1,500 tons of radioactive sludge cannot be buried

Nearly 50,000 tons of sludge at water treatment facilities has been found to contain radioactive cesium as the result of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Over 1,500 tons is so contaminated that it cannot be buried for disposal.

Water treatment facilities in eastern and northeastern Japan have been discovering sludge containing cesium.

The health ministry says there is 49,250 tons of such sludge in 14 prefectures in eastern and northeastern Japan.

A total of 1,557 tons in 5 prefectures, including Fukushima and Miyagi, was found to contain 8,000 or more becquerels per kilogram. This sludge is too radioactive to be buried for disposal.

The most contaminated sludge, with 89,697 becquerels per kilogram, was discovered at a water treatment facility in Koriyama City, Fukushima.

The ministry says 76 percent of the roughly 50,000 tons of radioactive sludge is being stored at water treatment plants and they have no ways to dispose of most of it.

It says more than 54,000 tons of additional sludge has not been checked for radioactive materials.

The ministry plans to study how to dispose of the radioactive sludge.

via NHK WORLD English.

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