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Nuclear Plant

March 23, 2011 | By Julie Makinen and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
[Update 12:47 a.m.] Tokyo's utility company says black smoke has been seen emerging from Unit 3 of the crippled nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, prompting a new evacuation of the complex. Officials with Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that workers from the entire Fukushima Dai-ichi plant have been temporarily evacuated. _________________ Control room lights were on and electronic thermometers were functioning Wednesday at several of Japan's stricken nuclear reactors, marking small but potentially critical steps toward controlling overheated fuel that has been spewing radiation for more than a week.
April 6, 2011 | By Kenji Hall and Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times
The operator of Japan's stricken nuclear plant said Wednesday that it had apparently contained at least one leak that was allowing radiation to seep into the sea. Tokyo Electric Power Co. had said Tuesday that it had found iodine-131 at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials instituted a health limit for radioactivity in fish. Other samples were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.
March 21, 2011 | By Don Lee, Thomas H. Maugh II and Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Japanese and U.S. officials gave additional indications of progress in efforts to stabilize the Fukushima nuclear plant , but the list of tainted agricultural products grew Monday to include canola and chrysanthemum greens, a day after milk and spinach showed traces of radioactive isotopes. The food samples were taken from areas as far as 43 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Japanese officials said, and some registered nearly seven times the allowable levels of the radioactive isotope iodine-131, a hazardous byproduct of nuclear fission that can cause thyroid cancer.
July 4, 2011 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
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.
March 20, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan and Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Radiation levels at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan are still high but may be tapering off, a senior U.S. nuclear official said Sunday. Indications from the plant, which houses six nuclear reactors, were levels in the range of hundreds of millisieverts per hour, said Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The duration of those levels was unclear. The exposure limit for Japanese workers was recently raised to 250 millisieverts per year.
April 6, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Engineers began injecting nitrogen into one of the reactors at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Wednesday evening as radiation levels in seawater near the plant dropped and a new report from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suggested that the plant may face even more troubles in the future. Officials from the United Nations, meanwhile, said that even though the situation in Japan is more serious than the U.S. faced after the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, the group does not expect severe health consequences.
March 12, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A meltdown may be occurring at one of the reactors at an earthquake-damaged nuclear power plant in northeast Japan, a government official told CNN Sunday morning Japan time. "There is a possibility, we see the possibility of a meltdown," said Toshihiro Bannai, director of the international affairs office of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety, in a telephone interview with CNN from the agency's Tokyo headquarters. "At this point, we have still not confirmed that there is an actual meltdown, but there is a possibility.
September 12, 2011 | By Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
At least one person was killed and four injured when a furnace exploded Monday at the Marcoule nuclear waste treatment site in southern France. Authorites say there was no radioactive leakage to the outside. Evangelia Petit of the Agency for Nuclear Safety confirmed the explosion but declined to provide further details, according to the Associated Press. The Marcoule nuclear plant is located in Langedoc Roussillon, in southern France, near the Mediterranean Sea. The site of the blast does not reportedly contain any nuclear reactors.
March 30, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
Concern over the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is growing among Orange County cities closest to the facility, which has been shut down since January because of system failures. Officials in nearby San Clemente and Laguna Beach - both within 20 miles of the San Onofre facility - have registered their fears after significant wear was found on hundreds of tubes carrying radioactive water inside the plant's generators. Residents in the Orange County beach towns for years have lived with the twin-domed nuclear plant as a backdrop.
March 27, 2011 | By Julie Makinen and Kenji Hall, Los Angeles Times
Officials at Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant late Sunday retracted their announcement that they had found puddles at the facility's No. 2 reactor containing 10 million times more radioactivity than would be found in water in a normally functioning nuclear reactor. "The number is not credible," Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Takashi Kurita, said, according to the Associated Press. "We are very sorry. " It was not immediately clear what led to the inaccurate reading of the water, or what the real level was. The company said on its website that there was a "mistake in the assessment of the measurement of iodine-134.
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