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Japan Power Science

Fukushima's Biological Legacy 116

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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  • by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @01:58PM (#47685081) Homepage
    There was a major tsunami that washed the shoreline and beyond. I wonder how you actually separate population declines due to the radioactivity from the declines due to the tsunami.
  • by mean pun ( 717227 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:04PM (#47685101)
    By not studying the narrow strip of land that was affected by the tsunami.
  • by Mike Greaves ( 1236 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:12PM (#47685139) Homepage

    Did the AC submitter read the abstracts? Did they understand them?
    * The papers on chronic (low-dose rate) exposures focussed on the DNA repair and other healthy mechanisms in the exposed organisms.
    * Some of the butterfly exposures were done as high-dose rate simulations in the lab, not env exposures.
    * The monkey blood-count study was mentioned in the Eurekalert article, but NOT in any of the *journal* (of heredity) papers that I could see; it has been widely criticized on several bases (improbably-low causative dose and insufficient statistical power).
    * Look at the refutations at the bottom of this sensational Guardian article:
    “Unfortunately yet another paper with insufficient power to distinguish real effects and relevance to human health”
    "correlations between the caesium and low blood counts in the Fukushima study were not statistically strong."
    "monkeys are about the same as those found in sheep in some parts of the **UK** following the Chernobyl accident, i.e. extremely low .."
    "in terms of damage to the animals themselves. I think it much more likely that the apparently low blood cell counts are caused by something other than radiation"

  • by angel'o'sphere ( 80593 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:50PM (#47685279) Journal

    We will be flooded with posts from mainly americans about:
    o how few people died in Fukushima
    o how harmless radioactivity/radiation is
    o that no one died to fallout in the atomic bombings, as it where air bursts
    o that no one died in Nagasaki or Hiroshima 'after' the fallout, as the ground level radiation was neglegtible
    o that we have no clue and mix up Bequerels with Sieverts

    And then we have the discussion about: cutting corners, it would work if people would adhere to the rules, waste, oh, reprocessing, more waste, no: reprocessing does not cause more waste ... depositing the waste, the waste that does not exist ... oh, and it is impossible to do base load with wind and solar ... erm, wind or solar, and then they finally say: coal,kills more than nuclear, because they mix up mining with power production, then they claim coal ash is more dangerous than nuclear waste ...

    Ah, have to see if there is a good movie to night on TV.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @04:36PM (#47685731)

    I don't think this is about "agreeing". He actually stated a fact. We know what happens when we irradiate a region to the point where most people leave. It happened in Chernobyl.

    Right now, Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl is one of the greatest nature conservation parks in the world. It was a very clear proof of the fact that humans are one of the greatest if not the single greatest threat to biodiversity, and a far greater threat than significantly elevated background radiation combined with some of the more harmful isotopes that penetrate key organs and remain.

    Whoever modded OP -1 troll needs to take a long look at findings at Chernobyl.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford