The Nuclear Regulation Authority disclosed that eight schools in the Nagano Prefecture were storing radioactive materials in their physics lab without the permission of the government. This matter was discovered in a surprise check-up requested by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education. The results were disclosed to the NRA last June 20 but have not been made public until now.
Schools are legally required to notify the government if they are storing substances like uranyl nitrate, uranium oxide, uranium acetate and americium. But reports said they were being used for lab experiments some years ago and in that time, they were not yet required to inform the government about it. They were stored in containers like glass vials and kept in physics preparation rooms in the school. The amount of radioactive substances kept ranged from 10=180 grams. Because it was such a small amount, there was never any danger to the students’ and teachers’ health or environment. It’s still unclear how they were able to procure these materials in the first place.
The schools included in the report are all operated by the prefectural government. They include Nagano Technical High School; Komoro Business High School; Iida High School; Shimo-Ina Agriculture Senior High School; Kiso Seiho High School; Matsumoto Fukashi High School; Minami-Azumi Agricultural High School; and Hakuba High School. After the report came out, they have since then applied for the necessary permits to keep the substances.
[ via Asahi Shimbun ]