Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, a large volume of data was collected about the soil, air, dust, and seawater in the area. Figures was also gathered about an immense number of foods supplied to the market, although little is known about the effect of radioactive fallout on agriculture.
Indeed, although more than 80% of the damaged area is related to agriculture, in situ information specifically for agriculture is scarce.
A new book, Agricultural Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, provides information about the actual movement and accumulation of radioactivity in the ecological system.
It covers whether debris deposited on mountains can be a cause of secondary contamination, under what conditions plants accumulate radioactive cesium in their edible parts, and how radioactivity is transferred from hay to milk.
The book is published in Springer’s open access programme and is freely available to anyone.
Co-editor Tomoko Nakanishi said: “Since the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, contamination of places and foods has been a matter of concern. Unfortunately, agricultural producers have had few sources of information.
“At the request of agriculturists in Fukushima, we at the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Tokyo have been urgently collecting reliable data on the contamination of soil, plants, milk, and crops. Based on this data, our book comments on and proposes effective ways of resuming agricultural activity,” she said.