Japanese authorities have today placed a ban on rice shipments from the Fukushima region after high levels of radiation were detected in the nation's staple crop.
Dangerous levels of radioactive Cesium were discovered in a sample of rice at a local farm, according to reports. A program to monitor radiation levels in rice began in August, and crops were declared safe only last month.
Earlier this month, the Institute for Radiological Protection estimated that the disaster released 20 times more radiation than Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant’s owner, disclosed in a public estimate.
Japanese authorities have likewise revised their estimates on Fukushima’s airborne radioactive fallout: twice as much radiation was blown into the atmosphere than was originally believed. It has created 40 percent the fallout of Chernobyl.
Kudos to the Japanese government for its vigilance. I wonder how long the monitoring will persist over the next 30 years as the Cesium reaches its radioactive half life.
Photo: USDA Agricultural Research Service
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com