Kanako Takahara

Kanako Takahara is a staff writer who has covered national politics, diplomacy, business and the economy at The Japan Times. A graduate of Sophia University, she is currently a national news editor.

For Kanako Takahara's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Apr 23, 2011

Waterproof camera set to probe pool in No. 4

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will use a waterproof camera to see if the fuel rods in its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reactor 4’s spent-fuel storage pool are damaged. Tepco hopes to learn the status of the spent fuel, which, along ...

Tepco starts to pump out turbine 2 unit

Apr 20, 2011

Tepco starts to pump out turbine 2 unit

Tokyo Electric Power Co. started Tuesday pumping highly radioactive water at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s reactor 2 turbine building into a nearby storage facility, a crucial step toward restoring the reactor’s dedicated cooling system, the government nuclear watchdog said. Because key equipment ...

Apr 19, 2011

Robots detect dangerous spike in reactor 3 radiation

Robots sent in to explore the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have found high radiation levels in three reactor buildings that may seriously hinder efforts to bring the plant under control, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said Monday. On Sunday, two U.S.-made robots checked radiation, temperature ...

Apr 16, 2011

Fuel rod fragments at bottom of vessels

Melted fuel rod fragments have sunk to the bottoms of three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and could theoretically burn through the pressure vessels if emergency water-pumping operations are seriously disrupted, the Atomic Energy Society of Japan said Friday. If too ...

Apr 14, 2011

East Fukushima shiitake banned

Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Wednesday banned the shipment of shiitake raised outdoors in eastern Fukushima Prefecture near the crippled nuclear power plant after radioactive substances exceeding government standard were detected. Subject to the ban are shiitake harvested outdoors on logs in the cities ...

Apr 14, 2011

Radiation surges above 4's fuel pool

Radiation has risen to high levels above the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and its temperature is rising, the nuclear safety agency said Wednesday, indicating the fuel rods have been further damaged and are emitting radioactive substances. The radiation level 6 meters above ...

Disaster toll still incalculable

| Apr 12, 2011

Disaster toll still incalculable

Although a month has passed since the magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant on March 11, no one yet has a clear idea of when or how the radiation disaster will end. But one thing is certain: Prime ...

Seawater radiation shoots far past limit

Apr 6, 2011

Seawater radiation shoots far past limit

Radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted Tuesday. The sample that yielded the high reading was taken Saturday, before ...

Tepco dumps toxic water into sea

Apr 5, 2011

Tepco dumps toxic water into sea

Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Monday began releasing 10,000 tons of low-level radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant into the Pacific Ocean on Monday evening to help accelerate the process of bringing the crippled complex under control. The radical step was ...