First Instance Of Harvested Radioactive Rice In Fukushima

First Instance of #Radioactive Rice with 500 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Nihonmatsu City in Fukushima (EX-SKF, September 23, 2011):

Now the government scientists have some explaining to do, because the soil at that location contained only 3,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. The government has used the transfer rate of cesium from soil to rice at 0.1, but in this particular instance, if we believe the number for the soil contamination the transfer rate is more like 0.17.

Nihonmatsu City where the 500bq/kg rice was found is located at about 55 kilometers west from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Yomiuri Shinbun linked below says it was from Iwashiro District that the radioactive rice was found. But according to the Fukushima prefectural data, the district is not Iwashiro District but Obama District.

From the surveys that have been done so far on rice in locations in Tohoku and Kanto, the transfer rate has been between 0.001 to 0.01, which is what the agricultural scientists have been saying from the beginning.

Now what?

From Yomiuri Shinbun (1:06AM JST 9/24/2011):

福島県は23日、一般米の放射性物質の予備検査で、二本松市の1検体から国の暫定規制値と同じ1キロ・グラム当たり500ベクレルの放射性セシウムが検出されたと発表した。

On September 23 Fukushima Prefecture announced the result of the preliminary survey of regular rice, and said one sample from Nihonmatsu City was found with 500 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. The level is the same as the national provisional safety limit.

国が定めた重点調査区域を指定する基準の1キロ・グラム当たり200ベクレルを超えたため、同市全体が重点調査区域になり、計画していた38地点から約300地点に増やして本検査が行われる。重点調査区域の指定は初めて。

Since the level exceeded 200 becquerels/kg, which is a standard used to determine whether more rigorous survey is necessary, the entire city of Nihonmatsu is designated as “special survey area”, and 300 locations in the city will be tested instead of the planned 38 locations when the real survey starts. It is the first time a “special survey area” is designated.

基準を超える放射性セシウムが検出されたのは、12日採取した同市岩代地区のコメ。この水田の土壌の放射性物質濃度は、1キロ・グラム当たり3000ベクレルだった。ほかの同市産のコメ18検体は、いずれも基準を下回った。

Radioactive cesium exceeding the standard (of 200 becquerels/kg for “special survey area”) was found from the rice sample taken on September 12 from a location in Iwashiro District in Nihonmatsu City. The density of radioactive materials [cesium] in the soil in the rice paddy where the rice was harvested was 3,000 becquerels/kg. 18 other samples from the same city all tested below the standard.

予備検査ですべての検体が基準を下回った市町村 は、本検査で、旧市町村ごとに2検体を調べ、基準を下回れば出荷が認められる。重点調査区域では、約15ヘクタールごとに2検体を調査する。すべてが国の 暫定規制値以下であれば、出荷が認められるが、上回ると旧市町村ごとに出荷停止になる。

Old municipalities [now incorporated into a bigger city, as in the case of Iwashiro District] whose samples all test below the standard [200 becquerels/kg] in the preliminary survey will only need to test 2 samples per district, and if the 2 samples test below the standard the shipment of rice from the entire district will be allowed. In a “special survey area”, 2 samples from every 15 hectares will be tested. If all samples test below the national provisional safety limit, then the shipment of rice from the district will be allowed. If one sample exceed the provisional safety limit, the shipment is banned for the entire district.

In Japanese, this type of testing is called “ざる” – pronounced “za-ru” – sieve. It still caught 500 becquerels/kg cesium rice, to the dismay of Fukushima producers and the prefectural government.

Well well. The Fukushima prefectural government sat on the data for 8 days. This particular sample was taken on September 12 along with other samples in Nihonmatsu City, and the other results were published on September 15, which showed the level of radioactive cesium between ND and 61 becquerels/kg.

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