News / Asia

Fukushima Radiation Leaks Raise Alarm About TEPCO

The storage tank which workers detected the water dripping from the top, at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Oct. 3, 2013.
The storage tank which workers detected the water dripping from the top, at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Oct. 3, 2013.
Henry Ridgwell
— The owners of Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, TEPCO, have apologized after several workers at the site were accidentally doused with highly radioactive water this week. Authorities do not believe they were exposed to a health risk. But the accident is just the latest in a series that have called into question TEPCO’s ability to manage a clean-up operation that could last decades.

The leak occurred when a lock was mistakenly removed from a pressure hose, dousing several workers with radioactive water. Manager of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Masayuki Ono, appeared in front of cameras Thursday to apologize.

Ono said that six people have had their bodies irradiated and it was true that big mistakes like this continued to occur again and again. "It is therefore essential that we do something to stop this chain of events," he said.

The incident came just days after TEPCO reported that 430 liters of highly radioactive water had leaked into the ocean from storage tanks - the second such incident in as many months.

It earned TEPCO a strong rebuke from the Secretary General of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, Katsuhiko Ikeda.

"We have to say that it seems that the management ability at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is degrading. It seems that you are unable to perform basic management on site," he said.

The Japanese government is monitoring radiation levels in the sea off Fukushima - and says there is no evidence of large-scale environmental damage.

Hirofumi Oima, Deputy Director of Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, said Japan must improve its communication with the outside world.

“The impact itself is totally limited within the harbor of the specialized 1F [Fukushima Daiichi power plant] site. So I think so far there is almost no environmental impact. Of course some. But I think so far we have to think about, we have to better manage the communication with outside people,” said Oima.

The environmental campaign group Greenpeace has just completed its own radiation monitoring on the edge of the evacuation zone around Fukushima - where some residents are being allowed to return. Greenpeace said radiation levels remained above government targets despite decontamination efforts.

Rianne Teule is the organization’s nuclear expert.

“If they [the evacuated residents] return to their houses, then the house might be safe but they will still live in a contaminated area, contaminated fields and forests. And therefore the radiation threat remains. But if they choose not to return to their houses, then they have the problem that they will not receive sufficient government support to rebuild their lives,” said Teule.

This week the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Fukushima plant was stable.

Meanwhile, TEPCO has applied to restart its Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility, the world's largest nuclear plant, in north-western Japan.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: suzuki hiroshi from: Tokyo
October 11, 2013 3:39 PM
33 of 50 Bluefin Tuna Off California Coast Radioactive from Tokyo Electric
October 3, 2013 Intellihub News
Bluefin Tuna off the coast of California has been found to be contaminated with radiation.
CALIFORNIA — 33 of 50 Bluefin Tuna off the coast have been contaminated with radioactive Cesium 134, possibly from the previously decimated Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant which lies on the East coast of Japan reported NHK World.
According to the report, the radiation is accumulative, and the fact that Tuna is at the top of the food chain is even more concerning. According to the report “juvenile” tuna migrate from the waters of Japan over a 4 month period yearly.

In Response

by: yo mama from: this dick
November 07, 2013 4:22 PM
sucks

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid