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March 15, 2011

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Food from Japan to be tested

RADIATION tests on food imported from Japan in the wake of the radiation crisis in Fukushima Prefecture will be carried out soon, Shanghai entry-exit inspection authorities said yesterday.

Hong Kong and Macau have also announced that fresh food from Japan will be tested.

Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau officials said that no food from Japan had come into the city since the quake, so Japanese food currently on the local market was safe.

Meanwhile, Shanghai is not in imminent danger of nuclear leaks caused by the Japan earthquake because of current weather conditions, officials said.

Radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant should not affect Shanghai or China in the next few days because the winds were mainly blowing in a northeastern direction, they said.

The China Meteorological Administration said radioactive pollutants from the nuclear plant should mainly affect east Japan and the Pacific Ocean to the east over the next three days and then disperse to the northeast.


The administration said the ocean currents around Japan were also moving east and northeast taking any pollution to the North Pacific and away from China's coastline.

A Chinese environmental monitoring team has found no radioactive substances in the East China Sea from samples collected immediately following the first explosion at the nuclear plant. Initial test results of the sampled water showed no abnormal signs, Xu Ren, director of the environmental monitoring center of the State Oceanic Administration's East China Sea branch, told Xinhua news agency.

Further tests will be conducted while a second batch of monitoring boats will leave today to collect more samples.


In Shanghai, Fu Yi, a chief service officer with the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said: "Winds are going from here to Japan and the trend of the nuclear pollutants is towards the northeast. The city should not be affected."

Fu said the bureau would continue to monitor the direction of the wind and ocean currents to assess any potential impact on the city.

Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday that the Ministry of Environmental Protection had put its national emergency reaction system into operation to monitor the nuclear leak issue and the city had launched 24-hour air and water radiation monitoring.

Results of the four rounds of tests completed between 9am and 3pm yesterday had shown no abnormal levels of radiation in the local environment.

"Locals should not be too worried as we are now keeping 24-hour monitoring and so far the radiation level in the city is still within a safe and usual scale," said Wang Mingxia, a monitoring official.

The local radiation monitoring spots and labs are located on Hutai Road, in Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area, in suburban Jinshan District and on Chongming Island.


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