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Mystery objects with high radiation found on Fukushima coast
By SHUNSUKE KIMURA/ Staff Writer
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
But soon, their supervisor discovered something that broke up
the monotony of the work and added to the eeriness of the
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
...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,
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.
More mysterious, unknown and possibilities. Very scientific