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Thousands sue nuclear giants over Japan Fukushima disaster

A class action lawsuit against nuclear suppliers General Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi has ballooned to more than 4,000 claimants who are seeking damages over the Fukushima atomic disaster, the lead lawyer said Wednesday. The claimants, hailing from Japan and 32 other countries including the United States, Germany and South Korea, want the US and Japanese nuclear power plant suppliers to pay compensation, lawyer Akihiro Shima told media in Tokyo. His comments came one day after the third anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster in a generation.

Japan marks 3 years since quake-tsunami disasters, nuclear crisis

Japan marked the third anniversary of the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami Tuesday with prayers for more than 18,000 people who died or remain missing in the catastrophe, which also triggered the world's worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Three years since the magnitude 9.0 quake, and ensuing tsunami and nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan, disaster-struck communities continue to struggle to come to terms with the loss of so many lives and properties, and with many evacuees still living in temporary housing.

Japan renews resolve to achieve Fukushima plant decommissioning

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday renewed their resolve to steadily and safely decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex as the country marked the third anniversary of the start of the devastating accident there. "In dealing with the decommissioning work and the radioactive water problems at the plant, the government will play a proactive role, not leaving the issues up to TEPCO alone," Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference.

Abe to meet press Mon. before anniv. of 2011 earthquake

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a press conference on Monday, one day before Japan marks the third anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, the government said Friday. Abe is expected to explain to the public about the ongoing efforts and future policy of the government to rehabilitate the country's northeast, which has been affected not only by the natural disaster but also by the ensuing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Ex-Japanese mayors urge Taiwan to expand nuclear evacuation zones

Visiting former Japanese mayors urged the Taiwanese government Thursday to expand the area protective actions would be taken to reduce the external exposure to radiation from a nuclear power plant. Katsutaka Idogawa, former mayor of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture, said the Japanese government expanded its Planned Evacuation Zones from 8 kilometers from the crippled Fukishima Daiichi nuclear plant to 30 km after the March 11, 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

Hundreds protest dropped charges over Fukushima crisis

Hundreds rallied in Tokyo Saturday to protest Japanese prosecutors' decision to drop charges over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, with no one yet punished nearly three years after the "man-made" disaster. No one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of radiation released when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake crashed into the Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011, swamping cooling systems and sparking reactor meltdowns.

Hundreds protest dropped charges over Fukushima crisis

Hundreds rallied in Tokyo Saturday to protest at Japanese prosecutors' decision to drop charges over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, with no one yet punished nearly three years after the "man-made" disaster. "There are many victims of the accident, but there is no (charged) assailant," chief rally organiser Ruiko Muto, 61, told the protestors, displaying a photograph of Kawauchi village which was hit by the nuclear accident.

Japan to include nuclear power in mid-term energy policy: source

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will incorporate nuclear power in its mid-term energy policy, citing it as an "important base load" energy source, and aims to approve the plan at a cabinet meeting in March, a source close to the matter told Reuters. The Japanese public remains divided over nuclear power nearly three years after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 set off triple nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, some 220 km (130 miles) north of Tokyo.

100 tons of toxic water leaked at Fukushima plant, no flow to sea

Roughly 100 tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one of the tanks at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday. Steps have been taken to stop the leakage of the water, which contains 230 million becquerels per liter of strontium and other beta ray-emitting radioactive substances. The utility believes the liquid has not flowed into the adjacent sea as there is no drainage nearby.

TEPCO labor union wants utility to drop 20% salary cut

The labor union of Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to ask the utility as soon as this week to retract its 20 percent cut in employees' annual salaries, a company source said Sunday. The union wants to prevent the departure of employees with expertise in areas that could help rebuild TEPCO, the source said. The request will be a follow-up to the utility's new business turnaround plan approved by the government in January, in which TEPCO said it will reduce the size of the salary cut.
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