Tag archives for japan

After world-leading energy efficiency gains in the 1970s, Japan’s energy kaizen stagnated. Japanese industry remains among the most efficient of 11 major industrial nations, but Japan now ranks tenth among them in industrial cogeneration and commercial building efficiency, eighth in truck efficiency, and ties with the U.S. for next-to-last in car efficiency.

Reports of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Japan Friday sparked fears of a tsunami and potential nuclear plant damage, with the impact of the 9.0 magnitude 2011 Tohoku earthquake and ensuing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster still being felt in Japan’s energy landscape a year and a half later. The latest quake occurred east of Sendai,…

Team Luk Jao Mae Khlong Prapa from Thailand surpassed their own fuel efficiency record from last year by 31 percent to clinch the top place at Shell* Eco-marathon Asia, which concluded on July 7. The students from Dhurakij Pubdit University, whose prototype car runs on ethanol, improved their mileage from 2,213.4 kilometers per liter (5,206.2…

Negotiators picked up discussions toward a new global climate treaty in Bonn, Germany this week. The meeting was the first since the 2011 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, where leaders initially agreed to put together a plan that would limit Earth-warming emissions. The stakes for the 10-day meeting are high—negotiators have set goals of building support for funding…

Slightly more than a year after the March 11, 2011, Fukushima disaster, the automaker Honda unveiled a demonstration home in Saitama, Japan, that is powered by thin-film solar panels, as well as a 92-percent efficient gas-fired generator that contributes both hot water and electricity to the home, and a rechargeable home battery unit. (Related Story: One Year After…

One year after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the nuclear industry is still grappling with how to handle the risks that come with extreme natural disasters. What if something similar happened in the United States? According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, there were five nuclear shutdowns in the U.S. last year, all due to…

A look at things a year after one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake erupted some 50 miles off Japan’s Tohoku coast. The ensuing tsunamis set off by the quake devastated communities up and down the Japanese coast, killing some 20,000 people. The one-two natural-disaster punch also…

For the first time in 34 years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission cleared the way for licensing of new nuclear reactors in the United States. It’s not the first step for the addition to the Vogtle site outside of Augusta, Georgia, which four years ago began what was supposed to be a streamlined approval process.…

A group of 285 large investors, representing more than $20 trillion in assets, urged world governments to forge a binding treaty at upcoming climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, and said global spending has not been nearly enough to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. The call came from a coalition of four green investment…

With a large share of their nuclear power plants down at the moment, both Japan and Germany are scrambling to meet energy demand and figure out how to get by without nuclear in the future. Two-thirds of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors are currently down, most of them for maintenance and testing. To cope with the…

Within hours of Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s announcement that he wanted to phase out nuclear energy, a special government task force in the United States charted a path forward for nuclear power in the United States Wednesday. The Japan task force of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suggested gradual improvements for the 104 U.S.…

While we debate about building new nukes, waste builds — and builds up — at the ones we already have. The tsunami-induced nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex has sparked renewed debate about nuclear power’s future. Countries such as Germany and Switzerland have decided the risk ain’t worth the juice and have announced…

The new, raised assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident puts it on par with Chernobyl in terms of potential consequences, but it is obvious to anyone that there is a difference between Japan’s ongoing crisis and the 1986 explosion in the Ukraine. Summed up in a single word, that difference is “containment.” Steel and…

The historic March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which cost untold number of lives and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and mourning, was an object lesson on the unpredictable and often violent planet that we are fortunate enough to inhabit. The news media, however, quickly shifted their focus to coverage of the…

It’s natural that the nuclear crisis in Japan is causing people to rethink nuclear power. Frankly, it would be crazy if it didn’t. But the problem with energy choices in general is that it’s actually pretty hard to  change your mind once you’ve chosen a direction.  Nuclear power proves the point. For most of the…

A group blog by Yale students. The topic: Many of the world’s nuclear power plants are reaching the end of their expected lifetimes, and policymakers are divided on what to do. Safely decommissioning such plants is costly, and funding for doing so is scarce. Compounding the problem, there are worries about nuclear proliferation, particularly regarding…

While there may be good reasons for nuclear power to be used as a bridge fuel to a renewable energy future, I am confident that nuclear power is politically dead in the United States. This makes the research and development of alternative energy and carbon capture and storage that much more important and urgent. It…

Nuclear Crisis in Japan

A game-changer or the price of doing business? At first there was the shock — the unbelievable devastation wrought first by Japan’s largest recorded earthquake (recently upgraded to a magnitude of 9.0) and then by the tsunami. Then, as the focus shifted to the daunting cleanup and recovery, another crisis hit — this one at…

The disaster in Japan, which threatens to worsen as the country’s officials struggle to contain what is being called the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl meltdown 25 years ago, is having repercussions on nuclear policy worldwide. On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a three-month moratorium on extending the operation periods for its nuclear…