May 9, 2011 |
A Japanese utility agreed Monday to take its reactors off-line at a seaside nuclear power plant, just days after Prime Minister Naoto Kan called for the shutdown over concerns that a strong earthquake and tsunami could provoke another nuclear crisis. Board members of the Chubu Electric Power Co., Japan's third-largest electric supplier, met behind closed doors over the weekend before announcing late Monday that the utility would temporarily shut down the three reactors at its Hamaoka facility not far from Nagoya.
March 24, 2011
Bigger isn't better Re " 'Megamansion' upsets the mansion," March 22 Funny that people with houses that are 7,800 square feet find themselves in such a tizzy over the proposed construction of an 85,000-square-foot family compound. How appalling that they were ever allowed to start the trend in the first place. Where will all the water, electricity, lumber, concrete and gas continue to come from? I am advised to limit electrical use in my 1,400-square-foot home during peak hours.
March 15, 2011
Japan's nightmare Re "Japan crisis may derail 'nuclear renaissance,' " March 14 If anything good can be said to have come from the terrible disaster in Japan, it is the realization that nuclear power plants can, at any time, be subjected to unexpected catastrophes. Nuclear fission is not the way to solve our energy problems. Aside from the expense and dangers of the plants themselves, there is the completely unsolved problem of what to do with radioactive waste. I defy anyone to find any place on the planet where they think they can safely store this waste and can say with certainty that no natural disasters will occur in the next 250,000 years.
March 17, 2011 |
Bursts of radiation being released at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant could mean workers there will have to be quickly rotated out, and some could rapidly reach their annual exposure limit, complicating efforts to contain Japan's continuing nuclear crisis. "Those are pretty brave people," David Brenner, the director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University Medical Center, said of the workers. "There are going to be some martyrs among them. " Disaster officials could face a grim choice: Scale back their containment efforts or allow workers to face radiation levels that could significantly increase their risk of cancer.
May 18, 2013 |
SEOUL - Perhaps it is merely basic human desire to keep up with the neighbors, but an increasing number of South Koreans are saying that they want nuclear weapons too. Even in Japan, a country still traumatized by the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is a debate about the once-taboo topic of nuclear weapons. The mere fact that the bomb is being discussed as a policy option shows how North Korea's nuclear program could trigger a new arms race in East Asia, unraveling decades of nonproliferation efforts.
March 19, 2011 |
Japan took a step toward possibly getting its nuclear disaster under control Sunday as electricity to power some reactor cooling systems was restored and previous efforts to lower reactor temperatures with seawater at the battered Fukushima atomic energy plant appeared to have had an effect. But the increased optimism by Japanese officials and Western scientists alike was tempered by a newly emerging crisis -- radiation contamination was found in some food and water supplies in a nation already suffering from a cascade of troubles.
March 23, 2011 |
Standing on the deck of his 91-foot trawler, veteran fisherman Tomoyuki Kondou winces over reports that radioactivity from Japan's damaged nuclear power plant in nearby Fukushima has contaminated the local food supply after this month's deadly earthquake and tsunami. The bespectacled third-generation angler has heard the warnings that milk, spinach and other vegetables grown around the plant have been found to contain traces of the radioactive isotopes iodine-131 and cesium-137. Now Kondou and others in Kesennuma worry that radiation from the seaside nuclear plant might also affect the region's long-bustling fishing industry, which provides tuna, oysters, shark, squid and seaweed to restaurants and supermarkets throughout Japan and around the world.
March 25, 2011 |
The first pitch of Japan's baseball season has been pushed back so that people don't waste gasoline driving to games. When the season does start, most night games will be switched to daytime so as not to squander electricity. There'll be no extra innings. Tokyo's iconic electronic billboards have been switched off. Trash is piling up in many northern Japanese cities because garbage trucks don't have gasoline. Public buildings go unheated. Factories are closed, in large part because of rolling blackouts and because employees can't drive to work with empty tanks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 2011 |
Environmental officials reassured residents Saturday that radiation in Southern California's air remained below levels of concern as workers in Japan struggled to contain releases from a stricken nuclear power plant. Los Angeles County Fire Department officials also sought to debunk an e-mail hoax that predicted acid rain would result from Japan's nuclear accident. The fraudulent e-mail was issued in the fire agency's name and claimed that radioactive particles released in Japan could mix with rain and "cause burns, alopecia or even cancer.
April 12, 2011 |
Japanese nuclear regulatory officials Tuesday raised the severity rating at the earthquake- and tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the highest level by international standards, equaling the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in the former Soviet Union. The country's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency announced that because of the amount of radioactive material released from the plant after the magnitude 9 earthquake a month ago, the rating would be changed to level 7, a "major accident" on the International Atomic Energy Agency's scale, up from a level 5, an "accident with wider consequences.