“Fukushima effect” persists one decade after contamination

By Samira Scoton and Diego L. S. Navia |

Ten years have passed since the earthquake in Fukushima and the outbreak of contamination is still alive. Due to circumstances related to the tsunami and nuclear disaster, 3700 people died, including 240 who committed suicide. According to Fukushima Medical University, which examined children under the age of 19 during the following 5 years, 187 cases of thyroid cancer were identified that were associated with leaky radiation. Researchers at the University of Chukyo claim that rumor about radiation is even worse than the radiation itself, severely affecting mental health. Japanese authorities have managed to mitigate greater consequences, duo to monitoring of food contaminated by radioactive iodine-131 generated by the leakage.

Impacts on Defense and Security: Reactors close to populations and supply chains, mainly food supplies, generate long-term negative impacts. The Fukushima fishing industry has not yet recovered, and the region will be marked by the stigma of nuclear leakage for the next coming decades. As a result, billion-dollar financial losses, associated with effects on food safety and the presence of contaminating agents, generate national and international instabilities.

Source: MCCURRY, J. The 2011 Tōhoku disaster: 10 years on. The Lancet.  3/6/2021. Available at: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00560-2/fulltext

 

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