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ABC News | Mar 27
A Google Street View car has been allowed into an abandoned town in the Fukushima exclusion zone. The images allow a "virtual homecoming" to the to...
With the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster approaching, here's another segment in our series about the fallout from last year's twin earthquake and tsunami. An anti-nuclear organization called No Nukes Plaza is helping Japanese citizens measure how much radiation is actually in their food. According to South Korean broadcaster MBC, the organization has gotten more than 2,000 requests from everyday Japanese people since March.
The radiation detector has been measuring this sample of rice from Fukushima for two hours. The rice was found to contain small levels of radioactive cesium.
Chizuko Suzuki, No Nukes Plaza Tokyo:
About 9 Becquerels (Bq).
Isn’t that rather low?
Yes, but no one knows what level of radiation is safe.
She gives her clients exact measurements, even if the detected levels of radioactivity fall far below government safety standards, whereas the Japanese government will only report radioactivity if it exceeds federal safety standards.
Consuming 498 Bq of cesium per kilogram is safe, but it’s fatal if we consume 502 Bq? We don’t really know, but that’s what our safety standards say.
Suzuki's been measuring radioactivity in food for more than 20 years since Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear accident. After the Fukushima nuclear crisis, radiation contamination was reported in more than 2,000 cases involving rice, beans, milk and even soil from backyards. Suzuki is in high demand, because people know that she reports exactly how much radiation is detected. She argues that radiation levels should be made available similar to nutritional facts.
People would know that if five family members share a piece of meat that contains 30 Bq per kilogram of cesium, then each person will have consumed about 6 Bq of cesium.
Japanese people continue to search for smart and efficient ways to prevent radiation poisoning, since they know that it is impossible to eliminate radioactivity after this nuclear crisis.