Soil outside 30 km Fukushima zone safe for farming

TOKYO (Reuters) – Soil in most areas outside a 30 km (18.6 miles) zone around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station is safe enough for farming to resume, Japanese authorities said after conducting tests.

Jiji news agency reported on Wednesday that after testing soil samples from 70 places in the prefecture for radioactive substances, the authorities found cesium 134 and 137 in all of them. But they determined the levels were low enough to be safe in all but 7 towns and villages.

This research did not include any samples from the 20-km evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, or the additional 10-km area outside that zone where the government has told residents to stay indoors or evacuate, Jiji said.

It added that results from samples from these areas would become available on April 12.

In recent weeks, Japan has stopped shipments of vegetables and milk produced in the areas near the Fukushima plant.

(Reporting by Chizu Nomiyama)

Soil outside 30 km Fukushima zone safe for farming