Japan: High radiation detected in grass
Tokyo - Local officials in north-eastern Japan said on Thursday they had found high levels of radioactive substances in a sample of pasture grass.
Miyagi prefecture officials detected 1 530 becquerels of radioactive caesium/kg in a sample collected a week ago from a farm run by the town of Marumori, about 60km north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The figure was more than five times the legal limit of 300 becquerels.
The plant has leaked radioactive substances into the environment since it was crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The government and operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) have struggled to bring it under control.
Local officials said they also found 350 becquerels of caesium in a sample from a farm in Osaki city.
The Miyagi prefectural government has told around 6 000 livestock farmers across the prefecture to refrain from feeding grass to livestock and putting cattle out on grazing land.
But the move will mainly affect dairy farmers as the legal limit of grass for breeding and commercial cattle is much higher – 5 000 becquerels, said Inao Yamada, a prefectural official.