Fukushima nuclear accident

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011 which claimed nearly 19,000 lives. It is the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 and only the second disaster to measure Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

US sailors sue Fukushima nuclear plant operator for faking radiation data

Sailors standing guard on the flight deck of carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Photo: Jonathan Wong

They allege the company lied about the high level of radiation in the area where they were carrying out a humanitarian mission after the tsunami that triggered a nuclear crisis three years ago.

Wednesday, 9 April, 2014, 12:38am 1 comment

Abe must act now to seal Fukushima reactors, before it's too late

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono. Photo: Reuters

Dear Prime Minister Abe, the Fukushima crisis is getting worse. Yet you have an option at your disposal to resolve it. But first you must begin by challenging a chain of untested and dangerous assumptions that have lulled you and your administration into apparent complacency.

5 Apr 2014 - 2:02am 2 comments

Japan may only be able to restart one-third of its nuclear reactors

Tokyo Electric Power Co employees wearing protective suits and masks walk past storage tanks for radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photo: Reuters

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving to revive nuclear power as a core part of the energy mix, but many of those idled reactors will never come back online.

2 Apr 2014 - 4:37pm 1 comment

US sees lax security at Japan’s nuclear sites as terror risk

A staff member of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) speaks in front of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant during a press tour in Okuma, Fukushima. Photo: AP

US government officials and nuclear experts are privately concerned about security at Japan's atomic plants - in particular the Rokkasho reprocessing facility, which will soon begin producing vast quantities of weapons-grade plutonium.

13 Mar 2014 - 4:09am 1 comment

Japan marks third anniversary of tsunami, Fukushima nuclear crisis

A Buddhist monk offers prayers for the victims of the 2011 earthquake-tsunami in Sendai, northern Japan. Photo: EPA

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to boost rebuilding efforts as the country marked the third anniversary on Tuesday of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead, destroyed coastal communities and triggered a nuclear crisis.

12 Mar 2014 - 10:00am

Has Japan learnt from Fukushima disaster?

Workers of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) wearing protective gears install underground frozen wall at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Photo: AP

Russia had its Chernobyl; the US Three Mile Island; Japan is the only country to have suffered both a nuclear attack and catastrophic civilian reactor meltdown.

11 Mar 2014 - 5:23am

Three Years On: Stories from Fukushima

Three Years On: Stories from Fukushima

It was the biggest earthquake to shake Japan. The SCMP tells the stories of people whose lives were changed forever on March 11, 2011.

12 Mar 2014 - 11:26am

Rise in childhood cancer in Fukushima sparks debate

Anti-nuclear protesters protest in Tokyo on March 9. Cases of thyroid cancer in children have increased in Fukushima prefecture. Photo: Reuters

When doctors found several tiny nodules on his 12-year-old daughter’s thyroid gland, Toshiyuki Kamei refused to let parental fear get the better of him. The symptoms are not uncommon, and the probability that they will develop into something more serious is low.

10 Mar 2014 - 12:37pm 1 comment

Stricken tsunami city of Minamisoma searches for its lost youth

Buyers inspect billfish meat ahead of an auction at the fish market in Kesennuma City, Miyagi prefecture, part of the Tohoku region devastated by the tsunami. Photo: Bloomberg

For Toyonobu Matsuno, a lifetime as a fisherman in Minamisoma was turned upside down when a monstrous tsunami swamped his home and boat on March 11, 2011. Like many who have committed their whole lives to this devastated town, 72-year-old Matsuno refuses to leave, although he risks harm from nuclear radiation.

11 Mar 2014 - 11:00am

Safecast uses tech-savvy volunteers to measure radiation levels in Japan

How high are radiation levels in parts of Japan? With some areas still uninhabitable, and many wary of government data, an increasing number of residents are relying on tech-savvy volunteers to get them the radiation statistics they demand.

10 Mar 2014 - 7:05am

Thousands protest in Japan ahead of Fukushima anniversary

People shout slogans as they march during an anti-nuclear power plant demonstration in Tokyo. Photo: AFP

Banging on drums and waving “Sayonara nukes” signs, thousands of people rallied in a Tokyo park and marched to Parliament on Sunday to demand an end to nuclear power ahead of the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster.

9 Mar 2014 - 4:49pm

Japan set to restart nuclear power plants after 2011 Fukushima disaster

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party have been working to bring the nuclear reactors back online since Abe took office in 2012. Photo: Bloomberg

Japan will take a decisive step towards restarting some of its dormant nuclear reactors, with the cabinet widely expected to pass an action plan this month.

8 Mar 2014 - 5:11pm 2 comments

Japanese investigator says lessons of Fukushima disaster ignored

A whirlpool near Oarai city in northeastern Japan created by the tsunami that followed the earthquake on March 11, 2011. Waves swept far inland, destroying everything in their path. Photo: Reuter

It was the biggest earthquake to shake Japan. With a magnitude of 9.0, the undersea tremor that rumbled to life on March 11, 2011 shifted the country's main island by more than two metres and unleashed a tsunami that triggered meltdowns in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

8 Mar 2014 - 12:23pm

Atomic power still the cleanest option

Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. Photo: Bloomberg

Nuclear power is important for reliable energy, clean air and a high standard of living. The benefits and risks have been exhaustively debated since the first commercial reactors began operation in the 1950s, yet there is still a considerable gap in public understanding of atomic energy.

17 Feb 2014 - 8:37am 2 comments

Surge in cancers among young in Fukushima, but experts divided on cause

Anti-nuclear protesters gather at a rally in Tokyo. Photo: AP

Fifty-nine young people in Fukushima prefecture have been diagnosed with or are suspected of having thyroid cancer, but experts are divided about whether their illness is caused by nuclear radiation.

23 Dec 2013 - 5:33pm 2 comments