放射能漏出 監視を強化し「食」の不安防げ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 22, 2011)
Govt must toughen control of radiation in food
放射能漏出 監視を強化し「食」の不安防げ(3月21日付・読売社説)

All-out efforts are being made to gain control of malfunctioning reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

TEPCO’s plant workers, Self-Defense Forces personnel and firefighters are working painstakingly to restore power supply at the plant and spray water into damaged spent nuclear fuel storage pools while taking great care about the amount of radiation they are exposed to.

If electrical power is recovered and the storage pools are filled with enough water, the situation will hopefully turn for the better. We pray anew that their desperate efforts will be successful.

But spraying water alone will not solve the problem. And even if the power supply is restored, it remains to be seen whether principal equipment in the plant can resume operation.

The government must prepare the next steps while analyzing images of the reactors taken from SDF helicopters to determine the degree of damage.


Little risk to health

The fact that radioactive materials have been found in drinking water and agricultural products in the aftermath of accidents at the nuclear plant is increasing public anxiety.

Radioactive substances have been detected in tap water in Tokyo and elsewhere. But their amounts are extremely small, so they pose little health risk. An amount of radioactive iodine slightly exceeding the current limit, which was set temporarily in line with the Food Sanitation Law, was detected Thursday in tap water in Kawamatamachi, Fukushima Prefecture. But the amount subsequently dropped to half the limit.

In the case of tap water, radioactive materials can be mostly eliminated by normal purification done at water purification plants.

Random checks of food products conducted by the government showed the amount of radioactive substances in milk and spinach in Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures exceeded the provisional limits.

The detected amounts are far short of levels that could immediately harm health if ingested. According to the government, drinking an average yearly amount of milk that contained the detected level of radiation would be equivalent to the radiation exposure of one computed tomography (CT) scan.


Calm response urged

Therefore, a calm reaction is called for.

Moreover, the two products in question have not appeared on the market because both prefectures called on producers to voluntarily refrain from shipping their products.

The government should cooperate with prefectural governments to ensure thorough checks and quick public disclosure will be conducted. New regulatory measures such as the halting of shipments and recall of goods already shipped must be studied so measures can be implemented promptly when radiation exceeding limits is found in food.

To help prevent damage caused by rumors, the government and prefectural governments must carefully and repeatedly explain that thorough checks can ensure our food remains safe to eat.

Because the government did not assume a serious nuclear accident, it has not established standards to regulate radiation levels in food.

After the accidents at the Fukushima plant, the government temporarily adopted guidelines proposed by an international organization. But it is necessary to study whether the international food safety standards can fit Japanese dietary habits, thereby avoiding excessive regulations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 21, 2011)
(2011年3月21日00時54分 読売新聞)

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: Uncategorized パーマリンク



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