Officials of Shiga Prefecture said on Tuesday that about 200 to 300 tons of wood chips contaminated with Cesium were found near Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest lake. According to officials, the chips were left near the lake months ago. The prefectural government is set to investigate the source of the chips as they were left without permission.
When sample chips were taken for testing, results of reading showed Cesium level as high as 3,000 becquerels per kilogram. Although it is below 8,000 becquerels, the limit allowed for a Cesium-contaminated material to make contact with water, the level is above 100 becquerels, the limit allowing a contaminated material to be reused. The wood chips were found on a site for river embankment work while some were found in 77 sandbags, but officials said the source of the chips are unknown. Some were found on a dry bed of Kamo River in Takashima as well as other areas near Lake Biwa.
“The site is an estuary leading to Lake Biwa, and leaving [the chips] there without permission is extremely malicious. We will deal with the matter strictly,” said Shiga Prefecture Governor Yukiko Kada. According to officials, a man is suspected to leaving the chips near Lake Biwa but officials were not able to hear from him since April 30. Residents living nearby claim that they began seeing the wood chips in late April
[via The Japan Times]
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