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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Mitsubishi To Fight Nuke Plant Negligence Claim

July 22, 2013 2:20 pm | News | Comments

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. will fight Southern California Edison's allegations of gross negligence in the design and manufacture of steam tubes built for the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which has been permanently shut down due to excessive wear in the tubes.

Study: Distant Quakes Can Affect Oil, Gas Fields

July 12, 2013 11:42 am | by Alicia Chang, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

The powerful earthquake that rocked Japan in 2011 set off tremors around a West Texas oil field, according to new research that suggests oil and gas drilling operations may make fault zones sensitive to shock waves from distant big quakes.

Watchdog: Ocean Contamination Likely At Fukushima

July 10, 2013 2:30 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority said a leak is "strongly suspected" and urged plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to determine where the water may be leaking from and assess the environmental and other risks, including the impact on the food chain.

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Japan Moves Closer To Restarting Nuclear Reactors

July 9, 2013 8:28 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Japan moved a step closer to restarting nuclear reactors Monday as four utility companies applied for safety inspections of 10 idled plants, the clearest sign of a return to atomic energy nearly two and a half years after the Fukushima disaster.   

Japan Formally OKs New Nuke Safety Requirements

June 19, 2013 8:21 am | News | Comments

Japan's nuclear watchdog has formally approved new safety requirements for atomic plants, paving the way for the reopening of facilities shut down since the Fukushima disaster. The new requirements approved Wednesday by the Nuclear Regulation Authority will take effect on July 8, when operators will be able to apply for inspections.

Fukushima Plant Steps Closer To Fuel-Rod Removal

June 12, 2013 7:54 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press | News | Comments

Plant chief Takeshi Takahashi told journalists given a tour of the plant Wednesday that workers have cleaned up much of the debris in their work areas, but that the priorities are keeping the plant stable and working toward shutting it down — a process that operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates will take 40 years.

Stricken Japan Nuke Plant Struggles To Keep Staff

May 24, 2013 8:28 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant's operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it.

Japan Watchdog: Nuke Plant Sits On Active Fault

May 22, 2013 10:13 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

It was the first time Japanese regulators had officially recognized an active fault underneath an existing reactor, virtually acknowledging that the risk at Tsuruga had been overlooked for decades by both the operator and regulators despite warnings by some experts.

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Japan Watchdog To Halt Test Reactor Over Safety

May 15, 2013 8:01 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Nuclear Regulation Authority's decision is the latest blow to the Monju fast-breeder reactor and Japan's nuclear fuel cycle program. The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping that Monju will be a key part of Japan's plans for disposing of atomic waste and reducing the nation's plutonium stockpile.

Japan Court Rejects Demand To Evacuate Children

April 25, 2013 9:07 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

A Japanese court has rejected a demand that a city affected by the fallout of the country's 2011 nuclear disaster evacuate its children. The unusual lawsuit was filed on behalf of the children by their parents and anti-nuclear activists in June 2011. The Sendai High Court handed down its ruling Wednesday.

IAEA: Japan Nuke Cleanup May Take Over 40 Years

April 22, 2013 7:37 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. have predicted the cleanup would take up to 40 years. They still have to develop technology and equipment that can operate under fatally high radiation levels to locate and remove melted fuel. The reactors must be kept cool and the plant must stay safe and stable.

IAEA Reviewing Cleanup At Damaged Japan Nuke Plant

April 15, 2013 7:09 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency Monday began reviewing the decommissioning process at Japan's crippled nuclear plant, where new problems are triggering growing safety concerns about a cleanup expected to take decades. The experts will assess and analyze melted reactors, radiation levels and waste management at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant to make its decommissioning process safer and more stable.

Japan Experts Say New Nuclear Safety Plans Too Lax

April 8, 2013 1:42 pm | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The investigators told parliament on Monday that the recently formed Nuclear Regulation Authority is merely rubber-stamping TEPCO's work at the plant, which is still using makeshift equipment put together after the March 2011 disaster, caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan.

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Japan Moves To Revamp Troubled Power Industry

April 2, 2013 7:49 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The plan is meant to encourage more innovation and modernization of the power grid as the country grapples with its energy policy following the shut-downs of almost all its nuclear power plants after the March 2011 tsunami disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant.

Japanese Utility Takes Blame For Nuclear Crisis

March 29, 2013 9:59 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co. acknowledged in a report that it was not prepared to deal with the massive earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeastern Japan in March 2011. The twin disasters cut power at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, causing meltdowns at three reactors.

Japanese Regulators To Investigate Nuclear Crisis

March 27, 2013 8:35 am | News | Comments

Several groups have published findings of their own investigations into the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which was ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Previous investigations have largely blamed the disaster on botched crisis management, government-industry collusion and the tsunami.

Panel: No Cover-Up Attempt By Japan Nuke Plant

March 13, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

An independent panel says the operator of Japan's tsunami-crippled nuclear plant misinformed investigators and blocked inspection of key equipment last year, but that there was no cover-up attempt. The case involves a parliamentary probe of equipment at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant's Unit 1 reactor.

Nuclear Chief: U.S. Plants Safer After Japan Crisis

March 11, 2013 11:39 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

All but five of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors were performing at acceptable safety levels at the end of 2012, Macfarlane said, citing a recent NRC report. "You can't engage that many reactors and not have a few that are going to have difficulty," she said.

Japan Marks 2nd Anniversary Of Triple Disaster

March 11, 2013 7:57 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press | News | Comments

Memorial services are planned Monday in Tokyo and in barren towns along the battered northeastern coast to coincide the moment the magnitude-9.0 earthquake — the strongest recorded in Japan's history — struck, unleashing a massive tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 people.

Stress Emerges As Major Health Issue In Fukushima

March 8, 2013 8:13 am | by Malcolm Foster, Associated Press | News | Comments

Just as with Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, mental distress could be one of the biggest health issues to emerge from this disaster, experts say.  While attention has focused on the potential cancer risks, they remain unclear. What is clear is that the uncertainty and the upheaval it's caused in people's lives is already exacting a very real and pervasive psychological toll.

WHO: Small Cancer Risk After Fukushima Accident

February 28, 2013 8:20 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

People exposed to the highest doses of radiation during Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in 2011 may have a slightly higher risk of cancer but one so small it probably won't be detectable, the World Health Organization said in a report released Thursday.

Panel: Fault Under Japan Nuke Plant May Be Active

December 11, 2012 10:35 am | News | Comments

The five-member panel commissioned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority announced Monday that the structure underneath the Tsuruga plant showed signs of seismic movement around 100,000 years ago, recent enough to still be active. Japanese guidelines prohibit nuclear facilities above active faults.

Nuke Industry Plans Rescue Wagon For Disasters

December 10, 2012 9:01 am | by Ray Henry, Associated Press | News | Comments

If disaster strikes a nuclear power plant in the U.S., the utility industry wants the ability to fly in heavy-duty equipment that could avert a meltdown.That capability is part of a larger industry plan being developed to meet new rules that emerged since a 2011 tsunami struck a nuclear plant in Japan, flooding its emergency equipment and causing nuclear meltdowns.

Japan Utility Admits Shady Hiring At Nuke Plant

December 10, 2012 7:56 am | News | Comments

The head of the utility behind Japan's nuclear crisis has acknowledged that hundreds of workers at the contaminated Fukushima Dai-ichi plant were mobilized through a murky hiring system. Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose attributed the hiring problem to high worker turnover at the worksite.

AP: Japan Scientists Took Utility Money

December 6, 2012 1:15 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Some of these same scientists have consistently given optimistic assessments about the health risks of radiation, interviews with the scientists and government documents show. Their pivotal role in setting policy after the March 2011 tsunami and ensuing nuclear meltdowns meant the difference between schoolchildren playing outside or indoors and families staying or evacuating.

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