TOKYO (AP) — Two charismatic former prime ministers joining forces on a rare anti-nuclear power ticket are pitted against a former health minister and a human rights activist in the election Sunday to lead Japan's capital.
The outcome of the vote for Tokyo governor is likely to influence national policy as Japan goes through soul-searching on energy options after the March 2011 nuclear disaster — the worst since Chernobyl.
Morihiro Hosokawa, prime minister in the 1990s, who had retired to become a potter, is trying to make a comeback. He is backed by Junichiro Koizumi, who remains enormously popular. Both are pushing for an end to nuclear power.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said Sunday it plans to introduce a new generation of oil contracts by June that promise to be more attractive to foreign investors as it seeks to significantly boost production should international sanctions hobbling its vital energy industry be lifted.
The new terms being developed signal the OPEC member's eagerness to attract outside expertise and capital, and are a response to oil and gas companies' frustration with earlier terms that they felt offered little upside reward.
Mahdi Hosseini, head of the contract revision committee in the Petroleum Ministry, told reporters that the new terms are being designed for a post-sanction era and aimed to better align Tehran's needs with the interests of international investors. He said officials were seeking a "win-win" setup that would better balance companies' risks with rewards.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran signaled an apparent readiness for more concessions over its nuclear program, this time over its heavy-water reactor at Arak, local media reported on Friday.
The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted the country's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying that Tehran could modify the reactor's design so it would produce less plutonium to reduce concerns by the West.
"We are able to apply changes in the design of the reactor to produce less plutonium, to reduce concerns in this regard," Salehi said.
Executives from Entergy Corp. and Exelon Corp. renewed industry calls for a shift in the current electricity market, which they argue now gives too much power to cheap natural gas and subsidized wind, in order to prevent future nuclear reactors closings, E&E reports.
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Crews declared a blaze at an underground nuclear repository in southeastern New Mexico snuffed out and determined that there was minimal damage after a truck hauling salt caught fire and prompted an evacuation.
Two mine rescue teams went into the earth at the Carlsbad-area Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where the federal government seals away its low-grade nuclear waste, including plutonium-contaminated clothing and tools. The teams determined the fire was no longer burning and reported the air was clear and safe to breathe, a news release and Susan Scott, a spokeswoman who answered an emergency line, said late Wednesday.
All employees were evacuated from the underground site after the fire broke out about 11 a.m. Wednesday, and none of the radioactive waste was affected, plant officials said. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation and released a short while later.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Washington's "wishes are unlikely to come true" in talks between the Islamic Republic and world powers over its nuclear program, the government's latest apparent attempt to deflect criticism from hard-line skeptics who say that President Hassan Rouhani will give up too much for too little in upcoming negotiations over a final comprehensive deal.
Mohammad Javad Zarif indicated the U.S. wanted Iran to give up major parts of its nuclear program but said such demands won't be carried out.
"America has wishes and those wishes are unlikely to come true and that's why they are negotiating with the Islamic Republic of Iran to achieve a solution based on realities," he told a news conference in Tehran.
Energy Department Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Pete Lyons said a recent string of nuclear reactor closures could pose a threat to the administration's greenhouse gas reduction goals by increasing the amount of fossil fuels used to generate power, E&E reports.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it would not exempt Entergy's Vermont Yankee plant, set to be voluntarily shuttered, from safety studies and improvements unless it submits additional information on plant operations, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reports.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission named Entergy's Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass. as one of the nine worst-performing plants in the nation based on unplanned shutdowns, opening the door for closer scrutiny at the plant, the Cape Cod Times reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that the deadline for compliance with the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard – which mandated the blending of 16.55 billion gallons of biofuels into U.S. transportation fuels – will now be 30 days after the long-delayed publication of the final rule on the 2014 standard, Platts reports.
In Pittsburgh, street action appeared to outweigh the testimony inside the Environmental Protection Agency hearing on its rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants, as thousands of coal miners rallied against the measure, faced off by a smaller number of climate activists, E&E reports.
The Department of Energy has granted Oregon LNG a 20-year conditional permit to export natural gas to countries that don’t have free trade agreements with the U.S., now it’s up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve plans for construction of facilities, FuelFix reports.
A project in Freeport, Texas to export liquefied natural gas – which already has a permit from the Department of Energy – has now won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to start construction, The Hill reports.
Word that a refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas might be shut for up to four weeks following a fire Tuesday has sent crude prices plummeting. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate dropped $2.10 to settle at $98.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, while in London Brent crude fell 49 cents to $106.02, Reuters reports.
Tax incentives for drilling and capital expenditures mean drillers active in the shale boom are deferring paying billions in income taxes, according to the group Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Hundreds rallied in Boston Wednesday to express their opposition to a Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline proposed to run through northwest Massachusetts, urging Gov. Deval Patrick to pull his support from it, The Associated Press reports.
Increasing taxes on certain forms of energy -– gasoline, in particular -– would encourage people to use cleaner fuel more efficiently, offering health benefits and a leg up in the fight against climate change, according to the International Monetary Fund and its president Christine Lagarde, National Journal reports.
Apache Corp., whose second quarter profit of $505 million was half the amount it earned a year earlier, said Thursday it might look to sell off its international assets to concentrate on drilling in U.S. shale, and that it was already trying to find a buyer for its stake in a Canadian natural gas project, and alternative financing for one in Australia, The Wall Street Journal reports.