Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fukushima's Radioactive Legacy


Did you see the article by Jeff McMahon in Forbes covering research by Dr. Shin-ichi Hayama, a wildlife veterinarian studying Fukushima's contaminated monkeys:
Jeff McMahon (2017, October 30). Three Ways Radiation Has Changed The Monkeys Of Fukushima. Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2017/10/30/three-ways-radiation-has-changed-the-monkeys-of-fukushima-a-warning-for-humans/#15b788165eac

The Japanese macaques show effects associated with radiation exposure—especially youngsters born since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, according to a wildlife veterinarian who has studied the population since 2008... [The three changes include]:

Smaller bodies

Smaller heads and brains

Anemia: "The monkeys show a reduction in all blood components: red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, and the cells in bone marrow that produce blood components."
Findings expressed in graphs show clear correlation between level of exposure and biological problems, such as a reduction in white blood cells.

Perhaps even more concerning is the lack of recovery observed by Dr. Hayama:
"We have taken these tests from 2012 through 2017, and the levels have not recovered. So we have to say this is not an acute phenomenon. It has become chronic, and we would have to consider radiation exposure as a possible cause," Hayama said.
You can read the full study and previous research:
Shin-ichi Hayama, Moe Tsuchiya, Kazuhiko Ochiai, Sachie Nakiri, Setsuko Nakanishi, Naomi Ishii, Takuya Kato, Aki Tanaka, Fumiharu Konno, Yoshi Kawamoto & Toshinori Omi (2017) Small head size and delayed body weight growth in wild Japanese monkey fetuses after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 3528 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03866-8Kazuhiko Ochiai, Shin-ichi https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-03866-8
Hayama, Sachie Nakiri, Setsuko Nakanishi, Naomi Ishii, Taiki Uno, Takuya Kato, Fumiharu Konno, Yoshi Kawamoto, Shuichi Tsuchida & Toshinori Omi (2014) Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 5793 (2014) doi:10.1038/srep05793https://www.nature.com/articles/srep05793
Two other studies that have documented biological effects from Fukushima radiation exposure include the following:
A. Moller, A. Hagiwara, S. Matsui, S. Kasahara, K. Kawatsu, I. Nishiumi, H. Suzuki, K. Ueda, T. and A. Mousseau (2012) ‘Abundance of Birds in Fukushima as Judged from Chernobyl’, Environmental Pollution, 164, 36-39.

A. Hiyama, C. Nohara, S. Kinjo, W. Taira, S. Gima, A. Tanahara, and J. Otaki (2012) ‘The Biological Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident on the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly’, Scientific Reports, 1-10.

No one really knows what is going to happen in a nuclear waste land. There are so many uncertainties and contingencies but one thing is certain and that is that increased levels of radionuclides in air, water, soil, and food disrupt the established patterns of life upon which we depend.

4 comments:

  1. What can people do to help get reactors shut-down. What can be done, to help keep new reactors from being built?

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    Replies
    1. Good question! I'll try and work up an answer to this question.

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  2. The evidence showing that low level radiation is not harmful is the stronger medical evidence there is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree. What evidence can you provide or argument make?

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