December 19, 2018
Thousands of Bags of Radioactive Fukushima Waste Swept Away by Typhoon Hagibis
Lethal waste from the nuclear plant has leaked into a Japanese river
BY Tim Hanlon News Reporter
16:32, 17 OCT 2019
Tons of radioactive waste from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant has been swept away in havoc wreaked by Typhoon Hagibis. Japan was pounded by gales and torrential rain from the typhoon before a magnitude 5.7 earthquake hit leaving 74 people dead.
Flooding has reportedly seen tons of radioactive debris escape into Furumichi River. The bags, each holding up to one ton of contaminated soil and vegetation from the Fukushima site, were swept away from a storage site in Tamura.
An operation to recover the waste has seen 17 bags found but ten of those had spilled some of their content into the river. The Japanese Environmental Ministry has not said how many bags are missing but it has played down the threat.
A statement to Kyodo News said: “The concentration of radioactive materials is relatively low and has little impact on the environment. “The ministry has said there has not been an increase in radiation measured in the area.
The bags contained grass, leaves, and soil that was collected during attempts to decontaminate the Fukushima site after the 2011 meltdown. Local media said that around 2,667 bags were left out in the open with no sturdy protection from the typhoon.
The Fukushima three-reactor meltdown was caused when north-east Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami. Typhoon Hagibis, which hit last weekend, was the most powerful to strike Japan in decades and caused widespread flooding.
Along with the 74 deaths, teams are still searching for survivors with 14 people still unaccounted for. Nearly 10,000 homes were flooded as a major rescue operation was put in place.
W. O. Belfield, Jr.