Jul 27

- #Radiation in Japan Spreads: Wheat, Rapeseeds in Fukushima, Rice Hay Outside Fukushima Far Exceeding Safety Limit (EX-SKF, July 25, 2011):

No surprise to anyone who didn’t trust the Japanese government.

From Asahi Shinbun (11:14PM JST 7/25/2011):

福島県は25日、同県広野町の農家が収穫した小麦から、基準値を超える放射性セシウムが検出されたと発表した。この小麦は市場に流通していないという。小麦で基準値を超えた放射性物質の検出は初めて。

Fukushima Prefecture announced on July 25 that radioactive cesium exceeding the provisional limit was detected from the wheat harvested at a farm in Hirono-machi [23 kilometers south of Fukushima I Nuke Plant] in Fukushima Prefecture. The prefectural government says the wheat hasn’t been sold in the market. It is the first time that radioactive cesium exceeding the limit has been detected in wheat.

県によると、今月19日にサンプルとして採取した小麦から、基準(1キログラムあたり500ベクレル)を超える同630ベクレルの放射性セシウムが検出された。県は農家に出荷自粛を要請した。同県の昨年度の小麦生産量は651トンで、全国25位。

According to the prefectural government, 630 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found in a sample taken on July 19. The prefectural government has asked the farm to withhold shipment on a voluntary basis. Fukushima Prefecture ranks No. 25th in wheat production in Japan, with 651 tonnes produced last year.

また、同県田村市の農家が収穫したナタネからも、基準を超える同720ベクレルの放射性セシウムが検出された。流通はしておらず、県は出荷自粛を要請した。

Also, 720 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium has been detected in the rapeseeds harvested by a farm in Tamura City [41 kilometers west of Fukushima I Nuke Plant] in Fukushima. The rapeseeds haven’t been shipped, and the prefectural government has asked the farm to withhold shipment on a voluntary basis.

Don’t overly count on the statement that these crops haven’t yet been sold in the market. That’s as far as the farmer has told the government, or as far as the government can tell, which may not be much.

Also, for those who are wondering: When the government asks a farmer to withhold shipment “on a voluntary basis”, it means that technically the farmer is free to ship but the government expects the farmer not to ship, and the farmer will not get compensated for not shipping because it is done on a “voluntary basis” – i.e. on his own judgment, technically. The government thus saves money. It is a code word used by the government that means “You are not supposed to ship, but we won’t pay you for your potential loss.”

Also from Asahi (4:49AM JST 7/26/2011):

茨 城県は25日、茨城県高萩市の農家で集められた稲わらから6万4千ベクレルの放射性セシウムを検出したと発表した。乾燥前の水を含んだ状態に換算すると約 1万4500ベクレルで、国の基準値(1キロあたり300ベクレル)の48倍となる。この農家からは牛は出荷されていなかった。

Ibaraki Prefecture announced on July 25 that 64,000 becquerels/kg of cesium was detected from the rice hay collected at a farm in Takahagi City [83 kilometers south of Fukushima I Nuke Plant] in Ibaraki Prefecture. If reconstituted, the level of radioactive cesium in the hay would be 14,500 becquerels/kg, more than 48 times the national safety limit [for the feed] of 300 becquerels/kg. No cow has been shipped from this farm.

これまで福島、宮城、栃木、岩手各県で地元産の稲わらを与えた牛の肉から基準値を超えるセシウムが検出されている。

So far, radioactive cesium exceeding the safety limit has been detected in the meat from cows that were fed with the rice hay collected in Fukushima, Miyagi, Tochigi, and Iwate Prefectures.

So now in Ibaraki. The US government’s decision to evacuate its citizens outside 80 kilometers radius from Fukushima I Nuke Plant, which has been criticized by some in the US media as “overreaction”, has turned out to be the very prudent thing to do; maybe that wasn’t even far enough, considering Takahagi City is outside that zone.

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