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Japan:Cesium found in industrial waste

Friday, September 16, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 16,2011

Industrial waste at 6 incineration facilities has been found to contain radioactive cesium at levels that exceed the government-set limit for disposal.

Following the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the ashes of garbage from private homes were found to contain levels of radioactive cesium, well above the limit of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram. The contaminated garbage was treated at waste disposal plants in the Kanto and Tohoku regions.

The Environment Ministry had asked 16 prefectures in the Tohoku, Kanto and Koshin-etsu regions to examine ashes from woodchips and other industrial waste.

Out of the 110 incineration facilities tested, levels of radioactive cesium exceeded 8,000 becquerels per kilogram at 4 sites in Fukushima Prefecture and one each in Iwate and Chiba prefectures. The highest measurement was 144,420 becquerels per kilogram at one facility in Fukushima.

These facilities were found to be temporarily keeping the ashes without disposing of them in landfill sites.

Since the 6 facilities had been storing the waste material outdoors before incineration, the Environment Ministry plans to examine other facilities that follow similar methods.
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