South Korea’s decision to extend the life of its second-oldest nuclear power plant until 2020 has triggered controversy, with residents and civic groups expressing concerns over its safety. The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, the country’s nuclear watchdog, said Friday that seven of its nine commissioners had voted to restart the 678-megawatt Wolsong unit 1 reactor in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. Th...
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. for not disclosing information immediately after rainwater contaminated with high-level radioactive materials leaked from its ruined Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant through a trench into the sea.
Although there is less call for their services, a number of Tokyo-based citizens groups continue to monitor radioactivity levels to assuage those still not convinced that the worst of the 2011 nuclear crisis is over.
Fishermen working near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant decided to withhold their judgment on a plan to reduce the huge volume of wastewater at the plant following the revelation that tainted rainwater leaked into the sea.
A court has ordered a group of anti-nuclear activists to remove their tents from the premises of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and to pay for using the site.
Six months after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, the group set up tents at a corner of the ministry's premises in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo. The ministry oversees the country's nuclear power industry.
The group has used the tents as a base for their anti-nuclear campaigns, with its members staying there around the clock.
The government filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court, demanding that leaders of the group remove the tents, which they said are illegally occupying state-owned property.
The government also demanded that the leaders pay more than 20,000 yen, or about 177 dollars, a day for the period from the day the tents were pitched until their removal is complete. The amount is estimated to be 28.9 million yen, or about 240,000 dollars, at present.
Handing down Thursday's ruling at the Tokyo District Court, presiding judge Masatoshi Murakami said the tents have blocked information boards of the ministry, causing inconvenience to visitors. The judge also pointed to a fire that partially burned the tents and said they have given rise to a security risk.
The judge approved almost all of the government's demands, ordering the group to remove the tents and pay for the use of land.
The ministry welcomed the ruling, and expressed hope that the activists will vacate the site as soon as possible.
Taro Fuchikami, who heads the group, told a gathering of supporters that the tents have served as a symbol of Japan's anti-nuclear movements since they were set up 3 and half years ago.
He said the ruling was expected, but disappointing.
Fishermen are accusing the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of betraying their trust. The power company has admitted it did not take steps to prevent some contaminated rainwater from spilling into the Pacific Ocean.
How has the Fukushima disaster changed Japan? Former PM Naoto Kan talks to DW about the influence of the nuclear industry lobby while criticizing the current government for its push to restart the idled nuclear reactors.
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