Fukushima: Fallout of fear. Nature

Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 01/2013; 493(7432):290-3. DOI: 10.1038/493290a
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan kept people safe from the physical effects of radiation — but not from the psychological impacts.

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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 160,000 people evacuated the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP shortly after it was damage by the earthquake and tsunami. The evacuation order applied to 70,000 of them, while the other 90,000 left voluntarily and returned soon afterward. After more than two years, most of the 70,000 are still not allowed to return to their homes. The 1100 disaster-related deaths caused by the evacuation order show that this pre-cautionary action, taken to minimize cancer risks, was not "conservative." In this paper, recent studies are reviewed on the consequences of the radioactive releases and on the benefits of many medical treatments with low doses of radiation that were carried out until the 1950s, before the radiation scare was created. Recent research has shed light on the high rate of spontaneous double-strand breaks in DNA and the adaptive protections in cells, tissues and humans that are up-regulated by low radiation. These defences prevent, repair, remove and replace damage, from all causes including external agents. Cancer mortality is reduced. The ICRP's concept of radiation risk is wrong. It should revert to its 1934 concept, which was a tolerance dose of 0.2 roentgen (r) per day based on more than 35 years of medical experience.
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    ABSTRACT: The causes of agitation in adult patients are numerous. Agitation may cause difficulty or impossibility to initiate the radiotherapy technique but also can lead to accidents harmful to patients. However, the decision to not irradiate agitated patients may lead to a loss of curability chance or chance to palliate symptoms. Before taking such a decision, thinking about the possibilities available to calm the patient should be undertaken with the patient and the referring practitioners to attempt to make this therapy if it is considered major in the management of cancer. In all cases, current adaptations of radiotherapy should be used to deliver an effective radiation of a suitable time and safely. It is notable that the medical literature is extremely rare on this subject.
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    ABSTRACT: The environmental impacts of the nuclear accidents of Chernobyl and Fukushima are compared. In almost every respect, the consequences of the Chernobyl accident clearly exceeded those of the Fukushima accident. In both accidents, most of the radioactivity released was due to volatile radionuclides (noble gases, iodine, cesium, tellurium). However, the amount of refractory elements (including actinides) emitted in the course of the Chernobyl accident was approximately four orders of magnitude higher than during the Fukushima accident. For Chernobyl, a total release of 5300PBq (excluding noble gases) has been established as the most cited source term. For Fukushima, we estimated a total source term of 520 (340-800) PBq. In the course of the Fukushima accident, the majority of the radionuclides (more than 80%) was transported offshore and deposited in the Pacific Ocean. Monitoring campaigns after both accidents reveal that the environmental impact of the Chernobyl accident was much greater than of the Fukushima accident. Both the highly contaminated areas and the evacuated areas are smaller around Fukushima and the projected health effects in Japan are significantly lower than after the Chernobyl accident. This is mainly due to the fact that food safety campaigns and evacuations worked quickly and efficiently after the Fukushima accident. In contrast to Chernobyl, no fatalities due to acute radiation effects occurred in Fukushima.
    Science of The Total Environment 11/2013; 470-471C:800-817. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.029 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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