6. Gas may have ruptured bag at nuclear facility
NHK has learned the operator of a nuclear research facility northeast of Tokyo believes a bag containing nuclear fuel materials ruptured last month due to a buildup of gas in it.
The rupture occurred on June 6th at the facility run by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Ibaraki Prefecture. Five workers were exposed to plutonium and other radioactive materials.
In the bag was a plastic container that stored nuclear fuel materials. The materials were held together by an adhesive agent to make it easier to use in experiments.
A report compiled by the agency says gas is believed to have been generated when radioactive rays disintegrated the adhesive agent, the polyethylene container, and the molecules of water in the bag.
The agency plans to submit a report to the Nuclear Regulation Authority as early as Friday. It will also conduct further analyses to determine the amount of the adhesive agent and the condition of the nuclear fuel materials when they were inside the container.