» 06/01/2011, 00.00
UN: Japan has "underestimated" the risk of a tsunami at Fukushima
The International Atomic Energy Agency published a three-page report on the disaster at the Daiichi nuclear plant. The report highlights weaknesses, but also praises the "exemplary" response to the crisis. The future of the country’s nuclear industry is unknown. The government accepted the report.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The UN nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a three-page report that Japan had "underestimated" the risk of a tsunami hitting nuclear power plants, in particular Fukushima. However, it said the response to the nuclear crisis that followed the 11 March quake and tsunami was "exemplary". In addition, the IAEA says that the country must continue to carefully monitor the risks to human health after the crisis, which is still ongoing at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The report highlights some of the shortcomings made evident by the disaster. In particular, it stresses the failure to plan for a tsunami that would overrun the 5.7-metre break wall at the plant, despite warnings by government agencies and by scientists of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which operates the plant.
The IAEA also highlighted the importance of independent observers in the field of nuclear energy. In Japan there has been criticism because the Nuclear Safety Agency is part of the industry ministry, which promotes atomic energy. Goshi Hosono, an aide to the Prime Minister Naoto Kan, has accepted the IAEA report in a step intended to show that the Japanese authorities want to use the lessons learned from Fukushima to make the remaining reactors safe. Hosono said that the government will revise the industry’s framework. The report will be discussed at an international ministerial conference from 20-24 June in Vienna.
Japan is operating 19 of its 54 reactors. This number is expected to decrease if the government is not able to reassure local authorities with the new efficiency measures. In the worst case scenario, all the reactors could be closed by mid-2012 causing a 30% cut in electricity production, and increasing the possibility of permanent energy rationing. The disaster at Fukushima has forced approximately 80 thousand people to flee their homes, and has increased concerns for safety – in particular the safety of children – and for food.
Sea near Fukushima contaminated. Radiation 1,250 times over safety limit
Radioactive iodine leaked from the plant could also damage ground water beneath the reactors. The Japanese Agency for nuclear safety reduces alert level and hopes for a quick re-absorption of radiation by tides. According to Prime Minister Khan, the situation remains unpredictable.
Earthquake in Japan, 7 injured. The country thinks about energy policies
The epicenter is in the central prefecture of Nagano. After Fukushima the country anxiously wonders how to rebuild the area affected by the earthquake and tsunami, doing without nuclear energy. From tomorrow the supply to industry will decline by 15%. For individuals it means a change in the lifestyle. The government distributes "condolence money" to those who have lost a relative. But not all accept it.
Death toll climbs amid progress at Fukushima
Toll now stands at 26 thousand between dead or missing. The water in Tokyo returns to normal levels of radioactivity. Electricity restored to reactors 1 and 3. Three workers hospitalized for radioactive contamination. Highway to the north and the high-speed train service reopened. Many survivors not yet reached by rescue teams.
11/03/2016 14:23:00 JAPAN
Japan stops to remember the country’s devastating tsunami
Five years later, many problems still linger. At least 174,000 people are still evacuated, whilst farming and fishing in Fukushima are far from recovered despite the government’s optimism. At least, “30 to 40 years” will be needed to undone the effects of the damaged reactors. Meanwhile, most former residents do not want to go ack.
Class action by 1,300 residents opens doors for prosecution in Fukushima disaster case
Prosecutors take aim at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), including its ex chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata. Human errors and negligence by company executives and safety officials are under examination. More than 30 individuals are being investigated. Company has not yet released a public statement.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
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