Japan

Nuke plant in southern Japan clears safety hurdle

TOKYO (AP) — A nuclear power plant in southern Japan won regulators' approval Wednesday for meeting safety requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority formally approved an inspection report for the Sendai Nuclear Power Station's two reactors. The authority concluded that the reactors were in compliance with new regulations designed to avoid major damage during disasters such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Toyota affiliate starts building hydrogen station in Japan

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

Ahead of Toyota’s intended launch next year of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, an affiliate of the company has started construction on a hydrogen filling station in Nagoya, Japan, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Panel wants TEPCO execs charged over nuke crisis

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese judicial panel has recommended that three former executives of the utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant face criminal charges over their role in the disaster.

A document released by the panel showed it voted in favor of indicting Tsunehisa Katsumata, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. at the time of the crisis, along with two other executives.

Japan record $75B trade deficit in 1st half; LNG, oil imports increase

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's trade deficit surged to a record 7.6 trillion yen ($74.9 billion) in the first half of the year as exports failed to keep pace with surging imports, the Finance Ministry reported Thursday.

Japan's bulging import bill was partly due to a jump in demand as businesses and consumers stepped up purchases ahead of an April 1 increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from 5 percent.

Imports for the six months jumped 10 percent to 42.6 trillion yen ($420 billion) while exports rose 3.2 percent to 35.1 trillion yen ($346 billion), the preliminary data show.

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.

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