TOKYO (AP) — A new study says children living near the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a rate 20 to 50 times that of children elsewhere, a difference the authors contend undermines the government's position that more cases have been discovered in the area only because of stringent monitoring.
Most of the 370,000 children in Fukushima prefecture (state) have been given ultrasound checkups since the March 2011 meltdowns at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. The most recent statistics, released in August, show that thyroid cancer is suspected or confirmed in 137 of those children, a number that rose by 25 from a year earlier. Elsewhere, the disease occurs in only about one or two of every million children per year by some estimates.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Experts warn that Northeast Asia could see a dangerous growth in stocks of weapons-usable plutonium — and U.S. lawmakers say Obama administration policies could be making matters worse.
Japan plans to open as early as next spring a plant that could reprocess enough spent reactor fuel to make as many as 1,000 nuclear bombs a year. The plutonium that is produced is supposed to be for generating electricity, but Japan already has tons on hand and no use for it, with its reactors at a virtual halt following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster. Local politicians are aggressively backing the plant, eager for investment in a remote northern region.
Weak consumer data from Japan and a cut in Standard & Poor’s oil projections were pressuring oil prices early Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude rose just 36 cents to $45.27 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while London Brent increased 16 cents to $48.33, Reuters reports.
Data showing a decline in Japanese exports raised fears about economic growth, pressuring oil prices early Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude dropped 60 cents to $46.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent fell 65 cents to $49.10, Reuters reports.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit narrowed in August from the year before as costs for crude oil imports plunged and exports to the U.S. showed steady growth.
The customs data released Thursday showed a 4.2 percent drop from August a year earlier in the volume of exports for the world's third-largest economy, likely mainly reflecting weakness in shipments to China.
Weak economic signals from Japan and China, alongside a Genscape estimate of a drop in U.S. crude inventories, kept oil prices in check early Tuesday. U.S. benchmark crude gained 15 cents to $44.15 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent lost 6 cents to $46.31, Reuters reports.
NARAHA, Japan (AP) — A few signs of life are returning to this rural town made desolate by the Fukushima nuclear disaster four-and-a-half years ago: Carpenters bang on houses, an occasional delivery truck drives by and a noodle shop has opened to serve employees who have returned to Naraha's small town hall.
But weeds cover the now rusty train tracks, there are no sounds of children and wild boars still roam around at night. On the outskirts of town, thousands of black industrial storage bags containing radiation-contaminated soil and debris stretch out across barren fields.
TOKYO (AP) — An international body that monitors fisheries in most of the Pacific Ocean ended a meeting in Japan on Thursday without agreement on fresh measures to protect the dwindling bluefin tuna.
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission was unable to get a consensus on either short-term or long-term measures to help restore the bluefin population, whose numbers are estimated to have fallen 96 percent from unfished levels.
Hitachi Ltd. is looking to expand its research into offshore wind energy and is considering development of a new manufacturing line that would produce parts for 5-megawatt systems by March 2016, Bloomberg reports.
The stocks of U.S. petroleum products increased last week, the Energy Information Administration reported, although the million barrel rise in crude stocks was less than analysts’ expected, while the jump in gasoline stocks exceeded predictions, according to Reuters.
Earthjustice filed court papers Tuesday on behalf of several environmental and health groups seeking to intervene to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s lower ozone limits from a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy, The Hill reports.
State Department climate envoy Todd Stern told a news conference that he’s thinking about the upside, not the downside, heading into a critical global conference on climate change policy that starts Monday, National Journal reports.
The plan for coal producer Walter Energy to emerge from bankruptcy is being fought by unions and the firm’s retired workers in Alabama, but a court Tuesday approved the company’s move to auction off assets, Reuters reports.
Acting to lower its credit rating for Pemex, Moody’s Investors Service pointed to the firm’s increasing debt and declining earnings, although Mexico’s national oil company responded by saying the move brings the agency in line with other ratings firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House and the billionaire conservative Koch brothers have been allies recently in moves to liberalize the nation’s criminal justice laws, but they are disagreeing over one measure that would require proof of suspects knowingly engaging in unlawful conduct, The New York Times reports, noting that such a move is alarming environmentalists.
According to a report released this week by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, weather-related disasters have caused more than 600,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in damages over the past 20 years, The New York Times reports.
A market-based approach for cutting vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions—which could include mileage-based driver fees or emissions trading—is the goal as Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia announced an agreement to work together on the issue, Reuters reports.