PLEDGE NOW
Radiation And Risks At Fukushima

The mess at Fukushima, Japan’s deeply-wounded nuclear plant. It’s worse than we’ve been told. We look at the risks for Japan and the world.

In this photo provided by Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), NRA commissioners inspect storage tanks used to contain radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP/Nuclear Regulation Authority)

In this photo provided by Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), NRA commissioners inspect storage tanks used to contain radioactive water at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan, Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP/Nuclear Regulation Authority)

What a nightmare at Japan’s deeply wounded Fukushima nuclear power plant.  Two years and counting after the plant was rocked by earthquake and tsunami, it remains a giant, lethal mess on Japan’s northeast coast.

Hundreds of tons of water being pumped through every day to keep it from boiling over.  Hundreds of tons of radioactive water leaking.  A new plan approved today to freeze a huge swath of shore to keep a radioactive river from despoiling the sea.  And it’s always worse than we’re told.

This hour, On Point:  the lethal nuclear mess at Fukushima, and how far it could spread.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David McNeill, reports for The Economist and The Independent. Co-author of “Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster.”

Yoichi Funabashi, chairman of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation. Program director of the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident.” A former editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun, the second-largest newspaper in Japan.

Per Peterson, chair of the department of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley.

Ken Buesseler, senior scientist in marine chemistry and geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He has been studying radioactive contamination in the Pacific Ocean and its fish stocks.

From Tom’s Reading List

BBC News: Fukushima nuclear plant still ‘unstable’, regulator says – “The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant ‘has not ended’, the country’s nuclear watchdog has warned, saying the situation there is ‘unstable’. Watchdog chief Shunichi Tanaka also accused the plan’s operator of careless management during the crisis.”

CNN: Fukushima radiation levels spike, company says — “There’s been a sharp spike in radiation levels measured in the pipes and containers holding water at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. But the company in charge of cleaning it up says that only a single drop of the highly contaminated water escaped the holding tanks.”

Bloomberg: Fukushima Fishermen Ruined by Tepco Now Key in Toxic Fight – “Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) ruined the livelihoods of the commercial fishermen who trawled the seas off Fukushima prefecture when its leaking reactors poisoned the fishing grounds. The utility now needs their help.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 3, 2015
Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 3, 2015
Friday, Jul 3, 2015

We made a lot of last-minute programming changes these past few weeks, and you stuck around with us through it all. Thanks!

More »
1 Comment
 
Election 2016: Who Exactly Is Running For President?
Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

Who is running for President, anyway? We attempt to help you figure it out.

More »
9 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: June 19, 2015
Friday, Jun 19, 2015

Why our broadcast changed in different markets this week, and a closer look at a puppet theatre vandalism in rural Norway. (Really).

More »
Comment