Aug. 10 (UPI) — The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Thursday said a worker found what appears to be an undetonated U.S. bomb from World War II at the decommissioned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TEPCO, which is charged with decommissioning efforts, said an excavation worker found the device in the ground at a parking lot undergoing maintenance at about 7:30 a.m.
The bomb, located about half a mile from the plant’s damaged No. 1 to No. 4 nuclear reactors, has what appears to be a stabilizer tail and a length of about 2.7 feet with a diameter of about half a foot, officials said.
The Fukushima Prefectural Police is investigating to confirm if the discovered device is a bomb.
While the immediate area surrounding the potential bomb has been sealed, officials said ongoing work to decommission the damaged plant continues.
A Japanese military base was located in Fukushima during World War II and the Fukushima Prefectural Archives indicate U.S. forces launched an airstrike near that area during the war.
Six years ago, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed more than 15,000 people and damaged nuclear reactors at the plant. Decommissioning is expected to take decades.
The 2011 event at Fukushima is widely regarded as the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 meltdown at Ukraine’s Chernobyl plant, in what was then the Soviet Union.