Japan

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.

Oil

Japan oil tanker explodes off SW coast; 1 missing

TOKYO (AP) — The coast guard says a Japanese oil tanker has exploded off the country's southwest coast near Himeji port, leaving one of the eight people aboard missing and the other seven injured.

Public broadcaster NHK says four of the injured people were severely burned.

Japan court rejects startup of 2 nuclear reactors

TOKYO (AP) — A court Wednesday refused to let two nuclear reactors restart operations in western Japan, saying their risk assessment is too optimistic and safety measures insufficient despite lessons from the Fukushima disaster.

The denial by the district court in Japan's nuclear hub of Fukui is the first since the crisis and comes as some Japanese reactors are in the final stages of safety screening before a restart, and plaintiffs and their anti-nuclear supporters say the court ruling could sway local acceptance.

US Ambassador Kennedy visits Fukushima plant

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy has gotten a firsthand look inside the Japanese nuclear plant devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Kennedy toured the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant for about three hours Wednesday.

She wore a yellow helmet and a white protective suit with her last name emblazoned on it as she was shown around the plant.

Former worker sues Fukushima plant operator

TOKYO (AP) — A former worker is seeking 11 million yen ($110,000) in compensation from the operator of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant for exposing him to high levels of radiation after the 2011 tsunami.

The worker was part of a team sent to lay electric cables in one of the reactors 13 days after the disaster.

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