News / Asia

Electricity Restored in Part of Tsunami-Damaged Japanese Nuclear Plant

The Japanese operator of a radiation-leaking nuclear plant says electricity has been partially restored to one of the six reactors crippled by an earthquake and tsunami that struck the country earlier this month.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the lights came on in the control room of the number three reactor at the Fukushima plant Tuesday, giving a boost to repair crews racing to restore electricity to other parts of the complex.

TEPCO says workers finished reconnecting power lines to all six reactor units at the complex earlier in the day, a major step toward restarting cooling systems that prevent nuclear fuel rods from overheating and leaking radiation.  But the company said it will take time to check the safety of electrical equipment before turning more of the power back on.

Emergency crews continued pumping and spraying sea water onto the reactors to cool them down. Steam and smoke rose from two of the reactor buildings Tuesday, but officials said the emissions did not appear to be dangerous.  An official with Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said he no longer sees any chance of a total meltdown of the reactors.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that radiation continues to be emitted from the Fukushima plant.  IAEA official James Lyons said it is not clear what parts of the reactors are causing the leakage.

The Japanese nuclear crisis is the world's most serious in 25 years and has forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate a 20-kilometer zone around the Fukushima plant.  TEPCO vice president Norio Tsuzumi visited an evacuation center Tuesday and bowed deeply in apology to the evacuees.

Japanese authorities say almost 23,000 people are dead or missing following the twin disasters of March 11, which swept away entire communities along the Pacific coast of Japan's Honshu island.

Officials said Tuesday that among the dead was a 24-year-old American teacher whose body was found in the wreckage of the city of Ishinomaki. Taylor Anderson is the first American known to have died in the disasters.

Three strong earthquakes struck the waters east of Honshu Tuesday, keeping residents on edge more than ten days after the magnitude 9.0 quake that triggered the towering tsunami.  The U.S. Geological Survey says two of the latest quakes had a magnitude of 6.6, while the third had a magnitude of 6.4.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said freezing temperatures continue to make life difficult for about 318,000 people who remain in evacuation centers across the disaster zone.  But it says relief supplies are reaching the evacuees and 90 percent of telecommunication links have been restored to affected areas.

The World Bank has estimated the cost of the twin disasters at up to $235 billion, more than twice as much as the cost of Japan's 1995 Kobe earthquake.

Russia says it will help Japan by increasing energy sales to the Japanese economy.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Tuesday that oil exports to Japan will double to 18 million tons this year.

Investors reacted positively to Japan's improved prospects of averting a nuclear catastrophe, driving the benchmark Nikkei stock index up by more than four percent on Tuesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid