Study of conditions for the storage of cultural properties rescued from previously restricted zones of Fukushima Prefecture and implementation of measures to prevent/mitigate radiation damage
The nuclear accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant resulted in repositories in the towns of Futaba, Okuma, and Tomioka in Futaba County being contaminated with radioactive material. Cultural properties that were rescued from these repositories have ultimately been stored in a temporary repository at Mahoron, the Shirakawa Branch of the Fukushima Cultural Property Center.
In order to improve storage conditions, the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques is continuing a study in cooperation with curators at Mahoron. From March 25–26th, temperature and humidity were measured and levels of surface contamination on some rescued cultural properties were measured. Most of the items were found to be free of contamination by radioactive material. Wrapping on some of the items that had slight levels of contamination was replaced, and dust was removed and items were cleaned with a conservation vacuum cleaner. Measurements of radiation levels before and afterwards indicated that the cleaning was effective. In addition, curators who will manage rescued cultural properties received a course on methods of measuring surface contamination and they learned procedures for performing those measurements. Mahoron plans to successively measure and record surface contamination on all rescued cultural properties.