May 13, 2019
Rice has been planted in a town hosting the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for the first time since evacuation orders were partially lifted early last month.
Orders for all districts of the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture were issued following the 2011 accident. They were lifted for two districts on April 10.
More than 20 people, including town officials, planted rice seedlings on Monday in a paddy in the Ogawara district that measures about 160 square meters.
Okuma Town resumed rice growing on a trial basis in the district in 2014, three years after the accident.
The radiation levels in all the rice harvested there were within state safety standards.
The town plans to prepare manuals to facilitate the resumption of rice farming in earnest.
The head of the town’s agricultural committee, Tomoko Nemoto, says there are still many problems to address, but that the town wants to pass its farmlands down to future generations.