Archive by category | Fukushima

Fukushima closes in on cold shutdown

Fukushima closes in on cold shutdown

Over the past few days there’s been buzz around whether the melted-down reactors at Fukushima Daiichi are near “cold shutdown”. Since the nuclear crisis began, achieving cold shutdown has been the major goal of the Japanese government and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which runs the plant. Loosely speaking, it would mean that the stricken reactors at the plant no longer require active cooling and that the immediate nuclear crisis is more or less over.

Japan freezes fast breeder plans

Monju, Japan’s prototype fast breeder reactor, has had its research budget slashed. This might not come as a big surprise, given the anti-nuke sentiment in Japan and the tattered state of its nuclear energy policy. Still, with this latest blow, the woeful state of the ill-fated reactor is all the more striking. It could be maintained — with the help of a one-off Y20 billion yen (US$262 million) allocation — but the annual research budget will be cut 70%~80% from its previous Y10 billion.

Siemens pulls the plug on nuclear

Siemens pulls the plug on nuclear

The German company Siemens is pulling out of nuclear power for good. In an interview with der Spiegel published on 18 September, CEO Peter Löscher announced that the company would no longer build or finance nuclear power plants in Germany or anywhere else (English version). Löscher said the decision was in large part due to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi and the German government’s decision to shut down its existing nuclear plants by 2022.

Directly comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl

Directly comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl

This Sunday marks the six-month anniversary of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The accident has slipped from the headlines, but new data are coming out all the time. Some of the most recent findings are allowing the best comparison yet of Fukushima with Chernobyl.