Mar 31, 2011

DPJ withdraws child allowance bill as opposition digs its heels in

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government withdrew a bill Wednesday to provide monthly child allowances for the fiscal year that starts Friday, including increasing payments for children under 3, amid criticism from opposition parties that the money should be used to reconstruct the March ...

Mar 29, 2011

Radioactive water keeps workers out

Reactor turbine basements flooded with highly radioactive materials kept a desperate effort to stabilize the Fukushima No. 1 power plant at bay Monday, as fresh data showed that nearby seawater was being contaminated further by the leaking facility. Efforts by Tokyo Electric Power Co. ...

Mar 27, 2011

Mabuchi, axed from Cabinet, to be Kan adviser

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday appointed former transport minister Sumio Mabuchi, replaced in a Cabinet reshuffle in January after he was targeted with an Upper House censure motion, as his adviser on the nuclear crisis and disaster relief operations. The move came after ...

Mar 27, 2011

Level of iodine-131 in seawater off chart

The level of radioactive iodine detected in seawater near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was 1,250 times above the maximum level allowable, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Saturday, suggesting contamination from the reactors is spreading. Meanwhile, plant operator Tokyo Electric ...

Tohoku disaster buys Kan time

Mar 26, 2011

Tohoku disaster buys Kan time

It was only two weeks ago that Prime Minister Naoto Kan seemed on the verge of stepping down — his foreign minister, Seiji Maehara, had resigned, his popularity was at a historic low and a divided Diet had given him little hope of passing ...

Mar 22, 2011

First food ban issued in nuke crisis

Prime Minister Naoto Kan placed an indefinite ban on spinach and another local vegetable produced by Fukushima and neighboring prefectures Monday after samples were found to be abnormally radioactive. He also suspended Fukushima milk. The food ban, the first since the nuclear crisis began, ...

Special firetruck hoses down No. 3's fuel rods

Mar 20, 2011

Special firetruck hoses down No. 3's fuel rods

Battling to avert an atomic catastrophe, firefighting teams at the Fukushima No. 1 power station sprayed tons of seawater Saturday at its crippled No. 3 reactor in a seven-hour operation aimed at keeping its spent nuclear fuel rods from combusting. In the evening, the ...

Workers battle against time

Mar 19, 2011

Workers battle against time

Separate desperate battles raged Friday to cool down a spent fuel pool and three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to keep highly toxic radiation from being released into the environment. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. was also trying to set up ...

Copters, trucks try to cool fuel rod pool

Mar 18, 2011

Copters, trucks try to cool fuel rod pool

Ground Self-Defense Force choppers dumped water bags, a Tokyo police water cannon unsuccessfully tried to spray water and five enclosed GSDF firetrucks later took on the desperate attempt to cool spent nuclear fuel rods in a storage pool suspected of drying up at the ...