August 4, 2013
In a coastal area long silent due to the Fukushima nuclear accident, the only sounds of human activity on June 18 were from workers removing rubble and continuing their decontamination efforts. But soon, their supervisor discovered something that broke up the monotony of the work and added to the eeriness of the atmosphere.
After a call to the Environment Ministry, Takeshi Kato, 55, a ministry specialist, immediately headed to the location about 15 kilometers south of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
As he slowly walked around with a dosimeter, he reached a hot spot where radiation levels nearly doubled those of the surrounding areas. Using a fallen branch to clear away dirt, Kato uncovered a grayish pile about 3 centimeters long, about 1.5 cm wide and about 0.5 cm thick.
The surface of the pile, which looked like soil, had gamma ray readings of about 85 microsieverts per hour. The total reading, including beta rays, came to 1 millisievert per hour.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 3:28 am