Abe Visits Fukushima Daiichi Plant

Abe visits Fukushima Daiichi plant

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government will continue the task of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The nuclear accident at the plant in 2011 was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan.

Abe visited Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday to inspect the decommissioning work and the ongoing reconstruction of the prefecture.

Gm To Invest $300 Million In Orion Plant To Build Evs And Avs

GM to invest $300 million in Orion plant to build EVs and AVs

General Motors will announce on Friday plans to invest $300 million in a suburban Detroit plant that builds electric and self-driving vehicles for Chevrolet and the automaker's self-driving Cruise unit, two people familiar with the plans said on Thursday. The largest U.S. automaker is expected to announce it plans to build a new electric compact vehicle for Chevy, said the people, who asked not to be identified. GM executives also will formally endorse a revised North American free trade deal known as USMCA, the sources said. GM declined to comment. Company executives are expected to make the case that the new EV — originally considered for one of GM's Chinese plants — is being built in the United States because of the new trade deal that is still awaiting approval by the U.S. Congress. GM has come under harsh attacks from President Donald Trump over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. On Thursday, the company said its executives would be joined at the Orion plant by United Auto Workers union Vice President Terry Dittes and government officials to announce "a major new investment focused on the development of GM future technologies." GM Chief Executive Mary Barra is expected to make the formal announcement, which could add hundreds of jobs. The new Chevy vehicle is based on the same compact architecture as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Cruise AV that are assembled in Orion. The Orion Township plant is slated to begin building a new generation of electric and self-driving vehicles, using GM's dedicated BEV3 architecture, but not until 2023, a third source said. GM said a year ago it would invest $100 million to upgrade the Orion Township plant ahead of commercial production of the Cruise AV in late 2019. Rival Ford this week said it planned to expand its Flat Rock plant outside Detroit to add production of electric vehicles, an investment of more than $850 million expected to add 900 jobs. Ford's first self-driving vehicles will be assembled nearby at an as-yet-undisclosed location.

Graduation Ceremony Near Damaged Nuclear Plant

Graduation ceremony near damaged nuclear plant

A junior high school in a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has held its first graduation ceremony since resuming classes after the lifting of an evacuation order there. The order was issued after the plant's nuclear accident resulting from the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Iitate Junior High School was forced to operate in Fukushima City after the March 11 accident, as the entire Iitate Village was subject to the evacuation order. The school reopened there last April after the order was lifted for most of the village. The disaster occurred on the day of the school's graduation ceremony that year.

Honda Reportedly Will Close Car Plant In Uk With Loss Of 3,500 Jobs

Honda reportedly will close car plant in UK with loss of 3,500 jobs

LONDON — Japanese carmaker Honda is set to announce the closure of its Swindon car plant with the loss of 3,500 jobs, Sky News reported on Monday. Sky News said that the announcement by Honda could come on Tuesday, and that the plant was scheduled to close in 2022. Spokesmen for Honda were not immediately available to comment on the report. "That's speculation so we wouldn't comment on that," a spokeswoman for Britain's business ministry said. Honda built just over 160,000 vehicles at its British factory last year, where it makes the Civic Hatchback and Type R, accounting for just over 10 percent of Britain's total output of 1.52 million cars. It ceased building the CR-V crossover there last year. The firm said last month that it will shut its British operations for six days in April to help it counter any border disruption from the Britain's departure from the European Union. It has also said it was preparing to front-load some production at its plant to ship overseas or build up inventories. Factors other than Brexit are said to have contributed to Honda's decision, Sky News reported, but any such announcement would come just over two weeks after Nissan canceled plans to build its X-Trail sport utility vehicle in Britain. The BBC also reported that Honda was due to announce the plant's closure. It quoted a tweet from a conservative member of Parliament, Justin Tomlinson, who said, "Honda are clear this is based on global trends and not Brexit, as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021."

Japanese carmakers Nissan, Toyota and Honda build roughly half of Britain's cars and, along with the rest of the sector, have been proponents of free and unfettered trade after Brexit, calling on politicians to provide clarity as soon as possible. U.S. carmaker Ford told British Prime Minister Theresa May last week that it may have to move some production out of Britain because of Brexit, according to a source on the call. Honda has struggled in Europe and built increasing proportions of its cars for sale outside of the continent in recent years. For example, the Civic Type R's engine is built in Ohio and shipped to Swindon.

Disaster Drill At Hokkaido Nuclear Plant

Disaster drill at Hokkaido nuclear plant

About 10,000 people in northern Japan are taking part in an evacuation drill based on a nuclear disaster occurring during a typhoon.

The drill is being held on Monday at the Tomari nuclear power plant and surrounding areas on the west coast of Hokkaido Prefecture. The plant's 3 reactors have been offline since 2012. The operator has applied to restart them.

New Nuclear Plant Screening System Tested

New nuclear plant screening system tested

Japan's nuclear watchdog has begun the trial run of a new system for inspecting nuclear power plants. It will be introduced in 2020.

The trial took place at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Monday and was shown to the media.

Tokai No.2 Nuclear Plant Clears Screening

Tokai No.2 nuclear plant clears screening

The nuclear power plant closest to Japan's capital has passed a regulator's requirements to go back online. But the prospect of a restart is unclear as the plant's operator needs consent from nearby municipalities.

The Tokai No.2 plant in Ibaraki Prefecture is about 110 kilometers from central Tokyo. The population within 30 kilometers of the facility is about 960,000 -- the most for any nuclear plant in the country.

Tokai No.2 Nuclear Plant Passes Restart Screening

Tokai No.2 nuclear plant passes restart screening

The nuclear power plant located closest to Japan's capital, Tokyo, has passed government requirements needed for its restart.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority declared on Wednesday that the Tokai No.2 plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, confirms to the requirements introduced after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

No.4 Unit At Hokkaido's Main Power Plant Restarted

No.4 unit at Hokkaido's main power plant restarted

The operator of the main power plant in Hokkaido, northern Japan, has restarted one of the generators that were shut down after a powerful earthquake.

The quake on September 6th forced the Tomatoh-Atsuma thermal power plant to stop all 3 of the generators that were in operation. That triggered a massive blackout across one of Japan's main islands.

Hokkaido Power Plant Back Online

Hokkaido power plant back online

The operator of Hokkaido's main power plant says unit one of its Tomatoh-Atsuma thermal plant is back online.

The facility had been down following a massive earthquake in the prefecture earlier this month, which left many without electricity.