CROOKED CLEANUP (1): Radioactive waste dumped into rivers during decontamination work in Fukushima

Cleanup crews in Fukushima Prefecture have dumped soil and leaves contaminated with radioactive fallout into rivers. Water sprayed on contaminated buildings has been allowed to drain back into the environment. And supervisors have instructed workers to ignore rules on proper collection and disposal of the radioactive waste.

Decontamination is considered a crucial process in enabling thousands of evacuees to return to their homes around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and resume their normal lives.

But the decontamination work witnessed by a team of Asahi Shimbun reporters shows that contractual rules with the Environment Ministry have been regularly and blatantly ignored, and in some cases, could violate environmental laws.