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Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean

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Japan’s top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was “no other option” but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

“It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method,” Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada’s comments earlier in the day.

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The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

Besides water used to cool meltdown fuel, underground water flows into the complex daily and storage capacity will be full by mid-2022, leaving the operator with the huge problem of disposing of it safely.

Harada, who is expected to leave the cabinet in a reshuffle Wednesday, said “there is no other option than to release it (into the sea) and dilute it.”

The minister had stressed that this was “just one opinion” and Suga emphasized that it was not the policy of the government, which has not yet given a timeframe for its final decision on what to do with the water.

Suga, seen as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s right-hand man, noted that an expert panel was still working on what to do with the water and was taking into account concerns from local fishermen, who fear it could destroy their livelihood.

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A mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency had earlier recommended that Japan release the treated water into the ocean.

Radioactive water from the plant has been filtered through the Advanced Liquid Processing System, which removes highly radioactive substances like strontium and caesium but leaves in the less dangerous tritium, according to TEPCO.

Water treated in earlier years has relatively higher radioactivity and needs to be treated again to bring down the levels of radioactive substances.

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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