Japan Disaster Topics

Democracy Now! reports on the disaster in Japan following a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis.

Newest First | Oldest First
  • Chernobyl
    As Japan continues to deal with its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power facility, memorials are being held in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia today to mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986, an explosion at the power plant sent a cloud of radioactive fallout into Russia, Belarus and over a large portion of Europe. Soviet officials attempted to cover up the accident, but eventually 50,000 people...
    Apr 26, 2011 | Story
  • 04_19_11
    Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan have started to pump radioactive water from a leaking reactor into a makeshift storage area—an effort they say is a crucial step toward easing the nuclear crisis. The Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will take six to nine months to achieve a “cold shutdown.” Meanwhile in the United States, the owners of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant have filed a federal...
    Apr 19, 2011 | Story
  • Play_kaku
    The Japanese government is trying to calm fears about radiation levels and food safety in the region around the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, even as it has raised the severity rating of the crisis to the highest possible level. "Radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors. The situation is not stable at all," says Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York...
    Apr 13, 2011 | Story
  • Play_japan_nukes
    Japan has raised the severity rating of its nuclear crisis from 5 to 7, the highest level, matching the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We go to Tokyo for an update from Thomas Breuer, head of the Climate and Energy Unit for Greenpeace Germany and part of a field team of radiation monitors in Japan. He notes that unlike Chernobyl, the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in a densely populated area. “We warned the government that...
    Apr 12, 2011 | Story
  • Temp-image_2_1
    The Japanese nuclear crisis worsens as Japanese authorities race to cool the overheating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Earlier today, Japan raised the nuclear alert level at the crippled plant from a four to a five, on par with Three Mile Island. This decision has shocked many nuclear experts. “Our experts think that it’s a level 6.5 already, and it’s on the way to a seven, which was Chernobyl," says...
    Mar 18, 2011 | Story
  • Former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate and nuclear critic Ralph Nader strongly advocates phasing out nuclear power in the United States by calling for public hearings on the status of every single nuclear power plant. "What we’re seeing here is 110 or so operating nuclear plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pumps and combustible materials......
    Mar 18, 2011 | Story
  • Powerplantbutton
    Fears of a full-scale nuclear reactor meltdown are increasing as Japanese authorities use military helicopters to dump water on the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. The water appears to have missed its target and failed to cool the plant’s reactors and spent fuel rods. “The walls of defense are falling, with the melting of the cores, the collapsing of the—we’re expecting the collapsing of the vessels. And then,...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Resucebutton
    The official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami has risen to 5,000, and at least 9,400 people are missing. Some 850,000 households have no power, and 1.5 million houses lack running water. Food and gas supplies have been nearly exhausted. We speak with video journalist Tetsuo Jimbo, who is in Sendai, Japan, one of the worst-hit areas. He describes the destruction of Rikuzen-Takata, a city formerly home to around 20,000 residents, half...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Radiationbutton
    For more on the emergency response effort, we speak with Steven Leeper of the Peace Culture Foundation, which manages the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima. “In Hiroshima, we are pretty sensitive to radiation issues, and we’re very sensitive to disaster issues,” Leeper says. “We are known as a place that knows about radiation. We have a team of doctors. They left yesterday to go up into that area with their equipment to...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story
  • Keiwobutton
    We speak with leading Japanese cultural anthropologist and environmentalist Keibo Oiwa in Yokohama. He is the founder of the Sloth Club, Japan’s leading "Slow Life" environmental group. “I’m realizing again that democracy is so hollow now. We do not have power,” Oiwa says. “We have been controlled by the government and the Tokyo Electric Company, a private company... We have to really look for a lifestyle and a way...
    Mar 17, 2011 | Story