Saturday, June 18, 2011

#Radioactive Tea in France: Shizuoka Governor Tells France Tea Is Safe, "No Problem"

Besides, the tea leaves may not be from Shizuoka anyway, says his government.

The Oxford PhD (in comparative economic history) governor of Shizuoka strikes again, responding to the news that the French authorities confiscated the radioactive tea from Shizuoka Prefecture at the Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris for the high radioactive cesium count (1038 becquerels per kilogram), more than twice the safety limit for the EU. (I'm rather surprised that it's that high in the EU.)

From Asahi Shinbun (10:43PM JST 6/18/2011):

「静岡」の茶から基準を超える放射性物質が検出されたとのフランス政府の発表を受け、静岡県の川勝平太知事はコメントを発表し、「仮に製茶の数値が 1千ベクレルだとしても飲用茶にすれば10ベクレル程度になる。飲んでもまったく問題ないと考える」と県の独自調査の結果を示して安全性を強調。その上で 「情報を確認し、早急に輸出ルートを調査する」とした。

Governor Heita Kawakatsu of Shizuoka Prefecture issued a comment in response to the French government's announcement that the radioactive materials have been detected in Shizuoka tea in excess of the safety limit, and said "Even if the final blend tea measured 1,000 becquerels/kilogram, when you brew it the number will go down to about 10 becquerels. I don't think there's any problem at all if you drink the tea." He emphasized the safety of Shizuoka tea showing the survey done by the prefecture. He added that his government "will verify the French information, and investigate the export route."


The Economy and Industry Division of the Shizuoka prefectural government, who is in charge of export control of the teas from Shizuoka, said it was possible that the tea tested in France was final-blended in Shizuoka, but that didn't mean the tea leaves themselves were grown and harvested in Shizuoka. The division said the tea leaves from other prefectures and even from overseas are processed in Shizuoka and then shipped.

I don't have a PhD so I defer to the expert judgment of the governor, who must know more than we the mere non-PhD mortals do.


@ortospace said...

"... the tea leaves from other prefectures and even from overseas are processed in Shizuoka and then shipped... " ??? WTF
Of all the dumb excuses this is one of the dumbest. Moreover they're declaring that they've been committing fraud when selling "shizuoka tea".

Anonymous said...

The following laws come into effect in the EU after a radiological accident likely to cause food contamination above normal levels:

Major foods:

Minor foodstuffs (10x levels)

Animal feed:

Hopefully someone will look up the corresponding US laws.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

The levels were originally raised to cope with the Chernobyl aftermath. I guess they knew it wasn't going to get better as all the NPP's age around the world.

"Actually set as far back as 1989 (by amending standards set in 1987) for the purpose of responding to a nuclear or radiological emergency, the EU ordinance 297/2011 was implemented on March 25, 2011, which finally enacted the standards that were set back in 1989."

"Protective Action Guides (PAGs) help state and local authorities make radiation protection decisions during emergencies. EPA developed the PAG Manual to provide guidance on actions to protect the public."

"Manual of Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear Incidents (PDF) [about pdf format] [EPA 400-R-92-001] for downloading or viewing."

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

"Even if the final blend tea measured 1,000 becquerels/kilogram, when you brew it the number will go down to about 10 becquerels. I don't think there's any problem at all if you drink the tea."

Professor Feces doesn't explain this miracle does he? According to him all they need to do is brew the reactor waste water and the radiation will just go away. Imagine how foolish the "experts" must feel, this sounds like used car salesman talk to me. He must mean the water soluble Cs-137 leaches out of the tea leaves but where does it go? Either into the air or into the tea water it doesn't just disappear. If it goes into the air then you have a mini Fukushima steaming away with every cup if it goes into the water we all know what happens.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

How do the French readers feel about this article, do they feel it is accurate?

"Anne Lauvergeon, nicknamed 'Atomic Annie' and CEO of France's murky Areva nuclear corporation with activities ranging from uranium mining ventures - and adventures in Africa - to building the world's slowest and most expensive reactor, a French EPR in Finland, was officially ousted by Nicolas Sarkozy on June 16 and will quit Areva by June 29."

"On the plus-side, Lauvergeon only had one seeming trump card for keeping her job: a near-decade of uranium wheeler-dealing, mostly in Africa, generating Areva assets that on first glance can look monstruously attractive, but on second and subsequent study often look plain disastrous. Added to the reactor building cost disaster playing out with enraged Finnish clients, and ballooning costs for Areva's domestic French operations in several domains, from fuel fabrication and reprocessing to nuclear waste handling, it was high time for Atomic Annie to 'tirer sa reverence' and quit."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Robbie. I skimmed the big EPA document and drew two conclusions:

1) Radiation exposure involves complex math, and unless states and local government have a solid evacuation plan, based on simple actions, and simple measurements, and practiced regularly with drills and continuing education, they will be PARALYSED and dependent on private companies and the EPA to tell them what to do in a crisis, just like Japan.

2) There appears to be roughly an order of magnitude (10 times) difference between the medical cost for a person rem of exposure, and the cost of evacuation per person rem. $10 for medical damage versus $100 for evacuation.

The conclusion is pretty obvious.

Anonymous said...

L'amateur de thé dit :
The honorable governator means green tea labelled from Shizuoka is safe... for EXPORT ! HA HA you fools !

Hello Robbie, in France we call her "Anne atomique" which is much more funny - and mean. She deserves it, especially as a woman, who we think should not involve in such dangerous business. What you say about Areva is right alas, and people here know all that too well. Areva and EDF are mega corporations that became untamed monsters. Just lucky until the bad one happens.
In a both popular and serious weekly magazine:,70165.php
Green tea from Japan is quite hype here, that customs sized it is a little scary, but since Tchernobyl we know to beware even now of herbs, mushrooms, from east and south east France, not to speak about central Europe.

Overboard said...

He he he. That was funny about brewing the radioactive water.
I'm in Japan but planning on leaving.
Pretty soon.

Niigata said...

The governor of Shizuoka is truly the champion of bad faith. It may be out of class! ! !
It begins to brew his tea with water that there is too much to the nuclear power plant, it will not lower its level, but at least he'll leave us alone ...
I do not support those politicians who do not recognize the truth and who locks himself in bad faith ... (there are plenty in France, which want!)
Anyway, the damage is done for the Japanese green tea for the rest it will come. Nobody will trust in food "made in japan" thanks to leaders like these.
In two weeks, the plant overflows, while water from the sea, and the prefects of the departments will protect the fishermen, saying, eating fish is good for you, and they cook alone ....

Anonymous said...

The japanese food control has a reputaion of good efficiency, yet it is having strange systemic failures, like this one.
See "hijiki". It took the British Food administration to ban that weed imported from Japan because of high level of arsenic.
Still on sale in Japan - and you don't know where is the farm that grew it. May be near Kawasaki, or Minamata.

Anonymous said...

Where else was this tea shipped to? World leaders, other than Russia's Putin, are too PC about global trade to do their job of protecting their citizens.

Anonymous said...

This guy is a disgrace.

He puts so much energy to gain some time, to make a few more bucks for his mafia fellowmen who sell "tea", to hold on a little bit to his corrupted position. It's pathetic.

But wait... he will be put on trial.

We are only 3 months and a half into the catastrophy. It's nothing.

As i wrote before : wait for the first "abortions"... and the first babies with horrible diformations... A few months... It will come.

and then the furor of the japanese people will increase.

And those "governors" will pay.

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

@ Anon 9:32 you’re welcome, thank you for posting the EU standards every little bit of hard information helps make Areav’s blog a stronger compendium of facts. Actually, computing radiation exposure involves A LOT of guessing they rarely have enough information (by design) to give out "hard" numbers. This is why they are allowed to operate without proper dosimetry and get away with “over 1000 mSv” as an official reading at the plant (inexcusable). TEPCO’s “the Tsunami ate my dosimeters” is BS. Japan is full of nuclear facilities and dosimeters. Workers were coming from other facilities but none of them brought dosimeters? In high radiation environments like Fukushima dosimeter contamination could be a real problem you would want as many spares on hand as possible (if you we worried about workers health). When you have stories like this you can see how the nuclear industry operates. If you are serious about this issue you may want to make copies of stuff like this (full article not link) because it will be forgotten in the official history of Fukushima 10 years from now.

“ Sly TEPCO skews employee radiation exposures lower by insisting on calculating from March 21 - Nine full days after the hydrogen explosion in Dai-ichi”

I think your conclusion can be extended to any major nuclear disaster including Fukushima. Paying the price to actually protect people is just too astronomical to even consider. I’m sure $10/pR buys a lot of “you’re OK or prognosis: radiophobia” I doubt there will be a proper medical follow-up this is part of the reason why the Japanese government wants to control the process in conjunction with the IAEA. The problem with evacuation is they generally aren’t declared until it is too late and they don’t use real-time maps of the plume. They like to think radiation will obey their nice little circles. It isn’t rocket science to declare a large emission and the wind speed and direction but that would mean they weren’t in control when the world was watching closely in the early days. Another reason not to declare the plume is NGO’s like Greenpeace will make them look foolish a lot quicker.

@L'amateur de thé

Thank you for your opinion. I am always interested in how people feel the foreign press portrays an issue about their nation. I didn’t realize the French nuclear program had so many problems. Here in the US nuclear proponents constantly point to the “flawless” French program and how we’ll be left behind if we don’t step up our program. Now I can see why resolving Fukushima is a major concern for France. Like the Wizard of Oz Sarkozy wants to stay behind his curtain but Fukushima is trying to pull it back and reveal he is just a man.

@ Anon 1:02

Thank you, thank you, don’t forget to tip you waitresses (^^)

Anonymous said...

@ Niigata,

"Nobody will trust in food "made in japan" thanks to leaders like these."

'Ya think ?

What an oaf.

Anonymous said...

Ok, is the tea we are currently drinking at the moment from this year harvest or last year?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 7:12PM, it depends. If it is a new tea or "shin-cha", it means it's this year's. You should ask your tea merchant. The first batch of new crop ("ichiban-cha" or the first pick) was picked in April and May. Now it's a "niban-cha" or second pick season.

Anonymous said...

I drank some matcha tea in a coffeeshop in Canada today. What is the chance that it's from this year's from Japan?

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