Finally, the authorities have admitted that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear problem is very serious, and still unresolved.
Its rating has now been raised to 7, the highest possible – equal to the Chernobyl disaster. The picture, from the Wall Street Journal, shows the state of the reactor building on Sunday.
Equally, the impact on the global auto industry is being more widely recognised. One senior manager at a German major told the blog that his company regard the issue as being “very serious – people don’t realise just how serious it is“.
Toyota will likely lose 40% of their global production in Q2, for example.
The key issue is the lack of electricity. This cannot be restored quickly, as the power stations need to be repaired and many of the nuclear reactors are offline. Japan also looks likely to be prioritising household supply over the summer, rather than industry.