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Sample records for fukushima nuclear disaster

  1. The Fukushima nuclear disaster is ongoing.

    PubMed

    Marks, Andrew R

    2016-07-01

    The 5th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster and the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the two most catastrophic nuclear accidents in history, both occurred recently. Images of Chernobyl are replete with the international sign of radioactive contamination (a circle with three broad spokes radiating outward in a yellow sign). In contrast, ongoing decontamination efforts at Fukushima lack international warnings about radioactivity. Decontamination workers at Fukushima appear to be poorly protected against radiation. It is almost as if the effort is to make the Fukushima problem disappear. A more useful response would be to openly acknowledge the monumental problems inherent in managing a nuclear plant disaster. Lessons from Chernobyl are the best predictors of what the Fukushima region of Japan is coping with in terms of health and environmental problems following a nuclear catastrophe. PMID:27214552

  2. Peace Education, Domestic Tranquility, and Democracy: The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster as Domestic Violence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ide, Kanako

    2014-01-01

    This article is an attempt to develop a theory of peace education through an examination of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It examines why Japan did not avoid this terrible nuclear disaster. This is an educational issue, because one of the major impacts of Fukushima's catastrophe is that it indicates the failure of peace education.…

  3. Space Agriculture for Recovery of Fukushima from the Nuclear Disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Tomita-Yokotani, Kaori; Hasegawa, Katsuya; Kanazawa, Shinjiro; Oshima, Tairo

    2012-07-01

    Space agriculture is an engineering challenge to realize life support functions on distant planetary bodies under their harsh environment. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, its land was heavily contaminated by radioactive cesium and other nuclei. We proposed the use of space agriculture to remediate the contaminated land. Since materials circulation in the human dominant system should remove sodium from metabolic waste at processing fertilizer for crop plants, handling of sodium and potassium ions in agro-ecosystem has been one of major research targets of space agriculture. Cesium resembles to potassium as alkaline metal. Knowledge on behavior of sodium/potassium in agro-ecosystem might contribute to Fukushima. Reduction of volume of contaminated biomass made by hyperthermophilic aerobic composting bacterial system is another proposal from space agriculture. Volume and mass of plant bodies should be reduced for safe storage of nuclear wastes. Capacity of the storage facility will be definitely limited against huge amount of contaminated soil, plants and others. For this purpose, incineration of biomass first choice. The process should be under the lowered combustion temperature and with filters to confine radioactive ash to prevent dispersion of radioactive cesium. Biological combustion made by hyperthermophilic aerobic composting bacterial system might offer safe alternative for the volume reduction of plant biomass. Scientific evidence are demanded for Fukushima in order to to judge health risks of the low dose rate exposure and their biological mechanism. Biology and medicine for low dose rate exposure have been intensively studied for space exploration. The criteria of radiation exposure for general public should be remained as 1 mSv/year, because people has no merit at being exposed. However, the criteria of 1,200 mSv for life long, which is set to male astronaut, age of his first flight after age 40, might be informative to people for understanding

  4. Mental Health Crisis in Northeast Fukushima after the 2011 Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster.

    PubMed

    Fukunaga, Hisanori; Kumakawa, Hiromi

    2015-01-01

    The great earthquake of 11 March 2011 and resulting tsunami caused serious damage to various areas of the Pacific coast in northeast Fukushima, and all the residents faced fears of meltdown of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. One of the most seriously affected areas was the district of Soso, located in the northeast part of Fukushima prefecture, with 12 municipalities (Soma City, Minamisoma City, Shinchi Town, Namie Town, Futaba Town, Ōkuma Town, Tomioka Town, Naraha Town, Hirono Town, Iitate Village, Katsurao Village and Kawauchi Village). The district of Soso is home to approximately 200,000 residents, many of whom were seriously affected by the threefold disaster. During the subsequent four years, the population of Soso decreased by nearly 10%. In March 2011 before the disaster, five hospitals and two clinics for psychiatric patients, along with 712 inpatients, were operating in the district of Soso. However, as of March 2015, there were only one hospital and three clinics, along with approximately 50 inpatients, although a new mental health clinic in Soma City was opened in 2012 for supporting victims suffering from the disaster. We hereby suggest that the patients and residents of northeast Fukushima may be undergoing mental health crisis. In fact, disaster-related psychological stress could have induced several physical and mental disorders. The mid- and long-term supports are urgently needed not only for psychiatric patients but also for all residents in the district of Soso. PMID:26329988

  5. Radiation survey on Fukushima Medical University premises about four years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Omori, Yasutaka; Wakamatsu, Hiroaki; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Ishikawa, Tetsuo

    2016-06-01

    This study was conducted on the Fukushima Medical University (FMU) premises (in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture) about four years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Its objectives were (1) to create a map of the ambient gamma dose rate (air-kerma rate) distribution, (2) to evaluate the air-kerma rate originating from natural radionuclides, and (3) to investigate the effects of snow cover on changes in the air-kerma rate. This man-borne survey revealed that the air-kerma rate varies widely, ranging from 0.038 μGy h(-1) to 0.520 μGy h(-1), and is higher on grass than on the other investigated surface types, such as soil, asphalt, and bricks. In this area, the mean air-kerma rate from natural radiation was evaluated to be 0.03 ± 0.01 μGy h(-1), which is close to 0.04 μGy h(-1), which was measured in central Fukushima City by a local authority.Furthermore, snowfall was found to reduce the air-kerma rate by 5%-30%. This reduction was attributed to attenuation of the primary radiation while passing through the snow cover, and the measured contribution of scattered radiation to the air-kerma rate reduction was small. The reduction rate was found to depend on the initial snow depth but to maintain a similar value for a couple of days, after the snow had partially melted and its depth had decreased. Finally, analysis of the daily dose due to external exposure received on the FMU premises revealed that no further health effects due to chronic radiation exposure at this site are to be expected. PMID:26911302

  6. Alcohol use disorder due to social isolation after a nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Morita, Tomohiro; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Hori, Arinobu; Kanazawa, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    It is well-known that a nuclear disaster causes health problems including cancer, however, information on mental disorders linked to a nuclear disaster is limited. On 11 March 2011, there was a serious nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan. Subsequently, in October 2012, a 78-year-old man living 31 km from the plant was admitted to the hospital with head trauma. This was his third physical trauma since the nuclear accident. A thorough interview revealed that his alcohol intake had increased after the disaster, suggesting that his injuries might be related to alcohol use. The diagnosis of alcohol use disorder was established based on the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He had been exposed to social isolation after evacuation of his neighbourhood. Using education and intervention, he was successfully treated. We should recognise that a nuclear disaster might cause social isolation among the elderly, leading to mental disorders and alcohol use disorder. Early diagnosis and intervention might be beneficial for individuals presenting the above symptoms. PMID:26101299

  7. Associations between Disaster Exposures, Peritraumatic Distress, and Posttraumatic Stress Responses in Fukushima Nuclear Plant Workers following the 2011 Nuclear Accident: The Fukushima NEWS Project Study

    PubMed Central

    Shigemura, Jun; Tanigawa, Takeshi; Nishi, Daisuke; Matsuoka, Yutaka; Nomura, Soichiro; Yoshino, Aihide

    2014-01-01

    Background The 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The nearby Daini plant also experienced substantial damage but remained intact. Workers for the both plants experienced multiple stressors as disaster victims and workers, as well as the criticism from the public due to their company's post-disaster management. Little is known about the psychological pathway mechanism from nuclear disaster exposures, distress during and immediately after the event (peritraumatic distress; PD), to posttraumatic stress responses (PTSR). Methods A self-report questionnaire was administered to 1,411 plant employees (Daiichi, n = 831; Daini, n = 580) 2–3 months post-disaster (total response rate: 80.2%). The socio-demographic characteristics and disaster-related experiences were assessed as independent variables. PD and PTSR were measured by the Japanese versions of Peritraumatic Distress Inventory and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, respectively. The analysis was conducted separately for the two groups. Bivariate regression analyses were performed to assess the relationships between independent variables, PD, and PTSR. Significant variables were subsequently entered in the multiple regression analyses to explore the pathway mechanism for development of PTSR. Results For both groups, PTSR highly associated with PD (Daiichi: adjusted β, 0.66; p<0.001; vs. Daini: adjusted β, 0.67; p<0.001). PTSR also associated with discrimination/slurs experience (Daiichi: 0.11; p<0.001; vs. Daini, 0.09; p = 0.005) and presence of preexisting illness(es) (Daiichi: 0.07; p = 0.005; vs. Daini: 0.15; p<.0001). Other disaster-related variables were likely to be associated with PD than PTSR. Conclusion Among the Fukushima nuclear plant workers, disaster exposures associated with PD. PTSR was highly affected by PD along with discrimination/slurs experience. PMID:24586278

  8. Remembering Fukushima: PNNL Monitors Radiation from Nuclear Disaster

    ScienceCinema

    Miley, Harry

    2014-06-12

    Senior Scientist Harry Miley describes how his work in ultra-trace, nuclear detection technology picked up the first reading of radiological materials over the U.S. following the nuclear power plant explosion in Japan.

  9. Remembering Fukushima: PNNL Monitors Radiation from Nuclear Disaster

    SciTech Connect

    Miley, Harry

    2014-03-07

    Senior Scientist Harry Miley describes how his work in ultra-trace, nuclear detection technology picked up the first reading of radiological materials over the U.S. following the nuclear power plant explosion in Japan.

  10. The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormick, Kathy

    2013-10-01

    On 3/11/11, the reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan were damaged by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Of the six reactors at the site, three were in operation prior to the event, and were automatically shut-down during the earthquake. Emergency cooling systems came online and were subsequently destroyed by a tsunami generated by the earthquake. For the operating reactors, all the reactor cores were exposed, resulting in overheating and the release of steam and hydrogen gas to the containment vessels, several of which subsequently exploded, releasing radioactivity into the atmosphere. The cores of the operating reactors melted down, and radioactive water was released to the ocean in cooling efforts. The primary radiation concerns in the United States from the disaster were radioactive plumes driven by westerly winds and contaminated commercial products and travelers. In the United States, one of the primary governmental organizations to respond to the disaster was U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which has responsibility to oversee the safety and security of cargo and travelers entering the United States. This talk will describe the various types of radioactive commodities and events encountered by CBP in the U.S. from the Fukushima disaster. Thanks to the CBP Teleforensics Center for their assistance with this presentation.

  11. Perceived environmental and health risks of nuclear energy in Taiwan after Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Ho, Jung-Chun; Lee, Chiao-Tzu Patricia; Kao, Shu-Fen; Chen, Ruey-Yu; Ieong, Marco C F; Chang, Hung-Lun; Hsieh, Wan-Hua; Tzeng, Chun-Chiao; Lu, Cheng-Fung; Lin, Suei-Loong; Chang, Peter Wushou

    2014-12-01

    After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan in 2011, a nation-wide survey using a standardized self-administered questionnaire was conducted in Taiwan, with a sample size of 2,742 individuals including the residents who live within and beyond 30 km from a nuclear power plant (NPP), to evaluate the participants' perceived nuclear risk in comparison with their perceived risks from selected environmental hazards and human behaviors. The three leading concerns of nuclear energy were "nuclear accidents (82.2%)," "radioactive nuclear waste disposal (76.9%)" and "potential health effects (73.3%)." Respondents (77.6%) perceived a higher relative risk of cancer incidence for those who live within 30 km from an NPP than those who live outside 30 km from an NPP. All the participants had a higher risk perception of death related to "nuclear power operation and nuclear waste" than cigarette smoking, motorcycling, food poisoning, plasticizer poisoning and traveling by air. Moreover, the residents in Gongliao where the planned fourth NPP is located had a significantly higher perceived risk ratio (PRR) of cancer incidence (adjusted odd ratio (aOR)=1.84, p value=0.017) and perceived risk of death (aOR=4.03, p value<0.001) related to nuclear energy. The other factors such as female gender (aOR/p value, 1.25/0.026 and 1.34/0.001 respectively), lower education levels (aOR/p value: 1.31/0.032; 2.03/<0.001) and the participants' concerns about nuclear accidents (aOR/p value: 1.33/0.022; 1.51/<0.001) and potential health effects (aOR/ p value: 2.95/ <0.001; 2.56/<0.001) were found to be commonly associated with the PRRs of "cancer incidence" and "perceived risk of death" related to nuclear energy, respectively. In addition, the respondents' concerns about nuclear waste disposal and possible eco-environmental damage made significant contributions (aOR/ p value: 1.39/ 0.001; 1.40/<0.001) to predict their perceived risk of death related to nuclear power. These factors are considered as

  12. Application of Ion Exchange Technique to Decontamination of Polluted Water Generated by Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takeshita, Kenji; Ogata, Takeshi

    By the Fukushima nuclear disaster, large amounts of water and sea water polluted mainly with radioactive Cs were generated and the environment around the nuclear site was contaminated by the fallout from the nuclear site. The coagulation settling process using ferric ferrocyanide and an inorganic coagulant and the adsorption process using ferric ferrocyanide granulated by silica binder were applied to the treatment of polluted water. In the coagulation settling process, Cs was removed completely from polluted water and sea water (DF∼104). In the adsorption process, the recovery of trace Cs (10 ppb) in sea water, which was not suitable for the use of zeolite, was attained successfully. Finally, the recovery of Cs from sewage sludge was tested by a combined process with the hydrothermal process using subcritical water and the coagulation settling process using ferric ferrocyanide. 96% of radioactive Cs was recovered successfully from sewage sludge with the radioactivity of 10,000 Bq/kg.

  13. Emergency/disaster medical support in the restoration project for the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident

    PubMed Central

    Morimura, Naoto; Asari, Yasushi; Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro; Asanuma, Kazunari; Tase, Choichiro; Sakamoto, Tetsuya; Aruga, Tohru

    2013-01-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (1F) suffered a series of radiation accidents after the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011. In a situation where halting or delaying restoration work was thought to translate directly into a very serious risk for the entire country, it was of the utmost importance to strengthen the emergency and disaster medical system in addition to radiation emergency medical care for staff at the frontlines working in an environment that posed a risk of radiation exposure and a large-scale secondary disaster. The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine (JAAM) launched the ‘Emergency Task Force on the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident’ and sent physicians to the local response headquarters. Thirty-four physicians were dispatched as disaster medical advisors, response guidelines in the event of multitudinous injury victims were created and revised and, along with execution of drills, coordination and advice was given on transport of patients. Forty-nine physicians acted as directing physicians, taking on the tasks of triage, initial treatment and decontamination. A total of 261 patients were attended to by the dispatched physicians. None of the eight patients with external contamination developed acute radiation syndrome. In an environment where the collaboration between organisations in the framework of a vertically bound government and multiple agencies and institutions was certainly not seamless, the participation of the JAAM as the medical academic organisation in the local system presented the opportunity to laterally integrate the physicians affiliated with the respective organisations from the perspective of specialisation. PMID:23184925

  14. An update on radioactive release and exposures after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster

    PubMed Central

    Mclaughlin, P D; Jones, B; Maher, M M

    2012-01-01

    On 11 March 2011, the Richter scale 0.9-magnitude Tokohu earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast coast of Japan, resulting in widespread injury and loss of life. Compounding this tragic loss of life, a series of equipment and structural failures at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNP) resulted in the release of many volatile radioisotopes into the atmosphere. In this update, we detail currently available evidence about the nature of immediate radioactive exposure to FDNP workers and the general population. We contrast the nature of the radioactive exposure at FDNP with that which occurred at the Chernobyl power plant 25 years previously. Prediction of the exact health effects related to the FDNP release is difficult at present and this disaster provides the scientific community with a challenge to help those involved and to continue research that will improve our understanding of the potential complications of radionuclide fallout. PMID:22919005

  15. Minimal Internal Radiation Exposure in Residents Living South of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Junichi; Kato, Shigeaki; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Mori, Jinichi; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Abe, Koichiro; Sakai, Shuji; Hayano, Ryugo; Tokiwa, Michio; Shimmura, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, assessment of internal radiation exposure was indispensable to predict radiation-related health threats to residents of neighboring areas. Although many evaluations of internal radiation in residents living north and west of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are available, there is little information on residents living in areas south of the plant, which were similarly affected by radio-contamination from the disaster. To assess the internal radio-contamination in residents living in affected areas to the south of the plant or who were evacuated into Iwaki city, a whole body counter (WBC) screening program of internal radio-contamination was performed on visitors to the Jyoban hospital in Iwaki city, which experienced less contamination than southern areas adjacent to the nuclear plant. The study included 9,206 volunteer subjects, of whom 6,446 were schoolchildren aged 4-15 years. Measurements began one year after the incident and were carried out over the course of two years. Early in the screening period only two schoolchildren showed Cs-137 levels that were over the detection limit (250 Bq/body), although their Cs-134 levels were below the detection limit (220 Bq/body). Among the 2,760 adults tested, 35 (1.3%) had detectable internal radio-contamination, but only for Cs-137 (range: 250 Bq/body to 859 Bq/body), and not Cs-134. Of these 35 subjects, nearly all (34/35) showed elevated Cs-137 levels only during the first year of the screening. With the exception of potassium 40, no other radionuclides were detected during the screening period. The maximum annual effective dose calculated from the detected Cs-137 levels was 0.029 and 0.028 mSv/year for the schoolchildren and adults, respectively, which is far below the 1 mSv/year limit set by the government of Japan. Although the data for radiation exposure during the most critical first year after the incident are unavailable due to a lack of systemic

  16. Minimal Internal Radiation Exposure in Residents Living South of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Junichi; Kato, Shigeaki; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Mori, Jinichi; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Abe, Koichiro; Sakai, Shuji; Hayano, Ryugo; Tokiwa, Michio; Shimmura, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, assessment of internal radiation exposure was indispensable to predict radiation-related health threats to residents of neighboring areas. Although many evaluations of internal radiation in residents living north and west of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are available, there is little information on residents living in areas south of the plant, which were similarly affected by radio-contamination from the disaster. To assess the internal radio-contamination in residents living in affected areas to the south of the plant or who were evacuated into Iwaki city, a whole body counter (WBC) screening program of internal radio-contamination was performed on visitors to the Jyoban hospital in Iwaki city, which experienced less contamination than southern areas adjacent to the nuclear plant. The study included 9,206 volunteer subjects, of whom 6,446 were schoolchildren aged 4–15 years. Measurements began one year after the incident and were carried out over the course of two years. Early in the screening period only two schoolchildren showed Cs-137 levels that were over the detection limit (250 Bq/body), although their Cs-134 levels were below the detection limit (220 Bq/body). Among the 2,760 adults tested, 35 (1.3%) had detectable internal radio-contamination, but only for Cs-137 (range: 250 Bq/body to 859 Bq/body), and not Cs-134. Of these 35 subjects, nearly all (34/35) showed elevated Cs-137 levels only during the first year of the screening. With the exception of potassium 40, no other radionuclides were detected during the screening period. The maximum annual effective dose calculated from the detected Cs-137 levels was 0.029 and 0.028 mSv/year for the schoolchildren and adults, respectively, which is far below the 1 mSv/year limit set by the government of Japan. Although the data for radiation exposure during the most critical first year after the incident are unavailable due to a lack of systemic

  17. Risk perception of nuclear power plants among university students in Northeast Asia after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Ieong, Marco Chi Fong; Ho, Jung-Chun; Lee, Patricia Chiao-Tze; Hokama, Tomiko; Gima, Tsugiko; Luo, Lingling; Sohn, Myongsei; Kim, So Yoon; Kao, Shu-Fen; Hsieh, Wanhwa Annie; Chang, Hung-Lun; Chang, Peter Wu-Shou

    2014-11-01

    To examine the perception of nuclear energy risks among Asian university students following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a standardized questionnaire survey was conducted since July 2011 after the Fukushima disaster. A total of 1814 respondents from 18 universities in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan participated in this survey. It showed that students with the following characteristics had a higher preference for "a clear schedule to phase out nuclear power plant (NPP)": females (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.44-2.34), in Japan (aOR = 2.81, 95% CI = 2.02-3.90), in China (aOR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.04-2.09), and with perceived relative risks of cancer incidence greaterthan 1 (aOR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.07-1.88). "If nuclear energy were phased out," the opinions on potential electricity shortage were as follows: Japan, aOR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.40-0.69; China, aOR = 2.46, 95% CI = 1.75-3.45; and associated with academic majors (science/technology, aOR = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.31-0.59; medicine/health science, aOR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.49-0.84). The results carried essential messages for nuclear energy policy in East Asia. PMID:24789816

  18. Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Man-Made Hazards, Vulnerability Factors, and Risk to Environmental Health.

    PubMed

    Eddy, Christopher; Sase, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this article was to examine the environmental health implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an all-hazards perspective. The authors performed a literature review that included Japanese and international nuclear guidance and policy, scientific papers, and reports on the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters while also considering all-hazards preparedness rubrics in the U.S. The examination of the literature resulted in the following: a) the authors' "All-Hazards Planning Reference Model" that distinguishes three planning categories-Disaster Trigger Event, Man-Made Hazards, and Vulnerability Factors; b) the generalization of their model to other countries; and c) advocacy for environmental health end fate to be considered in planning phases to minimize risk to environmental health. This article discusses inconsistencies in disaster planning and nomenclature existing in the studied materials and international guidance and proposes new opportunity for developing predisaster risk assessment, risk communication, and prevention capacity building. PMID:26427265

  19. Professionalism of physicians at a major teaching hospital during the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Narita, M; Tokuda, Y; Barnett, P

    2016-07-01

    It poses a serious problem if physicians leave a hospital without having a replacement or without permission. A huge earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami seriously damaged the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. This disaster overwhelmed a major teaching hospital in the local area and many hospital employees, including some resident physicians, left the premises. Since the threat of severe radiation exposure poses a potentially greater lifetime risk to younger individuals, letting the young resident physicians leave the hospital was not only allowed, it was actually recommended by many attending physicians and hospital administrators. The hospital administrator was required to make the difficult decision of whether to make all efforts to provide the highest level of medical care, including keeping all of the physicians on the premises, or to evacuate the resident physicians in order to preserve their health and their potential future contributions to healthcare. Consideration and compassion needed to be provided to all people, regardless of the reason they wanted to leave. From an ethical perspective, the roles of performance under these complex circumstances should be understood and embraced by us as individuals, professionals, supervisors and society as a whole. PMID:27121040

  20. Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Ochiai, Kazuhiko; Hayama, Shin-ichi; Nakiri, Sachie; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Ishii, Naomi; Uno, Taiki; Kato, Takuya; Konno, Fumiharu; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Tsuchida, Shuichi; Omi, Toshinori

    2014-01-01

    In April 2012 we carried out a 1-year hematological study on a population of wild Japanese monkeys inhabiting the forest area of Fukushima City. This area is located 70 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which released a large amount of radioactive material into the environment following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. For comparison, we examined monkeys inhabiting the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture, located approximately 400 km from the NPP. Total muscle cesium concentration in Fukushima monkeys was in the range of 78-1778 Bq/kg, whereas the level of cesium was below the detection limit in all Shimokita monkeys. Compared with Shimokita monkeys, Fukushima monkeys had significantly low white and red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit, and the white blood cell count in immature monkeys showed a significant negative correlation with muscle cesium concentration. These results suggest that the exposure to some form of radioactive material contributed to hematological changes in Fukushima monkeys. PMID:25060710

  1. Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and comprehensive health risk management-global radiocontamination and information disaster.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shunichi

    2014-06-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, besides further studying the appropriateness of the initial response and post-countermeasures against the severe Fukushima nuclear accident, has now increased the importance of the epidemiological study in comprehensive health risk management and radiation protection; lessons learnt from the Chernobyl accident should be also implemented. Therefore, since May 2011, Fukushima Prefecture has started the "Fukushima Health Management Survey Project" for the purpose of long-term health care administration and early diagnosis/treatment for the prefectural residents. Basic survey is under investigation on a retrospective estimation of external exposure of the first four months. As one of the four detailed surveys, the thyroid ultrasound examination has clarified the increased detection rate of childhood thyroid cancers as a screening effect in the past three years and so thyroid cancer occurrence by Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, especially due to radioactive iodine will be discussed despite of difficult challenge of accurate estimation of low dose and low-dose rate radiation exposures. Through the on-site valuable experience and a difficult challenge for recovery, we should learn the lessons from this severe and large-scale nuclear accident, especially how to countermeasure against public health emergency at the standpoint of health risk and also social risk management. PMID:25425958

  2. Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and Comprehensive Health Risk Management—Global Radiocontamination and Information Disaster

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, besides further studying the appropriateness of the initial response and post-countermeasures against the severe Fukushima nuclear accident, has now increased the importance of the epidemiological study in comprehensive health risk management and radiation protection; lessons learnt from the Chernobyl accident should be also implemented. Therefore, since May 2011, Fukushima Prefecture has started the “Fukushima Health Management Survey Project” for the purpose of long-term health care administration and early diagnosis/treatment for the prefectural residents. Basic survey is under investigation on a retrospective estimation of external exposure of the first four months. As one of the four detailed surveys, the thyroid ultrasound examination has clarified the increased detection rate of childhood thyroid cancers as a screening effect in the past three years and so thyroid cancer occurrence by Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, especially due to radioactive iodine will be discussed despite of difficult challenge of accurate estimation of low dose and low-dose rate radiation exposures. Through the on-site valuable experience and a difficult challenge for recovery, we should learn the lessons from this severe and large-scale nuclear accident, especially how to countermeasure against public health emergency at the standpoint of health risk and also social risk management. PMID:25425958

  3. Quantification of the increase in thyroid cancer prevalence in Fukushima after the nuclear disaster in 2011--a potential overdiagnosis?

    PubMed

    Katanoda, Kota; Kamo, Ken-Ichi; Tsugane, Shoichiro

    2016-03-01

    A thyroid ultrasound examination programme has been conducted in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, after the nuclear disaster in 2011. Although remarkably high prevalence of thyroid cancer was observed, no relevant quantitative evaluation was conducted. We calculated the observed/expected (O/E) ratio of thyroid cancer prevalence for the residents aged ≤20 years. Observed prevalence was the number of thyroid cancer cases detected by the programme through the end of April 2015. Expected prevalence was calculated as cumulative incidence by a life-table method using the national estimates of thyroid cancer incidence rate in 2001-10 (prior to the disaster) and the population of Fukushima Prefecture. The underlying assumption was that there was neither nuclear accident nor screening intervention. The observed and estimated prevalence of thyroid cancer among residents aged ≤20 years was 160.1 and 5.2, respectively, giving an O/E ratio of 30.8 [95% confidence interval (CI): 26.2, 35.9]. When the recent increasing trend in thyroid cancer was considered, the overall O/E ratio was 22.2 (95% CI: 18.9, 25.9). The cumulative number of thyroid cancer deaths in Fukushima Prefecture, estimated with the same method (annual average in 2009-13), was 0.6 under age 40. Combined with the existing knowledge about radiation effect on thyroid cancer, our descriptive analysis suggests the possibility of overdiagnosis. Evaluation including individual-level analysis is required to further clarify the contribution of underlying factors. PMID:26755830

  4. Face it: collecting mental health and disaster related data using Facebook vs. personal interview: the case of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ezra, Menachem; Palgi, Yuval; Aviel, Or; Dubiner, Yonit; Evelyn Baruch; Soffer, Yechiel; Shrira, Amit

    2013-06-30

    Collecting mental health data during disaster is a difficult task. The aim of this study was to compare reported sensitive information regarding the disaster and general questions on physical or psychological functioning between social network (Facebook) interview and face-to-face interview after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Data were collected from a battery of self-reported questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered to 133 face-to-face participants and to 40 Facebook interviewees, during March-April 2011. The face-to-face interview group showed a significantly higher level of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and elevated risk for clinical level of PTSD and reported more worries about another disaster, lower life satisfaction, less perceived social support and lower self-rated health than the Facebook group. Our data may suggest that the reliability of internet surveys is jeopardized during extreme conditions such as large-scale disasters as it tends to underestimate the reactions to such events. This indicates the discrepancy from data collected in situ to data collected using social networks. The implications of these results are discussed. PMID:23200780

  5. Absence of internal radiation contamination by radioactive cesium among children affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.

    PubMed

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Nomura, Shuhei; Morita, Tomohiro; Sugimoto, Amina; Gilmour, Stuart; Kami, Masahiro; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    Chronic internal radiation contamination accounts for a substantial fraction of long-term cumulative radiation exposure among residents in radiation-contaminated areas. However, little information is available on ongoing chronic internal radiation contamination among residents near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Using a whole body counter, internal radiation contamination levels among elementary and middle school students who commute to 22 schools located within Minamisoma city were assessed between May and July 2013 (26 to 28 mo after the disaster). Of 3,299 elementary and middle school students in the city, 3,255 individuals (98%) were screened through school health check-ups. Not a single student was detected with internal radiation contamination due to radioactive cesium. The study found no risk of chronic internal radiation exposure among residents near the crippled nuclear power plant. Current food inspection by local governments, volunteers, and farmers has been functioning well within Fukushima prefecture. However, food management by screening suspected contamination along with whole body counter screening are key public health interventions and should be continued to avoid further internal radiation exposure in radiation-contaminated areas. PMID:25437518

  6. Assessment of radiocesium contamination in frogs 18 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsushima, Noe; Ihara, Sadao; Takase, Minoru; Horiguchi, Toshihiro

    2015-04-01

    We investigated the accumulation of radionuclides in frogs inhabiting radioactively contaminated areas around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) to search for possible adverse effects due to radionuclides. We collected 5 frog species and soil samples in areas within and outside a 20-km radius from FDNPP in August and September 2012 and determined their radiocesium concentrations (134Cs and 137Cs). There was a positive correlation between radiocesium concentrations in the soil samples and frogs, and the highest concentration in frogs was 47,278.53 Bq/kg-wet. Although we conducted a histological examination of frog ovaries and testes by light microscopy to detect possible effects of radionuclides on the morphology of germ cells, there were no clear abnormalities in the gonadal tissues of frogs collected from sites with different contamination levels.

  7. Assessment of radiocesium contamination in frogs 18 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Matsushima, Noe; Ihara, Sadao; Takase, Minoru; Horiguchi, Toshihiro

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the accumulation of radionuclides in frogs inhabiting radioactively contaminated areas around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) to search for possible adverse effects due to radionuclides. We collected 5 frog species and soil samples in areas within and outside a 20-km radius from FDNPP in August and September 2012 and determined their radiocesium concentrations ((134)Cs and (137)Cs). There was a positive correlation between radiocesium concentrations in the soil samples and frogs, and the highest concentration in frogs was 47,278.53 Bq/kg-wet. Although we conducted a histological examination of frog ovaries and testes by light microscopy to detect possible effects of radionuclides on the morphology of germ cells, there were no clear abnormalities in the gonadal tissues of frogs collected from sites with different contamination levels. PMID:25857262

  8. Assessment of radiocesium contamination in frogs 18 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

    PubMed Central

    Matsushima, Noe; Ihara, Sadao; Takase, Minoru; Horiguchi, Toshihiro

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the accumulation of radionuclides in frogs inhabiting radioactively contaminated areas around Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) to search for possible adverse effects due to radionuclides. We collected 5 frog species and soil samples in areas within and outside a 20-km radius from FDNPP in August and September 2012 and determined their radiocesium concentrations (134Cs and 137Cs). There was a positive correlation between radiocesium concentrations in the soil samples and frogs, and the highest concentration in frogs was 47,278.53 Bq/kg-wet. Although we conducted a histological examination of frog ovaries and testes by light microscopy to detect possible effects of radionuclides on the morphology of germ cells, there were no clear abnormalities in the gonadal tissues of frogs collected from sites with different contamination levels. PMID:25857262

  9. The disaster at Japan's Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting spread of radioisotope contamination.

    PubMed

    Ohnishi, Takeo

    2012-01-01

    On March 11, 2011 eastern Japan was struck by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and an enormous tsunami, over 13 m in height, which together killed over 20,500 people and resulted in the evacuation of over 320,000 people from the devastated areas. This paper describes the damage sustained by the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant during this unpredicted major natural disaster and the events that happened in the months after this accident. The events occurring at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, the actions taken to minimize the effects of the damage to the plant and to protect the public, and the points at which the responses proved to be inadequate all offer lessons that will be of value to those planning for and responding to future natural disasters and accidents in Japan and around the world. PMID:22059981

  10. Changes in the Factors Influencing Public Acceptance of Nuclear Power Generation in Japan Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster.

    PubMed

    Tsujikawa, Norifumi; Tsuchida, Shoji; Shiotani, Takamasa

    2016-01-01

    Public support for nuclear power generation has decreased in Japan since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March 2011. This study examines how the factors influencing public acceptance of nuclear power changed after this event. The influence factors examined are perceived benefit, perceived risk, trust in the managing bodies, and pro-environmental orientation (i.e., new ecological paradigm). This study is based on cross-sectional data collected from two online nationwide surveys: one conducted in November 2009, before the nuclear accident, and the other in October 2011, after the accident. This study's target respondents were residents of Aomori, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures in the Tohoku region of Japan, as these areas were the epicenters of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the locations of nuclear power stations. After the accident, trust in the managing bodies was found to have a stronger influence on perceived risk, and pro-environmental orientation was found to have a stronger influence on trust in the managing bodies; however, perceived benefit had a weaker positive influence on public acceptance. We also discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings. PMID:26224041

  11. Limited internal radiation exposure associated with resettlements to a radiation-contaminated homeland after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Nihei, Masahiko; Sakuma, Yu; Furutani, Tomoyuki; Uehara, Keisuke; Sugimoto, Amina; Nomura, Shuhei; Hayano, Ryugo; Kami, Masahiro; Watanobe, Hajime; Endo, Yukou

    2013-01-01

    Resettlement to their radiation-contaminated hometown could be an option for people displaced at the time of a nuclear disaster; however, little information is available on the safety implications of these resettlement programs. Kawauchi village, located 12-30 km southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was one of the 11 municipalities where mandatory evacuation was ordered by the central government. This village was also the first municipality to organize the return of the villagers. To assess the validity of the Kawauchi villagers' resettlement program, the levels of internal Cesium (Cs) exposures were comparatively measured in returnees, commuters, and non-returnees among the Kawauchi villagers using a whole body counter. Of 149 individuals, 5 villagers had traceable levels of Cs exposure; the median detected level was 333 Bq/body (range, 309-1050 Bq/kg), and 5.3 Bq/kg (range, 5.1-18.2 Bq/kg). Median annual effective doses of villagers with traceable Cs were 1.1 x 10(-2) mSv/y (range, 1.0 x 10(-2)-4.1 x 10(-2) mSv/y). Although returnees had higher chances of consuming locally produced vegetables, Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test showed that their level of internal radiation exposure was not significantly higher than that in the other 2 groups (p=0.643). The present findings in Kawauchi village imply that it is possible to maintain internal radiation exposure at very low levels even in a highly radiation-contaminated region at the time of a nuclear disaster. Moreover, the risks for internal radiation exposure could be limited with a strict food control intervention after resettlement to the radiation-contaminated village. It is crucial to establish an adequate number of radio-contaminated testing sites within the village, to provide immediate test result feedback to the villagers, and to provide education regarding the importance of re-testing in reducing the risk of high internal radiation exposure. PMID:24312602

  12. Limited Internal Radiation Exposure Associated with Resettlements to a Radiation-Contaminated Homeland after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Nihei, Masahiko; Sakuma, Yu; Furutani, Tomoyuki; Uehara, Keisuke; Sugimoto, Amina; Nomura, Shuhei; Hayano, Ryugo; Kami, Masahiro; Watanobe, Hajime; Endo, Yukou

    2013-01-01

    Resettlement to their radiation-contaminated hometown could be an option for people displaced at the time of a nuclear disaster; however, little information is available on the safety implications of these resettlement programs. Kawauchi village, located 12–30 km southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was one of the 11 municipalities where mandatory evacuation was ordered by the central government. This village was also the first municipality to organize the return of the villagers. To assess the validity of the Kawauchi villagers’ resettlement program, the levels of internal Cesium (Cs) exposures were comparatively measured in returnees, commuters, and non-returnees among the Kawauchi villagers using a whole body counter. Of 149 individuals, 5 villagers had traceable levels of Cs exposure; the median detected level was 333 Bq/body (range, 309–1050 Bq/kg), and 5.3 Bq/kg (range, 5.1–18.2 Bq/kg). Median annual effective doses of villagers with traceable Cs were 1.1 x 10-2 mSv/y (range, 1.0 x 10-2-4.1 x 10-2 mSv/y). Although returnees had higher chances of consuming locally produced vegetables, Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test showed that their level of internal radiation exposure was not significantly higher than that in the other 2 groups (p=0.643). The present findings in Kawauchi village imply that it is possible to maintain internal radiation exposure at very low levels even in a highly radiation-contaminated region at the time of a nuclear disaster. Moreover, the risks for internal radiation exposure could be limited with a strict food control intervention after resettlement to the radiation-contaminated village. It is crucial to establish an adequate number of radio-contaminated testing sites within the village, to provide immediate test result feedback to the villagers, and to provide education regarding the importance of re-testing in reducing the risk of high internal radiation exposure. PMID:24312602

  13. The Thyroid Status of Children and Adolescents in Fukushima Prefecture Examined during 20–30 Months after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster: A Cross-Sectional, Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Watanobe, Hajime; Furutani, Tomoyuki; Nihei, Masahiko; Sakuma, Yu; Yanai, Rie; Takahashi, Miyuki; Sato, Hideo; Sagawa, Fumihiko

    2014-01-01

    Background A possible increase in thyroid cancer in the young represents the most critical health problem to be considered after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan (March 2011), which is an important lesson from the Chernobyl disaster (April 1986). Although it was reported that childhood thyroid cancer had started to increase 3–5 yr after the Chernobyl accident, we speculate that the actual period of latency might have been shorter than reported, considering the delay in initiating thyroid surveillance in the then Soviet Union and also the lower quality of ultrasonographic testing in the 1980s. Our primary objectives in the present study were to identify any possible thyroid abnormality in young Fukushima citizens at a relatively early timepoint (20–30 months) after the accident, and also to strive to find a possible relationship among thyroid ultrasonographic findings, thyroid-relevant biochemical markers, and iodine-131 ground deposition in the locations of residence where they stayed during very early days after the accident. Methods and Findings This is a cross-sectional study. We targeted the Fukushima residents who were 18 yr old or younger (including fetuses) at the time of the accident. Our examinations comprised a questionnaire, thyroid ultrasonography, thyroid-related blood tests, and urinary iodine measurement. We analyzed a possible relationship among thyroid ultrasonographic findings (1,137 subjects), serum hormonal data (731 subjects), urinary iodine concentrations (770 subjects), and iodine-131 ground deposition (1,137 subjects). We did not find any significant relationship among these indicators, and no participant was diagnosed to contract thyroid cancer. Conclusions At the timepoint of 20–30 months after the accident, we did not confirm any discernible deleterious effects of the emitted radioactivity on the thyroid of young Fukushima residents. This is the first report in English detailing the thyroid status of young Fukushima

  14. Behavior of 131I and 137Cs in environments released from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohta, T.; Mahara, Y.; Kubota, T.; Igarashi, T.

    2011-12-01

    The devastating tsunami that caused by the great earthquake (M = 9.0) off the coast of northeastern Honshu on 11 March 2011 destroyed large coastal areas of Tohoku and north Kanto, Japan. Radionuclides, including 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs, were released into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Daiichi plants. Concentration of levels of 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, released from the Fukushima Daiichi plant were investigated in the soil and precipitation. The concentrations of 131I and 137Cs in the soil from the surface to 1 cm depth in Ibaraki Prefecture were 9360-13,400 Bq/kg and 720-3250 Bq/kg, respectively. The concentration of 137Cs at this soil observation site originating from the Fukushima plant was 8.4 to 21 times that found locally after the Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion. Most of the 134Cs and 137Cs from rainwater were trapped by the surface soil and sand to a depth of 1 cm, whereas only about 30% of the 131I was collected by the surface soil, suggesting that 131I would move deeper than 137Cs and 134Cs. The 131I in the rainwater was in the anion exchangeable form, and all of it could be collected by anion exchangeable mechanisms, whereas 30% of the 131I that had passed through the soil could not be trapped by the anion exchange resin, suggesting that the chemical form of this 30% was in a changeable, organic-bound form. The 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs that were absorbed on soil were difficult to be dissolved into water. As the half-life of 131I is short and 137Cs is strongly adsorbed on the surface soil and sand, these radionuclides would be unlikely to reach the groundwater before completely decaying; contamination of groundwater with 131I and 137Cs supplied from rainwater to the surface soil is therefore exceedingly unlikely. As the 137Cs is likely to migrate only 0.6 cm in 10 years, people living in the Fukushima and Kanto areas will be exposed to radiation from 137Cs in the surface soil and sand. For protection, surface soils and sands

  15. Quantification of the increase in thyroid cancer prevalence in Fukushima after the nuclear disaster in 2011—a potential overdiagnosis?

    PubMed Central

    Katanoda, Kota; Kamo, Ken-Ichi; Tsugane, Shoichiro

    2016-01-01

    A thyroid ultrasound examination programme has been conducted in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, after the nuclear disaster in 2011. Although remarkably high prevalence of thyroid cancer was observed, no relevant quantitative evaluation was conducted. We calculated the observed/expected (O/E) ratio of thyroid cancer prevalence for the residents aged ≤20 years. Observed prevalence was the number of thyroid cancer cases detected by the programme through the end of April 2015. Expected prevalence was calculated as cumulative incidence by a life-table method using the national estimates of thyroid cancer incidence rate in 2001–10 (prior to the disaster) and the population of Fukushima Prefecture. The underlying assumption was that there was neither nuclear accident nor screening intervention. The observed and estimated prevalence of thyroid cancer among residents aged ≤20 years was 160.1 and 5.2, respectively, giving an O/E ratio of 30.8 [95% confidence interval (CI): 26.2, 35.9]. When the recent increasing trend in thyroid cancer was considered, the overall O/E ratio was 22.2 (95% CI: 18.9, 25.9). The cumulative number of thyroid cancer deaths in Fukushima Prefecture, estimated with the same method (annual average in 2009–13), was 0.6 under age 40. Combined with the existing knowledge about radiation effect on thyroid cancer, our descriptive analysis suggests the possibility of overdiagnosis. Evaluation including individual-level analysis is required to further clarify the contribution of underlying factors. PMID:26755830

  16. High Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Relation to Social Factors in Affected Population One Year after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Tsujiuchi, Takuya; Yamaguchi, Maya; Masuda, Kazutaka; Tsuchida, Marisa; Inomata, Tadashi; Kumano, Hiroaki; Kikuchi, Yasushi; Augusterfer, Eugene F.; Mollica, Richard F.

    2016-01-01

    Objective This study investigated post-traumatic stress symptoms in relation to the population affected by the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, one year after the disaster. Additionally, we investigated social factors, such as forced displacement, which we hypothesize contributed to the high prevalence of post-traumatic stress. Finally, we report of written narratives that were collected from the impacted population. Design and Settings Using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), questionnaires were sent to 2,011 households of those displaced from Fukushima prefecture living temporarily in Saitama prefecture. Of the 490 replies; 350 met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to examine several characteristics and variables of social factors as predictors of probable post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Results The mean score of IES-R was 36.15±21.55, with 59.4% having scores of 30 or higher, thus indicating a probable PTSD. No significant differences in percentages of high-risk subjects were found among sex, age, evacuation area, housing damages, tsunami affected, family split-up, and acquaintance support. By the result of multiple logistic regression analysis, the significant predictors of probable PTSD were chronic physical diseases (OR = 1.97), chronic mental diseases (OR = 6.25), worries about livelihood (OR = 2.27), lost jobs (OR = 1.71), lost social ties (OR = 2.27), and concerns about compensation (OR = 3.74). Conclusion Although there are limitations in assuming a diagnosis of PTSD based on self-report IES-R, our findings indicate that there was a high-risk of PTSD strongly related to the nuclear disaster and its consequent evacuation and displacement. Therefore, recovery efforts must focus not only on medical and psychological treatment alone, but also on social and economic issues related to the displacement, as well. PMID:27002324

  17. Nuclear Power - Post Fukushima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reyes, Jose, Jr.

    2011-10-01

    The extreme events that led to the prolonged power outage at the Fukushima Daiicchi nuclear plant have highlighted the importance of assuring a means for stable long term cooling of the nuclear fuel and containment following a complete station blackout. Legislative bodies, regulatory agencies and industry are drawing lessons from those events and considering what changes, if any, are needed to nuclear power, post Fukushima. The enhanced safety of a new class of reactor designed by NuScale Power is drawing significant attention in light of the Fukushima events. During normal operation, each NuScale containment is fully immersed in a water-filled stainless steel lined concrete pool that resides underground. The pool, housed in a Seismic Category I building, is large enough to provided 30 days of core and containment cooling without adding water. After 30 days, the decay heat generations coupled with thermal radiation heat transfer is completely adequate to remove core decay heat for an unlimited period of time. These passive power systems can perform their function without requiring an external supply of water of power. An assessment of the NuScale passive systems is being performed through a comprehensive test program that includes the NuScale integral system test facility at Oregon State University

  18. Assessment of the Annual Additional Effective Doses amongst Minamisoma Children during the Second Year after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Morita, Tomohiro; Nomura, Shuhei; Kami, Masahiro; Sakaihara, Kikugoro; Hanai, Tatsuo; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    An assessment of the external and internal radiation exposure levels, which includes calculation of effective doses from chronic radiation exposure and assessment of long-term radiation-related health risks, has become mandatory for residents living near the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Data for all primary and secondary children in Minamisoma who participated in both external and internal screening programs were employed to assess the annual additional effective dose acquired due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In total, 881 children took part in both internal and external radiation exposure screening programs between 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. The level of additional effective doses ranged from 0.025 to 3.49 mSv/year with the median of 0.70 mSv/year. While 99.7% of the children (n = 878) were not detected with internal contamination, 90.3% of the additional effective doses was the result of external radiation exposure. This finding is relatively consistent with the doses estimated by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The present study showed that the level of annual additional effective doses among children in Minamisoma has been low, even after the inter-individual differences were taken into account. The dose from internal radiation exposure was negligible presumably due to the success of contaminated food control. PMID:26053271

  19. Assessment of the Annual Additional Effective Doses amongst Minamisoma Children during the Second Year after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster.

    PubMed

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Morita, Tomohiro; Nomura, Shuhei; Kami, Masahiro; Sakaihara, Kikugoro; Hanai, Tatsuo; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    An assessment of the external and internal radiation exposure levels, which includes calculation of effective doses from chronic radiation exposure and assessment of long-term radiation-related health risks, has become mandatory for residents living near the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Data for all primary and secondary children in Minamisoma who participated in both external and internal screening programs were employed to assess the annual additional effective dose acquired due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster. In total, 881 children took part in both internal and external radiation exposure screening programs between 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. The level of additional effective doses ranged from 0.025 to 3.49 mSv/year with the median of 0.70 mSv/year. While 99.7% of the children (n = 878) were not detected with internal contamination, 90.3% of the additional effective doses was the result of external radiation exposure. This finding is relatively consistent with the doses estimated by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR). The present study showed that the level of annual additional effective doses among children in Minamisoma has been low, even after the inter-individual differences were taken into account. The dose from internal radiation exposure was negligible presumably due to the success of contaminated food control. PMID:26053271

  20. Radiation occupational health interventions offered to radiation workers in response to the complex catastrophic disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

    PubMed Central

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Yamaguchi, Ichiro; Terada, Hiroshi; Okuda, Kengo; Svendsen, Erik Robert; Kunugita, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) 1 was severely damaged from the chain reaction of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011, and the consequent meltdown and hydrogen gas explosions. This resulted in the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. Just as in the case of Chernobyl, emergency workers were recruited to conduct a wide range of tasks, including disaster response, rescuing activities, NPP containment, and radiation decontamination. This paper describes the types and efficacy of the various occupational health interventions introduced to the Fukushima NPP radiation workers. Such interventions were implemented in order to prevent unnecessary radiation overexposure and associated adverse health effects and work injuries. Less than 1% of all emergency workers were exposed to external radiation of >100 mSv, and to date no deaths or health adversities from radiation have been reported for those workers. Several occupational health interventions were conducted, including setting of new regulatory exposure limits, improving workers' radiation dosimetry, administration of stable iodine, running an occupational health tracking system, and improving occupational medicine and preventative care. Those interventions were not only vital for preventing unnecessary radiation, but also for managing other general health issues such as mental health, heat illness and infectious diseases. Long-term administration of the aforementioned occupational health interventions is essential to ensure the ongoing support and care for these workers, who were put under one of the most severe occupational health risk conditions ever encountered. PMID:25413928

  1. Radiation occupational health interventions offered to radiation workers in response to the complex catastrophic disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Yamaguchi, Ichiro; Terada, Hiroshi; Okuda, Kengo; Svendsen, Erik Robert; Kunugita, Naoki

    2015-05-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) 1 was severely damaged from the chain reaction of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011, and the consequent meltdown and hydrogen gas explosions. This resulted in the worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. Just as in the case of Chernobyl, emergency workers were recruited to conduct a wide range of tasks, including disaster response, rescuing activities, NPP containment, and radiation decontamination. This paper describes the types and efficacy of the various occupational health interventions introduced to the Fukushima NPP radiation workers. Such interventions were implemented in order to prevent unnecessary radiation overexposure and associated adverse health effects and work injuries. Less than 1% of all emergency workers were exposed to external radiation of >100 mSv, and to date no deaths or health adversities from radiation have been reported for those workers. Several occupational health interventions were conducted, including setting of new regulatory exposure limits, improving workers' radiation dosimetry, administration of stable iodine, running an occupational health tracking system, and improving occupational medicine and preventative care. Those interventions were not only vital for preventing unnecessary radiation, but also for managing other general health issues such as mental health, heat illness and infectious diseases. Long-term administration of the aforementioned occupational health interventions is essential to ensure the ongoing support and care for these workers, who were put under one of the most severe occupational health risk conditions ever encountered. PMID:25413928

  2. Decontamination Efficiencies of Pot-Type Water Purifiers for 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs in Rainwater Contaminated during Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Shogo; Hirota, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    Rainwater was contaminated by a large release of radionuclides into the environment during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It became a matter of concern for Japan when several water purification plants detected 131I contamination in the drinking water. In the present study, the decontamination efficiency of two easily obtainable commercial water purifiers were examined for rainwater contaminated with 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs. The water purifiers removed 94.2–97.8% of the 131I and 84.2–91.5% of the 134Cs and 137Cs after one filtration. Seven filtrations removed 98.2–99.6% of the 131I and over 98.0% of the 134Cs and 137Cs. From a practical perspective, over the fourth filtrations were not needed because of no significant improvements after the third filtration. PMID:22615935

  3. Implementation of iodine biokinetic model for interpreting I-131 contamination in breast milk after the Fukushima nuclear disaster

    PubMed Central

    Tani, Kotaro; Kurihara, Osamu; Kim, Eunjoo; Yoshida, Satoshi; Sakai, Kazuo; Akashi, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company in 2011, breast milk samples obtained from volunteers living in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures were examined and small amounts of I-131 (2.2–36.3 Bq/kg) were detected in some samples. In this work, the I-131 concentrations in breast milk from nursing mothers in Ibaraki prefecture were calculated based on the iodine biokinetic model during lactation together with time-variable intake scenarios by inhalation of ambient air and ingestion of tap water, using the authors’ code. The calculated I-131 concentrations in breast milk generally agreed with those measured for the volunteers. Based on the results, thyroid equivalent doses to breast-fed infants were estimated for each place of residence of the volunteers on the assumption that these infants consumed 800 ml of breast milk every day, resulting in 10–11 mSv for Mito and Kasama cities and 1.1–1.8 mSv for Tsukuba and Moriya cities. It was suggested that breast milk consumption could be a major contributor to internal dose of breast-fed infants in areas with mild I-131 pollution; however, further studies considering personal behavior surveys would be necessary to estimate individual doses. PMID:26198990

  4. Implementation of iodine biokinetic model for interpreting I-131 contamination in breast milk after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Tani, Kotaro; Kurihara, Osamu; Kim, Eunjoo; Yoshida, Satoshi; Sakai, Kazuo; Akashi, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company in 2011, breast milk samples obtained from volunteers living in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures were examined and small amounts of I-131 (2.2-36.3 Bq/kg) were detected in some samples. In this work, the I-131 concentrations in breast milk from nursing mothers in Ibaraki prefecture were calculated based on the iodine biokinetic model during lactation together with time-variable intake scenarios by inhalation of ambient air and ingestion of tap water, using the authors' code. The calculated I-131 concentrations in breast milk generally agreed with those measured for the volunteers. Based on the results, thyroid equivalent doses to breast-fed infants were estimated for each place of residence of the volunteers on the assumption that these infants consumed 800 ml of breast milk every day, resulting in 10-11 mSv for Mito and Kasama cities and 1.1-1.8 mSv for Tsukuba and Moriya cities. It was suggested that breast milk consumption could be a major contributor to internal dose of breast-fed infants in areas with mild I-131 pollution; however, further studies considering personal behavior surveys would be necessary to estimate individual doses. PMID:26198990

  5. Implementation of iodine biokinetic model for interpreting I-131 contamination in breast milk after the Fukushima nuclear disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tani, Kotaro; Kurihara, Osamu; Kim, Eunjoo; Yoshida, Satoshi; Sakai, Kazuo; Akashi, Makoto

    2015-07-01

    After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company in 2011, breast milk samples obtained from volunteers living in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures were examined and small amounts of I-131 (2.2-36.3 Bq/kg) were detected in some samples. In this work, the I-131 concentrations in breast milk from nursing mothers in Ibaraki prefecture were calculated based on the iodine biokinetic model during lactation together with time-variable intake scenarios by inhalation of ambient air and ingestion of tap water, using the authors’ code. The calculated I-131 concentrations in breast milk generally agreed with those measured for the volunteers. Based on the results, thyroid equivalent doses to breast-fed infants were estimated for each place of residence of the volunteers on the assumption that these infants consumed 800 ml of breast milk every day, resulting in 10-11 mSv for Mito and Kasama cities and 1.1-1.8 mSv for Tsukuba and Moriya cities. It was suggested that breast milk consumption could be a major contributor to internal dose of breast-fed infants in areas with mild I-131 pollution; however, further studies considering personal behavior surveys would be necessary to estimate individual doses.

  6. Decline in intertidal biota after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster: field observations

    PubMed Central

    Horiguchi, Toshihiro; Yoshii, Hiroshi; Mizuno, Satoshi; Shiraishi, Hiroaki

    2016-01-01

    In 2011, 2012, and 2013, in the intertidal zones of eastern Japan, we investigated the ecological effects of the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that accompanied the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The number of intertidal species decreased significantly with decreasing distance from the power plant, and no rock shell (Thais clavigera) specimens were collected near the plant, from Hirono to Futaba Beach (a distance of approximately 30 km) in 2012. The collection of rock shell specimens at many other sites hit by the tsunami suggests that the absence of rock shells around the plant in 2012 might have been caused by the nuclear accident in 2011. Quantitative surveys in 2013 showed that the number of species and population densities in the intertidal zones were much lower at sites near, or within several kilometers south of, the plant than at other sites and lower than in 1995, especially in the case of Arthropoda. There is no clear explanation for these findings, but it is evident that the intertidal biota around the power plant has been affected since the nuclear accident. PMID:26842814

  7. Decline in intertidal biota after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster: field observations.

    PubMed

    Horiguchi, Toshihiro; Yoshii, Hiroshi; Mizuno, Satoshi; Shiraishi, Hiroaki

    2016-01-01

    In 2011, 2012, and 2013, in the intertidal zones of eastern Japan, we investigated the ecological effects of the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that accompanied the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The number of intertidal species decreased significantly with decreasing distance from the power plant, and no rock shell (Thais clavigera) specimens were collected near the plant, from Hirono to Futaba Beach (a distance of approximately 30 km) in 2012. The collection of rock shell specimens at many other sites hit by the tsunami suggests that the absence of rock shells around the plant in 2012 might have been caused by the nuclear accident in 2011. Quantitative surveys in 2013 showed that the number of species and population densities in the intertidal zones were much lower at sites near, or within several kilometers south of, the plant than at other sites and lower than in 1995, especially in the case of Arthropoda. There is no clear explanation for these findings, but it is evident that the intertidal biota around the power plant has been affected since the nuclear accident. PMID:26842814

  8. [Pharmaceutical Service after the Fukushima Disaster: A Case Report of Soma General Hospital].

    PubMed

    Fukunaga, Hisanori; Momonoi, Toshiyuki; Kumakawa, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

      Despite being damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, Soma General Hospital, located approximately 40 km north of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, was able to fulfill its role as a key regional hospital in northeast Fukushima. To elucidate the pharmaceutical service in response to the disaster, we investigated the hospital's operations in 2011 according to the medical records and prescriptions. One of the difficulties that the department of pharmaceutical service faced at that time was the increase in emergency healthcare requests by evacuated patients from other hospitals and clinics. Herein, we propose the following countermeasures to be considered in future disaster preparations: (1) establishing a medical and pharmaceutical service coordinator for disaster relief; (2) sharing all local patients' medical information in emergencies (at least contraindicated drugs or allergy history); and (3) reviewing disaster stockpiles, especially pharmaceuticals (both at the hospital and in nearby locations). PMID:26725681

  9. Lessons not yet learned from the Fukushima disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klügel, Jens-Uwe

    2014-05-01

    The Fukushima nuclear catastrophe has led to a wide-spread international discussion on how seismic and tsunami hazards can be better predicted and adverse consequences be prevented.In some countries the event led to the complete phase-out of nuclear energy. The lessons drawn by different organisations including earth scientists, earthquake engineers,non-governmental and governmental organisations will be reviewed from an independent position. This review captures the following areas: 1) Hazard assessment 2) Engineering design and defense in depth concepts 3) Emergency preparedness It is shown that not all important lessons from the catastrophe have been drawn. Especially the need of an holistic approach towards hazard assessment and the implementation of defense in depth and diversity of design principles for critical infrastructures like nuclear power plants hast to be stronger emphasized to prevent similar disasters.

  10. Decontamination work in the area surrounding Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant: another occupational health challenge of the nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Wada, Koji; Yoshikawa, Toru; Murata, Masaru

    2012-01-01

    This article describes occupational health measures for workers involved in decontamination of radioactive material discharged around Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant after the explosions in 2011. Decontamination is performed by removing radioactive particles (mainly cesium) from surfaces of soil, grass and trees, and buildings. Measurement of radiation doses is necessary to reduce exposure, and to determine whether workers can work below dose limits. Protective equipment for decontamination is determined based on the concentration of radiation in contaminated soil and the exposure to dust. Health examinations by physicians are mandated for decontamination workers upon hiring and every 6 months. While there is no possibility of acute radiation injury from decontamination, workers may be anxious about the unclear effects of chronic low level radiation exposure on health. Measures to protect the decontamination workers are the top priority. PMID:22845725

  11. Reduction of High Levels of Internal Radio-Contamination by Dietary Intervention in Residents of Areas Affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Disaster: A Case Series

    PubMed Central

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Nomura, Shuhei; Gilmour, Stuart; Nihei, Masahiko; Sakuma, Yu; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio; Kami, Masahiro; Hayano, Ryugo

    2014-01-01

    Maintaining low levels of chronic internal contamination among residents in radiation-contaminated areas after a nuclear disaster is a great public health concern. However, the efficacy of reduction measures for individual internal contamination remains unknown. To reduce high levels of internal radiation exposure in a group of individuals exposed through environmental sources, we performed careful dietary intervention with identification of suspected contaminated foods, as part of mass voluntary radiation contamination screenings and counseling program in Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital and Hirata Central Hospital. From a total of 30,622 study participants, only 9 residents displayed internal cesium-137 (Cs-137) levels of more than 50 Bq/kg. The median level of internal Cs-137 contamination in these residents at the initial screening was 4,830 Bq/body (range: 2,130–15,918 Bq/body) and 69.6 Bq/kg (range: 50.7–216.3 Bq/kg). All these residents with high levels of internal contamination consumed homegrown produce without radiation inspection, and often collected mushrooms in the wild or cultivated them on bed-logs in their homes. They were advised to consume distributed food mainly and to refrain from consuming potentially contaminated foods without radiation inspection and local produces under shipment restrictions such as mushrooms, mountain vegetables, and meat of wild life. A few months after the intervention, re-examination of Cs levels revealed remarkable reduction of internal contamination in all residents. Although the levels of internal radiation exposure appear to be minimal amongst most residents in Fukushima, a subset of the population, who unknowingly consumed highly contaminated foodstuffs, experienced high levels of internal contamination. There seem to be similarities in dietary preferences amongst residents with high internal contamination levels, and intervention based on pre- and post-test counseling and dietary advice from medical care

  12. Reduction of high levels of internal radio-contamination by dietary intervention in residents of areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster: a case series.

    PubMed

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Nomura, Shuhei; Gilmour, Stuart; Nihei, Masahiko; Sakuma, Yu; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio; Kami, Masahiro; Hayano, Ryugo

    2014-01-01

    Maintaining low levels of chronic internal contamination among residents in radiation-contaminated areas after a nuclear disaster is a great public health concern. However, the efficacy of reduction measures for individual internal contamination remains unknown. To reduce high levels of internal radiation exposure in a group of individuals exposed through environmental sources, we performed careful dietary intervention with identification of suspected contaminated foods, as part of mass voluntary radiation contamination screenings and counseling program in Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital and Hirata Central Hospital. From a total of 30,622 study participants, only 9 residents displayed internal cesium-137 (Cs-137) levels of more than 50 Bq/kg. The median level of internal Cs-137 contamination in these residents at the initial screening was 4,830 Bq/body (range: 2,130-15,918 Bq/body) and 69.6 Bq/kg (range: 50.7-216.3 Bq/kg). All these residents with high levels of internal contamination consumed homegrown produce without radiation inspection, and often collected mushrooms in the wild or cultivated them on bed-logs in their homes. They were advised to consume distributed food mainly and to refrain from consuming potentially contaminated foods without radiation inspection and local produces under shipment restrictions such as mushrooms, mountain vegetables, and meat of wild life. A few months after the intervention, re-examination of Cs levels revealed remarkable reduction of internal contamination in all residents. Although the levels of internal radiation exposure appear to be minimal amongst most residents in Fukushima, a subset of the population, who unknowingly consumed highly contaminated foodstuffs, experienced high levels of internal contamination. There seem to be similarities in dietary preferences amongst residents with high internal contamination levels, and intervention based on pre- and post-test counseling and dietary advice from medical care

  13. Burnout and Psychiatric Distress in Local Caregivers Two Years After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Nuclear Radiation Disaster.

    PubMed

    Fujitani, Kenji; Carroll, Matt; Yanagisawa, Robert; Katz, Craig

    2016-01-01

    The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake precipitated a triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation disaster. To quantify the prevalence of burnout and psychiatric distress in local healthcare providers (caregivers) more than 2 years after the disaster, this study surveyed caregivers from affected areas through interviews about topics of concerns and two questionnaires: Maslach Burnout Inventory and General Health Questionnaire. Concerns listed by respondents were primarily radiation related: additional stress, concern for children, concern for local food, and sleep difficulties. We found significant number of caregivers to have signs of emotional exhaustion, low personal accomplishment, and psychological distress. Our findings suggest that local caregivers are experiencing substantial mental health burdens, which have unfortunately remained static from the year prior, even 2 years after the fact. Therefore, long term psychological support and improvement in caregiver work conditions are essential to maintain sustainable care in rebuilding disaster stricken areas. PMID:26303904

  14. Anesthesia department preparedness for a multiple-casualty incident: lessons learned from the Fukushima earthquake and the Japanese nuclear power disaster.

    PubMed

    Murakawa, Masahiro

    2013-03-01

    In the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011, many lives were lost in the accompanying giant tsunami. Fukushima prefecture was widely contaminated with radioactive substances emitted by the accident at the nuclear power plant. Only a few trauma and emergency patients were brought to our hospital by ambulance, and an unexpectedly small number of emergency surgeries performed. There were patients with radiation-induced sickness and injury, but no cases of severe exposure requiring surgery or intensive care. As a logistic support hospital, we should prepare for and simulate these cases to respond to any such future occurrence. PMID:23351538

  15. Changes in the condition of psychiatric inpatients after the complex Fukushima disaster.

    PubMed

    Wada, Akira; Kunii, Yasuto; Matsumoto, Junya; Itagaki, Shuntaro; Yabe, Hirooki; Mashiko, Hirobumi; Niwa, Shin-ichi

    2013-01-01

    After the high magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, the residents of Fukushima Prefecture suffered not only from tremendous physical injury caused by the earthquake and tsunami but also from the effects of radiation contamination after a hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 12, 2011. The complex Fukushima disaster is characterized by additional stress due to the fear of continued exposure to invisible radiation. We investigated whether there were any changes in the clinical mental state of patients in the inpatient ward of Fukushima Medical University Hospital, Japan, 7 days after the earthquake. There was no obvious change in the condition of two-thirds of the patients. Whereas one-third of patients had any change in their condition, several cases showed dramatic symptomatic improvement after the earthquake. Anxiety levels in the patients who originally showed coexisting anxiety disorders became exaggerated. The depressive state was improved after the earthquake in one patient with depression. One patient with restrictive-type anorexia nervosa resumed food consumption. These findings suggest that caregivers should be attentive to any symptomatic changes among patients with psychiatric disorders after sudden disasters. PMID:23842513

  16. Concentration of radiocesium in the wild Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata) over the first 15 months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Hayama, Shin-ichi; Nakiri, Sachie; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Ishii, Naomi; Uno, Taiki; Kato, Takuya; Konno, Fumiharu; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Tsuchida, Shuichi; Ochiai, Kazuhiko; Omi, Toshinori

    2013-01-01

    Following the massive earthquake that struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, a nuclear reactor core meltdown occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company, and was followed by the release of large amounts of radioactive materials. The objective of this study was to measure the concentration of radiocesium (134)Cs and (137)Cs in the muscle of Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) inhabiting the forest area of Fukushima City and to determine the change in concentration over time as well as the relationship with the level of soil contamination. Cesium concentrations in the muscle of monkeys captured at locations with 100,000-300,000 Bq/m(2) were 6,000-25,000 Bq/kg in April 2011 and decreased over 3 months to around 1,000 Bq/kg. However, the concentration increased again to 2,000-3,000 Bq/kg in some animals during and after December 2011 before returning to 1,000 Bq/kg in April 2012, after which it remained relatively constant. This pattern of change in muscle radiocesium concentration was similar to that of the change in radiocesium concentration in atmospheric fallout. Moreover, the monkeys feed on winter buds and the cambium layer of tree bark potentially containing higher concentrations of radiocesium than that in the diet during the rest of the year. The muscle radiocesium concentration in the monkeys related significantly with the level of soil contamination at the capture locations. PMID:23844216

  17. Concentration of Radiocesium in the Wild Japanese Monkey (Macaca fuscata) over the First 15 Months after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Hayama, Shin-ichi; Nakiri, Sachie; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Ishii, Naomi; Uno, Taiki; Kato, Takuya; Konno, Fumiharu; Kawamoto, Yoshi; Tsuchida, Shuichi; Ochiai, Kazuhiko; Omi, Toshinori

    2013-01-01

    Following the massive earthquake that struck eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, a nuclear reactor core meltdown occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company, and was followed by the release of large amounts of radioactive materials. The objective of this study was to measure the concentration of radiocesium 134Cs and 137Cs in the muscle of Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) inhabiting the forest area of Fukushima City and to determine the change in concentration over time as well as the relationship with the level of soil contamination. Cesium concentrations in the muscle of monkeys captured at locations with 100,000–300,000 Bq/m2 were 6,000–25,000 Bq/kg in April 2011 and decreased over 3 months to around 1,000 Bq/kg. However, the concentration increased again to 2,000–3,000 Bq/kg in some animals during and after December 2011 before returning to 1,000 Bq/kg in April 2012, after which it remained relatively constant. This pattern of change in muscle radiocesium concentration was similar to that of the change in radiocesium concentration in atmospheric fallout. Moreover, the monkeys feed on winter buds and the cambium layer of tree bark potentially containing higher concentrations of radiocesium than that in the diet during the rest of the year. The muscle radiocesium concentration in the monkeys related significantly with the level of soil contamination at the capture locations. PMID:23844216

  18. Needs for Robotic Assessments of Nuclear Disasters

    SciTech Connect

    Victor Walker; Derek Wadsworth

    2012-06-01

    Following the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactor plant in Japan, the need for systems which can assist in dynamic high-radiation environments such as nuclear incidents has become more apparent. The INL participated in delivering robotic technologies to Japan and has identified key components which are needed for success and obstacles to their deployment. In addition, we are proposing new work and methods to improve assessments and reactions to such events in the future. Robotics needs in disaster situations include phases such as: Assessment, Remediation, and Recovery Our particular interest is in the initial assessment activities. In assessment we need collection of environmental parameters, determination of conditions, and physical sample collection. Each phase would require key tools and efforts to develop. This includes study of necessary sensors and their deployment methods, the effects of radiation on sensors and deployment, and the development of training and execution systems.

  19. Parenting in Fukushima City in the post-disaster period: short-term strategies and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Goto, Aya; Reich, Michael R; Suzuki, Yuriko; Tsutomi, Hiroshi; Watanabe, Eiko; Yasumura, Seiji

    2014-07-01

    Growing evidence indicates the adverse psychological and welfare consequences of nuclear power accidents particularly among parents of small children. However, little has been published about the public health experiences of and practical countermeasures to deal with such consequences for parents of small children in the aftermath of disasters. Based on our past research efforts to develop parenting support programmes in Fukushima City, we describe here the discussions and resulting strategies that developed from collaborative efforts between university researchers and public health nurses after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The processes presented here may be useful to improve national and international preparedness to protect the health of parents and children in future nuclear disasters. PMID:24905814

  20. [Disaster nursing: one nurse's role and experience during the Fukushima Power Plant disaster following the Great East Japan Earthquake].

    PubMed

    Kamei, Yukari; Lee, Shao-Huai

    2012-06-01

    The Richter-scale 9.0 earthquake that struck Northeast Japan on March 11th, 2011 caused a tsunami that damaged the Fukushima No. 1 Power Plant and released enormous amounts of radiation into the environment. Many area residents were evacuated to several protected fallout shelters. Prior to the tsunami, Fukashima had around 505,760 residents over 65 years of age, comprising 24.9% of the city's pre-tsunami population of Fukushima (City of Fukushima, 2011). The high proportion of elderly contributed to difficulties encountered in evacuating and caring for Fukushima citizens in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The first author participated in disaster relief efforts in two fallout shelters in Fukushima. This article was written to share her post-disaster care experience and learned knowledge with medical care professionals in Taiwan and other high earthquake risk areas. The article also offers guidelines on appropriate medical personnel response and behavior with regard to disaster response. We hope this experience-sharing offers positive suggestions for the future and facilitates improved disaster-care education in East Asia and enhanced international cooperation on disaster rescue. PMID:22661036

  1. Decontamination efficiencies of pot-type water purifiers for ¹³¹I, ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs in rainwater contaminated during Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    PubMed

    Higaki, Shogo; Hirota, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    Rainwater was contaminated by a large release of radionuclides into the environment during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It became a matter of concern for Japan when several water purification plants detected ¹³¹I contamination in the drinking water. In the present study, the decontamination efficiency of two easily obtainable commercial water purifiers were examined for rainwater contaminated with ¹³¹I, ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs. The water purifiers removed 94.2-97.8% of the ¹³¹I and 84.2-91.5% of the ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs after one filtration. Seven filtrations removed 98.2-99.6% of the ¹³¹I and over 98.0% of the ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs. From a practical perspective, over the fourth filtrations were not needed because of no significant improvements after the third filtration. PMID:22615935

  2. Post-Fukushima Energy and Nuclear Policy Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Masuda, Tatsuo

    2014-07-01

    The Fukushima nuclear disaster should be marked as a point of departure towards energy policy evolution needed in the 21st century. Japan had cast off the skin after the oil shocks of the 1970s, where energy efficiency and saving played a critical role. Japan might have looked very different without these innovative policies. The post-Fukushima Japan faces multiple challenges, each of which constitutes a daunting task for policymakers such as surging LNG import costs and nuclear restarting. However, overcoming these problems one by one is not enough. Intensifying climate impact alerts us to the arrival of a historical inflection point requiring a radical shift in energy model worldwide, where Japan will be best suited to take the lead in view of its energy history and technology. The on-going effort after Fukushima to renew her energy and nuclear policy is suggestive of her potential to develop an innovative energy model by casting off the skin again. Asia will become the "problem centre" of the world if it may fail to address global environmental problems deriving from the heavy use of energy (about 46% of world's energy used by Asia alone in 2035). If successful, on the contrary, Asia will become the "solution centre" benefiting the global community. Asia is too big to fail as the whole world will be badly affected. The new energy model of Japan will serve as "public goods" for Asian countries in developing their new energy model towards sustainable future.

  3. Social isolation and cancer management after the 2011 triple disaster in Fukushima, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Ozaki, Akihiko; Leppold, Claire; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Saji, Shigehira; Kato, Shigeaki; Kami, Masahiro; Tsukada, Manabu; Ohira, Hiromichi

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Breast cancer patients may present with patient delay or experience provider delay—2 factors which can lead to a late-stage diagnosis and poor prognosis. Mass disasters drastically change social structures, and have the potential to contribute to these delays. However, there is little information available on patient and provider delay related to cancer after disasters. In March 2011, an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and nuclear accident struck Fukushima, Japan. In July 2014, a 59 year-old Japanese widow, living alone, presented to our hospital with a lump and pain in her right breast, which had originally appeared in April 2011 and continuously deteriorated for 3 years and 3 months. She was diagnosed with stage IIIB right breast cancer. Detailed history revealed that she was exposed to social isolation in the aftermath of the disasters due to evacuation of her friends and daughter. Although she regularly saw her general practitioner, she did not disclose her breast symptoms for 1 year and 5 months, at which time she was falsely diagnosed with intercostal neuralgia. She did not seek further medical attention for the breast symptoms for another 1 year and 10 months, despite multiple clinic visits for unrelated reasons. The present disasters, particularly the nuclear disaster, seem to have led to the social isolation of local residents, reducing their opportunities to discuss health concerns with others and seek subsequent medical attention. This case highlights that social isolation may contribute to patient and provider delay in breast cancer patients, as accentuated in this disaster setting. PMID:27368025

  4. Emotional consequences of nuclear power plant disasters.

    PubMed

    Bromet, Evelyn J

    2014-02-01

    The emotional consequences of nuclear power plant disasters include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and medically unexplained somatic symptoms. These effects are often long term and associated with fears about developing cancer. Research on disasters involving radiation, particularly evidence from Chernobyl, indicates that mothers of young children and cleanup workers are the highest risk groups. The emotional consequences occur independently of the actual exposure received. In contrast, studies of children raised in the shadows of the Three Mile Island (TMI) and Chernobyl accidents suggest that although their self-rated health is less satisfactory than that of their peers, their emotional, academic, and psychosocial development is comparable. The importance of the psychological impact is underscored by its chronicity and by several studies showing that poor mental health is associated with physical health conditions, early mortality, disability, and overuse of medical services. Given the established increase in mental health problems following TMI and Chernobyl, it is likely that the same pattern will occur in residents and evacuees affected by the Fukushima meltdowns. Preliminary data from Fukushima indeed suggest that workers and mothers of young children are at risk of depression, anxiety, psychosomatic, and post-traumatic symptoms both as a direct result of their fears about radiation exposure and an indirect result of societal stigma. Thus, it is important that non-mental health providers learn to recognize and manage psychological symptoms and that medical programs be designed to reduce stigma and alleviate psychological suffering by integrating psychiatric and medical treatment within the walls of their clinics.Introduction of Emotional Consequences of Nuclear Power Plant Disasters (Video 2:15, http://links.lww.com/HP/A34). PMID:24378494

  5. Scientific aspects of the Tohoku earthquake and Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koketsu, Kazuki

    2016-04-01

    We investigated the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and assessments conducted beforehand for earthquake and tsunami potential in the Pacific offshore region of the Tohoku District. The results of our investigation show that all the assessments failed to foresee the earthquake and its related tsunami, which was the main cause of the accident. Therefore, the disaster caused by the earthquake, and the accident were scientifically unforeseeable at the time. However, for a zone neighboring the reactors, a 2008 assessment showed tsunamis higher than the plant height. As a lesson learned from the accident, companies operating nuclear power plants should be prepared using even such assessment results for neighboring zones.

  6. Radiation-driven migration: the case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Yan, Wanglin; Oba, Akihiro; Zhang, Wei

    2014-09-01

    The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery consequently affects immigration patterns. This review aims to present possible factors that have contributed to this dilemma. We first present an overview of the evacuation protocol that was administered in the study area following the Fukushima accident. We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident. Based on the findings of existing literature, we identify three causes of emigration: (1) The health risks of living in a low radiation zone are still unknown; (2) The post-disaster psychological disturbance and distrust of government information promotes the emigration of evacuees; (3) an absence of economic vitality and of a leading industry renders the area less attractive to individuals residing outside of the city. Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem. PMID:25207491

  7. Radiation-Driven Migration: The Case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Yan, Wanglin; Oba, Akihiro; Zhang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery consequently affects immigration patterns. This review aims to present possible factors that have contributed to this dilemma. We first present an overview of the evacuation protocol that was administered in the study area following the Fukushima accident. We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident. Based on the findings of existing literature, we identify three causes of emigration: (1) The health risks of living in a low radiation zone are still unknown; (2) The post-disaster psychological disturbance and distrust of government information promotes the emigration of evacuees; (3) an absence of economic vitality and of a leading industry renders the area less attractive to individuals residing outside of the city. Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem. PMID:25207491

  8. Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Is a Cause of Diabetes: Results from the Fukushima Health Management Survey.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Hiroaki; Ohira, Tetsuya; Hosoya, Mitsuaki; Sakai, Akira; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Ohtsuru, Akira; Kawasaki, Yukihiko; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Atsushi; Kobashi, Gen; Ozasa, Kotaro; Yasumura, Seiji; Yamashita, Shunichi; Kamiya, Kenji; Abe, Masafumi

    2015-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 forced the evacuation of a large number of residents and created changes in the lifestyle of the evacuees. These changes may have affected the evacuees' glucose metabolism, thereby leading to an increase in the incidence of diabetes. This study included Japanese men and women who were living near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima prefecture before the disaster. Subjects subsequently underwent annual health checkups with a focus on metabolic syndromes, which were conducted under the Health Care Insurers. Using the Comprehensive Health Check survey, we analyzed changes in the glucose metabolism before and after the disaster. A total of 27,486 subjects underwent follow-up examinations after the disaster, with a mean follow-up period of 1.6 years. After the disaster, the prevalence of diabetes increased significantly, and we observed that the incidence of diabetes was significantly greater among evacuees than among nonevacuees. Furthermore, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that evacuation was significantly associated with the incidence of diabetes. In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate that evacuation is associated with the incidence of diabetes. This information may be used to guide follow-up recommendations for evacuees. PMID:26106625

  9. Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident Is a Cause of Diabetes: Results from the Fukushima Health Management Survey

    PubMed Central

    Satoh, Hiroaki; Ohira, Tetsuya; Hosoya, Mitsuaki; Sakai, Akira; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Ohtsuru, Akira; Kawasaki, Yukihiko; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Atsushi; Kobashi, Gen; Ozasa, Kotaro; Yasumura, Seiji; Yamashita, Shunichi; Kamiya, Kenji; Abe, Masafumi

    2015-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011 forced the evacuation of a large number of residents and created changes in the lifestyle of the evacuees. These changes may have affected the evacuees' glucose metabolism, thereby leading to an increase in the incidence of diabetes. This study included Japanese men and women who were living near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima prefecture before the disaster. Subjects subsequently underwent annual health checkups with a focus on metabolic syndromes, which were conducted under the Health Care Insurers. Using the Comprehensive Health Check survey, we analyzed changes in the glucose metabolism before and after the disaster. A total of 27,486 subjects underwent follow-up examinations after the disaster, with a mean follow-up period of 1.6 years. After the disaster, the prevalence of diabetes increased significantly, and we observed that the incidence of diabetes was significantly greater among evacuees than among nonevacuees. Furthermore, multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that evacuation was significantly associated with the incidence of diabetes. In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate that evacuation is associated with the incidence of diabetes. This information may be used to guide follow-up recommendations for evacuees. PMID:26106625

  10. Public health activities for mitigation of radiation exposures and risk communication challenges after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Yamaguchi, Ichiro; Terada, Hiroshi; Robert Svendsen, Erik; Kunugita, Naoki

    2015-05-01

    Herein we summarize the public health actions taken to mitigate exposure of the public to radiation after the Fukushima accident that occurred on 11 March 2011 in order to record valuable lessons learned for disaster preparedness. Evacuations from the radiation-affected areas and control of the distribution of various food products contributed to the reduction of external and internal radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima incident. However, risk communication is also an important issue during the emergency response effort and subsequent phases of dealiing with a nuclear disaster. To assist with their healing process, sound, reliable scientific information should continue to be disseminated to the radiation-affected communities via two-way communication. We will describe the essential public health actions following a nuclear disaster for the early, intermediate and late phases that will be useful for radiological preparedness planning in response to other nuclear or radiological disasters. PMID:25862700

  11. Public health activities for mitigation of radiation exposures and risk communication challenges after the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Shimura, Tsutomu; Yamaguchi, Ichiro; Terada, Hiroshi; Robert Svendsen, Erik; Kunugita, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Herein we summarize the public health actions taken to mitigate exposure of the public to radiation after the Fukushima accident that occurred on 11 March 2011 in order to record valuable lessons learned for disaster preparedness. Evacuations from the radiation-affected areas and control of the distribution of various food products contributed to the reduction of external and internal radiation exposure resulting from the Fukushima incident. However, risk communication is also an important issue during the emergency response effort and subsequent phases of dealiing with a nuclear disaster. To assist with their healing process, sound, reliable scientific information should continue to be disseminated to the radiation-affected communities via two-way communication. We will describe the essential public health actions following a nuclear disaster for the early, intermediate and late phases that will be useful for radiological preparedness planning in response to other nuclear or radiological disasters. PMID:25862700

  12. Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was preventable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanoglu, Utku; Synolakis, Costas

    2015-04-01

    On 11 March 2011, the fourth largest earthquake in recorded history triggered a large tsunami, which will probably be remembered from the dramatic live pictures in a country, which is possibly the most tsunami-prepared in the world. The earthquake and tsunami caused a major nuclear power plant (NPP) accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The accident was likely more severe than the 1979 Three Mile Island and less severe than the Chernobyl 1986 accidents. Yet, after the 26 December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami had hit the Madras Atomic Power Station there had been renewed interest in the resilience of NPPs to tsunamis. The 11 March 2011 tsunami hit the Onagawa, Fukushima Dai-ichi, Fukushima Dai-ni, and Tokai Dai-ni NPPs, all located approximately in a 230km stretch along the east coast of Honshu. The Onagawa NPP was the closest to the source and was hit by an approximately height of 13m tsunami, of the same height as the one that hit the Fukushima Dai-ichi. Even though the Onagawa site also subsided by 1m, the tsunami did not reach to the main critical facilities. As the International Atomic Energy Agency put it, the Onagawa NPP survived the event "remarkably undamaged." At Fukushima Dai-ichi, the three reactors in operation were shut down due to strong ground shaking. The earthquake damaged all offsite electric transmission facilities. Emergency diesel generators (EDGs) provided back up power and started cooling down the reactors. However, the tsunami flooded the facilities damaging 12 of its 13 EDGs and caused a blackout. Among the consequences were hydrogen explosions that released radioactive material in the environment. It is unfortunately clear that TEPCO and Japan's principal regulator Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) had failed in providing a professional hazard analysis for the plant, even though their last assessment had taken place only months before the accident. The main reasons are the following. One

  13. Postnuclear disaster evacuation and chronic health in adults in Fukushima, Japan: a long-term retrospective analysis

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Shuhei; Blangiardo, Marta; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Ozaki, Akihiko; Morita, Tomohiro; Hodgson, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Objective Japan's 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant incident required the evacuation of over a million people, creating a large displaced population with potentially increased vulnerability in terms of chronic health conditions. We assessed the long-term impact of evacuation on diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension. Participants We considered participants in annual public health check-ups from 2008 to 2014, administrated by Minamisoma City and Soma City, located about 10–50 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Methods Disease risks, measured in terms of pre-incident and post-incident relative risks, were examined and compared between evacuees and non-evacuees/temporary-evacuees. We also constructed logistic regression models to assess the impact of evacuation on the disease risks adjusted for covariates. Results Data from a total of 6406 individuals aged 40–74 years who participated in the check-ups both at baseline (2008–2010) and in one or more post-incident years were analysed. Regardless of evacuation, significant post-incident increases in risk were observed for diabetes and hyperlipidaemia (relative risk: 1.27–1.60 and 1.12–1.30, respectively, depending on evacuation status and post-incident year). After adjustment for covariates, the increase in hyperlipidaemia was significantly greater among evacuees than among non-evacuees/temporary-evacuees (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.32, p<0.01). Conclusions The singularity of this study is that evacuation following the Fukushima disaster was found to be associated with a small increase in long-term hyperlipidaemia risk in adults. Our findings help identify discussion points on disaster planning, including preparedness, response and recovery measures, applicable to future disasters requiring mass evacuation. PMID:26846896

  14. EMOTIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANT DISASTERS

    PubMed Central

    Bromet, Evelyn J.

    2014-01-01

    The emotional consequences of nuclear power plant disasters include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and medically unexplained somatic symptoms. These effects are often long term and associated with fears about developing cancer. Research on disasters involving radiation, particularly evidence from Chernobyl, indicates that mothers of young children and cleanup workers are the highest risk groups. The emotional consequences occur independently of the actual exposure received. In contrast, studies of children raised in the shadows of the Three Mile Island (TMI) and Chernobyl accidents suggest that although their self-rated health is less satisfactory than that of their peers, their emotional, academic, and psychosocial development is comparable. The importance of the psychological impact is underscored by its chronicity and by several studies showing that poor mental health is associated with physical health conditions, early mortality, disability, and over-utilization of medical services. Given the established increase in mental health problems following TMI and Chernobyl, it is likely that the same pattern will occur in residents and evacuees affected by the Fukushima meltdowns. Preliminary data from Fukushima indeed suggest that workers and mothers of young children are at risk of depression, anxiety, psychosomatic, and post-traumatic symptoms both as a direct result of their fears about radiation exposure and an indirect result of societal stigma. Thus, it is important that nonmental health providers learn to recognize and manage psychological symptoms and that medical programs be designed to reduce stigma and alleviate psychological suffering by integrating psychiatric and medical treatment within the walls of their clinics. PMID:24378494

  15. Radionuclide Analysis on Bamboos following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Takumi; Higaki, Shogo; Hirota, Masahiro; Akita, Kae; Hasezawa, Seiichiro

    2012-01-01

    In response to contamination from the recent Fukushima nuclear accident, we conducted radionuclide analysis on bamboos sampled from six sites within a 25 to 980 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Maximum activity concentrations of radiocesium 134Cs and 137Cs in samples from Fukushima city, 65 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, were in excess of 71 and 79 kBq/kg, dry weight (DW), respectively. In Kashiwa city, 195 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi, the sample concentrations were in excess of 3.4 and 4.3 kBq/kg DW, respectively. In Toyohashi city, 440 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi, the concentrations were below the measurable limits of up to 4.5 Bq/kg DW. In the radiocesium contaminated samples, the radiocesium activity was higher in mature and fallen leaves than in young leaves, branches and culms. PMID:22496858

  16. Agricultural implications of the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Nakanishi, Tomoko M.

    2016-01-01

    More than 4 years has passed since the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Immediately after the accident, 40 to 50 academic staff of the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Tokyo created an independent team to monitor the behavior of the radioactive materials in the field and their effects on agricultural farm lands, forests, rivers, animals, etc. When the radioactive nuclides from the nuclear power plant fell, they were instantly adsorbed at the site where they first touched; consequently, the fallout was found as scattered spots on the surface of anything that was exposed to the air at the time of the accident. The adsorption has become stronger over time, so the radioactive nuclides are now difficult to remove. The findings of our study regarding the wide range of effects on agricultural fields are summarized in this report. PMID:27538845

  17. Agricultural implications of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Tomoko M

    2016-08-01

    More than 4 years has passed since the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. Immediately after the accident, 40 to 50 academic staff of the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Tokyo created an independent team to monitor the behavior of the radioactive materials in the field and their effects on agricultural farm lands, forests, rivers, animals, etc. When the radioactive nuclides from the nuclear power plant fell, they were instantly adsorbed at the site where they first touched; consequently, the fallout was found as scattered spots on the surface of anything that was exposed to the air at the time of the accident. The adsorption has become stronger over time, so the radioactive nuclides are now difficult to remove. The findings of our study regarding the wide range of effects on agricultural fields are summarized in this report. PMID:27538845

  18. Cesium Removal at Fukushima Nuclear Plant - 13215

    SciTech Connect

    Braun, James L.; Barker, Tracy A.

    2013-07-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake that took place on March 11, 2011 created a number of technical challenges at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. One of the primary challenges involved the treatment of highly contaminated radioactive wastewater. Avantech Inc. developed a unique patent pending treatment system that addressed the numerous technical issues in an efficient and safe manner. Our paper will address the development of the process from concept through detailed design, identify the lessons learned, and provide the updated results of the project. Specific design and operational parameters/benefits discussed in the paper include: - Selection of equipment to address radionuclide issues; - Unique method of solving the additional technical issues associated with Hydrogen Generation and Residual Heat; - Operational results, including chemistry, offsite discharges and waste generation. Results show that the customized process has enabled the utility to recycle the wastewater for cooling and reuse. This technology had a direct benefit to nuclear facilities worldwide. (authors)

  19. Comprehensive Health Risk Management after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, S

    2016-04-01

    Five years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on 11 March 2011. Countermeasures aimed at human protection during the emergency period, including evacuation, sheltering and control of the food chain were implemented in a timely manner by the Japanese Government. However, there is an apparent need for improvement, especially in the areas of nuclear safety and protection, and also in the management of radiation health risk during and even after the accident. Continuous monitoring and characterisation of the levels of radioactivity in the environment and foods in Fukushima are now essential for obtaining informed consent to the decisions on living in the radio-contaminated areas and also on returning back to the evacuated areas once re-entry is allowed; it is also important to carry out a realistic assessment of the radiation doses on the basis of measurements. Until now, various types of radiation health risk management projects and research have been implemented in Fukushima, among which the Fukushima Health Management Survey is the largest health monitoring project. It includes the Basic Survey for the estimation of external radiation doses received during the first 4 months after the accident and four detailed surveys: thyroid ultrasound examination, comprehensive health check-up, mental health and lifestyle survey, and survey on pregnant women and nursing mothers, with the aim to prospectively take care of the health of all the residents of Fukushima Prefecture for a long time. In particular, among evacuees of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident, concern about radiation risk is associated with psychological stresses. Here, ongoing health risk management will be reviewed, focusing on the difficult challenge of post-disaster recovery and resilience in Fukushima. PMID:26817782

  20. Whole body counter assessment of internal radiocontamination in patients with end-stage renal disease living in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster: a retrospective observational study

    PubMed Central

    Shimmura, Hiroaki; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Kato, Shigeaki; Akiyama, Junichi; Nomura, Shuhei; Mori, Jinichi; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Abe, Koichiro; Sakai, Shuji; Kawaguchi, Hiroshi; Tokiwa, Michio

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess internal radiocontamination of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who were regularly taking haemodialysis (HD) and living in areas affected by the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after the Great East Japan earthquake on 11 March 2011. Methods Internal radiocontamination in 111 patients with ESRD regularly taking HD at Jyoban Hospital in Iwaki city, Fukushima from July 2012 to November 2012 was assessed with a whole body counter (WBC). The maximum annual effective dose was calculated from the detected Cs-137 levels. Interviews concerning patient dietary preferences and outdoor activities were also conducted. Results Among the 111 patients tested, internal radiocontamination with Cs-137 was detected in two participants, but the levels were marginal and just exceeded the detection limit (250 Bq/body). The tentatively calculated maximum annual effective dose ranged from 0.008 to 0.009 mSv/year, which is far below the 1 mSv/year limit set by the government of Japan. Relative to 238 non-ESRD participants, patients with ERSD had significantly more opportunities to consume locally grown produce that was not distributed to the market (p<0.01). However, the percentage of patients with ESRD with detectable Cs (1.8%) was lower than that for non-ESRD participants (3.8%), although this difference was not significant (p=0.51). Conclusions These findings suggest that internal radiocontamination levels and the calculated annual additional effective doses were negligible for patients with ESRD taking HD in areas affected by the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Although HD is suggested to promote Cs-137 excretion, continuous inspection of locally grown produce together with WBC screening for radiocontamination should be continued for patients with ESRD regularly taking HD. PMID:26644125

  1. Trace levels of Fukushima disaster radionuclides in East Pacific albacore.

    PubMed

    Neville, Delvan R; Phillips, A Jason; Brodeur, Richard D; Higley, Kathryn A

    2014-05-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi power station released several radionuclides into the Pacific following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. A total of 26 Pacific albacore (Thunnus alalunga) caught off the Pacific Northwest U.S. coast between 2008 and 2012 were analyzed for (137)Cs and Fukushima-attributed (134)Cs. Both 2011 (2 of 2) and several 2012 (10 of 17) edible tissue samples exhibited increased activity concentrations of (137)Cs (234-824 mBq/kg of wet weight) and (134)Cs (18.2-356 mBq/kg of wet weight). The remaining 2012 samples and all pre-Fukushima (2008-2009) samples possessed lower (137)Cs activity concentrations (103-272 mBq/kg of wet weight) with no detectable (134)Cs activity. Age, as indicated by fork length, was a strong predictor for both the presence and concentration of (134)Cs (p < 0.001). Notably, many migration-aged fish did not exhibit any (134)Cs, suggesting that they had not recently migrated near Japan. None of the tested samples would represent a significant change in annual radiation dose if consumed by humans. PMID:24717105

  2. Screening sensitivity analysis of a radionuclides atmospheric dispersion model applied to the Fukushima disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Sylvain; Korsakissok, Irène; Mallet, Vivien

    2014-10-01

    Numerical models used to forecast the atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides following nuclear accidents are subject to substantial uncertainties. Input data, such as meteorological forecasts or source term estimations, as well as poorly known model parameters contribute for a large part to this uncertainty. A sensitivity analysis with the method of Morris was carried out in the case of the Fukushima disaster as a first step towards the uncertainty analysis of the Polyphemus/Polair3D model. The main difficulties stemmed from the high dimension of the model's input and output. Simple perturbations whose magnitudes were devised from a thorough literature review were applied to 19 uncertain inputs. Several outputs related to atmospheric activity and ground deposition were aggregated, revealing different inputs rankings. Other inputs based on gamma dose rates measurements were used to question the possibility of calibrating the inputs uncertainties. Some inputs, such as the cloud layer thickness, were found to have little influence on most considered outputs and could therefore be safely discarded from further studies. On the contrary, wind perturbations and emission factors for iodine and caesium are predominant. The performance indicators derived from dose rates observations displayed strong sensitivities. This emphasises the share of the overall uncertainty due to input uncertainties and asserts the relevance of the simple perturbation scheme that was employed in this work.

  3. Severe Psychological Distress of Evacuees in Evacuation Zone Caused by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: The Fukushima Health Management Survey

    PubMed Central

    Kunii, Yasuto; Suzuki, Yuriko; Shiga, Tetsuya; Yabe, Hirooki; Yasumura, Seiji; Maeda, Masaharu; Niwa, Shin-ichi; Otsuru, Akira; Mashiko, Hirobumi; Abe, Masafumi

    2016-01-01

    Background Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has continued to affect the mental health status of residents in the evacuation zone. To examine the mental health status of evacuee after the nuclear accident, we conducted the Mental Health and Lifestyle Survey as part of the ongoing Fukushima Health Management Survey. Methods We measured mental health status using the Kessler 6-item psychological distress scale (K6) in a total of 73,569 (response rate: 40.7%) evacuees aged 15 and over who lived in the evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture. We then dichotomized responders using a 12/13 cutoff on the K6, and compared the proportion of K6 scores ≥13 and ≤12 in each risk factor including demographic information, socioeconomic variables, and disaster-related variables. We also performed bivariate analyses between mental health status and possible risk factors using the chi-square test. Furthermore, we performed multivariate regression analysis using modified Poisson regression models. Results The median K6 score was 5 (interquartile range: 1–10). The number of psychological distress was 8,717 (14.6%). We found that significant differences in the prevalence of psychological distress by almost all survey items, including disaster-related risk factors, most of which were also associated with increased Prevalence ratios (PRs). Additionally, we found that psychological distress in each evacuation zone was significantly positively associated with the radiation levels in their environment (r = 0.768, p = 0.002). Conclusion The earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident likely caused severe psychological distress among residents in the evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture. The close association between psychological distress and the radiation levels shows that the nuclear accident seriously influenced the mental health of the residents, which might be exacerbated by

  4. Elevated Radioxenon Detected Remotely Following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    SciTech Connect

    Bowyer, Ted W.; Biegalski, Steven R.; Cooper, Matthew W.; Eslinger, Paul W.; Haas, Derek A.; Hayes, James C.; Miley, Harry S.; Strom, Daniel J.; Woods, Vincent T.

    2011-04-21

    We report on the first measurements of short-lived gaseous fission products detected outside of Japan following the Fukushima nuclear releases, which occurred after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

  5. Assessment of the Risk of Medium-Term Internal Contamination in Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    Gilmour, Stuart; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Nomura, Shuhei; Kami, Masahiro; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio; Shibuya, Kenji

    2014-01-01

    Background: The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster, the first level-7 major nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, raised concerns about the future health consequences of exposure to and intake of radionuclides. Factors determining the risk and level of internal radiation contamination after a nuclear accident, which are a key to understanding and improving current nuclear disaster management, are not well studied. Objective: We investigated both the prevalence and level of internal contamination in residents of Minamisoma, and identified factors determining the risk and levels of contamination. Methods: We implemented a program assessing internal radiation contamination using a whole body counter (WBC) measurement and a questionnaire survey in Minamisoma, between October 2011 and March 2012. Results: Approximately 20% of the city’s population (8,829 individuals) participated in the WBC measurement for internal contamination, of which 94% responded to the questionnaire. The proportion of participants with detectable internal contamination was 40% in adults and 9% in children. The level of internal contamination ranged from 2.3 to 196.5 Bq/kg (median, 11.3 Bq/kg). Tobit regression analysis identified two main risk factors: more time spent outdoors, and intake of potentially contaminated foods and water. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, with sensible and reasonable precautions, people may be able to live continuously in radiation-affected areas with limited contamination risk. To enable this, nuclear disaster response should strictly enforce food and water controls and disseminate evidence-based and up-to-date information about avoidable contamination risks. Citation: Sugimoto A, Gilmour S, Tsubokura M, Nomura S, Kami M, Oikawa T, Kanazawa Y, Shibuya K. 2014. Assessment of the risk of medium-term internal contamination in Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear accident. Environ Health Perspect 122:587–593;

  6. Fictions of nuclear disaster

    SciTech Connect

    Dowling, D.

    1987-01-01

    This work is critical study of literary interpretations of the nuclear holocaust. The author examines more than 250 stories and novels dealing with the theme of nuclear power and its devastating potential implications. Addressing such topics as the scientist and Armageddon, the role of religion, future evolution and mutation, and the postnuclear society, the author assesses the response of Bradbury, Lessing, Malamud, Shute, Huxley, Vonnegut, Heinlein, and others to the threat of nuclear apocalypse, with in-depth analyses of Alter Miller's A canticle for Leibowitz and Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker.

  7. Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan (2008-2014).

    PubMed

    Yamamura, Eiji

    2016-05-01

    This study used prefecture-level panel data from Japan for the period 2008-2014 to investigate the influence of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index (BMI) z-score and obesity rates of children over time. I adopted a difference-in-differences approach and found the following: (1) for the cohort aged 5-7 years in 2010, the BMI z-score and obesity rates in disaster-affected areas were higher than in other areas, although this was not observed for the other cohorts; (2) for the cohort aged 5-7 years in 2010, the influence of the accident persisted even after 3 years; and (3) the differences in the BMI z-score and obesity rate before and after the accident were greater for Fukushima Prefecture than for the other affected areas (Iwate and Miyagi prefectures). I infer that health-conscious parents, whose children had lower BMIs, may have moved from Fukushima, thereby increasing the BMI z-score of the child population living in Fukushima by around 0.05 for the cohort aged 5-7 years. The enforced reduction in physical activity increased the BMI z-score of children living in Fukushima by around 0.19 for that cohort. PMID:26849534

  8. Radiological and geophysical changes around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant since the accident to the present time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolotkov, Gennady

    2013-04-01

    Detailed analysis of accidental released of radioactive material from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has shown that long-lived radionuclides add considerable support for intensity of ion formation. Based on the results of airborne monitoring by MEXT and DOE (total surface deposition of Cs134 and Cs137 inside 80 km zone of Fukushima Daiichi NPP) it has been calculated the spatial distribution of the intensity of ion formation and atmospheric electric conductivity. The evidence of plutonium in the Fukushima radioactive trace allows calculates the concentration of small, intermediate and large ions. The results show the excess of these parameters by several orders of magnitude since the accident to the present time. For example the concentration of small air ion in the area of Chernobyl is 7±2?102 cm-3, the Fukushima Daiichi NPP ones is 1.3?106 cm-3. The difference in the atmospheric bipolar electric conductivity is about 24 fS/m between the Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi ones. The evaluation technique was used after Chernobyl disaster allows to make an analysis of ecological, hygiene requirements and other problems into the troposphere and on the soil intensity of ion formation in the area of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The standard ion air differ by four orders of magnitude in the case for Fukushima Daiichi ones. Comparative study of the radiophysical characteristics of the atmosphere with the analogous ones in Chernobyl and application of identification of various types of the air pollution is discussed.

  9. Thyroid doses for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokonami, Shinji; Hosoda, Masahiro; Akiba, Suminori; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Kashiwakura, Ikuo; Balonov, Mikhail

    2012-07-01

    A primary health concern among residents and evacuees in affected areas immediately after a nuclear accident is the internal exposure of the thyroid to radioiodine, particularly I-131, and subsequent thyroid cancer risk. In Japan, the natural disasters of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed an important function of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) and a large amount of radioactive material was released to the environment. Here we report for the first time extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured. The median thyroid equivalent dose was estimated to be 4.2 mSv and 3.5 mSv for children and adults, respectively, much smaller than the mean thyroid dose in the Chernobyl accident (490 mSv in evacuees). Maximum thyroid doses for children and adults were 23 mSv and 33 mSv, respectively.

  10. Thyroid doses for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Tokonami, Shinji; Hosoda, Masahiro; Akiba, Suminori; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Kashiwakura, Ikuo; Balonov, Mikhail

    2012-01-01

    A primary health concern among residents and evacuees in affected areas immediately after a nuclear accident is the internal exposure of the thyroid to radioiodine, particularly I-131, and subsequent thyroid cancer risk. In Japan, the natural disasters of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed an important function of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) and a large amount of radioactive material was released to the environment. Here we report for the first time extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured. The median thyroid equivalent dose was estimated to be 4.2 mSv and 3.5 mSv for children and adults, respectively, much smaller than the mean thyroid dose in the Chernobyl accident (490 mSv in evacuees). Maximum thyroid doses for children and adults were 23 mSv and 33 mSv, respectively. PMID:22792439

  11. Fukushima Nuclear Accident: Sticking to the facts, not to the political correctness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohska, Tokio

    2014-05-01

    The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor disaster of 2011 is still a continuing disaster three years later, although some experts have proclaimed the 4 reactors being already under control. It is surely an incredibly difficult task to properly terminate nuclear accidents. However, I should point out that the process of termination plan has been marred by too much of politics and business messing up a scientific approach to do it in a rational way. This blame must to go to both pro-nuclear and anti-nuclear power people. It makes me feel sad to see people not respecting science in executing such a difficult task. I shall list up where things went wrong with the hope that this kind of action, as I do here, would trigger people to get back to science to straighten out the execution process. I will show a few examples of published papers presenting the opinion that it is inappropriate what the Japanese government considers to be safe.

  12. Natural Disasters and Safety Risks at Nuclear Power Stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tutnova, T.

    2012-04-01

    In the aftermath of Fukushima natural-technological disaster the global opinion on nuclear energy divided even deeper. While Germany, Italy and the USA are currently reevaluating their previous plans on nuclear growth, many states are committed to expand nuclear energy output. In China and France, where the industry is widely supported by policymakers, there is little talk about abandoning further development of nuclear energy. Moreover, China displays the most remarkable pace of nuclear development in the world: it is responsible for 40% of worldwide reactors under construction, and aims at least to quadruple its nuclear capacity by 2020. In these states the consequences of Fukushima natural-technological accident will probably result in safety checks and advancement of new reactor technologies. Thus, China is buying newer reactor design from the USA which relies on "passive safety systems". It means that emergency power generators, crucial for reactor cooling in case of an accident, won't depend on electricity, so that tsunami won't disable them like it happened in the case of Fukushima. Nuclear energy managed to draw lessons from previous nuclear accidents where technological and human factors played crucial role. But the Fukushima lesson shows that the natural hazards, nevertheless, were undervalued. Though the ongoing technological advancements make it possible to increase the safety of nuclear power plants with consideration of natural risks, it is not just a question of technology improvement. A necessary action that must be taken is the reevaluation of the character and sources of the potential hazards which natural disasters can bring to nuclear industry. One of the examples is a devastating impact of more than one natural disaster happening at the same time. This subject, in fact, was not taken into account before, while it must be a significant point in planning sites for new nuclear power plants. Another important lesson unveiled is that world nuclear

  13. Post-traumatic Stress and Growth Among Medical Student Volunteers After the March 2011 Disaster in Fukushima, Japan: Implications for Student Involvement with Future Disasters.

    PubMed

    Anderson, David; Prioleau, Phoebe; Taku, Kanako; Naruse, Yu; Sekine, Hideharu; Maeda, Masaharu; Yabe, Hirooki; Katz, Craig; Yanagisawa, Robert

    2016-06-01

    The March 2011 "triple disaster" (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident) had a profound effect on northern Japan. Many medical students at Fukushima Medical University volunteered in the relief effort. We aimed to investigate the nature of students' post-disaster involvement and examine the psychological impact of their experiences using a survey containing elements from the Davidson Trauma Scale and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. We collected 494 surveys (70 % response rate), of which 132 students (26.7 %) had volunteered. Volunteers were more likely to be older, have witnessed the disaster in person, had their hometowns affected, and had a family member or close friend injured. In the month after 3/11, volunteers were more likely to want to help, feel capable of helping, and report an increased desire to become a physician. Both in the month after 3/11 and the most recent month before the survey, there were no significant differences in distressing symptoms, such as confusion, anger, or sadness, between volunteers and non-volunteers. Volunteers reported a significantly higher level of posttraumatic growth than non-volunteers. Participating in a greater variety of volunteer activities was associated with a higher level of posttraumatic growth, particularly in the Personal Strength domain. There may be self-selection in some criteria, since students who were likely to be resistant to confusion/anxiety/sadness may have felt more capable of helping and been predisposed to volunteer. However, participation in post-disaster relief efforts did not appear to have a harmful effect on medical students, an important consideration for mobilizing volunteers after future disasters. PMID:26169115

  14. Hypo-high-density Lipoprotein Cholesterolemia Caused by Evacuation after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: Results from the Fukushima Health Management Survey.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Hiroaki; Ohira, Tetsuya; Nagai, Masato; Hosoya, Mitsuaki; Sakai, Akira; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Ohtsuru, Akira; Kawasaki, Yukihiko; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Takahashi, Atsushi; Kobashi, Gen; Ozasa, Kotaro; Yasumura, Seiji; Yamashita, Shunichi; Kamiya, Kenji; Abe, Masafumi

    2016-01-01

    Objective The Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster forced the evacuation of residents and led to many changes in the lifestyle of the evacuees. A comprehensive health check was implemented to support the prevention of lifestyle-related disease, and we analyzed changes in lipid metabolism before and after these disasters. Methods Subjects included Japanese men and women living near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. Annual health checkups, focusing on metabolic syndromes, were conducted for persons ≥40 years of age by the Heath Care Insures. Results A total of 27,486 subjects underwent a follow-up examination after the disaster, with a mean follow-up of 1.6 years. Following the disaster, the prevalence of hypo-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterolemia increased significantly from 6.0% to 7.2%. In the hypo-HDL cholesterolemia group, the body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and LDL-C level increased significantly in men after the disaster. On the other hand, in the normal HDL-C level group, the BMI, blood pressure, glucose and lipid metabolism, and liver function were adversely affected. The decrease in HDL-C was significantly greater in evacuees than non-evacuees in the normal HDL-C level group. Furthermore, a multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the evacuation was significantly associated with the incidence of hypo-HDL cholesterolemia. Conclusion This is the first study to evaluate how the evacuation affected the incidence of hypo-HDL cholesterolemia and led to an increase in cardiovascular disease. This information may be important in the follow-up and lifestyle change recommendations for evacuees. PMID:27477401

  15. Mortality Risk amongst Nursing Home Residents Evacuated after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: A Retrospective Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Nomura, Shuhei; Gilmour, Stuart; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Yoneoka, Daisuke; Sugimoto, Amina; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kami, Masahiro; Shibuya, Kenji

    2013-01-01

    Background Safety of evacuation is of paramount importance in disaster planning for elderly people; however, little effort has been made to investigate evacuation-related mortality risks. After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant accident we conducted a retrospective cohort survival survey of elderly evacuees. Methods A total of 715 residents admitted to five nursing homes in Minamisoma city, Fukushima Prefecture in the five years before 11th March 2011 joined this retrospective cohort study. Demographic and clinical characteristics were drawn from facility medical records. Evacuation histories were tracked until the end of 2011. The evacuation's impact on mortality was assessed using mortality incidence density and hazard ratios in Cox proportional hazards regression. Results Overall relative mortality risk before and after the earthquake was 2.68 (95% CI: 2.04–3.49). There was a substantial variation in mortality risks across the facilities ranging from 0.77 (95% CI: 0.34–1.76) to 2.88 (95% CI: 1.74–4.76). No meaningful influence of evacuation distance on mortality was observed although the first evacuation from the original facility caused significantly higher mortality than subsequent evacuations, with a hazard ratio of 1.94 (95% CI: 1.07–3.49). Conclusion High mortality, due to initial evacuation, suggests that evacuation of the elderly was not the best life-saving strategy for the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Careful consideration of the relative risks of radiation exposure and the risks and benefits of evacuation is essential. Facility-specific disaster response strategies, including in-site relief and care, may have a strong influence on survival. Where evacuation is necessary, careful planning and coordination with other nursing homes, evacuation sites and government disaster agencies is essential to reduce the risk of mortality. PMID:23555921

  16. The medical association activity and pediatric care after the earthquake disaster in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, Shintaro; Kikuchi, Tatsuo

    2012-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, a gigantic earthquake struck eastern Japan. Utilities such as electricity, water, gas and telecommunication were interrupted. In Koriyama, the City Hall collapsed and government administration offices had to be moved to a nearby baseball stadium that had been designed to include facilities for use during a pandemic. An operations center was set up in this stadium. As members of the Koriyama Medical Association, we following the disaster protocol and set up our operations center in the Koriyama Medical Care Hospital. One large hospital with 280 inpatients and another hospital with 150 inpatients had been heavily damaged. Transfer of those patients to other hospitals without the use of telecommunications was extremely difficult. Many doctors in member hospitals and clinics went out of their way to cooperate throughout the crisis. Up to 5,000 people from the radiation evacuation zone were rushed to Koriyama. They stayed in schools and community centers, where we provided them with healthcare. Even in Koriyama, which is 60 km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radiation levels were high, especially for the first few weeks. Citizens were advised to stay at home and keep their doors and windows closed. These drastic measures and frequent earthquake aftershocks were very stressful, especially for children. To help prevent children from developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a project team composed of various groups caring for children was developed, and this team took action to protect children. Through these efforts we hoped to provide children with an appropriate environment to grow normally, even in a zone of persistent low-level radiation. We demonstrated once again that our members' long history of mutual assistance and cooperation with the administration was the main cornerstone to overcome the crisis. PMID:22410536

  17. The Fukushima Nuclear Event and its Implications for Nuclear Power

    SciTech Connect

    Golay, Michael

    2011-07-06

    The combined strong earthquake and super tsunami of 12 March 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant imposed the most severe challenges ever experienced at such a facility. Information regarding the plant response and status remains uncertain, but it is clear that severe damage has been sustained, that the plant staff have responded creatively and that the offsite implications are unlikely to be seriously threatening to the health, if not the prosperity, of the surrounding population. Re-examination of the regulatory constraints of nuclear power will occur worldwide, and some changes are likely, particularly concerning reliance upon active systems for achieving critical safety functions and concerning treatments of used reactor fuel. Whether worldwide expansion of the nuclear power economy will be slowed in the long run is perhaps unlikely and worth discussion.

  18. Environmental radioactivity measurements in Greece following the Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Potiriadis, C; Kolovou, M; Clouvas, A; Xanthos, S

    2012-07-01

    Since the double disaster of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that affected hundreds of thousands of people and seriously damaged the Fukushima Daichi power plant in Japan on 11 March 2011, traces of radioactive emissions from Fukushima have spread across the entire northern hemisphere. The radioactive isotope of iodine (131)I that was generated by the nuclear accident in Fukushima arrived in Greece on 24 March 2011. Radioactive iodine is present in the air either as gas or bound to particles (aerosols). The maximum (131)I concentrations were measured between 3 and 5 April 2011. In aerosols the maximum (131)I values measured in Southern Greece (Athens) and Northern Greece (Thessaloniki) were 585±70 and 408±61 μΒq m(-3), respectively. (131)I concentrations in gas were about 3.5 times higher than in aerosols. Since 29 April 2011, the (131)I concentration has been below detection limits. Traces of (137)Cs and (134)Cs were also measured in the air filters with an activity ratio of (137)Cs/(134)Cs equal to 1 and (131)I/(137)Cs activity ratio of about 3. Since 16 May 2011, the (137)Cs concentration in air has been determined to be about the same as before the Fukushima accident. Traces of (131)I were also measured in grass and milk. The maximum measured activity of (131)I in sheep milk was about 2 Bq l(-1) which is 5000 times less than that measured in Greece immediately after the Chernobyl accident. The measured activity concentrations of artificial radionuclides in Greece due to the Fukushima release, have been very low, with no impact on human health. PMID:22090415

  19. Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on background radiation doses measured by control dosimeters in Japan.

    PubMed

    Romanyukha, Alexander; King, David L; Kennemur, Lisa K

    2012-05-01

    After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent massive tsunami on 11 March 2011 in Japan, several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered severe damage. There was immediate participation of U.S. Navy vessels and other United States Department of Defense (DoD) teams that were already in the area at the time of the disaster or arrived shortly thereafter. The correct determination of occupational dose equivalent requires estimation of the background dose component measured by control dosimeters, which is subsequently subtracted from the total dose equivalent measured by personal dosimeters. The purpose of the control dosimeters is to determine the amount of radiation dose equivalent that has accumulated on the dosimeter from background or other non-occupational sources while they are in transit or being stored. Given the release of radioactive material and potential exposure to radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the process by which the U.S. Navy calculates occupational exposure to ionizing radiation, analysis of pre- and post-event control dosimeters is warranted. Several hundred historical dose records from the Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC) database were analyzed and compared with the post-accident dose equivalent data of control dosimeters. As result, it was shown that the dose contribution of the radiation and released radiological materials from the Fukushima nuclear accident to background radiation doses is less than 0.375 μSv d for shallow and deep photon dose equivalent. There is no measurable effect on neutron background exposure. The latter has at least two important conclusions. First, the NDC can use doses measured by control dosimeters at issuing sites in Japan for determination of personnel dose equivalents; second, the dose data from control dosimeters prior to and after the Fukushima accident may be used to assist in dose reconstruction of non-radiological (non-badged) personnel at these locations

  20. The nuclear disaster management system in Taiwan: a case study of the third (Maanshan) nuclear power plant.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yung-Nane

    2016-07-01

    This paper explores the effectiveness of the nuclear disaster management system in Taiwan via a review of the third (Maanshan) nuclear power plant. In doing so, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan on 11 March 2011 is reviewed and compared with the situation in Taiwan. The latter's nuclear disaster management system is examined with respect to three key variables: information; mobilisation; and inter-organisational cooperation. In-depth interviews with 10 policy stakeholders with different backgrounds serve as the research method. The results point up the need for improvement in all dimensions. In addition, they highlight three principal problems with the nuclear disaster management system: (i) it might not be possible to provide first-hand nuclear disaster information immediately to the communities surrounding the Maanshan facility in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan; (ii) the availability of medical resources for treating radiation in Hengchun Township is limited; and (iii) the inter-organisational relationships for addressing nuclear disasters need to be strengthened. Hence, cooperation among related organisations is necessary. PMID:26578340

  1. Safecast: How disaster led to empowerment of crowdsourced citizen science for radiation measurement and communication after Fukushima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Azby; Franken, Peter; Bonner, Sean; Moross, Joe; Dolezal, Nick

    2016-04-01

    Safecast, an international, volunteer-based organization devoted to monitoring and openly sharing information on environmental radiation and other pollutants, was initiated on March 12, 2011, one day following the start of the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, in response to the lack of publicly available, accurate and trustworthy information about the spread of radioactive fallout. Since its inception, Safecast has grown in size, scope, and geographical reach, as well as in the technical sophistication of its citizen-science-based hardware and software systems. The focus of the group's work is to provide citizens worldwide with the tools they need to inform themselves by gathering and sharing accurate environmental data, in an open and participatory fashion. This effort combines hardware and software design for original radiation and air quality measurement devices; visualizations which are made available online and as applications for mobile and desktop; strong public outreach and education programs; and open forums for discussion of radiation, air pollution, and other hazards. The Safecast system is agile and flexible in terms of development and deployment, and all designs, software programs, and data is provided on an open-source basis. In addition, because the group takes no public stance either for or against nuclear power, it has become an important unbiased source of information regarding radiation risks. The Fukushima Daichi NPP disaster provided a crucial opportunity to evaluate the state of preparation on the part the powerplant operator, government agencies, and international oversight bodies, to gather necessary information on radiation risks quickly and to share it both with emergency responders and the general public. The inadequacy of this preparation and the chaotic nature of inter-agency and inter-governmental communication has been well noted in several official reports on the disaster, including those issued by The National Diet of

  2. Psychological distress of residents in Kawauchi village, Fukushima Prefecture after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: the Fukushima Health Management Survey

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Koji; Shinkawa, Tetsuko; Urata, Hideko; Nakashima, Kanami; Orita, Makiko; Yasui, Kiyotaka; Kumagai, Atsushi; Ohtsuru, Akira; Yabe, Hirooki; Maeda, Masaharu; Hayashida, Naomi; Kudo, Takashi; Yamashita, Shunichi

    2016-01-01

    Background To shed light on the mental health of evacuees after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS), we evaluate the results of the Fukushima Health Management Survey (FHMS) of the residents at Kawauchi village in Fukushima, which is located less than 30 km from the FDNPS. Methods We conducted the cross-sectional study within the framework of the FHMS. Exposure values were “anorexia,” “subjective feelings about health,” “feelings about sleep satisfaction,” and “bereavement caused by the disaster,” confounding variables were “age” and “sex,” and outcome variables were “K6 points.” We collected data from the FHMS, and employed the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) and the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Checklist Stressor-Specific Version (PCL-S) to carry out the research. A total of 13 or greater was the cut-off for identifying serious mental illness using the K6 scale. The study subjects included residents (n = 542) of over 30 years of age from Kawauchi village, and data were used from the period of January 1, 2012 to October 31, 2012. Results A total of 474 residents (87.5%) scored less than 13 points in the K6 and 68 (12.6%) scored 13 points or more. The proportion of elderly residents (over 65 years old) among people with K6 score above the cut-off was higher than that among people with K6 score below the cut-off (44.1 vs 31.0%, p < 0.05). In addition, the proportion of residents with anorexia and mental illness among people with K6 score above the cut-off was higher than among people with K6 score below the cut-off (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively). The amount of residents who scored 44 points or more in the PCL-S among people with K6 score above the cut-off was also considerably higher than among people with K6 score below the cut-off (79.4 vs 12.9%, p < 0.001). Interestingly, the proportion of residents who scored more than among people with K6 score above the cut-off and the among

  3. Old and new radionuclide presence in Romania after Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosma, Constantin; Iurian, Andra; Nita, Dan; Pantelica, Ana; Prodan, Eugen

    2013-04-01

    Our laboratory measured the radionuclide presence in Transylvania region both after Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. The paper presents old and new data connected with these disasters obtained not only by us but also by others laboratories from Romania. It is an attempt to mark the mainly aspects regarding the radioactive contamination in our country connected with these catastrophes. After the Chernobyl accident the radioactive cloud passage over Romania on NE - SW direction brought relatively intesive radionuclide deposition. On this direction the highest deposition were found in the areas where this passage during April 30-st and May 1-st were accompanied by rainfalls. In the rain water and fresh sediment colected at May 1-st, 1986 and measured the next days, all radionuclide species from Chernobyl could be identified [1]. Additional measurements of 90Sr and 239/240Pu have been made several years later in different environmental samples (roof sediment, soil, pollen, sand, roof-water, street dust) collected in 1986 from Cluj-Napoca, Romania [2]. In the case of Fukushima disaster the air transport from west and north-west brought small quantities of radionuclides over the Romanian teritorry. Even if in this case the radioactive cloud was very dilluted, 131I could be clearly identified and measured in air, rain water and other products as: milk, vegetables, grass, fresh meat from the NW of Romania [3]. Measurements have been also conducted in Bucharest and Pitesti. During the last 5 years suplimentary 137Cs measurements were made in different areas as an attempt to use this radionuclide as soil and sediment tracer. [1]. C. Cosma, Some Aspects of Radioactive Contamination after Chernobyl Accident in Romania, J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., 251, 2, 221-226 (2002) [2]. C. Cosma, Strontium-90 Measurement without Chemical Separation in Samples after Chernobyl Accident, Spectrochimica Acta, Part B, 55, 1165-1171 (2000) [3]. C. Cosma, AR. Iurian, DC. Ni?, R. Begy R, C. C

  4. [Complexities of the stress experienced by employees of the Fukushima nuclear plants].

    PubMed

    Sano, Shin-Ya; Tanigawa, Takeshi; Shigemura, Jun; Satoh, Yutaka; Yoshino, Aihide; Fujii, Chiyo; Tatsuzawa, Yasutaka; Kuwahara, Tatsuro; Tachibana, Shoichi; Nomura, Soichiro

    2012-01-01

    Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants suffered serious damage by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The employees of the plant worked very hard to stabilize the nuclear reactor and to prevent any secondary accidents. They were in one of the most severe situations in this disaster, but they were the people who hesitated most to request help for themselves. We started visiting the Fukushima Daini Plant office that was used as the frontline base for Daiichi Plant workers since July, 2011. These visits were held once or twice a month and we offered mental health support to the employees. We have completed interview with the total number of 339 plant workers by April, 2012. We offered several ways of mental support including clinical treatment, continuous counseling, or one time advice, depending on mental condition of each interviewee. Complexity of huge disaster and individuality of suffering from it were discussed in this article. Like local residents, many plant workers also experienced death/missing of family, loss of housing, refuge life, and dispersion of family. Furthermore, they have been suffering from various kinds of criticism and slander against Tokyo Electric Power Company. Many workers, even though they were not in management positions, seemed to have guilty conscience and sense of responsibility that forced them to stay in the risky working site. We could find some struggling coexistence of sense of guilt (as a causer of disaster) and sense of victim in their mind. It was suggested that continuous effort to listen and pay attention to their talk is important in order to support their mission to stabilize the power plant and to prevent them from over-stress and burnout. PMID:23367837

  5. Does the Fukushima NPP disaster affect the caesium activity of North Atlantic Ocean fish?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanisch, G.; Aust, M.-O.

    2013-08-01

    Fillet samples of marine fish collected from the East/West Greenland currents (GC) and from the Baltic Sea (BS) have been investigated by gamma-ray spectrometry within the regular German monitoring programme. In samples of the second half of 2011, 134Cs traces have been detected that are suggested to originate from the Fukushima fallout that was deposited in March/April 2011 over the northern North Atlantic and accumulated by fish. The radionuclide 134Cs (half-life 2 yr) was indeed detected with quite small activities at about 0.0036 Bq kg-1 w.w. Existing box models describing the transport of Cs within seawater boxes of the northeast Atlantic allowed for estimation of 134Cs contributions from other sources, i.e. from the Chernobyl fallout and from discharges by the two major European nuclear reprocessing plants; both were negligible around Greenland, while for the Chernobyl fallout a small 134Cs background contribution to BS fish was estimated. Model results confirmed the level of 134C measured in BS fish and showed its maximum to have occurred in winter 2011/2012 followed by a continuous decrease. It was also determined that 134Cs activity, but not that of 134Cs, showed a significant negative correlation with sampling depth (150-400 m) of GC fish; this strengthens our Fukushima fallout assumption. As a result, the Fukushima fallout in these sea areas only marginally enhanced (GC: 4%; BS: 0.1%) pre-Fukushima levels of individual dose rates received by human fish consumers; the addition was around 0.001 μSv following the consumption of 10 kg of fish per year, which is not expected to cause concern according to present guidelines for radiation protection.

  6. Does the Fukushima NPP disaster affect the caesium activity of North Atlantic Ocean fish?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanisch, G.; Aust, M.-O.

    2013-03-01

    Fillet samples of marine fish collected from the East/West Greenland current (GC) and from the Baltic Sea (BS), have been investigated by gamma-ray spectrometry within the regular German monitoring program. In samples of the second half of 2011 134Cs traces have been detected, suggested to originate from the Fukushima fallout being deposited in March/April 2011 over the northern North Atlantic and accumulated by fish. The radionuclide 134Cs (half-live 2 yr) was indeed detected with quite small activities at about 0.0036 Bq kg-1 w.w. Existing box-models describing the transport of Cs within seawater boxes of the NE Atlantic allowed estimating that 134Cs contributions from other sources, i.e. from the Chernobyl fallout and from discharges by the two major European nuclear reprocessing plants, both were negligible around Greenland, while for the Chernobyl fallout a small 134Cs background contribution to BS fish was estimated. Model results confirmed the level of 134Cs measured in BS fish and showed its maximum to have occurred in winter 2011/2012 followed by a continuous decrease. It was also determined that 134Cs activity, but not that of 134Cs, showed a significant negative correlation with sampling depth (150-400 m) of GC fish; this strengthens our Fukushima fallout assumption. As a result, the Fukushima fallout in these sea areas only marginally enhanced (GC: 4%; BS: 0.1%) pre-Fukushima levels of individual dose rates received by human fish consumers; the addition was around 0.001 μSv following the consumption of 10 kg fish per year, which is not expected to cause concern according to present guidelines for radiation protection.

  7. Comparison of Radionuclide Ratios in Atmospheric Nuclear Explosions and Nuclear Releases from Chernobyl and Fukushima seen in Gamma Ray Spectormetry

    SciTech Connect

    Friese, Judah I.; Kephart, Rosara F.; Lucas, Dawn D.

    2013-05-01

    The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) has remote radionuclide monitoring followed by an On Site Inspection (OSI) to clarify the nature of a suspect event. An important aspect of radionuclide measurements on site is the discrimination of other potential sources of similar radionuclides such as reactor accidents or medical isotope production. The Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear reactor disasters offer two different reactor source term environmental inputs that can be compared against historical measurements of nuclear explosions. The comparison of whole-sample gamma spectrometry measurements from these three events and the analysis of similarities and differences are presented. This analysis is a step toward confirming what is needed for measurements during an OSI under the auspices of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

  8. Radioactivity impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident on the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, W.; Chen, L.; Yu, W.; Ma, H.; Zeng, Z.; Lin, J.; Zeng, S.

    2015-02-01

    The Fukushima Nuclear Accident (FNA) resulted in a large amount of radionuclides released into the atmosphere and dispersed globally, which has greatly raised public concerns. The state of the art for source terms of 19 kinds of radionuclides derived from the FNA was comprehensively collected and compared with levels of the global fallout and the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident (CNA). The atmospheric impacts of the FNA were evaluated from three aspects including radioactive baseline of the atmosphere, the concentration limits in standards and radiological protection. The FNA should not impose significant radiological risk on the public members in the countries excluding Japan. A conceptual scheme of Fukushima-derived radionuclides with physical and physicochemical insights on different temporal-spatial timescales was discussed and illustrated to understand their fates in the atmosphere.

  9. Social isolation and cancer management after the 2011 triple disaster in Fukushima, Japan: A case report of breast cancer with patient and provider delay.

    PubMed

    Ozaki, Akihiko; Leppold, Claire; Tsubokura, Masaharu; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; Saji, Shigehira; Kato, Shigeaki; Kami, Masahiro; Tsukada, Manabu; Ohira, Hiromichi

    2016-06-01

    Breast cancer patients may present with patient delay or experience provider delay-2 factors which can lead to a late-stage diagnosis and poor prognosis. Mass disasters drastically change social structures, and have the potential to contribute to these delays. However, there is little information available on patient and provider delay related to cancer after disasters. In March 2011, an earthquake, followed by a tsunami and nuclear accident struck Fukushima, Japan. In July 2014, a 59 year-old Japanese widow, living alone, presented to our hospital with a lump and pain in her right breast, which had originally appeared in April 2011 and continuously deteriorated for 3 years and 3 months. She was diagnosed with stage IIIB right breast cancer. Detailed history revealed that she was exposed to social isolation in the aftermath of the disasters due to evacuation of her friends and daughter. Although she regularly saw her general practitioner, she did not disclose her breast symptoms for 1 year and 5 months, at which time she was falsely diagnosed with intercostal neuralgia. She did not seek further medical attention for the breast symptoms for another 1 year and 10 months, despite multiple clinic visits for unrelated reasons. The present disasters, particularly the nuclear disaster, seem to have led to the social isolation of local residents, reducing their opportunities to discuss health concerns with others and seek subsequent medical attention.This case highlights that social isolation may contribute to patient and provider delay in breast cancer patients, as accentuated in this disaster setting. PMID:27368025

  10. Leveraging public health nurses for disaster risk communication in Fukushima City: a qualitative analysis of nurses' written records of parenting counseling and peer discussions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Local public health nurses (PHNs) have been recognized as the main health service providers in communities in Japan. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 has, however, created a major challenge for them in responding to mothers’ concerns. This was in part due to difficulties in assessing, understanding and communicating health risks on low-dose radiation exposure. In order to guide the development of risk communication plans, this study sought to investigate mothers’ primary concerns and possible solutions perceived by a core healthcare profession like the PHNs. Methods A total of 150 records from parenting counseling sessions conducted between PHNs and mothers who have attended mandatory 18-month health checkups for their children at the Fukushima City Health and Welfare Center in 2010, 2011 (year of disaster) and 2012 were examined. Discussion notes of three peer discussions among PHNs organized in response to the nuclear disaster in 2012 and 2013 were also analyzed. All transcribed data were first subjected to text mining to list the words according to their frequencies and inter-relationships. The Steps Coding and Theorization method was then undertaken as a framework for qualitative analysis. Results PHNs noted mothers to have considerable needs for information on radiation risks as they impact on decisions related to relocations, concerns for child safety, and experiences with interpersonal conflicts within the family owing to differing risk perceptions. PHNs identified themselves as the information channels in the community, recommended the building of their risk communication capacities to support residents in making well-informed decisions, and advocated for self-measurement of radiation levels to increase residents’ sense of control. PHNs also suggested a more standardized form of information dissemination and an expansion of community-based counseling services. Conclusions Inadequate risk communication on radiation in the Fukushima

  11. Southward transport of radiocesium discharged directly from Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants across the Kuroshio Extension Current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumamoto, Yuichiro; Murata, Akihiko; Kawano, Takeshi; Aoyama, Michio

    2013-04-01

    The massive Tohoku earthquake and consequent giant tsunami of March 11, 2011 resulted in global releases of radiocesium (Cs-134 and Cs-137) in the environment from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants (FNPPs). In the North Pacific Ocean, a large portion of Fukushima-derived radiocesium has been settled both through atmospheric deposition and direct discharge. Evaluation of Fukushima-derived cesium isotopes in the ocean is necessary to address risks to marine ecosystem and public health. Meanwhile the contaminants are potentially ideal tracers for material cycles and seawater circulation in the ocean. We present here Fukushima-derived radiocesium in seawaters at stations in the northwestern Pacific Ocean hundreds km away from FNPPs in February 2012. Surface and deeper samples (25-800 m) were collected into 20-L cubitainers using a bucket and a conductivity-temperature-depth rosette with water samplers, respectively. The sample were filtrated and acidified by nitric acid on board. Radiocesium in the seawater sample was concentrated onto ammonium molybdophosphate (AMP). The radiocesium in the AMP/Cs compound was measured using a gamma-spectrometry with well-type Ge detectors. Fukushima-derived radiocesium was found at all the stations from 20°N to 42°N about one year after the disaster. Concentration of radiocesium in the surface mixed layer (0 ~ 150-m depth approximately) was highest in the transition area between the subarctic and subtropical regions (~ 20 Bq/m3) because of the direct discharge of radiocesium from FNPPs into the transition area. The surface concentrations in the subarctic and subtropical regions were less than 5 and 1 Bq/m3, respectively, most of which were probably derived from the atmospheric deposition of Fukushima-derived radiocesium. Below the surface mixed layer the Fukushima-derived radiocesium decreases sharply and was not detected below 400-m depth at stations in the subarctic region and transition area. However at stations just

  12. [Medical and biological consequences of nuclear disasters].

    PubMed

    Stalpers, Lukas J A; van Dullemen, Simon; Franken, N A P Klaas

    2012-01-01

    Medical risks of radiation exaggerated; psychological risks underestimated. The discussion about atomic energy has become topical again following the nuclear accident in Fukushima. There is some argument about the gravity of medical and biological consequences of prolonged exposure to radiation. The risk of cancer following a low dose of radiation is usually estimated by linear extrapolation of the incidence of cancer among survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The radiobiological linear-quadratic model (LQ-model) gives a more accurate description of observed data, is radiobiologically more plausible and is better supported by experimental and clinical data. On the basis of this model there is less risk of cancer being induced following radiation exposure. The gravest consequence of Chernobyl and Fukushima is not the medical and biological damage, but the psychological and economical impact on rescue workers and former inhabitants. PMID:22607840

  13. Radiocesium Distribution in Bamboo Shoots after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    Higaki, Takumi; Higaki, Shogo; Hirota, Masahiro; Hasezawa, Seiichiro

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of radiocesium was examined in bamboo shoots, Phyllostachys pubescens, collected from 10 sites located some 41 to 1140 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan, in the Spring of 2012, 1 year after the Fukushima nuclear accident. Maximum activity concentrations for radiocesium 134Cs and 137Cs in the edible bamboo shoot parts, 41 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, were in excess of 15.3 and 21.8 kBq/kg (dry weight basis; 1.34 and 1.92 kBq/kg, fresh weight), respectively. In the radiocesium-contaminated samples, the radiocesium activities were higher in the inner tip parts, including the upper edible parts and the apical culm sheath, than in the hardened culm sheath and underground basal parts. The radiocesium/potassium ratios also tended to be higher in the inner tip parts. The radiocesium activities increased with bamboo shoot length in another bamboo species, Phyllostachys bambusoides, suggesting that radiocesium accumulated in the inner tip parts during growth of the shoots. PMID:24831096

  14. An American hibakusha in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Nollet, Kenneth E

    2011-01-01

    A magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami originating off the east coast of Japan triggered the explosive release of radioactive isotopes from one of four nuclear power plants in the affected area. This event has been compared with the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the intervening era of atmospheric nuclear weapons testing. The credibility of any comparison depends on the source, for which reason various specialists were invited to address an audience of media, healthcare, and disaster response professionals on July 18, 2011 in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture. This article is based on a presentation given July 18, and interprets the Fukushima nuclear crisis from the perspective of an American doctor who grew up downwind of an atomic bomb test site, and who now works at Fukushima Medical University. PMID:22353658

  15. The limits of public communication coordination in a nuclear emergency: lessons from media reporting on the Fukushima case.

    PubMed

    Prezelj, Iztok; Perko, Tanja; Cantone, Marie C; Gallego, Eduardo; Tomkiv, Yevgeniya; Oughton, Deborah H

    2016-06-01

    Coordination of public communication has become a key issue in management of complex emergencies, and is a matter of debate between nuclear emergency management professionals. A particular problem is when inconsistent information is sent to the media and public by official sources from different levels, which has led to calls for a more coordinated approach. The IAEA created guidelines recommending a one-voice communication approach that provides clear, consistent and coordinated information by relevant stakeholders. The reviewed theory on the emergency communication coordination and the empirical results in this paper demonstrate some challenges regarding the feasibility of the above stated goal. This paper explores the communication process in the two-month period of the Fukushima nuclear emergency by using a quantitative comparative content and discourse analysis of 1340 printed media articles on the Fukushima nuclear disaster from two major newspapers in Spain ('El País' and 'El Mundo'), Italy ('Corriere della Sera' and 'La Repubblica'), Norway ('Aftenposten' and 'Dagsavisen'), Slovenia ('Delo' and 'Večer'), Belgium ('Le Soir' and 'De Standaard') and Russia ('Komsomolskaya Pravda' and 'Izvestiya'). The results show that it will be difficult to achieve a truly coordinated approach and one-voice communication in severe nuclear and radiological emergency due to the communication difficulties created by the dispersion of information sources, a broad and dispersed focus of the reported information, partially subjective and conflicting media reporting. The paper suggests ways to improve public communication coordination in nuclear and radiological disasters. PMID:27270489

  16. Inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice from Fukushima Prefecture after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nihei, Naoto; Tanoi, Keitaro; Nakanishi, Tomoko M.

    2015-03-01

    We summarize the inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, for 3 years from the nuclear accident in 2011. In 2011, three types of verifications, preliminary survey, main inspection, and emergency survey, revealed that rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 500 Bq/kg (the provisional regulation level until March 2012 in Japan) was identified in the areas north and west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The internal exposure of an average adult eating rice grown in the area north of the nuclear plant was estimated as 0.05 mSv/year. In 2012, Fukushima Prefecture authorities decided to investigate the radiocesium concentration levels in all rice using custom-made belt conveyor testers. Notably, rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 100 Bq/kg (the new standard since April 2012 in Japan) were detected in only 71 and 28 bags out of the total 10,338,000 in 2012 and 11,001,000 in 2013, respectively. We considered that there were almost no rice exceeding 100 Bq/kg produced in Fukushima Prefecture after 3 years from the nuclear accident, and the safety of Fukushima's rice were ensured because of the investigation of all rice.

  17. Inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice from Fukushima Prefecture after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Nihei, Naoto; Tanoi, Keitaro; Nakanishi, Tomoko M

    2015-01-01

    We summarize the inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, for 3 years from the nuclear accident in 2011. In 2011, three types of verifications, preliminary survey, main inspection, and emergency survey, revealed that rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 500 Bq/kg (the provisional regulation level until March 2012 in Japan) was identified in the areas north and west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The internal exposure of an average adult eating rice grown in the area north of the nuclear plant was estimated as 0.05 mSv/year. In 2012, Fukushima Prefecture authorities decided to investigate the radiocesium concentration levels in all rice using custom-made belt conveyor testers. Notably, rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 100 Bq/kg (the new standard since April 2012 in Japan) were detected in only 71 and 28 bags out of the total 10,338,000 in 2012 and 11,001,000 in 2013, respectively. We considered that there were almost no rice exceeding 100 Bq/kg produced in Fukushima Prefecture after 3 years from the nuclear accident, and the safety of Fukushima's rice were ensured because of the investigation of all rice. PMID:25731663

  18. Inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice from Fukushima Prefecture after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident

    PubMed Central

    Nihei, Naoto; Tanoi, Keitaro; Nakanishi, Tomoko M.

    2015-01-01

    We summarize the inspections of radiocesium concentration levels in rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, for 3 years from the nuclear accident in 2011. In 2011, three types of verifications, preliminary survey, main inspection, and emergency survey, revealed that rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 500 Bq/kg (the provisional regulation level until March 2012 in Japan) was identified in the areas north and west of the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The internal exposure of an average adult eating rice grown in the area north of the nuclear plant was estimated as 0.05 mSv/year. In 2012, Fukushima Prefecture authorities decided to investigate the radiocesium concentration levels in all rice using custom-made belt conveyor testers. Notably, rice with radiocesium concentration levels over 100 Bq/kg (the new standard since April 2012 in Japan) were detected in only 71 and 28 bags out of the total 10,338,000 in 2012 and 11,001,000 in 2013, respectively. We considered that there were almost no rice exceeding 100 Bq/kg produced in Fukushima Prefecture after 3 years from the nuclear accident, and the safety of Fukushima's rice were ensured because of the investigation of all rice. PMID:25731663

  19. Tenth Warren K. Sinclair keynote address-the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident and comprehensive health risk management.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shunichi

    2014-02-01

    Just two years have passed since the Tokyo Electric Power Company-Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident, a multidimensional disaster that combined to destroy the local infrastructure on which the safety system depended and gave a serious impact to the world. Countermeasures including evacuation, sheltering, and control of the food chain were implemented in a timely manner by the Japanese government. However, there is a clear need for improvement, especially in the areas of nuclear safety and protection and also in the management of the radiation health risk during and even after the accident. To date there have been no acute radiation injuries. The radiation-related physical health consequences to the general public, including evacuees, are likely to be much lower than those arising from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident, because the radiation fallout and the subsequent environmental contamination were much more limited. However, the social, psychological, and economic impacts of the Fukushima NPP accident are expected to be considerable. Currently, continued monitoring and characterization of the levels of radioactivity in the environment and foods in Fukushima are vital for obtaining informed consent to the decisions on living in the areas already radiocontaminated and returning back to the evacuated areas once re-entry is permitted; it is also important to perform a realistic assessment of the radiation doses on the basis of measurements. We are currently implementing the official plans of the Fukushima Health Management Survey, which includes a basic survey for the estimation of the external doses that were received during the first 4 mo after the accident and four more detailed surveys (thyroid ultrasound examination, comprehensive health check-up, mental health and life-style survey, and survey of pregnant women and nursing mothers), with the aim to take care of the health of all of the residents of the Fukushima Prefecture for a long time

  20. Strontium-90 activity concentration in soil samples from the exclusion zone of the Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant.

    PubMed

    Sahoo, Sarata Kumar; Kavasi, Norbert; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Arae, Hideki; Tokonami, Shinji; Mietelski, Jerzy Wojciech; Łokas, Edyta; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    The radioactive fission product (90)Sr has a long biological half-life (˜18 y) in the human body. Due to its chemical similarity to calcium it accumulates in bones and irradiates the bone marrow, causing its high radio-toxicity. Assessing (90)Sr is therefore extremely important in case of a nuclear disaster. In this work 16 soil samples were collected from the exclusion zone (<30 km) of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to measure (90)Sr activity concentration using liquid scintillation counting. (137)Cs activity concentration was also measured with gamma-spectroscopy in order to investigate correlation with (90)Sr. The (90)Sr activity concentrations ranged from 3.0 ± 0.3 to 23.3 ± 1.5 Bq kg(-1) while the (137)Cs from 0.7 ± 0.1 to 110.8 ± 0.3 kBq kg(-1). The fact that radioactive contamination originated from the Fukushima nuclear accident was obvious due to the presence of (134)Cs. However, (90)Sr contamination was not confirmed in all samples although detectable amounts of (90)Sr can be expected in Japanese soils, as a background, stemming from global fallout due to the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests. Correlation analysis between (90)Sr and (137)Cs activity concentrations provides a potentially powerful tool to discriminate background (90)Sr level from its Fukushima contribution. PMID:27048779

  1. Strontium-90 activity concentration in soil samples from the exclusion zone of the Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahoo, Sarata Kumar; Kavasi, Norbert; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Arae, Hideki; Tokonami, Shinji; Mietelski, Jerzy Wojciech; Łokas, Edyta; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2016-04-01

    The radioactive fission product 90Sr has a long biological half-life (˜18 y) in the human body. Due to its chemical similarity to calcium it accumulates in bones and irradiates the bone marrow, causing its high radio-toxicity. Assessing 90Sr is therefore extremely important in case of a nuclear disaster. In this work 16 soil samples were collected from the exclusion zone (<30 km) of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to measure 90Sr activity concentration using liquid scintillation counting. 137Cs activity concentration was also measured with gamma-spectroscopy in order to investigate correlation with 90Sr. The 90Sr activity concentrations ranged from 3.0 ± 0.3 to 23.3 ± 1.5 Bq kg‑1 while the 137Cs from 0.7 ± 0.1 to 110.8 ± 0.3 kBq kg‑1. The fact that radioactive contamination originated from the Fukushima nuclear accident was obvious due to the presence of 134Cs. However, 90Sr contamination was not confirmed in all samples although detectable amounts of 90Sr can be expected in Japanese soils, as a background, stemming from global fallout due to the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests. Correlation analysis between 90Sr and 137Cs activity concentrations provides a potentially powerful tool to discriminate background 90Sr level from its Fukushima contribution.

  2. Strontium-90 activity concentration in soil samples from the exclusion zone of the Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant

    PubMed Central

    Sahoo, Sarata Kumar; Kavasi, Norbert; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Arae, Hideki; Tokonami, Shinji; Mietelski, Jerzy Wojciech; Łokas, Edyta; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2016-01-01

    The radioactive fission product 90Sr has a long biological half-life (˜18 y) in the human body. Due to its chemical similarity to calcium it accumulates in bones and irradiates the bone marrow, causing its high radio-toxicity. Assessing 90Sr is therefore extremely important in case of a nuclear disaster. In this work 16 soil samples were collected from the exclusion zone (<30 km) of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to measure 90Sr activity concentration using liquid scintillation counting. 137Cs activity concentration was also measured with gamma-spectroscopy in order to investigate correlation with 90Sr. The 90Sr activity concentrations ranged from 3.0 ± 0.3 to 23.3 ± 1.5 Bq kg−1 while the 137Cs from 0.7 ± 0.1 to 110.8 ± 0.3 kBq kg−1. The fact that radioactive contamination originated from the Fukushima nuclear accident was obvious due to the presence of 134Cs. However, 90Sr contamination was not confirmed in all samples although detectable amounts of 90Sr can be expected in Japanese soils, as a background, stemming from global fallout due to the atmospheric nuclear weapon tests. Correlation analysis between 90Sr and 137Cs activity concentrations provides a potentially powerful tool to discriminate background 90Sr level from its Fukushima contribution. PMID:27048779

  3. Medical management of the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident.

    PubMed

    Hachiya, Misao; Tominaga, Takako; Tatsuzaki, Hideo; Akashi, Makoto

    2014-02-01

    A huge earthquake struck the northeast coast of the main island of Japan on March 11, 2011, triggering a tsunami with 14-15 meter-high waves hitting the area. The earthquake was followed by numerous sustained aftershocks. The earthquake affected the nuclear power plant (NPP) in Fukushima prefecture, resulting in large amounts of radioactive materials being released into the environment. The major nuclides released on land were ¹³¹I, ¹³⁴Cs, and ¹³⁷Cs. Therefore, almost 170,000 people had to be evacuated or stay indoors. Besides the NPP and the telecommunications system, the earthquake also affected infrastructures such as the supplies of water and electricity as well as the radiation monitoring system. The local hospital system was dysfunctional; hospitals designated as radiation-emergency facilities were not able to function because of damage from the earthquake and tsunami, and some of them were located within a 20 km radius of the NPP, the designated evacuation zone. Local fire department personnel were also asked to evacuate. Furthermore, the affected hospitals had not established their evacuation plans at that time. We have learned from this "combined disaster" that the potential for damage to lifelines as well as the monitoring systems for radiation in case of an earthquake requires our intense focus and vigilance, and that hospitals need comprehensive plans for evacuation, including patients requiring life support equipment during and after a nuclear disaster. There is an urgent need for a "combined disaster" strategy, and this should be emphasized in current disaster planning and response. PMID:24648044

  4. Thyroid Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor Accident

    PubMed Central

    Nagataki, Shigenobu

    2012-01-01

    Background A special report, ‘The Fukushima Accident’, was delivered at the 35th Annual Meeting of the European Thyroid Association in Krakow on September 11, 2011, and this study is the follow-up of the special report. Objectives To present a preliminary review of potential thyroid consequences of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear reactor accident. Methods Numerous new data have been presented in Japanese, and most of them are available on the website from each research institute and/or from each municipality. The review was made using these data from the website. Results When individual radiation doses were expressed as values in more than 99% of residents, radiation doses by behavior survey in evacuation and deliberate evacuation areas were less than 10 mSv in the first 4 months, and internal radiation doses measured by whole body counters were less than 1 mSv/year. Individual thyroid radiation doses were less than 50 mSv (intervention levels) even in evacuation areas. As for health consequences, no one died and no one suffered from acute effects. The thyroid ultrasound examination is in progress and following examination of almost 40,000 children, 35% of them have nodules and/or cysts but no cancers. Conclusions Countermeasures against radiation must consider current individual measured values, although every effort must be taken to reconstruct radiation doses as precisely as possible. At present, the difference of thyroid radiation dose between Chernobyl and Fukushima appears to be due to the strict control of milk started within a week after the accident in Fukushima. Since the iodine-131 plume moved around in wide areas and for a long time, the method of thyroid protection must be reconsidered. PMID:24783014

  5. The Fukushima Nuclear Accident: What has been learned from it?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohska, Tokio

    2014-05-01

    The ill-fated Fukushima nuclear reactors are still in a state in which Japanese are struggling to find the end of the tunnel. They are now facing with the highly contaminated radioactive water. It is polluting the world unless confined in a small space for an incredibly long time. There have been many cases such as the crude oil leak from a deep-sea oil well polluting ocean or many volcanic eruptions that had globally polluted air. Why the Fukushima nuclear accident should be treated in a different way when these radioactive materials were originally from ground and they will eventually find their way back into a soil? The reality is not as simple and a remarkable difference needs to be put into consideration: nuclear wastes are highly condensed because humans worked to make them that way so that they can be used as nuclear fuel or atomic bomb. Trouble is that one finds in nuclear waste many radioactive substances with very long half-life times that would stay hazardous for many future generations. Most ashes from big volcanic eruption find their way to the ground within several years or so. Once they landed the surface of the ground, they are no different from the soil and will become basically harmless dusts. On the contrary, for some part of nuclear waste it will take over 10,000 years to become almost harmless. In general any human being does not feel a real threat on anything that would happen far beyond his/her life span. People usually are optimistic by saying that someone in a future would come up with a perfect solution to take care of the problems associated with nuclear waste. This argument reflects a very irresponsible attitude of people working on the project involving nuclear fuel. The problems in Fukushima nuclear accidents are mainly resulting from such an irresponsible attitude. Is it ever possible to see a happy end with any nuclear power station based on such a human mentality?

  6. Psychological Impact of Nuclear Disasters in Children and Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Latif, Finza; Yeatermeyer, Jessica; Horne, Zachary D; Beriwal, Sushil

    2015-10-01

    Although much has been written about the psychological impact of natural disasters, the impact of nuclear disasters has not been extensively studied in children. Nuclear disasters are unique because they are man-made and represent a failure of the safety systems put in place to contain dangerous radioactive materials. This article summarizes the available literature on 3 of the biggest nuclear disasters in history. There is a need for further investigation not only of the impact on children but also of whether the consequences are a direct result of the disaster, radiation exposure, or the psychosocial disruptions resulting from the disaster. PMID:26346391

  7. Childhood and Adolescent Thyroid Cancer in Fukushima after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident: 5 Years On.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, S

    2016-04-01

    The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant occurred after the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, releasing a large amount of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. Questions were raised regarding the health effects of radiation exposure, which led to increased anxiety among the Fukushima residents about the possible development of thyroid cancer. Thus, thyroid ultrasound examinations began for those who were from the areas where the radiation doses were highest, and will continue for the long term. In total, 300 476 subjects aged 18 years or younger at the time of the disaster were screened from 9 October 2011 to 31 March 2014. The participation rate was 81.7% of the total population of this age and in the affected area. Among them, the proportions of those who fell into the categories A1 (no nodules or cysts present), A2 (nodule ≤ 5 mm or cyst ≤ 20 mm diameter), B (nodule > 5 mm or cyst > 20 mm diameter) and C (immediate need for further investigation) were 51.5, 47.8, 0.8 and 0%, respectively; 2294 subjects in categories B and C were recommended to undergo a confirmatory examination; 113 were subsequently diagnosed with malignancy or suspected malignancy by fine needle aspiration cytology. The full-scale survey (second round survey) began in April 2014, and was completed by 30 June 2015, and comprised 169 455 subjects (participation rate; 44.7%). The proportions of those who fell into the categories A1, A2, B and C were 41.6, 57.6, 0.8 and 0% (no case), respectively; 1223 subjects in category B were recommended to undergo a confirmatory examination, 25 of these were subsequently diagnosed with malignancy or suspected malignancy by fine needle aspiration cytology. The thyroid cancers identified in this survey so far are unlikely to be due to radiation exposure, and are more likely to be the result of screening using highly sophisticated ultrasound techniques. However, it would be advisable to continue long

  8. Relationship between Individual External Doses, Ambient Dose Rates and Individuals' Activity-Patterns in Affected Areas in Fukushima following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident.

    PubMed

    Naito, Wataru; Uesaka, Motoki; Yamada, Chie; Kurosawa, Tadahiro; Yasutaka, Tetsuo; Ishii, Hideki

    2016-01-01

    The accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, released radioactive material into the atmosphere and contaminated the land in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures. Five years after the nuclear disaster, the radiation levels have greatly decreased due to physical decay, weathering, and decontamination operations in Fukushima. The populations of 12 communities were forced to evacuate after the accident; as of March 2016, the evacuation order has been lifted in only a limited area, and permanent habitation is still prohibited in most of the areas. In order for the government to lift the evacuation order and for individuals to return to their original residential areas, it is important to assess current and future realistic individual external doses. Here, we used personal dosimeters along with the Global Positioning System and Geographic Information System to understand realistic individual external doses and to relate individual external doses, ambient doses, and activity-patterns of individuals in the affected areas in Fukushima. The results showed that the additional individual external doses were well correlated to the additional ambient doses based on the airborne monitoring survey. The results of linear regression analysis suggested that the additional individual external doses were on average about one-fifth that of the additional ambient doses. The reduction factors, which are defined as the ratios of the additional individual external doses to the additional ambient doses, were calculated to be on average 0.14 and 0.32 for time spent at home and outdoors, respectively. Analysis of the contribution of various activity patterns to the total individual external dose demonstrated good agreement with the average fraction of time spent daily in each activity, but the contribution due to being outdoors varied widely. These results are a valuable contribution to understanding realistic individual external doses and the corresponding

  9. Relationship between Individual External Doses, Ambient Dose Rates and Individuals’ Activity-Patterns in Affected Areas in Fukushima following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    PubMed Central

    Kurosawa, Tadahiro; Yasutaka, Tetsuo; Ishii, Hideki

    2016-01-01

    The accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, released radioactive material into the atmosphere and contaminated the land in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures. Five years after the nuclear disaster, the radiation levels have greatly decreased due to physical decay, weathering, and decontamination operations in Fukushima. The populations of 12 communities were forced to evacuate after the accident; as of March 2016, the evacuation order has been lifted in only a limited area, and permanent habitation is still prohibited in most of the areas. In order for the government to lift the evacuation order and for individuals to return to their original residential areas, it is important to assess current and future realistic individual external doses. Here, we used personal dosimeters along with the Global Positioning System and Geographic Information System to understand realistic individual external doses and to relate individual external doses, ambient doses, and activity-patterns of individuals in the affected areas in Fukushima. The results showed that the additional individual external doses were well correlated to the additional ambient doses based on the airborne monitoring survey. The results of linear regression analysis suggested that the additional individual external doses were on average about one-fifth that of the additional ambient doses. The reduction factors, which are defined as the ratios of the additional individual external doses to the additional ambient doses, were calculated to be on average 0.14 and 0.32 for time spent at home and outdoors, respectively. Analysis of the contribution of various activity patterns to the total individual external dose demonstrated good agreement with the average fraction of time spent daily in each activity, but the contribution due to being outdoors varied widely. These results are a valuable contribution to understanding realistic individual external doses and the corresponding

  10. Estimating Annual Individual Doses for Evacuees Returning Home to Areas Affected by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident.

    PubMed

    Yajima, Kazuaki; Kurihara, Osamu; Ohmachi, Yasushi; Takada, Masashi; Omori, Yasutaka; Akahane, Keiichi; Kim, Eunjoo; Torikoshi, Masami; Yonehara, Hidenori; Yoshida, Satoshi; Sakai, Kazuo; Akashi, Makoto

    2015-08-01

    To contribute to the reconstruction and revitalization of Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 nuclear power disaster, annual individual doses were estimated for evacuees who will return home to Tamura City, Kawauchi Village, and Iitate Village in Fukushima. Ambient external dose rates and individual doses obtained with personal dosimeters were measured at many residential and occupational sites throughout the study areas to obtain fundamental data needed for the estimation. The measurement results indicated that the ratio of individual dose based on a personal dosimeter to the ambient external dose measurement was 0.7 with 10% uncertainty. Multiplying the ambient external dose by 0.7 may be an appropriate measure of the effective dose to an individual in the investigated area. Annual individual doses were estimated for representative lifestyles and occupations based on the ambient external dose rates at the measurement sites, taking into account the relationship between the ambient external dose and individual dose. The results were as follows: 0.6-2.3 mSv y in Tamura, 1.1-5.5 mSv y in Kawauchi, and 3.8-17 mSv y in Iitate. For all areas investigated, the estimated dose to outdoor workers was higher than that to indoor workers. Identifying ways to reduce the amount of time that an outdoor worker spends outdoors would provide an effective measure to reduce dose. PMID:26107433

  11. Radiocesium concentrations in wild mushrooms collected in Kawauchi Village after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Nakashima, Kanami; Orita, Makiko; Fukuda, Naoko; Taira, Yasuyuki; Hayashida, Naomi; Matsuda, Naoki; Takamura, Noboru

    2015-01-01

    It is well known from the experience after the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that radiocesium tends to concentrate in wild mushrooms. In this study, we collected wild mushrooms from the Kawauchi Village of Fukushima Prefecture, located within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and evaluated their radiocesium concentrations to estimate the risk of internal radiation exposure in local residents. We found that radioactive cesium exceeding 100 Bq/kg was detected in 125 of 154 mushrooms (81.2%). We calculated committed effective doses based on 6,278 g per year (age > 20 years, 17.2 g/day), the average intake of Japanese citizens, ranging from doses of 0.11-1.60 mSv, respectively. Although committed effective doses are limited even if residents eat contaminated foods several times, we believe that comprehensive risk-communication based on the results of the radiocesium measurements of food, water, and soil is necessary for the recovery of Fukushima after this nuclear disaster. PMID:26623189

  12. Radiocesium concentrations in wild mushrooms collected in Kawauchi Village after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

    PubMed Central

    Nakashima, Kanami; Orita, Makiko; Fukuda, Naoko; Taira, Yasuyuki; Hayashida, Naomi; Matsuda, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    It is well known from the experience after the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that radiocesium tends to concentrate in wild mushrooms. In this study, we collected wild mushrooms from the Kawauchi Village of Fukushima Prefecture, located within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and evaluated their radiocesium concentrations to estimate the risk of internal radiation exposure in local residents. We found that radioactive cesium exceeding 100 Bq/kg was detected in 125 of 154 mushrooms (81.2%). We calculated committed effective doses based on 6,278 g per year (age > 20 years, 17.2 g/day), the average intake of Japanese citizens, ranging from doses of 0.11–1.60 mSv, respectively. Although committed effective doses are limited even if residents eat contaminated foods several times, we believe that comprehensive risk-communication based on the results of the radiocesium measurements of food, water, and soil is necessary for the recovery of Fukushima after this nuclear disaster. PMID:26623189

  13. Lessons from Fukushima for Improving the Safety of Nuclear Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyman, Edwin

    2012-02-01

    The March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has revealed serious vulnerabilities in the design, operation and regulation of nuclear power plants. While some aspects of the accident were plant- and site-specific, others have implications that are broadly applicable to the current generation of nuclear plants in operation around the world. Although many of the details of the accident progression and public health consequences are still unclear, there are a number of lessons that can already be drawn. The accident demonstrated the need at nuclear plants for robust, highly reliable backup power sources capable of functioning for many days in the event of a complete loss of primary off-site and on-site electrical power. It highlighted the importance of detailed planning for severe accident management that realistically evaluates the capabilities of personnel to carry out mitigation operations under extremely hazardous conditions. It showed how emergency plans rooted in the assumption that only one reactor at a multi-unit site would be likely to experience a crisis fail miserably in the event of an accident affecting multiple reactor units simultaneously. It revealed that alternate water injection following a severe accident could be needed for weeks or months, generating large volumes of contaminated water that must be contained. And it reinforced the grim lesson of Chernobyl: that a nuclear reactor accident could lead to widespread radioactive contamination with profound implications for public health, the economy and the environment. While many nations have re-examined their policies regarding nuclear power safety in the months following the accident, it remains to be seen to what extent the world will take the lessons of Fukushima seriously and make meaningful changes in time to avert another, and potentially even worse, nuclear catastrophe.

  14. Sensitivity analysis of a short distance atmospheric dispersion model applied to the Fukushima disaster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Périllat, Raphaël; Girard, Sylvain; Korsakissok, Irène; Mallet, Vinien

    2015-04-01

    In a previous study, the sensitivity of a long distance model was analyzed on the Fukushima Daiichi disaster case with the Morris screening method. It showed that a few variables, such as horizontal diffusion coefficient or clouds thickness, have a weak influence on most of the chosen outputs. The purpose of the present study is to apply a similar methodology on the IRSN's operational short distance atmospheric dispersion model, called pX. Atmospheric dispersion models are very useful in case of accidental releases of pollutant to minimize the population exposure during the accident and to obtain an accurate assessment of short and long term environmental and sanitary impact. Long range models are mostly used for consequences assessment while short range models are more adapted to the early phases of the crisis and are used to make prognosis. The Morris screening method was used to estimate the sensitivity of a set of outputs and to rank the inputs by their influences. The input ranking is highly dependent on the considered output, but a few variables seem to have a weak influence on most of them. This first step revealed that interactions and non-linearity are much more pronounced with the short range model than with the long range one. Afterward, the Sobol screening method was used to obtain more quantitative results on the same set of outputs. Using this method was possible for the short range model because it is far less computationally demanding than the long range model. The study also confronts two parameterizations, Doury's and Pasquill's models, to contrast their behavior. The Doury's model seems to excessively inflate the influence of some inputs compared to the Pasquill's model, such as the altitude of emission and the air stability which do not have the same role in the two models. The outputs of the long range model were dominated by only a few inputs. On the contrary, in this study the influence is shared more evenly between the inputs.

  15. [Accidents of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants and future].

    PubMed

    Hoshi, Masaharu

    2012-01-01

    A massive earthquake of magnitude 9 terribly happened far out at sea of Tohoku area on 11 March, 2011. After this earthquake the hugest tsunami in the history came to the hundreds km of the seashore of Tohoku area. Due to this tsunami all of the four nuclear power plants of Fukushima Daiichi lost every electric power and, soon after this, loss nuclear fuels from number 1 to 3 reactors melt through their power containers. According to this phenomena, large amount of the radio-activities have been released in the air. There were some releases but major contaminations happened at the time of the two releases in the morning of 15 March, 2011. Due to this, to the direction of the northwest until the Iitate Village over 30km zone was contaminated. In this paper I explain the time course of the accidents and that how contaminated. PMID:24568025

  16. Fukushima Nuclear Accident Recorded in Tibetan Plateau Snow Pits

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ninglian; Wu, Xiaobo; Kehrwald, Natalie; Li, Zhen; Li, Quanlian; Jiang, Xi; Pu, Jianchen

    2015-01-01

    The β radioactivity of snow-pit samples collected in the spring of 2011 on four Tibetan Plateau glaciers demonstrate a remarkable peak in each snow pit profile, with peaks about ten to tens of times higher than background levels. The timing of these peaks suggests that the high radioactivity resulted from the Fukushima nuclear accident that occurred on March 11, 2011 in eastern Japan. Fallout monitoring studies demonstrate that this radioactive material was transported by the westerlies across the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The depth of the peak β radioactivity in each snow pit compared with observational precipitation records, suggests that the radioactive fallout reached the Tibetan Plateau and was deposited on glacier surfaces in late March 2011, or approximately 20 days after the nuclear accident. The radioactive fallout existed in the atmosphere over the Tibetan Plateau for about one month. PMID:25658094

  17. [The Fukushima nuclear accident: consequences for Japan and for us].

    PubMed

    Grosche, B

    2013-04-01

    The Fukushima accident was the consequence of a preceding 2-fold natural catastrophe: the earth quake of 11 March 2011 and the subsequent tsunami. Due to favourable winds and to evacuation measures the radiation exposure to the general population in Japan as a whole and with some exceptions in the region outside the evacuation zone, too, was low. In this article the attempt is made to give an estimate of health consequences to the public. This is based upon WHO's dose estimates, knowledge of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, of the atmospheric nuclear bomb testing in Kazakhstan and on the risk of childhood leukaemia after low dose radiation exposure. For Germany, there was no radiation threat due to the accident. Nonetheless, the events in Japan made clear that the rules and standards that were developed for the case of a reactor accident need to be revised. PMID:23576143

  18. Fukushima nuclear accident: preliminary assessment of the risks to non-human biota.

    PubMed

    Aliyu, Abubakar Sadiq; Ramli, Ahmad Termizi; Garba, Nuraddeen Nasiru; Saleh, Muneer Aziz; Gabdo, Hamman Tukur; Liman, Muhammad Sanusi

    2015-02-01

    This study assesses the 'radio-ecological' impacts of Fukushima nuclear accident on non-human biota using the ERICA Tool, which adopts an internationally verified methodology. The paper estimates the impacts of the accident on terrestrial and marine biota based on the environmental data reported in literature for Japan, China, South Korea and the USA. Discernible impacts have been detected in the marine biota around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This study confirms that the Fukushima accident had caused heavier damage to marine bionts compared with terrestrial flora and fauna, in Japan. PMID:24827576

  19. What Students Think About (Nuclear) Radiation - Before and After Fukushima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, S.

    2014-06-01

    Preparing successful science lessons is very demanding. One important aspect a teacher has to consider is the students' previous knowledge about the specific topic. This is why research about students' preconceptions has been, and continues to be, a major field in science education research. Following a constructivistic approach [R. Duit et al., International handbook of research on conceptual change, p. 629 (2008)], helping students learn is only possible if teachers know about students' ideas beforehand. Studies about students' conceptions regarding the major topics in physics education (e.g. mechanics, electrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics), are numerous and well-documented. The topic radiation, however, has seen very little empirical research about students' ideas and misconceptions. Some research was conducted after the events of Chernobyl [P. Lijnse et al., International Journal of Science Education 12, 67 (1990); B. Verplanken, Environment and Behavior 21, 7 (1989)] and provided interesting insight into some of the students' preconceptions about radiation. In order to contribute empirical findings to this field of research, our workgroup has been investigating the conceptions students have about the topic radiation for several years [S. Neumann et al., Journal of Science Education and Technology 21, 826 (2012)]. We used children's drawings and conducted short follow-up interviews with students (9 - 12 years old) and more detailed interviews with 15-year-old students. Both studies were originally done before the events in Fukushima and replicated a year later. We not only asked students about their general associations and emotions regarding the term radiation, but also examined the students' risk perceptions of different types of radiation. Through the use of open-ended questions we were able to examine students' conceptions about different types of radiation (including nuclear) that could be a hindrance to student learning. Our results show that students

  20. Effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on goshawk reproduction.

    PubMed

    Murase, Kaori; Murase, Joe; Horie, Reiko; Endo, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Although the influence of nuclear accidents on the reproduction of top predators has not been investigated, it is important that we identify the effects of such accidents because humans are also top predators. We conducted field observation for 22 years and analysed the reproductive performance of the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis fujiyamae), a top avian predator in the North Kanto area of Japan, before and after the accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that occurred in 2011. The reproductive performance declined markedly compared with the pre-accident years and progressively decreased for the three post-accident study years. Moreover, it was suggested that these declines were primarily caused by an increase in the air dose rate of radio-active contaminants measured under the nests caused by the nuclear accidents, rather than by other factors. We consider the trends in the changes of the reproductive success rates and suggest that internal exposure may play an important role in the reproductive performance of the goshawk, as well as external exposure. PMID:25802117

  1. Effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident on goshawk reproduction

    PubMed Central

    Murase, Kaori; Murase, Joe; Horie, Reiko; Endo, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Although the influence of nuclear accidents on the reproduction of top predators has not been investigated, it is important that we identify the effects of such accidents because humans are also top predators. We conducted field observation for 22 years and analysed the reproductive performance of the goshawk (Accipiter gentilis fujiyamae), a top avian predator in the North Kanto area of Japan, before and after the accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that occurred in 2011. The reproductive performance declined markedly compared with the pre-accident years and progressively decreased for the three post-accident study years. Moreover, it was suggested that these declines were primarily caused by an increase in the air dose rate of radio-active contaminants measured under the nests caused by the nuclear accidents, rather than by other factors. We consider the trends in the changes of the reproductive success rates and suggest that internal exposure may play an important role in the reproductive performance of the goshawk, as well as external exposure. PMID:25802117

  2. World population, human disaster, and nuclear holocaust.

    PubMed

    Giddings, J C

    1973-09-01

    Too little attention is being paid to the theoretical mechanics of dealing with the optimum level of human population. Yet without such efforts, population goals are essentially meaningless and there is little incentive to curtail population growth. In an attempt to take a step in that direction, the author discusses a broad class of interrelated phenomena--consisting of various threats to human existence--that hinge strongly on population density. Then he develops simple conceptual models that provide a quantitative population dependence for various threats. These are always expressed as a simple power of population. Only threats of disasters that increase with an increase in population density are considered, eliminating most natural disasters. Threats of the 1st order, such as those from nuclear wastes and chemical pollutants, increase with an increase in population and a resultant increase in production. However, with increasing crowding and dependency upon high energy systems to provide basic resources, many 1st order threats can become threats of the 2nd of higher orders. The burial of nuclear wastes, for example, presents a threat of the 2nd order by affecting 1) the integrity of the geological formation at the burial site; and 2) the quantity of the radioactive material. As the relationship between population and interdependency strengthens, the crucial question will concern the stability of the independent networks; 1 error, due to human frailty or malice, can destroy a chain supplying food, energy, communications, or water. Into this system are thrown nuclear weapons, which, through human error or malice, could demolish the world. To illuminate some of the major elements of the nuclear threat, a model based on the threshold concept of nuclear armaments was created. This concept recognizes that any alliance of people possessing a minimum of technological and economic resources could build and deploy nuclear weapons. Most alliances will constitute no danger

  3. Estimated association between dwelling soil contamination and internal radiation contamination levels after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Tsubokura, Masaharu; Nomura, Shuhei; Sakaihara, Kikugoro; Kato, Shigeaki; Leppold, Claire; Furutani, Tomoyuki; Morita, Tomohiro; Oikawa, Tomoyoshi; Kanazawa, Yukio

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Measurement of soil contamination levels has been considered a feasible method for dose estimation of internal radiation exposure following the Chernobyl disaster by means of aggregate transfer factors; however, it is still unclear whether the estimation of internal contamination based on soil contamination levels is universally valid or incident specific. Methods To address this issue, we evaluated relationships between in vivo and soil cesium-137 (Cs-137) contamination using data on internal contamination levels among Minamisoma (10–40 km north from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant), Fukushima residents 2–3 years following the disaster, and constructed three models for statistical analysis based on continuous and categorical (equal intervals and quantiles) soil contamination levels. Results A total of 7987 people with a mean age of 55.4 years underwent screening of in vivo Cs-137 whole-body counting. A statistically significant association was noted between internal and continuous Cs-137 soil contamination levels (model 1, p value <0.001), although the association was slight (relative risk (RR): 1.03 per 10 kBq/m2 increase in soil contamination). Analysis of categorical soil contamination levels showed statistical (but not clinical) significance only in relatively higher soil contamination levels (model 2: Cs-137 levels above 100 kBq/m2 compared to those <25 kBq/m2, RR=1.75, p value <0.01; model 3: levels above 63 kBq/m2 compared to those <11 kBq/m2, RR=1.45, p value <0.05). Conclusions Low levels of internal and soil contamination were not associated, and only loose/small associations were observed in areas with slightly higher levels of soil contamination in Fukushima, representing a clear difference from the strong associations found in post-disaster Chernobyl. These results indicate that soil contamination levels generally do not contribute to the internal contamination of residents in Fukushima; thus, individual

  4. Fukushima Daiichi Muon Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyadera, Haruo

    2015-10-01

    Japanese government announced cold-shutdown condition of the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi by the end of 2011, and mid- and long-term roadmap towards decommissioning has been drawn. However, little is known for the conditions of the cores because access to the reactors has been limited by the high radiation environment. The debris removal from the Unit 1 - 3 is planned to start as early as 2020, but the dismantlement is not easy without any realistic information of the damage to the cores, and the locations and amounts of the fuel debris. Soon after the disaster of Fukushima Daiichi, several teams in the US and Japan proposed to apply muon transmission or scattering imagings to provide information of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors without accessing inside the reactor building. GEANT4 modeling studies of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 and 2 showed clear superiority of the muon scattering method over conventional transmission method. The scattering method was demonstrated with a research reactor, Toshiba Nuclear Critical Assembly (NCA), where a fuel assembly was imaged with 3-cm resolution. The muon scattering imaging of Fukushima Daiichi was approved as a national project and is aiming at installing muon trackers to Unit 2. A proposed plan includes installation of muon trackers on the 2nd floor (operation floor) of turbine building, and in front of the reactor building. Two 7mx7m detectors were assembled at Toshiba and tested.

  5. Numerical simulation on the long-term variation of radioactive cesium concentration in the North Pacific due to the Fukushima disaster.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, Hideyuki; Kobayashi, Takuya; Furuno, Akiko; Usui, Norihisa; Kamachi, Masafumi

    2014-10-01

    Numerical simulations on oceanic (134)Cs and (137)Cs dispersions were intensively conducted in order to assess an effect of the radioactive cesium on the North Pacific environment with a focus on the long-term variation of the radioactive cesium concentration after the Fukushima disaster that occurred in March 2011. The amounts of (134)Cs and (137)Cs released into the ocean were estimated using oceanic monitoring data, whereas the atmospheric deposition was calculated through atmospheric dispersion simulations. The highly accurate ocean current reanalyzed through a three-dimensional variational data assimilation enabled us to clarify the time series of the (134)Cs and (137)Cs concentrations in the North Pacific. It was suggested that the main radioactive cesium cloud due to the direct oceanic release reached the central part of the North Pacific, crossing 170°W one year after the Fukushima disaster. The radioactive cesium was efficiently diluted by meso-scale eddies in the Kuroshio Extension region and its concentration in the surface, intermediate, and deep layers had already been reduced to the pre-Fukushima background value in the wide area within the North Pacific 2.5 years after the Fukushima disaster. PMID:24907706

  6. Assessment of individual radionuclide distributions from the Fukushima nuclear accident covering central-east Japan.

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Norikazu; Sueki, Keisuke; Sasa, Kimikazu; Kitagawa, Jun-ichi; Ikarashi, Satoshi; Nishimura, Tomohiro; Wong, Ying-Shee; Satou, Yukihiko; Handa, Koji; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Sato, Masanori; Yamagata, Takeyasu

    2011-12-01

    A tremendous amount of radioactivity was discharged because of the damage to cooling systems of nuclear reactors in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures were contaminated with fission products from the accident. Here, we show a geographical distribution of radioactive iodine, tellurium, and cesium in the surface soils of central-east Japan as determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Especially in Fukushima prefecture, contaminated area spreads around Iitate and Naka-Dori for all the radionuclides we measured. Distributions of the radionuclides were affected by the physical state of each nuclide as well as geographical features. Considering meteorological conditions, it is concluded that the radioactive material transported on March 15 was the major contributor to contamination in Fukushima prefecture, whereas the radioactive material transported on March 21 was the major source in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures and in Tokyo. PMID:22084070

  7. Assessment of individual radionuclide distributions from the Fukushima nuclear accident covering central-east Japan

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Norikazu; Sueki, Keisuke; Sasa, Kimikazu; Kitagawa, Jun-ichi; Ikarashi, Satoshi; Nishimura, Tomohiro; Wong, Ying-Shee; Satou, Yukihiko; Handa, Koji; Takahashi, Tsutomu; Sato, Masanori; Yamagata, Takeyasu

    2011-01-01

    A tremendous amount of radioactivity was discharged because of the damage to cooling systems of nuclear reactors in the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. Fukushima and its adjacent prefectures were contaminated with fission products from the accident. Here, we show a geographical distribution of radioactive iodine, tellurium, and cesium in the surface soils of central-east Japan as determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Especially in Fukushima prefecture, contaminated area spreads around Iitate and Naka-Dori for all the radionuclides we measured. Distributions of the radionuclides were affected by the physical state of each nuclide as well as geographical features. Considering meteorological conditions, it is concluded that the radioactive material transported on March 15 was the major contributor to contamination in Fukushima prefecture, whereas the radioactive material transported on March 21 was the major source in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Saitama, and Chiba prefectures and in Tokyo. PMID:22084070

  8. Fukushima Nuclear Accident Report Calls for More Focus on Threats From Extreme Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2014-08-01

    Nuclear plant licensees and their regulators "must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards that have the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants." That is the overarching lesson from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan, according to a 24 July report issued by a committee of the U.S. National Research Council.

  9. Fukushima Daiichi: implications for carbon-free energy, nuclear nonproliferation, and community resilience.

    PubMed

    Hall, Howard L

    2011-07-01

    Implications of the nuclear power plant accidents at Fukushima Daiichi are explored in this commentary. In addition to questions of nuclear reactor regulatory standards, broader implications on noncarbon-emitting energy production, nuclear nonproliferation objectives, and community resilience and emergency response against catastrophic events are explored. PMID:21608105

  10. Surveillance of Strontium-90 in Foods after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident.

    PubMed

    Nabeshi, Hiromi; Tsutsumi, Tomoaki; Uekusa, Yoshinori; Hachisuka, Akiko; Matsuda, Rieko; Teshima, Reiko

    2015-01-01

    As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident, various radionuclides were released into the environment. In this study, we surveyed strontium-90 ((90)Sr) concentrations in several foodstuffs. Strontium-90 is thought to be the third most important residual radionuclide in food collected after the Fukushima Daiichi, NPP accident after following cesium-137 ((137)Cs) and cesium-134 ((134)Cs). Results of (90)Sr analyses indicated that (90)Sr was detect in 25 of the 40 radioactive cesium (r-Cs) positive samples collected in areas around the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, ranging in distance from 50 to 250 km. R-Cs positive samples were defined as containing both (134)Cs and (137)Cs which are considered to be indicators of the after-effects of the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident. We also detected (90)Sr in 8 of 13 r-Cs negative samples, in which (134)Cs was not detected. Strontium-90 concentrations in the r-Cs positive samples did not significantly exceed the (90)Sr concentrations in r-Cs negative samples or the (90)Sr concentration ranges in comparable food groups found in previous surveys before the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident. Thus, (90)Sr concentrations in r-Cs positive samples were indistinguishable from the background (90)Sr concentrations arising from global fallout prior to the Fukushima accident, suggesting that no marked increase of (90)Sr concentrations has occurred in r-Cs positive samples as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident. PMID:26346857

  11. Impacts of the Fukushima nuclear power plants on marine radioactivity.

    PubMed

    Buesseler, Ken; Aoyama, Michio; Fukasawa, Masao

    2011-12-01

    The impacts on the ocean of releases of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants remain unclear. However, information has been made public regarding the concentrations of radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium in ocean water near the discharge point. These data allow us to draw some basic conclusions about the relative levels of radionuclides released which can be compared to prior ocean studies and be used to address dose consequences as discussed by Garnier-Laplace et al. in this journal. The data show peak ocean discharges in early April, one month after the earthquake and a factor of 1000 decrease in the month following. Interestingly, the concentrations through the end of July remain higher than expected implying continued releases from the reactors or other contaminated sources, such as groundwater or coastal sediments. By July, levels of (137)Cs are still more than 10,000 times higher than levels measured in 2010 in the coastal waters off Japan. Although some radionuclides are significantly elevated, dose calculations suggest minimal impact on marine biota or humans due to direct exposure in surrounding ocean waters, though considerations for biological uptake and consumption of seafood are discussed and further study is warranted. PMID:22013920

  12. The Fukushima Nuclear Power Station incident and marine pollution.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yen-Chiang; Zhao, Yue

    2012-05-01

    Based on the facts relating to the radioactive wastewater discharged by the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station in Japan, this paper intends to explore the international legal obligations for Japan from three perspectives, namely, the immediate notification, the prevention of transboundary harm and the prevention of dumping. Furthermore, this article defines and compares two types of international legal liabilities, the traditional state responsibility and the responsibility for transboundary harm. Through comparison, the international legal liability of Japan is discussed. After detailed analysis, the conclusion is that Japan should be responsible for the obligation of immediate notification and since Japan unilaterally discharge the wastes without prior specific permits of other contracting countries, it should also be responsible for the violation of prevention of dumping. Since so far, no material injury has emerged and there would appear to be no culpability as regards the prevention of transboundary harm. Finally, this paper stresses the necessity to develop a worldwide agreement concerning the liability for transboundary harm and to establish an institutional framework for the enforcement of a state's obligations, and also the great significance of international cooperation between nations and organisations in relation to marine environmental protection. PMID:22364923

  13. Radioactivity from Fukushima nuclear accident detected in Lisbon, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, F P; Reis, M C; Oliveira, J M; Malta, M; Silva, L

    2012-12-01

    The radioactivity released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident was transported around the globe by atmospheric processes. Several artificial radionuclides were detected and measured in aerosols and atmospheric surface depositions in the Lisbon area during late March and early April 2011. The highest concentrations measured in aerosols were those of particulate (131)I, 1.39 ± 0.08 mBq m(-3). Cesium-134, (137)Cs and (132)Te were also determined but at lower concentrations. The total atmospheric depositions on the ground were higher on the first week of April with values for (131)I, (134)Cs, and (137)Cs of 0.92 ± 0.11, 0.59 ± 0.06, and 0.62 ± 0.12 Bq m(-2), respectively. The four artificial radionuclides measurable, (131)I, (132)Te (134)Cs, and (137)Cs, caused little radiation exposure to the members of the public, that was five orders of magnitude lower than the ionizing radiation effective dose limits for members of the public for one year (1 mSv y(-1)). PMID:22503401

  14. Change in and long-term investigation of neuro-otologic disorders in disaster-stricken Fukushima prefecture: retrospective cohort study before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Jun; Hidaka, Hiroshi; Kuriyama, Shinichi; Obara, Taku; Hashimoto, Ken; Tateda, Yutaka; Okumura, Yuri; Kobayashi, Toshimitsu; Katori, Yukio

    2015-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, Japan's northeast Pacific coast was hit by a gigantic earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture is situated approximately 44 km north of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Soma General Hospital is the only hospital in Soma City that provides full-time otolaryngological medical care. We investigated the changes in new patients from one year before to three years after the disaster. We investigated 18,167 new patients treated at our department during the four years from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2014. Of the new patients, we categorized the diagnoses into Meniere's disease, acute low-tone sensorineural hearing loss, vertigo, sudden deafness, tinnitus, and facial palsy as neuro-otologic symptoms. We also investigated the changes in the numbers of patients whom we examined at that time concerning other otolaryngological disorders, including epistaxis, infectious diseases of the laryngopharynx, and allergic rhinitis. The total number of new patients did not change remarkably on a year-to-year basis. Conversely, cases of vertigo, Meniere's disease, and acute low-tone sensorineural hearing loss increased in number immediately after the disaster, reaching a plateau in the second year and slightly decreasing in the third year. Specifically, 4.8% of patients suffering from these neuro-otologic diseases had complications from depression and other mental diseases. With regard to new patients in our department, there was no apparent increase in the number of patients suffering from diseases other than neuro-otologic diseases, including epistaxis, and allergic rhinitis. Patients suffering from vertigo and/or dizziness increased during the first few years after the disaster. These results are attributed to the continuing stress and tension of the inhabitants. This investigation of those living in the disaster area highlights the need for long-term support. PMID:25849607

  15. RAPID RADIOCHEMICAL ANALYSES IN SUPPORT OF FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, S.

    2012-11-07

    There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods for emergency response, including emergency soil and air filter samples. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performed analyses on samples received from Japan in April, 2011 as part of a U.S. Department of Energy effort to provide assistance to the government of Japan, following the nuclear event at Fukushima Daiichi, resulting from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Of particular concern was whether it was safe to plant rice in certain areas (prefectures) near Fukushima. The primary objectives of the sample collection, sample analysis, and data assessment teams were to evaluate personnel exposure hazards, identify the nuclear power plant radiological source term and plume deposition, and assist the government of Japan in assessing any environmental and agricultural impacts associated with the nuclear event. SRNL analyzed approximately 250 samples and reported approximately 500 analytical method determinations. Samples included soil from farmland surrounding the Fukushima reactors and air monitoring samples of national interest, including those collected at the U.S. Embassy and American military bases. Samples were analyzed for a wide range of radionuclides, including strontium-89, strontium-90, gamma-emitting radionuclides, and plutonium, uranium, americium and curium isotopes. Technical aspects of the rapid soil and air filter analyses will be described. The extent of radiostrontium contamination was a significant concern. For {sup 89,90}Sr analyses on soil samples, a rapid fusion technique using 1.5 gram soil aliquots to enable a Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) of <1 pCi {sup 89,90} Sr /g of soil was employed. This sequential technique has been published recently by this laboratory for actinides and radiostrontium in soil and vegetation. It consists of a rapid sodium hydroxide fusion, pre-concentration steps using iron hydroxide and calcium fluoride precipitations, followed

  16. Rapid Radiochemical Analyses in Support of Fukushima Nuclear Accident - 13196

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, Sherrod L.; Culligan, Brian K.; Hutchison, Jay B.

    2013-07-01

    There is an increasing need to develop faster analytical methods for emergency response, including emergency soil and air filter samples [1, 2]. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) performed analyses on samples received from Japan in April, 2011 as part of a U.S. Department of Energy effort to provide assistance to the government of Japan, following the nuclear event at Fukushima Daiichi, resulting from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Of particular concern was whether it was safe to plant rice in certain areas (prefectures) near Fukushima. The primary objectives of the sample collection, sample analysis, and data assessment teams were to evaluate personnel exposure hazards, identify the nuclear power plant radiological source term and plume deposition, and assist the government of Japan in assessing any environmental and agricultural impacts associated with the nuclear event. SRNL analyzed approximately 250 samples and reported approximately 500 analytical method determinations. Samples included soil from farmland surrounding the Fukushima reactors and air monitoring samples of national interest, including those collected at the U.S. Embassy and American military bases. Samples were analyzed for a wide range of radionuclides, including strontium-89, strontium-90, gamma-emitting radionuclides, and plutonium, uranium, americium and curium isotopes. Technical aspects of the rapid soil and air filter analyses will be described. The extent of radiostrontium contamination was a significant concern. For {sup 89,90}Sr analyses on soil samples, a rapid fusion technique using 1.5 gram soil aliquots to enable a Minimum Detectable Activity (MDA) of <1 pCi {sup 89,90}Sr /g of soil was employed. This sequential technique has been published recently by this laboratory for actinides and radiostrontium in soil and vegetation [3, 4]. It consists of a rapid sodium hydroxide fusion, pre-concentration steps using iron hydroxide and calcium fluoride

  17. Quantitative Assessment of Preventive Behaviors in France during the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis

    PubMed Central

    Crépey, Pascal; Pivette, Mathilde; Bar-Hen, Avner

    2013-01-01

    Background The Fukushima nuclear disaster has generated worldwide concern on the risk of exposure to nuclear radiations. In Europe, health authorities had to issue statements about the lack of usefulness of iodine based preventive treatments within their borders. However a lack of confidence in official messages has developed in various European countries due to recent perceived failures in managing public health crises. The lay population preventive behaviors in this context are largely unknown. Consequently, to examine the effects of public health crisis on lay behaviors leading to pharmaceuticals purchases, we studied the sales of iodine-based products in France before, during and after the crisis. Methods We focused our study on 58 iodine-based drugs available with and without a physician prescription. Our data came from a stratified sample of 3004 pharmacies in metropolitan France. Our study period was from January 2010 to April 2012, with a focus on March-April 2011. We differentiated sales of drugs prescribed by physicians from sales of drugs obtained without a prescription. We used a CUSUM method to detect abnormal increases in sales activity and cross-correlations to assess shifts in sales timing. Results Sales of iodine-based nutritional complements, and later sales of iodine-based homeopathic remedies, substantially increased (up to 3-fold) during a period of 20 days. Their temporal patterns were correlated to specific events during the crisis. Prescriptions for iodine-based homeopathy increased (up to 35% of all sales). Iodine pills, strictly regulated by health authorities, have also been sold but on a very small scale. Conclusion These results indicate uncontrolled preventive behaviors resulting in the potentially unjustifiable consumption of available drugs. They have implications in public policy, and demonstrate the usefulness of drug sales surveillance for instantaneous evaluation of population behavior during a global crisis. PMID:23505499

  18. Nuclear disasters and health: lessons learned, challenges, and proposals.

    PubMed

    Ohtsuru, Akira; Tanigawa, Koichi; Kumagai, Atsushi; Niwa, Ohtsura; Takamura, Noboru; Midorikawa, Sanae; Nollet, Kenneth; Yamashita, Shunichi; Ohto, Hitoshi; Chhem, Rethy K; Clarke, Mike

    2015-08-01

    Past nuclear disasters, such as the atomic bombings in 1945 and major accidents at nuclear power plants, have highlighted similarities in potential public health effects of radiation in both circumstances, including health issues unrelated to radiation exposure. Although the rarity of nuclear disasters limits opportunities to undertake rigorous research of evidence-based interventions and strategies, identification of lessons learned and development of an effective plan to protect the public, minimise negative effects, and protect emergency workers from exposure to high-dose radiation is important. Additionally, research is needed to help decision makers to avoid premature deaths among patients already in hospitals and other vulnerable groups during evacuation. Since nuclear disasters can affect hundreds of thousands of people, a substantial number of people are at risk of physical and mental harm in each disaster. During the recovery period after a nuclear disaster, physicians might need to screen for psychological burdens and provide general physical and mental health care for many affected residents who might experience long-term displacement. Reliable communication of personalised risks has emerged as a challenge for health-care professionals beyond the need to explain radiation protection. To overcome difficulties of risk communication and provide decision aids to protect workers, vulnerable people, and residents after a nuclear disaster, physicians should receive training in nuclear disaster response. This training should include evidence-based interventions, support decisions to balance potential harms and benefits, and take account of scientific uncertainty in provision of community health care. An open and joint learning process is essential to prepare for, and minimise the effects of, future nuclear disasters. PMID:26251394

  19. The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Takako; Hachiya, Misao; Tatsuzaki, Hideo; Akashi, Makoto

    2014-06-01

    A huge earthquake struck the northeast coast of the main island of Japan on 11 March 2011, triggering a tsunami with more than 10-m-high waves hitting the area. The earthquake was followed by numerous sustained aftershocks. The earthquake and aftershocks left almost 16,000 people dead and more than 2,800 missing (as of 11 March 2014). The earthquake affected the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), causing serious damage to the NPP and resulting in large amounts of radioactive materials being released into not only controlled areas but also the environment. Damage was caused to the cooling systems of the NPP, although they automatically shut down after the earthquake. The trouble with the cooling systems led to hydrogen explosions and core meltdown. The major nuclides released on land were ¹³¹I, ¹³⁴Cs, and ¹³⁷Cs. The release of these radioactive materials resulted in contamination of first responders and workers and also a high ambient dose of radiation around the NPP. The local hospital system, including that for radiation emergency medicine, was dysfunctional. Hospitals that had been designated as radiation emergency facilities were not able to function because the earthquake and tsunami had caused damage to their facilities; some of these were located within a 20-km radius of the NPP and in the evacuation areas. Local fire department personnel were also ordered to evacuate. Fukushima prefecture changed the screening level required for decontamination from 13,000 to 100,000 cpm, with decontamination by wiping being performed for over 13,000 cpm. However, as hospitals and fire departments had to abide by lower levels than that of the prefecture for receiving or transporting contaminated patients, these personnel could not accept or transport contaminated people from the NPPs. In addition, hospitals not designated as radiation emergency facilities would not receive patients from the NPPs because of concerns

  20. Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident due to Tohoku Region Pacific Coast Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miki, M.; Wada, M.; Takeuchi, N.

    2012-01-01

    On March 11 2011, Great Eastern Japan Earthquake hit Japan and caused the devastating damage. Fukushima Nuclear Power Station (NPS) also suffered damages and provided the environmental effect with radioactive products. The situation has been settled to some extent about two months after the accidents, and currently, the cooling of reactor is continuing towards settling the situation. Japanese NPSs are designed based on safety requirements and have multiple-folds of hazard controls. However, according to publicly available information, due to the lager-than-anticipated Tsunami, all the power supply were lost, which resulted in loss of hazard controls. Also, although nuclear power plants are equipped with system/procedure in case of loss of all controls, recovery was not made as planned in Fukushima NPSs because assumptions for hazard controls became impractical or found insufficient. In consequence, a state of emergency was declared. Through this accident, many lessons learned have been obtained from the several perspectives. There are many commonality between nuclear safety and space safety. Both industries perform thorough hazard assessments because hazards in both industries can result in loss of life. Therefore, space industry must learn from this accident and reconsider more robust space safety. This paper will introduce lessons learned from Fukushima nuclear accident described in the "Report of the Japanese Government to the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety" [1], and discuss the considerations to establish more robust safety in the space systems. Detailed information of Fukushima Dai-ichi NPS are referred to this report.

  1. Internal Radiation Exposure Dose in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture after the Accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant

    PubMed Central

    Orita, Makiko; Hayashida, Naomi; Nukui, Hiroshi; Fukuda, Naoko; Kudo, Takashi; Matsuda, Naoki; Fukushima, Yoshiko; Takamura, Noboru

    2014-01-01

    As a result of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) on 11 March 2011, a huge amount of radionuclides, including radiocesium, was released and spread over a wide area of eastern Japan. Although three years have passed since the accident, residents around the FNPP are anxious about internal radiation exposure due to radiocesium. In this study, we screened internal radiation exposure doses in Iwaki city of Fukushima prefecture, using a whole-body counter. The first screening was conducted from October 2012 to February 2013, and the second screening was conducted from May to November 2013. Study participants were employees of ALPINE and their families who underwent examination. A total of 2,839 participants (1,366 men and 1,473 women, 1–86 years old) underwent the first screening, and 2,092 (1,022 men and 1,070 women, 1–86 years old) underwent the second screening. The results showed that 99% of subjects registered below 300 Bq per body in the first screening, and all subjects registered below 300 Bq per body in the second screening. The committed effective dose ranged from 0.01–0.06 mSv in the first screening and 0.01–0.02 mSv in the second screening. Long-term follow-up studies are needed to avoid unnecessary chronic internal exposure and to reduce anxiety among the residents by communicating radiation health risks. PMID:25478794

  2. Aerial Radiation Measurements from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    SciTech Connect

    Guss, P. P.

    2012-07-16

    This document is a slide show type presentation concerning DOE and Aerial Measuring System (AMS) activities and results with respect to assessing the consequences of the releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. These include ground monitoring and aerial monitoring.

  3. Public meetings on radiation and its health effects caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident

    SciTech Connect

    Sugiyama, K.; Ayame, J.; Takashita, H.; Yamamoto, R.

    2013-07-01

    The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has held public meetings on radiation and its health effects mainly for parents of students in kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior high schools in Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures after the Fukushima nuclear accident. These meetings are held based on our experience of practicing risk communication activities for a decade in JAEA with local residents. By analyzing questionnaires collected after the meetings, we confirmed that interactive communication is effective in increasing participants' understanding and in decreasing their anxiety. Most of the participants answered that they understood the contents and that it eased their mind. (authors)

  4. [Radiation measures and trend after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident].

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Ryuji

    2014-02-01

    The radioactive materials spread by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident in March, 2011 caused NPP workers to be exposed to radiation above ordinance limits. The number of workers exposed to radiation within ordinance limits is increasing. Decontamination began at many places in Fukushima, although new laws were enforced in the decontamination work, in the current situation, medical examinations for radiation are limited due to a shortage of doctors. In this paper, I introduce the ordinances on the prevention of ionizing radiation hazards and the revised points about radiation exposure doses of the NPP workers, as well as the new ordinance for decontamination. PMID:24605520

  5. Trans-oceanic transport of 137Cs from the Fukushima nuclear accident and impact of hypothetical Fukushima-like events of future nuclear plants in Southern China.

    PubMed

    Wai, Ka-Ming; Yu, Peter K N

    2015-03-01

    A Lagrangian model was adopted to assess the potential impact of (137)Cs released from hypothetical Fukushima-like accidents occurring on three potential nuclear power plant sites in Southern China in the near future (planned within 10 years) in four different seasons. The maximum surface (0-500 m) (137)Cs air concentrations would be reached 10 Bq m(-3) near the source, comparable to the Fukushima case. In January, Southeast Asian countries would be mostly affected by the radioactive plume due to the effects of winter monsoon. In April, the impact would be mainly on Southern and Northern China. Debris of radioactive plume (~1 mBq m(-3)) would carry out long-range transport to North America. The area of influence would be the smallest in July due to the frequent and intense wet removal events by trough of low pressure and tropical cyclone. The maximum worst-case areas of influence were 2382000, 2327000, 517000 and 1395000 km(2) in January, April, July and October, respectively. Prior to the above calculations, the model was employed to simulate the trans-oceanic transport of (137)Cs from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Observed and modeled (137)Cs concentrations were comparable. Sensitivity runs were performed to optimize the wet scavenging parameterization. The adoption of higher-resolution (1° × 1°) meteorological fields improved the prediction. The computed large-scale plume transport pattern over the Pacific Ocean was compared with that reported in the literature. PMID:25474170

  6. A Magnetic Carbon Sorbent for Radioactive Material from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, Daizo; Furukawa, Kazumi; Takasuga, Masaya; Watanabe, Koki

    2014-08-01

    Here we present the first report of a carbon-γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticle composite of mesoporous carbon, bearing COOH- and phenolic OH- functional groups on its surface, a remarkable and magnetically separable adsorbent, for the radioactive material emitted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Contaminated water and soil at a level of 1,739 Bq kg-1 (134Cs and 137Cs at 509 Bq kg-1 and 1,230 Bq kg-1, respectively) and 114,000 Bq kg-1 (134Cs and 137Cs at 38,700 Bq kg-1 and 75,300 Bq kg-1, respectively) were decontaminated by 99% and 90% respectively with just one treatment carried out in Nihonmatsu city in Fukushima. Since this material is remarkably high performance, magnetically separable, and a readily applicable technology, it would reduce the environmental impact of the Fukushima accident if it were used.

  7. The Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident and its implications for the safety of nuclear power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barletta, William

    2016-05-01

    Five years ago the dramatic events in Fukushima that followed the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011 sharpened the focus of scientists, engineers and general public on the broad range of technical, environmental and societal issues involved in assuring the safety of the world's nuclear power complex. They also called into question the potential of nuclear power to provide a growing, sustainable resource of CO2-free energy. The issues raised by Fukushima Dai-ichi have provoked urgent concern, not only because of the potential harm that could result from severe accidents or from intentional damage to nuclear reactors or to facilities involved in the nuclear fuel cycle, but also because of the extensive economic impact of those accidents and of the measures taken to avoid them.

  8. Long-term transport and dispersion of 137Cs released into ocean off Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Chang; Qiao, Fangli; Wang, Guansuo; Xia, Changshui; Jung, KyungTae

    2014-05-01

    In the following days after the Fukushima nuclear accident which happened in 11th March 2011, significant amounts of radioactive materials (131I, 134Cs and 137Cs) had been leaking into the terrestrial and marine environments. The radionuclides model was used to study the distribution of the 137Cs in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean released from the Fukushima accident. The simulation on the distribution of 137Cs agrees well with the the observed profiles in the 9th November 2011, which proved the validaty of the model. In the first year of our model run, the 137Cs is carried eastward by the Kuroshio and its extension, spreading southward and northword meanwhile. Four or five years after the accident, the 137Cs reaches the US coast with the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean; its concentration is no higher than 3 Bq/m3. Ten years after the accident, all the North Pacific Ocean is labeled with the 137Cs from the Fukushima. The concentration is less than 1 Bq/m3 at that time. Thirty years after the accident, the concentration of 137Cs in both the Pacific and the Indian Ocean is below 0.1 Bq/m3. Since the spreading path of 137Cs from the Fukushima nuclear accident is just the migration route of the Pacific tuna, a kind of fish inhabit the western and eastern North Pacific, it may cause radioactive contamination to the fish. In the offshore seas of China, the 137Cs from Fukushima nuclear accident is very low (<0.2 Bq/m3) .

  9. News and Views: Perspectives for Nuclear Energy in Brazil After Fukushima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldemberg, José

    2011-09-01

    More than two decades after the Chernobyl accident, the world was experiencing a nuclear renaissance when an earthquake followed by a tsunami, both of uncommon proportions, led to major releases of radiation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear central. Many countries are now reevaluating decisions to expand their nuclear parks, a change of course motivated by a number of considerations. Combined with the same premises, lessons learned from the history of its nuclear program compel Brazil to turn to the renewable sources of energy at its disposal.

  10. Factors Associated with Infant Feeding Methods after the Nuclear Power Plant Accident in Fukushima: Data from the Pregnancy and Birth Survey for the Fiscal Year 2011 Fukushima Health Management Survey.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Kayoko; Goto, Aya; Ota, Misao; Yasumura, Seiji; Abe, Masafumi; Fujimori, Keiya

    2016-08-01

    Objectives The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of and factors associated with infant feeding methods after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident using data from the Fukushima Health Management Survey. Methods We conducted an anonymous self-administered questionnaire survey of 16,001 women who gave birth around the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and registered their pregnancies at Fukushima Prefecture municipal offices between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011. The responses of 8366 women were analyzed. Chi square tests and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to compare various factors between women who had formula-fed their children because of concern regarding radioactive contamination or other reasons and those who had breastfed exclusively. Results The percentage of women who had breastfed exclusively was 30.9 %. The percentage of women who had both breastfed and formula-fed or formula-fed exclusively was 69.1 %, of which 20.3 % formula-fed because of concern regarding radioactive contamination of breast milk. The use of formula feeding because of concern about radioactive contamination was significantly higher in women who had resided within the evacuation area and those whose regular antenatal care had been interrupted. The use of formula feeding for other reasons was significantly higher in women who had resided within the evacuation area and lower for those who had willingly switched to another medical institution. Conclusions for Practice Our results suggest the importance of providing breastfeeding support to women who are forced to evacuate or whose antenatal care is interrupted after a disaster. PMID:27028325

  11. Atmospheric radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor accident observed in Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Long, N Q; Truong, Y; Hien, P D; Binh, N T; Sieu, L N; Giap, T V; Phan, N T

    2012-09-01

    Radionuclides from the reactor accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant were observed in the surface air at stations in Hanoi, Dalat, and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam, about 4500 km southwest of Japan, during the period from March 27 to April 22, 2011. The maximum activity concentrations in the air measured at those three sites were 193, 33, and 37 μBq m(-3) for (131)I, (13)(4)Cs, and (13)(7)Cs, respectively. Peaks of radionuclide concentrations in the air corresponded to arrival of the air mass from Fukushima to Vietnam after traveling for 8 d over the Pacific Ocean. Cesium-134 was detected with the (134)Cs/(137)Cs activity ratio of about 0.85 in line with observations made elsewhere. The (131)I/(137)Cs activity ratio was observed to decrease exponentially with time as expected from radioactive decay. The ratio at Dalat, where is 1500 m high, was higher than those at Hanoi and HCMC in low lands, indicating the relative enrichment of the iodine in comparison to cesium at high altitudes. The time-integrated surface air concentrations of the Fukushima-derived radionuclides in the Southeast Asia showed exponential decrease with distance from Fukushima. PMID:22200554

  12. The time variation of dose rate artificially increased by the Fukushima nuclear crisis

    PubMed Central

    Hosoda, Masahiro; Tokonami, Shinji; Sorimachi, Atsuyuki; Monzen, Satoru; Osanai, Minoru; Yamada, Masatoshi; Kashiwakura, Ikuo; Akiba, Suminori

    2011-01-01

    A car-borne survey for dose rate in air was carried out in March and April 2011 along an expressway passing northwest of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station which released radionuclides starting after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and in an area closer to the Fukushima NPS which is known to have been strongly affected. Dose rates along the expressway, i.e. relatively far from the power station were higher after than before March 11, in some places by several orders of magnitude, implying that there were some additional releases from Fukushima NPS. The maximum dose rate in air within the high level contamination area was 36 μGy h−1, and the estimated maximum cumulative external dose for evacuees who came from Namie Town to evacuation sites (e.g. Fukushima, Koriyama and Nihonmatsu Cities) was 68 mSv. The evacuation is justified from the viewpoint of radiation protection. PMID:22355606

  13. Fukushima and the ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buesseler, Ken

    2013-04-01

    The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. The earthquake was the fourth largest ever recorded; the tsunami resulted in over 20,000 dead or missing and destroyed entire towns; and the radiation releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants created the largest accidental release of man-made radionuclides to the oceans in history— a release that continues to this day. Compared to monitoring on land, studies of the ocean are far fewer, yet the area impacted and quantity delivered- 80% of all radioactivity released- is far greater. For oceanographers, this presents a challenge of unprecedented scope and complexity: to understand exactly how these events played out, how radiation continues to move through the marine system (including important seafood items), and, in turn, how best to communicate scientific findings that will inform public policy decisions far into the future. This presentation will provide an overview of the sources and fate of radionuclides released from Fukushima to the ocean. An emphasis will be given on the sources of cesium, its transport in waters, and fluxes associated with sinking particles and accumulation in sediments.

  14. Answering Public Health Concerns Over Japanese Nuclear Disaster | ORAU

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Leeanna; Vasconez, Rachel

    2012-03-08

    When the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant became crippled following Japan's March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, some U.S. citizens became concerned about whether radiation would disperse across the Pacific Ocean. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prepared to assist in the U.S. response effort, ORAU provided the CDC with onsite, staff support at its Joint Information Center. ORAU also had a lead role in the development and execution of the CDC's first-ever Bridging the Gaps: Public Health and Radiation Emergency Preparedness conference, which took place 10 days after the earthquake and served as a forum for discussing the current state of radiation emergency preparedness.

  15. Determinants of intention to leave among non-medical employees after a nuclear disaster: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Saeka; Orita, Makiko; Fukushima, Yoshiko; Kudo, Takashi; Takamura, Noboru

    2016-01-01

    Objective To conduct a survey among non-medical employees working at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident, in order to determine the factors associated with their intentions to leave their jobs during the nuclear disaster. Participants We asked 287 employees (166 men and 121 women) in the study. Methods We asked about their intentions to leave their jobs after the nuclear disaster. We also asked about relevant factors, including the participants’ demographic factors, living situations and working environments. Results We found that in employees younger than 40 (OR=4.73, 95% CI 1.74 to 12.85, p=0.002), being married (OR=3.18, 95% CI 1.03 to 9.79, p=0.044), measurements of the ambient dose rates in their homes after the accident (OR=5.32, 95% CI 1.65 to 17.14, p=0.005), anxiety about their relationships with their colleagues after the accident (OR=3.91, 95% CI 1.51 to 10.16, p=0.005) and the influence of radiation on the workplace (OR=0.33, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.80, p=0.014) were independently associated with the non-medical employees’ intentions to leave their jobs after the nuclear disaster. Conclusions Our results suggest the need for continuous risk communication regarding such factors and the provision of information about the health effects of radiation exposure to non-medical employees after nuclear disasters. PMID:27436669

  16. Impact of Fukushima-derived radiocesium in the western North Pacific Ocean about ten months after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident.

    PubMed

    Kumamoto, Yuichiro; Aoyama, Michio; Hamajima, Yasunori; Murata, Akihiko; Kawano, Takeshi

    2015-02-01

    We measured vertical distributions of radiocesium ((134)Cs and (137)Cs) at stations along the 149°E meridian in the western North Pacific during winter 2012, about ten months after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP1) accident. The Fukushima-derived (134)Cs activity concentration and water-column inventory were largest in the transition region between 35 and 40°N approximately due to the directed discharge of the contaminated water from the FNPP1. The bomb-derived (137)Cs activity concentration just before the FNPP1 accident was derived from the excess (137)Cs activity concentration relative to the (134)Cs activity concentration. The water-column inventory of the bomb-derived (137)Cs was largest in the subtropical region south of 35°N, which implies that the Fukushima-derived (134)Cs will also be transported from the transition region to the subtropical region in the coming decades. Mean values of the water-column inventories decay-corrected for the Fukushima-derived (134)Cs and the bomb-derived (137)Cs were estimated to be 1020 ± 80 and 820 ± 120 Bq m(-2), respectively, suggesting that in winter 2012 the impact of the FNPP1 accident in the western North Pacific Ocean was nearly the same as that of nuclear weapons testing. Relationship between the water-column inventory and the activity concentration in surface water for the radiocesium is essential information for future evaluation of the total amount of Fukushima-derived radiocesium released into the North Pacific Ocean. PMID:25461523

  17. Two year monitoring of soil and radiocesium redistribution at the hillslope scale after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident fallout

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patin, Jeremy; Onda, Yuichi; Yoda, Hiroki

    2013-04-01

    This study started a few months after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster, triggered by the Tohoku earthquake on 11 March 2011 and followed by a massive released of radionuclides in the environment. In order to monitor the redistribution of radiocesium (134Cs and 137Cs), known to strongly sorb to soil particles, 5m x 22m bounded runoff plots were installed near the main contamination plume, 35 km from the power plant. Five typical land use of the region were investigated: bare soil, steep uncultivated hillslope, grassland, abandoned grazing land and young cedar forest. Since July 2011, runoff volumes were recorded and exported sediments were collected and assessed for their radiocesium content by laboratory gamma spectrometry. The bare soil plot, most susceptible to erosion, was subject to complementary monitoring by in situ gamma spectrometry and land survey. From this intensive monitoring, it appeared that despite the heavy rains and typhoons, low amounts sediments and radiocesium were exported for the various land uses, with the exception of the bare soil conditions. For the later, the fine exported sediments continuously exhibited relatively high contamination, and the complementary monitoring revealed complex sub-processes, such as zones of accumulation of sediments with areal activities locally 3 times higher than the initial radiocesium deposit.

  18. Effects of the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents on atmospheric electricity parameters recorded at Polish observation stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubicki, Marek; Baranski, Piotr; Odzimek, Anna; Michnowski, Stanislaw; Myslek-Laurikainen, Bogna

    2013-04-01

    We analyse the atmospheric electricity parameters, measured at Polish geophysical stations in Swider, Poland, and Hornsund, Spitsbergen, in connection with the radioactive incident in Fukushima, Japan, beginning on 11 March 2011, following the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. We compare our results with the situation during and after the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986, when the radioactive fallout detected at Swider increased in the last week of April 1986, from 4.111 to 238.7 Bq/m2 and up to 967.0 Bq/m2 in the second week of May 1986 - what was more than 235 times greater than the values measured prior to that accident. Besides the electric field especially the electric conductivity is very sensitive to the radioactive contamination of the air. Thus we postulate that these two measurements should be run at geophysical stations over the world and used as a relatively simple and low-cost tool for continuous monitoring of possible hazard caused by nuclear power plant accidents.

  19. Radioactive pollution from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the terrestrial environment.

    PubMed

    Tazoe, H; Hosoda, M; Sorimachi, A; Nakata, A; Yoshida, M A; Tokonami, S; Yamada, M

    2012-11-01

    Major contaminants from venting and hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors between 12 and 15 March 2011 were transported northwestward and deposited on soil and plants via precipitation. Surface soils and plant leaves were sampled at 64 sites in the Fukushima Prefecture. The highest concentrations of (134)Cs (84.4 kBq kg(-1)) and (137)Cs (82.0 kBq kg(-1)) in surface soils were observed at Nagadoro in Iidate village located 32 km northwest from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Furthermore, (131)I, (129)Te, (129 m)Te, (110 m)Ag and (140)La were detected in the same samples. Outer surface of plant leaves, such as bamboo, cabbage and grasses were highly contaminated at the high-dose rate areas of Tsushima and Minami-Tsushima in Namie town. Mugwort leaves that grew after the pollution event had extremely low concentration of radionuclides; however, the plant/soil radiocaesium ratio was 0.023 ± 0.006. It is anticipated that decomposition of fallen leaves will promote recycling of radionuclides in the environment. PMID:22933410

  20. Post-Accident Sporadic Releases of Airborne Radionuclides from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Site.

    PubMed

    Steinhauser, Georg; Niisoe, Tamon; Harada, Kouji H; Shozugawa, Katsumi; Schneider, Stephanie; Synal, Hans-Arno; Walther, Clemens; Christl, Marcus; Nanba, Kenji; Ishikawa, Hirohiko; Koizumi, Akio

    2015-12-15

    The Fukushima nuclear accident (March 11, 2011) caused the widespread contamination of Japan by direct deposition of airborne radionuclides. Analysis of weekly air filters has revealed sporadic releases of radionuclides long after the Fukushima Daiichi reactors were stabilized. One major discharge was observed in August 2013 in monitoring stations north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP). During this event, an air monitoring station in this previously scarcely contaminated area suddenly reported (137)Cs activity levels that were 30-fold above the background. Together with atmospheric dispersion and deposition simulation, radionuclide analysis in soil indicated that debris removal operations conducted on the FDNPP site on August 19, 2013 are likely to be responsible for this late release of radionuclides. One soil sample in the center of the simulated plume exhibited a high (90)Sr contamination (78 ± 8 Bq kg(-1)) as well as a high (90)Sr/(137)Cs ratio (0.04); both phenomena have usually been observed only in very close vicinity around the FDNPP. We estimate that through the resuspension of highly contaminated particles in the course of these earthmoving operations, gross (137)Cs activity of ca. 2.8 × 10(11) Bq has been released. PMID:26448161

  1. The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly

    PubMed Central

    Hiyama, Atsuki; Nohara, Chiyo; Kinjo, Seira; Taira, Wataru; Gima, Shinichi; Tanahara, Akira; Otaki, Joji M.

    2012-01-01

    The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. Here we show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species. PMID:22880161

  2. Input and output budgets of radiocesium concerning the forest floor in the mountain forest of Fukushima released from the TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident.

    PubMed

    Niizato, Tadafumi; Abe, Hironobu; Mitachi, Katsuaki; Sasaki, Yoshito; Ishii, Yasuo; Watanabe, Takayoshi

    2016-09-01

    Estimations of radiocesium input and output concerning the forest floor within a mountain forest region have been conducted in the north and central part of the Abukuma Mountains of Fukushima, northeast Japan, after a 2-3 year period following the TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. The radiocesium input and output associated with surface washoff, throughfall, stemflow, and litterfall processes at experimental plots installed on the forest floor of evergreen Japanese cedars and deciduous Konara oaks have been monitored. Despite the high output potential in the mountainous forest of Fukushima, the results at both monitoring locations show the radiocesium input to be 4-50 times higher than the output during the summer monsoon in Fukushima. These results indicate that the radiocesium tends to be preserved in the forest ecosystem due to extremely low output ratios (0.05%-0.19%). Thus, the associated fluxes throughout the circulation process are key issues for the projecting the environmental fate of the radiocesium levels, along with the subsequent reconstruction of life emphasized within the setting. PMID:27131868

  3. Using meteorological ensembles for atmospheric dispersion modelling of the Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Périllat, Raphaël; Korsakissok, Irène; Mallet, Vivien; Mathieu, Anne; Sekiyama, Thomas; Didier, Damien; Kajino, Mizuo; Igarashi, Yasuhito; Adachi, Kouji

    2016-04-01

    Dispersion models are used in response to an accidental release of radionuclides of the atmosphere, to infer mitigation actions, and complement field measurements for the assessment of short and long term environmental and sanitary impacts. However, the predictions of these models are subject to important uncertainties, especially due to input data, such as meteorological fields or source term. This is still the case more than four years after the Fukushima disaster (Korsakissok et al., 2012, Girard et al., 2014). In the framework of the SAKURA project, an MRI-IRSN collaboration, a meteorological ensemble of 20 members designed by MRI (Sekiyama et al. 2013) was used with IRSN's atmospheric dispersion models. Another ensemble, retrieved from ECMWF and comprising 50 members, was also used for comparison. The MRI ensemble is 3-hour assimilated, with a 3-kilometers resolution, designed to reduce the meteorological uncertainty in the Fukushima case. The ECMWF is a 24-hour forecast with a coarser grid, representative of the uncertainty of the data available in a crisis context. First, it was necessary to assess the quality of the ensembles for our purpose, to ensure that their spread was representative of the uncertainty of meteorological fields. Using meteorological observations allowed characterizing the ensembles' spread, with tools such as Talagrand diagrams. Then, the uncertainty was propagated through atmospheric dispersion models. The underlying question is whether the output spread is larger than the input spread, that is, whether small uncertainties in meteorological fields can produce large differences in atmospheric dispersion results. Here again, the use of field observations was crucial, in order to characterize the spread of the ensemble of atmospheric dispersion simulations. In the case of the Fukushima accident, gamma dose rates, air activities and deposition data were available. Based on these data, selection criteria for the ensemble members were

  4. Hemispheric dispersion of radioactive plume laced with fission nuclides from the Fukushima nuclear event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Shih-Chieh; Huh, Chih-An; Chan, Chuen-Yu; Lin, Shuen-Hsin; Lin, Fei-Jan; Liu, Shaw Chen

    2012-01-01

    Radioactivities of particulate 131I and 137Cs released from the Fukushima nuclear accident were monitored in a regional aerosol network including two high mountain sites (central Taiwan and Tibetan Plateau). The results were integrated with data measured elsewhere around the world, with special focus on the mid-latitudes. The hemispheric transport of the Fukushima radiation clouds (FRCs) by the westerlies took ˜18 days, displaying an exponential-like decrease eastward, with a dilution factor of at least five orders of magnitude following a full circuit around the globe. The initial two waves of FRCs may travel at different atitudes: the first one at ˜3-4 km, whereas the second one up to 5 km or more. 131I and 137Cs were fractionated during transport, with 137Cs concentrated in the shallower layer, susceptible to depositional removal, while 131I moving faster and higher. This accident may be exemplified to identify some atmospheric processes on the hemispheric scale.

  5. Predicted spatio-temporal dynamics of radiocesium deposited onto forests following the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Hashimoto, Shoji; Matsuura, Toshiya; Nanko, Kazuki; Linkov, Igor; Shaw, George; Kaneko, Shinji

    2013-01-01

    The majority of the area contaminated by the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident is covered by forest. To facilitate effective countermeasure strategies to mitigate forest contamination, we simulated the spatio-temporal dynamics of radiocesium deposited into Japanese forest ecosystems in 2011 using a model that was developed after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. The simulation revealed that the radiocesium inventories in tree and soil surface organic layer components drop rapidly during the first two years after the fallout. Over a period of one to two years, the radiocesium is predicted to move from the tree and surface organic soil to the mineral soil, which eventually becomes the largest radiocesium reservoir within forest ecosystems. Although the uncertainty of our simulations should be considered, the results provide a basis for understanding and anticipating the future dynamics of radiocesium in Japanese forests following the Fukushima accident. PMID:23995073

  6. Energy situations in Japan before and after the Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muraoka, K.

    2015-08-01

    This article describes the various effects on the public conception on nuclear energy and more generally on energy policies in Japan due to the nuclear accident that occurred on 11th March 2011 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station, which is owned and operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Before the accident, nuclear energy had been conceived as the main energy source of electricity in Japan for reducing CO2 emission beyond 2020. However, public opinion has turned almost completely against nuclear energy after observing how vulnerable the nuclear system had been. The present Japanese government is now trying to buy time before taking a decision. After explaining these circumstances, the author tries to chart his personal projection of energy sources for Japan to 2050.

  7. Analysis of Japanese Radionuclide Monitoring Data of Food Before and After the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    In an unprecedented food monitoring campaign for radionuclides, the Japanese government took action to secure food safety after the Fukushima nuclear accident (Mar. 11, 2011). In this work we analyze a part of the immense data set, in particular radiocesium contaminations in food from the first year after the accident. Activity concentrations in vegetables peaked immediately after the campaign had commenced, but they decreased quickly, so that by early summer 2011 only a few samples exceeded the regulatory limits. Later, accumulating mushrooms and dried produce led to several exceedances of the limits again. Monitoring of meat started with significant delay, especially outside Fukushima prefecture. After a buildup period, contamination levels of meat peaked by July 2011 (beef). Levels then decreased quickly, but peaked again in September 2011, which was primarily due to boar meat (a known accumulator of radiocesium). Tap water was less contaminated; any restrictions for tap water were canceled by April 1, 2011. Pre-Fukushima 137Cs and 90Sr levels (resulting from atmospheric nuclear explosions) in food were typically lower than 0.5 Bq/kg, whereby meat was typically higher in 137Cs and vegetarian produce was usually higher in 90Sr. The correlation of background radiostrontium and radiocesium indicated that the regulatory assumption after the Fukushima accident of a maximum activity of 90Sr being 10% of the respective 137Cs concentrations may soon be at risk, as the 90Sr/137Cs ratio increases with time. This should be taken into account for the current Japanese food policy as the current regulation will soon underestimate the 90Sr content of Japanese foods. PMID:25621976

  8. Indication of the radioactive fallout in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia following the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Alkhomashi, N; Almasoud, Fahad I

    2016-02-01

    On March 2011, a severe damage has occurred to Fukushima Di-iachi nuclear reactor complex in Japan following the huge earthquake and the resulting Tsunami. Consequently, vast amounts of radioactive fallout were released into the atmosphere and contaminated the environment in Japan. Soon after the accident, traces of anthropogenic radionuclides were detected in environmental samples collected in many parts in the northern hemisphere even very far away from Japan creating a global concern. There is no information about radioactive contamination in the Arabian Peninsula caused by the Japanese Fukushima nuclear accident. The first evidence of Fukushima radioactive fallout in Riyadh (24° 43' N, 46° 38' E), Saudi Arabia has been confirmed in April 8, 2011. The airborne fission products (131)I, (134)Cs and (137)Cs were measured in air samples. The radionuclide concentrations were determined by identifying their characteristic gamma rays using a germanium detector. Their activity concentrations were studied as a function of time over a period of 20 days at the end of which they had mostly fallen below our limit of detection. The maximum activity concentration of (131)I, (134)Cs and (137)Cs in air of, respectively, 323.7 ± 18.5, 17.2 ± 1.0 and 26.0 ± 1.8 μBq m(-3) were observed on April 10-11, 2011. The (131)I/(137)Cs and (134)Cs/(137)Cs activity ratio values in air were presented and discussed. Finally, the effective doses to the public of Riyadh city from inhalation of (131)I, (134)Cs and (137)Cs due to contribution from Fukushima incident was found far below levels of concern. PMID:26650827

  9. Physics from the News--Fukushima Daiichi: Radiation Doses and Dose Rates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartlett, A. A.

    2011-01-01

    The nuclear disaster that was triggered by the Japanese earthquake and the following tsunami of March 11, 2011, continues to be the subject of a great deal of news coverage. The tsunami caused severe damage to the nuclear power reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, and this led to the escape of unknown quantities of radioactive material from the damaged…

  10. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures.

    PubMed

    Anzai, Kazunori; Ban, Nobuhiko; Ozawa, Toshihiko; Tokonami, Shinji

    2012-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, an earthquake led to major problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A 14-m high tsunami triggered by the earthquake disabled all AC power to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Power Plant, and carried off fuel tanks for emergency diesel generators. Despite many efforts, cooling systems did not work and hydrogen explosions damaged the facilities, releasing a large amount of radioactive material into the environment. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of the nuclear accident, and the fundamental biological effects, acute and late, of the radiation. Possible medical countermeasures to radiation exposure are also discussed. PMID:22247595

  11. Radioactivity inspection of Taiwan for food products imported from Japan after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Huang-Sheng; Huang, Ping-Ji; Wuu, Jyi-Lan; Wang, Jeng-Jong

    2013-11-01

    The 3-11 Earthquake occurred in Japan last year had greatly damaged the lives and properties and also caused the core meltdown accident in the Fukushima nuclear power plant followed by the leakage of radioactive materials into biosphere. In order to protect against the detriment of radiation from foods which were imported from Japan, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER) in Taiwan started to conduct radioactivity inspection of food products from Japan after the accident. A total of about 20,000 samples had been tested from March 24 2011 to March 31 2012. PMID:23583088

  12. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures

    PubMed Central

    Anzai, Kazunori; Ban, Nobuhiko; Ozawa, Toshihiko; Tokonami, Shinji

    2012-01-01

    On March 11, 2011, an earthquake led to major problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A 14-m high tsunami triggered by the earthquake disabled all AC power to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Power Plant, and carried off fuel tanks for emergency diesel generators. Despite many efforts, cooling systems did not work and hydrogen explosions damaged the facilities, releasing a large amount of radioactive material into the environment. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of the nuclear accident, and the fundamental biological effects, acute and late, of the radiation. Possible medical countermeasures to radiation exposure are also discussed. PMID:22247595

  13. Atmospheric radionuclides transported to Fukuoka, Japan remote from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex following the nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Momoshima, N; Sugihara, S; Ichikawa, R; Yokoyama, H

    2012-09-01

    Radionuclides were detected from the Fukushima nuclear accident at Fukuoka, Japan, 1000 km west of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex. Iodine-131 was first detected 3 d after the accident, indicating that it was probably transported dispersively because of local meteorological conditions, and not global air circulation. The maximum concentrations, 5.07 mBq m(-3) for (131)I, 4.04 mBq m(-3) for (134)Cs, and 4.12 mBq m(-3) for (137)Cs, were recorded in particles collected on April 6, 2011. However, these concentration levels decreased below the detection limit by April 26, 2011. Gaseous (131)I accounted for 30%-67% of the total (131)I content. The increase in dose by inhalation was negligible at Fukuoka. PMID:21962481

  14. Evaluating the Imbalance Between Increasing Hemodialysis Patients and Medical Staff Shortage After the Great East Japan Earthquake: Report From a Hemodialysis Center Near the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plants.

    PubMed

    Koshiba, Takaaki; Nishiuchi, Takamitsu; Akaihata, Hidenori; Haga, Nobuhiro; Kojima, Yoshiyuki; Kubo, Hajime; Kasahara, Masato; Hayashi, Masayuki

    2016-04-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 caused an unprecedented imbalance between an increasing number of hemodialysis patients and medical staff shortage in the Sousou area, the site of the Fukushima nuclear power plants. In 2014, capacity of our hemodialysis center reached a critical limit due to such an imbalance. We attempted to evaluate the effort of medical staff to clarify to what extent their burden had increased post-disaster. The ratio of total dialysis sessions over total working days of medical staff was determined as an approximate indicator of effort per month. The mean value of each year was compared. Despite fluctuations of the ratio, the mean value did not differ from 2010 to 2013. However, the ratio steadily increased in 2014, and there was a significant increase in the mean value. This proposed indicator of the effort of medical staff appears to reflect what we experienced, although its validity must be carefully examined in future studies. PMID:26935477

  15. Response to the great East Japan earthquake of 2011 and the Fukushima nuclear crisis: the case of the Laboratory Animal Research Center at Fukushima Medical University.

    PubMed

    Katahira, Kiyoaki; Sekiguchi, Miho

    2013-01-01

    A magnitude 9.0 great earthquake, the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, occurred on March 11, 2011, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Fukushima NPS) accidents stirred up natural radiation around the campus of Fukushima Medical University (FMU). FMU is located in Fukushima City, and is 57 km to the northwest of Fukushima NPS. Due to temporary failure of the steam boilers, the air conditioning system for the animal rooms, all autoclaves, and a cage washer could not be used at the Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) of FMU. The outside air temperature dropped to zero overnight, and the temperature inside the animal rooms fell to 10°C for several hours. We placed sterilized nesting materials inside all cages to encourage rodents to create nests. The main water supply was cut off for 8 days in all, while supply of steam and hot water remained unavailable for 12 days. It took 20 days to restore the air conditioning system to normal operation at the facility. We measured radiation levels in the animal rooms to confirm the safety of care staff and researchers. On April 21, May 9, and June 17, the average radiation levels at a central work table in the animal rooms with HEPA filters were 46.5, 44.4, and 43.4 cpm, respectively, which is equal to the background level of the equipment. We sincerely hope our experiences will be a useful reference regarding crisis management for many institutes having laboratory animals. PMID:23615301

  16. Dose estimation for nuclear power plant 4 accident in Taiwan at Fukushima nuclear meltdown emission level.

    PubMed

    Tang, Mei-Ling; Tsuang, Ben-Jei; Kuo, Pei-Hsuan

    2016-05-01

    An advanced Gaussian trajectory dispersion model is used to evaluate the evacuation zone due to a nuclear meltdown at the Nuclear Power Plant 4 (NPP4) in Taiwan, with the same emission level as that occurred at Fukushima nuclear meltdown (FNM) in 2011. Our study demonstrates that a FNM emission level would pollute 9% of the island's land area with annual effective dose ≥50 mSv using the meteorological data on 11 March 2011 in Taiwan. This high dose area is also called permanent evacuation zone (denoted as PEZ). The PEZ as well as the emergency-planning zone (EPZ) are found to be sensitive to meteorological conditions on the event. In a sunny day under the dominated NE wind conditions, the EPZ can be as far as 100 km with the first 7-day dose ≥20 mSv. Three hundred sixty-five daily events using the meteorological data from 11 March 2011 to 9 March 2012 are evaluated. It is found that the mean land area of Taiwan in becoming the PEZ is 11%. Especially, the probabilities of the northern counties/cities (Keelung, New Taipei, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County and Ilan County) to be PEZs are high, ranging from 15% in Ilan County to 51% in Keelung City. Note that the total population of the above cities/counties is as high as 10 million people. Moreover, the western valleys of the Central Mountain Range are also found to be probable being PEZs, where all of the reservoirs in western Taiwan are located. For example, the probability can be as high as 3% in the far southern-most tip of Taiwan Island in Pingtung County. This shows that the entire populations in western Taiwan can be at risk due to the shortage of clean water sources under an event at FNM emission level, especially during the NE monsoon period. PMID:26913979

  17. Lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident: efficient education items of radiation safety for general public.

    PubMed

    Ohno, K; Endo, K

    2015-07-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FNP-1) accident, while as tragic as the tsunami, was a man-made disaster created by the ignorance of the effects of radiation and radioactive materials. Therefore, it is important that all specialists in radiation protection in medicine sympathize with the anxiety of the general public regarding the harmful effects of radiation and advise people accordingly. All questions and answers were collected related to inquiries from the general public that were posted to reliable websites, including those of the government and radiation-related organizations, from March 2011 to November 2012. The questions were summarized and classified by similarity of content. (1) The total number of questions is 372. The content was broadly classified into three categories: inquiries for radiation-related knowledge and about health effects and foods. The questions asked to obtain radiation-related knowledge were the most common, accounting for 38 %. Thirty-six percentage of the questions were related to health effects, and 26 % involved foods, whereas 18 % of the questions were related to children and pregnancy. (2) The change over time was investigated in 290 questions for which the time of inquiry was known. Directly after the earthquake, the questions were primarily from people seeking radiation-related knowledge. Later, questions related to health effects increased. The anxiety experienced by residents following the nuclear accident was caused primarily by insufficient knowledge related to radiation, concerns about health effects and uncertainties about food and water safety. The development of educational materials focusing on such content will be important for risk communication with the general public in countries with nuclear power plants. Physicians and medical physicist should possess the ability to respond to questions such as these and should continue with medical examinations and treatments in a safe and appropriate manner. PMID

  18. The accident at TEPCO's Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Station: What went wrong and what lessons are universal?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omoto, Akira

    2013-12-01

    After a short summary of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, this paper discusses “what went wrong” by illustrating the problems of the specific layers of defense-in-depth (basic strategy for assuring nuclear safety) and “what lessons are universal.” Breaches in the multiple layers of defense were particularly significant in respective protection (a) against natural disasters (first layer of defense) as well as (b) against severe conditions, specifically in this case, a complete loss of AC/DC power and isolation from the primary heat sink (fourth layer of defense). Confusion in crisis management by the government and insufficient implementation of offsite emergency plans revealed problems in the fifth layer of defense. By taking into consideration managerial and safety culture that might have relevance to this accident, in the author's view, universal lessons are as follows: Resilience: the need to enhance organizational capabilities to respond, monitor, anticipate, and learn in changing conditions, especially to prepare for the unexpected. This includes increasing distance to cliff edge by knowing where it exists and how to increase safety margin. Responsibility: the operator is primarily responsible for safety, and the government is responsible for protecting public health and environment. For both, their right decisions are supported by competence, knowledge, and an understanding of the technology, as well as humble attitudes toward the limitations of what we know and what we can learn from others. Social license to operate: the need to avoid, as much as possible regardless of its probability of occurrence, the reasonably anticipated environmental impact (such as land contamination), as well as to build public confidence/trust and a renewed liability scheme.

  19. Radioactive Cs-137 discharge from Headwater Forested Catchment in Fukushima after Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwagami, S.; Onda, Y.; Tsujimura, M.; Sakakibara, K.; Konuma, R.

    2015-12-01

    Radiocesium migration from headwater forested catchment is important perception as output from the forest which is also input to the subsequent various land use and downstream rivers after Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident. In this study, Cs-137 concentration of dissolved water, suspended sediment and coarse organic matter such as leaf and branch were monitored. Discharge amount of stream water, suspended sediment and coarse organic matter were measured to investigate the discharge amount of radiocesium and composition of radiocesium discharge form through the headwater stream. Observation were conducted at stream site in four headwater catchments in Yamakiya district, located ~35 km north west of FDNPP from June 2011 (suspended sediment and coarse organic matter: August 2012) to December 2014.The Cs-137 concentration of dissolved water was around 1Bq/l at June 2011. Then declined to 0.1 Bq/l at December 2011. And in December 2014, it declined to 0.01 Bq/l order. Declining trend of Cs-137 concentration in dissolved water was expressed in double exponential model. Also temporary increase was observed in dissolved Cs-137 during the rainfall event. The Cs-137 concentration of suspended sediment and coarse organic matter were 170-49000 Bq/kg and 350-14000 Bq/kg respectably. The Cs-137 concentration of suspended sediment showed good correlation with average deposition density of catchment. The effect of decontamination works appeared in declining of Cs-137 concentration in suspended sediment. Contribution rate of Cs-137 discharge by suspended sediment was 96-99% during a year. Total annual Cs-137 discharge from the catchment were 0.02-0.3% of the deposition.

  20. Comparison of childhood thyroid cancer prevalence among 3 areas based on external radiation dose after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident: The Fukushima health management survey.

    PubMed

    Ohira, Tetsuya; Takahashi, Hideto; Yasumura, Seiji; Ohtsuru, Akira; Midorikawa, Sanae; Suzuki, Satoru; Fukushima, Toshihiko; Shimura, Hiroki; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Sakai, Akira; Yamashita, Shunichi; Tanigawa, Koichi; Ohto, Hitoshi; Abe, Masafumi; Suzuki, Shinichi

    2016-08-01

    The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake led to a subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In its wake, we sought to examine the association between external radiation dose and thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture. We applied a cross-sectional study design with 300,476 participants aged 18 years and younger who underwent thyroid examinations between October 2011 and June 2015. Areas within Fukushima Prefecture were divided into three groups based on individual external doses (≥1% of 5 mSv, <99% of 1 mSv/y, and the other). The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals of thyroid cancer for all areas, with the lowest dose area as reference, were calculated using logistic regression models adjusted for age and sex. Furthermore, the ORs of thyroid cancer for individual external doses of 1 mSv or more and 2 mSv or more, with the external dose less than 1 mSv as reference, were calculated. Prevalence of thyroid cancer for the location groups were 48/100,000 for the highest dose area, 36/100,000 for the middle dose area, and 41/100,000 for the lowest dose area. Compared with the lowest dose area, age-, and sex-adjusted ORs (95% confidence intervals) for the highest-dose and middle-dose areas were 1.49 (0.36-6.23) and 1.00 (0.67-1.50), respectively. The duration between accident and thyroid examination was not associated with thyroid cancer prevalence. There were no significant associations between individual external doses and prevalence of thyroid cancer. External radiation dose was not associated with thyroid cancer prevalence among Fukushima children within the first 4 years after the nuclear accident. PMID:27583855

  1. Detection of (133)Xe from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the upper troposphere above Germany.

    PubMed

    Simgen, Hardy; Arnold, Frank; Aufmhoff, Heinfried; Baumann, Robert; Kaether, Florian; Lindemann, Sebastian; Rauch, Ludwig; Schlager, Hans; Schlosser, Clemens; Schumann, Ulrich

    2014-06-01

    After the accident in the Japanese Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 large amounts of radioactivity were released and distributed in the atmosphere. Among them were also radioactive noble gas isotopes which can be used as tracers to test global atmospheric circulation models. This work presents unique measurements of the radionuclide (133)Xe from Fukushima in the upper troposphere above Germany. The measurements involve air sampling in a research jet aircraft followed by chromatographic xenon extraction and ultra-low background gas counting with miniaturized proportional counters. With this technique a detection limit of the order of 100 (133)Xe atoms in liter-scale air samples (corresponding to about 100 mBq/m(3)) is achievable. Our results provide proof that the (133)Xe-rich ground level air layer from Fukushima was lifted up to the tropopause and distributed hemispherically. Moreover, comparisons with ground level air measurements indicate that the arrival of the radioactive plume at high altitude over Germany occurred several days before the ground level plume. PMID:24607612

  2. Input of 129I into the western Pacific Ocean resulting from the Fukushima nuclear event

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tumey, S. J.; Guilderson, T. P.; Brown, T. A.; Broek, T.; Buesseler, K. O.

    2013-04-02

    We present an initial characterization of the input of 129I into the Pacific Ocean resulting from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. This characterization is based primarily on 129I measurements on samples collected from a research cruise conducted in waters off the eastern coast of Japan in June 2011. The resulting measurements were compared with samples intended to reflect pre-Fukushima background that were collected during a May 2011 transect of the Pacific by a commercial container vessel. In surface waters, we observed peak 129I concentrations of ~300 μBq/m3 which represents an elevation of nearly three orders of magnitude compared to pre-Fukushimamore » backgrounds. The 129I results were coupled with 137Cs measurements from the same cruise and derived an average 129I/137Cs activity ratio of 0.442 × 10-6 for the effluent from Fukushima. Finally, we present 129I depth profiles from five stations from this cruise which form the basis for future studies of ocean transport and mixing process as well as estimations of the total budget of 129I released into the Pacific.« less

  3. Geo-Space observation of atmospheric environmental effects associated with 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulinets, Sergey; Ouzounov, Dimitar; Hernandez-Pajares, Manuel; Hattori, Katsumi; Garcia-Rigo, Alberto

    2014-05-01

    Our approach of using multiple geo-space observation is based on the LAIC (Lithosphere- Atmosphere- Ionosphere Coupling) model and the gained experience during similar analysis of Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents. We do collect a unique dataset of geophysical data for the period around the time of the most active phase of Fukushima explosions (from 12 March till 31 March, 71-90 DOY). We analyzed following data sets: (i) ground temperature and relative humidity data from the JMA network of Japan, (ii) satellite meteorological data and assimilative models to obtain the integrated water vapor chemical potential; (iii) the infrared emission on the top of atmosphere measured by NOAA and GEOS satellites estimated as Outgoing Longwave Radiation; and (iv) multiple ionospheric measurements , including ground based ionosondes, GPS vTEC from GEONET network, COSMIC/FORMOSAT constellation occultation data, JASON satellite TEC measurements, and tomography reconstruction technique to obtain 3D distribution of electron concentration around the Fukushima power plant. As a result we were able to detect the anomalies in different geophysical parameters representing the dynamics of the Fukushima nuclear accident development and the effects on the atmospheric environment. Their temporal evolution demonstrates the synergy in different atmospheric anomalies development what implies the existence of the common physical mechanism described by the LAIC model.

  4. A magnetic carbon sorbent for radioactive material from the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Daizo; Furukawa, Kazumi; Takasuga, Masaya; Watanabe, Koki

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the first report of a carbon-γ-Fe₂O₃ nanoparticle composite of mesoporous carbon, bearing COOH- and phenolic OH- functional groups on its surface, a remarkable and magnetically separable adsorbent, for the radioactive material emitted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Contaminated water and soil at a level of 1,739 Bq kg(-1) ((134)Cs and (137)Cs at 509 Bq kg(-1) and 1,230 Bq kg(-1), respectively) and 114,000 Bq kg(-1) ((134)Cs and (137)Cs at 38,700 Bq kg(-1) and 75,300 Bq kg(-1), respectively) were decontaminated by 99% and 90% respectively with just one treatment carried out in Nihonmatsu city in Fukushima. Since this material is remarkably high performance, magnetically separable, and a readily applicable technology, it would reduce the environmental impact of the Fukushima accident if it were used. PMID:25116650

  5. Decontamination of outdoor school swimming pools in Fukushima after the nuclear accident in March 2011.

    PubMed

    Saegusa, J; Kurikami, H; Yasuda, R; Kurihara, K; Arai, S; Kuroki, R; Matsuhashi, S; Ozawa, T; Goto, H; Takano, T; Mitamura, H; Nagano, T; Naganawa, H; Yoshida, Z; Funaki, H; Tokizawa, T; Nakayama, S

    2013-03-01

    Because of radioactive fallout resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident, water discharge from many outdoor swimming pools in Fukushima was suspended out of concern that radiocesium in the pool water would flow into farmlands. The Japan Atomic Energy Agency has reviewed the existing flocculation method for decontaminating pool water and established a practical decontamination method by demonstrating the process at eight pools in Fukushima. In this method, zeolite powder and a flocculant are used for capturing radiocesium present in pool water. The supernatant is discharged if the radiocesium concentration is less than the targeted level. The radioactive residue is collected and stored in a temporary storage space. Radioactivity concentration in water is measured with a NaI(Tl) or Ge detector installed near the pool. The demonstration results showed that the pool water in which the radiocesium concentration was more than a few hundred Bq L was readily purified by the method, and the radiocesium concentration was reduced to less than 100 Bq L. The ambient dose rates around the temporary storage space were slightly elevated; however, the total increase was up to 30% of the background dose rates when the residue was shielded with sandbags. PMID:23361418

  6. A Magnetic Carbon Sorbent for Radioactive Material from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    PubMed Central

    Yamaguchi, Daizo; Furukawa, Kazumi; Takasuga, Masaya; Watanabe, Koki

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the first report of a carbon-γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticle composite of mesoporous carbon, bearing COOH- and phenolic OH- functional groups on its surface, a remarkable and magnetically separable adsorbent, for the radioactive material emitted by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Contaminated water and soil at a level of 1,739 Bq kg−1 (134Cs and 137Cs at 509 Bq kg−1 and 1,230 Bq kg−1, respectively) and 114,000 Bq kg−1 (134Cs and 137Cs at 38,700 Bq kg−1 and 75,300 Bq kg−1, respectively) were decontaminated by 99% and 90% respectively with just one treatment carried out in Nihonmatsu city in Fukushima. Since this material is remarkably high performance, magnetically separable, and a readily applicable technology, it would reduce the environmental impact of the Fukushima accident if it were used. PMID:25116650

  7. Applications Using High Flux LCS gamma-ray Beams: Nuclear Security and Contributions to Fukushima

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujiwara, Mamoru

    2014-09-01

    Nuclear nonproliferation and security are an important issue for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Many countries now collaborate together for preventing serious accidents from nuclear terrorism. Detection of hidden long-lived radioisotopes and fissionable nuclides in a non-destructive manner is useful for nuclear safeguards and management of nuclear wastes as well as nuclear security. After introducing the present situation concerning the nuclear nonproliferation and security in Japan, we plan to show the present activities of JAEA to detect the hidden nuclear materials by means of the nuclear resonance fluorescence with energy-tunable, monochromatic gamma-rays generated by Laser Compton Scattering (LCS) with an electron beam. The energy recovery linac (ERL) machine is now under development with the KEK-JAEA collaboration for realizing the new generation of gamma-ray sources. The detection technologies of nuclear materials are currently developed using the existing electron beam facilities at Duke University and at NewSubaru. These developments in Japan will contribute to the nuclear security program in Japan and to the assay of melted nuclear fuels in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants.

  8. Preliminary analysis of loss-of-coolant accident in Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su'ud, Zaki; Anshari, Rio

    2012-06-01

    Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) in Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) especially on Fukushima Nuclear Accident will be discussed in this paper. The Tohoku earthquake triggered the shutdown of nuclear power reactors at Fukushima Nuclear Power station. Though shutdown process has been completely performed, cooling process, at much smaller level than in normal operation, is needed to remove decay heat from the reactor core until the reactor reach cold-shutdown condition. If LOCA happen at this condition, it will cause the increase of reactor fuel and other core temperatures and can lead to reactor core meltdown and exposure of radioactive material to the environment such as in the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear accident case. In this study numerical simulation has been performed to calculate pressure composition, water level and temperature distribution on reactor during this accident. There are two coolant regulating system that operational on reactor unit 1 at this accident, Isolation Condensers (IC) system and Safety Relief Valves (SRV) system. Average mass flow of steam to the IC system in this event is 10 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 3,2 hours and fully uncovered in 4,7 hours later. There are two coolant regulating system at operational on reactor unit 2, Reactor Core Isolation Condenser (RCIC) System and Safety Relief Valves (SRV). Average mass flow of coolant that correspond this event is 20 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 73 hours and fully uncovered in 75 hours later. There are three coolant regulating system at operational on reactor unit 3, Reactor Core Isolation Condenser (RCIC) system, High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) system and Safety Relief Valves (SRV). Average mass flow of water that correspond this event is 15 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 37 hours and fully uncovered in 40 hours later.

  9. Preliminary analysis of loss-of-coolant accident in Fukushima nuclear accident

    SciTech Connect

    Su'ud, Zaki; Anshari, Rio

    2012-06-06

    Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) in Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) especially on Fukushima Nuclear Accident will be discussed in this paper. The Tohoku earthquake triggered the shutdown of nuclear power reactors at Fukushima Nuclear Power station. Though shutdown process has been completely performed, cooling process, at much smaller level than in normal operation, is needed to remove decay heat from the reactor core until the reactor reach cold-shutdown condition. If LOCA happen at this condition, it will cause the increase of reactor fuel and other core temperatures and can lead to reactor core meltdown and exposure of radioactive material to the environment such as in the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear accident case. In this study numerical simulation has been performed to calculate pressure composition, water level and temperature distribution on reactor during this accident. There are two coolant regulating system that operational on reactor unit 1 at this accident, Isolation Condensers (IC) system and Safety Relief Valves (SRV) system. Average mass flow of steam to the IC system in this event is 10 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 3,2 hours and fully uncovered in 4,7 hours later. There are two coolant regulating system at operational on reactor unit 2, Reactor Core Isolation Condenser (RCIC) System and Safety Relief Valves (SRV). Average mass flow of coolant that correspond this event is 20 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 73 hours and fully uncovered in 75 hours later. There are three coolant regulating system at operational on reactor unit 3, Reactor Core Isolation Condenser (RCIC) system, High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) system and Safety Relief Valves (SRV). Average mass flow of water that correspond this event is 15 kg/s and could keep reactor core from uncovered about 37 hours and fully uncovered in 40 hours later.

  10. Tracking of airborne radionuclides from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactors by European networks.

    PubMed

    Masson, O; Baeza, A; Bieringer, J; Brudecki, K; Bucci, S; Cappai, M; Carvalho, F P; Connan, O; Cosma, C; Dalheimer, A; Didier, D; Depuydt, G; De Geer, L E; De Vismes, A; Gini, L; Groppi, F; Gudnason, K; Gurriaran, R; Hainz, D; Halldórsson, Ó; Hammond, D; Hanley, O; Holeý, K; Homoki, Zs; Ioannidou, A; Isajenko, K; Jankovic, M; Katzlberger, C; Kettunen, M; Kierepko, R; Kontro, R; Kwakman, P J M; Lecomte, M; Leon Vintro, L; Leppänen, A-P; Lind, B; Lujaniene, G; Mc Ginnity, P; Mc Mahon, C; Malá, H; Manenti, S; Manolopoulou, M; Mattila, A; Mauring, A; Mietelski, J W; Møller, B; Nielsen, S P; Nikolic, J; Overwater, R M W; Pálsson, S E; Papastefanou, C; Penev, I; Pham, M K; Povinec, P P; Ramebäck, H; Reis, M C; Ringer, W; Rodriguez, A; Rulík, P; Saey, P R J; Samsonov, V; Schlosser, C; Sgorbati, G; Silobritiene, B V; Söderström, C; Sogni, R; Solier, L; Sonck, M; Steinhauser, G; Steinkopff, T; Steinmann, P; Stoulos, S; Sýkora, I; Todorovic, D; Tooloutalaie, N; Tositti, L; Tschiersch, J; Ugron, A; Vagena, E; Vargas, A; Wershofen, H; Zhukova, O

    2011-09-15

    Radioactive emissions into the atmosphere from the damaged reactors of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (NPP) started on March 12th, 2011. Among the various radionuclides released, iodine-131 ((131)I) and cesium isotopes ((137)Cs and (134)Cs) were transported across the Pacific toward the North American continent and reached Europe despite dispersion and washout along the route of the contaminated air masses. In Europe, the first signs of the releases were detected 7 days later while the first peak of activity level was observed between March 28th and March 30th. Time variations over a 20-day period and spatial variations across more than 150 sampling locations in Europe made it possible to characterize the contaminated air masses. After the Chernobyl accident, only a few measurements of the gaseous (131)I fraction were conducted compared to the number of measurements for the particulate fraction. Several studies had already pointed out the importance of the gaseous (131)I and the large underestimation of the total (131)I airborne activity level, and subsequent calculations of inhalation dose, if neglected. The measurements made across Europe following the releases from the Fukushima NPP reactors have provided a significant amount of new data on the ratio of the gaseous (131)I fraction to total (131)I, both on a spatial scale and its temporal variation. It can be pointed out that during the Fukushima event, the (134)Cs to (137)Cs ratio proved to be different from that observed after the Chernobyl accident. The data set provided in this paper is the most comprehensive survey of the main relevant airborne radionuclides from the Fukushima reactors, measured across Europe. A rough estimate of the total (131)I inventory that has passed over Europe during this period was <1% of the released amount. According to the measurements, airborne activity levels remain of no concern for public health in Europe. PMID:21809844

  11. Iodine isotopes in precipitation: temporal responses to (129)i emissions from the fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Xu, Sheng; Freeman, Stewart P H T; Hou, Xiaolin; Watanabe, Akira; Yamaguchi, Katsuhiko; Zhang, Luyuan

    2013-10-01

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011 has released a large amount of radionuclides to the atmosphere, and the radioactive plume has been dispersed to a large area in Europe and returned to Asia. To explore long-term trend of the Fukushima-derived radioactive plume and the behavior of harmful radioiodine in the atmosphere, long-term precipitation samples have been collected over 2010-2012 at Fukushima, Japan for determination of long-lived (129)I. It was observed that (129)I concentrations of 1.2 × 10(8) atom/L in 2010 before the accident dramatically increased by ∼4 orders of magnitude to 7.6 × 10(11) atom/L in March 2011 immediately after the accident, with a (129)I/(127)I ratio up to 6.9 × 10(-5). Afterward, the (129)I concentrations in precipitation decreased exponentially to ∼3 × 10(9) atom/L by October 2011 with a half-life of about 29 days. This declining trend of (129)I concentrations in precipitation was interrupted around October 2011 by a new input of (129)I to the atmosphere following a second exponential decrease. Such a cycle has occurred three times until the present. This temporal variation can be attributed to alternating (129)I dispersion and resuspension from the contaminated local environment. A (129)I/(131)I atomic ratio of 16 ± 1 obtained from rainwater samples is comparable with a value estimated for surface soil samples. (129)I results from Denmark suggest an insignificant effect of (129)I released from Fukushima to the (129)I levels in Europe. PMID:24000802

  12. "What--me worry?" "Why so serious?": a personal view on the Fukushima nuclear reactor accidents.

    PubMed

    Gallucci, Raymond

    2012-09-01

    Infrequently, it seems that a significant accident precursor or, worse, an actual accident, involving a commercial nuclear power reactor occurs to remind us of the need to reexamine the safety of this important electrical power technology from a risk perspective. Twenty-five years since the major core damage accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine, the Fukushima reactor complex in Japan experienced multiple core damages as a result of an earthquake-induced tsunami beyond either the earthquake or tsunami design basis for the site. Although the tsunami itself killed tens of thousands of people and left the area devastated and virtually uninhabitable, much concern still arose from the potential radioactive releases from the damaged reactors, even though there was little population left in the area to be affected. As a lifelong probabilistic safety analyst in nuclear engineering, even I must admit to a recurrence of the doubt regarding nuclear power safety after Fukushima that I had experienced after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. This article is my attempt to "recover" my personal perspective on acceptable risk by examining both the domestic and worldwide history of commercial nuclear power plant accidents and attempting to quantify the risk in terms of the frequency of core damage that one might glean from a review of operational history. PMID:22394214

  13. Reconstruction of the Radiation Emergency Medical System From the Acute to the Sub-acute Phases After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Crisis

    PubMed Central

    OJINO, Mayo; ISHII, Masami

    2014-01-01

    The radiation emergency medical system in Japan ceased to function as a result of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which has commonly become known as the “Fukushima Accident.” In this paper, we review the reconstruction processes of the radiation emergency medical system in order of events and examine the ongoing challenges to overcoming deficiencies and reinforcing the system by reviewing relevant literature, including the official documents of the investigation committees of the National Diet of Japan, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company, as well as technical papers written by the doctors involved in radiation emergency medical activities in Fukushima. Our review has revealed that the reconstruction was achieved in 6 stages from March 11 to July 1, 2011: (1) Re-establishment of an off-site center (March 13), (2) Re-establishment of a secondary radiation emergency hospital (March 14), (3) Reconstruction of the initial response system for radiation emergency care (April 2), (4) Reinforcement of the off-site center and stationing of disaster medical advisors at the off-site center (April 4), (5) Reinforcement of the medical care system and an increase in the number of hospitals for non-contaminated patients (From April 2 to June 23), and (6) Enhancement of the medical care system in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and the construction of a new medical care system, involving both industrial medicine and emergency medicine (July 1). Medical resources such as voluntary efforts, academic societies, a local community medical system and university hospitals involved in medical care activities on 6 stages originally had not planned. In the future, radiation emergency medical systems should be evaluated with these 6 stages as a basis, in order to reinforce and enrich both the existing and backup systems so that minimal harm will come to nuclear power plant workers or evacuees and that they will receive proper care

  14. Public dialogue on physics and related technology after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasao, Mamiko

    2015-12-01

    After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, the importance of bottom-up and two-way dialogue between scientists and the public has been recognized. In such dialogue, information provided must accurately match the public's interest and ability regarding science and technology. We have started to investigate what people want to know about physics. Some were interested in energy security (a particular concern in Japan), but others were concerned about radioactivity in food and natural radiation background. The conversations revealed that physicists often give insufficient explanations of the biological effects of radiation and highlighted key points for physicists to make when talking with the public.

  15. Public dialogue on physics and related technology after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident

    SciTech Connect

    Sasao, Mamiko

    2015-12-31

    After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, the importance of bottom-up and two-way dialogue between scientists and the public has been recognized. In such dialogue, information provided must accurately match the public’s interest and ability regarding science and technology. We have started to investigate what people want to know about physics. Some were interested in energy security (a particular concern in Japan), but others were concerned about radioactivity in food and natural radiation background. The conversations revealed that physicists often give insufficient explanations of the biological effects of radiation and highlighted key points for physicists to make when talking with the public.

  16. Radioiodine in the atmosphere after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Lebel, Luke S; Dickson, Raymond S; Glowa, Glenn A

    2016-01-01

    About 160 PBq of (131)I was released into the atmosphere during the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The chemistry of radioiodine is complicated, and it can be released in several different forms. In addition, the different physical forms, like molecular iodine, aerosol-form iodine, or organic iodine, would have all behaved differently once in the atmosphere, and would have been removed at different rates. These releases were detected by monitoring stations throughout Japan, and from these measurements, key insights can be made about the different chemical forms that were released, as well as the persistence of each in the environment. PMID:26440698

  17. Absorption of radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear accident by a novel algal strain.

    PubMed

    Shimura, Hiroki; Itoh, Katsuhiko; Sugiyama, Atsushi; Ichijo, Sayaka; Ichijo, Masashi; Furuya, Fumihiko; Nakamura, Yuji; Kitahara, Ken; Kobayashi, Kazuhiko; Yukawa, Yasuhiro; Kobayashi, Tetsuro

    2012-01-01

    Large quantities of radionuclides have leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the surrounding environment. Effective prevention of health hazards resulting from radiation exposure will require the development of efficient and economical methods for decontaminating radioactive wastewater and aquatic ecosystems. Here we describe the accumulation of water-soluble radionuclides released by nuclear reactors by a novel strain of alga. The newly discovered green microalgae, Parachlorella sp. binos (Binos) has a thick alginate-containing extracellular matrix and abundant chloroplasts. When this strain was cultured with radioiodine, a light-dependent uptake of radioiodine was observed. In dark conditions, radioiodine uptake was induced by addition of hydrogen superoxide. High-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) showed a localization of accumulated iodine in the cytosol. This alga also exhibited highly efficient incorporation of the radioactive isotopes strontium and cesium in a light-independent manner. SIMS analysis showed that strontium was distributed in the extracellular matrix of Binos. Finally we also showed the ability of this strain to accumulate radioactive nuclides from water and soil samples collected from a heavily contaminated area in Fukushima. Our results demonstrate that Binos could be applied to the decontamination of iodine, strontium and cesium radioisotopes, which are most commonly encountered after nuclear reactor accidents. PMID:22984475

  18. Radioactive impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on Shenyang in the northeast of China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Erwei; Cui, Yong; Zhang, Qian; Li, Di; Li, Xin; Yao, Shuang; Liu, Ming-hui; Guo, Jun-qiao

    2014-03-01

    Environmental monitoring was carried out in Shenyang in the northeast of China after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident which was caused by the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. The fission product radionuclide (131)I was detected as present in the atmosphere on the 20th day after the nuclear accident, while the radionuclides (134)Cs and (137)Cs were found in the atmosphere on the 27th day after the accident. The radionuclides (131)I, (134)Cs and (137)Cs continued to be present in the atmosphere for 25, 4 and 6 days, respectively, with maximum concentrations of 4.60 ± 0.2, 0.29 ± 0.06 and 0.42 ± 0.08 mBq m(-3). The contents of fission radionuclides in vegetables, drinking water and milk from Shenyang were below the detection limits. The atmosphere was slightly contaminated in Shenyang due to the Fukushima nuclear accident, but no contamination was detected in vegetables, milk and drinking water. PMID:24487274

  19. Absorption of Radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident by a Novel Algal Strain

    PubMed Central

    Shimura, Hiroki; Itoh, Katsuhiko; Sugiyama, Atsushi; Ichijo, Sayaka; Ichijo, Masashi; Furuya, Fumihiko; Nakamura, Yuji; Kitahara, Ken; Kobayashi, Kazuhiko; Yukawa, Yasuhiro; Kobayashi, Tetsuro

    2012-01-01

    Large quantities of radionuclides have leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the surrounding environment. Effective prevention of health hazards resulting from radiation exposure will require the development of efficient and economical methods for decontaminating radioactive wastewater and aquatic ecosystems. Here we describe the accumulation of water-soluble radionuclides released by nuclear reactors by a novel strain of alga. The newly discovered green microalgae, Parachlorella sp. binos (Binos) has a thick alginate-containing extracellular matrix and abundant chloroplasts. When this strain was cultured with radioiodine, a light-dependent uptake of radioiodine was observed. In dark conditions, radioiodine uptake was induced by addition of hydrogen superoxide. High-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) showed a localization of accumulated iodine in the cytosol. This alga also exhibited highly efficient incorporation of the radioactive isotopes strontium and cesium in a light-independent manner. SIMS analysis showed that strontium was distributed in the extracellular matrix of Binos. Finally we also showed the ability of this strain to accumulate radioactive nuclides from water and soil samples collected from a heavily contaminated area in Fukushima. Our results demonstrate that Binos could be applied to the decontamination of iodine, strontium and cesium radioisotopes, which are most commonly encountered after nuclear reactor accidents. PMID:22984475

  20. Ecological aspects of the chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.

    PubMed

    Medvedev, Z A

    1986-07-01

    The partial meltdown of the 1000MW reactor in Chernobyl and the massive release of radionuclides into the environment is the first large-scale contamination of a geographically significant area by a power-generating civilian nuclear plant. It will have a long term effect on the human population, agriculture and the environment. Previous cases of accidental contamination of the environment on such a scale were connected with the disposal of reprocessed nuclear waste or the release of radioactivity from atmospheric and underground tests of nuclear weapons. One such contamination, which provides important lessons in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, was linked with the explosion of the nuclear waste storage facility near Kyshtym in the Cheliabinsk region of the Soviet Union in 1958. It resulted in the creation of a special 'exclusion zone', resettlement of local populations and special construction projects designed to prevent the distribution of radioactivity over even larger areas. PMID:21227774

  1. Cloud conditions for low atmospheric electricity during disturbed period after the Fukushima nuclear accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yatagai, Akiyo; Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Ishihara, Masahito; Watanabe, Akira; Murata, Ken T.

    2016-04-01

    The vertical (downward) component of the atmospheric electric field, or potential gradient (PG) under cloud generally reflects the electric charge distribution in the cloud. The PG data at Kakioka, 150 km southwest of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP1) suggested that this relation can be modified when the radioactive dust was floating in the air, and the exact relation between the weather and this modification could lead to new insight in plasma physics in the wet atmosphere. Unfortunately the detailed weather data was not available above Kakioka (only the precipitation data was available). Therefore, estimation of the cloud condition during March 2011 was strongly needed. We have developed various meteorological information links (http://www.chikyu.ac.jp/akiyo/firis/) and original radar and precipitation data will be released from the page. Here we present various radar images that we have prepared for March 2011. We prepared three-dimensional radar reflectivity of the C-band radar of JMA in every 10 minutes over all Kanto Plain centered at Tokyo and Fukushima prefecture centered at Sendai. We have released images of each altitude (1km interval) for 15th - 16thand 21th March (http://sc-web.nict.go.jp/fukushima/). The vertical structure of the rainfall is almost the same at 4km with the surface and sporadic high precipitation is observed at 6 km height for 15-16th. While, generally precipitation pattern that is similar to the surface is observed at 5km height on 21th. On the other hand, an X-band radar centered at Fukushima university is also used to know more localized raindrop patterns at zenith angle of 4 degree. We prepared 10-minutes/120m mesh precipitation patterns for March 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 21th, 22th and 23th. Quantitative estimate is difficult from this X-band radar, but localized structure, especially for the rain-band along Nakadori (middle valley in Fukushima prefecture), that is considered to determine the highly

  2. Novel insights into Fukushima nuclear accident from isotopic evidence of plutonium spread along coastal rivers.

    PubMed

    Evrard, Olivier; Pointurier, Fabien; Onda, Yuichi; Chartin, Caroline; Hubert, Amélie; Lepage, Hugo; Pottin, Anne-Claire; Lefèvre, Irène; Bonté, Philippe; Laceby, J Patrick; Ayrault, Sophie

    2014-08-19

    The Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident led to important releases of radionuclides into the environment, and trace levels of plutonium (Pu) were detected in northeastern Japan. However, measurements of Pu isotopic atom and activity ratios are required to differentiate between the contributions of global nuclear test fallout and FDNPP emissions. In this study, we used a double-focusing sector field ICP-MS to measure Pu atom and activity ratios in recently deposited sediment along rivers draining the most contaminated part of the inland radioactive plume. Results showed that plutonium isotopes (i.e., (239)Pu, (240)Pu, (241)Pu, and (242)Pu) were detected in all samples, although in extremely low concentrations. The (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratios measured in sediment deposits (0.0017-0.0884) were significantly higher than the corresponding values attributed to the global fallout (0.00113 ± 0.00008 on average for the Northern Hemisphere between 31°-71° N: Kelley, J. M.; Bond, L. A.; Beasley, T. M. Global distribution of Pu isotopes and (237)Np. Sci. Total. Env. 1999, 237/238, 483-500). The results indicated the presence of Pu from FDNPP, in slight excess compared to the Pu background from global fallout that represented up to ca. 60% of Pu in the analyzed samples. These results demonstrate that this radionuclide has been transported relatively long distances (∼45 km) from FDNPP and been deposited in rivers representing a potential source of Pu to the ocean. In future, the high (241)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio of the Fukushima accident sourced-Pu should be measured to quantify the supply of continental-originating material from Fukushima Prefecture to the Pacific Ocean. PMID:25014620

  3. Detection of radioxenon in Darwin, Australia following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident.

    PubMed

    Orr, Blake; Schöppner, Michael; Tinker, Rick; Plastino, Wolfango

    2013-12-01

    A series of (133)Xe detections in April 2011 made at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) International Monitoring System noble gas station in Darwin, Australia, were analysed to determine the most likely source location. Forward and backwards atmospheric transport modelling simulations using FLEXPART were conducted. It was shown that the most likely source location was the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. Other potential sources in the southern hemisphere were analysed, including the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) radiopharmaceutical facility, but it was shown that sources originating from these locations were highly unlikely to be the source of the observed (133)Xe Darwin detections. PMID:23933085

  4. Accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power stations of TEPCO--outline & lessons learned.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Shun-ichi

    2012-01-01

    The severe accident that broke out at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power stations on March 11, 2011, caused seemingly infinite damage to the daily life of residents. Serious and wide-spread contamination of the environment occurred due to radioactive materials discharged from nuclear power stations (NPSs). At the same time, many issues were highlighted concerning countermeasures to severe nuclear accidents. The accident is outlined, and lessons learned are extracted with respect to the safety of NPSs, as well as radiation protection of residents under the emergency involving the accident. The materials of the current paper are those released by governmental agencies, academic societies, interim reports of committees under the government, and others. PMID:23138450

  5. Continuously improving safety of nuclear installations: An approach to be reinforced after the Fukushima accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repussard, Jacques; Schwarz, Michel

    2012-05-01

    After the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the Fukushima accident shows that the probability of a core meltdown accident in an LWR (Light Water Reactor) has been largely underestimated. The consequences of such an accident are unacceptable: except in the case of TMI2 (Three Mile Island 2) large areas around the damaged plants are contaminated for decades and populations have to be relocated for long periods. This article presents the French approach which consists in improving continuously the safety of the Nuclear Power Plants (NPP) on the basis of lessons learned from operating experience and from the progress in R&D (Research and Development). It details the key role played by IRSN (Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire), the French TSO (Technical and scientific Safety Organization), and shows how the Fukushima accident contributes to this approach in improving NPP robustness. It concludes on the necessity to keep on networking TSOs, to share knowledge as well as R&D resources, with the ultimate goal of enhancing and harmonizing nuclear safety worldwide.

  6. Investigations on radioactive substances released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Katsuhiko

    2011-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11th, 2011, severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant resulting in the diffusion of many radioactive substances throughout Fukushima prefecture. To examine these substances, we have carried out investigations for several months since immediately after the accident. We revealed that environmental high-level radiation spread northwesterly from the nuclear plant and several areas in Nakadori, the region located in the central part of the prefecture between Hamadori (east part of the prefecture) and Aizu-chihou (west part), was contaminated with mid-level radiation. We also analyzed radionuclides in soil and estimated future radiation levels.The importance of topsoil removal for decontamination has become an obvious countermeasure since many radioactive substances have settled on the surface. In addition, we investigated residential areas and their surroundings to find where high-level doses were likely to be detected for lowering the risk of exposure among residents.When little information was available, the investigations were implemented and the results contributed to both administrative policies and civil life. PMID:22353656

  7. SAMPSON Parallel Computation for Sensitivity Analysis of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellegrini, M.; Bautista Gomez, L.; Maruyama, N.; Naitoh, M.; Matsuoka, S.; Cappello, F.

    2014-06-01

    On March 11th 2011 a high magnitude earthquake and consequent tsunami struck the east coast of Japan, resulting in a nuclear accident unprecedented in time and extents. After scram started at all power stations affected by the earthquake, diesel generators began operation as designed until tsunami waves reached the power plants located on the east coast. This had a catastrophic impact on the availability of plant safety systems at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi, leading to the condition of station black-out from unit 1 to 3. In this article the accident scenario is studied with the SAMPSON code. SAMPSON is a severe accident computer code composed of hierarchical modules to account for the diverse physics involved in the various phases of the accident evolution. A preliminary parallelization analysis of the code was performed using state-of-the-art tools and we demonstrate how this work can be beneficial to the nuclear safety analysis. This paper shows that inter-module parallelization can reduce the time to solution by more than 20%. Furthermore, the parallel code was applied to a sensitivity study for the alternative water injection into TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi unit 3. Results show that the core melting progression is extremely sensitive to the amount and timing of water injection, resulting in a high probability of partial core melting for unit 3.

  8. Effect of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the risk perception of residents near a nuclear power plant in China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lei; Zhou, Ying; Han, Yuting; Hammitt, James K.; Bi, Jun; Liu, Yang

    2013-01-01

    We assessed the influence of the Fukushima nuclear accident (FNA) on the Chinese public’s attitude and acceptance of nuclear power plants in China. Two surveys (before and after the FNA) were administered to separate subsamples of residents near the Tianwan nuclear power plant in Lianyungang, China. A structural equation model was constructed to describe the public acceptance of nuclear power and four risk perception factors: knowledge, perceived risk, benefit, and trust. Regression analysis was conducted to estimate the relationship between acceptance of nuclear power and the risk perception factors while controlling for demographic variables. Meanwhile, we assessed the median public acceptable frequencies for three levels of nuclear events. The FNA had a significant impact on risk perception of the Chinese public, especially on the factor of perceived risk, which increased from limited risk to great risk. Public acceptance of nuclear power decreased significantly after the FNA. The most sensitive groups include females, those not in public service, those with lower income, and those living close to the Tianwan nuclear power plant. Fifty percent of the survey respondents considered it acceptable to have a nuclear anomaly no more than once in 50 y. For nuclear incidents and serious incidents, the frequencies are once in 100 y and 150 y, respectively. The change in risk perception and acceptance may be attributed to the FNA. Decreased acceptance of nuclear power after the FNA among the Chinese public creates additional obstacles to further development of nuclear power in China and require effective communication strategies. PMID:24248341

  9. NARAC Modeling During the Response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Emergency

    SciTech Connect

    Sugiyama, G; Nasstrom, J S; Probanz, B; Foster, K T; Simpson, M; Vogt, P; Aluzzi, F; Dillon, M; Homann, S

    2012-02-14

    This paper summarizes the activities of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) during the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant crisis. NARAC provided a wide range of products and analyses as part of its support including: (1) Daily Japanese weather forecasts and hypothetical release (generic source term) dispersion predictions to provide situational awareness and inform planning for U.S. measurement data collection and field operations; (2) Estimates of potential dose in Japan for hypothetical scenarios developed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to inform federal government considerations of possible actions that might be needed to protect U.S. citizens in Japan; (3) Estimates of possible plume arrival times and dose for U.S. locations; and (4) Plume model refinement and source estimation based on meteorological analyses and available field data. The Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) deployed personnel to Japan and stood up 'home team' assets across the DOE complex to aid in assessing the consequences of the releases from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The DOE Nuclear Incident Team (NIT) coordinated response activities, while DOE personnel provided predictive modeling, air and ground monitoring, sample collection, laboratory analysis, and data assessment and interpretation. DOE deployed the Aerial Measuring System (AMS), Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) personnel, and the Consequence Management Response Team (CMRT) to Japan. DOE/NNSA home team assets included the Consequence Management Home Team (CMHT); National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC); Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS); and Radiological Triage. NARAC was activated by the DOE/NNSA on March 11, shortly after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami occurred. The center remained on active operations through late May when DOE ended its deployment to Japan. Over 32 NARAC staff members

  10. Modeling of leachable 137Cs in throughfall and stemflow for Japanese forest canopies after Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Loffredo, Nicolas; Onda, Yuichi; Kawamori, Ayumi; Kato, Hiroaki

    2014-09-15

    The Fukushima accident dispersed significant amounts of radioactive cesium (Cs) in the landscape. Our research investigated, from June 2011 to November 2013, the mobility of leachable Cs in forests canopies. In particular, (137)Cs and (134)Cs activity concentrations were measured in rainfall, throughfall, and stemflow in broad-leaf and cedar forests in an area located 40 km from the power plant. Leachable (137)Cs loss was modeled by a double exponential (DE) model. This model could not reproduce the variation in activity concentration observed. In order to refine the DE model, the main physical measurable parameters (rainfall intensity, wind velocity, and snowfall occurrence) were assessed, and rainfall was identified as the dominant factor controlling observed variation. A corrective factor was then developed to incorporate rainfall intensity in an improved DE model. With the original DE model, we estimated total (137)Cs loss by leaching from canopies to be 72 ± 4%, 67 ± 4%, and 48 ± 2% of the total plume deposition under mature cedar, young cedar, and broad-leaf forests, respectively. In contrast, with the improved DE model, the total (137)Cs loss by leaching was estimated to be 34 ± 2%, 34 ± 2%, and 16 ± 1% of the total plume deposition under mature cedar, young cedar, and broad-leaf forests, respectively. The improved DE model corresponds better to observed data in literature. Understanding (137)Cs and (134)Cs forest dynamics is important for forecasting future contamination of forest soils around the FDNPP. It also provides a basis for understanding forest transfers in future potential nuclear disasters. PMID:24995637

  11. Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Yasunari, Teppei J; Stohl, Andreas; Hayano, Ryugo S; Burkhart, John F; Eckhardt, Sabine; Yasunari, Tetsuzo

    2011-12-01

    The largest concern on the cesium-137 ((137)Cs) deposition and its soil contamination due to the emission from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) showed up after a massive quake on March 11, 2011. Cesium-137 ((137)Cs) with a half-life of 30.1 y causes the largest concerns because of its deleterious effect on agriculture and stock farming, and, thus, human life for decades. Removal of (137)Cs contaminated soils or land use limitations in areas where removal is not possible is, therefore, an urgent issue. A challenge lies in the fact that estimates of (137)Cs emissions from the Fukushima NPP are extremely uncertain, therefore, the distribution of (137)Cs in the environment is poorly constrained. Here, we estimate total (137)Cs deposition by integrating daily observations of (137)Cs deposition in each prefecture in Japan with relative deposition distribution patterns from a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, FLEXPART. We show that (137)Cs strongly contaminated the soils in large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, whereas western Japan was sheltered by mountain ranges. The soils around Fukushima NPP and neighboring prefectures have been extensively contaminated with depositions of more than 100,000 and 10,000 MBq km(-2), respectively. Total (137)Cs depositions over two domains: (i) the Japan Islands and the surrounding ocean (130-150 °E and 30-46 °N) and, (ii) the Japan Islands, were estimated to be approximately 6.7 and 1.3 PBq, [corrected] respectively.We hope our (137)Cs deposition maps will help to coordinate decontamination efforts and plan regulatory measures in Japan. PMID:22084074

  12. Atmospheric Radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident-Two years observations in Tsukuba, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igarashi, Yasuhito; Kajino, Mizuo; Zaizen, Yuji; Adachi, Koji; Mikami, Masao; Kita, Kazuyuki; Hatano, Yuko

    2013-04-01

    The accident of Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant of the Tokyo Electric Power Corporation arisen by the hit of great earthquake and tsunami in March 11, 2011, emitted abundant fresh radioactive material to the atmospheric environment. The amount has been estimated to be at least a few-tenth of those from the Chernobyl accident (by NISA, etc.). By this large-scale contamination, atmospheric environments over Japan, especially the eastern part, were seriously impacted with such a massive amount of the anthropogenic radionuclides (e.g. typical hotspots). So the persisting aftermath is one of the concerns. Although the heavy primary emission seems to be terminated until April of 2011, 2ndary emissions from contaminated ground surface, coppices, fields, roads, any burnings of the contaminated materials generated the resuspension of radionuclides into the atmosphere. With 2-years observation for the Fukushima radioactivity at the Meteorological Research Institute, Japan (MRI) such persisting resuspension is considered in this presentation. The resuspension seems still in difficulty to give forecast by computer modeling; the observations are indispensable bodies of the research even in the future. The MRI has carried out observations of the atmospheric radionuclides, which are long-lived with potentials of environmental and health impacts, for more than 50 years. Aiming at to clarify temporal change in concentration of anthropogenic radionuclides in the atmosphere and its control factors, the observations have continued over the long period. The long-lasting impacts of the Fukushima accident are addressed with our long-term time series of the atmospheric radioactivity as a reference.

  13. Post-crisis efforts towards recovery and resilience after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Shunichi; Takamura, Noboru

    2015-08-01

    One of the well-known radiation-associated late-onset cancers is childhood thyroid cancer as demonstrated around Chernobyl apparently from 1991. Therefore, immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident on March 2011, iodine thyroid blocking was considered regardless of its successful implementation or not at the indicated timing and places as one of the radiation protection measurements, in addition to evacuation and indoor sheltering, because a short-lived radioactive iodine was massively released into the environment which might crucially affect thyroid glands through inhalation and unrestricted consumption of contaminated food and milk. However, very fortunately, it is now increasingly believed that the exposure doses on the thyroid as well as whole body are too low to detect any radiation-associated cancer risk in Fukushima. Although the risk of radiation-associated health consequences of residents in Fukushima is quite different from that of Chernobyl and is considerably low based on the estimated radiation doses received during the accident for individuals, a large number of people have received psychosocial and mental stresses aggravated by radiation fear and anxiety, and remained in indeterminate and uncertain situation having been evacuated but not relocated. It is, therefore, critically important that best activities and practices related to recovery and resilience should be encouraged, supported and implemented at local and regional levels. Since psychosocial well-being of individuals and communities is the core element of resilience, local individuals, health professionals and authorities are uniquely positioned to identify and provide insight into what would provide the best resolution for their specific needs. PMID:26059007

  14. A comparison of the dose from natural radionuclides and artificial radionuclides after the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Hosoda, Masahiro; Tokonami, Shinji; Omori, Yasutaka; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Iwaoka, Kazuki

    2016-01-01

    Due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, the evacuees from Namie Town still cannot reside in the town, and some continue to live in temporary housing units. In this study, the radon activity concentrations were measured at temporary housing facilities, apartments and detached houses in Fukushima Prefecture in order to estimate the annual internal exposure dose of residents. A passive radon–thoron monitor (using a CR-39) and a pulse-type ionization chamber were used to evaluate the radon activity concentration. The average radon activity concentrations at temporary housing units, including a medical clinic, apartments and detached houses, were 5, 7 and 9 Bq m−3, respectively. Assuming the residents lived in these facilities for one year, the average annual effective doses due to indoor radon in each housing type were evaluated as 0.18, 0.22 and 0.29 mSv, respectively. The average effective doses to all residents in Fukushima Prefecture due to natural and artificial sources were estimated using the results of the indoor radon measurements and published data. The average effective dose due to natural sources for the evacuees from Namie Town was estimated to be 1.9 mSv. In comparison, for the first year after the FDNPP accident, the average effective dose for the evacuees due to artificial sources from the accident was 5.0 mSv. Although residents' internal and external exposures due to natural radionuclides cannot be avoided, it might be possible to lower external exposure due to the artificial radionuclides by changing some behaviors of residents. PMID:26838130

  15. Rainfall erosivity in catchments contaminated with fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laceby, J. Patrick; Chartin, Caroline; Evrard, Olivier; Onda, Yuichi; Garcia-Sanchez, Laurent; Cerdan, Olivier

    2016-06-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) accident in March 2011 resulted in the fallout of significant quantities of radiocesium over the Fukushima region. After reaching the soil surface, radiocesium is quickly bound to fine soil particles. Thereafter, rainfall and snowmelt run-off events transfer particle-bound radiocesium downstream. Characterizing the precipitation regime of the fallout-impacted region is thus important for understanding post-deposition radiocesium dynamics. Accordingly, 10 min (1995-2015) and daily precipitation data (1977-2015) from 42 meteorological stations within a 100 km radius of the FDNPP were analyzed. Monthly rainfall erosivity maps were developed to depict the spatial heterogeneity of rainfall erosivity for catchments entirely contained within this radius. The mean average precipitation in the region surrounding the FDNPP is 1420 mm yr-1 (SD 235) with a mean rainfall erosivity of 3696 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 yr-1 (SD 1327). Tropical cyclones contribute 22 % of the precipitation (422 mm yr-1) and 40 % of the rainfall erosivity (1462 MJ mm ha-1 h-1 yr-1 (SD 637)). The majority of precipitation (60 %) and rainfall erosivity (82 %) occurs between June and October. At a regional scale, rainfall erosivity increases from the north to the south during July and August, the most erosive months. For the remainder of the year, this gradient occurs mostly from northwest to southeast. Relief features strongly influence the spatial distribution of rainfall erosivity at a smaller scale, with the coastal plains and coastal mountain range having greater rainfall erosivity than the inland Abukuma River valley. Understanding these patterns, particularly their spatial and temporal (both inter- and intraannual) variation, is important for contextualizing soil and particle-bound radiocesium transfers in the Fukushima region. Moreover, understanding the impact of tropical cyclones will be important for managing sediment and sediment-bound contaminant

  16. A comparison of the dose from natural radionuclides and artificial radionuclides after the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Hosoda, Masahiro; Tokonami, Shinji; Omori, Yasutaka; Ishikawa, Tetsuo; Iwaoka, Kazuki

    2016-07-01

    Due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident, the evacuees from Namie Town still cannot reside in the town, and some continue to live in temporary housing units. In this study, the radon activity concentrations were measured at temporary housing facilities, apartments and detached houses in Fukushima Prefecture in order to estimate the annual internal exposure dose of residents. A passive radon-thoron monitor (using a CR-39) and a pulse-type ionization chamber were used to evaluate the radon activity concentration. The average radon activity concentrations at temporary housing units, including a medical clinic, apartments and detached houses, were 5, 7 and 9 Bq m(-3), respectively. Assuming the residents lived in these facilities for one year, the average annual effective doses due to indoor radon in each housing type were evaluated as 0.18, 0.22 and 0.29 mSv, respectively. The average effective doses to all residents in Fukushima Prefecture due to natural and artificial sources were estimated using the results of the indoor radon measurements and published data. The average effective dose due to natural sources for the evacuees from Namie Town was estimated to be 1.9 mSv. In comparison, for the first year after the FDNPP accident, the average effective dose for the evacuees due to artificial sources from the accident was 5.0 mSv. Although residents' internal and external exposures due to natural radionuclides cannot be avoided, it might be possible to lower external exposure due to the artificial radionuclides by changing some behaviors of residents. PMID:26838130

  17. Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Yasunari, Teppei J.; Stohl, Andreas; Hayano, Ryugo S.; Burkhart, John F.; Eckhardt, Sabine; Yasunari, Tetsuzo

    2011-01-01

    The largest concern on the cesium-137 (137Cs) deposition and its soil contamination due to the emission from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) showed up after a massive quake on March 11, 2011. Cesium-137 (137Cs) with a half-life of 30.1 y causes the largest concerns because of its deleterious effect on agriculture and stock farming, and, thus, human life for decades. Removal of 137Cs contaminated soils or land use limitations in areas where removal is not possible is, therefore, an urgent issue. A challenge lies in the fact that estimates of 137Cs emissions from the Fukushima NPP are extremely uncertain, therefore, the distribution of 137Cs in the environment is poorly constrained. Here, we estimate total 137Cs deposition by integrating daily observations of 137Cs deposition in each prefecture in Japan with relative deposition distribution patterns from a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, FLEXPART. We show that 137Cs strongly contaminated the soils in large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan, whereas western Japan was sheltered by mountain ranges. The soils around Fukushima NPP and neighboring prefectures have been extensively contaminated with depositions of more than 100,000 and 10,000 MBq km-2, respectively. Total 137Cs depositions over two domains: (i) the Japan Islands and the surrounding ocean (130–150 °E and 30–46 °N) and, (ii) the Japan Islands, were estimated to be more than 5.6 and 1.0 PBq, respectively. We hope our 137Cs deposition maps will help to coordinate decontamination efforts and plan regulatory measures in Japan. PMID:22084074

  18. 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Japan's Nuclear Disaster - Implications for Indian Ocean Rim countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadha, R. K.

    2011-12-01

    The Nuclear disaster in Japan after the M9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011 has elicited global response to have a relook at the safety aspects of the nuclear power plants from all angles including natural hazards like earthquakes and tsunami. Several countries have gone into safety audits of their nuclear programs in view of the experience in Japan. Tectonically speaking, countries located close to subduction zones or in direct line of impact of the subduction zones are the most vulnerable to earthquake or tsunami hazard, as these regions are the locale of great tsunamigenic earthquakes. The Japan disaster has also cautioned to the possibility of great impact to the critical structures along the coasts due to other ocean processes caused by ocean-atmosphere interactions and also due to global warming and sea level rise phenomena in future. This is particular true for island countries. The 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan will be remembered more because of its nuclear tragedy and tsunami rather than the earthquake itself. The disaster happened as a direct impact of a tsunami generated by the earthquake 130 km off the coast of Sendai in the Honshu region of Japan. The depth of the earthquake was about 25 km below the ocean floor and it occurred on a thrust fault causing a displacement of more than 20 meters. At few places, water is reported to have inundated areas up to 8-10 km inland. The height of the tsunami varied between 10 and 3 meters along the coast. Generally, during an earthquake damage to buildings or other structures occur due to strong shaking which is expressed in the form of ground accelerations 'g'. Although, Peak Ground Accelerations (PGA) consistently exceeded 2g at several places from Sendai down south, structures at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant did not collapse due to the earthquake. In the Indian Ocean Rim countries, Indian, Pakistan and South Africa are the three countries where Nuclear power plants are operational, few of them

  19. State of Fukushima nuclear fuel debris tracked by Cs137 in cooling water.

    PubMed

    Grambow, B; Mostafavi, M

    2014-11-01

    It is still difficult to assess the risk originating from the radioactivity inventory remaining in the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors. Here we show that cooling water analyses provide a means to assess source terms for potential future releases. Until now already about 34% of the inventories of (137)Cs of three reactors has been released into water. We found that the release rate of (137)Cs has been constant for 2 years at about 1.8% of the inventory per year indicating ongoing dissolution of the fuel debris. Compared to laboratory studies on spent nuclear fuel behavior in water, (137)Cs release rates are on the higher end, caused by the strong radiation field and oxidant production by water radiolysis and by impacts of accessible grain boundaries. It is concluded that radionuclide analyses in cooling water allow tracking of the conditions of the damaged fuel and the associated risks. PMID:25245528

  20. Aerial radiation monitoring around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant using an unmanned helicopter.

    PubMed

    Sanada, Yukihisa; Torii, Tatsuo

    2015-01-01

    The Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 generated a series of large tsunami that seriously damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP), which resulted in the release of radioactive materials into the environment. To provide further details regarding the distribution of air dose rate and the distribution of radioactive cesium ((134)Cs and (137)Cs) deposition on the ground within a radius of approximately 5 km from the nuclear power plant, we carried out measurements using an unmanned helicopter equipped with a radiation detection system. The distribution of the air dose rate at a height of 1 m above the ground and the radioactive cesium deposition on the ground was calculated. Accordingly, the footprint of radioactive plumes that extended from the FDNPP was illustrated. PMID:25053518

  1. Aerosol Sample Inhomogeneity with Debris from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident

    SciTech Connect

    Gomez, Reynaido; Biegalski, Steven R.; Woods, Vincent T.

    2014-09-01

    Radionuclide aerosol sampling is a vital component in the detection of nuclear explosions, nuclear accidents, and other radiation releases. This was proven by the detection and tracking of emissions from the Fukushima Daiichi incident across the globe by IMS stations. Two separate aerosol samplers were operated in Richland, WA following the event and debris from the accident were measured at levels well above detection limits. While the atmospheric activity concentration of radionuclides generally compared well between the two stations, they did not agree within uncertainties. This paper includes a detailed study of the aerosol sample homogeneity of 134Cs and 137Cs, then relates it to the overall uncertainty of the original measurement. Our results show that sample inhomogeneity adds an additional 5–10% uncertainty to each aerosol measurement and that this uncertainty is in the same range as the discrepancies between the two aerosol sample measurements from Richland, WA.

  2. Measurements of individual radiation doses in residents living around the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

    PubMed

    Nagataki, Shigenobu; Takamura, Noboru; Kamiya, Kenji; Akashi, Makoto

    2013-11-01

    At the outset of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, the radiation doses experienced by residents were calculated from the readings at monitoring posts, with several assumptions being made from the point of view of protection and safety. However, health effects should also be estimated by obtaining measurements of the individual radiation doses. The individual external radiation doses, determined by a behavior survey in the "evacuation and deliberate evacuation area" in the first 4 months, were <5 mSv in 97.4% of residents (maximum: 15 mSv). Doses in Fukushima Prefecture were <3 mSv in 99.3% of 386,572 residents analyzed. External doses in Fukushima City determined by personal dosimeters were <1 mSv/3 months (September-November, 2011) in 99.7% of residents (maximum: 2.7 mSv). Thyroid radiation doses, determined in March using a NaI (TI) scintillation survey meter in children in the evacuation and deliberate evacuation area, were <10 mSv in 95.7% of children (maximum: 35 mSv). Therefore, all doses were less than the intervention level of 50 mSv proposed by international organizations. Internal radiation doses determined by cesium-134 ((134)C) and cesium-137 ((137)C) whole-body counters (WBCs) were <1 mSv in 99% of the residents, and the maximum thyroid equivalent dose by iodine-131 WBCs was 20 mSv. The exploratory committee of the Fukushima Health Management Survey mentions on its website that radiation from the accident is unlikely to be a cause of adverse health effects in the future. In any event, sincere scientific efforts must continue to obtain individual radiation doses that are as accurate as possible. However, observation of the health effects of the radiation doses described above will require reevaluation of the protocol used for determining adverse health effects. The dose-response relationship is crucial, and the aim of the survey should be to collect sufficient data to confirm the presence or absence of radiation health

  3. Accumulation of Radioactive Cesium Released from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Terrestrial Cyanobacteria Nostoc commune

    PubMed Central

    Sasaki, Hideaki; Shirato, Susumu; Tahara, Tomoya; Sato, Kenji; Takenaka, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident released large amounts of radioactive substances into the environment and contaminated the soil of Tohoku and Kanto districts in Japan. Removal of radioactive material from the environment is an urgent problem, and soil purification using plants is being considered. In this study, we investigated the ability of 12 seed plant species and a cyanobacterium to accumulate radioactive material. The plants did not accumulate radioactive material at high levels, but high accumulation was observed in the terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc commune. In Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, N. commune accumulated 415,000 Bq/kg dry weight 134Cs and 607,000 Bq kg−1 dry weight 137Cs. The concentration of cesium in N. commune tended to be high in areas where soil radioactivity was high. A cultivation experiment confirmed that N. commune absorbed radioactive cesium from polluted soil. These data demonstrated that radiological absorption using N. commune might be suitable for decontaminating polluted soil. PMID:24256969

  4. Retention of potentially mobile radiocesium in forest surface soils affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Koarashi, Jun; Moriya, Koichi; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsunaga, Takeshi; Fujita, Hiroki; Nagaoka, Mika

    2012-01-01

    The fate of (137)Cs derived from the Fukushima nuclear accident fallout and associated radiological hazards are largely dependent on its mobility in the surface soils of forest ecosystems. Thus, we quantified microbial and adsorptive retentions of (137)Cs in forest surface (0-3 cm) soils. The K(2)SO(4) extraction process liberated 2.1%-12.8% of the total (137)Cs from the soils. Two soils with a higher content of clay- and silt-sized particles, organic carbon content, and cation exchange capacity showed higher (137)Cs extractability. Microbial biomass was observed in all of the soils. However, the (137)Cs extractability did not increase after destruction of the microbial biomass by chloroform fumigation, providing no evidence for microbial retention of the Fukushima-fallout (137)Cs. The results indicate that uptake of (137)Cs by soil microorganisms is less important for retention of potentially mobile (137)Cs in the forest surface soils compared to ion-exchange adsorption on non-specific sites provided by abiotic components. PMID:23256039

  5. Experimental investigation on molten pool representing corium composition at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Sang Mo; Song, Jin Ho; Kim, Jong-Yun; Kim, HwanYeol; Naitoh, Masanori

    2016-09-01

    A configuration of molten core in the Fukushima Daiichi NPP (nuclear power plant) was investigated by a melting and solidification experiment. About 5 kg of a mixture, whose composition in terms of weight is UO2 (60%), Zr + ZrO2 (25%), stainless steel (14%), B4C (1%), was melted in a cold crucible using an induction heating technique. It was shown that the solidified melt consists of upper crust and lower solidified ingot. The solidified ingot was separated into two layers. A physical and chemical analysis was performed for the samples taken from the solidified melt to investigate the morphology and chemical characteristics. It was found that the solidified ingot consists of a metal-rich layer on the top and an oxide-rich layer at the bottom. In addition, the oxide layer at the bottom has composition close to the initial charge composition and surrounded by a thin crust layer. It turned out that B4C was more concentrated in the upper metal-rich layer. These findings provide important insights for understanding the core melt progression and taking proper post-accident recovery actions for the Fukushima Daiichi NPP.

  6. Radiation Dose Reduction Efficiency of Buildings after the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

    PubMed Central

    Monzen, Satoru; Hosoda, Masahiro; Osanai, Minoru; Tokonami, Shinji

    2014-01-01

    Numerous radionuclides were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (F1-NPS) in Japan following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Local residents have been eager to calculate their individual radiation exposure. Thus, absorbed dose rates in the indoor and outdoor air at evacuation sites in the Fukushima Prefecture were measured using a gamma-ray measuring devices, and individual radiation exposure was calculated by assessing the radiation dose reduction efficiency (defined as the ratio of absorbed dose rate in the indoor air to the absorbed dose rate in the outdoor air) of wood, aluminum, and reinforced concrete buildings. Between March 2011 and July 2011, dose reduction efficiencies of wood, aluminum, and reinforced concrete buildings were 0.55±0.04, 0.15±0.02, and 0.19±0.04, respectively. The reduction efficiency of wood structures was 1.4 times higher than that reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The efficiency of reinforced concrete was similar to previously reported values, whereas that of aluminum structures has not been previously reported. Dose reduction efficiency increased in proportion to the distance from F1-NPS at 8 of the 18 evacuation sites. Time variations did not reflect dose reduction efficiencies at evacuation sites although absorbed dose rates in the outdoor air decreased. These data suggest that dose reduction efficiency depends on structure types, levels of contamination, and evacuee behaviors at evacuation sites. PMID:24999992

  7. Retention of potentially mobile radiocesium in forest surface soils affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident

    PubMed Central

    Koarashi, Jun; Moriya, Koichi; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsunaga, Takeshi; Fujita, Hiroki; Nagaoka, Mika

    2012-01-01

    The fate of 137Cs derived from the Fukushima nuclear accident fallout and associated radiological hazards are largely dependent on its mobility in the surface soils of forest ecosystems. Thus, we quantified microbial and adsorptive retentions of 137Cs in forest surface (0–3 cm) soils. The K2SO4 extraction process liberated 2.1%–12.8% of the total 137Cs from the soils. Two soils with a higher content of clay- and silt-sized particles, organic carbon content, and cation exchange capacity showed higher 137Cs extractability. Microbial biomass was observed in all of the soils. However, the 137Cs extractability did not increase after destruction of the microbial biomass by chloroform fumigation, providing no evidence for microbial retention of the Fukushima-fallout 137Cs. The results indicate that uptake of 137Cs by soil microorganisms is less important for retention of potentially mobile 137Cs in the forest surface soils compared to ion-exchange adsorption on non-specific sites provided by abiotic components. PMID:23256039

  8. An overview of current knowledge concerning the health and environmental consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident.

    PubMed

    Aliyu, Abubakar Sadiq; Evangeliou, Nikolaos; Mousseau, Timothy Alexander; Wu, Junwen; Ramli, Ahmad Termizi

    2015-12-01

    Since 2011, the scientific community has worked to identify the exact transport and deposition patterns of radionuclides released from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) in Japan. Nevertheless, there still remain many unknowns concerning the health and environmental impacts of these radionuclides. The present paper reviews the current understanding of the FDNPP accident with respect to interactions of the released radionuclides with the environment and impacts on human and non-human biota. Here, we scrutinize existing literature and combine and interpret observations and modeling assessments derived after Fukushima. Finally, we discuss the behavior and applications of radionuclides that might be used as tracers of environmental processes. This review focuses on (137)Cs and (131)I releases derived from Fukushima. Published estimates suggest total release amounts of 12-36.7PBq of (137)Cs and 150-160PBq of (131)I. Maximum estimated human mortality due to the Fukushima nuclear accident is 10,000 (due to all causes) and the maximum estimates for lifetime cancer mortality and morbidity are 1500 and 1800, respectively. Studies of plants and animals in the forests of Fukushima have recorded a range of physiological, developmental, morphological, and behavioral consequences of exposure to radioactivity. Some of the effects observed in the exposed populations include the following: hematological aberrations in Fukushima monkeys; genetic, developmental and morphological aberrations in a butterfly; declines in abundances of birds, butterflies and cicadas; aberrant growth forms in trees; and morphological abnormalities in aphids. These findings are discussed from the perspective of conservation biology. PMID:26425805

  9. Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear accidents: what has changed in the use of atmospheric dispersion modeling?

    PubMed

    Benamrane, Y; Wybo, J-L; Armand, P

    2013-12-01

    The threat of a major accidental or deliberate event that would lead to hazardous materials emission in the atmosphere is a great cause of concern to societies. This is due to the potential large scale of casualties and damages that could result from the release of explosive, flammable or toxic gases from industrial plants or transport accidents, radioactive material from nuclear power plants (NPPs), and chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) terrorist attacks. In order to respond efficiently to such events, emergency services and authorities resort to appropriate planning and organizational patterns. This paper focuses on the use of atmospheric dispersion modeling (ADM) as a support tool for emergency planning and response, to assess the propagation of the hazardous cloud and thereby, take adequate counter measures. This paper intends to illustrate the noticeable evolution in the operational use of ADM tools over 25 y and especially in emergency situations. This study is based on data available in scientific publications and exemplified using the two most severe nuclear accidents: Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). It appears that during the Chernobyl accident, ADM were used few days after the beginning of the accident mainly in a diagnosis approach trying to reconstruct what happened, whereas 25 y later, ADM was also used during the first days and weeks of the Fukushima accident to anticipate the potentially threatened areas. We argue that the recent developments in ADM tools play an increasing role in emergencies and crises management, by supporting stakeholders in anticipating, monitoring and assessing post-event damages. However, despite technological evolutions, its prognostic and diagnostic use in emergency situations still arise many issues. PMID:24077309

  10. Epidemiological studies of Fukushima residents exposed to ionising radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant prefecture--a preliminary review of current plans.

    PubMed

    Akiba, Suminori

    2012-03-01

    It is now more than six months since the beginning of the accident on 11 March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. The Japanese government and local health authorities have started to collect the information necessary to estimate radiation doses received by those living in the area around the plant, drafted plans for the health care of residents, and started to implement some of them. This paper reviews and discusses the studies necessary for risk evaluation of cancer and non-cancer diseases, including those already planned, mainly from the view point of evaluating health risk using epidemiological approaches. In the long run, it is important to establish a cohort with a control group. Even if the cumulative doses are estimated to be so low that it is difficult to evaluate the risk of cancer and non-cancer diseases, it is necessary to conduct such a study to reassure residents. The health care programme of the Fukushima Prefecture government, including health check-ups of residents, will help to assess indirect effects of radiation exposure, including psychological problems. The success of any studies of radiation epidemiology depends on the collection of accurate information on radiation doses received by the study subjects. However, some of the dosimetry surveys were not conducted in a timely manner. (It should be recognised, though, that such a problem might have been inevitable, considering the chaotic condition after the nuclear accident.) Accurate estimation of the radiation dose received by each resident is not only important for scientific risk evaluation but also to inform each resident about his or her potential risk. Otherwise, residents will bear an undue psychological burden from uncertainties regarding their radiation exposure and its health consequences. One of other important tasks in Fukushima is the improvement of the quality of the regional cancer registry in this prefecture. It is also important to start thyroid cancer