Entries in Energy (3)


Japanese Prime Minister Promotes Nuclear Power

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- All of Japan's nuclear power plants remain offline, but that could change soon. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made his case in a live primetime address, telling the public Japan could not operate without nuclear power.

One-third of Japan's power used to come from nuclear. But that changed last March, after a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and caused three reactor meltdowns. Radioactive material spewed into the air, forcing more than 80,000 people from their homes.

All 54 of Japan's reactors have been taken offline for safety checks since, but Noda wants to restart two of them. The reactors at the Oi power plants have undergone safety tests implemented after the Fukushima disaster. Noda says they're safe enough to withstand another powerful earthquake and tsunami, but opponents say there is no guarantee.

The lobbying comes as Japan faces yet another summer with a limited power supply. A power shortage last summer forced offices to dial up their thermostats and cut their energy usage by 15 percent.

Noda says Japan can't continue to rely on oil imports to keep the power on this summer. He's already received the support of local leaders to restart those two reactors in western Japan. Now he needs the public's approval.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Japanese Government Lifts Power Usage Restrictions

STR/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japan's nuclear disaster earlier this year badly strained the country's power grid. But Tokyo says efforts to conserve energy have been so effective they're lifting restrictions on power consumption a month earlier than expected. The Japanese government mandated a 15-percent cut in energy usage earlier this summer.

The Trade Ministry says power supply has been able to keep up with demand, thanks to Japanese residents who have dimmed the lights and turned off the air conditioning.

Nearly six months after the Fukushima accident, more than half of Japan's nuclear power plants remain idle because of safety concerns.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.S. to Impose Sanctions on Companies Pursuing Business with Iran

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On Thursday, the U.S. announced it would take action against international companies doing business with Iran's energy sector.

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told reporters Thursday that the new sanctions would be imposed on Naftiran Intertrade Company, a Swiss-based subsidiary of Iran's national oil company, which he said brought major sums of cash into the county.  The State Department said that it was considering similar moves against other companies elsewhere, but would not provide details.

Steinberg added that, as a result of previous sanctions against Iran, an additional four foreign energy companies have said that they were discontinuing doing business with Iran, including France’s Total, Norway’s Statoil, Italy’s ENI, and Royal Dutch Shell.

"People are increasingly reaching the conclusion that it's simply not worth it to engage in activities with Iran," Steinberg said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio