Fukushima dumps first batch of "once-radioactive" water in sea
The operator of Japan's Fukushima on Monday began releasing previously radioactive groundwater from the crippled nuclear plant into the sea, saying a filtration process had made the discharge safe.

okyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), which operates the plant in eastern Japan, said that on the first day it had released 850 tons of groundwater, which had become radioactive after flowing near the plant.

But it has yet to find a solution to deal with the other 680,000 tons of highly radioactive water stored on site.
This includes water used to cool reactors when they were knocked out by a towering tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Local fishermen have still not agreed to any discharge of water collected from the reactor buildings even after it is filtered.

Japan to restart nuclear reactor after two-year hiatus
Japan is due to switch on a nuclear reactor for the first time in nearly two years.

But it is deeply unpopular with the public, with Mr Abe's approval now at an all time low.

Four years on from the Fukushima disaster, 120,000 Japanese still cannot return to their homes and there are serious doubts whether the site can ever be decontaminated.

Mr Tanaka said the community around Sendai had build a clean, green local economy around seafood and agricultural produce.

But he said that was now under threat with the restart.

Of Japan's 25 reactors at 15 plants for which operators have applied for permission to restart, only five at three plants have been cleared for restart.

Tokyo children's park closed over radiation
Extremely high levels of radiation have been discovered in a playground in Tokyo, officials said on Friday, fanning fears for the health of children in the area.

Soil underneath a slide at the park in the north-west of the Japanese capital showed radiation readings of up to 480 microsieverts per hour, the local administrative office said.

Anyone directly exposed to this level would absorb in two hours the maximum dose of radiation Japan recommends in a year.

"Many children play in the park daily, so the ward office should explain the situation," Kyodo News quoted a 62-year-old local woman as saying.

The radiation level is over 2000 times that at which the national government requires soil cleaning in areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where reactors melted down after the March 2011 tsunami.

"Because the area in which we detect radioactivity is very limited, and readings in surrounding parts are normal, we suspect radioactive materials of some kind are buried there," local mayor Yukio Takano said in a statement.

radioactive drone lands on Japanese PMs office
A drone marked with a radioactive sign landed on the roof of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's office on Wednesday and tested positive for a "minuscule" amount of radiation, media reported.

Police found the radiation to be low enough not to be harmful to humans, media said.

Public broadcaster NHK said the bomb squad was called in to cart away the drone, which was carrying a small camera and a water bottle.


Abe was in Indonesia on Wednesday attending an Asia-Africa summit. An official at the prime minister's office declined to comment.

It was not immediately clear who sent the drone or why. But a Japanese court on Wednesday approved the restart of a nuclear power station in the southwest of the country, rejecting worries about nuclear safety in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster.

The ruling was a boost for Abe, who wants to reboot nuclear power to help cut reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.

Televised aerial footage from the prime minister's office showed the drone with propellers covered under cardboard and later a blue tarp.

Broadcaster NHK said an official at the premier's office found the drone and that the device was around 50 cm (20 ins) in diameter. No-one was injured.

Japan, which has a proven track record in electronics and robotics, is looking to fast track industry-friendly regulation to give its drone sector an edge over the United States.

The government is considering the Fukushima nuclear plant, wrecked by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as a test ground for robots and drones.

A Japanese company this year is planning to mass produce six-propeller drones that could survey radiation levels and help with the government's decommissioning effort, media have said.

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Fukushima Robot Dies Three Hours After Entering Radioactive Reactor Vessel
A robot sent to inspect a reactor' containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stopped responding three hours into the operation. TEPCO hoped to take a look inside the vessel containing one of the three reactors, which underwent a meltdown in the 2011 nuclear disaster. A group of approximately 40 workers sent the remotely-controlled device, allegedly capable of withstanding high levels of radiation, into the vessel at 11:20 a.m. The robot stopped functioning after covering two thirds of the route at approximately 2:10 p.m., according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The company did not say whether it would send another robot into the vessel on Monday, as previously planned. TEPCO's ultimate goal is to use the robot to inspect the melted fuel inside the vessel.