March 12, 2011 |
The International Atomic Energy Agency has been providing updates on the damaged Japanese nuclear plants on its Facebook page. "Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre that there has been an explosion at the Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and that they are assessing the condition of the reactor core," the latest statement said. "The explosion was reported to NISA by the plant operator, TEPCO, at 0730 CET. Further details were not immediately available.
March 12, 2011 |
Another nuclear reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 facility in Japan has lost its emergency cooling capacity, according to the Associated Press, bringing to three the number of reactors at that facility to fall prey to Friday's magnitude 8.9 earthquake and tsunami. Added to failure of three reactors at Fukushima No. 2, the count is now six overall. So far, the only reactor that seems to pose an immediate risk of widespread danger is one of the two shut-down reactors at Fukushima No. 1, also known as Fukushima Daiichi, which was disabled by an explosion overnight that destroyed the building housing the reactor and the backup cooling system.
March 22, 2011 |
Radiation has been detected in seawater in areas surrounding the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, creating one more cause for concern after radiation was found in food items and tap water. Officials stressed that the levels -- which they said would have minuscule impact on the human body even if the seawater were ingested daily over a year -- were not cause for alarm. Tokyo Electric Power Company, which owns the plant, said it detected radioactive iodine-131 more than 125 times higher than the legal limit in a sample of ocean water found about 0.2 miles south of the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Monday, Kyodo News Agency reported.
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.
March 29, 2011 |
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan for the first time criticized Tepco, which owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, for inadequate preparations for a tsunami at the facility. The sea wall at the plant was designed to withstand an 18-foot wave, while the actual tsunami that struck after the magnitude 9 Tohoku earthquake was estimated to be more than 40 feet high. "It's undeniable their assumptions about tsunamis were greatly mistaken," Kan said Tuesday of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in an address to the Japanese parliament.
March 11, 2011 |
President Obama on Friday offered earthquake-ravaged Japan any assistance needed to cope with the massive 8.9 temblor that has devastated the Asian nation, including technical aid to cope with a damaged nuclear power plant that has led to the evacuation of thousands for fear of a radiation leakage. U.S. Air Force planes have already delivered coolant to the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced. Photos: Scenes from the earthquake No radiation leakage has been detected, but pressure inside a reactor at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant rose after the cooling system was knocked out by the quake Friday afternoon Japan time, according to the plant's parent company, Tokyo Electric Power.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2011 |
The federal government's radiation alert network in California is not fully functional, leaving the stretch of coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco without the crucial real-time warning system in the event of a nuclear emergency. Six of the Environmental Protection Agency's 12 California sensors ? including the three closest to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo ? are sending data with "anomalies" to the agency's laboratory in Montgomery, Ala., said Mike Bandrowski, manager of the EPA's radiation program.
March 17, 2011 |
Who are the "Fukushima 50" -- the workers trying to take regain control of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant? Twitter messages and blog posts by the workers' families offer an inkling of the "Fukushima 50," so nicknamed because the 180 employees at the site work in 50-person shifts. One of the workers is a veteran power plant worker, a 59-year-old who volunteered to take on the assignment, according to Jiji Press, a Japanese news wire service, quoting a woman who claimed to be his daughter on Twitter.
March 18, 2011 |
Engineers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant worked all day Friday attempting to connect a newly restored power line to reactors No. 1 and 2, but their task was repeatedly interrupted by the need to withdraw workers because of high radiation levels. The team said they hoped the task would be completed sometime Friday evening or in the early morning hours Saturday. It is not clear yet, however, whether restoring power to the two damaged reactors will help with cooling. Some engineers believe the cooling pumps were irretrievably damaged by the hydrogen explosions that wracked the reactor buildings in the first four days after the March 10 magnitude 9 Tohoku quake, or by corrosion from the seawater that has been pumped into the reactor.
March 27, 2011 |
For the better part of Sunday, media outlets in Japan and around the world carried scary-sounding news about radiation at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant's No. 2 reactor. In a typical report, Japanese broadcaster NHK said: "Power company says it has detected radioactive materials 10 million times normal levels. " After nightfall came the mea culpa. There was a "mistake in the measurement of the assessment" of radiation in a building near the reactor, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said on its website.