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Japan to Release Treated Fukushima Water in Sea, Kyodo Says



Japan to Release Treated Fukushima Water in Sea, Kyodo Says(Bloomberg) — Japan is planning to release millions of gallons of treated radioactive water from its wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, Kyodo News reported, citing unidentified people close to the matter.The government has agreed on this plan and an official decision by the cabinet is expected as soon as this month, according to the news agency. The verdict ends years of debate over how to dispose of roughly 1 million cubic meters of the water, enough to fill 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, that leaked into the power stations that suffered core meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.The release likely won’t occur for another two years and could take decades to complete, Kyodo said. Storage tanks for the water at the site are forecast to be full by mid-2022.“It’s not true that the government has decided on a direction, or the timing for a decision,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters in Tokyo on Friday. “On the other hand, to avoid delaying the decommissioning of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, it is true that we can’t put off forever a decision on how to dispose of the treated water.”The government must compile many comments on the issue from the fishing association and others, and have a deep internal discussion before coming to a decision, Kato said.Dumping the water into the ocean threatens to hurt Japan’s relationship with South Korea, and comes despite opposition from environmental groups and the local fishing industry, which is still struggling to recover from the disaster. Discharges are a common practice in the atomic-power industry and would likely meet global guidelines.The release of the water “could deal a fatal blow to the future of Japanese fishery,” said Hiroshi Kishi, the chairman of the Federation of Japan Fisheries Cooperatives. “We absolutely oppose to the release of the water.”A METI panel recommended in February that the water should be released into the ocean or evaporated. Any water that is released into the environment will be re-purified and diluted to meet standards and the discharges would take place over decades, the ministry has said.Read More: Why Japan’s Radioactive Water May End Up In the Ocean: QuickTakeWhile Tepco, or Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., cycles in water to keep fuel and debris cool, about 180 cubic meters of contaminated water is pumped out of the reactor daily due to a steady flow of groundwater into the wrecked building. The tainted water is pumped out and run through a purification system called the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, then stored in one of more than 1,000 tanks at the site.The effort is part of the power utility’s $200 billion effort to clean up the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl.The treated water contains tritium, a form of hydrogen that has two extra neutrons, making it weakly radioactive. While tritium’s beta particles, those emitted during radioactive decay, are too low-energy to penetrate the skin, they can build up in the body if inhaled or consumed.The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report in April that it is ready to work with Japan “to develop a framework to provide radiation safety assistance before, during and after the disposition” once a decision on how to proceed has been made.(Updates with chief cabinet secretary’s comment in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Investors in what could be world’s biggest IPO must commit amid U.S. election uncertainty



Jack Ma’s Ant Group Co. is asking buyers of what could be the world’s biggest-ever initial public offering to commit to the deal just days before the U.S. presidential election.

The Chinese fintech giant will price the Shanghai portion of its dual listing on Oct. 27 and allow subscriptions on Oct. 29, it said in a prospectus published on Wednesday. The deadline for payments will be Nov. 2. Ant hasn’t yet spelled out dates for the Hong Kong leg of the IPO, but they’re expected to be similar.

While the company’s share sale is among the most hotly anticipated deals in years, the timeline will leave investors in a potentially precarious position: locked in during a pivotal week for global markets. Shares will almost certainly start trading only after the U.S. vote on Nov. 3, an event that could have big ramifications for both Ant’s overseas expansion plans and investor risk-appetite generally.

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Ant won regulatory approval for its Shanghai listing on Wednesday, clearing the way for it to begin guaging investor demand for an IPO that could value the Hangzhou-based company at $280 billion or more. It’s planning to raise about $35 billion from the dual listing, surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion sale last year, people familiar with the matter have said.

An Ant representative declined to comment.

The company will issue no more than 1.67 billion shares in China, equivalent to 5.5% of the total outstanding before the so-called greenshoe option, according to its prospectus on the Shanghai stock exchange. It will issue the same amount for its Hong Kong offering.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which was co-founded by Ma and currently owns about a third of Ant, has agreed to subscribe for 730 million of the company’s Shanghai shares, which will be listed under the ticker “688688,” according to the prospectus.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Temasek Holdings Plc and China’s $318 billion National Council for Social Security Fund are also planning to invest, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

That strong demand means Ant may fetch a valuation equivalent to Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. combined, despite concern that rising geopolitical risks could hamper the Chinese company’s international ambitions. Ant reported a 74% jump in gross profit to 69.5 billion yuan ($10.4 billion) from January to September, according to its prospectus.

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Former Apple design chief Jony Ive is working for Airbnb



Airbnb Inc. is hiring former Apple Inc. design chief Jony Ive and his new firm, LoveFrom, to work on projects with the home-sharing startup.

The San Francisco-based company, which is planning to go public later this year, on Wednesday said the multiyear deal will be a “special collaboration” that will see Ive and his firm help develop Airbnb’s internal design team. In a blog post announcing the move, Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said he and Ive are longtime friends.

Airbnb has pushed design to differentiate itself in the online rental booking space. The company has its own typeface and highlights redesigns to its website and mobile apps. It also has a Backyard group within its Samara experimental product team that is developing homes. Ive’s expertise in product design could assist those efforts.

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At Apple, Ive was responsible for the design of several generations of the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch and was known as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s “spiritual partner.” He was also key in the design of Apple’s new Cupertino, California campus and redesigns to retail stores.

Ive has also pursued personal projects, designing traditional cameras, a diamond ring that sold for over $250,000, a modern desk, Christmas tree and bathroom appliances. Ive launched his new company, LoveFrom, with Marc Newson, another veteran designer who worked on a few projects at Apple.

Airbnb did not disclose the financial details of its agreement with Ive. He isn’t the first former Apple designer to partner with Airbnb. Miklu Silvanto, who worked under Ive at Apple for years, was the head of interaction and industrial design for Airbnb’s Samara group for about a year. He left in April.

Ive left Apple last year, and Airbnb is one of the first companies to say it’s working with him. Apple previously said it would continue collaborating with Ive via his new company. Angela Ahrendts, who also left Apple last year after running its retail operations, is on Airbnb’s board of directors.

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Ripple releases shortlist of 5 countries it might move to if U.S. regulation remains unclear



Ripple Labs Inc. has formed a shortlist of countries to move to should the blockchain payment services company leave the U.S. amid a lack of regulatory clarity there, its top executive said.

Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the U.K. and the United Arab Emirates are potential destinations, Chief Executive Officer Brad Garlinghouse said in an interview.

“The common denominator between all of them is that their governments have created a clarity about how they would regulate different digital assets, different cryptocurrencies,” he said.

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Speaking in a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Garlinghouse said U.S. authorities are unclear on the status of cryptocurrencies, with different opinions over whether they are a commodity, a currency, a property or a security.

“Regulation shouldn’t be a guessing game,” he said. “Ripple is definitely a proud U.S. company and we’d like to stay in the U.S. if that was possible, but we also need regulatory clarity in order for us to invest and grow the business.”

Garlinghouse said the coronavirus pandemic has given a “tailwind” to cryptocurrency markets because central banks have been printing fiat currency, which is “inflationary on some level.” A move away from cash is also helping, he said.

Ripple offers payments and settlement services through the virtual currency known as XRP and other platforms.

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