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17,000 tons of radioactive rice still stored in Fukushima prefecture

text-radiation“It would bedifficult to find an option other than disposal.”

Fukushima’s ‘contaminated’ rice still in storage two years, Asahi
Shimbun,   April 25, 2013 By TETSUYA KASAI/ Staff Writer
FUKUSHIMA-Officials are still struggling to dispose of some 17,000
tons of contaminated rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture after the
nuclear disaster there two years ago. Most of the rice, called
“kakurimai” (rice separated for disposal), was produced in 2011.

The central government wants to incinerate the rice, but disposal
facility operators have been reluctant to do so for fear that harmful
rumors could start circulating if they handle contaminated material.

Some farmers have proposed using the rice for purposes other than
human consumption.

At a private warehouse located in an inland area of the prefecture,
rice bags labeled “kakurimai” and marked with an X are piled up in a
small room. They are among the 71 bags–2 tons in total–of rice
produced in 2012 that were found to contain radioactive cesium above
the national standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram.

But that amount is dwarfed by the 2011 total. When rice produced at
one farm in a district that year was found to contain more radioactive
cesium than the government limit, all rice harvested across the
district were left in limbo.

As a result, a total of 17,000 tons of rice harvested in 71 districts
in 13 municipalities was banned for shipment……

Citing the fact that kakurimai producers have already been paid
compensation by Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the stricken
Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, an official said, “It would be
difficult to find an option other than disposal.”

April 29, 2013 - Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2013, Japan, radiation

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