Arama They Didn't

1:32 am - 03/28/2013

Japan may be facing cancer time bomb two years after Fukushima


It has been two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan and caused the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant – the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. As the people begin to rebuild, signs of a cancer outbreak from the radiation of the troubled nuclear power station are beginning to show.

Two years after the meltdown in the reactors at Fukushima, the world has seemingly moved on. Officially, the mass evacuation of the areas around Fukushima was a success and the action of the workers at the plant may have averted a nuclear catastrophe. Authorities have insisted that no one has died as a result of radiation from Fukushima. There are, however, concerns that the full-scale of the disaster has yet to be seen. The most obvious – and immediately worrying – are results of tests carried out on more than 130,000 children who lived around Fukushima. Over 40 per cent of the children are showing early signs of thyroid cancer. Experts say that the other signs of the disease will not become apparent until 10 years after.

Questions are being asked as to how this happened. There are claims of complacency and a cover-up. While it is admirable and efficient that the people living very close to the nuclear plant were evacuated within the first few days, only time can tell if any damage may already have been done to their health. A bigger part of the population, some living up to 25 miles away, were not evacuated until six weeks after the radiation escaped. Also, it is quite possible that the food chain around the area has been contaminated. Radioactive material has been detected in all sorts of farm produce, including spinach, tea leaves, milk and beef, even as far as 200 miles away. According to Japan’s NHK, fish caught near the plant this month were over the radiation limits more than 5,000 times.

Currently, there is still a real daily risk of radiation escaping from the plant. The reactor is being cooled with huge amounts of water, but workers are running out of storage for the contaminated liquid once it has done its job. Even today, there is now pressure on the thousands of people who fled Fukushima to return to the area starting next month. These people who lived in outer areas have been told it’s safe to go home. Some of these people claim that authorities say they will not be eligible for any compensation if they stay away.

Experts are not able to agree on how serious the risks are, which adds to the confusion. One scientist says the radiation released was about 10 percent of the Chernobyl disaster, and another expert claims the true figure is closer to 40 percent. The government’s official position on radiation risks is based on the fact that very few Fukushima residents received doses over 100 millisieverts per year – which some studies show is the threshold for increased cancer risk. But other studies have shown that cancer can occur in much lower doses. “The potential effects of radiation from Fukushima have been shamelessly downplayed,” said Dr Rianne Teule, a radiation expert with Greenpeace. “It could be many years before we discover the real impact and some of the risks are being ignored.”


candream 27th-Mar-2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
Just awful. :o(
natsumi55777 27th-Mar-2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
Over 40 per cent of the children are showing early signs of thyroid cancer in Japan. <- this is too much T______T
dogangel22 28th-Mar-2013 12:50 am (UTC)
not "in Japan" but out of the 130,000 who lived around Fukushima. It is still devastatingly sad :( but just correcting you because this is how rumors start.
cuizy 29th-Mar-2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
If it make you feel any better, thyroid cancer is actually not that hard to treat and about one of the best cancers to have if you had to have a cancer....

(I have a thyroid disease and learned a lot about this)
lillie_frost 27th-Mar-2013 07:22 pm (UTC)
inachan89 27th-Mar-2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
asth77 27th-Mar-2013 07:34 pm (UTC)
oh shit o_o
sibylblack 27th-Mar-2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid the worst has still to come...
aibada 27th-Mar-2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
midori_chan100 28th-Mar-2013 12:28 am (UTC)
edneichon 28th-Mar-2013 02:56 am (UTC)
This was going to happen' ... so sad!
hisjulliet 28th-Mar-2013 03:30 am (UTC)
so horrible :(
a_cheshire_grin 28th-Mar-2013 09:40 am (UTC)
This is terrible. No...! ;________;
arashicraze 28th-Mar-2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Feel bad. Hope they can find the way out to clean up the radiation in Fukushima.
discov3ry 28th-Mar-2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
This is really awful.. :\
lip_qloss 29th-Mar-2013 12:23 am (UTC)
This is awful indeed.
These poor children.. they count on us adults to keep them safe, but this time we have failed. :(
Yama Take 29th-Mar-2013 08:14 am (UTC)
I don't want to imagine if that was my little boys. It makes the over protective parent in me cringe. Yeesh...

Note to self... make turn to south while driving out of narita.
sandpanther 1st-Apr-2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
The World Health Organization report on the health effects of the disaster (which can be found here) basically says they expect little negative health effect from the disaster besides raised stress levels. (It's a bit more complicated than that, but it's hard to summarize a 120 page highly technical report in just a sentence or two.)The Japan Daily Press reports that there might be signs of a cancer outbreak, but contains little more than vague comments. Personally, I'm inclined to believe the World Health Organization. They have more doctors than the Japan Daily Press.

One thing to keep in mind on that comment about doses over 100mSv/year is statistically linked to a higher rate of cancer is that it's saying about the same thing as smoking one cigarette is statistically linked to a higher risk of cancer. Statistically crossing the street increases your risk of death too. But not so much that people don't cross the street anyway.
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