News about nuclear accident in Fukushima in June 2011

Radioactive news 4 June 2011

  • Japan: green tea exports banned due to high radiation levels

    The Japanese government has banned shipments of green tea leaves in four regions after high levels of radioactive caesium were found.

    Green tea plantations were first highlighted as suffering from potential radiation contamination last month following the results of sample tests in Kanagawa prefecture. The authorities discovered around 570 becquerels of caesium per kilogram in leaves grown in the city of Minamiashigara – compared to the legal limit of 500 – and started a recall of tea products.

  • Steam, high radiation detected at No.1 reactor

    TEPCO said it found that steam was rising from a crevice in the floor, and that extremely high radiation of 3,000 to 4,000 millisieverts per hour was measured around the area. The radiation is believed to be the highest detected in the air at the plant.

  • Why is the United States so obsessed with nuclear power?

    There are good reasons why Germany is moving away so quickly from nuclear power. Certainly, fear is a factor. However, this angst in the face of a nuclear catastrophe has a rational core. Fukushima provides enough grounds to take every single nuclear power plant on the face of the Earth off-line. Regardless of whether the cause is an earthquake, a tsunami, a flood, a plane crash, a terrorist attack, or simple human error, failure of the emergency power system leads to uncontrollable consequences.

    There is also an energy reality in Germany that differs from the United States. In Germany, the economic success of the renewable energy economy is visible between the North Sea and the Alps. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created for steel workers, carpenters, technicians, architects, bankers, and farmers. Foreign companies have heavily invested in manufacturing plants for wind turbines, biogas systems, and solar panels in Germany. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is viewed as a constraint on this development. Nuclear and renewables are not perceived as allies, but as conflicting and competing energy sources. One is centralized, capital- intensive, ponderous, outdated, and anti-democratic, whereas the other is flexible, smart, labor-intensive, and open for community participation. Thus, in recent polls an overwhelming 85 percent of Germans favor a nuclear phaseout as fast as possible or at most within 10 years. To them it seems simply outdated to stick with a 1950s technology like nuclear that is risky, dirty, and blocking new investments in better technologies. It is like to holding on to your rotary phone instead of switching to a cell phone.

  • PROPAGANDA: Tepco pair's exposure topped 250 millisievert limit

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday two employees who were working at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant exceeded for the first time the 250- millisievert radiation exposure limit set for the crisis.

    What about all those dead workers? And how many times can be the 1st time?


  • Tepco debt forgiveness is risk for Japanese bank ratings, S&P warns

    Japanese banks' credit ratings will be at risk if they forgive loans made to Tokyo Electric Power Co., Standard & Poor's said.

    In a worst-case scenario, debt waivers combined with the deterioration of other loans because of March 11 could negatively affect the ratings on some banks, S&P said in a statement Thursday. S&P this week downgraded Tepco's credit ratings to junk status on the risk that banks may restructure some of its debts.

  • Japan Steel Works sees shift away from nuclear

    Japan Steel Works Ltd., a maker of nuclear reactor parts for customers from Areva SA to Toshiba Corp., will shift sales to nonatomic energy equipment and may cut idled capacity as the Fukushima disaster curbs orders.

  • Gov't failed to release some radiation projections

    The Japanese science ministry has admitted failing to release some of its projections of how radioactive substances would spread if they leaked from the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

  • ASEM ministers to seek safety review for all nuke plants worldwide

    Foreign ministers of the Asia-Europe Meeting will agree to the setting up of international standards for nuclear plant safety and the reviewing of all nuclear plants worldwide, according to a draft of the chairman's statement obtained Saturday by Kyodo News.

  • TEPCO made 1,000 information errors related to power-saving goals

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The industry ministry said Friday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. has made around 1,000 mistakes in relation to key information that the ministry has used for mandatory power-saving goals to be imposed on large-lot electricity users from July 1.

    The ministry used the erroneous information in notifying users of the maximum amount of electricity they will be allowed to consume in the summer, but it has now asked the utility company to report correct information and preventive measures by 5 p.m. Monday, it said.

  • Radioactive gas leak at Tsuruga nuclear plant caused by holes in piping

    TSURUGA (Kyodo) -- The radioactive gas leak that occurred last month at a reactor of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, was caused by tiny holes in its piping, the plant's operator Japan Atomic Power Co. said Friday.

    The company said it had found 33 minute holes in the piping of the plant's No. 2 reactor, which was halted after the level of radioactive substances in its primary coolant water increased sharply on May 2.


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