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Japan: Fukushima clean-up may take up to 40 years, plant's operator says

Fukushima clean-up may take forty yearsCleaning up Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years.

The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO.

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Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Leaking Into the Pacific

Radioactive water from Fukushima leaking into Pacific"Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Truthout shortly after a 9.0 earthquake in Japan caused a tsunami that destroyed the cooling system of Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan.

While this statement might sound overdramatic, Gundersen may be right.

Several nuclear reactor meltdowns in the plant, which at the time forced the mandatory evacuations of thousands of people living within a 15-mile radius of the damaged power plant, persist, and experts like Gundersen continue to warn that this problem is not going to go away.

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Earthquakes and a looming budget crisis are shaking up Oklahoma.

Oklahoma earthquakesA few days after Thanksgiving, Oklahoma City residents huddled in their homes watching a thick layer of ice snap power lines and split stubby trees. Only a few days later, as the ice started to thaw and power was restored in most neighborhoods, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake shook the state a couple hours before dawn.

The epicenter was 100 miles north, in a region where oil and gas have for decades driven the state economy. Scientists suspect the practice of injecting deep into the earth the salty wastewater from the drilling process may be causing the earthquakes, or at least increasing the frequency.

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Study: Planet's lakes warming faster than ocean, atmosphere

lakes shrinking- The world's lakes are heating up at an average rate of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, outpacing the rise in ocean and atmosphere temperatures.

The new findings are the result of a first-of-its-kind international survey, combining satellite and ground-based temperature data on 235 lakes, comprising more than half the planet's freshwater supply.

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James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'

James HansenMere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

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Climate change means days are getting longer, scientists find

days getting longerThe impact of climate change may appear to be overwhelmingly negative but there is a bright spot for those who struggle to find enough time in the day: melting glaciers are causing the rotation of the Earth to slow thereby lengthening our days, new research has found.

Harvard University researchers have provided an answer to a long-held conundrum over how shrinking glaciers are affecting the rotation and axis of the Earth, calculating that the duration of a day has lengthened by a millisecond over the past 100 years.

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Advocacy groups not satisfied with climate negotiations thus far

Paris talksA draft climate agreement unveiled from U.N.-backed talks in Paris kicks many of the critical issues down the road, environmental activists said.

A 27-page draft text, as it stands, lays out an agenda to keep warming trends below a threshold considered acceptable to island and coastal nations. The draft does little, however, to address secondary concerns like migration.

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