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Radiation cover-up at Fukushima exposed via World War 4 Report

Contractors could be illegally dumping radioactive soil, vegetation and water into rivers and open areas near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Japan’s Environment Ministry admitted Jan. 4. The ministry said it will summon senior officials from companies contracted by the Fukushima Office for Environmental Restoration to answer questions on how they manage contaminated waste following claims of illegal dumping in the coastal town of Naraha, the evacuated village of Iitate, and the inland in the city of Tamura. Under a law passed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, illegal dumping of contaminated substances may be punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of up to ¥10 million. “It is very regrettable if that is true,” Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato said of the suspected dumping at his first news conference of 2013. (Kyodo, Jan. 5)

The charges came to light when a young worker for one of the contractors, Dai Nippon Construction, alerted the Environment Ministry after repeated complaints to management were apparently met with such replies as “Yeah, yeah, it’s OK. It can’t be helped.” The young man, who was recruited at a job placement center in Tokyo, even reported that contaminated vegetation was being dumped loose, rather than being collected in bags. (Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 4) Local residents also reported witnessing radioactive mud being dumped directly into Fukushima prefecture’s major river, the Abukuma. (Fukushima Diary, Jan. 5)

Citizen journalism also brought to light that workers as young as 18 were sent to the Fukushima site without adequate training. Some reported that they were told to write resumes with fictitious work experience. The new citizen media site 8bit uploaded a video interview with a worker in September who had applied for a job entitled “backup logistics support,” but was actually dispatched to the stricken plant, and exposed to high doses of radiation. (Global Voices, Sept. 20)

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