Japan update: cesium in rice straw

When you measure radioactivity in the air only you miss what is in the ground.

Cesium and Plutonium are heavy and will not stay in the air but sink into the ground.  Air measurements by authorities are deceiving the public. You need to hold a geiger counter ten inches above ground and wait for long enough, depending on geiger counter specifications, for the correct measurement to be read. A field the size of 100 ha may have a few contaminated hectares only due to rainfall, it is imperative to make sufficient readings to cover the entire field.

Earlier I called for “Japan action plan“. This is bearing fruit, a Radiation Watchers Network has been established in Japan with the participation of health professionals. The website is in beta and I’ll announce its launch shortly.

The official NHK news reports about “cesium in rice straw” as posted below. Naturally there is no mention that straw is not the only crop growing on contaminated soil. The Japanese government’s philosophy remains unchanged “Why make people think about facts that cannot be changed”.

Prof. Nonaka speaks on cesium in rice straw

A Japanese expert on radiation in soil says radioactive materials on rice straw and soil must be monitored even if they are located far from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Niigata University Professor Masanori Nonaka spoke about rice straw contaminated with radioactive cesium above the government limit. Contaminated rice straw has been shipped nationwide as cattle feed.

Nonaka said many farmers on the Pacific side of the Tohoku region leave rice straw on paddies to let it dry during winter. He said that was probably how the rice straw, like a sponge, absorbed cesium that had dissolved into rainwater, snow, and soil.

Nonaka said radiation levels in the air were checked after the nuclear accident, but not those in the farmland, produce, and rice straw. He said this is how the rice straw contamination occurred.

Nonaka said to ensure safety radiation in soil and rice straw must be checked, even if they are far away from the nuclear plant.

Friday, July 22, 2011 04:24 +0900 (JST)

This entry was posted in Fukushima, iHN Archive, Medical Tsunami N°7. Bookmark the permalink.