Tainted stone tied to 60 buildings so far


Crushed radiation-tainted stone quarried near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was used to build 60 houses and condominium buildings in Fukushima Prefecture.

The number could climb to over 100 if more studies on the crushed stone, which was shipped from a quarry in Namie, are conducted, government sources said Sunday.

The quarry shipped 5,725 tons of stone between the March 11 start of the triple-meltdown crisis triggered by the earthquake and tsunami, and the time in April when the government designated Namie as part of the nuclear exclusion zone.

The crushed stone, after being processed into concrete, was used to build such infrastructure as housing, roads and river dikes at nearly 1,000 places in the prefecture after the March disasters, they said.

A governmental study covering the period between late March and April 12 showed the contaminated concrete was used to build around 60 houses and condominium structures. The material was also shipped and used after that date for many more such dwellings, the sources said.

The issue emerged after the city of Nihommatsu said Jan. 15 that the radiation exposure reading in a new condominium complex built with concrete from the crushed stone from Namie was higher than outside the building.