A worker is given a radiation screening as he enters the emergency operation center at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Feb. 20.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
A deserted street inside the contaminated exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, on Nov. 12, 2011. Experts say health effects of radiation exposure likely won't be detectable and a bigger problem is the mental health issues resulting from the trauma of the tsunami.
One year ago this Sunday, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off Japan triggered a tsunami that killed 20,000 people. It also triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
But health effects from radiation turn out to be minor compared with the other issues the people of Fukushima prefecture now face.
Surgical robots like this one are wildly expensive. Before the economic troubles began, investment in such high-tech medical devices was plentiful. Now, hospitals are looking for comparatively simple solutions to cut costs: streamline medical billing and even investing in $1 catheters that can save upwards of $50,000.
It wasn't that long ago that money flowed steadily to entrepreneurs who dreamt up whiz-bang medical devices.
Hospitals souped up their surgical suites with robots or high-tech radiation machines for cancer treatment. Cost wasn't an issue: They just got passed along to insurance companies, who passed them on to employers and patients.
But after the Great Recession hit and the 2010 health law passed, the financiers behind the medical arms race started to rethink their investment calculus.
Members of the media, wearing protective suits and masks, visit the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power station during a press tour, in northeastern Japan's Fukushima prefecture, Feb. 28. Japan is marking the first anniversary of the March 11 tsunami and earthquake, which triggered the worst nuclear accident in the country's history.
Credit Kimimasa Mayama / AP
Koichi Kitazawa (shown here March 1 in Tokyo), former director of the Japan Science and Technology Agency, heads the independent commission that investigated the Fukushima accident. The commission concluded that the government, and not a nuclear power company, should bear primary responsibility for the nation's nuclear safety.
Credit Franck Robichon / EPA/Landov
The Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, shown here on Feb. 20, 2012, was one of three reactors involved in the nuclear accident last year.
A year after suffering the worst nuclear accident in its history, Japan is still struggling to understand what happened at the Fukushima nuclear plant in the country's northeast.
Last week, an independent commission released a report arguing that Japan narrowly averted what could have been a far deadlier disaster and that the government withheld this information from the public.
Chris O'Dowd (left), Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Jennifer Westfeldt, Maya Rudolph and Jon Hamm play 30- and 40-somethings approaching parenthood from vastly different angles in <em></em><em>Friends With Kids</em>. Westfeldt wrote and directed the film.
Credit Jojo Whilden / Roadside Attractions
Rudolph (left) plays a mother with several kids who finds it insulting when Sarah (Westfeldt) decides to forgo the "struggle" and "sacrifices" of a committed relationship to have a baby with a close friend.
The new comedy Friends With Kids explores how babies change the relationships of everyone around them. It's written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt — who may be best-known for the 2001 indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein, about a single straight girl in New York who test-drives a romance with another woman — and features much of the cast that made Bridesmaids a breakout hit last summer.