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01 сентября 2016, 08:04

Фукусима: выдержит ли ледяная стена

Перед тем, как запустить атомные реакторы на АЭС «Фукусима», японское правительство клятвенно заверило японцев в их полной безопасности. На самом высоком уровне жителям Страны восходящего солнца было обещано, что повторения страшной трагедии, случившейся после землетрясения в марте 2011 года, не будет.

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23 июня 2016, 04:57

Японские компании разрабатывают внеземную строительную технику

Японская компания Kajima планирует в сотрудничестве с Японским агентством аэрокосмических исследований (JAXA) разработать автоматизированную строительную технику для проведения строительных работ на Марсе и Луне.Издание Nikkei Asian Review сообщает, что проект станет дальнейшим развитием разработанной Kajima системы A4CSEL. Система позволяет операторам удалённо контролировать работу техники с помощью планшетных компьютеров, системы GPS и датчиков измерения ускорений. В прошлом году оборудование использовалось на строительстве дамбы в префектурах Фукуоке и Оита на юге Японии. По данным Kajima, подключённые к сети бульдозеры выполняли с высокой точностью «несложные повторяющиеся» строительные работы. Компания отмечает на своём сайте, что использование автоматизированного оборудования в строительстве в крупных проектах может компенсировать недостаток квалифицированных рабочих и повысить производительность труда. В условиях других планет с помощью этой концепции можно будет готовить строительные или стартовые площадки и убирать завалы.

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21 июня 2016, 17:42

Япония займётся внеземным строительством

"Космическая лихорадка" усиливается с каждым годом. Страны соревнуются между собой, пытаясь раньше других начать строительство баз на Луне или Марсе. Не отстаёт в этом вопросе и Япония, которая намерена адаптировать вполне земной метод работы для внеземной стройки.

01 июня 2016, 19:10

Japanese firm in forced labor deal

MITSUBISHI Materials Corp, one of dozens of Japanese companies that used Chinese forced labor during World War II, yesterday reached a settlement covering thousands of victims that includes compensation

25 января 2016, 04:21

СМИ: Британия может заказать у Японии строительство АЭС на 1 трлн иен

Великобритания в рамках совместного с Японией предприятия Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy может передать японским компаниям до 40% заказов на выполнение работ по строительству АЭС, сделка оценивается в 1 трлн иен (около 8,42 млрд долларов), сообщает Nikkei. Весь проект по строительству четырех водо-водяных ядерных реакторов оценивается в 3 трлн иен (более 25 млрд долларов), при этом он может быть расширен до шести реакторов. Как отмечается, все технологические работы, связанные со строительством непосредственно ядерной установки, выполнит Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, а заказ на выполнение сопутствующих работ, который равняется стоимости 40% всего проекта, может получить ряд японских фирм, передает ТАСС. Руководство Hitachi планирует провести встречу с представителями около 40 японских компаний-претендентов на участие в проекте. Перечень приглашенных не называется, но среди них, как пишет Nikkei, могут быть крупные производители труб и насосов, а также занимающиеся строительством Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, JFE Steel, Japan Steel Works, Ebara, Kurita Water Industries, Kubota, а также Shimizu и Kajima. В последние годы японские компании, участвующие в строительстве атомных станций, испытывают недостаток заказов, поскольку после аварии на АЭС «Фукусима-1» в марте 2011 года все коммерческие реакторы в стране были остановлены. В настоящее время власти настроены на постепенное восстановление атомной энергетики, однако до сих пор были перезапущены лишь два реактора АЭС «Сэндай». Кроме того, разрешение на перезапуск имеют еще два реактора АЭС «Такахама», а также третий энергоблок АЭС «Иката». После публикации этого сообщения на открытии Токийской фондовой биржи выросли в цене акции всех компаний, которые могут быть задействованы в реализации проекта. Так, бумаги Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal прибавили 2,09%, JFE Holdings (в который входит JFE Steel) поднялись на 1,7%, а Japan Steel Works - сразу на 4,55%. Закладки:

08 сентября 2015, 09:55

Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 2.43%

Japan stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Transportation Equipment and Services sectors led shares lower. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 lost 2.43% to hit a new 6-months low. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Pioneer Corp. (TOKYO:6773), which rose 8.41% or 19.0 points to trade at 245.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Kobe Steel, Ltd. (TOKYO:5406) added 3.29% or 5.0 points to end at 157.0 and Tokuyama Corp. (TOKYO:4043) was up 3.11% or 6.0 points to 199.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Shionogi&Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:4507), which fell 8.82% or 415.0 points to trade at 4290.0 at the close. Kikkoman Corp. (TOKYO:2801) declined 8.05% or 280.0 points to end at 3200.0 and Kajima Corp. (TOKYO:1812) was down 7.50% or 50.0 points to 617.0. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1581 to 294 and 1 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.96% to 35.94. Crude oil for October delivery was down 3.19% or 1.47 to $44.58 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in October rose 0.96% or 0.46 to hit $48.09 a barrel, while the December Gold contract fell 0.12% or 1.40 to trade at $1120.00 a troy ounce. USD/JPY was up 0.45% to 119.81, while EUR/JPY rose 0.71% to 134.18. The US Dollar Index was down 0.20% at 95.95.

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05 августа 2015, 09:55

Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.46%

Japan stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Non-Metal Minerals, Fishery and Precision Instruments sectors led shares higher. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.46%. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (TOKYO:1332), which rose 18.57% or 70.0 points to trade at 447.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Terumo Corp. (TOKYO:4543) added 12.94% or 405.0 points to end at 3535.0 and Kajima Corp. (TOKYO:1812) was up 6.77% or 44.0 points to 694.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Marui Group Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:8252), which fell 10.98% or 195.0 points to trade at 1581.0 at the close. Minebea Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:6479) declined 6.28% or 126.0 points to end at 1880.0 and IHI Corp. (TOKYO:7013) was down 5.63% or 26.0 points to 436.0. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1125 to 752. Shares in Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (TOKYO:1332) rose to 3-years highs; rising 18.57% or 70.0 to 447.0. Shares in Terumo Corp. (TOKYO:4543) rose to 52-week highs; up 12.94% or 405.0 to 3535.0. Shares in Kajima Corp. (TOKYO:1812) rose to 3-years highs; rising 6.77% or 44.0 to 694.0. Shares in IHI Corp. (TOKYO:7013) fell to 52-week lows; down 5.63% or 26.0 to 436.0. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 0.63% to 17.34. Crude oil for September delivery was up 1.15% or 0.53 to $46.27 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September rose 1.22% or 0.61 to hit $50.60 a barrel, while the December Gold contract fell 0.34% or 3.70 to trade at $1087.00 a troy ounce. USD/JPY was down 0.00% to 124.38, while EUR/JPY fell 0.10% to 135.21. The US Dollar Index was up 0.13% at 98.17.

04 августа 2015, 09:55

Japan stocks lower at close of trade; Nikkei 225 down 0.14%

Japan stocks were lower after the close on Tuesday, as losses in the Fishery, Shipbuilding and Electrical/Machinery sectors led shares lower. At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.14%. The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Nippon Soda Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:4041), which rose 5.96% or 44.0 points to trade at 782.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Kajima Corp. (TOKYO:1812) added 5.86% or 36.0 points to end at 650.0 and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co Ltd (TOKYO:4506) was up 5.16% or 75.0 points to 1528.0 in late trade. The worst performers of the session were Maruha Nichiro Corp (TOKYO:1333), which fell 7.41% or 153.0 points to trade at 1913.0 at the close. Mitsubishi Corp. (TOKYO:8058) declined 6.85% or 181.5 points to end at 2467.0 and IHI Corp. (TOKYO:7013) was down 6.67% or 33.0 points to 462.0. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 968 to 909 and 1 ended unchanged. Shares in Kajima Corp. (TOKYO:1812) rose to 3-years highs; gaining 5.86% or 36.0 to 650.0. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 1.63% to 17.45. Crude oil for September delivery was up 1.13% or 0.51 to $45.68 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in September rose 0.78% or 0.39 to hit $49.91 a barrel, while the December Gold contract fell 0.23% or 2.50 to trade at $1086.90 a troy ounce. USD/JPY was down 0.02% to 124.00, while EUR/JPY rose 0.05% to 135.88. The US Dollar Index was down 0.07% at 97.53.

26 июня 2015, 04:45

Группа китайцев требует от Японии компенсации за пытки в годы Второй мировой войны

События более чем пятидесятилетней давности станут предметом рассмотрения в суде японского города Осака. В пятницу, 26 июня, группа из 13 граждан Китая подала туда иск, требуя от Японии извинений и компенсаций в 5,5 миллиона иен за рабский труд, пытки и унижения во время Второй мировой войны.

16 апреля 2015, 17:48

Making it work: The family way

UK Only Article:  standard article Issue:  To those that have Fly Title:  Making it work Rubric:  Distinctive problems call for tailor-made solutions Main image:  20150418_srd105.jpg JAPANESE BUSINESSES HAVE come up with a logical solution to the problem of disappointing heirs: find better ones. The easiest way to do this is to persuade your daughter to marry a talented man. (“You can’t choose your sons,” goes a Japanese adage, “but you can choose your sons-in-law.”) Another way is to adopt a star employee as a son. For best effect these two techniques can be combined: adopted sons can be persuaded to marry their stepsisters. A study of leading Japanese companies since the second world war found that about 10% of “family successions” in business families involved a son-in-law or an adopted son. Kajima Construction has been run by non-blood heirs for three generations. Suzuki Motors, too, has had a run of non-blood heirs. Osamu Suzuki, who was himself adopted into the family, chose his son-in-law as his ...

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10 ноября 2013, 01:36

Business › Mitsui Fudosan, Fuji Media, Kajima team up for possible Tokyo casino

Japan's biggest property developer Mitsui Fudosan Co has joined forces with media firm Fuji Media Holdings and builder Kajima Corp to develop a proposed casino and resort complex in Tokyo. After more than a decade of lobbying by lawmakers, a bill to legalize casino gambling is seen as having a…

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26 октября 2013, 14:04

Япония - быть ликвидатором

Компания-оператор АЭС «Фукусима-1» TEPCO наняла сотни частных фирм, которые подбирают людей для устранения последствий утечки радиации. Субподрядчики ищут отчаявшихся найти заработок безработных и направляют их на опасную работу. Самой частой жалобой рабочих на «Фукусиме» является непрофессионализм компаний, которые подбирают персонал для борьбы с последствиями выброса радиации, сообщают японские СМИ. Люди рассказывают о том, что субподрядчики TEPCO даже не имеют опыта работы на подобных предприятиях, а многие из них связаны с организованной преступностью. Во главе этой пирамиды находится управляющая компания TEPCO, она сотрудничает с так называемой «японской четвёркой»: Kajima, Obayashi, Shimizu Corp и Taisei Corp. Они, в свою очередь, нанимают более мелкие фирмы. Восстановление территорий вокруг АЭС и разбор повреждённого реактора во многом финансируется государством, поэтому дельцы пытаются «освоить» средства любыми способами. В поисках наживы мелкие частные фирмы не останавливаются ни перед чем. Работников часто обманывают, нанимают на одну должность, а отправляют на другую, подвергая их жизнь опасности. Многим недоплачивают, а за попытки добиться справедливости увольняют. Журналисты приводят историю Тетсуя Хаяши, которого нанимали следить за уровнем радиации в ряде районов, где происходят восстановительные работы. Но через какое-то время его самого отправили работать в зону с самым высоким уровнем излучения. Работодатель пояснил, что на месте выполнения задания за час он получит дозу радиации, превышающую годовую норму. «Я почувствовал, что меня обманули, заманили в ловушку. И я не согласился с такими условиями», - рассказал Тетсуя Хаяши. На следующий день он обратился с жалобой к начальству, но его уволили. И это не единичный случай. Загнанная в ловушку банковских займов и рефинансирования компания TEPCO вынуждена сокращать зарплаты своим сотрудникам. Желающих добровольно пойти на опасную работу за меньшие деньги становится всё меньше, поэтому субподрядчики идут на различные уловки, чтобы заманить людей на «Фукусиму». Многие доведены до отчаяния безработицей на заражённых землях, поэтому соглашаются на любые условия. Напомним, 11 марта 2011 года в результате землетрясения и последовавшего за ним цунами на японской АЭС произошло несколько утечек радиоактивной воды и сбой питания охлаждающей системы реакторов. Это ЧП считается самым серьёзным на ядерных объектах со времён аварии в Чернобыле в 1986 году. Автор - RT Источник - http://russian.rt.com

19 сентября 2013, 14:21

Япония: Олимпийские игры 2020 положительно влияют на рынок недвижимости страны

Японские компании Kajima, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Estate и две другие фирмы инвестируют около 67,5 млрд йен ($687 млн) в создание олимпийских объектов к 2020 году. В рамках данного проекта будет построен 53-этажный небоскреб и еще два жилых здания в Кашидоки (Kachidoki), а также компании займутся строительством крупнейшего жилого дома в Японии (с 1 420 квартирами). Стоит отметить, что право на проведение Олимпийских игр оказывает положительное влияние на национальный рынок недвижимости. Так, по данным Real Estate Economic Research Institute, августовские продажи жилой недвижимости выросли на 53% г/г до 4 145 ед.

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08 августа 2013, 14:48

300 Tons a Day of Nuclear Waste from Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant Pours Into Ocean

Officials in Japan hid the fact that the Fukushima nuclear plant has been pouring hundreds of tons of nuclear waste water into the ocean every day and that a containment barrier has been breached. Here are a few links. On Tuesday the BBC reported Fukushima Radioactive Leak a New Emergency Japan's nuclear watchdog has said the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is facing a new "emergency" caused by a build-up of radioactive groundwater. A barrier built to contain the water has already been breached, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority warned. This means the amount of contaminated water seeping into the Pacific Ocean could accelerate rapidly, it said. Last Friday, Energy News reported "Contaminated underground water may have moved above ground" at Fukushima plant NHK, August 3, 2013: [...] TEPCO admitted during the [Friday] meeting that contaminated underground water may have moved aboveground along seawalls that were solidified to stop leakages. TEPCO’s proposals include construction of a new facility to gather underground water flowing toward the seaside of the plant and begin pumping water in late August. Experts in the group urged TEPCO to implement the measures ahead of schedule, citing the seriousness of the problem. [...] Asahi Shimbun, August 3, 2013: [...] The immediate concern is radioactive water seeping along the seaward side of the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors and spilling into the sea. [...] the water level in observation wells has risen sharply to about 1 meter from the ground’s surface, [...] the walls can only be built with their tops at 1.8 meters beneath the surface. That means the water levels in the observation wells have already risen above the top edges. If such a situation continues, the completed barriers will be unable to prevent the water from reaching the ocean. In addition, calculations show that if the water levels continue to rise at the current pace, contaminated water will flood the surface in about three weeks. [...] 300 Tons a Day of Nuclear Waste Water Per Day On Wednesday, Reuters announced Japan says Fukushima leak worse than thought, government joins clean-up Highly radioactive water from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is pouring out at a rate of 300 tonnes a day, officials said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to step in and help in the clean-up. The revelation amounted to an acknowledgement that plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has yet to come to grips with the scale of the catastrophe, 2 1/2 years after the plant was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami. Tepco only recently admitted water had leaked at all. The leak from the plant 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo is enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in a week. The water is spilling into the Pacific Ocean, but it was not immediately clear how much of a threat it poses. As early as January this year, Tepco found fish contaminated with high levels of radiation inside a port at the plant. Local fishermen and independent researchers had already suspected a leak of radioactive water, but Tepco denied the claims. "We think that the volume of water (leaking into the Pacific) is about 300 tonnes a day," said Yushi Yoneyama, an official with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees energy policy. Tatsuya Shinkawa, a director in METI's Nuclear Accident Response Office, told reporters the government believed water had been leaking for two years, but Yoneyama told Reuters it was unclear how long the water had been leaking at the current rate. Shinkawa described the water as "highly" contaminated. Tepco and the industry ministry have been working since May on a proposal to freeze the soil to prevent groundwater from leaking into the reactor buildings. Similar technology is used in subway construction, but Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the vast scale of Tepco's attempt was "unprecedented in the world." The technology was proposed by Kajima Corp, , a construction company already heavily involved in the clean-up. Experts say maintaining the ground temperatures for months or years would be costly. The plan is to freeze a 1.4 km (nearly one mile) perimeter around the four damaged reactors by drilling shafts into the ground and pumping coolant through them. "Right now there are no details (of the project yet). There's no blueprint, no nothing yet, so there's no way we can scrutinise it," said Shinji Kinjo, head of the task force set up by the nuclear regulator to deal with the water issue. Fukushima Nuclear Plant Video, Slide Show The Huffington Post Has additional details as well as a video and slideshow in Fukushima Leak Is An 'Emergency,' Watchdog Official Says Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant's operator, admitted last month that contaminated water from Fukushima had leaked into the underground water system and reached the sea. The company gave its first estimate of the extent of the leak this weekend. According to AFP, TEPCO estimates between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have spilled into the ocean. UPI explains a becquerel is a unit of radioactivity, "the quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second." TEPCO long denied radioactive water had been leaking into the ocean, the AP notes, despite reports that biologists had found traces of radioactive cesium in fish. The operator eventually admitted to both the leak and having postponed acknowledgment the crisis. There is no credibility from TEPCO or the Japanese government on the extent of the real disaster, its effects, the ultimate cleanup costs, or how many years fish in the area will be contaminated. In addition, contaminated fish may turn up anywhere within their normal swimming range with obvious implications. Mike "Mish" Shedlock http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.comMike "Mish" Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction. Visit http://www.sitkapacific.com/account_management.html to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

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30 мая 2013, 15:46

Радиоактивную воду под «Фукусимой» превратят в вечную мерзлоту

Эксперты предложили решить проблему постоянного накапливания радиоактивной воды в подземных помещениях АЭС «Фукусима-1» за счет создания под станцией слоя вечной мерзлоты, сообщает РИА Новости. Барьер из замороженной почвы предотвратит поступление в подземные помещения энергоблоков грунтовых вод. Для этого разработчик технологии, корпорация Kajima, предлагает в вертикально установленные в почве трубы постоянно закачивать специальный замораживающий раствор. Ежедневно количество радиоактивной воды в подземных помещениях Фукусимы-1 возрастает на 400 тонн, несмотря на то, что оператор станции компания ТЕРСО постоянно откачивает воду и частично использует её повторно для охлаждения реакторов. Объемы накопленной радиоактивной воды уже превысили 280 тысяч тонн. Она  хранится во временных бассейнах и цистернах. Однако в апреле стало известно об утечках воды из бассейнов в почву.

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06 марта 2013, 21:15

Fukushima two years on: the largest nuclear decommissioning finally begins

Question marks remain about the plant's safety, but the estimated $100bn, 40-year clean-up is now underwayRadiation levels in the abandoned communities near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have fallen 40% in the past year. Inside the wrecked facility, construction workers rush to complete state-of-the-art equipment that will remove dozens of dangerous radioactive nuclides from cooling water. Soon, a steel shield will be driven into the seabed to prevent contamination from the plant from leaking into the Pacific Ocean.Almost two years after a deadly tsunami crashed into the plant, crippling its backup power supply and triggering the world's worst nuclear crisis for a quarter of a century, the gravest danger posed by Fukushima Daiichi has passed.But for all the signs of progress since the Guardian visited the atomic facility a year ago, the biggest, and most complex, nuclear decommissioning operation the industry has ever seen has barely begun.The pipes, cables and other equipment strewn across the plant's grounds this time last year are now functioning components in a complex, technologically fraught mission to cool the crippled reactors, while experts struggle to figure out how to extract the melted nuclear fuel lying deep inside their basements.The three reactors struck by meltdown and hydrogen explosions two years ago were brought to a safe state known as "cold shutdown" in December 2011, nine months after the tsunami left almost 20,000 dead or missing along Japan's north-east coast.Now, Japan is about to embark on a clean-up that could cost at least $100bn – on top of the cost of compensating evacuees and decontaminating their abandoned homes.Fukushima Daiichi's manager, Takeshi Takahashi, conceded that decommissioning the plant could take 30 to 40 years."Even though we are still faced with a difficult task, we'll keep pushing on with the decommissioning process," he told a small group of visiting foreign journalists on Wednesday. "It will take a long time to complete our work, especially on the three reactors that suffered meltdown, but we'll do our best to keep them stable."The clean-up operation will begin at reactor No 4, where the fuel rods inside survived unscathed after it was hit by the tsunami, then badly damaged by a hydrogen explosion.By the end of this year, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) says it will begin removing fuel assemblies from the reactor and placing them in a nearby cooling pool, where they will remain for four years before being stored in dry casks in a purpose-built facility on higher ground.In total, workers will have to extract more than 11,000 new and used fuel assemblies from seven badly damaged storage pools. Work to remove melted fuel won't begin until 2021, and the entire decommissioning project is expected to take up to 40 years.Managers from firms contracted by Tepco to help decommission the 40-year-old plant say they are confident progress is being made, despite the radiation hazards faced by their employees.Perhaps the most dangerous job on the site has fallen to Hiroshige Kobayashi and his colleagues. As a manager at Kajima Corp, Kobayashi is responsible for clearing and processing the rubble and debris from reactor No 3, where radiation levels easily outstrip those at other parts of the site.On the ocean side of neighbouring reactor No 4, where a meltdown did not occur, Tepco recently measured radiation at 172 microsieverts/hour; but in the same area outside reactor No 3, levels soar to 1,710 microsieverts/hour. By comparison, a chest X-ray is equivalent to 50 microsieverts and a return flight between Tokyo and New York 200 microsieverts, according to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.The dangers associated with working in highly radioactive areas of Fukushima Daiichi prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to warn last week that one-third of the plant's workers face an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer, leukaemia and all solid cancers during their lifetimes.Kobayashi declined to comment on the WHO report, but acknowledged that workers face unprecedented danger from persistently high radiation levels."It's a fact that the levels in reactor No 3 are very high, so we are trying to deal with that by using remote control technologies and staying as far away from the reactor as possible," he said.Hopes that robots would quickly be able to reach areas of the plant inaccessible to humans suffered a setback when Quince, a $6m robot, lost contact with its operators while monitoring inside one of the reactors in October 2011."We're in a situation where we're using technologies we've never experienced before, such as GPS and lasers when we're dealing with the debris," Kobayashi said.Although Tepco has managed to insert remote-controlled cameras into the damaged reactors' outer vessels, it is still no closer to gauging the state of the damaged fuel – a prerequisite for removing it.To add to Tepco's troubles, irradiated water is increasing at such a pace that the utility is running out of space for the tanks it needs to store it.Several strong quakes have shaken north-east Japan since 11 March 2011, but Takahashi insisted that the reactor No. 4 building – where 1,500 fuel assemblies stored in a pool on the top floor have drawn concern because of their vulnerability to seismic activity – could withstand an earthquake of similar intensity to the one that destroyed the plant two years ago.Despite those reassurances, Takahashi conceded that the plant has become the focal point of a nuclear crisis whose victims, like the facility itself, are a long way from returning to any semblance of normality.On the drive through the 20-kilometre evacuation zone to Fukushima Daiichi, visitors pass entire villages that remain frozen in time. Half a dozen cars sit abandoned in a supermarket car park, shops and restaurants lie deserted, and thousands of black bags filled with contaminated soil and grass cover fields once used to grow rice, while authorities decide how, and where, to dispose of them.The only movement comes from lorries carrying equipment and building materials, and buses ferrying workers in protective blue and white clothing to and from the plant.Meanwhile, the tens of thousands of residents who once called this forbidding landscape home still have no idea when, or if, they will be able to return.Repeating Tepco's mantra of the past two years, Takahashi apologised "to the world" for the "inconvenience" caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. While he shared his colleagues' optimism over decommissioning, it was tinged – his surroundings demand – with realism."It will be a long time before this power plant becomes a part of history," he said.FukushimaJapanNuclear powerJapan disasterJustin McCurryguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds