Japan Conducts Experimental Rice Cultivation near Fukushima Nuclear Plant via Latin American Herald Tribune

Japan Conducts Experimental Rice Cultivation near Fukushima Nuclear Plant

TOKYO – Farmers from the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima have returned to cultivate rice near a damaged nuclear power station to analyze whether the products grown in the area are safe for human consumption after completing the decontamination process.

The state news agency NHK reported on Wednesday that the project, supported by local authorities has been conducted in rice fields in the towns of Tomioka and Iitate, where the cultivation of rice and other food products is currently restricted although the evacuation orders were already lifted in April.

The surface layer of the rice fields has been removed and filled with sand from other areas, as part of the decontamination and cleaning of radioactive wastes carried out in the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi power station since the 2011 disaster.

The experimental rice cultivation will be carried out alongside the radiation measurement of the products. The project, according to the Tomioka City Council, aims to revitalize the local economy.

Some 30 countries and the European Union still impose restrictions on imports of Japanese products originating in Fukushima on the grounds that they may be contaminated.

The radioactive emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have led to the evacuation of thousands of people living near the site and have negatively affected the local agricultural, ranching and fishing businesses.

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