Mari's Feed
Oct 20, 2014

Japan minister’s quitting a hitch, but won’t affect reactor restart

TOKYO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Japan’s plan to restart nuclear
reactors shut down after the Fukushima disaster will not be
affected by Monday’s resignation of the industry minister, but
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is losing a convincing advocate of a
move viewed mostly with suspicion.

Forty-year-old Yuko Obuchi’s resignation from the Ministry
of Economy, Trade and Industry, six weeks after she was
appointed, is the latest hitch in a process bogged down by
documentation over safety standards, concerns about natural
disasters and local opposition.

Oct 7, 2014

Nuclear workers kept in dark on Fukushima hazard pay

HIRONO (Reuters) – Almost a year after Japan pledged to double hazard pay at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, workers are still in the dark about how much extra they are getting paid, if anything, for cleaning up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Under pressure to improve working conditions at Fukushima after a series of radioactive water leaks last year, Tokyo Electric Power Co President Naomi Hirose promised in November to double the hazard pay the utility allocates to its subcontractors for plant workers. That would have increased the amount each worker at the nuclear facility is supposed to earn to about $180 a day in hazard pay.

Oct 7, 2014

Insight – Nuclear workers kept in dark on Fukushima hazard pay

HIRONO (Reuters) – Almost a year after Japan pledged to double hazard pay at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, workers are still in the dark about how much extra they are getting paid, if anything, for cleaning up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Under pressure to improve working conditions at Fukushima after a series of radioactive water leaks last year, Tokyo Electric Power Co President Naomi Hirose promised in November to double the hazard pay the utility allocates to its subcontractors for plant workers. That would have increased the amount each worker at the nuclear facility is supposed to earn to about $180 a day in hazard pay.

Oct 3, 2014

Japan’s Obuchi: Political ‘princess’ could be first female PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – With a telegenic presence, powerful ruling party mentors and a talent for avoiding making political enemies, Japan’s new trade and industry minister, Yuko Obuchi, may have what it takes to become the country’s first female prime minister.

In Tokyo’s male-dominated corridors of power, where seniority still matters, Obuchi’s gender and youth would in the past have made her a long-shot – at best – to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Sep 27, 2014

Erupting Japan volcano leaves seven unconscious, 250 stranded

TOKYO, Sept 27 (Reuters) – A Japanese volcano erupted on
Saturday, spewing ash and small rocks into the air and leaving
seven people unconscious, eight seriously injured and more than
250 stranded on the mountain, officials and media said.

A thick, rolling, grey cloud of ash rose into the sky above
Mount Ontake close to where TV footage showed hikers taking
pictures. Trekkers and residents were warned of falling rock and
ash within a radius of four km (two and a half miles).

Aug 31, 2014

Fukushima fallout: Resentment grows in nearby Japanese city

IWAKI Japan (Reuters) – Like many of her neighbors, Satomi Inokoshi worries that her gritty hometown is being spoiled by the newcomers and the money that have rolled into Iwaki since the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost three and a half years ago.

“Iwaki is changing – and not for the good,” said Inokoshi, 55, who echoes a sentiment widely heard in this town of almost 300,000 where the economic boom that followed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl has brought its own disruption.

Jul 16, 2014

Japan nuclear plant gets safety OK, key step toward restarts

TOKYO (Reuters) – A nuclear plant in southern Japan cleared an initial safety hurdle on Wednesday which could see it become the first nuclear facility to restart after the industry was idled by the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

With Japan in its first summer without nuclear power in four decades, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart the country’s 48 nuclear reactors, as a prolonged shutdown forces the nation to rely on expensive fossil fuel imports.

Jul 16, 2014

Japan nuclear plant gets safety OK, may be first to restart

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) – A nuclear plant in southern Japan
cleared an initial safety hurdle on Wednesday which could see it
become the first nuclear facility to restart after the industry
was idled by the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

With Japan in its first summer without nuclear power in four
decades, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart the
country’s 48 nuclear reactors, as a prolonged shutdown forces
the nation to rely on expensive fossil fuel imports.

Jul 9, 2014

Fukushima farmer takes on nuclear plant operator over wife’s suicide

YAMAKIYA Japan (Reuters) – A Japanese court is due to rule next month on a claim that Tokyo Electric Power is responsible for a woman’s suicide, in a landmark case that could force the utility to publicly admit culpability for deaths related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In July 2011, nearly four months after the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered a series of catastrophic failures at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Hamako Watanabe returned to her still-radioactive hilltop home, doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire.

Jun 10, 2014

Independence of Japan’s nuclear regulator questioned after shakeup

TOKYO, June 10 (Reuters) – Japanese legislators approved a
reshuffle at the nuclear safety regulator including appointing a
commissioner who has received nearly $100,000 from
nuclear-related entities over the past decade to fund his
academic research.

Among the two commissioners stepping down from the
five-member panel at the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), one
is a fierce critic of safety practices in the industry.