Unexploded WW2 Bomb Found Near Fukushima Nuclear Plant

International Atomic Energy Agency experts at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant back in 2013. IAEA/Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 2.0

Robin Andrews 14 Aug 2017, 12:48

Considering the unprecedented natural disaster that took place along the eastern seaboard of Japan back in 2011, it’s incredible that the Fukushima Daiichi partial meltdown wasn’t worse than it actually was. At present, teams are working around the clock to contain the radioactive material, and to date, no-one has died as a direct result of the incident.

It looks like fate has dealt the workers there another challenge, however. As first reported by The Mainichi, an unexploded bomb from the Second World War has been found in a parking lot near the damaged No.1 and No.4 reactors.

The area has been cordoned off, and at the time of writing, officials are working out the best way to remove the threat. It’s about a kilometer or so away from the nuclear power plant though, so unless it’s a particularly massive bomb, there’s no threat to the decontamination efforts.

Found by an excavation worker, it appears to be 85 centimeters (34 inches) long and 15 centimeters (6 inches) wide, and includes a stabilizer tail. This seems relatively small compared to the average size of the bombs dropped by the American Air Force during the Second World War, so hopefully it’s of a relatively low ordnance, making disposal somewhat safer.

Fukushima, as pointed out by Gizmodo, was once home to a key military base, so it’s no surprise that an unexploded bomb has been found there. It could have been a lot worse, to be honest. On the island of Okinawa – which was home to one of the deadliest battles in military history, for both the Japanese and American forces – thousands of unexploded bombs have been found in the last few decades.

In one particularly notable incident, 902 of them were located right beneath a restaurant. All were removed safely, but experts note that there are likely thousands more still waiting to be discovered all across the Japanese archipelago.

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