Radioactive Gas Detected at Fukushima Power Plant

Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant burning on 12 March 2011.: Credit: US Department of Energy.Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant burning on 12 March 2011. Credit: US Department of Energy.Radioactive xenon 135 gas has been detected at reactor two at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, reports the BBC. This reactor was thought to be close to a stable shutdown.

The good news is there hasn’t been any accompanying rise in pressure or temperature, at least as so far reported. The bad news is the xenon gas indicates that nuclear fission has resumed in the reactor. Engineers have applied boric acid, which helps suppress a nuclear reaction.

The New York Times reports the plant’s owner, Tokyo Power and Electric (TEPCO), admitted for the first time Wednesday that fuel inside three stricken reactors is likely still experiencing bursts of fission.

This comes just hours after Japanese MP Yasuhiro Sonoda drank water collected and purified from two Fukushima reactors, after reporters challenged him to prove its safety. The Sydney Morning Herald reports he appeared nervous and his hands shook as he drank the water during a televised news conference.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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