FUKUSHIMA–Rice grown on five additional farms in the Onami district of Fukushima city contained levels of radioactive cesium exceeding government standards, Fukushima prefectural government officials said Nov. 25.
Noda wrote in his official blog post last month that he began eating rice from Fukushima on Oct. 21, a few days after visiting the prefecture and promising the people there he would switch to Fukushima rice at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.
“I want to help even though it may do little to wipe away harmful rumors” about Fukushima agricultural products caused by the nuclear disaster, the blog entry says.
The government on November 18th, banned shipments of rice harvested in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima after one farm’s product registered levels of radioactive cesium above the provisional limit.
This time as much as 1,270 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram was detected in unmilled rice, the prefecture said Friday. The rice has not been shipped to the market. Instead, it was stored in farmers’ warehouses or a local agricultural cooperative, or was distributed to farmers’ relatives.
The prefectural government is currently analyzing all the rice grown by the 154 rice farms in the district, or 4,752 bags containing 30 kilograms of rice each. It has finished inspecting 864 rice bags from 34 farms so far.
Apart from the first farm where rice was found to have been contaminated, excess radioactive cesium has been detected in 103 rice bags from five farms.
Excess cesium was detected in all 24 rice bags from the farm that produced rice in which radioactive cesium at 1,270 becquerels per kilogram was found. The minimum level of contamination at that farm was 970 becquerels per kilogram.
Radioactive cesium between 540 and 1,110 becquerels per kilogram was detected from unmilled rice from another farm, according to the prefectural government.
The five farms are located from one to 2.5 kilometers from the first farm in question. They have nothing in common with the first farm topographically, such as using the same freshwater from a mountain in their rice paddies.