Saturday, August 20, 2011

Low level of radioactive cesium found in rice grown in Ibaraki Prefecture - 20th Aug 2011

A small amount of radioactive cesium has been detected in rice, the staple food item in Japan, that was grown in the city of Hokota, Ibaraki Prefecture, some 150 kilometers southwest of the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Ibaraki prefectural government said Friday.

A pre-harvest preliminary check showed that the amount of radioactive cesium detected came to 52 becquerels per kilogram of raw rice, a figure far below the government-set allowable level of 500 becquerels, the local government said.

Previously, very low levels of radioactive cesium had been detected in rice hulls and raw rice grown in the cities of Tsukuba and Joso, both in Ibaraki Prefecture. The amounts came to less than 20 becquerels, a figure that can be treated as "not detectable," city governments there said earlier.

In the city of Tome, Miyagi Prefecture, up to 11.6 becquerels of radioactive cesium had been detected in rice grown there, the municipal government said earlier this week.

The Ibaraki prefectural government conducted the preliminary test in line with an instruction from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which asked 17 prefectural governments to conduct such tests. Read More