The contaminated pools in the reactor turbine buildings have created a tough new challenge for officials trying to contain the Japan nuclear crisis. The source of radioactivity is a mystery.
Three workers waded Thursday through water with critically elevated radiation levels. They are now being monitored, and officials are encouraging residents outside the initial evacuation zone to relocate.
Mysterious plumes of white, black, and grey smoke have billowed out of the Fukushima I nuclear power plant, prompting speculation about the status of the devastated reactors.
On Tuesday, one pool was reportedly so hot that its remaining water was either boiling or close to it. The spent-fuel pools have been a continuing source of problems in the Japan nuclear crisis.
The nuclear crisis in Japan grew more troubling Sunday as efforts to control the Fukushimi Daiichi nuclear power facility continued to hit unexpected roadblocks. But Energy Secretary Steven Chu says Americans "are in no danger" from radiation.
Chernobyl and Three Mile Island did not stop nuclear power growth. Will the Japan nuclear crisis at Fukushima delay or end the 'nuclear renaissance'?
Fourteen safety-related events at nuclear power plants required follow-up inspections from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the NRC reported in 2010. These "near-miss" events "raised the risk of damage to the reactor core – and thus to the safety of workers and the public," concluded a new report, "The NRC and Nuclear Power Plant Safety in 2010," by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here are five of these 14 "near miss" examples:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to resolve known safety problems, leading to 14 'near-misses' in US nuclear power plants in 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from a nuclear watchdog group.
Japan pours tons of water into a reactor building where the water level in a cooling pool for spent fuel rods was dangerously low. The nuclear crisis is now rated as severe as Three Mile Island.
Scientists point to several factors. On Thursday, the Japan nuclear crisis took a hopeful turn as engineers installed a cable to connect the Fukushima I nuclear power plant to the utility grid.