Japan disaster not similar to Chernobyl: officials

May 17, 2011

The potential health consequences of the nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant are not equal to those caused by the disaster at Chernobyl, Japanese health officials said Tuesday

The levels of radioactive materials Cesium 134 and 137 are "much less than those of the accident at Chernobyl," said Makoto Akashi of Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

Akashi made the comparison to Chernobyl, a Soviet nuclear plant that partially exploded in Ukraine in 1986, on the sidelines of a special session devoted to the Fukushima crisis at the World Health Organisation's 64th General Assembly.

"We do not think the radiation in Japan will contribute to an increase risk of cancer and leukemia," he said, adding that there is need "to study the issue very closely."

The tsunami triggered by the massive magnitude-9.0 seabed quake on March 11 knocked out the Fukushima plant's water cooling systems, leading inside several reactors to partially melt and sparking explosions.

At the session, Japan's vice-minister for health Kouhei Otsuka said "the number of deaths from radiation is zero for the moment," noting that his government evacuated some 85,000 people from the area affected by the disaster.

He said it was crucial for all people who worked at the plant "to be closely monitored."

Akashi said no one has needed medical treatment for since the accident.

Japanese authorities estimate that the amount of radioactive material released into the atmosphere at , around 250 kilometres northeast of Tokyo, represents around one tenth of the emissions at Chernobyl.

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newscience
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2011
It is probably already worse then Chernobyl but they do not know because they did not measure most of it which blew toward the ocean. The Fukushima disaster is far from over and may go on for ten more years. See enenews.com or fairewinds.com
There will be more meltdowns globally due to the fact that there are 440 aging nuclear reactors that will fail due to fire, human error, acts of nature, equipment failure, and terrorism. Wind, solar, conservation, energy efficiency, and household co-generation can now more then fill the nuclear gap.
Its time to phase out nuclear for good and replace it with sustainable long term clean energy.
kaasinees
not rated yet May 17, 2011
Maybe not for JAPAN.
As most of the particles has been dumped into the sea.
Plus the particles that got blown with the wind towards america.
Radiation levels have been measured going up since the tsunami across America and small amounts at Europe, and this was before the hydrogen explosion at one of their fuel rods.
Why are we not hearing anymore news? We never received good news either that the dangers are over.
Guess what? The fuel rods have probably endured to many hits, earthquakes have been going on near Fukushima, explosions have occurred, took a blow from a Tsunami.
What do you think that will do to the reactor?
I am positive that they are covering it up.
DKA
not rated yet May 18, 2011
Unfortunately the reputation of Japanese scientists involved in protecting people living in Japan is very low. They have been undermining all information related to Fukushima and have been proven wrong too often. Many experts looking at data from different measurment centers around the world found the level of Cesium released to about 65% the level from Cherbobyl. But if this expert base his research on japanese official data (10% of Chernobyl in March), of course the impact on the population will be less than Chernobyl. We can be sure that he did base his research on official japanese data because publications that do not use official data are now banned in Japan.

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