Archive by category | Fukushima

Japan’s new leadership to boost science

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which regained power in a December 16 election, finalized a proposal for a 10.3 trillion supplementary budget on Friday. The supplementary budget, the second largest in the country’s history, reverses the path of austerity followed by the LDP’s predecessor, the Democratic Party of Japan, which decreased funding for some research projects and lowered many scientists’ salaries. The supplementary budget, expected to be approved by parliament in mid-February, aims to decrease energy consumption, encourage environment-friendly industry, and give a significant boost to some research fields.  Read more

Seismic study loses air over wildlife concerns

Bruce Gibson testifies against PG&E's proposed seismic survey.

A California regulatory board has  denied a key permit on 14 November for a proposed study of undersea faults near the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County. The plant’s owners, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), had designed the project to aid the state in re-evaluating earthquake risks to California’s two nuclear facilities following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in March 2011.  Read more

Fukushima fish still hot

Fukushima fish still hot

Data visualization is all the rage these days, but there’s nothing quite like getting the story from points on a graph. In today’s issue of Science, Ken Buesseler of the Wood’s Whole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts provides plots of radioactivity in fish around the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that do just that (click image to enlarge).  Read more

Japan’s nuclear sun to set?

Japan's nuclear sun to set?

A week can be a long time in politics, so today’s announcement by the Japanese government that it intends to phase out its 50 remaining nuclear reactors by around the 2030s is perhaps much less of a certainty than it might at first appear. Under the plan, existing reactors would be phased out when they reach 40 years of age so causing a gradual fall in nuclear’s share of electricity generation in Japan, as no new reactors are built to replace them.  Read more

Japanese science ministry takes partial blame for tsunami and meltdown

Japan’s ministry of science and education was supposed to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first annual White Paper on Science and Technology with the 2011 edition. Instead of a long spread of great achievements by Japanese scientists over the past five decades, however, the document, which was approved by the government yesterday, became the latest mea culpa for the poor handling of last March’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. The document puts the spotlight on the responsibility of the countries’ scientists and engineers.  Read more

World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima

World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a preliminary estimate of the dose received by the public as a result of last March’s meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Nature has seen a draft of the final report, and it is mostly good news—the doses are very low, and very few cancers would be expected as a result.  Read more

Fukushima reports redux

This week, think tanks and advocacy groups around the world have been producing reports on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, which began almost exactly one year ago on 11 March 2011. Here’s a round up of what’s come out so far, and what they had to say:  … Read more