I couldn’t tell that was what it was, when I saw the title of an article at one of the local newspapers in Fukushima, but it turned out that was what it was.
Go figure. Let them, at this point. After nearly 2 years, they choose to be there and choose to grow their food and eat it. “Oh we weren’t told” doesn’t fly any more.
I hope they don’t feed it to their children or grandchildren, but hope has been just that, hope.
Fukushima farmers certainly do feed it to the rest of Japan, because they are victims of TEPCO and residents in big cities outside Fukushima owe it to them, in their minds.
From Fukushima Minpo (2/16/2013):
Radioactivity measurement without chopping up samples – new equipment will be used in Fukushima
On February 19, Tohoku University will start using the new equipment to measure radioactivity in farm produce and food items without chopping them up at a monitoring center in Fukushima City. It is to respond to the residents’ complaints and requests, such as “it’s too tedious to chop up 1 kilogram of sample” and “I want to eat it after it’s tested”.
The new equipment was developed by Professor Keizo Ishii of Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering Department of Quantum Science who is also an advisor to Fukushima City on radiation countermeasures.
The regular equipment has one sensor that detects radioactivity. Professor Ishii’s equipment will use 7 sensors, and will be able to measure radioactivity without chopping up the samples and in small sample amounts. Farm produce and food items can be left in a basket which is then placed in the equipment, and it takes only 5 minutes to measure. The detection limit is 25 becquerels/kg, and the sample sizes can be from 0.7 kilogram to 3 kilograms.
Tohoku University and Fukushima City have been collaborating on introducing this equipment. The city official in charge says, “Farm produce in small quantities, as from home gardens, can be measured, and people can take them back home. We want to use this equipment for the peace of mind of the city residents.”
Residents can sign up on February 18, and the measurement will start on February 19. The measurement is done from Tuesday to Friday every week. For more details, call 080(5737)1507.
Peace of mind for 25 becquerels/kg detection limit. Some peace.
In case you haven’t figured it out, they measure radioactivity in Japan not to understand what’s been going on but to feel safe. If measuring radioactivity doesn’t result in people feeling safe, they don’t bother measuring, which is exactly what happened in the very early days of the nuclear accident.