TOKYO, May 13 (Xinhua) -- A radioactive substance of up to 170,000 becquerels per kilogram was detected in incinerator ashes at a sewage plant in Koto Ward, east Tokyo, in late March, the Kyodo News Agency quoted government sources as saying Friday.
The highly-contaminated ashes were discovered following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant which escalated through March as a hydrogen explosion exacerbated the disaster and highly radioactive water was both discharged and found to be freely flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
The ashes have since been recycled into materials used for construction, such as cement, sources with knowledge of the matter said.
In addition, the sources revealed that also in late March a radioactive substance, which may or may not have been cesium, measuring 100,000-140,000 becquerels per kg, was found in two other separate sewage facilities in the Itabashi and Ota areas of Tokyo.
Separately on Friday, the local government of Maebashi, the capital city of Gunma Prefecture, said radioactive cesium of 41,000 becquerels per kg was detected in incinerator ashes collected Monday at a water sanitation facility.
The Maebashi officials also said that less radioactive cesium was also found in sludge and molten slag.
On May 1, the local government of Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled No. 1 nuclear power plant, said that 334,000 becquerels per kg of radioactive cesium was found in molten slag after being processed in the prefecture.
The prefectural government also said that radioactive cesium was also detected at 15 other sewage facilities in the area, as well as at facilities in Tochigi Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, three in Gunma Prefecture and one in Niigata Prefecture.
Local officials from the Kanagawa Prefectural Government also said later in May that cesium was detected at four sewage plants in the area.
Chinese premier to visit Japan's disaster-hit areas
BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing Friday that he will visit areas of Japan that were affected by the country's March 11 earthquake and tsunami during an upcoming trip.
"I will visit disaster-hit areas to express my sympathy to the Japanese people, convey the friendly sentiment of the Chinese people and their sincere support for the country's reconstruction efforts," Wen told a delegation of Japanese business leaders. Full story
Special Report: Massive quake shakes Japan