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ASAHI SHIMBUN (Japan)

Worldcrunch

FUKUSHIMA - Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant is considering erecting a giant net to prevent radioactive fish from heading out to sea.

In surveys conducted through October at the request of local fishery cooperatives, TEPCO found that the radioactivity levels of species of fish caught across in the port of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were up to 155 times above normal.

The levels found in the port ranged from 4,200 Becquerels per kilogram to 15,500 Becquerels per kilogram for Conger eels – while the maximum "safe" level is of 100 Becquerels per kilogram.

Sources said TEPCO is considering setting up a 2- kilometer net at the mouth of the port and along the inside of the port’s levees, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reveals.

The net might stop irradiated fish on their way out to sea – but it’s not likely to stop water contaminated by the nuclear disaster that followed the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

“We have been asking TEPCO to close the port after receiving data showing high levels of contamination,” an official at a local fisheries cooperative told Asahi Shimbun. "There are openable nets that will allow dredgers to enter. TEPCO's response is too slow.”

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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