by Mark Hay
IAEA fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines the Fukushima site. Image via Flickr user IAEA Imagebank.
Last Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threw his weight behind the redevelopment of his nation’s nuclear energy plants. It was a bold stance, made bolder because he voiced it on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake-tsunami in northeastern Japan that left 18,500 dead or missing and precipitated the Fukushima nuclear disaster—the world’s worst since Chernobyl and the reason for the eventual shutdown of the nation’s 54 nuclear facilities.
December 04, 2014
FUKUSHIMA–With its team of international researchers, Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity moved into full-scale operation on Dec. 3.
An official ceremony was held to mark the opening of its new two-story-high facility built with a government subsidy of roughly 1.8 billion yen ($15 million).
Established in July 2013, the institute studies the effects of the fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster as well as various forms of environmental contamination globally.
TOKYO (AP) — The damage from an overnight earthquake in a mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 winter Olympics proved more extensive than initially thought.
37 homes collapse, dozens injured in Japan quake Associated Press
Strong Quake Hits Major Japanese City Huffington Post
Magnitude 6.8 quake hits central Japan; no tsunami warning Reuters
Top Asian News at 1:30 a.m. GMT Associated Press
Strong quake in west China kills 5; 54 hurt Associated Press
A daylight assessment Sunday found at least 50 homes destroyed in two villages, and 41 people injured across the region, including seven seriously, mostly with broken bones, officials said.
The magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday west of Nagano city at a depth of 5 kilometers (3 miles), the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency revised the magnitude and depth from initial estimates. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a magnitude of 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.
MENAFN – Qatar News Agency – 21/10/2014
(MENAFN – QNA) A special panel at a city assembly in southern Japan has approved a petition to allow a local nuclear power plant to resume operations.
The panel at the Satsuma Sendai city assembly in Kagoshima Prefecture discussed petitions both for and against the restart of the Sendai plant.
The plant is operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company. Last month it became the first to pass new regulations for nuclear plants introduced after the 2011 Fukushima accident.
Panel members in favor of the restart argued that the local economy has been sluggish since the plant went offline. But others opposing the restart said the screening by the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority does not guarantee the plant’s safety.
The panel rejected ten petitions against the restart, and adopted one calling for the plant to return online.
Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:40am BST
No question atomic power is important energy source-Miyazawa
* To visit Kagoshima to meet local authorities near Sendai plant (Adds minister’s quotes)
By Mari Saito and Kentaro Hamada
TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Japan‘s newly appointed trade minister, Yoichi Miyazawa, said on Tuesday that he would continue with the policy of seeking to restart nuclear reactors deemed safe by the atomic regulator.
Miyazawa, speaking to reporters, also said he would move towards restarting Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai plant in southwestern Japan.
Towing of a three-column semi-sub, for the first 7MW wind turbine, from Nagasaki port to Onahama port will commence from November 1 and be completed on November 10.
With huge funding, it is carrying out an experimental project amid major tech challenges
A huge amount of electricity supply was lost in Japan when the nuclear power plant at Fukushima was disabled by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, and compensating for such a loss has required original thinking.
An ingenious solution that is being pursued is to build a network of power-generating systems relying on a freely available source – wind power – in an operational area well within the vicinity, and using floating platforms right off the coast.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | 08:32 AM IST
Tokyo, Oct 13 (IANS/EFE) The accident-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant is bracing itself for the arrival of powerful typhoon Vongfong that made landfall in southern Japan Monday and could reach the plant Tuesday, authorities said.
Torrential rain has hit Hiroshima Prefecture in western Japan, causing landslides and flooding. Heavy rain is also falling in Nagasaki Prefecture and other parts of western Japan.
The Meteorological Agency says warm, damp air has flowed from the south towards the front over the Sea of Japan. Officials say this has caused unstable atmospheric conditions in western Japan. Localized rain clouds have developed in the Chugoku region and northern Kyushu.
Record heavy precipitation of 204 millimeters in 3 hours was observed in Hiroshima City on Wednesday morning, surpassing the total monthly average for August.
18 people, including a 2-year-old child, are dead.
Firefighters are also trying to establish the whereabouts of about 13 residents after landslides.
The rain has softened the ground in some regions of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Saga prefectures, raising the possibility of landslides.
Weather officials are warning people to be on the alert for landslides and flooding as well as lightning and gusts.