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Jun 14, 2012

Olympics-Japan’s nuclear ghost town cyclist aims to be evacuees ‘power’

TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) – Even if Japanese track cyclist
Kazunari Watanabe’s longshot Olympic dream comes true in London,
there will be no happy homecoming. The town no longer exists.

Watanabe’s home town of Futaba sits next to the Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear plant, which was hit by the March 2011
earthquake and massive tsunami that followed, sparking
explosions that scattered radioactive debris and forced the town
to be evacuated.

May 26, 2012

Japan says Fukushima spent-fuel risk contained

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japanese officials said on Saturday the unprecedented effort to remove spent fuel rods from one of the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors was on track despite lingering concerns about the structure’s vulnerability to another earthquake.

“I don’t think the situation is unstable,” said Goshi Hosono, Japan’s minister in charge of the response to the nuclear crisis. He was speaking to reporters after his first tour of the twisted and partly destroyed building that houses Fukushima’s No. 4 reactor.

May 24, 2012

Fukushima radiation higher than first estimated

TOKYO (Reuters) – The radiation released in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost 2-1/2 times the amount first estimated by Japanese safety regulators, the operator of the crippled plant said in a report released on Thursday.

Tokyo Electric Power said its own analysis conducted over the past year put the amount of radiation released in the first three weeks of the accident at about one-sixth the radiation released during the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Dec 20, 2011

Honda sees U.S. sales rebound of 23 percent

DETROIT (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) expects U.S. sales to jump by 23 percent in 2012 as dealer inventories return to normal levels and the Japanese automaker makes up for lost ground against rivals, executives said.

“It looks like a high number but we had a really low year,” Tetsuo Iwamura, president and chief executive of Honda’s U.S. operations said on Tuesday.

Dec 20, 2011

Honda sees U.S. sales rebound of 23 pct in 2012

DETROIT , Dec 20 (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co
(7267.T: Quote, Profile, Research) expects U.S. sales to jump by 23 percent in 2012
as dealer inventories return to normal levels and the Japanese
automaker makes up for lost ground against rivals, executives
said.

“It looks like a high number but we had a really low year,”
Tetsuo Iwamura, president and chief executive of Honda’s U.S.
operations said on Tuesday.

Dec 7, 2011

GM near possible Volt battery fix-sources

DETROIT, Dec 6 (Reuters) – General Motors Co is
closing in on a package of proposed fixes for the Chevrolet
Volt battery pack that engineers believe would eliminate the
risk of a fire being triggered days after a crash, two people
with knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.

The proposed repairs under consideration would involve
laminating circuitry in the Volt’s 400-pound battery pack,
reinforcing the case surrounding the lithium-ion battery and
better protecting the coolant system from leaks in a severe
crash, the sources said.

Dec 6, 2011

Ford begins search for post-Mulally CEO: source

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co has begun considering successors for Alan Mulally, the chief executive credited with turning around the No. 2 U.S. automaker over the past five years, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Ford executives Mark Fields, Jim Farley and Joe Hinrichs have been seen as potential internal candidates to succeed Mulally when he retires. Executive Chairman Bill Ford has repeatedly said he wants the next CEO to come from within Ford’s executive ranks.

Nov 29, 2011

A123 cuts jobs at battery plant touted by White House

Nov 29 (Reuters) – A123 Systems has cut 35 percent
of the workers at two Michigan plants that supply lithium-ion
batteries for electric vehicles in response to a reduction in
orders from major customer Fisker Automotive.

A123 cut about 225 full-time workers on temporary contracts
in early November and laid off another 125 staff workers last
week, company officials said on Tuesday.

Nov 28, 2011

GM offers Volt owners loaner cars during probe

DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co said on Monday that it will offer loaner vehicles to more than 5,000 owners of its Chevrolet Volt as it works with U.S. safety regulators on ways to reduce the risk of fires breaking out days after crashes involving the electric car.

GM executives also said the company would not deliver the Opel-branded version of the Volt in Europe until its engineers and safety regulators have worked out steps to deal with the 400-pound battery pack after any accidents.

Oct 27, 2011

Exclusive: Records raise Olympus conflict of interest question

DETROIT/TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. patent records point to a possible conflict of interest in an Olympus investment in a cookware company, raising more questions for investors demanding a full explanation from the Japanese company of acquisitions that made heavy losses.

A venture capitalist who managed an Olympus fund that invested $225 million in the new enterprise was part-owner of a cookware patent which he transferred to the target business, just as Olympus was pouring money into it, various documents appear to show.

    • About Kevin

      "Kevin Krolicki is Reuters bureau chief in Detroit where he has been based since 2006. He has also worked as an editor and reporter in Los Angeles and Tokyo."
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