The living ruins:Fukushima 3 years on | Updated: 2014-03-10 13:35
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The living ruins: Fukushima three years on......What can we expect?

March 11 marks the three-year anniversary of Japan's worst nuclear meltdown at Fukushima, and sadly, the disaster is still unfolding....

Fukushima stories:

Children battle invisible enemy

Some of the smallest children in Koriyama, a short drive from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, barely know what it's like to play outside - fear of radiation has kept them indoors for much of their short lives... [More]

New radioactive water leak found 

leak of 100 metric tons of highly radioactive water has been discovered at Fukushima, the plant's operator said on February 20 after it was discovered that only one of nine thermometers in a crippled reactor was still working... [More]

Nuclear re-start bogged down in paperwork

A typical working day for hundreds of technicians and engineers lasts from 8 am to 11 pm. They stay in cheap business hotels within a quick commute of the NRA headquarters in a leafy district of central Tokyo. It's proving a hard slog... [More]

Japan's homeless recruited for murky clean-up

Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan's nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head... [More]

ROK widens Japan fish ban

South Korea expanded its ban on Japanese fisheries products on Sept 6, 2013 over fears of contamination from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, accusing Tokyo of not providing enough information on the crisis... [More]

What happened three years ago ?

At 14:46 Japan Standard Time on March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck the east side of Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture on the Pacific coast, the resulting tsunami swept the coastal areas and caused radiation leakage from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant.

Tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant

Tsunami waves rush into Fukushima power plant



High level radioactive waste marked with sign

Fukushima locals protest against nuclear power 

Japan mulls $13b Fukushima bailout


The disaster at Fukushima, the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 eventually brought about the halt of all nuclear power plants in Japan so they could be vetted under tougher new standards. But now, Japan's obsession with nuclear power has been re-kindled...

Nuclear power plant re-start in process

Japan unveiled its first draft energy policy since the Fukushima meltdowns three years ago, saying nuclear power remains an important source of electricity for the country.The draft presented on Feb 25 to the Cabinet for approval expected in March, said that reactors meeting new safety standards set after the 2011 nuclear crisis should be restarted. [More]

Yoichi Masuzoe, a former health minister backed by Japan's ruling party, won Tokyo's gubernatorial election on Feb 9, defeating two candidates who had promised to end nuclear power. [More]

Japan's trade ministry said it would approve in January a revival plan for the utility responsible for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Co, its second attempt at restoring battered finances. The new plan envisages a restart of two reactors at the Kashiwazaki station in July and the utility hopes all seven reactors will go online by fiscal 2016. Opposition to atomic power remains strong in the country and is set to become a major issue in an election next month for governorship of metropolitan Tokyo, which owns a stake in Tepco. [More]

Opinion poll in Japan


Different voices inside Japan

Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe

Tokyo Governor
Yoichi Masuzoe

Trade Minister
Toshimitsu Motegi

Former top air force officer Toshio Tamogami

Japan's trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi approved  in January a revival plan which hinges on Tokyo Electric (Tepco) restarting its Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear plant to cut fossil fuel costs, a contentious issue staunchly opposed by the local governor.

Yoichi Masuzoe, a former health minister backed by Japan's ruling party, won Tokyo's gubernatorial election on February 9, defeating two candidates who had promised to end nuclear power. 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to restart Japan's 50 nuclear reactors that were idled following the Fukushima disaster.

Japan's former top air force officer, Toshio Tamogami, has reportedly called for Japan to possess nuclear weapons if the country is determined to be a major power that can handle international politics.

Former Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi

Former Prime Minister
Morihiro Hosokawa

Human-rights lawyer
Kenji Utsunomiya

The anti-nuclear camp was divided between two candidates - Former prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa and human-rights lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya. Hosokawa was backed by former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who pushed for an end to nuclear power.

The local governor in Niigata, where Kashiwazaki is located, has been a vocal opponent of Tepco's management and has questioned whether the company has the ability to operate a nuclear station, following the failings in its preparation and response to the disaster.

An anti-nuclear protester with zombie makeup and wearing a costume walks in front of the Parliament in Tokyo March 9. Thousands of anti-nuclear protesters marched in the Japanese capital on Sunday, ahead of the third anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami that triggered the world's worst atomic disaster in 25 years.[Photo/Agencies]

A freighter carrying nuclear fuel processed in France arrives at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, on June 27, 2013. [Photo/]

From Fukushima to disarmament

Years after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima compounds the humanitarian tragedy and impedes recovery. While the Fukushima disaster is attracting overdue global attention to nuclear safety and security, and provoking a reconsideration of nuclear power, its implications for nuclear weapons remain largely unremarked. The nuclear reactions that drive reactors and weapons are the same, as are the radioactive products that are dispersed by wind, rain, and water if released, with the same lack of respect for borders and the same indiscriminate long-term cancer and genetic hazards.

The world is wired with 22,400
nuclear weapons. Around 1,770 of them in Russia and the US, and a further 64 in France and 48 in the United Kingdom, remain on high alert, ready to be launched in response to a perceived attack with only minutes for verification and decision. Recent history is peppered with a litany of false alerts and near misses, each unforeseen, each a combination of technical and human failure. The growing potential for a nuclear disaster by cyber attack adds to the existential danger. [More]

Japan's pro-nuke voices worry world

Iran pledges no nuclear weapons

DPRK agrees to resume six-party talks

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