Japanese Adviser Resigns Over Radiation Safety Limits

Max Read · 04/30/11 12:45PM

Toshiso Kosako, a government adviser and expert on radiation safety, resigned from his post on Friday night over the Japanese government's decision to allow schoolchildren near the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant to face radiation doses "far higher than international limits set for the public." Don't worry too much about the Fukushima kids, though—a government spokesman says this is all a big misunderstanding, and that they "believe" they "have firmly complied with the law." Kosako's resignation has added more fuel to the general sentiment that the Japanese government has mishandled the crisis—one survey found three-quarters of respondents unsatisfied with the leadership of Prime Minister Naoto Kan (pictured)—but that's probably just a misunderstanding, too. [WSJ]

Nuclear Crisis Should Be Over in Nine Months

Max Read · 04/17/11 03:31PM

Don't worry, folks! The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant should be "over by the end of the year," according to a timeline from plant operator Tepco. "Over," in this case, means that the reactors will be cooled. (Radiation leaks will be "reduced" in three months.) Once "cold shutdown" is achieved, the reactors will be entombed in concrete and contaminated soil will be cleaned up; right now, Tepco is taking readings at the damaged plant through the use of remote-controlled robots. [BBC]

There’s Radiation In Your Milk

Seth Abramovitch · 03/30/11 11:11PM

Stop! Don't move that Oreo! The Environmental Protection Agency has just announced that trace amount of radioactive iodine have been identified in samples taken from the U.S. milk supply. As vegans everywhere chuckle to themselves smugly, you're probably wondering to yourself—how the hell did that happen?

The First Photos from Inside the Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Max Read · 03/23/11 09:06PM

Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency released the first round of photographs from the interior of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, where 180 workers, operating in rotating shifts, are struggling to contain and control the release of radiation.

The Latest from Japan: March 17

Max Read · 03/17/11 12:38AM

The Japanese attempt to cool the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant entered a new stage on Thursday morning, as military helicopters dumped sea water on two reactors, hoping to control the temperatures and avoid the release of radioactive steam. But the U.S. government remained pessimistic, and offered to assist any American citizen looking to leave Japan.

The Latest News from Japan

Max Read · 03/15/11 11:26PM

Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis escalated on Wednesday, as authorities acknowledged that a second reactor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have been compromised. All but 50 workers have been evacuated from the complex as radiation levels surged and emergency workers struggle to deal with a fire at yet another reactor.

Japan on Brink of 'Nuclear Catastrophe' After New Blast

Max Read · 03/14/11 07:50PM

After an early-morning explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station damaged one reactor's steel containment vessel and spurred the removal of emergency workers, officials expanded the evacuation zone and braced for "much larger emissions of radioactive materials." How bad are we talking? "It's way past Three Mile Island already," physicist Frank von Hippel tells The New York Times.