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Japan Power Science

Fukushima's Biological Legacy 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-be-mothra-please-be-mothra dept.
An anonymous reader sends this report from Eurekalert: Scientists began gathering biological information only a few months after the disastrous 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Results of these studies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation on non-human organisms ranging from plants to butterflies to birds. A series of articles summarizing these studies has been published in the Journal of Heredity describing impacts ranging from population declines to genetic damage (abstract 1, abstract 2, abstract 3, abstract 4). Most importantly, these studies supply a baseline for future research on the effects of ionizing radiation exposure to the environment. Common to all of the published studies is the hypothesis that chronic (low-dose) exposure to ionizing radiation results in genetic damage and increased mutation rates in reproductive and non-reproductive cells. Meanwhile, efforts to restart Japan's nuclear power program are dead in the water.
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Fukushima's Biological Legacy

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  • Impact of humans (Score:4, Interesting)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:03PM (#47685097)

    If for somereason all the humans in NY city were to just up and leave there would be a huge biological impact. rats, cats, dogs, birds, trees, and butterflies would be disrupted by lack of food, changes in water, reduction of the temperature island, heated underground spaces, lack of trash. Predators formerly finding the human habitation uninviting would swarm into the area.

        Likewise formerly unfit mutants on some species, such as cockroaches in bright colors that were out in the daytime might appear

    I'm somewhat skeptical that every observed change in Fukashima is casued by radition, even the new appearance of mutations. the departure of the human population might well be a catalyst as well.

  • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:23PM (#47685187)
    I can guarantee that if they studied the impact of various chemical spills and other impacts left behind by the tsunami, they would find orders of magnitude more 'genetic impacts' than anything they'll find due to radiation. Problem is, nobody cares to do that study because there is no agenda driving it, and no funding, and no press would care.

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