A bomb has been unearthed at the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was hit by multiple explosions and reactor meltdowns in March 2011.
TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant about 150 miles north of Tokyo, said the undetonated explosive, which measures about 1 meter in length, was excavated from a car park near to the No. 1 and No. 4 nuclear reactors, both of which were destroyed by the 2011 accident.
The accident was was triggered by a Magnitide 9 earthquake and mega-tsunami and caused the evacuation of around 160,000 residents, the majority of whom are unable to return to their homes, which have been contaminated by radioactive materials that spewed from the plant.
Japanese media is reporting that US air force planes launched airstrikes in the area around the plant during World War II and that the unexploded ordnance may date back to that time. There has been no comment made by TEPCO or other officials about the danger posed to the nuclear power plant, though local police are looking into its safe removal from the plant.
The find is unusual in that the land on which the nuclear power facility was built would not have existed at the time of any WW II air strikes. As discussed in "Yoshida's Dilemma" the nuclear plant was built on land that was once a 30-meter bluff that in the early 1960s had its upper 20-meter mass lopped off to accommodate the facility. Before the war, the hilltop area had served as the Iwaki Air Strip, where Japan's infamous kamikaze pilots were trained. After the war, it was turned into fields producing salt, of which there was a shortage.