Japanese Scientists hunt for cesium-resistant rice

A research agency in Fukushima Prefecture has begun testing about 110 varieties of Japanese and foreign rice in a search for strains that absorb less radioactive cesium from the soil.

The project, which was initiated by the Fukushima Agricultural Technology Center in Koriyama, after the meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, is unprecedented in that no research has ever been done on rice grown on land tainted by relatively high amounts of radioactive matter, the center’s research team said.

The research is important since the radioactive fallout from the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant will likely disrupt rice farming in nearby areas for years to come, it said.

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