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Japan – Chiba, Tochigi to test rice for cesium traces

Monday, August 1, 2011

Laaska News  August 1,2011

The Chiba and Tochigi prefectural governments say they will test the rice harvested in their prefectures for radiation.

The decision comes after radioactive cesium was detected in rice straw, vegetables and compost following the Fukushima nuclear accident.

Farmers in Chiba and Tochigi planted rice seedlings in their fields after the accident and are voicing concerns over possible contamination due to fallout from the Fukushima plant.

Officials in Chiba, where harvesting is expected to begin as early as August, say they will sample unmilled rice from one to several farms in each rice-growing municipality to measure radiation levels.

They say they will not allow any farms in a municipality to ship their rice unless the tests show that the radiation readings of samples from the area are within the safety limit set by the central government.

Tochigi authorities plan to have each area submit a sample for testing. They say they will also purchase 2 special devices to detect radioactive cesium, although they are still discussing the details of the testing method with the government.

In Tochigi, rice harvesting will start in early September.

The 2 prefectures are the first in Japan to announce that they will test rice for radioactive cesium.




Laaska News.