Entries in Tokyo Electric Power Co. (6)


More Radioactive Water Spotted Leaking from Japan's Fukushima Plant

STR/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Radioactive water from Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has leaked into the Pacific, yet again.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says workers spotted water spilling out of a broken pipe connected to the wastewater treatment system on Thursday.

The water contained high levels of the radioactive material strontium, and TEPCO estimates tons have already leaked into the ocean.

The company has struggled to control contaminated water leaks at the Fukushima plant since a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami triggered nuclear meltdowns last March.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japan's Fukushima Plant Director Stepping Down After Falling Ill

STR/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The director of Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, has been hospitalized for an undisclosed illness and will step down later this week, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said Monday.

TEPCO has not said whether the illness is related to radiation, and has refused to release the amount of Masao Yoshida’s radiation exposure, citing privacy issues -- though they’ve revealed numbers for previous employees.

According to the newspaper Sankei, Yoshida sent a letter to workers saying doctors detected an illness at a recent checkup and advised him to seek treatment right away.

The 56-year-old has headed the nuclear plant since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan in March, triggering the country's worst nuclear disaster.  Yoshida led the effort to stabilize the reactors that were damaged as a result.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Two Bodies Found at Japan Nuclear Complex

DigitalGlobe via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The Tokyo Electric Power Co. confirmed the first tsunami-related deaths at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex: a 21-year-old and a 24-year-old who were working when the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.

"It pains us to have lost these two young workers who were trying to protect the power plant amid the earthquake and tsunami," TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said in a statement.

Radioactive water has been spilling into the Pacific Ocean from a crack in a maintenance pit discovered Saturday at the distressed nuclear complex.

On Sunday engineers used a mix of sawdust, shredded newspaper and an expanding polymer to try to seal the crack. TEPCO is also devising a third plan in case the polymer injection does not plug the crack, which will be more apparent on Monday.

A representative for TEPCO said on Saturday that attempts to plug the crack with fresh concrete did not reduce the amount of water leaking from the reactor.

The air above the radioactive water in the pit was measuring 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour on Saturday, according to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama. Risk of cancer is greatly increased by exposure to 500 millisieverts over a short period of time.

So far 12,000 deaths have been confirmed in Japan following the earthquake, and another 15,500 people are missing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President of Power Company that Runs Japan's Nuclear Plant Hospitalized

DigitalGlobe via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The president of the power company operating Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been hospitalized as fears of a nuclear meltdown at the plant continue to rise.

Masataka Shimizu, 66, was admitted to a hospital after suffering from high blood pressure and dizziness, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Company announced at a news conference Wednesday.

TEPCO also said that its chairman, Tsunehisa Katsumata, will step in and take charge of the company while the president is being treated.

Shimizu hasn't been seen in public in over two weeks.  His last public appearance was at a news conference on March 13, two days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japanese Deny US Nuke Claim

DigitalGlobe/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- America's top nuclear official told Congress Wednesday that the pool cooling spent fuel rods at the crippled Japanese nuclear complex had lost most of its water or all of its water, a potentially catastrophic situation.

The Japanese quickly challenged that statement but gave few details about the holding pool's condition.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said that the fuel pool at unit four at the the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had lost massive amounts of water.

"We believe at this point that unit 4 may have lost a significant inventory, if not lost all of its water," Jaczko told a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "What we know at unit three, and again our information is limited, what we believe is that there is a crack in the spent fuel pool for unit three as well, which could lead to a loss of water in that pool."

The spent fuel rods are kept in pools of water to prevent them from overheating and ultimately melting down. The outer shell of the rods could also ignite with enough force to propel the radioactive fuel inside over a wide area.

Japan's nuclear safety agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the complex, deny water is gone from the pool.

Radiation levels have risen rapidly at the plant and there is a fear that the situation is heading for the worst. If levels continue to rise, the doses emergency workers experience near the reactors could be lethal. One U.S. Official told ABC News that "it would be hard to describe how alarming this is right now" and that a suicide mission might not even be enough to avert disaster.

Jaczko recommends that American citizens living within 50 miles of the Fukushima nuclear power plant evacuate the area.

But Japan's current evacuation zone is 12 to 19 miles. The recommendation comes as the Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced that the power line to the plant is almost complete and that the company plans to try it "as soon as possible." The line would revive electric-powered pumps, enabling a steady water supply to be maintained at the troubled reactors and spent fuel storage ponds, keeping them cool.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Explosion At Japanese Nuclear Plant Prompts Fears of Meltdown

In this satellite view, Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power plant is damaged by an earthquake which caused a tsunami in Okuma, Japan. DigitalGlobe via Getty Images(OKUMA, Japan) -- The container protecting a nuclear reactor at a plant facing a possible meltdown was not damaged in an explosion that injured four workers and destroyed the exterior walls of the plant, a Japanese government spokesman said Saturday.

Government spokesman Yukio Edano said the blast did not damage the nuclear reactor itself at the Fukushima Daiichi, which would cause radioactive material to leak out.

Contrary to initial reports of radiation levels rising around the Fukushima Daiichi plant after the blast, Edano said that radiation is decreasing and that the pressure inside the reactor is also dropping.

A top U.S. scientist said Japan must come to terms with the severity of the nuclear accident it is facing, and work to immediately protect its most vulnerable residents from the damage of radiation exposure - particularly protecting children against exposure to radioactive iodine.

"Any attempt to make it seem that this is not the worst case imaginable is foolhardy," said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, located about 200 miles northeast of Tokyo, was one of two run by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. whose cooling systems were damaged in the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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