ARI Becquerel Center (ABC)

With the help of the National Christian Council in Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office (JEDRO), the Asian Rural Institute opened the ARI Becquerel Center in the Nasu Seminar House on January 10, 2012. It is equipped to measure radiation in foodstuff and other substances.

Thus far, farmers and other food producers, and mothers with small children have come to take advantage of it. The equipment operators respond to the radiation concerns of the community by explaining the results of the measurements and providing advice based on the results.


Location: Nasu Seminar House

420-22 Tsukinukisawa, Nasushiobara City

Measurement Fee:

General use: 2,000 yen per specimen (measurement time takes 30 minutes)

Water: 5,000 yen per specimen (measurement time takes 12 hours)

All requests are taken via telephone.

Contact information: 0287-48-7045 (Yamashita)

Measurement days:  Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 12:15pm (Saturdays and Sundays are holidays)

Instrument in use: BERTHOLD LB2045

Measures gammas rays from iodine 131, cesium 134/137, and potassium 40.

Details and Cautions (please read before making an appointment)

About the LB2045

The German-made LB2045 that the ARI Becquerel Center uses is a device that can accurately measure the radioactivity levels of foodstuff and soil by measuring the gamma ray energy that radionuclides emit. It is used in many other prefectures’ Becquerel Centers, such as the Becquerel Center in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. However, because it is not a device certified by the Japanese government or other public organizations, we can inform you of the measured values of the specimens but cannot publish certified results.

About the measurements:

Currently we measure the combined values of cesium 134 and 137, and the natural radioactivity of potassium 40 (we are not currently measuring iodine 131 at our center). Potassium 40 occurs in nature, so even before the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant incident it was something we consumed on an everyday basis. However, we measure it so that we can account for the influence of the gamma rays from potassium 40 and thereby get a more accurate measure on the radioactivity from the cesium.

We do the everyday calibration on the device, thoroughly clean the lead containers that hold the specimens and the containers used for measurements, and do maintenance to ensure accurate measurements. However, there may be discrepancies in the measurements based on the measurement time and other conditions, so please understand that the results are best used a point of reference. We encourage those of you who have time to be present during the measurement process.

How to prepare your samples

ABC_Team1 )  The measuring device is equipped to handle 350cc capacity, so please prepare an ample amount of sample accordingly in a clean, flexible vinyl bag (20cm~25cm wide, 25cm~30cm high), and close it tightly to keep air out of the bag as much as possible.

2 )  Please put liquids in a thoroughly cleaned pet bottle.

3 )  Please put vegetables and other solids in a food processor or something else ahead of time to grind them into small, fine pieces.

4 )  Please bring soil that has been dehydrated in sunlight or on an iron plate. Furthermore, when collecting a soil sample, please only collect soil from one defined depth (5cm deep, 10cm deep, etc).

5 )  We do not do measurements on urine.

6 )  Please be sure to arrive about ten minutes before your appointment time so as not to run late into the next appointment. We appreciate your cooperation.

About our Privacy Policy

We collect your full name, address, and contact information for these measurements. We handle this information in compliance with local laws with the intent of fully protecting your information. We only use your personal information so as to contact you, and we do not provide your information to third parties without your express permission.