Two more cases of improper disposal of contaminated objects have been discovered in the decontamination efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. These findings came after the Ministry of the Environment initiated investigations after two other similar cases were discovered earlier this month.
Environment ministry officials said on January 15 that contaminated water from workers’ boots were released into the environment without proper disposal procedures. The incidents occurred at Tamura in Fukushima Prefecture with work being done by a joint-venture company composed of Kajima Corp, Sumitomo Mitsui and Hitachi Plant Technologies. In one of the cases, workers washed mud off their boots into ditches, but an internal investigation concluded that the mud’s radiation levels were within limits. In the second case, two workers were reported to have washed their boots and tools into a river. While the company admitted to the incident, it said that there have been no further similar incidents reported.
These two incidents are just the latest in a series of sloppy decontamination work being done in the Fukushima cleanup. Two cases were reported earlier this month where contaminated water was left behind in Naraha and Iitate, both in Fukushima Prefecture. There have also been reports about workers illegally dumping contaminated soil and leaves in rivers. Due to this, Senior Vice Minister of the Environment Shinji Inoue instructed seven general contractors in eight municipalities in the prefecture to conduct investigations. The ministry received the reports from the contractors on January 11 and is expected to give more details regarding the incidents as well as actions to deal with the issue on January 18.