September 19, 2013 |
Less than two weeks after he promised the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be safe from radioactive contamination, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the scrapping of two more reactors at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. Abe made the announcement after touring the crippled facility on Thursday. "I will work hard to counter rumors questioning the safety of the Fukushima plant," he said, according to Reuters . Four of the plant's reactors suffered meltdowns and other damage after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, leading to widespread contamination in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
June 13, 2013 |
After the cascade of disasters that befell Japan 27 months ago, then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan took the brunt of withering criticism for shoddy nuclear safety standards at the crippled Fukushima reactor complex and the government's chaotic emergency response to the crises. Kan also took away a life-altering lesson. A longtime proponent of nuclear energy for his densely populated, resource-poor nation, the government leader who resigned in disgrace five months after the March 11, 2011, earthquake-triggered tsunami and nuclear disaster is now at the forefront of Japan's movement to phase out atomic power.
September 12, 2013 |
The fallout over Tokyo hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics has begun. So to speak. A satirical French newspaper called Le Canard enchaine has published cartoons that reference both the Games and radioactive leaks at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. One cartoon shows a pair of sumo wrestlers with extra arms and legs. They are wrestling in front of the plant while a commentator says: "Thanks to Fukushima, sumo wrestling is now an Olympic sport. " Another cartoon shows two people in protective gear inspecting an Olympic pool with their Geiger counter.
September 7, 2013 |
The International Olympic Committee has selected Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games. The Japanese city, considered a favorite to be chosen as host, prevailed over Istanbul in a second-round vote Saturday among IOC members gathered in Buenos Aires. A third finalist, Madrid, was eliminated from consideration during the first round of voting. Tokyo representatives had portrayed their city as the safe choice, a modern metropolis that had provided a successful Olympic Games in 1964 and could once again handle the world's grandest sporting event.
January 16, 2014 |
The canopies of kelp undulating in the surges off the coast of California camouflage a complex ecosystem of sharks, rock fish, crabs, urchins and anemones that blossom like colorful flowers on the forest floor. Now, Steven L. Manley, a biology professor at Cal State Long Beach, and Kai Vetter, head of applied nuclear physics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have launched a campaign to monitor those groves for radioactive contaminants due to arrive later this year in ocean currents from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.
February 4, 2014 |
Up and down the West Coast, starfish are dying. Casualties of a mysterious disease known as seastar wasting syndrome, they are dying in Alaska, deteriorating in San Diego and disappearing from long stretches in between. Death from the disease is quick and icky. It begins with a small lesion on a starfish's body that rapidly develops into an infection the animal cannot fight. Over the course of the disease the starfish's legs might drop off, or even separate from the body and start to crawl away, as you can see in the PBS news story below.