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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid