NAMIE, Fukushima Workers repair a damaged home nearby, and about 60 employees busily prepare for the return of former residents in the largely untouched town hall. Not far away, two wild boars stick their snouts in someone’s yard, snuffling for food. Signs of life are returning nearly six years after panicked residents fled radiation spewed by the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, when it was struck by an earthquake and tsunami. Still, only several hundred of the original 21,500 residents plan to return in the first wave, estimates Hidezo Sato, a former seed merchant who helped draw up a blueprint to rebuild the town.
Reuters 8th March 2017 read more »
Barely a fifth of the way into their mission, the engineers monitoring the Scorpion’s progress conceded defeat. With a remote-controlled snip of its cable, the latest robot sent into the bowels of one of Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged reactors was cut loose, its progress stalled by lumps of fuel that overheated when the nuclear plant suffered a triple meltdown six years ago this week. As the 60cm-long Toshiba robot, equipped with a pair of cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels was left to its fate last month, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), attempted to play down the failure of yet another reconnaissance mission to determine the exact location and condition of the melted fuel.
Guardian 9th March 2017 read more »