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Japan:Radioactive impact on wheat may be small

Monday, August 15, 2011

Laaska News  August 15,2011

Researchers in Japan have found that wheat absorbs a relatively small amount of radioactive cesium from its roots, and the impact of the substance on wheat grain may be small.

The scientists at the University of Tokyo have been conducting research since immediately after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, jointly with Fukushima Prefecture, to study the impact of radioactive substances on farm products.

They found 280,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilograms in wheat leaves which had grown before the disaster and were exposed to the radiation from Fukushima. Meanwhile wheat grain which grew afterwards showed about 300 bequerels of cesium, or about one 1,000th of the cesium found in leaves.

The scientists believe wheat absorbs only a small amount of radioactive cesium through its roots.

They believe the substance does not migrate from leaves to the grain, the edible part, which makes the impact small.

They also measured the distribution of radioactive cesium in rice paddies in Fukushima prefecture by collecting soil at 5 centimeter increments from the surface.

96 percent of the cesium was found at the 5 centimeter level from the surface.

The scientists will continue the research as they believe the impact of the radioactive cesium can be reduced significantly by removing the top soil.

Professor Sho Shiozawa of the University of Tokyo says he hopes to help revive the agriculture of Fukushima Prefecture by showing the actual impact level of radioactive materials on rice paddies and farming activities.
August 14.
Laaska News.