Japan Prepares To Mark One Year Anniversary Of Earthquake And Tsunami

The operator of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant has warned that makeshift tanks – which are vulnerable to leaks – hold more than 200,000 tons of radioactive water. “The latest disclosures add to a long list of recent accidents, leaks and breakdowns that have underscored grave vulnerabilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site more than two years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at three reactors.” [New York Times]

British Columbia officials may be ill-equipped to respond to potential oil spills from existing pipelines and proposed projects, such as the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline. A briefing book obtained under Canada’s freedom of information laws says the following:  “the Ministry of Environment, as the ministry responsible for preparedness, prevention, response and recovery for spills, is not adequately staffed and resourced to meet the existing and emerging expectations to address spills”. [Calgary Herald]

Re-exporting Canadian volumes from the US could  be a technically feasible means of getting crude out to global markets, though it may prove politically difficult. “It’s technically legal to re-export crude from the U.S.—if it has been kept completely separate from domestically produced oil.” [Wall Street Journal]