The bolts used to secure covers on metal containers for transporting low-level radioactive waste by sea might be failing, Nuclear Fuel Transport Co. disclosed over the weekend.

The containers carry drums filled with radiation-tainted clothes and equipment discarded by nuclear power plant workers. The items are mixed with cement and sealed inside the drums before making the voyage to a storage facility in the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.

The Tokyo-based company — the only one in Japan transporting that kind of waste — said that none of the five bolts found so far broke during shipping and that there had been no environmental impact. The Land, Transport, Infrastructure and Tourism Ministry has ordered the firm to halt all transport operations until safety measures can be confirmed.