Park in Ikebukuro closed after hot spot detected in playground


An unusually high level of radiation has been detected at a park in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro area, the Toshima Ward Office said Thursday, prompting speculation that hazardous material has been buried there.

The ward office has banned entry to the municipal park, which is right next to Tobu Railway Co.’s Shimoitabashi Station in the Ikebukuro-honcho district and surrounded by residences.

The name of the park is Ikebukuro Honcho Densha no Mieru Koen.

On Thursday afternoon, a radiation level of up to 480 microsieverts per hour was recorded at a spot on the ground near playground equipment, the municipality said.

That is nearly half the permitted annual dose of 1 millisievert and far in excess of the ward’s decontamination standard of 0.23 microsievert.

“Because the area in which we detect radioactivity is very limited, and readings in the surrounding areas are normal, we suspect radioactive materials of some kind are buried there,” Toshima Mayor Yukio Takano said in a statement.

The ward has fenced off the playground equipment and plans to identify the buried material, remove it and decontaminate the polluted area.

A public health center in the ward was expected to offer health consultations starting Friday to those who request them.

A 62-year-old woman who lives nearby said Thursday she is very worried to learn that a hot spot has been confirmed next to her house.

“Many children play in the park daily, so the ward office should explain the situation,” she said, adding that she had heard nothing so far.

Following a report from a resident on Monday, Toshima Ward officials probed the park Wednesday and detected 2.53 microsieverts per hour radiating from an area with playground equipment.

Based on advice from the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the ward surveyed the area again on Thursday and detected 480 microsieverts.

The park, managed by the ward, opened in March 2013. Before then, the site had been used as a parking space for garbage collection vehicles from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The top soil at the lot was replaced before it was turned into a park, a Toshima Ward official said.

  • Andrew Lopata

    Oh God, please don’t say Godzilla….

  • Alex

    Unfortunately there’s nothing buried underground, but all around miles away…
    If that is happening in USA , imagine what’s going on in Japan.
    Quote: ” We’re thankful for outlets such as ENENews for putting out ‘life or death’ stories such as this recent one that
    contains a warning from government experts that there is now an
    ‘astounding level’ of radiation in the US from Fukushima, measuring
    ‘500,000 times’ the normal levels and the video below from Infowars and
    Fukushima expert Jerry Petermann who tells us that Fukushima will affect
    the health and well-being of the next 700 generations. ”

    • Faiyez

      I wonder how you know this has anything to do with Fukushima

      • Alex

        with all the respect, your comment leave me speechless …

      • Faiyez

        The tinfoil is strong in this one.

      • Shiki Byakko

        Dear conspiracy nut:
        Almost anything has a radioactive footprint.
        There are hot spots all over the world, and guess what, it has NOTHING to do with Fukushima.

        Radioactive material is part of nature. Also, this is just a precaution measure because there is SOMETHING in that park that is emitting that kind of radiation.

        You see, the thing with radiation is that it can be measured, and you know where and how much radiation there is, and where it is coming from, so put your tinfoil hat because of cosmic radiation.

      • Almondtree

        I agree with Shikki. Also these experts from America, they are trained to say things without strong evidences..It is how the education system here is. In Japan, someone words must be taken seriously because of their culture.
        Japanese is very honest and down to the earth, while I must say, Americans are exactly the opposite

    • Starviking

      And this Fukushima Expert, what are his qualifications?

  • Aeron

    What’s this recent trend of radiation appearing in urban areas? I really hope this isn’t a case of domestic terrorism.

  • Alex

    Fukushima expert Jerry Petermann who tells us that Fukushima will affect the health and well-being of the next 700 generations.
    ” something hidden underground ? “

    • Sam Gilman

      From his website:

      Jerry W. Petermann, 63, has spent a lifetime as a scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and creator of new business ventures. He has worked at all levels of science and technology and has been instrumental, at a national level, in leading the fight against the poisoning of children by lead based paint.

      Within the past 12 years he was awarded a number of patents in telecommunications and artificial intelligence in the U.S. and abroad. Active in Mitocholdrial DNA research , he has fielded products to reduce the effects of aging and the rigors of competitive atheletic competition. For several years, he spent time as a Christian minister.

      Recently, 2013, he has appeared as a guest several times on the GCN Radio network shows The Power Hour with Joyce Riley and Radio Liberty with Dr. Stan Monteith, as a nuclear specialist and nutritional health proponent.

      Gosh. Quite a guy.

      Nothing in that life history that strikes you as at all dubious?

  • David Van Cleef

    The last hotspot like this in Tokyo was a jar of old radium paint (used for glow in the dark clock dials) left forgotten under floorboards.

  • Testerty

    Just a reminder that potentially there are 2 million tonnes of hot soil in Fukushima which can be distributed over all over Japan.

  • Al_Martinez

    I wonder how many neighborhood children have reached their dose of radiation for the year decade.