Tainted cars left Fukushima compound unchecked

Tainted cars left Fukushima compound unchecked

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says hundreds of vehicles contaminated with radioactive substances left the compound unchecked in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 accident.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says that in 2012 it began investigating what had happened to privately owned vehicles at the plant, and found that about 460 had left the compound.

TEPCO officials located most of them by 2015. About 190 registered radiation levels that were higher than the government standards. They managed to track down all 190, but some of them had been sold to new owners.

Some of the cars were so contaminated that the radiation couldn't be measured by equipment capable of detecting levels nearly 10 times greater than the official limits.

Two vehicles remain unaccounted for.

TEPCO says it did not conduct radiation checks of cars leaving the compound for 12 days after the accident started on March 11th, 2011.

The company has apologized for causing concern and says it will keep trying to locate the 2 vehicles.