The situation worsened as the contamination which was originally thought to be localized soon was discovered at sewage treatment plants all over Eastern Japan, initially encompassing a 65 kilometer radius and spreading from there, while the government still had not yet devised a plan to deal with the crisis.
Japan initially planned on reprocessing the sludge and using it to make cement. That planned was apparently taken off the table due to public protests.
It was then learned that the sewage sludge was being burned in incinerators at the water treatment plants which was causing radioactive ash clouds in several areas including Tokyo.
The elevated levels of radiation in those areas were detected at levels up to 230,000 becquerels per square meter when independent scientists performed radiation tests that contradicted the official levels reported by the government.
Japan finally decided to set an a temporary disposal limit of 8,000 becquerels per kilogram under which the radioactive sewage sludge could be buried for disposal.
NHK reported yesterday a total of 1,557 tons in 5 prefectures, including Fukushima and Miyagi, was found to contain radioactive contamination above the disposal limit for burial.
The sludge was found among over 50,000 tons of radioactive sewage that has been tested so far with over 50,000 additional tons being stored on site at sewage facilities across the country that still have not been tested.
Japan said the highest level of contamination was 89,697 becquerels per kilogram, was discovered at a water treatment facility in Koriyama City, Fukushima.
The Mainichi Daily News reported today Japan's health ministry is now considering reprocessing the sludge that is over the limit to use as soil for gardening.
These factors have led to radioactive contamination of the food supply for live stock which resulted in a widespread beef contamination and an eventual ban on all beef from Fukushima after it was allowed to be sold on store shelves to consumers.
Along with yesterday's announcement that the sewage sludge is being considered for use in gardening came an announcement that the Fukushima beef ban has now been extended to the Miyagi prefecture along with a warning that Iwate may be next.