Indie | Radiation in Japan: Now It’s Radioactive Manure

Posted on August 2, 2011

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Indie | EX-SKF | 2 August 2011

Now that the Ministry of Agriculture has set the provisional safety standard for compost at 400 becquerels/kg, this is the first manure to exceed that limit. It was made in Ibaraki Prefecture, and was being sold in Kyoto.

Low-level contamination spreads to the western half of Japan. Already, radioactive leaf compost have been found in Tottori Prefecture (Chugoku region) and Kagawa Prefecture (Shikoku region).

From Mainichi Shinbun Japanese (12:35AM JST 8/3/2011):

京都府は2日、同府向日市の「ロイヤルホームセンター物集女(もずめ)店」で「茨城県産」の表示で販売されていた堆肥(たいひ)から国の暫定許容値(1キロ当たり400ベクレル)の10倍以上の同4990ベクレルの放射性セシウムを検出したと発表した。流通ルートは未判明だが、茨城県産と見られる堆肥から放射性セシウムが検出されたのは初めて。府によると、東京の業者が販売する「馬ふんたい肥」(5リットル)で、馬ふんやわらなどを熟成発酵させたもの。府は店頭からの撤去と自主回収を指導した。これまでの販売数量は不明という。

The Kyoto prefectural government announced on August 2 that 4,990 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from the manurelabeled “made in Ibaraki Prefecture”; the level of radiation is more than 10 times the provisional safety limit of 400 becquerels/kg. The manure was sold at “Royal Home Center Mozume Branch” in Muko City in Kyoto. It is the first time radioactive cesium has been detected from the manure made in Ibaraki. According to the Kyoto prefectural government, the manure is sold by a dealer in Tokyo and labeled “Horse Manure” (5 liters), made from horse manure and rice hay. The prefectural government instructed the store to remove the manure from the store premise and to recall the product voluntarily. There’s no information as to how many bags of this manure have already been sold.

また、府は同日、同府木津川市の「カインズホーム木津川店」で販売の栃木県産腐葉土から2万6600ベクレルの放射性セシウムを検出したと発表した。秋田・鳥取両県のホームセンターでも栃木県産腐葉土から放射性セシウムが検出されているが、放射線量は今回が最大。

Also, the prefectural government announced that 26,600 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from the leaf compost made in Tochigi Prefecture and sold at “Cainz Home Kizugawa Branch” in Kizugawa City, Kyoto. Radioactive cesium has been detected in the Tochigi-made leaf compost in home/garden centers in Akita and Tottori Prefectures, but Kyoto’s number is the largest so far.

The dealer who manufactured and sold the radioactive horse manure is Sowa Recycle Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. (The name of the dealer was in the press release by the Kyoto government.) On the company’s website there is no mention of the manure found radioactive in Kyoto.

One bright spot in this case of radioactive compost and manure that came to light in late July: It all started with a citizen in Saitama Prefecture who went in to the garden center nearby in June to measure the radiation on the surface of a bag of leaf compost. Power of an individual.

She (I think it is she) had heard rumors that the radiation was high near the pile of leaf compost bags in the center, so she went there with a personal survey meter and a camera, and uploaded the video on Youtube. That was in late June. Then, more citizens went to garden centers in other prefectures to measure the radiation, and alerted the municipal governments. And the governments had to act.`

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