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IAEA Daily Press Review – 31 March 2011

by last modified Mar 31, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Please note that upcoming updates on the Fukushima nuclear accident will be posted on our website www.iaea.org and on the IAEA Facebook account. Japan nuclear watchdog: radiation may be leaking continuously into sea The consistently high levels of radiation found in the sea outside Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant complex may mean [...]

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update

Please note that upcoming updates on the Fukushima nuclear accident will be posted on our website www.iaea.org and on the IAEA Facebook account.

Japan nuclear watchdog: radiation may be leaking continuously into sea The consistently high levels of radiation found in the sea outside Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant complex may mean that radiation is leaking out continuously, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said on Thursday. Reuters

IAEA finds high radiation levels outside Japan evacuation zone Radiation levels in a Japanese town outside a government-ordered evacuation zone have exceeded one of the criteria for evacuation, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday. CNN / NYTimes / WashingtonPost

Pressure mounts on Japan to widen nuclear exclusion zone Pressure mounted on Japan on Thursday to expand the evacuation zone around its stricken nuclear power plant while officials said radiation may be flowing continuously into the nearby sea, where contamination was now 4,000 times the legal limit. Reuters

Japan says no plan to widen nuclear evacuation zone Japan said Thursday there were no immediate plans to widen the exclusion zone around its stricken nuclear plant, hours after the UN atomic watchdog agency voiced its concern over the issue. Asia One

Radiation in seawater around Japan plant 4,385 times over legal limit The levels of radioactive iodine found in seawater near Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant was 4,385 times more than the legal limit on Thursday, the nuclear safety agency said. Reuters

Japan says battle to save nuclear reactors has failed Japanese officials have conceded that the battle to salvage four crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been lost. Guardian

State considers options to deal with radioactivity at plant Government officials are scrambling to devise emergency measures–including covering damaged reactor buildings and using robots–to deal with radioactive materials that have hindered work at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Asahi

IAEA in the News

UN meeting on Japanese nuclear crisis in June will tackle political impact The high-level conference that the United Nations global nuclear safety watchdog is hosting in June will address the political impact of the the Japanese power plant crisis, and not just its technical aspects, the agency’s chief said today. UN NewsWire

Singapore got cabbages from Japan with radiation – IAEA Singapore has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog some cabbages imported from Japan had radiation levels up to nine times the levels recommended for international trade, IAEA officials said on Wednesday. Reuters

Lawmaker calls for Taiwan’s IAEA participation A lawmaker called for Taiwan to join the international nuclear energy watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) amid Japan’s ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis. CNA

Other Nuclear News

Japanese Plant Had Barebones Risk Plan Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s disaster plans greatly underestimated the scope of a potential accident at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, calling for only one stretcher, one satellite phone and 50 protective suits in case of emergencies. WSJ

Anti-tsunami measures almost an afterthought at Fukushima plant The catastrophic events that crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were mainly due to a tsunami that was off the charts. Nobody foresaw such towering tidal waves hitting with such force…. problems were exacerbated by safety design for important equipment as well as inadequate emergency procedures, according to people associated with Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator. Asahi

EPA boosts radiation monitoring, says levels are low The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it is increasing its nationwide monitoring of radiation in milk, precipitation, drinking water, and other outlets in response to the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan. CNN

San Onofre nuclear plant operators propose seismic study The operators of the San Onofre nuclear power plant are proposing a multimillion-dollar study that would use new technology to better assess seismic conditions near the northern San Diego County complex. LATimes

Workers Give Glimpse of Japan’s Nuclear Crisis With the power out, trucks were parked in a circle with their lights on, creating a shadowy stage. A manager from the Tokyo Electric Power Company explained how the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been slammed by a mammoth tsunami and rocked by hydrogen explosions and had become highly radioactive. Some workers wept. NYTimes

Japan’s Nuclear Lessons Will Get Applied Right Away, U.S. Regulator Says Nuclear-power plant regulators will apply lessons from Japan’s reactor crisis immediately without delaying until licenses are renewed, the head of operations at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said. Bloomberg / NYTimes / WSJ / CSM

Japan nuclear refugees feel ‘betrayed’ Refugees who fled Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear reactors say they have been betrayed by the company that runs them, accusing embattled operator TEPCO of creating a “man-made disaster”. AFP

Japan nuclear crisis: ‘140 US military radiation experts to visit Japan’ About 140 US military radiation safety experts will soon visit Japan to provide help as the nation deals with a stricken nuclear plant, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday, quoting an defense ministry official. Economic Times

China to Focus on Solar Farms, Cut 2020 Nuclear Goal After Japan’s Crisis China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, will cut its 2020 target for nuclear power capacity and build more solar farms following Japan’s atomic crisis, said an official at the National Development and Reform Commission. Bloomberg / Reuters

Nuclear crisis evacuation plan outlined Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko said the federal government would seek to evacuate residents within 50 miles of a power plant in the event of an accident similar to Japan’s nuclear crisis. Boston.com

Slovenia nuclear plant back on line after incident Slovenia’s only nuclear power plant was up and running again Wednesday, a week after it was shut down due to a minor incident that presented no danger to humans or to the environment, the plant’s operator said, cited by AFP. Focus Fen

Whistleblower suit filed vs. Calif. nuclear plant A former manager at one of California’s two nuclear power stations sued the facility’s operators on Wednesday, claiming he was fired in retaliation for reporting safety concerns at the plant. Reuters

Opinion and Analysis

Radiation fixes may help Fukushima exclusion zone Reuters
Japan’s nuclear nightmare set to run and run Reuters
Nuclear radiation in pop culture: more giant lizards than real science CSM
Nuclear power industry must now give nod to naysayers Asahi
Japan’s crisis a reason to look at energy use Citizen