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Gov't seeks approval to use port in Nago in transfer process

The Defense Ministry is seeking approval from Nago city, the planned relocation site for a controversial U.S. base in Okinawa Prefecture, to use a local port to store building materials, as Japan aims to push along the long-stalled transfer, officials said Monday. The local bureau in Okinawa of the Defense Ministry filed a total of six requests with Nago city on Friday despite staunch local opposition to the transfer of the U.S. Marines' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, the officials said. It gave the city until May 12 to reply.

In post-Fukushima policy test, Japan town rallies for nuclear re-start

By Mari Saito SATSUMASENDAI, Japan (Reuters) - On the main road leading from the Sendai nuclear plant in southern Japan, a construction crew is laying down asphalt to widen the evacuation route in the event of a future disaster. For many here, that's a hopeful sight. It means they are edging closer to re-starting two nuclear reactors that have been an economic engine for nearly three decades in a remote coastal town that has few other options.

TEPCO says Aug. water leak from tank was far more contaminated

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday that toxic water found to have leaked last August at one of the huge tanks at the accident-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was far more contaminated than initially announced. After recalculating the radiation level, TEPCO said the water contained 280 million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials such as strontium-90, instead of 80 million becquerels.

TEPCO eyes facilitating plant decommissioning with new in-house firm

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will seek to coordinate the protracted, difficult decommissioning process for the accident-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant through a newly launched internal body. The body, called the Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company, was established Tuesday, with three representatives from Japanese nuclear plant manufacturers, such as Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., to serve as its vice presidents.

Gov't scales down evacuation zones around damaged nuclear plant

The government on Tuesday scaled down areas in Fukushima Prefecture subject to evacuation orders since the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As of midnight, the government lifted its evacuation order for part of the Miyakoji district in the city of Tamura -- the first case of an evacuation order being lifted on an area within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant.

1 worker dies in accident at Fukushima nuclear plant

One worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant died Friday in an accident in which he was buried under falling sand and concrete debris while digging a hole, the plant operator and police said. It was the first death of a worker engaged in containing a nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant that started in March 2011, according to the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. The utility said it will suspend the whole operation within the complex Saturday for safety checking.

1 worker dies in accident at Fukushima nuclear plant

One worker at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant died Friday in an accident in which he was buried under falling sand and concrete debris while digging a hole, the plant operator and police said. It was the first death of a worker engaged in containing a nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant that started in March 2011, according to the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. The utility said it will suspend the whole operation within the complex Saturday for safety checking.

Fuel removal crane trouble occurred because brake was on: TEPCO

The operator of the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Thursday that a crane used to move spent fuel stopped working the previous day because it was operated while the brake was applied. The crane stopped moving around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when workers were preparing to lift a batch of fuel assemblies, placed inside a transportation container, from the spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor building.

Japan invites tenders for seafloor drilling to relocate U.S. base

Japan's Defense Ministry began inviting tenders Thursday for a drilling survey on the seafloor to build a controversial replacement facility for a U.S. Marine base in Okinawa despite staunch local opposition. The ministry's local bureau in Okinawa hopes to start reclamation work in the spring of 2015, so the new facility in a coastal area of Nago can accommodate the functions of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan.

Ex-internal affairs minister Masuda eyed as TEPCO's outside director

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. plan to appoint former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Hiroya Masuda as an outside director for the ailing utility, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. The operator of the accident-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has effectively been under state control since 2012 and a majority of its board members are now from outside TEPCO, having been brought in as part of efforts to improve management transparency.
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