NAMIE, Fukushima Prefecture–Work got under way here on Nov. 21 to demolish and remove ships that were wrecked and swept inland by the tsunami generated by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Seventy abandoned ships, mostly fishing boats, still remain in evacuation zones around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Workers were seen Nov. 21 using cranes to remove cabins and structures from the ships’ main decks as the first step in the dismantling process.
The vessels have been left untouched for more than three and a half years since evacuation orders were issued soon after the Fukushima nuclear accident unfolded.
The work is being led by the Environment Ministry. The ministry’s environmental restoration office in Fukushima said that 62 boats are in Namie, six in Tomioka and one each in Minami-Soma and Naraha. All are expected to be dismantled and removed from the premises by the end of March.
Many of the abandoned vessels are rusting away and have corroded reinforced plastic parts. Some have weeds growing on them.