Japan's government-related trade promotion organization says it will step up efforts to support exports of agricultural and fishery products. Farm exports have been hard hit by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March.
Despite the government's announcement that cold shutdown has been achieved, prospects for decommissioning the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant remain unclear as it continues to be difficult to approach them due to high radiation levels.
Former nuclear industry insider speaks out on lessons and disillusionment
FUKUSHIMA -- The Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that triggered an unprecedented nuclear crisis forced a former nuclear energy advocate from his home due to its proximity to the stricken nuclear power plant, leaving him disillusioned with an industry he had so willingly believed in.
Osaka Gas to Boost Power Supply Capacity by 1 M. kw
Osaka, Dec.18 (Jiji Press)--Osaka Gas Co. <9532> plans to boost its electricity supply capacity by one million kilowatts by fiscal 2020 from the current 1.8 million kilowatts, President Hiroshi Ozaki said in a recent interview.
Osaka, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--Effective Monday, customers of Kansai Electric Co. <9503> will be asked to cut electricity use by at least 10 pct compared with last winter to help avert a blackout in western Japan following nuclear reactor suspensions.
Japan to Reorganize Fukushima Evacuation Areas in March
Fukushima, Dec. 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will reorganize the no-entry and evacuation advisory areas around the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into three areas based on radiation levels by the end of March, industry minister Yukio Edano said Sunday.
The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to oblige electric power companies to hold open bidding and compete with independent power producers (IPPs) when they plan to build new thermal power plants or add generators to existing plants, according to government sources.
High school in Minami-Soma to close due to N-crisis
FUKUSHIMA--Shoei High School in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, has told the prefectural government it will be closed for an extended period, making it the first school to formally announce it will close due to the nuclear crisis, sources have said.
Hundreds of trillions of becquerels of radioactive strontium leaked into sea
At least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium have leaked to the Pacific Ocean since the March disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, making it one of the world's most severe such cases of marine pollution, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun.
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.
Gov't to tighten laws for nuclear plant operations
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government is set to tighten laws and regulations related to nuclear power plants, obliging operators of existing reactors to comply with the latest safety requirements and newly designating a maximum period for the use of reactors, government sources said Sunday.
Gov't to reclassify Fukushima no-entry zones possibly in April
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government told municipalities around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Sunday that it plans to reclassify no-entry zones, possibly on April 1, according to estimated annual radiation exposure, government officials said.
Kansai Electric areas begin 10% cut target for winter power-saving
OSAKA (Kyodo) -- A three-month electricity saving campaign began Monday in the service areas of Kansai Electric Power Co. to cut usage by at least 10 percent from a year earlier to cope with projected power supply shortages caused by the idling of nuclear power plants amid the nation's ongoing nuclear crisis.
Panel probing Fukushima accident to continue assessing quake impact
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel investigating the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant will not provide in its interim report any in-depth analysis on how far the March 11 earthquake affected the plant's key facilities before they were hit by tsunami waves, sources close to the matter said Monday.
Yokohama group, Kumamoto drummer victorious in Taiko competition
KUMAGAYA, Saitama -- The avant-garde drumming group Dako-on from Yokohama and Taishi Takami, a 26-year-old player of huge taiko drums from Kumamoto Prefecture, won a national taiko competition here on Dec. 18.
Radioactive Contamination Makes 45 Pct of Japan Wives Choosy
Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--A recent survey has found that 45 pct of wives in the Tokyo area have products they hesitate to buy due to concerns about radioactive contamination after the crisis at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.
Osaka, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--Kansai Electric Power Co. <9503> on Monday launched a campaign asking customers to cut back their electricity use this winter by at least 10 pct year on year to avert power shortages.
Cold Shutdown Not Safety Declaration: Japan N-Safety Chief
Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's nuclear safety chief denied the view Monday that restoring stability of nuclear reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 power plant assures the safety of the crippled plant in northeastern Japan.
To Respect Japan's Judgment on Fukushima N-Plant Conditions: IAEA Chief
Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)--International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano said Monday the IAEA respects the Japanese government's determination that reactors of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> stricken Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant have been brought into stable conditions.
BIZ BRIEF: MHI ships 1st new gas turbine to Himeji power station
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Dec. 20 it has shipped the first commercial-use unit of the M501J gas turbine from its Takasago Machinery Works in Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture, to the Himeji No. 2 Power Station of Kansai Electric Power Co. in Himeji in the same prefecture.
Decision to deny school admission to Iranian ruled 'unconstitutional'
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Tokyo District Court ruled Monday against a Tokyo university's decision to deny admission to an Iranian man who wanted to study at its nuclear laboratory, determining the decision based on nationality and national security reasons violates the Japanese Constitution's guarantee of equality under the law.
Japan hoping to enhance robot technology in wake of nuclear disaster
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said Monday he hopes Japan will develop top-class robot technology that could be applied to scrapping the crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, after facing criticism that Japanese robots did not prove useful in dealing with the nuclear crisis at the plant.
Fukushima to ask SDF on Tues. to end relief ops after cold shutdown
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- The Fukushima prefectural government said Monday it will ask the Self-Defense Forces on Tuesday to end their disaster relief activities in the prefecture and withdraw troops, following the central government's announcement last week that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been stabilized.
Governor admits responsibility over manipulation of nuclear debate
SAGA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa admitted Monday for the first time to his responsibility in the manipulation of public debate on a planned plutonium-thermal power generation project at the Genkai nuclear power plant during a forum in 2005.
Report that puts nuclear power cost well above 2004 estimate endorsed
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel on Monday endorsed a report that recalculated the power generation costs of various energy sources in the wake of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, with the cost of nuclear power generation estimated well above the previous projection in 2004.
New nuclear safety agency to have 500 staff: Hosono
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's new nuclear safety agency to be launched in April under the Environment Ministry will consist of about 500 staff members and is expected to secure some 50 billion yen in the fiscal 2012 budget, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Tuesday.
Cutting Japan's dependency on nuclear power 'basic direction': gov't panel
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel tasked with compiling a basic framework for Japan's new energy policy said Tuesday it will continue its discussions with the view that reducing Japan's dependence on nuclear power is the "basic direction" to pursue.
Fukushima asks defense force to end relief ops after cold shutdown
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Fukushima prefectural government on Tuesday asked the Self-Defense Forces to end their relief activities in the prefecture and withdraw their troops, following the central government's announcement last week that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been stabilized.
Actor Yamamoto cries foul over nuclear power, raps trespassing complaint
Despite a dwindling income due to his antinuclear activities, actor Taro Yamamoto remains defiant against unrelenting pressure from the "nuclear village" establishment in Japan and is determined to protect children and others from nuclear radiation caused by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
Japan's New Nuclear Safety Agency to Have 500 Staff
Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--A new nuclear safety agency to be set up in April will have 500 workers, about 100 more than those at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency it will replace, nuclear disaster management minister Goshi Hosono said Tuesday.
U.S. Nuke Regulator Offers Continued Support for Japan
Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--Visiting U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko offered Tuesday to provide continued support for Japan in resolving the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co. 's <9501> stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Japan to Set 100 Becquerels for Radioation Limit on Food
Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan's health ministry plans to set a limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram for radioactive cesium included in such food as rice, meat, fish and vegetables, officials said Tuesday.
Google to Invest in Solar Power Project of Sharp Unit
New York, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Internet search giant Google Inc. said Tuesday it will invest in a California solar photovoltaic power project undertaken by a U.S. unit of major Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. <6753>.
Comments regarding the article of Yomiuri Newspaper (December 21) "TEPCO in a de facto Nationalization - TEPCO reviews to receive financial support of 2 trillion yen from public and private financial institutions."
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Japan's largest oil supplier, may sell electricity to embattled Tokyo Electric Power Co. while discussing possible purchases of the utility's power plants, the JX president said.
Next road map: 30-40 years to scrap Fukushima plant
Decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will take three or four decades, Japan's government said on Dec. 21 as it unveiled plans for the next phase of a huge and costly cleanup of the wrecked nuclear plant.
Ministry seeking lower radiation levels for infants
Concerned about children and their exposure to radiation, the health ministry is considering significantly lowering the safety standard levels for infant food and milk to half the level for food, while setting the benchmark for drinking water in line with the World Health Organization.
Steps to put residents' lives back in order should be core of Fukushima restoration
Measures to put the lives of disaster victims back in order should be the core of efforts to restore Fukushima Prefecture, hit hard by the triple disasters of the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis.
Fire burns ceiling of Tokai village nuclear reactor building
MITO, Japan (Kyodo) -- A fire partially burned the ceiling of a building housing a nuclear reactor at the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Tuesday, the prefectural government and the reactor's operator said.
Piles of tainted tree bark, woodchips left at Fukushima lumbermills
SENDAI (Kyodo) -- At least 16,000 tons of radiation-contaminated tree bark and woodchips are piled up at lumbermills in Fukushima Prefecture, left unattended in storage in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis at a Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant, a local industry group said Wednesday.
Governors urge central gov't to address nuclear crisis more promptly
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The National Governors' Association urged the central government Tuesday to tackle problems and concerns caused by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant more promptly as burdens on evacuees are compounding with time.
Gov't proposal calls for lower radioactive limit for ordinary food
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A health ministry proposal for new limits on radioactive cesium found in food calls for a ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilogram for regular food items, one-fifth the current 500-becquerel limit, government sources said Tuesday.
Gov't, TEPCO set 40-yr work plan for scrapping Fukushima reactors
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday they would seek to finish scrapping the four crippled nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in the next 30 to 40 years in a newly unveiled work schedule describing measures to be taken following the plant's stabilization.
Town hosting Fukushima nuke reactors to keep getting power station subsidies
The government intends to continue providing power station-hosting subsidies to the town where the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant's shattered reactors are located, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano has stated.
U.S. nuclear chief says Fukushima plant stable but major task remains
Visiting U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said Dec. 20 that there was no longer enough energy in the reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant to produce an offsite release of radiation, but pointed out that a large cleanup task remained.
Fukushima local decontamination costs bust estimates
FUKUSHIMA -- The prefectural government here has said that radioactive decontamination operations now under way in three municipalities will cost an average of about 1.3 million yen per household, far over the funds allotted.
Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering putting Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> under effective state control by using one to 1.5 trillion yen in public funds, informed sources said Wednesday.
IAEA to Help Japan Decommission Fukushima Reactors
Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--The International Atomic Energy Agency is ready to help Japan decommission reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, visiting IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said Wednesday.
Japan to Start Work to Remove Melted Fuel Rods in 10 Yrs
Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--A panel created by the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> adopted Wednesday a three-stage roadmap to decommission four damaged reactors of TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 30 to 40 years.
Japan Govt to Underwrite Reactor Decommissioning Costs: Minister
Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will be responsible for securing the funds needed to decommission four damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, Goshi Hosono, minister in charge of nuclear disaster management, said Wednesday.
Local mayors discontent with plan to reclassify no-entry zones
FUKUSHIMA--Municipal leaders in areas affected by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have expressed dissatisfaction with the government's plan to reclassify no-entry and expanded evacuation zones into three categories based on annual radiation exposure.
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. decided Wednesday on a 30- to 40-year road map for decommissioning the Nos. 1 to 4 reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, government officials said.
Govt likely to take over TEPCO / Liability fund would hold stock majority
The government will likely bring Tokyo Electric Power Co. under state control as part of a 2 trillion yen plan that involves using the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund to obtain more than two-thirds of the utility's stock, according to an informed source.
Contaminated water containers completed at nuke plant
A facility was completed Dec. 21 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for storing radioactive waste containing cesium that had been discharged in the treatment of contaminated water.
A facility for storing containers holding cesium at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in early December. Kurion Inc.'s containers have been put in concrete boxes, and SARRY containers are stored on the right in the photograph. The blue containers are unused. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.) http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311dis...AJ201112220059
Obstacles loom for TEPCO 'nationalization' plan
A government plan to bring Tokyo Electric Power Co. under state control to secure decommissioning costs for the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant faces opposition from the utility among many other hurdles.
Long road remains for decommissioning of Fukushima plant
With the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant as a guide, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Dec. 21 released a road map for decommissioning the stricken No. 1 through No. 4 reactors at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that will take decades.
KAMAISHI (Kyodo) -- A civil organization has begun training as therapy dogs four stray dogs found in areas of Fukushima Prefecture affected by the March earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis.
Panel to compile post-nuclear crisis energy policy 'from scratch'
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel said Wednesday that it will seek to compile Japan's new energy policy "starting over from scratch," after the country's plan to boost the use of atomic power was called into question due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Gov't eyes reviewing Japan's pledge to cut emissions by 25% by 2020
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan plan to reconsider Japan's pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
Genkai plant's No. 1 unit found to contain high amount of impurity
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- The reactor vessel of the aging No. 1 unit at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture was found to contain a high amount of copper, an impure substance, compared with other reactors operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co., officials of the utility said Wednesday.
Aomori municipalities call on gov't to maintain nuclear fuel recycling
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Leaders of municipalities in Aomori Prefecture, where several nuclear power-related facilities are located, urged the central government on Wednesday to maintain its nuclear power policies, including those on nuclear fuel recycling.
Fukushima gov. calls for compensation for all affected residents
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato on Thursday urged the central government to make all residents of his prefecture affected by the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power complex eligible for compensation.
TEPCO to raise electricity bills for firms, eyes hikes for households
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday it will raise electricity charges for corporate users from next April and will swiftly seek government approval for household electricity bill hikes to cope with growing fuel costs stemming from boosting thermal power generation in the wake of the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Academic critical of gov't response to nuclear crisis lauded by journal Nature
University of Tokyo professor Tatsuhiko Kodama, who blasted the government over its response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis, has been selected by British science journal Nature as one of 10 important people this year.
Town assembly votes to call for shutdown of all reactors in Fukushima Pref.
NIHONMATSU, Fukushima -- 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.
TEPCO builds temporary storage facility for highly radioactive nuclear waste
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said on Dec. 21 that it has completed the construction of a temporary storage facility for highly radioactive nuclear waste produced in the process of purifying contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
TEPCO omits total cost of decommissioning nuclear reactors from work schedule
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, did not specify the cost of decommissioning the plant's reactors in its work schedule announced Dec. 21 -- apparently to obscure the possibility of the utility becoming insolvent and no longer viable as a company.
Gov't to cut R&D spending on nuclear fuel cycle program based on fast-breeder reactor
The government has decided to slash spending for research and development on the country's nuclear fuel cycle program based on a fast-breeder reactor (FBR) by 25 percent for fiscal 2012 -- a move that will effectively freeze its long-term plan to put the ambitious project to commercial use.
INTERVIEW: Sumitomo Turning toward Thermal Power Fuels
Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Japanese trader Sumitomo Corp. <8053> is turning to coal, crude oil and liquefied natural gas to meet rising demand for thermal power fuels, company President Susumu Kato said in a recent interview.
Toshiba, IHI Develop Mobile Radioactive Water Cleaner
Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Toshiba Corp. <6502> and IHI Corp. <7013> said Thursday they have jointly developed a mobile system to clean radiation contaminated water in places such as irrigation reservoirs and swimming pools.
TEPCO to Launch Full-Scale Power Rate Hike for Businesses
Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> said Thursday it will carry out a full-scale power rate hike for business users in April 2012, the first such move in 32 years.
The margin of the increase is expected to be set at around 20 pct, officials said.
Chubu Electric Owns Some Radioactive Materials without Permission
Nagoya, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Chubu Electric Power Co. <9502> said Thursday that a small amount of radioactive materials has been kept at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant in central Japan without government permission.
Institute to Monitor Radiation Levels in Fukushima Using City Bus
Fukushima, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute and Fukushima Transportation Inc. will conduct a joint experiment using a bus to measure radiation levels in cities in Fukushima Prefecture, the institute said Thursday.
Experts Approve Japan's New Radioactive Cesium Limits
Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese panel of drug and food sanitation experts gave its broad approval Thursday to a health ministry proposal for new limits for radioactive cesium in food.
The ministry will seek public opinion and consult a panel of radiation experts as early as next month before introducing the new standards in April.
Fukushima N-Reactor Cooling System Stopped Manually Before Explosion
Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--A cooling system for the No. 3 reactor of the crippled nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> was switched off manually, leading to the reactor's explosion three days after the plant was hit by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, TEPCO said Thursday.
Panel slams govt's shoddy info-sharing / Interim report to rip response to N-disaster
Lack of communication within the Prime Minister's Office and its delays in releasing key information caused serious confusion in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, a government panel investigating the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will assert in an interim report to be released Monday, sources have said.
Ministry eyes stricter limits for cesium levels in food
The health ministry has compiled a plan to revise the current provisional limits for radioactive cesium in food, setting stricter standards that would require drinking water to contain no more than 10 becquerels per kilogram--or one-twentieth of the current limit--according to officials.
Fukushima plant operators 'prepared to die' after quake
Central control room operators at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant showed a wide range of emotions in the early chaotic moments of the disaster. Some expressed disbelief at what was happening. Others believed their utter helplessness would drive them insane.
6 utilities in western Japan to tie up to expand wind-power generation
KANAZAWA (Kyodo) -- Six electric power firms in western and southwestern Japan said Thursday they have agreed to tie up to expand wind-power generation by using their existing power lines to accommodate each other with power output.
Toshiba, IHI develop mobile radiation-tainted water treatment system
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) -- Toshiba Corp. and IHI Corp. said Thursday they have developed a mobile system for the treatment of water contaminated with radiation outside of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Kyushu Electric not to submit additional report on e-mail scandal
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Thursday turned down the industry minister's implicit demand for a new report on a scandal involving its e-mail campaign to steer public opinion on nuclear reactors.
Panel sees gov't evacuation order in nuclear crisis as irrational
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel investigating the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is expected to point out in its upcoming report that the government's evacuation order issued shortly after the accident was irrational, sources close to the matter said Thursday.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The health ministry proposed Thursday new limits on radioactive cesium found in food and a task force under its food sanitation council approved the proposed stricter ceilings at a meeting.
Fukushima nuke plant worker stopped coolant injection over damage fears
A worker at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear station manually stopped a coolant injection system in the plant's No. 3 reactor following the disaster for fear that the reactor would be damaged and lead to a radiation leak, its operator said.
Tokyo, Dec. 23 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> plans to ask its bailout fund for 600 billion yen in additional financial assistance to prepare for an increase in compensation payments related to its nuclear crisis, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s plan to raise electricity charges in April will inevitably draw criticism from the public and accelerate debate on further liberalization of the electric power business to encourage competition among power producers.
TEPCO seeks extra 600 bil. yen for damages / Utility seen facing even bigger burden
Tokyo Electric Power Co. will ask the government next week for about 600 billion yen in additional assistance to pay compensation for damage caused by its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it has been learned.
Lanterns lit up by candles or LED lights illuminate a sidewalk in the Marunouchi district of Tokyo on Thursday. The lanterns are decorated with pictures and messages from celebrities, including Shigeo Nagashima, lifetime honorary manager of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, and primary school students from quake-hit areas in the Tohoku region. The year-end event "Lightopia" will be held through Dec. 29.
TEPCO will seek more disaster funds from government
Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to seek about 600 billion yen ($7.7 billion) in additional aid for disaster compensation from a government fund following a review of evacuation zones, which will likely increase the number of evacuees and compensation required.
Experts weigh in on the controversial Monju fast-breeder reactor project
The fate of the prototype Monju fast-breeder reactor, once said to be a "dream" nuclear reactor for resource-poor Japan, is now under heated debate. The government's waste-cutting panel has recommended a "fundamental review" of the project, and nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono has stated that decommissioning the reactor is an option that should be considered. The Mainichi asked several experts to explain the reactors and the controversy surrounding them.
AEC chairman warned people within 170 km of Fukushima plant might need to relocate
The head of the government's nuclear energy panel warned in March that all residents in areas within a 170-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant might need to be relocated in a worst-case scenario, sources close to the government have disclosed.
Tokyo, Dec. 24 (Jiji Press)--Following the accident at the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station in northeastern Japan, nuclear-related spending was drastically cut in the government's fiscal 2012 budget proposal adopted Saturday.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's new limits on radioactive cesium in food items are far more stringent than international standards, alarming local governments in charge of checking for radioactive contamination.
Although the new limits for radioactive cesium in food, which were presented to a meeting of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council on Thursday, are much stricter than the existing provisional ones, they also appear to take the concerns of farmers into account.
Ministry budget up 5-fold / Environmental body allocated billions for disaster cleanup
The Cabinet has approved a budget of more than 1 trillion yen for the Environment Ministry in fiscal 2012, a fivefold increase from the previous year, to cover reconstruction from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
A survey by the municipal government of Kawauchimura, Fukushima Prefecture, part of which was designated an emergency evacuation preparation zone, has found that most residents do not intend to let their children return there for school.
The majority of respondents--59 percent--to an annual government survey said they had become more conscious about saving electricity since the Great East Japan Earthquake, according to the Cabinet Office.
High concentrations of potassium fertilizers in soil tend to reduce the absorption of radioactive cesium in rice plants, according to a study that will be used in discussions on rice-planting standards for next fiscal year.
Panel blasts TEPCO, nuclear regulator for nuke accident
Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a nuclear regulator failed to handle the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant because they did not plan for a disaster like the one that occurred on March 11, according to a government investigation panel's interim report on Dec. 26.
Death on a December morning: Friends wonder if disaster refugee could have been saved
SHIRAKAWA, Fukushima -- On the cold morning of Dec. 11, exactly nine months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a 67-year-old man in the bathroom at his temporary unit here died of what was probably a heart attack. A native of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, he had lost his wife to the tsunami and his home to the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and he was alone when his life ended. The vexed question those around him are asking now is: Could he have been saved?
Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute (KURRI), is someone who has made one of the strongest impressions on me among the experts I've spoken to about the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster.
TEPCO seeks postponement of repaying 2 tril. yen in loans
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a state-backed entity providing financial assistance to the utility have asked major lenders to postpone the repayment deadline of around 2 trillion yen in emergency loans extended immediately after the nuclear crisis began at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, sources close to the matter said Sunday.
Ministry sets guideline to reuse contaminated waste
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Environment Ministry presented a guideline Sunday to reuse radioactively contaminated disaster waste generated in nuclear crisis--hit Fukushima Prefecture as construction materials within the prefecture.
Kyushu Electric asks firms, households to cut power use by over 5%
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Kyushu Electric Power Co. began Monday asking both corporate and household customers to cut their maximum power usage by more than 5 percent through Feb. 3, due to halts to the operations of all six of its nuclear reactors.
3 pilot plants to try decontaminating debris in Fukushima
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Three decontamination pilot plants will begin operations as early as January in Fukushima Prefecture to seek efficient ways to reduce the amount of radiation there in debris and soil, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
SHIROISHI, Miyagi -- Radiation fears stemming from the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and radiation monitoring activities are raising concern among people handling trees to grow mushrooms and make charcoal.
Institute to gauge radiation effects on ecosystem by analyzing swallows' nests
A research institute has begun collecting swallows' nests from around the country that were built this year to investigate the effects of radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear disaster on birds.
No direct link between soil radiation and contaminated rice: survey
FUKUSHIMA -- High radiation doses in rice produced here are not necessarily linked to soil radiation levels, and could be linked to a lack of potassium and insufficient cultivation of rice paddies, a joint governmental survey has revealed.
Fukushima accident shows need to prepare for the unexpected: panel
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A government panel investigating the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant said Monday the accident shows the need to prepare for unexpected events if the consequences of them happening could be disastrous, referring to the poor emergency responses by the plant operator and the government.
Chugoku Electric, Local Govts Sign Nuclear Safety Accord
Tottori, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Chugoku Electric Power Co. <9504> signed a safety accord with the prefectural government of Tottori and the city governments of Yonago and Sakaiminato on its nuclear power station near the western Japan prefecture.
Fukuoka, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> halted operations at the No. 4 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power station Sunday night for routine maintenance, bringing all nuclear reactors in its service area offline.
Fukushima Town Forms Legal Team over Nuke Compensation
Fukushima, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--A town government that hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant formed a group of lawyers in order to help residents receive compensation from the plant operator, officials said Monday.
Fukuoka, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> said Monday it will suspend operations at the No. 2 generator of its Ainoura thermal power plant in Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, due to a steam-related problem.
Japan Food Companies Remain Eager for Exports: Survey
Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Despite obstacles such as the yen's historic rise and the nuclear crisis following the March 11 disaster, Japanese food companies remain eager to export their products, a recent survey has revealed.
TEPCO Lacked Ability to Handle Nuke Accident: Panel
Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> was not sufficiently prepared for a tsunami on March 11 and there were problems in its ability to handle the accident at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, an independent panel said Monday.
Miyagi Municipalities to Seek 200 M. Yen from TEPCO
Sendai, Miyagi Pref., Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Thirty-three municipalities in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, said Monday they will seek 203.52-million-yen compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> for damage they suffered from the nuclear crisis at the firm's Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
(Update) Kyushu Electric Halts Thermal Generator, May Face Supply Shortage
Fukuoka, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> on Monday halted operations at the No. 2 unit of its Ainoura thermal power plant in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, for inspection following a leak of steam from a boiler.
Japan to Lift Ban on Entry into Areas near TEPCO N-Plant
Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Monday decided to lift a ban on entry into the 20-kilometer no-go zone around Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in April 2012 at the earliest.
N-Crisis Report Highlights Unpreparedness to Huge Disasters
Tokyo, Dec. 26 (Jiji Press)--A report from a nuclear crisis investigation panel Monday highlighted how unprepared Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> and the government were for huge natural disasters such as the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent giant tsunami that knocked down the firm's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11.
Extremely high radiation levels of more than 250,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium have been detected in male flowers of cedar trees in the no-entry zone near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TEPCO seeks 690 billion yen more for Fukushima compensation
Tokyo Electric Power Co asked a government-backed bailout body on Dec. 27 for an additional 690 billion yen ($8.8 billion) to help compensate victims of the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.
Toshiba Corp. is loading up a mobile decontamination service for radioactive soil and water that can service municipalities in the Tohoku region, where the disabled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is located, and the neighboring Kanto region.
Panel: Wide communication gaps hampered response in Fukushima
Soon after the March 11 earthquake struck, then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other senior officials gathered in his fifth floor office and effectively became the central decision-making body for the nuclear accident unfolding in Fukushima Prefecture.
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.
Toshiba develops mobile device to clean up radioactive soil
ATSUGI, Japan (Kyodo) -- Toshiba Corp. said Monday it has developed a mobile device to remove radioactive cesium from soil contaminated by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, and unveiled the machine to the press.
SDF to end Fukushima relief operations, complete post-disaster mission
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa on Monday ordered the Self-Defense Forces to end their nine-month mission in Fukushima Prefecture to support those affected by the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Kyushu Electric chief Manabe to resign possibly by March
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Kyushu Electric Power Co. President Toshio Manabe indicated Monday he could resign, possibly by March, as a scandal involving an e-mail campaign by the utility to manipulate public opinion regarding nuclear reactors has basically been settled.
Noda vows to prevent recurrence of nuclear accident
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday vowed to do his utmost to prevent a nuclear accident from ever occurring again in Japan, after receiving a government panel's interim report on the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, while the nuclear regulatory agency apologized for its insufficient response to the disaster.
Gov't decides basic policy of reclassifying Fukushima evacuation zones
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government decided on Monday its basic policy of reclassifying evacuation zones around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into three categories this spring now that the plant has been brought to a stable state of cold shutdown.
Ministry to buy up cesium-tainted rice from Fukushima Pref.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Farm minister Michihiko Kano said Tuesday his ministry will buy up rice from farmers in Fukushima Prefecture whose products mark radiation levels over 100 becquerels per kilogram in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, triggered by the March earthquake and tsunami.
TEPCO seeks additional 689 bil. yen from state for damages payments
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it has sought an additional 689.4 billion yen in aid from a state-backed entity to secure funds for colossal compensation payments associated with the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Gov't not to rule out injection of public money into TEPCO: Edano
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano suggested Monday the government does not rule out the possibility of injecting public funds into the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant to assist its revitalization.
TEPCO dissatisfied with panel's view of severe accident measures
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. showed dissatisfaction Tuesday with a view suggested in an investigation report on the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that the utility should have taken precautionary measures to deal with severe nuclear accidents triggered by tsunami.
Fukushima rice farmers asking 'until when will this continue?'
FUKUSHIMA -- With the government announcing a possible ban on future rice planting in areas where contaminated rice was detected, farmers in Fukushima Prefecture are on the verge of losing the little hope that has kept them going amidst months of torture.
Many Fukushima evacuees remain reluctant to return to homes near nuclear plant
Municipalities near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant have started preparations to return to where they were before the outbreak of the nuclear crisis in March following the central government's announcement on Dec. 26 to redraw evacuation zones, but many evacuees are reluctant to return to their homes due in part to fears over long-running effects of radiation.
Aomori, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. will resume a trial run at its spent fuel reprocessing plant early next year as part of the process needed to complete the plant, President Yoshihiko Kawai said Tuesday.
Japan to Buy Up Heavily Contaminated Rice in Fukushima
Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will buy up rice heavily contaminated with radioactive cesium through private bodies as early as next month, agriculture minister Michihiko Kano said Tuesday.
Minister Urges TEPCO to Mull Possible State Control
Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano on Tuesday urged Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> to consider a possibility of coming under temporary state control.
INTERVIEW: Mizuho Chief Wants TEPCO to Remain Private Firm
Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Mizuho Financial Group Inc. <8411> President Yasuhiro Sato has expressed his hope that Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501>, a major client for the megabank group, will remain a private-sector company.
Kyushu Electric Sued over All N-Reactors in Saga Pref.
Saga, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Members of a Japanese civic group and others sued Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> Tuesday, seeking a court injunction to halt three nuclear reactors at its Genkai power plant in Saga Prefecture.
Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will consider drastically revamping the nation's power industry, including a possible separation of power generation and distribution operations, industry minister Yukio Edano said Tuesday.
Full Farmland Decontamination to Start in Iitate in March
Fukushima, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese agriculture ministry on Tuesday unveiled its plans to start full work on farmland decontamination in the village of Iitate in Fukushima Prefecture in March.
Fukushima, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Rice containing over 100 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, a likely threshold for rice production permission next year, has been found in more districts in Fukushima Prefecture, the prefectural government said Tuesday.
The interim report on the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has produced an angry backlash toward the poor response by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. among people who were forced to evacuate from around the stricken plant.
NISA 'powerless to handle severe accident' / Interim report: Agency merely urged TEPCO to provide information, failed to control situation
An interim report released Monday by a government panel investigating the crisis this year at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant stated that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and other governmental organizations failed to deal with the crisis effectively in their respective capacities and also failed to cooperate with each other.
Residents sue to seek complete suspension of Genkai reactors
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Local residents sued the operator of the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture on Tuesday, demanding that all four reactors there be suspended from operations due to the risk of accident caused by a potential earthquake or tsunami.
Gov't adopts report proposing drastic reform of utility system
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government adopted Tuesday a panel report which proposed considering splitting Japanese utilities operations of generating and transmitting electricity into separate companies as an effective way of reforming Japan's electricity system.
Edano asks TEPCO to mull option of temporary state control
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Industry minister Yukio Edano told Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Toshio Nishizawa on Tuesday to consider putting the utility under temporary state control as one of the options to fundamentally bolster its financial standing, while warning against the company's moves to resort to electricity bill hikes.
Promoter of controversial fast-breeder reactor project appointed to top bureaucratic post
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has decided to appoint a high-ranking official who promoted the controversial project to develop a fast-breeder nuclear reactor to its top bureaucratic post.
Radioactive cesium in cedar pollen in Fukushima poses no health hazard: gov't agency
Levels of radiation in cesium contained in cedar pollen in Fukushima Prefecture, which hosts the crippled nuclear power plant, are so low that they will not pose any health hazard, the Forestry Agency said.
Workers in disaster-hit regions hope for brighter 2012
As the long road toward recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami continues and the unprecedented nuclear disaster drags on, workers in disaster-hit areas welcomed the last day of work for the year. As they reflected on their expectations for 2012, they expressed hope.
Japan to Promote Nuclear Pact Talks with India: Noda
Tokyo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda voiced Japan's readiness to promote negotiations on a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement in an interview with the Indian Express published Wednesday.
Japan Govt Wants Radioactive Waste Storage in Fukushima
Fukushima, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government wants to build a temporary facility in Fukushima Prefecture to store waste tainted with radioactive substances from the crippled nuclear plant in the northeastern prefecture, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Wednesday.
Another Kyushu Electric Thermal Generator Halted for Trouble
Fukuoka, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> said Wednesday a generator at its Shinoita thermal power plant in Oita, southwestern Japan, has suspended operations due to a gas turbine trouble.
2 Fukushima Credit Cooperatives to Get Public Funds
Tokyo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--The government will inject a total of 31.4 billion yen in public funds into two "shinyo kumiai" credit cooperatives in Fukushima Prefecture, one of the three northeastern Japan prefectures hit hardest by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Financial Services Agency said Wednesday.
Hosono seeks OK for N-storage / Officials in Fukushima Pref. asked to accept temporary waste disposal site
FUKUSHIMA--Environment Minister Goshi Hosono on Wednesday officially asked Fukushima Prefecture and the heads of eight municipal governments in the prefecture's Futaba County to approve construction of a midterm storage site for radioactive waste in the county.
Forestry Agency: Pollen won't be carrying much cesium
With health concerns arising before the onset of hay fever season, the Forestry Agency said on Dec. 27 that the impact of cedar pollen being contaminated with radioactive cesium on humans will be "small."
Editorial: Gov't should promote renewable energy as myth of nuclear power's cheapness shattered
"The cost of nuclear power generation is cheap" -- we have repeatedly heard such a line as part of the reasoning for promoting nuclear energy. The myth of the cheapness of nuclear power generation collapsed following the catastrophe at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
Prosecutors drop case against actor Yamamoto, antinuclear protesters
SAGA (Kyodo) -- Prosecutors dropped a case Wednesday against actor Taro Yamamoto and other protestors opposed to the restarting of local nuclear reactors who were accused of trespassing and interfering with the duties of the Saga prefectural office in July, citing insufficient evidence.
Gov't asks Fukushima to host interim waste storage facility
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Environment Minister Goshi Hosono asked local leaders in Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday to host an interim facility to store radioactively contaminated soil and other waste in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
FUKUSHIMA -- All of the primary shelters for evacuees in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant have been closed down in Fukushima Prefecture, it has been announced.
Gov't request for nuclear storage facility site sends shockwaves through Fukushima
The government's request that an interim facility to store soil and other waste contaminated with radiation be built somewhere in Futaba county near the crippled nuclear power plant sent ripples of concern through local governments and residents in Fukushima Prefecture.
Japan, India Agree to Speed Up Nuclear Cooperation Talks
New Delhi, Dec. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to accelerate talks on a bilateral nuclear cooperation pact, which have been stalled in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis.
NUCLEAR ACCIDENT INTERIM REPORT / Fears slowed SPEEDI info
The System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI)--the government computer system that projects the dispersal of radioactive substances--was designed to pinpoint which areas should be evacuated after a nuclear accident. However, the government initially withheld SPEEDI's projections after the Fukushima nuclear crisis erupted, claiming that releasing the data "would cause unnecessary panic."
NUCLEAR ACCIDENT INTERIM REPORT / Prime Minister's Office caused delay in release of info
The interim report on the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant indicated the lack of timely information made public by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) during the crisis was caused by interference from the Prime Minister's Office.
NUCLEAR ACCIDENT INTERIM REPORT / Without water, reactor cores heated up
The interim report released this week on the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant highlights numerous problems in the government and the management of TEPCO, many stemming from the longstanding belief that existing safety measures were enough to protect nuclear reactors from natural disasters.
Fukushima hospitals in financial strife / Services being cut as medical facilities' losses top 12 billion yen due to nuclear crisis
FUKUSHIMA--Hospitals in Fukushima Prefecture are facing financial strain--and cutting services--due to the ongoing impact of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Fukushima police conduct year's last major search for bodies
Fukushima prefectural police, working with a firefighting team, on Dec. 29 mounted this year’s last major search in coastal areas of the prefecture for those still missing following the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
INTERVIEW: SMFG Sets Conditions for Extra Aid for TEPCO
Tokyo, Dec. 30 (Jiji Press)--Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. <8316> will provide additional financial assistance to Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> if certain conditions are met, President Koichi Miyata said in a recent interview.
TEPCO's Radiation Decontamination Costs Seen to Surge
Tokyo, Dec. 30 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> costs for decontamination of areas hit by radiation leaks from its disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are expected to grow sharply as the central and local governments accelerate their cleanup programs.
Tokyo, Dec. 30 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda plans to visit three disaster-hit northeastern Japan prefectures in January to inspect progress in reconstruction work, it was learned Friday.
Nuclear decontamination law to go into full force Sunday
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A nuclear decontamination law will go into full effect Sunday, setting the stage for full-fledged efforts to clean up buildings, soil and waste contaminated with radioactive materials in areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
City and citizens go from confrontation to cooperation on decontamination work
KASHIWA, Chiba -- In this city where radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is relatively high, citizens' groups and the municipal government have moved from confrontation to cooperation as they work to decontaminate playgrounds and measure radiation.
GSDF commander says he thought Japan done for as he faced Fukushima nuke crisis
Toshinobu Miyajima, commanding general of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) Central Readiness Force when it was desperately trying to bring the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant under control, thought at one point that Japan was done for, he recalled in a recent interview with the Mainichi.
Japan N-Reactor Data Collection System Breaks Down
Tokyo, Dec. 31 (Jiji Press)--A government computer system to figure out real-time conditions of nuclear power reactors across Japan to prepare for a possible accident broke down on Friday, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Saturday.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has to juggle two daunting tasks this year.
One is to continue cooling the damaged reactors. The other is to start preparing for decommissioning.
Nuclear watchdog members received donations from energy sector
One-third of Nuclear Safety Commission members on committees overseeing inspections of power plants and nuclear fuel received donations from companies and organizations affiliated with the nuclear energy sector, an Asahi Shimbun study has found.
Cover-up of estimated costs to dispose of radioactive waste raises serious questions
Revelations that officials from the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy concealed the estimated costs of disposing of spent nuclear fuel highlights the distorted logic of government officials who stick to reprocessing radioactive waste even by lying.
Energy agency boss told subordinate to cover up estimated costs to dump nuclear fuel
A division head at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy instructed a subordinate in April 2004 to conceal the estimated costs for disposing of spent nuclear fuel without reprocessing it, sources involved in the case and a memorandum have revealed.
New semiconductors in the works / Japanese manufacturers to develop next-generation power-saving devices
Major electronic IT manufacturers including Hitachi, Ltd., Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp., plan to jointly develop next-generation semiconductors that will operate with one-tenth of the power consumed by present-day devices, it has been learned.
Insurers offer 'rainy day' policies for solar power generation
Insurers have begun offering policies to solar power plant operators that will compensate for lost revenue due to cloudy days, a move that could give momentum to solar power generation as a viable alternative energy source.
Different standards used by municipal governments are exacerbating the confusion among residents over safety levels of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and how to deal with possible dangerous areas.
2 nuclear safety panel members got 7.1 mil. yen donation from industry
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The head of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan and a member of the government panel received donations totaling 7.1 million yen from the atomic power industry before assuming duties at the watchdog, the two said Monday.
TEPCO says water level in tank at Fukushima nuclear dropped due to quake
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said on Jan. 2 that the level of water in a tank for the No. 4 reactor at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant dropped "abnormally" after an earthquake measuring up to 4 on the Japanese scale of 7 struck the Kanto and Tohoku regions on New Year's Day.
Japanese scientist exploring airborne windmill driven by jet streams to generate power
A Japanese scientist has been exploring a way of generating power by taking advantage of jet streams to operate airborne windmills and transmit energy produced in the atmosphere to resource-poor Japan.
Australia Regrets Nuclear Crisis in Japan's Fukushima
Sydney, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Aboriginal elder Yvonne Margarula, 62, sinks back into her chair and speaks softly as she describes the incredible sadness knowing rock from her land helped give way to the nuclear disaster in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture.
As radiation fears persist, ties unravel in society
A 4-year-old boy in Tokyo's Meguro Ward wears two flu masks and a raincoat every time he goes to his kindergarten. When he returns home, he is immediately told to shower and rinse his body with bottled water.
A worker at J-Rap, a company selling farm produce, shows equipment to measure radiation levels in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo) http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311dis...AJ201201040042
____________________________________________ Mainichi jp(Kyodo, AP)
Gov't eyes new law to promote renewable energy in farming communities
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The farm ministry is considering a new law to promote power generation in farming and fishing communities using renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, government sources said Tuesday.
Gov't opens nuclear decontamination office in Fukushima city
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- The Environment Ministry opened an office in the city of Fukushima on Wednesday to spearhead the work of cleaning up buildings, soil and waste contaminated with radioactive materials in areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Wild times in Fukushima Pref. town as lions dance down streets
TAMURA, Fukushima -- The Funehikimachi district here went a little wild on Jan. 3 as dancers clad in lion masks paraded down local streets -- part of a New Year's event dating back more than 1,200 years.
Fukushima, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Environment Ministry on Wednesday opened an office in Fukushima that will serve as a base for decontamination of areas affected by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
Tokyo, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday that he will visit Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday to inspect progress in reconstruction after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and work to bring under control the nuclear crisis in the northeastern Japan prefecture.
Tokyo, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--The government ordered Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday to halt shipments of rice produced in the northeastern Japan prefecture's former Sekimoto village area, due to contamination by excessive radioactive cesium.
Municipalities around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have asked for help from the prefectural government over the central government's plan to temporarily store radioactive waste in the communities.
The government is contemplating establishing a public entity to undertake the centralized management of electricity supplies, a move aimed at breaking utilities' long-standing monopolies in both the power generation and supply sectors, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
Number of hunters in Fukushima Prefecture drops due to nuclear crisis
The number of registered hunters in Fukushima Prefecture this season plunged about 30 percent from the previous season amid negative effects of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant, raising fears of damage to crops due to pests.
The government has decided to sign a pact with Ukraine to share information on measures against nuclear accidents such as the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe experienced by the former Soviet Union republic, according to government sources.
When Fukushima Prefecture sixth-grader Terumi Sekine wrote her poem "Arigato" (Thank you) in 2007, little did she know her words would take on a poignant meaning four years later following the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Shortly after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was crippled by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Sascha fled to Germany with his wife and daughter, a move that would split the family apart to this day.
Fukushima to conduct blanket screening of rice to be harvested in fall
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- The Fukushima prefectural government plans to conduct blanket screening of rice to be harvested this fall to ensure product safety, following the detection of excessive levels of radioactive cesium in last year's crop in the prefecture hit by a major nuclear crisis, Fukushima officials said Thursday.
Gov't to test 'variable pricing' electricity system
Electricity prices could soon rise and fall depending on the season, the weather and even the time of day, if all goes well with a government trial of a "variable pricing" system starting in fiscal 2012.
Kashiwa stops operation of incinerator again as radioactive ash fills up storage
KASHIWA, Chiba -- The municipal government here suspended the operation of one of its main incinerators again on Jan. 5 as a storage facility at the waste disposal factory was filled up with incinerated ash contaminated with radioactive substances emitted from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
Parents are bombarding the Nikko city government with questions and requests, fearing children on school trips might be exposed to dangerous radiation levels in one of the nation's most popular tourist destinations.
FUKUSHIMA--The government of Fukushima Prefecture said Jan. 5 that bags of rice harvested in 2012 in the prefecture will be thoroughly tested for possible radioactive contamination before they can hit store shelves.
Japan plans 40-yr limit on reactors' life, with exceptions
Japan plans to limit the life of nuclear reactors to 40 years, allowing extensions only under stringent conditions, and to legally bind plant operators to prepare for severe accidents, the nation's nuclear crisis minister said on Jan. 6.
NGO to support Fukushima kids via chocolate-selling campaign
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Japanese nongovernmental group, which in 2006 launched an annual chocolate-selling campaign to support pediatric cancer patients in Iraq, said Thursday it will use a portion of this year's proceeds to help children in Fukushima Prefecture, where the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is located.
2 more reactors difficult to build at Tsuruga nuke plant: operator
FUKUI (Kyodo) -- The operator of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture told reporters Thursday that construction of two more reactors at the plant would be difficult to start in March as earlier planned.
Shikoku Electric to halt Ikata nuclear plant for checks
TAKAMATSU (Kyodo) -- Shikoku Electric Power Co. said Friday it will halt the No. 2 reactor of its Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture on Jan. 13 for scheduled checkups, bringing the three-reactor plant to a complete halt for the first time since the No. 3 unit started operating in 1994.
Japan to set 40-year limit for operation of nuclear reactors
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government plans to limit the operation of nuclear reactors to 40 years, and to legally require nuclear plant operators to take measures to prepare for severe accidents that could result in serious damage to the reactor core, nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said Friday.
Worst scenario during Fukushima crisis was reactor explosion: Hosono
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government predicted two weeks after the nuclear crisis erupted at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in March that the worst scenario would involve an explosion at the No. 1 reactor and the water inside the No. 4 unit's spent fuel pool drying up, nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said Friday.
Local Fukushima leaders urge pref. to talk with national gov't about interim storage
FUKUSHIMA -- Local leaders from eight towns and villages in Futaba County have called on Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato to set up a prefectural office to handle negotiations with the national government over its request that the county host an interim storage site for radiation-tainted soil and other waste.
U.S. envoy Roos pressured Japan's foreign minister to pour water onto reactors
The U.S. government, frustrated with Japan's alleged slow initial response to the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, urged Japan to spray water to cool down the crippled nuclear reactors, Japanese government officials revealed.
Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> said on Friday that it plans a 50 pct output capacity increase for three thermal power generation facilities the company is installing at its plant in Chiba, east of Tokyo.
Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> and its bailout fund said Friday that they will seek energy-saving ideas from companies to help reduce electricity demand during summer peak hours.
Fukushima exposes contradictions / Nuclear crisis prompts govt to rethink private companies' operation of N-plants
The government's moves to overhaul the state's nuclear policy were prompted by serious contradictions discovered in that policy, as a result of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The government will study whether it should place the management of nuclear power plants in public hands as part of an overhaul of the current system in which private utilities hold managerial authority, it has been learned.
Japan’s nuclear phaseout could cause severe power shortages
The government’s planned 40-year limit on the operational life of nuclear power reactors will create a 36-percent black hole in Japan’s power generating capacity by 2030 if alternative sources of energy and ways of cutting demand are not found.
The No. 1 reactor (top) at the Mihama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture will enter its 43rd year of operation this year. (Asahi Shimbun file photo) http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311dis...AJ201201070031
__________________________________________________ ______ Mainichi jp(kyodo, AP)
U.S. gov't says it conducted 4th plutonium test in last Nov.
Traditional burning of New Year's decorations canceled due to fear of spreading radiation
FUKUSHIMA -- A traditional event of burning New Year's decorations will be canceled at a number of shrines in Fukushima Prefecture this year due to concerns about radioactive contamination of the decorations following the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, it has been learned.
Japan Likely to Take Control of TEPCO by Buying Common Stock
Tokyo, Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will likely take effective control of Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> by acquiring a majority stake in the troubled firm in terms of common stock, informed sources said Saturday.
While the government will provide financial assistance in removing radioactive materials in 102 municipalities, some cities such as Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, have chosen to leave possible money on the table.
Japan asks Saudis for stable supply of oil in wake of disaster
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Kyodo) -- Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba asked the deputy foreign minister of Saudi Arabia on Saturday for a stable supply of oil to cope with Japan's growing demand for crude in the wake of a nuclear disaster in the country last year.
The homes of about 25,000 evacuees from around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are expected to fall within zones where the government will prohibit residency for at least five years, according to government sources.
2 towns at risk of disappearing / Okuma, Futaba face uncertain future due to nearby crippled N-plant
How will the government help the estimated 25,000 people who lived in areas where residency likely will be prohibited for an extended period due to the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant?
TEPCO singled out 10 key lawmakers for fund-raisers
Former Prime Minister Taro Aso, ruling party power broker Ichiro Ozawa and industry minister Yukio Edano were among the 10 lawmakers most favored by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in buying tickets to their fund-raisers.
Renewal after nuclear disaster impossible without sound foundations
All-too-simple calls to move toward renewal by pressing ahead with restitution for victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster ignore the problem's complexity. Thus far, not even half the households ordered to evacuate by the government because of the disaster have apparently applied for compensation payments from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant's operator.
Gov't request for temporary storage site displeases Fukushima Pref.
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday again sought cooperation from Fukushima Prefecture to accept a temporary storage site for contaminated soil and waste from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, but the prefecture's governor instead expressed strong displeasure at Noda's announcement last month that the crisis has been brought under control.
2 power companies likely to face supply shortages in 2012 if demand matches 2011 level
Shikoku Electric Power Co. has announced that it will shut down the No. 2 reactor at its Ikata Nuclear Power Plant in Ehime Prefecture for regular inspections from Jan. 13, leaving just five of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors in operation as power companies struggle to secure reserve electricity.
Editorial: Japan should take steps toward full-scale restoration of disaster-hit areas
Japan should take steps toward full-scale restoration of regions devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis as March 2012 marks the first anniversary of the triple disasters.
Japan asks Qatar to ensure stable LNG, oil supplies
DOHA (Kyodo) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba asked Qatar to ensure stable supplies of liquefied natural gas and crude oil, and won a promise to cooperate during his meetings Monday with two Qatari ministers, Japanese officials said.
Monju reactor operator paid 109 mil. yen in fees to related bodies
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The state-run operator of Japan's Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor paid a total of 109 million yen in 2009 to bodies linked to it as "membership fees," raising concern about the use of taxpayers' money for the entity, a ruling party panel found Monday.
Civic group battles to get support for referendums on nuclear power in Tokyo, Osaka
A civic group has been fighting an uphill battle to collect enough signatures for petitions to hold referendums in Tokyo and Osaka on whether Japan should continue to rely on nuclear power despite the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.
Inpex to Sell Aussie LNG to Chubu Electric, Others
Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Inpex Corp. <1605> said Tuesday it has signed agreements with Chubu Electric Power Co. <9502>, Toho Gas Co. <9533> and Taiwan's CPC Corp. to supply liquefied natural gas produced at the Ichthys field off the coast of Western Australia.
JETRO to Help Disaster-Hit Japan Textile Makers in U.S.
Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--The Japan External Trade Organization said Tuesday it will organize a mission to New York to help boost U.S.-bound exports of textile products made by companies in the Tohoku northeastern region hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> said Tuesday that about 10 liters of highly radioactive water leaked from a liquid waste tank at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Only 3.5 Pct of Disaster Debris Disposed Of in 3 Prefectures
Tokyo, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)--Final disposal has been made for only 3.5 pct, or some 870,000 tons, of the debris from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the three hardest-hit northeastern prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, it was learned Tuesday.
At a fishing port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, some 100 fishermen and others observed silent prayers for the dead and missing in the March 11th disaster, exactly 10 months after the calamity on Wednesday.
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has affected the exports of farm and marine products from eastern Japan. According to the estimates of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, 44 countries and territories either ban the import of food items produced in Japan, or demand that they be inspected when imported, even though they are regarded safe and marketed domestically. Attachment 13431 http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120110006217.htm
__________________________________________________ _________ AJW
INTERVIEW/ Goshi Hosono: Everyone must share pain felt by Fukushima residents
One lawmaker intimately involved in various difficult decisions following the Great East Japan Earthquake has been Environment Minister Goshi Hosono.
Unchallenged mayor re-elected in village hosting nuclear plant
TOMARI, Hokkaido--Hiroomi Makino on Jan. 10 was re-elected mayor without a vote in this northern village, which hosts the Tomari nuclear power plant, after no candidate emerged to challenge the pro-nuclear incumbent.
TEPCO to deposit 120 billion yen for future claims
Rejected by insurers, Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to deposit 120 billion yen ($1.56 billion) in compensation reserves with a government body in case further accidents hit the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Japan food firms to set up exhibit center in Beijing to boost exports
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A consortium of about 100 Japanese food companies said Tuesday it will set up an exhibition center in late February in Beijing to boost China-bound exports of Japanese farm and fisheries products that have been adversely affected by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) -- Kyushu Electric Power Co. will name Executive Vice President Michiaki Uriu as its new president to succeed Toshio Manabe, who will resign over a scandal involving the utility manipulating public opinion on nuclear power generation, company sources said Wednesday.
TEPCO to deposit 120 bil. yen amid lack of nuclear plant insurance
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to deposit 120 billion yen with the state in place of insurance coverage, after finding it difficult to extend an insurance contract to cover the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sources close to the government said Tuesday.
Japan to host int'l meeting on renewable energy in Fukushima
ABU DHABI (Kyodo) -- Japan will host an international conference in the city of Fukushima on March 2 to discuss ways to create a society based on renewable energy, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said Tuesday.
TEPCO reports 10-liter radioactive water leakage at Fukushima plant
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it found that about 10 liters of water had leaked from a water processing facility inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but the liquid containing radioactive strontium did not flow into the Pacific Ocean.
Inspectors checked nuke facilities using manuals given by facility makers, users since '03
The Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES) has systematically copied and used entire inspection manual procedures prepared by manufacturers and users of nuclear facilities to inspect nuclear power plants run by those companies since its foundation in October 2003, according to the results of an investigation conducted by JNES's third-party panel.
Chiba Prefecture troubled by shrinking population after nuclear disaster
CHIBA -- Several cities in this prefecture relatively close to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are suffering a population decline as a result of the nuclear disaster, local governments have revealed.
Kyushu Electric Veep Uriu to Replace Manabe as President
Fukuoka, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. <9508> plans to name Executive Vice President Michiaki Uriu, 62, as president to replace Toshio Manabe in the wake of a scandal over nuclear power, company officials said Wednesday.
TEPCO Instructed to Keep Fukushima No. 2 N-Plant Stable
Tokyo, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Wednesday instructed Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> to compile by around the end of this month a plan to ensure stable conditions at its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, which is located near its Fukushima No. 1 plant knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Fukushima prefecture and municipalities near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have started discussing whether to accept the central government's plan to temporarily store radioactive waste in their communities.
In Okuma Town, Fukushima Prefecture, where the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is located and residents have been forced to evacuate, the amount by which the exodus of residents outnumbered newcomers reached about 500 during March to November last year.
More than 43,000 residents moved out of three Tohoku region prefectures severely hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake from March to November, with Fukushima Prefecture suffering the biggest exodus, it has been learned.
Decontamination work hinges on citizen cooperation
When fears of radiation hot spots spread around the nation's capital, the city of Nagareyama in Chiba Prefecture sprang into action and quickly drew up a decontamination plan. Attachment 13447
Kashiwa city officials collect soil samples at an area where high level of radiation were determined in October. (Asahi Shimbun file photo) http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311dis...AJ201201120001
__________________________________________________ _______ Mainichi jp(Kyodo, AP)
Nobel laureate Oe, 21 other Japanese invited to Paris Book Fair
Forum report urges flexible response to major crises on Japan quake
GENEVA (Kyodo) -- The World Economic Forum issued a report Wednesday calling for a flexible response to major crises based on lessons learned from the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan last March.
NGOs, nuclear experts to draw up plans to phase out nuclear power
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Environmental activists and nuclear experts along with residents from Fukushima Prefecture will gather in Yokohama for an international conference from Saturday to compile a roadmap for phasing out nuclear power in the wake of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, organizers of the conference said Wednesday.
Gov't tells TEPCO to prepare repair plan for Fukushima Daini equipment
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday to prepare a report by the end of January on how to repair equipment at its Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, a senior agency official said.
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 jolted northeastern Japan early Thursday afternoon, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, with the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture saying no new abnormalities were being observed there.
Fukushima eyes checking radiation in breast milk for 10,000 mothers
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Fukushima Prefecture plans to test for radioactive contamination in breast milk samples from about 10,000 mothers residing in the prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, prefectural officials said Thursday.
Lack of memory caused breakdown in nuclear plant monitoring system
The government's emergency support system to respond to nuclear plant accidents broke down temporarily late last year when it ran out of memory, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has announced.
Iodine pills should be distributed to households near nuclear plants: experts
The intake of potassium iodine tablets immediately after a nuclear accident is effective in preventing the thyroid from being exposed to radiation, and they should be distributed to households near nuclear power plants in advance, a recent nuclear safety commission proposal suggests.
Japan Eyes Iodine Distribution to Homes near N-Plants
Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--A subcommittee of the Japanese government's Nuclear Safety Commission on Thursday proposed distributing iodine to households near nuclear power stations in preparation for possible accidents at the facilities.
Special Unemployment Benefit in Disaster Areas Begins Expiring
Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--Special unemployment benefit began coming to an end on Thursday in the three northeastern Japan prefectures hit hardest by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year, labor ministry officials said.
Fukushima Children Receive 0.26 Millisievert in Sept.-Nov.
Fukushima, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--Children and pregnant women in the city of Fukushima received cumulative external radiation doses of 0.26 millisievert on average between September and November 2011, the city government said Thursday.
Yakuza-Linked Firm Sends Worker to West Japan N-Plant
Fukui, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--Japan's police on Thursday arrested three people over a suspected illegal labor dispatch to a western Japan nuclear power plant from a firm closely related to a major yakuza crime syndicate.
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