Fukushima nuclear disaster | South China Morning Post
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  • Mar 31, 2015
  • Updated: 7:34am
Fukushima nuclear disaster

Fukushima nuclear disaster

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.

Two workers die at Fukushima Daiichi, Daini nuclear plants

A worker wearing protective clothing looks up at welding storage tanks for radioactive water at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Photo: EPA

A worker at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant died on Tuesday after falling inside an empty water storage tank, the latest in a spate of industrial accidents at the site of the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

Wednesday, 21 January, 2015, 5:42am 1 comment

Plume from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant tracked across Pacific

Inspectors at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Photo: Kyodo

How long did it take a radioactive plume to travel the waters of the Pacific from Fukushima, Japan, to the shores of North America?

4 Jan 2015 - 7:54am 2 comments

Japan on road to nuclear revival as region votes to restart its reactors

Demonstrators hold signs reading 'Opposed to restarting Sendai Nuclear Plant' during a protest against the restarting of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant outside the Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo. Photo: EPA

Regional authorities in Japan yesterday agreed to restart the idle Sendai nuclear plant of Kyushu Electric Power, paving the way for a revival of the stalled industry more than three years after the Fukushima disaster.

8 Nov 2014 - 3:56am 2 comments

Fukushima still a hazard due to melting ice plug, operator admits

Fukushima nuclear plant's Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings on March 3, 2013 (left) and September 5, 2014 (right) respectively, showing work is under way to build underground ice walls around the basements of the buildings. Photo: Kyodo

A plug of ice has failed to completely block the flow of groundwater into the basement of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, leading to the continued risk of radioactive contamination.

25 Sep 2014 - 9:07am 2 comments

Japan’s Asahi daily accused of ‘media terrorism’ after retracting Fukushima report

Decontamination work along a national highway in an evacuation area in Iitate village, Fukushima Prefecture. Photo: Kyodo

Conservatives and much of the Japanese media are revelling in the latest embarrassment to befall the left-leaning Asahi newspaper, which was forced to retract one of its "scoops" and sacked an executive editor.

12 Sep 2014 - 10:28pm

Fukushima workers in clean-up of crippled plant sue for danger money

Tepco offials visit the stricken nuclear plant. Photo: Reuters

Workers employed in decommissioning the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are to sue operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) and some subcontractors, demanding millions of yen in unpaid danger money, their lawyer said yesterday.

2 Sep 2014 - 10:57pm 1 comment

Japanese court rules against Fukushima operator Tepco in landmark suicide case

Mikio Watanabe holds a portrait of his late wife Hamako, who committed suicide after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Photo: Reuters

A Japanese court has ruled that Fukushima nuclear operator Tokyo Electric was responsible for a woman's suicide after the March 2011 disaster and must pay compensation, in a landmark ruling that could set a precedent for other claims against the utility.

27 Aug 2014 - 11:01am

Subsidies for storing nuclear debris from Fukushima plant offered by Tokyo

Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai (left) hands over a document to Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara in Tokyo on August 7, 2014, to accept government-funded research in the prefecture to find a candidate site for the final disposal of some of the radiation-tainted waste from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Photo: Kyodo

Running out of space to stockpile soil and water contaminated with radiation from the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in March 2011, the Japanese government is offering billions in subsidies for communities that agree to store the debris.

13 Aug 2014 - 1:06am 2 comments

Tepco plans to dump toxic Fukushima groundwater in ocean after treatment

A Tepco employee measures radiation as workers construct a wall at Tepco's tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last month. Photo: Reuters

The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant unveiled a plan to dump scrubbed water into the ocean, sparking concerns about whether it would be fully decontaminated.

8 Aug 2014 - 3:41am 2 comments

Japanese issued with anti-radiation pills ahead of nuclear restart

A local resident receiving a dose of iodine tablets from a Kagoshima prefectural officer in the city of Satsumasendai, Kagoshima, Kyushu. Photo: AFP

Japanese officials are handing out radiation-blocking iodine tablets to people living in the shadow of two nuclear reactors slated to restart this year, reflecting concerns about atomic power after the Fukushima crisis.

28 Jul 2014 - 11:20pm 1 comment

Mount Fuji at greater risk of eruption due to 2011 quake, scientists warn

Mount Fuji's last eruption in 1707 was disastrous. Photo: Reuters

Scientists from Japan and France have warned that the famous volcano Mount Fuji is "under great pressure" as a result of the March 2011 earthquake, and at higher risk of eruption.

18 Jul 2014 - 1:31am

Japan’s nuclear watchdog gives green light to restart two nuclear reactors

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka unveils a draft safety screening report required to reactivate the two reactors in Sendai. Photo: EPA

For the first time since bringing in tougher safety rules last year, Japan’s nuclear regulator has said  two atomic reactors  are safe enough to switch back on.

17 Jul 2014 - 4:29am 3 comments

Quake measuring 6.8 causes small tsunami on Japan's northeastern shores

Seismologist Yasuhiro Yoshida explains the quake. Photo: AFP

Seismologists said an earthquake that struck near Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant was an aftershock of the quake that sparked 2011's deadly tsunami.

13 Jul 2014 - 9:38am 1 comment

Japanese farmers seek aid for cattle in Fukushima radiation zone

Japanese farmer Masami Yoshizawa (second right) tries to unload a black bull with white spots on its hide as police block him in front of Agriculture Ministry in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: AP

Tokyo police wrestled with a black bull affected by white spots from the area around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant on Friday as two cattle farmers launched a protest demanding help.

The two have remained at the farms caring for their cows and those abandoned by others despite the risks involved.

20 Jun 2014 - 4:12pm

Japan's nuclear safety regulator accused of ignoring risk from volcanoes

Mount Sakurajima on Kyushu erupts. Photo: Reuters

In the three years since the Fukushima disaster, Japan's utilities have pledged US$15 billion to harden their nuclear plants against earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and terrorist attacks.

5 Jun 2014 - 3:58am 3 comments