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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid