Japanese utility Tepco reported no damage at its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Tepco Knew of Fukushima Design Flaw, Did Nothing

Electric switcher swamped by tsunami, killing plant's cooling system

(Newser) - Senior Tepco engineers were aware of design flaws at five of its Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors for decades, but complacency and cost-consciousness prevented the company from fixing those problems, reports the Wall Street Journal . While newer reactors have backup diesel generators and electrical switchers placed securely in the well-protected reactor building,...

Japan's Tepco Rebuffs Push to Exit Nuclear Biz

But shareholders urge bosses to 'jump in a reactor'

(Newser) - Despite insults from a huge crowd of fuming shareholders, Tokyo Electric Power Co. voted down a motion to end the company’s stricken nuclear business. At its biggest-ever shareholder meeting, attended by more than 9,000, the firm also managed to appoint 17 board members, the New York Times reports....

Tepco Halts Water Filtering at Fukushima

Power company running out of room to store contaminated water

(Newser) - Tokyo Electric launched its much-hyped water filtration system yesterday at its foundering Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant—only to shut it down a mere five hours later. The setback is very serious, notes the New York Times, with Tepco in grave danger of running out of room for the tens of...

Inside Fukushima Cleanup: Willy-Nilly Safety, Training

Many workers lack training, equipment needed

(Newser) - Three months after the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant began, the Wall Street Journal takes a look at safety measures in interviews with seven of the people they're designed to protect. One contractor had just a 30-minute briefing before stepping onto the grounds in the...

Fukushima's Tsunami Plan: One Page

Nuclear plant thought it was immune to waves, thanks to decade-old memo

(Newser) - Nuclear officials in Japan thought the Fukushima reactors were safe from the biggest waves a quake could hurl at them—thanks to a decade-old, one-page memo from the plant operator, reports the AP . Granted, it’s a double-size page, but it gives few details to back its claim that no...

TEPCO Head Resigns Amid Huge Losses

Masataka Shimizu steps down in disgrace over Fukushima disaster

(Newser) - Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu said today he was stepping down in disgrace after reporting the biggest financial losses in company history. Shimizu, criticized for his low profile during the early days of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant disaster, said he was resigning to take "responsibility" but...

New Photos Show Tsunami Slamming Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Co. releases dramatic pictures

(Newser) - As Japanese workers today entered the last of the three Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor buildings suffering from nuclear meltdowns, Tokyo Electric Power Company released dramatic new pictures of the March 11 tsunami hitting the plant. Workers entered the No. 3 reactor building today for the first time since the earthquake and...

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...

First Fukushima Worker Dies
 First Fukushima Worker Dies 

First Fukushima Worker Dies

But no radioactive material found on body of man, in his 60s

(Newser) - More bad news out of Fukushima: A worker at the plant died today, the first casualty since the stabilization effort began. A TEPCO rep says the man's body did not show any signs of radiation overexposure and no radioactive material was found on his body, but the cause...

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