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Low levels of radioactive particles in Europe: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – Very low levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected in Europe but the particles are not believed to pose a public health risk, the U.N. nuclear agency said Friday, saying it was seeking to find the source. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog,…

Japan allows partial glimpse inside crippled nuclear plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Conditions at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, devastated by a tsunami in March, were slowly improving to the point where a “cold shutdown” would be possible as planned, officials said on Saturday during a tour of the facility. Officials shepherded a group of about 30 mainly…

German artist to buy defunct power plant

BERLIN — German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer said Sunday he planned to snap up a mothballed atomic power plant in the belief that Germany’s nuclear history should be preserved for future generations. In an interview with news weekly Der Spiegel, Kiefer said he was buying “at least the cooling tower”…

Japan donor anonymously leaves 10 million yen in public restroom

An anonymous donor has left a wad of cash worth $131,000 in a public toilet in Japan, with instructions it be used to help victims of the March earthquake and tsunami, an official said Thursday. A plastic shopping bag, containing 10 million yen, was found on September 22 in a…

Iran nuclear plant ‘linked to electricity grid’

TEHRAN — Iran’s first nuclear power plant has been hooked up to the national grid supplying 60 megawatts of its 1,000 megawatt capacity, the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation announced on Sunday. “Last night at 11:29 pm (1859 GMT), the Bushehr power plant was connected with 60 megawatts to the national…

Virginia quake may have exceeded nuclear power plant’s design

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The historic earthquake that shut down Dominion Resources Inc’s North Anna nuclear plant last week may have exceeded what the reactor was designed to withstand, the U.S. nuclear regulator said on Monday. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it has dispatched an additional team of inspectors to…

Japan passes second recovery budget

Japan’s parliament on Monday enacted a $25 billion extra budget to pay for relief and rebuilding after the March 11 quake-tsunami, as Prime Minister Naoto Kan faced mounting pressure to resign. Earlier in the day a ruling party heavyweight suggested Kan could be closer to stepping down with the budget…

UN nuclear chief warns no ‘business as usual’

VIENNA (AFP) – The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog warned on Monday that confidence in atomic energy had been “deeply shaken” by the Fukushima disaster as a conference began to debate lessons to be drawn of the crisis in Japan. “The eyes of the world will be upon us…

Japan approves first $50 billion for reconstruction

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved on Friday almost $50 billion of spending for post-earthquake rebuilding, a downpayment on the country’s biggest public works effort in six decades. The emergency budget of 4 trillion yen ($48.5 billion), which is likely be followed by more reconstruction spending packages, is still dwarfed…

Banking stem cells could save Japan nuclear workers

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Health officials should collect blood from workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in case they are accidentally exposed to high levels of radiation and need a stem cell transplant, Japanese researchers said on Thursday. They said gathering blood from the workers would give them…

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