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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Tasty, safe rice from Fukushima

December 9, 2013


Test harvest of rice less than radioactivity limit



A village affected by fallout from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says rice planted in its most contaminated area has logged radioactivity below the national safety standard after the paddies were decontaminated.

Most parts of Iitate Village in Fukushima were designated as no-entry or uninhabitable zones after the municipality was hit by fallout from the 2011 nuclear accident. Iitate is about 40 kilometers from the plant.

In June this year, the villagers planted a crop of rice in the Nagadoro District after removing the paddy's contaminated topsoil, to test how much radioactivity would be absorbed by the rice.

They harvested the crop in October.

The villagers then asked the government to examine 3 kilograms of the rice for radioactive substances.

They say all the samples were below 10 becquerels per kilogram, which is one tenth the government safety limit.

Agriculture in the no-entry zone has been banned. But the villagers are planning to test-plant rice again next year to study the affects of nuclear fallout. They hope the data collecting will help pave the way for a future resumption of agriculture in some parts of the village.




Rice from Fukushima served in govt. dining room



An event has been held in Tokyo to demonstrate the safety of rice grown in areas that have been evacuated around the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Rice was cultivated in several decontaminated fields in Yamakiya District in Kawamata Town and Iitate Village as part of a test. The 2 areas were designated as evacuation zones after the 2011 nuclear accident.

Officials from Fukushima Prefecture say no radioactive materials were detected in any of the harvested rice.

540 kilograms of the rice will be served in a government office complex in Tokyo for 9 days from Monday.

Senior Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue and Parliamentary Vice Environment Minister Tomoko Ukishima tasted rice balls made of the crop on the first day.

Inoue said the rice tasted good especially when he thought about the great effort that went into cultivating the crop.

A farmer from Kawamata Town said he will continue to cultivate rice now that he knows that it's possible to grow a tasty product if the paddy fields are properly decontaminated. He said he travelled from his temporary home to the paddy to tend the rice as it grew.

Dec. 9, 2013 - Updated 05:50 UTC

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