Saturday, April 28, 2012

(UPDATED) Last Year's Green Tea from Tokyo Found with 210 Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium (by the Old Testing Method)

(UPDATE from Security Tokyo on April 29, 2012:

Cs-134: 86 becquerels/kg
Cs-137: 128 becquerels/kg
Total: 214 becquerels/kg

Margin of error (Cs-137): 5 becquerels/kg


The number is below the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg that was in effect till April 1 this year, and would be above the new safety limit of 100 becquerels/kg if the testing method for green tea remained the same.

Well it didn't. Starting April 1, 2012, you only test green tea after it's brewed, and test the liquid. If that tests less than 10 becquerels/kg, it is supposed to be "safe" as far as the regulation goes.

But Security Tokyo, a private entity that has been conducting the very precise, professional measuring of radioactive materials using the calibrated germanium semiconductor detector, is testing the green tea ("Sayama-cha") made in Tokyo last year the old way - measuring the dry leaves.

From Security Tokyo's tweet (4/28/2012):


Sayama-cha made in Tokyo: we're detecting 210 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium. We are still measuring. The tea was being sold at a supermarket in Tokyo. We haven't tested the tea after it is brewed.

Judging from the limited result from Shizuoka Prefecture last year*, the brewed tea may have between 1% to 1.3% of radioactive cesium detected in the dry leaves. In this case, 2 to 3 becquerels/kg, totally "safe".

*For your information, here's the result in Shizuoka from last year. Unit is becquerels/kg:

Tea (dry leaves) Brewed tea (brewed tea/dry tea leaves)

614                   5.8                    (0.94%)

602                    7.8                    (1.30%)

604                    7.8                    (1.29%)

581                   7.6                    (1.31%)

654                    7.3                    (1.12%)

The testing method to be used from this year on would in effect result in relaxing the safety limit for green tea IF the testing method remained the same. Now, green tea with up to 1,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium in dry leaves may "safely" pass the test (brewed tea with 10 becquerels/kg of cesium or less). It seems Shizuoka Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture (main growing region for Sayama-tea) will only announce the results of brewed tea this year.


Darth3/11 said...

Whilst it is good to read that Shizuoka tea is not highly saturated in Cesium, I will continue to avoid it and buy tea from Uji and Kyushu for the next year or three. Moshiwake to Shizuoka. And, that incinerator is not helping me feel better about tea from there, either.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above commenter, but why buy it after three years? It will then become safe? I don't think so.

As for incinerators, I emailed the Ministry of Education, at their English site

and asked the following questions:

1. What are the make/type of the incinerators;
2. What is the law on allowable emissions of radioactive incineration from chimneys;
3. How will the radioactivity in filters and fly ash be dealt with?

Have not received. I find it amazing no one has actually researched this topic but is speculating on radioactive emissions from incinerators. I agree and am against incinerating the debris, but we don't really know how radioactive the debris is and how the incinerators operate, since no one has bothered to find out and the government apparently is not keen to share the information. In the US the EPA told me they have no experience burning radioactive debris in municipal incinerators!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 3:45PM, that information is out there, only in Japanese though. People have researched, experts and ordinary people alike. The latter is increasingly more knowledgeable on how things actually work.

As to how radioactive the debris actually is, I have posted several posts. Here's the latest in March this year:

The incinerators are either stoker or melting furnace. Some stoker furnaces are aging and need to be replaced or repaired. Thus the eagerness to accept debris by municipalities, because the replacement or repair cost will be paid by the national government.

Anonymous said...

Wait 5 years. Tokyo will be an absolute wasteland once this goes mainstream.

You can only ingest this crap for so many days before you start to turn purple, bloody, and begin to die from the inside.

So sad. I always wanted to visit the techno district and video arcades :(

William Milberry said...

What about matcha? Isn't matcha just finely ground high quality green tea? It's often directly used as flavoring in lots of things such as ice cream and cakes. If they only measure the radioactivity of brewed matcha, then matcha flavored foods could potentially receive quite a bit of cesium from powdered matcha which is over the "safety" limit.

kuma shutsubotsu chuui said...

Sooo ... 10 Bq/kg is allowable. That's 10 Bq per liter. The "yunomi" teacups in my house hold around 120cc (about 4 oz.), so that's almost 1.2 Bq per cup. Say somebody drinks five cups of green tea per day. In a year, that's 2190 Bq. In a little over 3 1/2 years, they will have taken in the equivalent of a kilo of nuclear waste. Have I got that right?

Not every package of tea will contain the max level, but some will slip through that contain much more, and anyway, it's not as if tea is the only source of cesium in the Japanese diet. And of course nobody is measuring the other even nastier radioactive elements, or if they are, they sure aren't telling us about it.

Also remember that people don't just steep the tea leaves, they eat them as well. Blenders in Japan are often sold with an attachment that allows you to turn tea leaves into a fine powder and use it to make a sort of "instant" green tea. The powder is also used in baking.

@William Milberry:

I was also wondering about standards for matcha powder.

Anonymous said...

Spike at Lucas Heights in Australia, 53ngy/h at 8.25am today. Normally around 34ngy/h.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you live in the U.S., please sign this petition!

We are trying to raise awareness about Spent Fuel Pool 4 and believe Japan needs assistance: Sign, sign, sign!!! And then CIRCULATE THIS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS FEEDS, PLEASE!!! SEND IT OUT ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE...EMAIL IT TO FRIENDS AND EXPLAIN WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!! Post this everywhere, please.

Thank you! Sending love to Japan! <3 --v

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 8:16PM, at your link, that's how the reactor building looked like back in November last year, but not right now.

Nitpicking here as usual. The US government officials (the Secretary of State and the Deputy Secretary of Energy, I think) were both in Japan in December when Noda declared "cold shutdown state". They were in deep talks about selling services and technologies for decommissioning.

Anonymous said...

Whether to picture looks "pretty" or not...does not matter.

The facts are:

1.) The building is still unstable...Senator Wyden of Oregon visited Fukushima and agrees.
2.) Spent Fuel Pool 4 could rupture and catch on fire.
3.) If the building levels, the spent fuel pool, which contains "800 nuclear bombs" worth of radiation would burn and possibly annihilate Japan and most of the northern hemisphere. (Maybe you should actually READ the petition. I provided links and recent pictures, to support these clams.)
4.) Having cute little talks about possibly helping Japan is not the same as actually helping Japan. The U.S. must take action.
5.) You obviously work for the nuclear industry and want to confuse people--only these paid trolls bandy around the term "cold shutdown state" to deceive people who know little about what that means or how it is (ir)relevant to the spent fuel pools possibly setting on fire. So, since you wish to deceive people, allow me to explain..."cold shut down state" still means that radioactive material burns and burns and burns and burns and burns, for about 5 years. It must be kept cool or explosions and fires can occur. Spent fuel pools have more radiation than reactors. Like I said, SPENT FUEL POOL 4 HAS "800 nuclear bombs worth of radiation"--and that is only 1 spent fuel pool out of 7, on site. If an earthquake levels that building 4 or even cracks the pool and causes a fire--most likely every worker would be forced to evacuate the Fukushima plant, indefinitely--because that high level of radiation would kill people--even in protective gear and would short out robots/machinery. This means the Fukushima plant would burn and burn and burn and burn and burn...releasing the radiation onsite and most likely kill most--if not all of Japan--and many in the northern hemisphere.

We cannot wait and watch phony U.S. PR discussions that never amount to action to pacify us. We must tell Congress this threat is serious and they must act.

Last week, over 20 earthquakes occurred in the exact same place where the original earthquake hit, last year--right off the coast of Fukushima. These earthquakes have the potential to level that building 4 and cause a global disaster. The time to get involved is, now. The only person who would argue against this is a paid mouthpiece for the nuclear in a few seconds the troll will be back...until then, please read the links and watch the videos provided within this petition--SIGN IT AND CIRCULATE IT, PLEASE!!!

Thank you, everyone! <3

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

And if you *are* indeed the person who runs this site, I would expect you--of all people--to understand the magnitude of this situation and to support this petition. We must act now and not wait for the next earthquake. Japan's government and TEPCO are taking TOO LONG to deal with this. Russia sent in 500,000+ military and personnel to deal with Chernobyl--and that was just for 1 reactor!!! We need international assistance to handle Fukushima...our lives are on the line.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@kuma shutsubotsu chuui and @William Milberry, I have info on maccha green tea:

Joe Blow said...

@anon... while we are not having much fun here sitting on the edge of a(nother) low probability - high consequence event.. feel I should point out a few things:

1 - do you srsly think Japan authorities are somehow less 'concerned' than U.S. about #4.. considering direct local impact to the nation?

2 - however strong the structure may, or may not be now, on-going tremors are fact of life here; nearly 300 at 5M+ in the immediate 72hrs after 3.11, they stood at 9M and since.. some rational perspective is in order.

3 - all forces are moving as quickly and safely as possible.. no amount of money and petitions (imho) will make much difference to that end.

I understand your passion and concern, believe me we're pretty close to that ground zero, however.. personally would not exactly feel more confident with a million soldiers mucking around there as proposed solution either.

If you really want to disrupt and push senators with pointy questions, perhaps - wondering aloud here - focus on why the policy diff. between Iraq and N.Korea wrt to nukes is in order? The last thing we need about now is an underground test there that 'could' trigger another event.. just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Oh, now I KNOW you are a nuclear industry troll!!!

1.) Japan's government LIED to their people and continue to do so. Leaving that corrupt, idiot, company TEPCO in charge of the clean up--was a HUGE mistake...and everyone is learning this...TEPCO WAS TOLD NOT TO BUILD ON A FAULT LINE AND THEY DID. TEPCO WAS SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW SAFETY STANDARDS AND THEY DID NOT. So...NO, I do not think we should allow these idiots to clean up the very mess they created.

2.) Which is it, troll, a "low probability" event to have an earthquake or are earthquakes a "fact of life" in Japan, huh? Which is it? You can't have it both ways, can you? The fact is earthquakes ARE COMMON in Japan and after a building has become unstable, smaller earthquakes can further damage it, level it, or crack spent fuel pools...and last week there was a that's not exactly a low level tremor. Further more, it only takes ONE earthquake to potentially cause that whole plant to go up in flames, so I think it is you who needs to understand the stakes are high and something must be done to prevent the worst from happening.

3.) Petitions WILL make a difference. When the U.S. and international communities wake up and realize our lives are being gambled with by a bunch of greedy, baffoons in the nuclear industry, people will do everything in their power to change how badly this clean up has been botched. I guarantee it.

4.) Chernobyl was buried in 30 days by military--time to haul ass and for us to do the same. The reason we need more people on the ground is because radiation is so high, there, certain tasks can only be completed by each worker in short intervals. For instance, when they buried Chernobyl, there were stories of some workers only being able to get near enough to certain areas and work for maybe 10 minutes, before they reached their daily or monthly limit of, normal tasks moved slowly...They need the large numbers of people to hurry the process along. If you have more workers, you will increase the productivity level.

5.) Finally, don't try to change the subject. Fukushima threatens the entire northern hemisphere's health and safety...that is the focus and bringing up other topics is just a tactic to distract people. You are not clever. I mean, please, we could sit here all day and play that stupid game, where we bring up everything else under the sun to try and distract others from our original discussion...but I will not let you get away with that bullshit. Sign the petition or don't. Intelligent people will read the petition (and supporting information within it), themselves. If you keep coming on here and debating me, you just look like you are intentionally sticking up for the nuclear industry and this only serves to bust yourself. Frankly, even if you are a paid lapdog to the nuclear industry, I would think it would be in your best interest to support this petition's efforts. You and your family can die, just as easily as mine, from radiation poisoning and no amount of money you could be paid to disrupt my efforts could be spent beyond the grave, if you allow the worst to happen. Get onboard. Educate yourself. Do what you can to get more people over there. Unless you plan to move to a different planet...this concerns your health and safety, as well.

Anonymous said...


arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I asked before, but I ask you again. Stop calling people "trolls" when they have different opinions. That's so immature.

Also, this post was about green tea. If you want to comment about Reactor 4 SFP, please go to the posts about Reactor 4.

Anonymous said...

I suppose there are anti-nuke "trolls"...

Anonymous said...

@ arevamirpal::laprimavera:--v

1.) I will post this on your other thread...I have no problem with that.

@ random other person who enjoys relentlessly disagreeing with me: --v

2.) "Anti-nuke trolls" is an oxymoron.

3.) Even if they existed..."Anti-nuke trolls" are not going to "troll" on an "anti-nuke website."

****Concerned citizens**** will, however, leave relevant information on anti-nuclear sites to add to the overall cause.

4.) A petition is a petition. I found this important and wished to share it with others who similarly may find it important.

No one is forced to sign it. Just read and sign it, if you agree with the information.

I do resent people who intentionally minimize the seriousness of the spent fuel pool crisis and find people who hang on Fukushima websites and defend the nuclear industry to be "trolls"--or to say it in more "mature language"--"intentional disruptors" or hired individuals who "astroturf" websites to confuse people...

If people disagree with the petition, they should not sign it. But if one or two people (in succession) try to repeatedly discourage others from doing so, you have to wonder why they won't let others read the petition, first, and form their own opinions.

5.) The petition is not necessarily "anti-nuke"--although I am.

6.) The petition basically states that according to the U.S. Senator of Oregon, Nobel Prize winner, Helen Caldicott, formerly of "Physicians for Social Responsibility," the former Ambassador or Japan, Environmental Safety Advisors from the UN and Chernobyl accident, Arnie Gundersen of ex-Prime Minister Kan--and many other experts--ALL AGREE:


This is a matter of environmental health and safety--(I don't think there is anyone who is cheering the nuclear power plant to kill us there?)

For anyone reading this thread, don't take my word for the petition, yourself, and decide... --v

Anonymous said...

Many people resent those who intentionally maximize this event. Today the problem du jour is the spent fuel pool, yesterday it was a promp criticality in #3, and the day before that it was steam shooting up from the ground. The point is that many have learned to be suspicious of apocalyptic claims, thanks to the help of sites like ex-skf, and instead focus on discovering the truth. Well may we fear the spent fuel pool of number four, but there are over a hundred boiling-water reactors in the world, and they all have the potential to cause disaster should they collapse and spill their spent-fuel payload. Frankly I find the focus on the SPF at #4 to be the silliest trend, as the pool support has been strengthened and the radiation is at least low enough there so that they can get engineers in there to look around. #2 and #3 are far more problematic, but for some reason #4 is the bright, shiny thing of the moment.

Darth3/11 said...

OK, Anon @ 3:15, I am many years would *you* suggest abstaining from Shizuoka tea? Frankly, I do not know...

Anonymous said...

Frankly, at these levels, either drinking, or not drinking Shizuoka tea will have no affect on anyone's life span. At 210 bq/kg, fretting about the spent fuel pool of number 4 is probably more productive.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ex SKF,

WIth all due respect, and without you we would be so totally in the dark, your did not even come close to answering the question as to how well incerators deal with the radiation. Thanks for posting the link to your article where the J Gov posts data for IWATE prefecture, and I guess we can surmise that if it is radioactive then surely Miyagi and Fukushima debris is much more radioactive given they were closer to the plume of doom.

But you do not even attempt to investigate whether or not the incinerators treat the radiation or not. This should be public information but nowhere I have I seen any in the Japanese newspapers in English,and if you pride yourself on translating information from Japanese into English then that would be the primary task in this issue, other than just scare mongering about radioactive debris without having any data to base your speculations on. Dr. Koide has said that it is possible that "bag" or "ceramic" filters could theoretically treat the radiation, but again he does not really know.

We need "stack test" data that is published by the MoE.

Yes, you have done a good job showing how the municipalities want to get taxpayer handouts to pay for new incinerators, but will these incinerators handle the radiation or not? That is an entirely separate issue. So far just rumor mongering in the alternative media.

Anonymous said...

I signed and sent out the Unit 4 petition, thanks for the good work to whoever. I did not sign the Greenpeace petition (Greenpeace is so lame) about "climate change" since that is a bogus topic being promoted by wall street money junkies and their carbon tax scam.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I am kind of surprised by ExSKF's sanguine attitude about Unit 4 danger, he/she has done good work on Unit 4 but it is much more urgent than the Gov is letting on and that video showing the man walking around the plant did not tell us much, lots of speculation swirling around those nuclides. Certainly no one with a brain believes one word Noda says or Tepco about having shored up the plant. There was a German documentary on the topic that everyone should watch....

Anonymous said...

Sorry, either there was a technical problem or ExSKF deleted my comments. I just wrote a long piece showing how ExSKF has totally dropped the ball on this issue.

ExSKF is either ignoring/covering up data on incineration of radioactive debris. She likes to spread rumor mongering about "radioactive debris" as if it is all going to come out the smoke stack but has done no research whatsoever to verify how much does. This is amateurish or just plain dishonest. Spread rumors suppress the facts.

Put your money where your mouth is ExSKF. You can't and you won't so you will just have to delete this one too...

Anonymous said...

To All,

I would like to tell you how you can minimize your exposure and absorption of radioactive cesium. Take as supplements calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Your bones will absorb these and not the cesium which mimicks these minerals in the body. Also 5 - 10,000 mg of Vit.C daily helps to mitigate damage from the hydroxyl radical caused by radioactivity. If you can take zeolite daily as well. This carries redioactive iostopes out of the body safely and was used extensively at Chernobyl both for humans and for the soil. One more element is iodine but be careful as some are allergic to it. If you saturate your thyroid with it you won't absorb radio iodine. I would limit my intake of green tea from Japan and perhaps drink tea from China or Korea. Here in America I now drink green tea from South America. It is very strong. Please sign the petition for Pool #4. I believe we need a much stronger effort to contain these reactors and spent fuel pools. May God grant all of you in Japan good health and long life.

Anonymous said...

Cesium does not mimic calcium, magnesium, or potassium. Cesium is not preferentially stored by the body. Anyone selling "anti-cesium" supplements ought to be put on notice for selling snake oil. Cesium is not the same thing as Strontium, which does mimic calcium.

And another thing; anyone suggesting ex-skf is covering up any dangers, ought to walk away from the computer for a good, long, reality check. Either that or take a quick look to the left and feel free to peruse any of the 56 articles he has posted concerning Reactor #4. That he doesn't think it is about to collapse and spill burning fuel rods all over the place is testimony to how cautious he has become of all the people conjuring up ever bigger bogeymen.

Anonymous said...

Really? That's interesting.

Here is a list of some people who DO think that Spent Fuel Pool 4 has the potential to kill most of Japan and a significant number of people in the U.S., Europe, etc.:

Senator Wyden of Oregon (U.S.)

Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer


Helen Caldicott, MD, Nobel Prize winner, formerly of "Physicians for Social Responsibility"

Mitsuhei Murata, former Japan Ambassador

Yukitero Naka, Nuclear Engineer

Akio Matsumura, former UN Advisor

Ex-Prime Minister Kan (Japan)

...and many other experts...

Take a look at what Fukushima's spent fuel pools contain:

"The pools at each reactor are thought to have contained the following amounts of spent fuel, according to The Mainichi Daily News:

• Reactor No. 1: 50 tons of nuclear fuel
• Reactor No. 2: 81 tons
• Reactor No. 3: 88 tons
• Reactor No. 4: 135 tons
• Reactor No. 5: 142 tons
• Reactor No. 6: 151 tons
• Also, a separate ground-level fuel pool contains 1,097 tons of fuel; and some 70 tons of nuclear materials are kept on the grounds in dry storage." --v

‎"...It has been a standard practice in the nuclear industry to avoid consideration of all of these possibilities, based on the assumption that there will be 'lots of time' to react to any emergency involving the spent fuel pool, as it will normally take days for the spent fuel to reach the melting point and it will be a 'simple matter' to refill the pools with water if necessary. This ignores the fact that major structural damage may make it impossible to approach the spent fuel pool due to the lethal levels of gamma radiation emanating from the spent fuel once the protective shielding of the water is gone."

Anonymous said...

Exskf is a she by the way not a "he"

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Dear Anon at 4:39PM and apparently other comments later,

With all due respect, the link that I posted for you includes Iwate AND Miyagi. You only look at the first two pages and choose to ignore the next 2 pages which are the Miyagi data.

As to me deleting the comments, I haven't done so, so far. I have to go to Google SPAM to fish out posts among auto dealers and Indian travel agencies.

Anonymous said...

"the potential to kill most of Japan and a significant number of people in the US"... That hardly sounds alarmist at all. For something that has the potential to kill a significant number of people in the US, do you think the most appropriate measure is a letter to Hilary Clinton? Could it be that the Senator and the well-known anti nuclear activists on your list (Arnie "prompt criticality" Gundersen, Helen Caldicott) have more information than the actual engineers who have been inside #4? Look, I don't doubt any of these eminent thinkers know much more than I do, but with regard to #4 I think they are fomenting fear to advance their own agendas, which, in my book, is only slightly less despicable than downplaying dangers for monetary gain. It is the very definition of fearmongering. Again, since last year we have been told any number of lies (by some of the people on your list) such as the contents of #4 were spewed out over Fukushima, or that Fuji-san was getting ready to erupt due to seismic activity, etc... but none of this nonsense has had any positive benefit, unless you count being skeptic of all Fukushima news as a benefit. I have a certain amount of respect for Arnie Gundersen, but he has gone on the record a number of times with information that has turned out to be false or overstated, and so we have to view his credibility with the same clarity as we view the statements coming from Tepco. I remain skeptical of any claims of impending doom, and I remain skeptical of any claims that all is fine.

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