Radiation and Tea in Japan


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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Cole » Nov 22nd, '11, 12:42

First things first -- thank you for your incredibly detailed and nuanced response, Catfur! I didn't mean to make it seem like I thought your treatment of the meltdowns was careless; in fact, upon re-reading your last few posts, I think we were more or less in agreement with the effects of radiation in 2011 tea.

However, I still have a hard time believing that nuclear fallout has the same effects as cosmic radiation due to most everything breaking down to alpha emitters (I'm not a physicist and I'm paraphrasing here, so bear with me). I understand the transuranic elements are primarily alpha emitters, but each one brings a slew of different cancers and problems along with it that you don't usually find in frequent fliers or residents of Colorado. I've also heard physicists talk of a lot of larger "hot particles" that have become volatilized thanks to the explosions and persistent releases from the reactors, and these pose an even greater threat when inhaled than the 100-200ms/hr readings that are popping up all over Tokyo.

Also, my point with the 160rem reading was to show that the situation is not under control, the idea of a "cold shutdown" is a total joke, and it's not getting better -- these are the highest readings yet, and Japan's window of opportunity before the corium hits the waterbed is getting smaller and smaller. If Neptunium 239 was ejected over 60km from the reactors, they should be evacuating people within 60km of the plant. Chernobyl's cesium decay isn't behaving like normal, and there's no reason to assume that this multi-reactor fail will behave any better.

Sorry these last few paragraph are so tangential to tea -- I've just been wanting to voice my concerns and questions to a radioactive cleanup specialist since April :)
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 14th, '11, 01:06

Kevin of O-Cha posted this on his forum a few hours ago ... looks like there is great improvement in Shizuoka teas ... with even better projections for 2012 harvests!!! :mrgreen:

Kevangogh wrote:It appears that radiation levels in Shizuoka have dropped significantly. We may be able to offer Shizuoka green tea in 2012 after all!

Green Tea Radiation Levels
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Mar 11th, '12, 12:00

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the events of March 11, 2011.

Although not completely nor directly related to Radiation and Tea ... here is a link to photos of that day, and how the same exact locations appear today.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/tsunami-on ... slideshow/

They are a somber reminder, and also a glimpse of Japan endeavoring to move forward despite the horrendous tragedies that began that day.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Kevangogh » Mar 12th, '12, 00:02

Starting in April, foods in Japan will not be allowed more that 100 bq per kilo of radiation. That's 1/5 of the EU standard, and is probably now the strictest in the world.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Mar 12th, '12, 00:08

Kevangogh wrote:Starting in April, foods in Japan will not be allowed more that 100 bq per kilo of radiation. That's 1/5 of the EU standard, and is probably now the strictest in the world.

Thanks for posting, especially for how this is so close to home for you (literally and figuratively).

Good to know ... but do you have any info on anything new related to tea, have they also tightened restrictions for tea as well?
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Kevangogh » Mar 12th, '12, 16:50

I haven't heard tea specific, but it's for all foods. If it's anything related to babies, it's actually going to be 50 bq per kilo!
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby beachape » Mar 13th, '12, 00:16

In anticipation for shincha season, is there speculation as to this year's crop? How will radiation levels/isotopes compare to last year?
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Mar 13th, '12, 00:48

beachape wrote:In anticipation for shincha season, is there speculation as to this year's crop? How will radiation levels/isotopes compare to last year?

I will be paying close attention to this, especially for Shizuoka. I have not checked the reporting site lately, but Kevin of O-Cha reported somewhere that levels have been dropping. It would be great to get Shizuoka back in play!

Kevin? Any reports? :mrgreen:
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby beachape » Mar 13th, '12, 19:24

This is an interesting report. Sorry if it was previously posted. Looks like things are headed in the right direction.

http://www.kaburagien.co.jp/english/sp_1202/index.php
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Zubo » Mar 20th, '12, 15:50

I'm wondering, how much does radiation in tea leaves actually slip into the drink? Tea drink is like 99% water 1% tea after brewing, I don't see why would over 50% of cesium contained in tea get into water during brewing?
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Seeker » Mar 21st, '12, 14:01

Chip wrote:
beachape wrote:In anticipation for shincha season, is there speculation as to this year's crop? How will radiation levels/isotopes compare to last year?

I will be paying close attention to this, especially for Shizuoka. I have not checked the reporting site lately, but Kevin of O-Cha reported somewhere that levels have been dropping. It would be great to get Shizuoka back in play!

Kevin? Any reports? :mrgreen:


I second/third that question!

My tea fridge is getting low on sencha - so I'm eager for the new season/harvest, and excited for any news.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Kevangogh » Apr 4th, '12, 02:25

Not sure how many outfits in Shizuoka will be able to meet this, but I consider this a very good thing. It's going to be interesting for sure...

New safety standards for radioactive cesium in food products go into effect
NATIONAL APR. 02, 2012 - 03:40PM JST ( 39 )TOKYO —
New tougher standards for radioactive cesium in food and drink products went into effect in Japan on Sunday.

The health ministry says no food or drink product will be permitted to be sold if it has radioactive cesium above the government-set limit.

Under the new rules, the limit for general foodstuffs such as fruit, vegetables, rice, seafood and meat is 100 becquerels of radiation per kilogram, down from 500 prior to April 1. The limit for milk, baby food and infant formula is 50 becquerels per kilogram. For drinking water and tea leaves, it is 10 becquerels per kilogram.

The ministry said local municipalities will be responsible for carrying out testing and that any item measuring above the set standard will not be permitted to be sold.

Since January, the ministry said tests had shown radioactive cesium above 100 becquerels in products from nine prefectures—Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Yamagata and Chiba.

Some supermarkets, such as Aeon, did not wait for the new regulations and began testing items themselves back in February in order to reassure consumers.

Many consumers, unconvinced by measures taken by the government so far, have steered clear of produce from anywhere near the affected area, leaving farmers with fields full of crops they could not sell and fishermen with catches worth nothing.

Kunio Shiraishi, a former senior researcher at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, said the current regime of sample inspections has been a problem for public confidence and says blanket testing is the way forward.

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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Lionel » Apr 5th, '12, 10:44

Kevin,
Thank you for this information.
This maximum level of 10 Bq/kg tea leaves seems very restrictive.
Among the analysis made in the past weeks, what proportion of samples were inferior to this value ?
I found a report showing that in Saïtama and Shizuoka the tea samples analyzed exceed the limits (which limit ? I don't know...).
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Kevangogh » Apr 5th, '12, 13:26

Well, the reports show the levels are decreasing each time, so that's good. But 10 Bq/kg is basically "zero". Since shincha has not come out yet, it's too early to tell. My guess is that certain districts of Shizuoka (Kakegawa looks promising) will meet the standards, and other areas (Saitama, Shimada) won't.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby teaisme » Apr 5th, '12, 13:41

This is good news thanks for sharing kevin.

Hope things are going well on your side of the world.
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