NHK Fukushima plant clean up efforts face challenges
News On Japan via NHKReloaded -- Sep 10
Efforts to deal with problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan still face many challenges more than a year after the meltdown.
Tuesday will mark one and a half years since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the accident. But the leaking of tainted water and other troubles still plague the clean-up efforts.
Experts say one of the pressing challenges is how to ensure the reliability of emergency facilities built to cool the troubled reactors.
In the aftermath of the March 11th, 2011 disaster that crippled the plant, its operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, hastily built a system to treat highly contaminated waste water and circulate it as coolant for the reactors.
The government announced last December that the reactors had been brought to a state of cold shutdown.
While the reactors' temperatures and pressures have since remained generally stable, troubles have plagued the cooling water circulation system.
So far, 56 instances of tainted water leaks have been reported. Facilities to decontaminate water have stopped 12 times due to leaks and power supply problems.
On August 30th, coolant water being poured into the 3 crippled reactors temporarily fell below the necessary levels.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )