Updates to this story
The situation in Japan is causing severe problems on the supply front and it’s set to worsen, rather than get better, it appears.
Taiwanese wire Digitimes reports that memory prices have soared because of problems with the infrastructure but that’s not the only problem. Apparently vast networks of photovoltaic systems in the north east of Japan have been damaged by the earthquake and tsunami, while there will be shortages of polysilicon too, because of the lack of electricity in the country, augmented by continuing problems with nuclear power stations.
However, we in the UK don’t need to worry too much. Energy secretary Chris Huhne has issued a statement to this effect: “We take this incident extremely seriously even though there is no reason to expect a similar scale of seismic activity in the UK. I have called on the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr. Mike Weightman for a thorough report on the implications of the situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned. This will be prepared in close cooperation internationally with other nuclear regulators.
“It is essential that we understand the full facts and their implications, both for existing nuclear reactors and any new programme, as safety is always our number one concern.” So much for the global village concept.
Supplies of flat panels for LCD screens will also be affected by the continuing problems in Japan, Digitimes notes.
Japan makes around 15 percent of stuff used in gizmos. Bourses across the world have been badly impacted by the disaster. Google has a page, here, that is tracking the extent of the catastrophe across several fronts.