» 04/18/2011, 00.00
Fukushima, nine months to return to normal at nuclear power plant
The reactors and their spent fuel rods will be cooled in three months, a further three to six months should lead to a "cold shutdown" of the system. In 2012 families evacuated from the danger zone may be able to begin their return. Toyota reopens all plants today for the first time since March 11.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - It will take six to nine months to achieve complete control of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the company that operates the plant expects to cool the reactors and spent nuclear fuel over the next three months, bringing the situation to a stable level, and continuously reducing the level of radioactive leaks.
Three to six months will be needed, according to TEPCO, to ensure a "cold shutdown" of the system, a state in which the water cooling fuel rods is below 100 degrees celsius and the reactors are considered stable. This would allow many of the families evacuated from the area to return to their homes in 2012.
"This is the biggest crisis since the founding of our company,” Tepco chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata told a briefing in Tokyo, adding that he would likely resign to take responsibility, possibly after a shareholders' meeting in June. It is not inconceivable that the very survival of TEPCO is in question because of the high compensation that the company must pay to those affected by the nuclear crisis, the worst since Chernobyl. In an economic framework seriously affected by the disaster, a positive note was Toyota’s announcement that starting today, the company will reopen all its facilities in Japan, for the first time since March 11, the date of the earthquake and tsunami, and although the work will be reduced to 50% due to the lack of parts to assemble.
Fukushima leaks radioactive water. Government faces nuclear emergency
After the Japanese executive’s admission Tepco raises the situation of the eastern coasts of the country to a "level 3", or "serious accident". In recent days, more than 300 tons of radioactive water has leaked from a tank at the nuclear power plant affected by the earthquake of 11 March 2011.
Fukushima still out of control: months or years to return to normal
Radioactive levels in the sea close to the reactors 5 and 6 grows, while there are problems to reactivate the normal cooling system. A British expert says: "The complexity of the situation is certainly equal to that of Chernobyl."
Japan remembers its 19,000 tsunami victims
The country halts on Sunday for a minute of silence. A memorial is inaugurated in Tokyo for the victims. Some 16,000 people protest against nuclear power, demand compensation for victims.
A strong earthquake in Niigata, four dead and 400 injured
Is the provisional toll from the earthquake which hit north-western Japan. A nuclear power plant is damaged; authorities assure no radiation leak.
Tokyo plans new "stress test" for its nuclear facilities
Many reactors stopped for routine maintenance were not put back into use for the fear aroused by the Fukushima disaster. The new controls are intended to reassure people. In force as of July 1, a cut of 15% of electricity consumption. Two reactors operating without government approval.
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
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