New Fukushima Report: “Devil’s Chain Reaction” Could Wipe Out Tokyo

By: Tuesday February 28, 2012 4:43 pm

A new independent report on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster reveals that Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan feared events following the March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami would require the evacuation of Tokyo.

 

Aftershocking: Frontline’s Fukushima Doc a Lazy Apologia for the Nuclear Industry

By: Friday January 20, 2012 3:00 pm

There is much to say about this week’s Frontline documentary, “Nuclear Aftershocks,” and some of it would even be good. For the casual follower of nuclear news in the ten months since an earthquake and tsunami triggered the massive and ongoing disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, it is illuminating to see the wreckage that once was a trio of active nuclear reactors, and the devastation and desolation that has replaced town after town inside the 20-kilometer evacuation zone. And it is eye-opening to experience at ground level the inadequacy of the Indian Point nuclear plant evacuation plan. It is also helpful to learn that citizens in Japan and Germany have seen enough and are demanding their countries phase out nuclear energy.

But if you are only a casual observer of this particular segment of the news, then the Frontline broadcast also left you with a mountain of misinformation and big bowl-full of unquestioned bias.

The Party Line – December 30, 2011: The Party Line, Nuclear Style

By: Friday December 30, 2011 2:07 pm

The story is as troubling as it is tired. A government agency manipulated by the industry it is supposed to regulate. An industry, protected by bought politicians, avoids accountability while profiting from government largess. Some of that profit is then turned around to lobby and buy another administration’s worth of officials.

Gregory Jaczko Has a Cold

By: Saturday December 10, 2011 11:11 am

Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, made some comments to the press earlier this week. Jaczko, it seems, is worried. He believes, as noted in an Associated Press story, that “U.S. nuclear plant operators have become complacent, just nine months after the nuclear disaster in Japan.” The NRC head thinks that a slew of events at over a dozen domestic nuclear facilities reveal the safety of America’s reactors to be something less than optimal.

To be clear, safety concerns at any kind of plant, be it a soda bottler or a microchip manufacturer, are probably not trivial, but when the safe and secure operation of a nuclear facility comes into question–as the aftermath of Chernobyl or the ongoing crisis in Japan will tell you–it ratchets up concern to a whole different level. So, when the man who more or less serves as the chief safety officer for the entirety of the nation’s nuclear infrastructure says he’s worried, many, many other people should be worried, too.

The Party Line – November 4, 2011: Self-Styled Clean Energy President Embraces Future That’s Dirty, Dangerous, and Expensive

By: Friday November 4, 2011 3:25 pm

So begins a November 3rd story from Reuters assessing the potential political fallout from an administration decision to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada Corp’s plan to move crude oil from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in Texas. Reading the whole piece, one can’t help but feel that Obama is still of a mind to go ahead and OK this dangerous and much-derided plan, it is just the Obama 2012 campaign that’s agonizing over how to spin it.

The Party Line – July 22, 2011: Fixing a Hole

By: Friday July 22, 2011 3:12 pm

Why not take advantage of this situation—which has the added advantage of being the truth—and demand a clean vote, and only a clean vote, on the debt ceiling? Why not tell the American people that if we do this, and keep the money supply cheap and fluid, then government can do what it is supposed to do—what it can do: care for its people, create jobs in a time of need, repair aging infrastructure, research and develop new, greener energy sources (hint, hint—which will not only wean us off of expensive oil and nuclear power, but it could help build the economic engine that could power the US economy for the next decade), and provide a better life for every level of society?

Tropical Storm Songda Bringing Heavy Rain to Fukushima Prefecture

By: Sunday May 29, 2011 6:45 am

A tropical storm will rake the east coast of Japan over the next couple of days, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to Fukushima Prefecture. NHK reports, “Japan’s Meteorological Agency says heavy rain is expected in the area around the power plant beginning on Sunday night. In some areas, torrential rain and strong wind are expected from Monday to Tuesday.”

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update: TEPCO Finds Hole, Leak in Unit 1 Reactor Vessel

By: Thursday May 12, 2011 8:45 am

Ever since the Japan earthquake and tsunami disabled the cooling systems at Units 1-4 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant, each of those units has been suffering significant leaks of radioactive water through various but mostly unconfirmed sources. Those leaks could be in the cooling system pipes, damaged valves and pumps, or even related condenser equipment in adjacent turbine buildings.

More ominous would be leaks from the containment structure or pressure suppression pool, and worst of all would be leaks directly from the reactor vessel that holds the damaged, partially melted fuel core.

News reports this morning are now confirming there is a major leak from a hole, likely “several centimeters” in diameter, in the reactor vessel at Unit 1. The utility, TEPCO, discovered the leak/hole in the reactor vessel after making repairs on a related gauge.

Japan Nuclear Watch, April 23: How Do You Rebuild a Cooling System Inside a No-Go Zone

By: Saturday April 23, 2011 11:00 am

The good news is that over the last two weeks or so at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant, there have been no further spectacular explosions, no new massive breaches of containment or as far as we know, massive releases of radiation, though there continue to be dangerous levels inside the reactors, in water and in surrounding areas.

The bad news is the Japanese authorities have been unable to make substantial progress against the massive quantities of contaminated water still leaking from the various units.

The Party Line – April 22, 2011
Radiation Nation

By: Friday April 22, 2011 11:35 am

Radiation Nation is Firedoglake’s attempt to turn frustration into information. It is an effort to take all of the news, statistics, websites and debates about the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and turn them into a useful, productive, dependable, and, above all, understandable resource. Radiation Nation may not start with all the answers, but it starts with the idea that we—me, you, other FDL contributors, and a wide variety of experts, authors, researchers, and journalists—will find ways to get the answers.

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