More than 700 bags filled with Fukushima contaminated grass and soil were swept away during extensive floods across Eastern Japan.
Many of the bags are still unaccounted for and some have spilled their radioactive content into the water system.
RT reports: Authorities in the small city of Nikko in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, some 175 km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have said that at least 334 bags containing radioactive soil have been swept into a tributary of the Kinugawa river, The Asahi Shimbun reports.
According to the city’s authorities, the washed-away waste was only part of hundreds of bags being stored at the Kobyakugawa Sakura Koen park alongside the river. Another 132 bags of waste reportedly rolled down the slopes.
— Lita Zahn (@LitaZahn) September 18, 2015
The incident happened after Tropical Storm Etau caused vast flooding across Japan forcing the Kinugawa River to burst its banks on September 10. Twenty bags were found empty downstream on Thursday. Three hundred and fourteen bags, each with a capacity of one cubic meter, remain unaccounted for. However Nikko’s Mayor Fumio Saito said that radiation levels at the recovery site show normal measurements of 0.14 microsieverts per hour, below the threshold of 0.23 microsieverts per set by the central government. “The radiation level is so low that I believe there will not be a huge impact,” Saito said.
— ＮＨＫ生活・防災 (@nhk_seikatsu) September 15, 2015
In a separate incident earlier this week, the village of Iitate of the Fukushima prefecture claimed that at least 395 bags containing waste were swept by the floods from a decontamination work site into a river. At least 153 of the bags were found to be empty.
Straight after typhoon Etau hit Japan, media reported that 82 bags filled with contaminated material had been washed away by the floods. At the same time, the storm caused new leaks of contaminated water to flow from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the Pacific ocean.