Here is a list of the various pieces of interactive wizardry on the FT website to help you navigate the Japan nuclear crisis:
The Japan earthquake aftermath
See the areas of greatest devastation, Japan’s energy infrastructure, and reactor basics
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant
This interactive graphic tracks events at Fukushima Daiichi’s six nuclear reactors as engineers work to prevent a partial nuclear meltdown
Japan’s nuclear emergency
The key events at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant since March 11 in this interactive timeline
Science podcast: nuclear scenarios
In this week’s podcast: We talk to nuclear expert Richard Wakeford about the situation in Japan and ask him to shed some light on what could happen. We also explore multiple universes with professor of maths and physics Brian Greene. Brian’s new book – ‘The Hidden Reality’ – is about parallel universes and the deep laws of the cosmos
Shell has begun to ship liquid natural gas cargoes into Tokyo to help meet their energy demands in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis. The first batch into the Tokyo Bay area was agreed on Monday night, and significantly for global LNG prices, it had originally been intended for elsewhere.
This was confirmed by the CEO Peter Voser at Shell’s strategy day, where unsurprisingly, much of the focus from journalists was on recent events in Japan and the Middle East. As far as Japan’s effect on gas prices, Simon Henry, the company’s chief financial officer, had this to say:
Last night, we agreed the first cargo into the Tokyo Bay area. We will not be taking advantage of the short term pricing implications of that.
More towards the medium term, after the last earthquake in Japan, the country spent two years bringing the nuclear plants back online, which did support the LNG markets.
I’m not keeping up with minute-by-minute updates from the Japan nuclear crisis for the very good reason that FT readers can access that in Gideon Rachman’s blog. But this one piece of information is important enough to flag up.
The IAEA’s latest report says the containment vessel at unit two of the plant may have been breached. Experts warn that damage to the containment vessel could lead to much more widespread release of radiation. This is the key paragraph:
After explosions at both units 1 and 3, the primary containment vessels of both units are reported to be intact. However, the explosion that occured at 0425 UTC on 14 March at the Fukushima Daiichi unit 2 may have affected the integrity of its primary containment vessel. All three explosions were due to an accumulation of hydrogen gas.
It should also be noted however that in another statement, the IAEA also said that radiation levels had been seen to be falling at the site.
I said on Monday that the anti-nuclear demonstrations in Stuttgart over the weekend would put pressure on the German government and others around the world to clamp down on nuclear. Angela Merkel responded initially by ordering a safety review into all German nuclear plants. She has now taken much more stringent action.
This from Reuters:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday that all seven of the country’s nuclear power plants which began operation before 1980 would be provisionally shut down.
She also told a news conference that all German reactors would undergo checks and all safety questions about the plants would be answered by June 15.
After a two-week break, we are pleased to bring back the weekly Energy Source readers’ Q&A sessions.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Francesco Starace, chief executive of Enel Green Power, the green power multinational that was spun out of the Italian utility Enel last year.
This is your chance to ask the head of one of the world’s largest green power companies about everything from the company’s troubled initial public offering, to why the growth of renewable power continues to disappoint, to which of Enel’s generation methods – wind, solar, geothermal or hydropower – holds the most potential.
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Sunday, March 20th.