World News Brief, Tuesday March 15

Second explosion at nuclear plant in Japan; two thousand dead found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture; Bank of Japan pouring $183.17 billion into markets to ease economic impact of quake; China has overtaken the US in manufacturing output--US was number one for 110 years; Saudi forces to intervene in Bahrain; Crowley resigns from US State Department after criticising treatment of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning; and more

Top of the Agenda: Second Explosion Hits Japan Nuclear Plant

A second explosion struck Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (al-Jazeera) on Monday, however, the IAEA claims the reactor has not been damaged. The plant operator attributed the blast to a hydrogen build-up at the number three reactor, and said the impact of radioactive materials on the exterior environment is under investigation. Government officials also confirmed that cooling functions had been lost at the plant's number two reactor (Guardian). Technicians have been trying to cool the plant reactors since Friday, following the earthquake and tsunami. Japan's Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors continues to claim there is no cause to fear a major nuclear accident.

Japanese media report that two thousand dead were found on the shores of Miyagi prefecture (BBC). Thus far, the official police count is 1,597 deaths, but the final toll is expected to be much higher. In an effort to ease the economic impact and fight liquidity concerns, the Bank of Japan (WSJ) is pouring a record $183.17 billion into money markets. Officials say there isn't much macroeconomic data on the quake's impact yet, and that the bank will examine the disaster's fallout more closely in the months ahead. Analysts claim the crisis in Japan may fracture the bipartisan support (NYT) that nuclear power enjoys in the United States.


This CFR Analysis Brief examines how Japan's unfolding nuclear crisis is raising questions over the safety of nuclear power, and how it may bring expansion of nuclear power projects globally under pressure.

This article from Geoffrey Lean of the Daily Telegraph discusses the future of nuclear power and asks whether the explosion at Fukushima will set back a "nuclear renaissance."


This CFR interactive guide explores the past, present, and future of nuclear power, focusing on its unique benefits and risks.

This interactive feature from the New York Times demonstrates how a reactor shuts down and what happens in a meltdown.


PACIFIC RIM: China Surpasses US in Manufacturing

According to a study by a U.S. economics consultancy, China overtook the United States as the world's top manufacturing country (FT) by output, ending America's 110- year dominance. Experts suggest this marks a "fundamental shift in the division of labor" that is unlikely to change soon.



- Saudi Forces to Intervene in Bahrain
- Crowley Resigns over WikiLeaks Comment


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on