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Japan:Rice shipments from district in Fukushima banned + RElated News

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Laaska News Nov. 17,2011
The Japanese government has ordered Fukushima Prefecture to suspended shipments of rice from a district of the prefecture as radioactive cesium higher than the state limit has been detected.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura announced on Thursday that he has told Governor Yuhei Sato of Fukushima Prefecture to restrict shipments on rice harvested this year in the Onami District of Fukushima City.

On Wednesday, the prefectural government of Fukushima announced that tests detected 630 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in rice samples from a field in the Onami District. The government’s maximum permissible level for rice is 500 becquerels per kilogram.
This is the first ban imposed on rice shipments since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Fujimura noted that radioactive material higher than the state level was detected in pre-shipment tests and that no rice of such levels has been put on the market.

He said he has asked the governor to determine the cause of the problem and strengthen inspection on rice in and around the Onami District.

Fujimura said the government will consider lifting shipment restrictions on rice from fields as soon as tests confirm the safety of the rice.


Fukushima Prefecture probes cesium-tainted rice


Fukushima Prefecture is trying to track down all rice harvested in one district of Fukushima City after radioactive cesium higher than the government limit was found in some of the rice.

The prefectural government says 630 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium has been detected in rice harvested in the Oonami district in Fukushima City. The maximum allowable level set by the central government is 500 becquerels per kilogram.

The prefecture says that rice harvested from the same rice paddies is stored at facilities including a local agricultural cooperative, and none of that rice has been released to the market. The prefecture has asked all 154 farmers in the district to suspend rice shipments.

Still, the prefectural government has asked all the farmers about their shipments. Based on the interviews of 86 farmers, about one ton of rice was sold to local dealers from the district.

The government is trying to confirm whether any of the rice has reached consumers.

The Fukushima Prefectural government is investigating the cesium contamination while continuing the interviews. The prefecture will discuss its course of action with Fukushima City and local agricultural cooperatives on Thursday afternoon.



Accident manuals for No 2 & 3 reactors disclosed


Accident manuals for reactors Number 2 and 3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have again disclosed a lack of proper procedures to deal with a nuclear accident.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency released Tokyo Electric Power Company’s procedural manuals for the two reactors on Thursday. The portion of the manual for the No 1 reactor was disclosed in October.

The newly disclosed portions, about 180 pages each for reactors 2 and 3, describe procedures on water injection into the reactors and procedures to vent steam to reduce pressure within the reactor containment vessel.

But, the manuals had not made sufficient and specific preparations for an extended all-station blackout such as the one that occurred at the No 1 reactor.

The utility staff members followed the procedures in the manuals immediately after the March earthquake hit the power plant, but very few steps were followed after the tsunami.

The latest disclosure of the manuals came after the utility earlier submitted them to a Lower House panel with most of the contents blacked out.

TEPCO had insisted the information had to be kept secret in order to protect its intellectual property rights and because disclosure could open its facilities to terrorist attack.






Laaska News.