Japan is now facing ever increasing fear and concern due to the Tsunami ravaged Daiichi nuclear plant. The amount of radiation released within 5 months is equivalent to more than 29 “Hiroshima-type atomic bombs’ and the amount of uranium released is “equivalent to 20” Hiroshima bombs.
The radioactivity released from the plant was 10S (siverets) of radioactivity per hour. After being exposed to radiation that high, a person can expect to live one to two weeks maximum.
Patients are already being seen in hospitals with symptoms of radiation exposure—ranging from nosebleeds to persistent diarrhea and flu-like symptoms in children.
In response to the disaster the most the Japanese government has done is raise the acceptable radiation exposure limit for children from 1mSv (millisiveret) a year to 20mSv a year. An absolutely bold move attempting to curve the complete inaction the government took in handling the incident in March when they still weren’t admitting all 3 Fukushima reactors melted down. The amount of acceptable exposure for children is now 20 times that of adults, something that Junichi Sato, the Greenpeace Japan Executive Director, finds reprehensible.
Sato states: “The Japanese government cannot simply increase safety limits for the sake of political convenience or to give the impression of normality.”
Children are the main concern in this situation and are 10-20 times more sensitive to radiation exposure. In July, it was reported that 45% of children in the Fukushima region had experienced some form of thyroid exposure to radiation. This in turn can result in instances of childhood lymphoma and Leukemia.
It is theorized that radioactivity can inhabit the reproductive organs and cause genetic disorders from generation to generation. Feared disorders include mental retardation, cystic fibrosis and diabetes. Some women and female children might be rendered infertile or might be susceptible to multiple instances of miscarriage. Radiation leads to unnatural cell mutation which in turn increases the chances for multiple forms of cancer and Leukemia.
The Diiachi plant released more than 11,000 tons of radioactive water into the ocean affecting the algae which in turn provides a healthy dose of radiation to an entire food chain. Japan’s farmers have already expressed concern about contamination of rice, a food staple in Japan.
Japan’s government plans on spending $300 million for decontamination efforts with a supplemental $1.26 billion to assist with health management. Will it be enough?
Source: Al Jazeera.com