Nuclear power The study says the Fukushima disaster in 2011 may have released twice as much radiation as the Japanese government admitted. The emissions of radioactive caesium-137 from Fukushima are said to have started earlier than the authorities have claimed, to have lasted longer, and to have spread over a wider area of land than previously believed. The authors say that it is far too early to make any responsible estimate of the potential health impact of the Fukushima disaster. The report reopens the controversy between pro- and anti- nuclear power advocates about the health damage from in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. While the World Health Organisation has claimed that only 28 people died and there could be a possible 4,000 additional cancer deaths , the EU study states that the numbers of deaths could range from "at least 17,000 to 68,000 over 50 years". In a sharp rebuke to pro-nuclear advocates who have argued that the accident produced very few extra cancers, it argues that it is wrong to focus solely on cancer as an outcome of Chernobyl. "Post-Chernobyl non-cancer impact may be very great, including immunological disorders, and cardiovascular disease - especially among the young," it says. Reactor accidents are said to be by far the single largest risk now facing the nuclear industry. According to the study, the probability of a future major nuclear accident has increased 20-fold since Fukushima An urgent re-appraisal of the way that nuclear power stations are assessed for safety is long overdue, says the study. "Whatever one's view of the risks and benefits of nuclear energy, it is clear that the possibility of catastrophic accidents must be factored into the policy and regulatory decision-making process. Both the regulation of operating nuclear reactors and the design-base for any proposed reactor will need significant re-evaluation."
The radiation effects from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are the results of release of radioactive isotopes from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Radioactive material has been released from the Fukushima containment vessels as the result of deliberate venting to reduce gaseous pressure, deliberate discharge of coolant water into the sea, and associated uncontrolled events. Concerns about the possibility of a large-scale release of radioactivity resulted in 20 km exclusion zone being set up around the power plant and people within the 20–30 km zone being advised to stay indoors. Later, the USA, UK, France and some other countries told their nationals to consider leaving Tokyo, in response to fears of spreading radioactive contamination. The Fukushima incident has led to trace amounts of radiation, including iodine-131 and caesium-134/137, being observed around the world (New York State, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, Montreal, and Austria). Detectable amounts of radioactive isotopes have also been distributed into the Pacific Ocean and widely dispersed
The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.