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Friday, 2 August 2013

Mystery objects with high radiation found on Fukushima coast

The Asahi Shimbun
In a coastal area long silent due to the Fukushima nuclear accident, the only sounds of human activity on June 18 were from workers removing rubble and continuing their decontamination efforts.
But soon, their supervisor discovered something that broke up the monotony of the work and added to the eeriness of the atmosphere. [what]?
After a call to the Environment Ministry, Takeshi Kato, 55, a ministry specialist, immediately headed to the location about 15 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant....
...Kato uncovered a grayish pile about 3 centimeters long, about 1.5 cm wide and about 0.5 cm thick.
The surface of the pile, which looked like soil, had gamma ray readings of about 85 microsieverts per hour. The total reading, including beta rays, came to 1 millisievert per hour.
It was the first of four mysterious objects with high radiation levels found near the mouth of the Idegawa river in Naraha, Fukushima Prefecture.
Officials at the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, do not know where these objects came from or why they have high radiation levels. In fact, they are not sure what these objects actually are or were used for.
Kato thought the gray pile might have been radioactive materials used at a medical institution. That thought came to mind because of the incident in October 2011, when bottles of radium were found under the floor of an abandoned residence in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward....
...One hypothesis is that the objects flowed down the Idegawa river, but that theory is highly implausible because all four objects were found at least 100 meters from the river.
Another theory is that the objects were swept out to sea from the Fukushima No. 1 plant and eventually washed ashore. The coastal levee that was once located in the area was destroyed by the tsunami that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
“Rubble likely was blown out into the ocean by the hydrogen explosions that occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 plant,” an official with the Naraha municipal government said. “There is the possibility that lighter objects were washed back ashore.”
Rumors are circulating among local residents that the objects were reactor building pieces that were blown away in the hydrogen explosions. But no similar objects have been found in areas further north that are closer to the nuclear plant.
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More mysterious, unknown and possibilities. Very scientific TEPCO

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