Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

FT Energy Source

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

FT Energy Source

As the nuclear crisis continues to change rapidly, we are bringing you another roundup of the day’s news and views. As ever, you can follow our live coverage of events on the Rachman Blog.

- Battle to regain control at Japan N-plant – FT

- Radiation level falls but fuel rods stay dangerously hot – NY Times

- How Fukushima rates on nuclear disaster scale – The Telegraph

- Kan heaps pressure on atomic plant operator – FT

- Q&A: Radiation risks from Fukushima – The Times

- In fuel cooling pools, a dange for the long term – NY Times

- Fukushima blast shows nuclear is not the answer – Brahma Chellaney, The Guardian

- Oil futures plunge on worsening Japan fears – WSJ

- Germany shuts down seven nuclear plants – FT

Meanwhile, in the Middle East:

- Bahrain declares state of emergency – FT


Kiran Stacey

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.

Kiran Stacey

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.

Kiran Stacey

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.


A nasty stasis in shares in E.ON, RWE and EDF at pixel time:

Kiran Stacey

Francesco StaraceAfter 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 energysource@ft.com by the end of Sunday, March 20th.

FT Energy Source

You can read live coverage of the Japan nuclear crisis here.

- New explosion at Japanese reactor – FT

- Japanese PM warns of radiation risk – FT

- Nuclear exerts point to possible cover-up – The Guardian

- Fukushima’s fallout will be widespread and lasting – FT Lex

- How were reactor cores able to melt? – The Telegraph

- Experts see low risk of another Chernobyl – FT

- What will spark the next Fukushima? – John Vidal, The Guardian

- The tragedy should make the US study its nuclear plans – NY Times

- Nations race to reassure public on nuclear safety – FT

- Emerging economies move ahead with nuclear plants – NY Times

- Nuclear power halted in its tracks – Nick Butler, FT

- Crisis revives doubts on regulation – WSJ (£)

- Investors raise doubts on Tepco recovery – FT

- Japan releases oil product stocks – Argus

- How stable is Saudi Arabia? – NY Times

- Chevron says US gas price needs to rise – FT

- Qatar Holding to buy Iberdrola stake – FT

- Green fuels get boost from EU tax revamp – Reuters

- Eon ‘fingerprints’ its copper cables – The Telegraph

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