Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


I am so grateful for the friends I have that have not panicked and been caught up in the wave of hysteria that swept the world after the horrors unfolded at Fukshima.

When you live through and are close to this kind of world numbing never before seen scale industrial disaster  the last thing you want to hear is hysterical voices magnifying the horror. It is no use and no comfort at all for us to hear panicking voices and screeching sensationalism when in the very eye of fear itself. It really makes people involved in the crisis suffer far more.

The best and kindest and most memorable- helpful response to this crisis has been and will continue to be positive thinking. Hope. Faith in repair. The damage is done and we all know all about how terrible it was. Let's focus on what we can now do on a practical level to dispose of waste, to deactivate, decontaminate and test, test, test. Thank you to all those people who have encouraged us, helped us believe that this is at least partially achievable.

I don't want to hear any more you tube videos of doom and despair . It doesn't help. It never will help those of us who have to live and stay here. I hope if something like this God forbid should ever happen again, I can in turn give a calm、caring and helpful response to those suffering. This I have learned is the only response of any use.
Rant complete.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Rice, beef and fertilizer.

At the moment we are all still eating last year's rice crop. Very safe and very tasty :) The problem now is with the new crops that are half grown in the rice paddies. Govt has put in place a mandatory testing system for 18 prefectures (including ours) twice;  now- mid rice growing and for those crops that test near the upper level of not safe for cesium isotopes plus another testing after harvest. Poor farmers. Some are going to lose all their hard work. The govt has agreed to compensate all farmers whose rice crops this year exceed the safety margin of 500 becquerels per kilogram.

Then there is the beef issue. Cattle have been badly affected across the country. Rain during the first 2 months carried toxins very far and many radioactive particles bind best to soil where animal fodder grows. Soil can be made safe..topsoiling is very effective since radionuclides do not bury deep. Not only that, many farmers left their hay and feed outside during those first months and then fed them to their livestock unknowingly. Tests have shown cattle in Iwate (north of here), our prefecture, and even in southern and far west prefectures have also been affected. Again, compensation is being paid and whole herds are being slaughtered and their meat banned.Cattle were worst affected I assume because the feed is often kept outside, chickens and pigs less so.

We are still not eating any Japanese meat, sad. It is going to take several years of testing to get this sorted. i am reminded of the foot and mouth disease problems in the UK, very different I know but also a loss for farmers and something that took years to resolve.

Fertilizer is made from leaves, and the leaves are also contaminated being outside, so this year's produce in home and garden centers/DIY stores etc is also unsafe. Some has already made its way out there but much has also been discovered and disposed of.