90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 20, 2014
A shot from the AMC reality series, "Freakshow." (Jessica Brooks / AMC)

From TV to Broadway, circus sideshows — freak shows — are having a big cultural moment. What’s the history behind the comeback?

 
Nov 20, 2014
In this file photo, Hillsborough Sheriff deputy patrols outside the gate of JP Morgan Chase annual stockholders meeting held Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. JP Morgan is one of several large financial institutions currently under investigation for alleged violation of Federal bankruptcy laws. (AP)

You’re supposed to have a clean slate after bankruptcy. But that’s not always true. We’ll ask what’s going on.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments