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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps the most significant legacy of the earthquake will arise from what happened at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was situated in the direct path of the tsunami. The fact that the emergency generators were in a vulnerable position where floodwaters could stop them is only one of a number of design flaws that contributed to the magnitude of the disaster.
Japan's Cabinet stopped short of committing to phase out nuclear power by 2040, backtracking from an advisory panel's recommendations in the face of opposition from pro-nuclear businesses and groups. While not endorsing the energy policy document calling for the phase-out released last week, the Cabinet ministers did vaguely agree to pursue its goals.
Toyota's quarterly sales soared nearly 60 percent to $70.5 billion, showing how strongly the company has recovered from last year's earthquake.
GM's sales fell 6 percent from a year earlier, while Ford's slipped 4 percent, while Toyota is enjoying a 26-percent jump over last year's earthquake recovery.
Mazda sold 300,000 vehicles for the quarter, up 6.5 percent, which helped reduce its losses by $240 million compared to a year earlier.
Toyota bounced back from safety recalls and natural disasters, selling 4.97 million vehicles globally in the first half of the year to retake its crown as the world's top automaker from General Motors
The operator of the plant devastated by a tsunami has issued a final report, outlining organizational and communication problems that have not yet been resolved.
Japan's government approved bringing the country's first nuclear reactors back online since last year's earthquake and tsunami led to a nationwide shutdown.
Thousands of people are flocking to see a Japanese dock that was torn loose by last year's tsunami, but it could threaten the integrity of the beach.
Panel said the ex-prime minister and his aides caused confusion at the height of the crisis by heavily interfering in the damaged plant's operation.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda suggested if the country doesn't return to nuclear power, the Japanese livelihood and economic stability would be threatened.
Japanese media say a Harley-Davidson motorcycle lost in last year's tsunami has washed up on a Canadian island about 4,000 miles away.
The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant says an endoscopic examination detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose.
The No. 6 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex was taken off line for maintenance, while the timetable for restarts remains unclear.
Orders require nuclear plants to install or improve venting systems to limit core damage in a serious accident.
Toyota Europe has recovered from the impact of Japan's tsunami and earthquake and expects to increase both its sales and share of a shrinking European market.