Japan: angry parents march in Fukushima

Angry parents held a hundreds-strong march in Japan’s Fukushima city June 26 to demand greater protection for their children from radiation more than three months after the start of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years in the northern prefecture. The parents won a victory last month, when a protest campaign pressured the government to lower the limit for radiation exposure for children at schools, and to offer money for schools to remove topsoil in playgrounds with too much radiation. But also June 26, government officials met with local residents in a televised meeting at Saga, on Kyushu island, to try to convince them that it is safe to restart the prefecture’s Genkai nuclear power plant. Since the Fukushima disaster, 35 of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors have been temporarily shut down. (Reuters, AFP, June 26; Asahi Shimbun, June 14)

Nearly a month after admitting to a likely meltdown at Fukushima, authorities have now admitted that there has in fact been a “melt-through”—in which molten nuclear fuel has burned through containment vessels—at three of the Fukushima reactors. The admission comes in a report to be submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which also includes an apology to the international community for the nuclear crisis and expresses “remorse that this accident has raised concerns around the world about the safety of nuclear power generation.” (The Guardian) June 8

See our last post on the Fukushima crisis and the nuclear threat.

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