Secret meetings held on Fukushima nuclear crisis's impact on human health
FUKUSHIMA -- The prefectural government here held secret meetings among a panel of experts on the nuclear crisis's impact on human health to work out
scenarios for official deliberation sessions based on the view that there is no causal relationship between the disaster and the outbreak of cancer
I wonder if this is also happening in North America? I'm sure.....
Gundersen: Fill Fukushima reactors with cement and come back in 100 years — It’s too radioactive
Can this be done? There are really no details with this. Would they remove as much fuel as possible first? That would take decades. One new assembly
taken out in 18 months?... Would they entomb as is, with the fuel pools?
October 04, 2012
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Researchers trying to assess the impact of radiation on ecosystems due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster have come up with some surprising results:
But they're not entirely sure what the findings mean.
However, they say the data from Fukushima Prefecture could be useful in determining when evacuated residents might eventually be allowed to return to
The field work is facing methodological difficulties as not all abnormalities detected are necessarily a direct result of radioactive substances that
spewed from the nuclear power plant following reactor meltdowns caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
In April last year, researchers from Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (NVLU), along with other institutions, began sampling muscle tissue
of wild Japanese macaques caught in the provincial capital, Fukushima, for radioactive cesium content.
The concentrations ranged between 10,000 and 25,000 becquerels per kilogram immediately after the nuclear crisis began to unfurl the month before.
The readings fell to 500-1,500 becquerels per kg in June, but rose again to more than 2,000 becquerels per kg from last winter to spring.
The seasonal variations presumably occurred because the macaques ate leaf buds, which are said to absorb radioactive cesium in high concentrations,
the scientists said.
Shin-ichi Hayama, a professor of wild animal control at NVLU, said the results were the first ever taken for wild primates.
"This presents an opportunity to study the impact of low-dose radiation on primates, which are so close to humans, over a more than 20-year period,"
Hayama said. "That could help forecast the impact on humans as well."
A separate team led by Shin-ichi Akimoto, a professor of entomology at Hokkaido University, is investigating deformities in a species of plant lice in
Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture. Akimoto said he hopes to verify any impact of radiation by comparing them with plant lice found outside the
The Environment Ministry started sampling flora and fauna in Fukushima Prefecture last November because past research focused solely on the impact on
humans. This was due to a general assumption that humans and other mammals are more susceptible to the effects of radiation.
The ministry, noting rising public interest in environmental conservation and the fact that human existence is intertwined with ecosystems, decided to
widen the scope of the investigation.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection designated 12 species--including frogs, trout, bees, crabs, earthworms, pine trees and wild
grass--as "reference animals and plants" for surveys.
A team of researchers at the University of the Ryukyus investigated the impact of radiation on pale grass blue butterflies in Fukushima Prefecture.
They crossbred butterflies caught in the region and discovered eye abnormalities and aberrant wing color patterns in the next generation. Those
morphological irregularities may be due to radiation, the scientists said.
The research results were published in early August in Scientific Reports, an online journal affiliated with Britain's Nature magazine.
In late August, however, a U.S. scientist pointed out that it was impossible to assess whether any abnormalities were induced because essential data
on wing sizes was not presented.
That comment was followed by a heated online controversy.
"The report is noteworthy for pointing out the possibility of induced morphological abnormalities," said Takahisa Miyatake, a professor of
evolutionary ecology at Okayama University.
But he cautiously pointed to the lack of a comparison between the frequency of morphological abnormalities before and after the nuclear disaster and
the scant number of the butterflies sampled.
More baffled experts.