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Jun 14, 2011

Radiation ‘hotspots’ hinder Japan response to nuclear crisis

KANAGAWA, Japan, June 14 (Reuters) – Hisao Nakamura still
can’t accept that his crisply cut field of deep green tea bushes
south of Tokyo has been turned into a radioactive hazard by a
crisis far beyond the horizon.

“I was more than shocked,” said Nakamura, 74, who, like
other tea farmers in Kanagawa has been forced to throw away an
early harvest because of radiation being released by the
Fukushima Daiichi plant 300 kilometers (180 miles) away.

Jun 13, 2011

Japan says eight nuclear workers over-exposed to radiation

TOKYO, June 13 (Reuters) – At least eight workers trying to
bring Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant under control have
been exposed to more radiation than allowed under new safety
standards, government officials said on Monday.

Three of six reactors at northeastern Fukushima melted down
after the March 11 quake and tsunami knocked out power to the
plant. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the
area around the plant.

Jun 6, 2011

Toyota recalls 50 cars in U.S. for faulty drive shafts

TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp will
recall 50 Venza and Sienna vehicles manufactured in the United
States in March after being told by a supplier that they had
been equipped with faulty drive shafts.

In a recall notice filed with U.S. safety regulators and
published on Monday, Toyota said the defective vehicles were at
risk of suddenly losing power if the drive shaft were to break
on the road, increasing the risk of an accident.

Jun 6, 2011

Japanese retirees ready to risk Fukushima front line

TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) – At age 72, Yasuteru Yamada
believes he has a few more good years ahead.

But not so many that the retired engineer is worried about
the consequences of working on the hazardous front line cleaning
up the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Jun 1, 2011

UN urges Japan nuclear safety overhaul after Fukushima

TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) – U.N. atomic safety experts said
Japan underestimated the threat from a killer wave to its
crippled Fukushima power plant and urged sweeping changes to
prevent a repeat of the crisis that triggered the word’s worst
nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

In a report presented to Prime Minister Naoto Kan on
Wednesday, an 18-member team from the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) called for a rethink of the way nuclear
facilities are built, run and regulated.

Jun 1, 2011

UN report highlights Japan nuclear plant flaws

TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) – Japan underestimated the risk of
tsunamis and needs to closely monitor public and workers’ health
after the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a team
of international safety inspectors said in a preliminary review
of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The report, from an International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) team led by Britain’s top nuclear safety official Mike
Weightman, highlighted some of the well-documented weaknesses
that contributed to the crisis at Fukushima when the plant, 240
km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was hit by a massive earthquake
and then a tsunami in quick succession on March 11.

Jun 1, 2011

UN report puts focus on Japan nuclear plant flaws

TOKYO, June 1 (Reuters) – Less than a week after touring the
radioactive rubble of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a
team of international safety inspectors on Wednesday plans to
hand Japan’s government a preliminary review of what triggered
the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The report, from an International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA)team led by Britain’s top nuclear safety official Mike
Weightman, is expected to highlight some of the well-documented
weaknesses that contributed to the crisis at Fukushima when the
plant, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, was hit by a massive
earthquake and then a tsunami in quick succession on March 11.

May 24, 2011

U.N. safety agency begins probe into Fukushima meltdowns

TOKYO (Reuters) – Three of six reactors at a Japanese nuclear plant damaged in a March 11 earthquake and tsunami suffered metldowns within days, the plant’s operator said Tuesday, raising questions about why the extent of the disaster was not disclosed sooner.

The disclosure of the meltdowns more than two months after the quake struck came as a U.N. nuclear safety team began an investigation into the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, 25 years ago.

May 16, 2011

Fukushima nuclear plant not built to take megaquake

TOKYO (Reuters) – The magnitude 9 earthquake that struck a Japanese nuclear plant in March hit with almost 30 percent more intensity than it had been designed to withstand, raising withstand, raising the possibility that key systems were compromised even before a massive tsunami hit.

Embattled operator Tokyo Electric Power said Monday that partial data recovered from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant showed the ground acceleration during the quake exceeded its design specifications at three of the six reactors.

May 15, 2011

Japan readies new tactics for Fukushima after setback

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese officials are readying a new approach to stabilizing a reactor at a nuclear plant crippled by an earthquake and tsunami after discovering a leak from the containment vessel of enough radioactive water to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

The discovery has forced officials to abandon their original plan to bring under control the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. That plan would have entailed cycling a more limited volume of water across uranium fuel believed to have gone into meltdown.

    • About Kevin

      "Kevin Krolicki is Reuters bureau chief in Detroit where he has been based since 2006. He has also worked as an editor and reporter in Los Angeles and Tokyo."
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