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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Toshiba Unveils Four-Legged Robot For Nuke Disaster

November 21, 2012 8:20 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Toshiba Corp. unveiled a robot Wednesday that the company says can withstand high radiation and help in nuclear disasters. But it remains unclear what exactly the new machine will be capable of doing if and when it gets the go-ahead to enter Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Japan Utility Wants More Funds For Nuclear Crisis

November 7, 2012 11:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The Japanese operator of the nuclear power plant devastated in last year's disasters is seeking more government financial support, saying the cost of the cleanup could be double the $62.5 billion allocated so far. Tokyo Electric Power Co. made the appeal in a management "action plan" it presented Wednesday.

Japan Nuclear Safety Team Took Utility Money

November 3, 2012 6:50 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Members of a Japanese government team assigned to set reactor safety measures received funding from utility companies or atomic industry manufacturers, raising questions about the experts' neutrality in the wake of last year's tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster.

Japan Nuclear Plant Checked For Fault Line

November 2, 2012 8:51 am | News | Comments

Japanese nuclear regulators inspected ground structures at the country's only operating nuclear plant to examine if an existing fault line is active. The inspection Friday determines whether the Ohi plant in western Japan should close. Its No. 3 and No. 4 reactors went back online in July, becoming Japan's only operating reactors.

Worker: Japan Nuke Crisis Crew Not Told Of Danger

November 1, 2012 7:54 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The operator of a Japanese nuclear plant that went into a tsunami-triggered meltdown knew the risks from highly radioactive water at the site but sent in crews without adequate protection or warnings, a worker said in a legal complaint. The actions by Tokyo Electric Power Co. led to radiation injuries, said the contract worker.

Japan's Rebuilding Money Spent On Unrelated Jobs

October 30, 2012 8:55 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

About a quarter of the $148 billion budget for reconstruction after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster has been spent on unrelated projects, including subsidies for a contact lens factory and research whaling, a Japanese government accounting shows.

Japan Utility: Nuclear Crisis Was Avoidable

October 12, 2012 8:11 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The utility behind Japan's nuclear disaster acknowledged for the first time Friday that it could have avoided the crisis. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said in a statement that it had known safety improvements were needed before last year's tsunami triggered three meltdowns, but it had feared the political, economic and legal consequences of implementing them.

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