Japanese Politician Gulps Radioactive Water

In perhaps history's greatest "I'm not drinking this, you drink it" moment, a Japanese member of parliament tried to calm the anxious, angry public by drinking from a Fukushima reactor puddle. To be fair, he himself says the stunt's worthless.

The politician, Yasuhiro Sonoda, drank a glass of decontaminated water from the lethal pool after being asked to do so publicly by a journalist, the NYT reports. So he did it. I think the look in his eyes says it all, but if that's not enough to convince you of the pageantry here, take it from Sonoda:

"Just because I drank the water does not mean that its safety has been confirmed, so there is no significance to the act. I drank it because a request had been made."

That sure inspires confidence in me.

Water is an enormous problem in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster—there's an immense amount of it in and around the plant, filled with horribly toxic isotopes beaming radiation 10,000x more per hour than the Japanese government says you should get in a year. Where will it go? Nobody really knows. Pumping it into the ocean is foolhardy, decontamination is slow, and, well, there's not exactly a giant hole to pour it in. But at least we know where half a glassful is. [NY Times]

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