Japan

After hybrid success, Toyota gambles on fuel cell

TOKYO (AP) — Rocket science long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker.

Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology that runs on the energy created by an electrochemical reaction when oxygen in the air combines with hydrogen stored as fuel.

Japan moves to restart 2 reactors won't do much for LNG prices: Analysts

Source: 
Bloomberg

Japan's move to declare two nuclear plants safe to resume operations likely won't do much to lower liquefied natural gas prices, market analysts say, because there's little indication that the nation's 46 other nuclear generators will come close to restarting this year, Bloomberg reports.

Japanese reactor restarts could boost struggling uranum prices

Source: 
Bloomberg

Japan's move to vouch for the safety of two idled reactors is a step toward a nuclear restart in the country, a development market analysts say could boost struggling uranium prices, Bloomberg reports.

Japanese nuclear plant deemed safe, nears restart

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese nuclear plant won preliminary approval Wednesday for meeting stringent post-Fukushima safety requirements, clearing a major hurdle toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority accepted a 418-page report that found that design upgrades and safety improvements at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s two reactors at the Sendai Nuclear Power Station have complied with the requirements introduced last July.

How nations are tackling nuclear waste storage

TOKYO (AP) — For years, Japan has struggled to find a site to safely store highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants for as long as 100,000 years.

Tens of thousands of tons of spent fuel stored at nuclear power plants will remain dangerously radioactive for thousands of years — a vexing problem that nuclear-powered nations around the world face. After decades of studies, scientists now agree that underground storage is the best option, but finding a community willing to host a radioactive dump site is difficult.

Local fights may delay Japan's return to nuclear

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

The restart of Japan's idled nuclear reactors may face local opposition beyond national safety clearances, illustrated by an election victory for an anti-nuclear candidate in a region with several reactors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Underground lab tackles Japan nuclear waste issue

HORONOBE, Japan (AP) — Reindeer farms and grazing Holstein cows dot a vast stretch of rolling green pasture here on Japan's northern tip. Underground it's a different story.

Workers and scientists have carved a sprawling laboratory deep below this sleep dairy town that, despite government reassurances, some of Horonobe's 2,500 residents fear could turn their neighborhood into a nuclear waste storage site.

Strong quake hits Japan, triggering small tsunami

TOKYO (AP) — A strong earthquake hit Japan's northern coast near the nuclear power plant crippled in the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The earthquake early Saturday triggered a small tsunami and prompted towns across the northern coast to issue evacuation advisories.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 10 kilometers (6 miles) below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima, about 250 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

LNG prices starting to tail off on slower Asian demand

Source: 
Bloomberg

The prices for liquefied natural gas shipped to Asia next winter may be the lowest for years, according to a Bloomberg analysis, which cites rising supplies in the region and dropping demand in Japan, which is preparing to restart a number of its nuclear reactors.

Fukushima farmers appeal to Tokyo with live bull

TOKYO (AP) — Two Japanese farmers whose livelihoods were wrecked by the 2011 nuclear disaster staged a protest Friday at Tokyo's agriculture ministry, scuffling briefly with police as they unsuccessfully tried to unload a bull from a truck.

Masami Yoshizawa and fellow farmer Naoto Matsumura have remained at their farms to care for their own and others' abandoned livestock in areas where access has been restricted due to radiation fears since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

The two drove down from Fukushima, bringing the black bull in the back of a truck, to appeal for help with the livestock, some of which have developed unexplained white spots on their hides.

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