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Lessons from Fukushima

More than two and a half years have passed since the “meltdown” at Fukushima nuclear power plant but the exact extent of the damage remains uncertain. Worse, it has been left unrepaired.

Thus, experts and citizens worry about the catastrophic impacts on health and safety. But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power, its management authority, haven’t really expressed serious concern.

Kim Ik-joong, a biology professor from Dongguk University, said that radiation at Fukushima nuclear power plant was at least seven times as much as that at Chernobyl.

The Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986. After 23 years, experts reported a few studies on Chernobyl. “Chernobyl — catastrophic result on human beings and environments” by ecologist Alexey Yablocov, a former advisor for the environment to then Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, said that it caused 985,000 deaths or injuries.

These included various types of cancers, gastric ulcers, chronic lung diseases, diabetes, eye infections, thyroid-related diseases and cardiovascular illnesses. In addition, the birthrate between boy and girl babies, which is usually 105:100, was 105:95 in Belarus and Russia which were exposed to radiation.

Experts said that the Chernobyl disaster polluted 40 percent of Europe and most of the northern hemisphere. Then, it makes me shudder to expect the damage from the Fukushima meltdown.


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