WWII Bomb Found at Fukushima Plant

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 11:08 AM gHale

As if there are not enough major issues at the beleaguered Fukushima nuclear facility, workers found an unexploded World War II-era bomb on the grounds of the power plant.

The Fukushima nuclear plant facility ended up severely damaged from a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and massive tsunami that crippled it in March 2011 and led to a nuclear fuel meltdown in three of the four reactors.

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Excavation workers discovered the more-than-70-year-old weapon under a parking lot that is undergoing maintenance, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), said Aug. 10. The bomb was found about 0.6 miles away from the damaged No. 1 and No. 4 reactors.

The cylindrical bomb is 33 inches long — about the length of a baseball bat — and about 6 inches in diameter. It also has a stabilizer tail, which likely gave it directional stability as it approached its target, officials said.

Fukushima police plan to examine the device to confirm that it actually is a bomb, and they will decide how to dispose of it if it is still explosive.

The police added the discovery of the weapon has not affected Tepco’s work to decommission the plant.

News of the bomb may be surprising, but it isn’t unexpected. During World War II, Fukushima was a Japanese military base that weathered air strikes from U.S. forces.

Japan has found other WWII artillery in recent years. In 2005, an undetonated 1-ton bomb dropped by the United States during the war was found in a western Tokyo suburb, prompting the evacuation of 7,000 residents. And in 2010, more than 900 unexploded bombs, likely dropped by the United States, were found under a restaurant on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

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