Tokyo Electric Power Co. found unsafe levels of radioactivity in groundwater at its crippled Fukushima station, even as Japan’s nuclear regulator set the clock ticking on the restart of the nation’s idled reactors.
Japanese shares closed higher, after swinging between gains and losses most of the day, as volume remained below the 30-day average and the yen traded above 95 to the U.S. dollar ahead of a Federal Reserve Policy meeting.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives spent dozens of meetings fretting about the company’s future as hundreds of younger employees quit over salary cuts after Fukushima, according to minutes obtained by Bloomberg News.
Nuclear utilities thrust into the spotlight after the Fukushima meltdowns have ordered 20 reactors shut, the most in a three-year span since Chernobyl’s aftermath, saddling the industry with a possible $26 billion in costs.
Uranium is set to rebound from its worst slump in seven years as Japan, once the world’s third- biggest nuclear-power producer, starts reactors after safety requirements are put into effect next month.
Asian stocks slid, with the regional benchmark index’s heading for its first monthly decline since October, as a drop in Japanese shipping lines limited a rebound in the nation’s shares and utilities slumped.