Logging is expected to resume in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture as 90 per cent of its forest resource is deemed radiation-free by the Fukushima Prefecture Wood Cooperative Union and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.
Log harvest is only permitted if radiation reading in the area is under 0.5 micro Sievert. Areas on the map considered to be “radiation-free” is now about 90.7 per cent of the assessed forest area. It was 88.9 per cent in 2015.
The prefecture checks surface radiation of lumber once every three month at sawmills to ensure that the lumber is safe for health and environment. Log auction markets and large sawmills have also installed automatic radiation detection systems to confirm logs are safe.
This should boost demand for the region’s timber again, which has suffered in the wake of the March 11 tsunami and nuclear meltdown catastrophe.