The Mainichi said statistics from Fukushima Prefecture as of Nov. 30 show 1,605 Fukushima residents died in the prolonged evacuation of the area, compared with 1,603 in the prefecture who died in the earthquake and tsunami. Additionally, 878 indirect deaths were reported in Miyagi Prefecture and 428 in Iwate Prefecture, municipalities adjacent to Fukushima. This was a total of 2911 deaths from Fukushima evacuations.
The evacuation deaths included those unable to obtain medical care in the confusion, as well as those who committed suicide or developed fatal illnesses.
Almost 16,000 people died across Japan in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Certain technical precision matters in regards to nuclear energy and the causes of cancer.
Cancer naturally kills about 40% of the population. So getting clear signals on what is or is not a cancer problem in the third decimal place or less is a problem.
There is 4 billion tons of uranium in the ocean naturally. Plus there are trillions of tons in the crust. There are background radiation levels which have clearly been shown not to be harmful. People living in cities like Ramsar with radiation levels 10-30 times above typical background is not harmful.
Also, why would not airline pilots and stewardesses not have more cancer ?
The radiation and the pollution have to get to our bodies and tissues. There is more exposure to the air and water pollution. The air pollution in Bejing is like being forced to smoke about 7 cigarettes a day. This includes babies who also breathe and old people and asthmatics.
It is why when pollution goes up they can track the increase in Emergency room visits to the daily pollution levels.
People make a big deal about Fukushima and Chernobyl and Three mile island.
Fukushima – no radiation deaths. 20,000 people died from the Tsunami. A few dozen from a hydro dam getting flooded over.
Chernobyl – 50-200 deaths.
Three mile island zero.
You have the BP oil spill which lasted for months. This is what Fukushima was. A big slow leak. The reaction to BP. Make a deep water capping device to plug future leaks when they happen. We can make a fast deploying large dome roofing type structure that could be airlifted to any nuclear plant or used fuel pond and cover it. Localize any radiation. The nuclear plant would have to be decontaminated anyway.
Plus Fukushima needed to have the diesel tanks and generators buried so that the tsunami could not have washed them away.
Sorry, Venkman, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought
No one forced the evacuation of Beijing or Shanghai when particulate air pollution levels went to 500-1000 ppm. Note at 12000 ppm that is London Fog 1952 levels. 14000 people died over two weeks in the London Fog.
Because a few hundred deaths have be counter-balanced against the higher deaths from evacuation millions or tens of millions of people.
But those kinds of decisions are often not about rationality. It is about the fact that fear of radiation makes people piss their pants but air pollution which can be more deadly does not make people irrationally afraid.
Rationality around what to do about any radiation event is required to make the right public safety choices.
Old people should have been sheltered in place.
20 protection, means 20 times less. Getting to a basement inside a building or to mid-level floor.
Fallout is outdoors. If I am in a building with controlled ventilation then I am maybe 50 feet or more from any fallout.
Radiation that is not to levels where it is promptly fatal, could increase the chances for cancers which take decades to develop (thyroid and lung cancer etc…) Someone who is 65 years old does not have enough life expectancy left to worry about non-promptly fatal radiation levels for cancer impacts. Cancer that gets them before that was developing or there already. They also will not have children any more. Thus the issue about possible birth defects is meaningless.
Evacuating old and frail people away from radiation that would not be promptly fatal is stupid. Why put them at high risk by moving them ? What you need are older caregivers (65 years or older or so) to be brought in to take care of them. Japan is filled with old people. This would not have been a logistical problem.
Radiation impact Study of Fukushima
It evaluates radiation dose rates from deposited radiocesium in three areas within 20-50 km of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. It took into account external doses, measured by dosimeters worn by 458 participants, as well as estimating doses from inhalation and dietary intake. Measurements were recorded in August-September 2012, just over a year on from the accident of March 2011. All three of the study areas – Tamano, Haramachi and Kawauchi village – neighbor regions which are still evacuated or have only limited access.
Most of the Fukushima-related radiation received by the study subjects was found to be from external sources – deposited radiocaesium, referred to as “groundshine” – rather than diet or inhalation. The study found that in 2012, the mean annual radiation dose rate associated with the Fukushima event was 0.89-2.51 mSv per year – close to Japan’s average annual background radiation exposure of 2 mSv/yr.
The researchers employed the linear no-threshold (LNT) dose-response model, which assumes that health risk is directly proportional to radiation exposure and that even the smallest radiation exposure carries some risk. From their observations, the researchers concluded that in 2022, mean doses will be comparable with variations in the background dose across Japan. “The extra lifetime integrated doses after 2012 is estimated to elevate lifetime cancer risk by a factor of 1.03-1.05 at most,” the researchers say. At these levels, increases in cancer rates are not likely to be epidemiologically detectable. “The simple and conservative estimates are comparable with variations in the background dose, and unlikely to exceed the ordinary permissible dose rate (1 mSv/y, [0.1 rem, 100 millirem]) for the majority of the Fukushima population.
The US has 0.3 rem or 3 mSv/yr for normal background. There are places with more background radiation. Ramsar (Iran) has 131 mSv/yr of background radiation. 13.1 rem.
The average annual cosmic radiation dose for commercial flight personnel is 2.19 mSv.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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