JAPAN | Gov’t to make radioactive material concentration map for farmlands

Posted on August 3, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 3 August 2011

Chiyoko Kaizuka, 83-year old farmer, weeds a spinach field Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Moriya, Ibaragi Prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (Kyodo)– The government said Tuesday it plans to draw up a radioactive substance concentration map for farmlands and conduct a study on contaminated debris as part of measures to deal with radioactive material released from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The measures are to be implemented by the end of this year, with government ministries and agencies strengthening cooperation to deal with radiation contamination from the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

But the government did not show how it will use findings from the study to decontaminate areas near the almost destroyed power plant.

According to measures compiled Tuesday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will analyze farm land at about 500 sites mainly in Fukushima Prefecture, where the wrecked nuclear plant is located, and draw up a radioactive material concentration map by the end of this month.

Also, the Environment Ministry is to check radioactive contaminated debris in the government-declared no-go zone near the plant.

The NNSA hazard map released by the U.S. federal government. The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is marked by a white dot at right.

The NNSA hazard map released by the U.S. federal government. The Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is marked by a white dot at right.

And the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will install about 250 devices across Japan to monitor radioactive substances. Currently, there is just one of these devices installed in each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

By increasing the number of devices nationwide, the ministry aims to introduce a system by the end of this year to monitor levels of radioactive substances around the clock and disclose those levels to the public.

The ministry also plans to enhance studies of seawater off the coasts of Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures in cooperation with the Fisheries Agency and the Japan Coast Guard.

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