Fukushima city removing schools’ topsoil

Kyodo

Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, began removing the topsoil from playgrounds at its elementary and nursery schools Wednesday, following radiation leaks from the nearby Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Surface soil at Kaoru Elementary School and Tsurumidan Nursery School was dug up, city officials said, adding the soil will be discarded in local landfills.

The work is part of a project to remove the upper layer of soil at 15 elementary and junior high schools, where radiation levels have been measured at over 3.8 microsieverts per hour, as well as 13 nursery schools, where levels of over 3.0 microsieverts per hour have been detected, the city officials said.

The education and science ministry has set a radiation limit of 3.8 microsieverts per hour to allow children in Fukushima Prefecture to play outdoors.