December 27, 2011 |
REPORTING FROM SEOUL -- Japan's response to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was flawed by poor communication and delays in releasing data on dangerous radiation leaks at the facility, which was struck by an earthquake-triggered tsunami on March 11, a government-appointed investigative panel has found. The report attaches blame to both Japan's central government as well as the utility that operates the plant -- the Tokyo Electric Power Co. -- depicting a scene of harried officials incapable of making decisions to stem radiation leaks as the situation at the coastal plant worsened in the days and weeks following the disaster.
December 20, 2011 |
Self-tanning products might be keeping women from hitting the beach and tanning beds and courting dangerous UV radiation exposure, a study finds. A study released online Monday in the Archives of Dermatology surveyed 415 women about their use of self-tanners and how often they tanned under the sun or in tanning beds in the previous year, plus their attitudes toward tanned skin. While some health experts hail self-tanners as a safer alternative than tanning via the sun and beds, others worry that using the product compels people to seek out those conventional and harmful methods more often.
December 4, 2011 |
Kazuo Okawa's luckless career as a "nuclear gypsy" began one night at a poker game. The year was 1992, and jobs were scarce in this farming town in the shadow of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. An unemployed Okawa gambled and drank a lot. He was dealing cards when a stranger made him an offer: manage a crew of unskilled workers at the nearby plant. "Just gather a team of young guys and show up at the front gate; I'll tell you what to do," instructed the man, who Okawa later learned was a recruiter for a local job subcontracting firm.
November 19, 2011 |
Eight months after a magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and spewed radioactive material for hundreds of miles, scientists have produced maps showing how much fallout was found in the environment in the weeks after the disaster. In two studies published last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers identified "hot spots" where the radioactivity levels were highest as well as the areas that were most safe.
October 24, 2011 |
Two weeks after my double mastectomy, I lay on the exam table, slightly feverish from the plastic drains that attached beneath my skin and snaked silently under my shirt. Like a macabre version of speed dating, I had already met with five oncologists. My case was difficult and required the best of the best. Waiting for Dr. Linnea Chap to walk through the door, I closed my eyes in exhaustion and despair. Dr. Chap had an encyclopedic understanding of breast cancer, but she didn't overwhelm me with detailed explanations of tumor grade or cell replication.
October 17, 2011 |
What's better than an E Ticket ride? How about an F Ticket? Radiator Springs Racers aims to redefine our expectations of an E Ticket attraction by combining a classic dark ride with a thrilling head-to-head drag race. Currently under construction at Disney California Adventure , the $200-million ride debuting in summer 2012 will take passengers on a four-minute journey through stalactite caverns, around hairpin turns and along high-speed straightaways. Each side-by-side race ends with a randomly selected winner.
October 17, 2011 |
Measuring radiation exposure using current FCC guidelines underestimates how much radiation most people receive from their cellphones, researchers said Monday in a study published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. The authors of the study, including several members of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to identifying and controlling environmental health risks, pointed to several reasons why. One is that the current assessment method bases evaluations of how much radiation people are exposed to from their phones on measurements taken using a quite large, liquid-filled plastic model of the adult human head (known as the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin, or SAM)
October 3, 2011 |
There is dancing today in the radiation waiting room. Upright and youthful-looking despite his lined face, the smiling man jitterbugs with any woman who accepts his courteously offered hand. The music he provides by way of a small radio, turned low so as not to disturb those who would rather be quiet as they wait for their treatments. Patients are used to him, enjoying the way he expresses his love of life in his movements to the music of the '50s and '60s — his day. Radiation treatments generally are given five days a week for several weeks, so people get to know one another while they're waiting for their treatment, coming as they do at much the same hour each day. They pass through here by the dozens to the seven treatment rooms, the procedure itself taking mere seconds.
August 25, 2011 |
For the first time, astronomers say they've borne witness to a supermassive black hole consuming a star. Two papers released Wednesday by the journal Nature describe powerful blasts of radiation whose brightness and behavior can be explained only by a sun-sized star being torn apart by the gravitational forces of a black hole at the center of its galaxy, the authors say. Scientists believe they have seen the aftermath of such stellar violence...
July 26, 2011 |
Still recovering from March's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan is stepping up efforts to draw foreign travelers, even recruiting Lady Gaga to spread the word that much of Japan is safe for visitors. As part of the effort to lure visitors before the summer travel season ends, the Japan National Tourism Organization recently posted online the radiation levels for downtown Tokyo, which the tourism group says are lower than in tourist destinations such as New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.