Radioactive Material Found in Japan
TOKYO (AP) _ Dozens of containers filled with radioactive material dating back as far as the 1950s were found in storage at a Japanese military college near Tokyo.
Officials were investigating how the materials ended up at the National Defense Academy, which wasn’t authorized to have radioactive materials on campus, Education Ministry spokesman Masaharu Ishida said Tuesday.
The school discovered 48 bins _ some sealed _ containing radioactive uranium, thorium, iodine, cesium and cobalt isotopes in two storage rooms on Dec. 9 and 10.
It didn’t report the finding to the government until last week, Ishida said. It wasn’t clear why the academy delayed.
Many of the containers were labeled with dates from 1950 to the late 1960s, said Shingo Kimata, a National Defense Academy spokesman.
Kimata said he didn’t know what the materials were for, but ruled out the possibility of their use in an atomic weapons development program.
Founded in 1953, the government-run National Defense Academy educates Japan’s top military officers and bureaucrats. It is in Yokosuka city, 30 miles southwest of Tokyo.