Fukushima radiation did not harm the health of local populations, UN says | Fukushima
Radiation caused by nuclear fusion in Fukushima ten years ago has not harmed the health of the local population, according to a UN report.
Gillian Hirth, chair of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear), said that “no adverse health effects on the people of Fukushima have been documented which could be directly attributed to the exposure. radiation resulting from the accident ”in March 2011.
Unscear said the latest findings supported a 2013 report on the health impact of radiation emitted after three reactors melted at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The latest report came as Japan was set to mark the tenth anniversary that a powerful earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and sparked the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in a quarter of a century more early.
The incident forced the evacuation of around 160,000 people, many of whom have not returned home 10 years later.
Concerns about the crash’s potential health effects rose after reports of a high incidence of thyroid cancer in children living in Fukushima Prefecture at the time of the disaster.
Unscear and other experts attributed the higher rates to the use of very sensitive ultrasound devices and the large number of children who were examined.
The first series of tests, conducted between 2011 and 2015, identified 116 cases of thyroid cancer, known or suspected, among more than 300,000 people aged 18 years.
“On the balance of available evidence, the sharp increase … in the number of thyroid cancers detected in exposed children is not the result of radiation exposure,” Unscear said.
“Rather, they are the result of ultra-sensitive screening procedures which revealed the prevalence of previously undetected thyroid abnormalities in the population.”
Gerry Thomas, director of the Chernobyl tissue bank and chair of molecular pathology at Imperial College London, said she was not surprised Unscear and other bodies ruled out a link between the cases of thyroid cancer and Fukushima radiation.
“Thyroid radiation doses after Fukushima were around 100 times lower than after Chernobyl due to a number of factors,” Thomas said, adding that “all the evidence we have on exposure levels and data from the medical screening program in Fukushima suggests that it is highly unlikely that we will see an increase in thyroid cancer in these children, who are now adolescents and young adults ”.
But in a report Released to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster, Greenpeace Japan has warned that large areas near the plant where evacuation orders have been lifted in recent years have still not been properly decontaminated, leaving residents of back exposed to potentially harmful radiation levels for decades.
“Successive governments over the past 10 years… have attempted to perpetuate a myth about the nuclear disaster,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace East Asia. “They sought to deceive the Japanese people by distorting the effectiveness of the decontamination program and ignoring the radiological risks.”