6,800 tons of radiation-tainted rice straw left lying in 8 prefectures
Some 6,800 metric tons of rice straw contaminated with radioactive substances leaked from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant remains in eight prefectures with no immediate prospect of disposal, the Mainichi has learned.
Moreover, sludge generated from radiation-contaminated waste water as well as ash tainted with radioactive materials amounts to some 97,000 tons in 12 prefectures -- 3.6 times the figure as of July last year, according to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry.
Even though waste containing up to 8,000 becquerels of radiation per kilogram can be buried under national government standards, efforts to dispose of such waste have made little progress, showing that the government's countermeasures have not been properly implemented.
"Local bodies haven't been able to dispose of such waste partly because residents worried about contamination have voiced opposition to disposal of such waste in their own prefectures," a ministry official commented.
Tainted rice straw used as feed for beef cattle has proven to have contaminated the animals with radiation.
Miyagi Prefecture has the largest store of tainted rice straw, with 4,800 metric tons, followed by Fukushima with 1,100 tons, Iwate with 600 tons and Tochigi with 320 tons.
Fukushima Prefecture also had 30,000 tons of sludge and ash tainted with radioactive cesium at its sewage treatment facilities as of Feb. 3 -- the largest amount among Japan's prefectures and 25,220 tons more than in July last year. It was followed by Miyagi Prefecture with 22,000 tons (up 19,900 tons from July), Kanagawa with 19,000 tons (an increase of 14,690 tons), and 9,500 tons in Saitama (6,790 tons more than in July).
(Mainichi Japan) March 3, 2012