2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Susan Gawarecki <loc@icx.net>
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 12:25:20 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Abandoned shells not radioactive: gov't officials
As a followup to a recent post:

Abandoned shells not radioactive: gov't officials
NAHA, Japan, June 1 (Kyodo) 

Nearly 500 artillery shells that were found in a junkyard in Okinawa 
Prefecture do not pose a radioactivity threat to local residents, a 
team of government officials said Thursday. 

The government earlier in the day dispatched a mission to Japan's 
southernmost island prefecture to determine whether the 473 shells, 
thought to be depleted uranium shells, were a health hazard. 

The team consists of officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Science 
and Technology Agency and the Defense Facilities Administration 

The team inspected the junkyard in Nishihara for about an hour, 
focusing on five spots around a drum filled with the shells. 

The officials said they will further study soil in and around the 
junkyard after returning to Tokyo. The soil samples will likely be 
normal, as a detector would have found any traces of uranium in the 

According to Okinawa prefectural government officials, a scrap-iron 
dealer bought the shells from the U.S. military in Okinawa six to 
seven years ago. 

The officials said the shells, each 4 centimeters in diameter and 14 
cm long, were found packed in a drum with the word ''uranium'' 
written on it. 

''The U.S. side has explained to us that the shells are not 
harmful...but since they were abandoned at a private facility, the 
government has decided to carry out its own investigations,'' Chief 
Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki told a news conference in Tokyo. 
Susan L. Gawarecki, Ph.D., Executive Director
Oak Ridge Reservation Local Oversight Committee, Inc.
136 S Illinois Ave, Ste 208, Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone (865) 483-1333; Fax (865) 482-6572; E-mail loc@icx.net 

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