May 2011

News on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

“We are still investigating whether the monitoring post was working properly, there is a possibility that radiation leaked before the tsunami arrived.” Teruaki Kobayashi, head of TEPCO’s nuclear-plant-management section (source: Bloomberg).

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. May 10, 2011, at 12.32 (JST). Daisuke Tsuda, Flickr


  • Angry Parents in Japan Confront Government Over Radiation Levels
    The accusations flew on Wednesday at the local school board meeting, packed with parents worried and angry about radiation levels in this city at the heart of Japan’s nuclear crisis.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, May 25, 2011.

  • Company Believes 3 Reactors Melted Down in Japan
    In a belated acknowledgment of the severity of Japan’s nuclear disaster, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said Tuesday that three of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant’s reactors most likely suffered fuel meltdowns in the early days of the crisis.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, May 24, 2011.

  • TEPCO admits more meltdowns
    Owners of the nuclear plant at Fukushima crippled by the earthquake and tsunami admitted today that two more of the six reactor units at the facility probably underwent meltdowns soon after the disaster on 11 March.
    Andy Coghlan, New Scientist, May 24, 2011.

  • Smoke from Unit 3. May 23, 2011, at 14.00 JST (source: TEPCO)


  • Head of Japanese Utility Steps Down After Nuclear Crisis
    The president of Tokyo Electric Power resigned on Friday, shouldering responsibility for the crisis at the company’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as the utility booked a $15 billion annual loss, the largest by a nonfinancial company in Japanese history.
    Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times, May 20, 2011.

  • Japan’s Fukushima Reactor May Have Leaked Radiation Before Tsunami Struck
    A radiation alarm went off at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima nuclear power plant before the tsunami hit on March 11, suggesting that contrary to earlier assumptions the reactors were damaged by the earthquake that spawned the wall of water.
    Yuji Okada, Tsuyoshi Inajima and Shunichi Ozasa, Bloomberg, May 19, 2011.

  • Atmosphere Above Japan Heated Rapidly Before M9 Earthquake
    Infrared emissions above the epicenter increased dramatically in the days before the devastating earthquake in Japan, say scientists.
    Technology Review, May 18, 2011.

  • Theory for Fukushima Daiichi 4 explosion
    A theory has emerged to explain the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi unit 4, despite no nuclear fuel being damaged there, based on an influx of hydrogen via pipework shared with unit 3.
    World Nuclear News, May 17, 2011.



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