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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid