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Japan decides new energy policy that supports use of nuclear power

The government on Friday decided on an energy policy that labels nuclear power as an important source of electricity, retracting a nuclear phase-out goal upheld by its predecessor after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi complex disaster. The Basic Energy Plan sets the stage for the government to move ahead to restart nuclear reactors, all of which are now offline amid safety concerns, while reaffirming the continuity of the country's spent fuel recycling projects that have not made headway.

Japan to keep using nuclear in new energy plan

Japan on Friday said nuclear power would remain an important source of energy as the government approved a new Basic Energy Plan, the first policy of its kind since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The government of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said atomic generation would resume once regulators were sure of the safety of each reactor, all of which were switched off after the tsunami-sparked catastrophe at the Fukushima plant.

Japan approves energy plan reinstating nuclear power

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved an energy policy reversing the previous government's plans to gradually mothball nuclear power plants, a move likely to be unpopular with a wary public following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. But the plan may too little too late for the country's moribund atomic industry, which is floundering under the weight of estimated losses of almost $50 billion, forcing two utilities to ask the government for capital last week.

Arctic gas project backs political strategy as Russia turns east

By Denis Pinchuk SABETTA, Russia (Reuters) - On the Arctic tundra far to the north of Moscow, Russia is charting a course away from the West and towards Asia. In Yamal - which in the local Nenets language means "the end of the earth" - a $27 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) scheme is assuming major political as well as economic significance.

Ministry OKs Chubu Electric's household power rate hike by 3.77%

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved Friday an average 3.77 percent electricity rate hike by Chubu Electric Power Co. for households starting May 1. The company will be the seventh regional utility in Japan to raise power rates amid a prolonged halt to nuclear power generation in the country following the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Ministry OKs Chubu Electric's household power rate hike by 3.77%

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry approved Friday an average 3.77 percent electricity rate hike by Chubu Electric Power Co. for households starting May 1. The company will be the seventh regional utility in Japan to raise power rates amid a prolonged halt to nuclear power generation in the country following the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

11 Senate Democrats urge Obama to approve Keystone XL oil pipeline by end of May

WASHINGTON - Eleven Senate Democrats, including six who face contested re-election races this year, urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of May. The five-year review of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline has been "exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope" and has taken longer than reasonably justified, the senators wrote to the president. Approval of the pipeline is needed to ensure pipeline operator TransCanada does not miss another construction season, the senators' letter said.

PG&E offers $250K reward for information on attack on Silicon Valley phone lines, power grid

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas The nighttime, co-ordinated attack on April 16, just a day after the Boston Marathon bombings, involved snipping AT Millions of people in Santa Clara County were asked to conserve energy after power lines were damaged. Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jon Wellinghoff has called the incident an act of terrorism. FBI spokesman Peter Lee reiterated Thursday, however, that the agency has no indications to back that up and the investigation is ongoing.

Slovakia seeks gas talks with Ukraine, Russia, EU; Hungary set to supply Kiev

By Jan Lopatka and Krisztina Than PRAGUE/BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico called for talks with Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission to ensure his country can reverse gas flows to Kiev without violating existing contracts, while Hungary said it could do so at once.

US 'help-yourself' idea to bolster Ukraine gas supplies

Washington is working with Ukraine and its western neighbors to help reverse gas flows along pipelines linking Russia to Europe after Moscow threatened to cut off supplies to Kiev. "We condemn Russia's efforts to use energy as a tool of coercion against Ukraine," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday. Kiev is now paying $485 for every 1,000 cubic meters "a price clearly not set by market forces, and well above the average price paid by EU members," Psaki told reporters.
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