July 13, 2011 |
The staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a dozen recommendations Wednesday to improve the safety of U.S. reactors, responding to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan four months ago. The 96-page report called for improving accident mitigation, strengthening emergency preparedness and improving the agency's regulatory programs, but fell far short of what outside experts have advocated for a wholesale upgrading of nuclear safety....
July 4, 2011 |
They were two old friends catching up over coffee, retirees swapping stories and gasping at the unfolding nuclear nightmare at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. But instead of merely throwing their hands up over the disaster that shook the plant in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Nobuhiro Shiotani and Yasuteru Yamada, both 72-year-old scientists, decided they could do something to help. They devised a plan that some have called heroic, others misguided and suicidal.
June 21, 2011 |
In a nation where workers are known to spend long hours at the office, many salarymen are facing a rare commodity this summer: free time. These days, 7,400 Tokyo metropolitan government employees arrive at their desks — and go home — an hour earlier than usual. It's part of an ambitious plan by the government to cut energy consumption as Japan faces possible electrical shortages after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that knocked out a major nuclear power plant. The earlier start time means fewer workers at the office during late afternoon, when energy usage peaks.
June 2, 2011 |
Japan did not properly protect its nuclear plants against the threat of tsunami before the March 11 disaster that caused radiation to spew from the Fukushima Daiichi facility, concludes a preliminary report released Wednesday by international nuclear experts. "The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated," says a three-page summary released by a United Nations nuclear safety team investigating the aftermath of a magnitude 9 earthquake that triggered a nearly 50-foot-high wall of water, deluging the plant.
June 1, 2011 |
Japan did not properly protect its nuclear plants against tsunami threats prior to the March 11 disaster that caused radiation to spew from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a preliminary report released Wednesday by international nuclear experts concluded. "The tsunami hazard for several sites was underestimated," according to a three-page summary released by a United Nations nuclear safety team probing the aftermath of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake that triggered a nearly 50-foot-high wall of water, deluging the plant.
May 21, 2011 |
Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masataka Shimizu resigned Friday in the face of increasing allegations that the utility has mishandled the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was damaged in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The anticipated resignation came on the same day that the troubled utility announced $15.3 billion in net losses for the fiscal year that ended in March, a consequence of the nuclear disaster that spewed radioactive isotopes into the air, soil and sea and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in northeast Japan.
May 8, 2011 |
The little robot rumbled across an otherworldly landscape, its camera lens clouding up in a hostile atmosphere too toxic for human habitation. Its motor whirring, it dispatched a constant stream of images to nervous operators grouped a safe distance away. But the setting wasn't Mars and the scientists aren't from NASA: The robot's handlers were Japanese engineers guiding the remote-controlled machine through one of the battered reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
May 5, 2011 |
For the first time since the March earthquake and tsunami, workers on Thursday entered the No. 1 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. The recovery team began a project to install six ventilation machines that would absorb isotopes from the air inside the building, said company spokesman Taisuke Tomikawa. Due to the high risk of radiation exposure, teams were expected to work in shifts inside the reactor. The goal is to lower radiation levels so that workers can replace the facility's cooling systems that were damaged by the tsunami, causing a hydrogen explosion that released damaging radioactivity into the air, soil and water.
May 5, 2011 |
For the first time since the magnitude 9 earthquake and the tsunami struck Japan nearly two months ago, workers on Thursday entered a damaged reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The recovery team began a project to lower radiation levels by installing six ventilation machines that would absorb isotopes from the air in the No. 1 reactor, said company spokesman Taisuke Tomikawa. Because of the high danger of exposure, teams were expected to spend only 10 minutes at a time inside.
April 15, 2011 |
The radiation gauge beeped, signaling that isotopes were in the atmosphere. As our SUV followed a line of electricity towers marching across deserted farmland, we made an agreement: If the dosimeter hit 15, we'd turn around. The device inched up to 12, its faint beep seeming more like a scream. Each time, edgily, we called out the number. Thirteen. The ventilation was off and the windows were sealed tight, even though the afternoon was warm. With our heads covered and our mouths sheathed in breathing masks, the SUV became a sauna as we bumped along roads with cracks as wide as a man's head.