Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced 2.7% on Friday, ending a turbulent week at 9,207. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index inched up 0.1% to 22,300 and in China the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3% to close at 2,907.
As people in Japan's earthquake-tsunami disaster zone deal with the additional danger of radiation from damaged nuclear reactors, nations across the globe are taking the crisis as a sign that it's time to get more aggressive in their development of safer nuclear power plants.
Amid panic about the possibility of a radioactive fallout from Japan, Geiger counters and potassium-iodide pills -- which can help prevent radiation-caused thyroid cancer -- have been flying off the shelves, sometimes at unscrupulous prices.
As Japan's nuclear crisis deepens, Wall Street may begin to focus on a small group of almost-ignored young biotechs. Known as the bio-defense group, these companies develop products that help protect the population from radiation leaks resulting from nuclear accidents or attacks.