EJToday: Top Headlines
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"Japan has raised its assessment of the accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the worst rating on an international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency said on Tuesday."
Japan on Monday expanded the evacuation zone around its crippled nuclear plant because of high levels of accumulated radiation, as a strong aftershock rattled the area one month after a quake and tsunami sparked the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl."
"Millions of gallons of radioactive water have leaked from nuclear power plants throughout the U.S. since the 1970s, threatening water supplies in New Jersey and other states, an Asbury Park Press investigation found."
"U.S. officials say the nation’s health system is ill-prepared to cope with a catastrophic release of radiation, despite years of focus on the possibility of a terrorist 'dirty bomb' or an improvised nuclear device attack."
"Japanese officials took some solace Wednesday in halting leaks of radioactive water from the nation's crippled nuclear plant. But in Washington, internal e-mails from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed doubts within the organization about procedures for U.S. plants in a Fukushima-style event."
The Japanese nuclear disaster is a reminder that the storage of spent fuel in temporary facilities across the United States may be a disaster waiting to happen.
"United States government engineers sent to help with the crisis in Japan are warning that the troubled nuclear plant there is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable, according to a confidential assessment prepared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission."
"As the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station continued to dump radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, company officials said that seawater collected near the facility contained radiation several million times the legal limit."
"The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could continue to release dangerous radiation into the air for several months, Japanese officials said Sunday, acknowledging their painstakingly slow progress in the battle to regain control of the badly damaged facility."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has allowed reactors to phase out some equipment that eliminates explosive hydrogen, the gas that blew up the outer containments of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi in Japan."
"The nuclear crisis in Japan provides an impetus for Congress to confront a failed national policy on dealing with spent fuel from U.S. reactors, witnesses told a Senate subcommittee yesterday."
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a 'more intensive review' of several U.S. plants as part of its 'very conservative' safety review system, its chairman told lawmakers at a hearing on Thursday."
"The nuclear disaster is now also a disaster for Fukushima's farmers. The government has banned the sale of milk, spinach and other leafy vegetables, not just from here but also from the neighboring prefectures."
"Very low levels of radiation turned up in a sample of milk from the West Coast state of Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday, but federal officials assured consumers not to worry."