December 2011

News on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

  • Case dropped against antinuke actor Yamamoto
    Citing insufficient evidence, prosecutors have dropped their case against actor Taro Yamamoto and other antinuclear protesters accused of trespassing and interfering with the duties of the Saga Prefectural Government when they delivered a petition against Genkai reactor restarts in July.
    The Japan Times, Dec 30, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 27th –December 29th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 30, 2011.

  • Japanese Utilities Look to Broaden Support for Nuclear Power
    With a bit of prodding from the central government, Japan’s electric utilities have begun to reach out to communities that could be in jeopardy should there be another major accident involving a nuclear power plant. The initiative goes beyond the towns that actually host such facilities to include those further afield that could still be affected by radiation released in a serious accident.
    Mari Iwata, The Wall Street Journal, Dec 29, 2011.

  • Design of Fukushima venting pipes prompted explosion
    The structure of venting pipes may have led to the hydrogen explosions that rocked the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant during the early phases of the accident, a nuclear expert said.
    Tatsuyuki Kobori, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 28, 2011.

  • Without SPEEDI, residents fled in direction of radiation
    Kazushige Takahashi was not worried about radiation when the central and local governments started issuing evacuation orders after the March 11 tsunami knocked out power at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. But his concerns were heightened after he learned that those evacuation orders had put him and his family in the direction in which radioactive materials were spewing from the plant.
    Naoki Ogawa, Takayuki Kihara and Kosuke So, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 27, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 23rd –December 26th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 27, 2011.

  • Fukushima nuclear disaster firm asks for extra £6bn to compensate victims
    Tokyo Electric Power Co fears de facto nationalisation as costs mount.
    The Guardian, Dec 27, 2011.

  • NEC offers radiation measurement device
    NEC Corp. has released a radiation measurement device that can be installed at public sites–including schools, hospitals and convenience stores–to provide updated data at any time on the Internet.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 26, 2011.

  • Fukushima investigation reveals failings
    Japanese government delayed giving information to the public, according to interim report into the disaster.
    The Guardian, Dec 26, 2011.

  • Long road back for Fukushima city hit by twin disasters
    Minamisoma, a sprawling rural city in Fukushima, was hit by the 11 March tsunami. Parts of the city also lie within the exclusion zone around the crippled nuclear plant. The BBC’s Roland Buerk met residents who have stayed to rebuild.
    Roland Buerk, BBC News, Dec 25, 2011.

  • TEPCO to raise electricity rates by 20% for corporate users
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. will raise electricity rates by about 20 percent for corporate customers starting next April, company President Toshio Nishizawa said Thursday.
    The Daily Yomiuri, Dec 23, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 20th –December 22nd, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 23, 2011.

  • Fukushima Refugees Trapped By Uncertainty
    For months, the 21,000 residents of Namie have lived in trailers and shelters across Japan. By abandoning their homes, they unwittingly fled directly into the path of Fukushima’s radiation cloud. As worried and angry as they may be, most just want to return home.
    Cordula Meyer, Spiegel International, Dec 22, 2011.

  • Town assembly votes to call for shutdown of all reactors in Fukushima Pref.
    The assembly of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture — a town where all residents have been evacuated along with the municipal government in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster — voted on Dec. 21 to demand the closure of all 10 reactors in the prefecture.
    The Mainichi Daily News, Dec 22, 2011.

  • Radioactive water floods tunnel at Fukushima plant
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Dec. 19 released a photo showing about 230 tons of radioactive water that had accumulated in an underground tunnel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 20, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 16th –December 19th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 20, 2011.

  • TEPCO officials unaware of cooling system shutdown
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials mistakenly believed that an emergency core cooling system at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was still functioning after the March 11 tsunami, which possibly led to an early meltdown at the No. 1 reactor.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 19, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 13th –December 15th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 16, 2011.

  • ‘Absolutely no progress being made’ at Fukushima nuke plant, undercover reporter says
    Conditions at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are far worse than its operator or the government has admitted, according to freelance journalist Tomohiko Suzuki, who spent more than a month working undercover at the power station. A book by Tomohiko Suzuki detailing many of his experiences at the plant and connections between yakuza crime syndicates and the nuclear industry, titled “Yakuza to genpatsu” (the yakuza and nuclear power), was published by Bungei Shunju on Dec. 15.
    Robert Irvine, The Mainichi Daily News, Dec 16, 2011.

  • Japan’s Prime Minister Declares Fukushima Plant Stable
    Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of Japan said that technicians have regained control of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But some experts say the cold shutdown means less than usual because the nuclear fuel at three of the plant’s reactors has melted and some of it has apparently escaped the reactor vessels.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, Dec 16, 2011.

  • Noda declares cold shutdown of reactors
    Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been successfully brought to a state of cold shutdown.
    NHK World, Dec 16, 2011.

  • Critical mass
    Even Japan’s political leaders struggle to get answers regarding the Fukushima disaster. It is just the latest example of the government’s lack of independent scientific advice.
    Nature, Dec 14, 2011.

  • Japan May Declare Control of Reactors, Over Serious Doubts
    Nine months after the devastating earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing a meltdown at three units, the Tokyo government is expected to declare soon that it has finally regained control of the plant’s overheating reactors.
    Martin Fackler, The New York Times, Dec 14, 2011.

  • Man continues to live alone in Fukushima no-entry zone despite criticism
    A man is continuing to live at his home inside the 20-kilometer no-entry zone set up around the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
    The Mainichi Daily News, Dec 14, 2011.

  • High radioactive cesium levels found at Tokyo school
    Radioactive cesium more than 10 times the standard for waste disposal has been detected on lawn covers that had been placed in a schoolyard from mid-March until early April at Horinouchi Elementary School in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward.
    Tonoko Saito, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 14, 2011.

  • Shiga battling red tape in preparing for nuclear disaster
    Shiga Prefecture, despite its proximity to the nation’s largest concentration of nuclear reactors, has been denied access by the science ministry to a key computer simulation program that would allow it to prepare better for nuclear disaster.
    Tatsuya Chikusa, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 13, 2011.

  • Asahi poll: 57% of Japanese say no to nuclear power
    Fifty-seven percent of voters are opposed to nuclear power generation, while 30 percent are in favor, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 13, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 9th –December 12th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 13, 2011.

  • Petition for nuke referendums to start in Tokyo, Osaka
    A citizens group will circulate a petition beginning Dec. 10 for local referendums on nuclear power generation, with the goal of obtaining 300,000 signatures in Tokyo and 60,000 in Osaka.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 9, 2011.

  • Half of Fukushima examinees exposed to radiation above annual limit
    Hundreds of residents in Fukushima Prefecture checked for radiation exposure after the nuclear accident there had levels exceeding what the government says is the safe annual limit.
    Yoshinori Hayashi and Yuri Oiwa, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 9, 2011.

  • First Japanese in space becomes Fukushima evacuee
    Japan’s first man in space is now roaming the Earth as an evacuee, having lost everything, after abandoning his farm in Fukushima Prefecture because of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
    Atsushi Takahashi, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 7, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 2nd – December 5th, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 6, 2011.

  • Fukushima plant leaks radioactive water
    Radioactive water might have found its way into the Pacific ocean and experts believe it could contain strontium.
    Justin McCurry, The Guardian, Dec 5, 2011.

  • Local bank to stop buying electricity from TEPCO
    Johnan Shinkin Bank is doing its best to lessen the nation’s reliance on nuclear energy. As of January, it will stop buying electricity from Tokyo Electric Power Co. for most of its branches.
    Takashi Kamiguri, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 3, 2011.

  • Cesium-137 deposits 50 times more than previous record
    Nearly 30,000 becquerels per square meter of cesium-137 fell on Tsukuba in March as a result of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government’s Meteorological Research Institute said Dec. 1.
    Yumi Nakayama, Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 2, 2011.

  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for November 19th – December 1st, 2011
    The Greenpeace news from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
    Christine McCann, Greenpeace, Dec 2, 2011.

  • Xenon 400,000 times normal found in Chiba air immediately after Fukushima nuke accident
    Radioactive xenon-133 some 400,000 times normal levels was detected in the atmosphere here immediately after the outbreak of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, The Japan Chemical Analysis Center said.
    The Mainichi Daily News, Dec 2, 2011.

  • TEPCO: Melted fuel eroded containment vessel floor at Fukushima reactor
    Most of the fuel rods that melted in the pressure vessel of the No. 1 reactor of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant dripped into the containment vessel and ate into it, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
    Asahi Japan Watch, Dec 1, 2011.



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