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March 10, 2013
Two years after the earthquake that defined Japan’s recent history, the cleanup is well underway. And The Atlantic’s In Focus has the before-and-after shots, down to the exact angle. (side-by-side photos by Reuters/Kyodo)

Two years after the earthquake that defined Japan’s recent history, the cleanup is well underway. And The Atlantic’s In Focus has the before-and-after shots, down to the exact angle. (side-by-side photos by Reuters/Kyodo)

19:18 // 1 year ago
September 14, 2012

Long-term plan: Japan tries weaning itself off nuclear energy

  • cause Last year’s Sendai earthquake drew a strong level of reaction from the Japanese after it (and the ensuing tsunami) caused a set of reactors at the Fukushima plant to have the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
  • effect Japan is trying to give up on nuclear energy in the long run, giving their current reactors a 40-year lifespan and choosing not to build any others. If all works, they hope to be off nuclear energy completely by the end of the 2030s.
  • but … Motohisa Furukawa, the minister of state national policy, gave plenty of hedge room. “We have set the general direction of policy,” he said. “But we must also remain flexible, because this is a long-term policy.” source
9:21 // 1 year ago
April 22, 2012
Japanese tsunami debris washes up in U.S.: A number of items washed away by last year’s deadly Japanese earthquake and tsunami were recovered in Washington state’s Olympic National Forest during an annual beach clean-up. “A majority of the pile is water, pop, juice bottles with Japanese stamps, marks and labels,” said volunteer Martha Anderson, who took the above photo. Click for more.

Japanese tsunami debris washes up in U.S.: A number of items washed away by last year’s deadly Japanese earthquake and tsunami were recovered in Washington state’s Olympic National Forest during an annual beach clean-up. “A majority of the pile is water, pop, juice bottles with Japanese stamps, marks and labels,” said volunteer Martha Anderson, who took the above photo. Click for more.

18:58 // 2 years ago
March 11, 2012

Europeans reflect on the Japan tsunami with anti-nuclear protests: ”Anti-nuclear protesters took to the streets in Germany, France and Belgium to mark the one-year anniversary of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. Protesters called for a reduction in the reliance on nuclear energy.” (AP video)

20:46 // 2 years ago
I’ve been looking at the pictures on TV all day and still can’t believe we lived through it. There was a power cut and no heating, and I couldn’t call anyone after my baby was born because the phones were down. And we didn’t even know what was going on in the nuclear plant.
Japanese earthquake survivor Kaori Naiji • Discussing the deadly incident, which took place one year ago today. Naiji’s daughter, Wakana, was born during the earthquake, which unleashed a major tsunami on the country. Thousands spent the day mourning the lost and protesting the scene at Fukushima, which left the country on eggshells for months afterwards. What do you remember most about the period? Do you expect to see anything like it again in your lifetime?
20:28 // 2 years ago
December 5, 2011

Radioactive water leaks from Fukushima nuclear site

  • 45 metric tons of radioactive water got loose from Fukushima source

» How bad was it? The water leak was found Sunday on a device used to purify the seawater used to cool off damaged reactors. They stopped the leak by stacking sandbags against the concrete barrier surrounding the device. The water itself, authorities say, contained higher-than-usual levels of cesium 137, a radioactive substance. It’s not clear that any of this water made it to the Pacific Ocean. The reactor was greatly damaged during the March earthquake.

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11:30 // 2 years ago
September 16, 2011
Earthquake reported off Japan coast: This 6.6 quake was reportedly less than 100 miles off the coast. Probably minor but we’ll have more as we see it.

Earthquake reported off Japan coast: This 6.6 quake was reportedly less than 100 miles off the coast. Probably minor but we’ll have more as we see it.

15:50 // 2 years ago
September 7, 2011
Deserted scenes of Tokyo without a single man around came across my mind. It really was a spine-chilling thought.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan • Offering a truly harrowing vision of a post-Fukushima future for Tokyo. The vision for the 20-million-strong city helped push Kan towards encouraging renewable energy during his final months as Prime Minister, when he was dealing with the march earthquake. We’re with him. That’s a scary thought and it’s understandable why he changed his track as a result. source (viafollow)
11:05 // 2 years ago
August 2, 2011
Fukushima radiation: What deadly radiation “hot spots” look like
See the red spots? You know, the ones surrounded by blue and green? Those represent 10 sieverts per hour of radiation. That is extremely high and could lead to death within seconds. And at the Fukushima site, that’s what they’re apparently still dealing with … mind you, five months after the fact. “Radiation leakage at the plant may have been contained or slowed but it has not been sealed off completely,” noted Osaka University professor and nuclear engineering expert Kenji Sumita. ”The utility is likely to continue finding these spots of high radiation.” To put this in perspective, add three zeros to the number 10, to make it 10,000 millisieverts per hour (mSv). Then, take a look at this graphic. Yeah. Scary as hell, right? We’ll say. source
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See the red spots? You know, the ones surrounded by blue and green? Those represent 10 sieverts per hour of radiation. That is extremely high and could lead to death within seconds. And at the Fukushima site, that’s what they’re apparently still dealing with … mind you, five months after the fact. “Radiation leakage at the plant may have been contained or slowed but it has not been sealed off completely,” noted Osaka University professor and nuclear engineering expert Kenji Sumita. ”The utility is likely to continue finding these spots of high radiation.” To put this in perspective, add three zeros to the number 10, to make it 10,000 millisieverts per hour (mSv). Then, take a look at this graphic. Yeah. Scary as hell, right? We’ll say. source

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10:18 // 2 years ago
July 9, 2011
Sunday’s quake registered 4 on the Japanese scale of 7, meaning it was felt as moderately strong. Because of the damage from the March quake and tsunami, however, many buildings in the area are structurally weak and seawalls have been destroyed, making the region more vulnerable to relatively weaker quakes.
From AP story on Japan quake; while the quake was weaker, it’s important to keep in mind the buildings are, too.
22:31 // 2 years ago