News / Asia

Japan Still Struggling to Control Crippled Nuclear Plant

Police herd marchers along the curb as the streets are
not blocked off for the demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, April 16, 2011
Police herd marchers along the curb as the streets are not blocked off for the demonstration in Tokyo, Japan, April 16, 2011

Multimedia

Audio

Small and peaceful anti-nuclear protests continue to be staged in Japan. The demonstrations are being held as troubles continue at and around the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant in the northeastern part of the country. It has been leaking radiation into the air and sea since it was severely damaged by a magnitude 9.0 quake and resulting tsunami more than a month ago.

The operator of the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima has begun dropping into the Pacific Ocean sandbags filled with an absorbent to try to reduce the danger from radiation. The bags are filled with zeolite, better known as the active material sprinkled in cat litter boxes to absorb odors. In this case, zeolite is meant to take up cesium that has been detected at high levels along the Fukushima coast.

On shore, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as TEPCO, is still struggling, more than a month after the Fukushima-1 plant was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami, to restore automatic cooling facilities for several reactors.

In Tokyo on Saturday, several hundred demonstrators peacefully marched past a TEPCO building. Some were dressed as vegetables, others were adorned with or carried produce.

The protesters chant "vegetables are more important than nuclear power. We don't need nuclear plants, we don't need radiation."

One of the participants, Naomi Saito from neighboring Saitama prefecture, lamented the small number of people who have taken to the streets in protest since March 11.  But Saito said she understands why that is the case in a resource-poor country heavily reliant on atomic energy where more than 50 nuclear plants have been built in the past 45 years.

"We're all in a very dangerous situation because of atomic [power]. But other Japanese think nuclear [power] is very important, so I feel very sad," said Saito.

Japan's government on Saturday ordered 13 nuclear plant operators to inspect and reinforce outside power links to avoid earthquake-triggered outages similar to one on March 11 in Fukushima.

The urgency of that directive was highlighted when a 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolted eastern Japan on Saturday.

Radiation leaking from the Fukushima plant has forced tens of thousands of people in the prefecture to flee their homes. It has also contaminated crops and fishing waters, and regenerated global concern about the safety of nuclear power plants.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid