Friday, September 23, 2011

First Instance of #Radioactive Rice with 500 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium from Nihonmatsu City in Fukushima

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):


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.


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.


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.


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.


Anonymous said...

It wont be long before Japan realises this rice is not fit for human consumption and begins exporting secretly to the US where that Clinton woman will writhe in ecstacy about contaminating her fellow Americans.

Robert said...

These standards of 500 or 200 are arbitrary. Less than 200 becqerels per kg due to radiocesium in rice does not make it safe to consume the rice. If the Government of Japan were honest they would publish a table showing the risk of cancer as odds of getting cancer for every kg of rice consumed for people of every age from 5 to 90 years old. World renouned late physicist and physian John Gofman published such a table of risks of getting cancer from common medical x-ray exams in a book he wrote with a similiar title. The risks were in the form of odds such as 1 in 500,000, or 1 in 87. He tabluated these risks, and they varied widely depending on the type of exam and the age of the person. The youngest people including children had the highest risk, because risk is greater for the people with the satistical greatest continued life span. While obviously double blinded studies are unethical to study cesium, enough data can be obtained from data from previous accidents and other sources to enable an educated estimates. THIS WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY CONSIDER IT DANGEROUS OR NOT BASED ON THEIR OWN VIEWS OF LIFE. Another thing Dr. Gofman discovered is that there is no safe threshold for radiation. He also discovered the fact that, low radiation is more dangerous than the proportional numbers would indicate. That is consuming rice at 50 becquerals per kg is more than 50 percent as dangerous as consuming it at 100 becquelals per kg. So learn the facts and beware and don't depend on arbitrary standards that are moved up and down like a yo yo to accommodate the current economic viewpoint of the big interests.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Robert, for your highly informative comment.
And thank you Ultra-man, for exposing the information that TEPCO and the government would much rather hide from the public.

Atomfritz said...

Thanks to the other commenters and Ex-SKF, I fear you are right...

I personally are amazed that two samples per district are deemed enough to declare all food "safe".
I cannot deny my feeling that there is much doctoring going on.

Anyway please do not forget that radionuclide absorption by plants depend on many factors.
First of all, plants do not need Cesium. But as plants are not 100% selective, they grab Cesium when the soil is poor of Kalium (or whatever chemically similiar substance).

So you can get high cesium values on crop from under-fertilized soil while crop from the overfertilized garden 100m away appears almost cesium-free.
This is old knowledge, gained by the Soviets in systematic research after Chernobyl.
This is documented in some IAEA publications also. (Sorry I have no time to search for links now.)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much Strontium-90 is in the rice? Or Neptunium or Plutonium or Uranium? The IAEA report on Fukushima said 31 different isotopes had been detected and then I read that this rice crop has Cesium in it - other radioactive isotopes?

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 5:30, they are only testing for radioactive cesium. I don't think they have plans to test for anything else, due to difficulty and cost.

And the farmers in the area are already crying "baseless rumor".

Anonymous said...

It will all just get swept under the carpet good old Japanese style. see a problem, ignore it, problem comes back , sweep under carpet...repeat as necessary

Anonymous said...

I would like to call attention to a 1989 report by the FOA (Combination of the UN, IAEA and other international sources) titled "Radioactive Fallout on Soils, Crops, and Foods"

This report is an analysis of the dispersion of nuclear waste by Chernobyl world wide (includes data for the amounts of radiation reaching the UK etc.)
It seems to contain good data but the IAEA has a record of downplaying and under reporting contamination resulting from Chernobyl so I am not sure to what extent the IAEA was able to 'influence' accurate reporting in this document. Of particular interest to me was the chapter titled: Uptake By Crops

This portion lists some 'standard' soil-plant transfer factors (TFS) in table XII based on soil type:

And one of this chapter's conclusions states: "The stage of plant growth can be very important in a fallout episode. E.g., "Cereals will be most affected if there is deposition between ear emergence and harvest as floral contamination can then occur" (59, p. 82)."

Anonymous said...

New effect, eat rice from Japan, glow in the dark and never get accidentally hit by cars or trucks at night while walking or riding bikes.

Just think, rice as a new energy source.

New cereal sounds... snap, crackle and boom!

Feed little Johnny and Suzy Japanese cereal and never use a night light again.

Need a new diet... eat rice cakes.

Now you can eat rice in the dark, without lights!

Rice the new cancer cure!

Like SAKE! New more potent... self warming!

Rice the breakfast of champions along with the CEO of GE!

Anonymous said...

Did you know the european standard for cesium 137 and 134 is 600 Bq/kg? They could be feeding it to us without knowing...

Anonymous said...

FWIW here's "Canadian Guidelines for the Restriction of Radioactively Contaminated Food and Water Following a Nuclear Emergency"


Post a Comment