Radiation near Japanese plant's tanks suggests new leaks
New York Times -- Sep 02
A crisis over contaminated water at Japan's stricken nuclear plant worsened on Saturday when the plant's operator said it had detected high radiation levels near storage tanks, a finding that raised the possibility of additional leaks.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, said it had found the high levels of radiation at four separate spots on the ground, near some of the hundreds of tanks used to store toxic water produced by makeshift efforts to cool the Fukushima Daiichi plant's three damaged reactors. The highest reading was 1,800 millisieverts per hour, or enough to give a lethal dose in about four hours, Tepco said.
The contaminated spots were found as Tepco employees checked the integrity of the tanks after a leak two weeks ago released 300 tons of toxic water into the Pacific. That leak prompted Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to announce that the government would step in at the plant, which was crippled two years ago by a huge earthquake and tsunami, to help get it under control amid rising public fears of a second environmental disaster.
Saturday's discoveries suggested that there may have been other leaks from the tanks, many of which appear to have been shoddily built as Tepco has scrambled to find enough storage space for the contaminated water being produced by the plant. However, Tepco said that it had found no evidence of fallen water levels in nearby tanks, making it unclear how much water, if any, may have leaked out, and whether any reached the Pacific, about 1,500 feet away.
Japan will set up a new amphibious military unit and deploy unarmed surveillance drones in its southwest, where it faces a row with China over disputed islands, according to drafts of the nation's latest defence plans seen on Wednesday. (Reuters )
A total of 198,108 cases of bullying were recognized at schools in Japan in fiscal 2012 that ended in March, up 2.8-fold from the previous year and the highest figure since the survey began in 1985, the education ministry said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Ending radioactive water leaks along with groundwater and ocean contamination at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan may take more than five years, according to a report by a government advisory body. (Bloomberg )
A 43-year-old woman and other six boys and girls aged 14 to 18 years have been arrested by police in the western Japanese prefecture of Hyogo in connection with the abuse of a 15-year-old junior high school student, local press reported on Tuesday. (Global Times )
On November 30, officers from the Shizuoka Prefectural Police arrested Hitomi Sugawara, a part-time music teacher at elementary schools in Tokyo, for appearing in an adult video (AV) uploaded to an overseas Internet site. (Tokyo Reporter )