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.
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.
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 15, 2013 |
JERUSALEM-- Israel has 80 nuclear warheads and the potential to double that number, according to a new report by U.S. experts. In the Global Nuclear Weapons Inventories , recently published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , proliferation experts Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris write that Israel stopped production of nuclear warheads in 2004. But the country has enough fissile material for an additional 115 to 190 warheads, according to the report, meaning it could as much as double its arsenal.
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.