The short-term effect of the radioactive contamination in Fukushima nuclear power disaster A nuclear power disaster can result in terrible radioactive contamination. According to the report of Nuclear Safety and Security Institute, radioactive level in the central control room of Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Station was 1000 times higher than its normal level after the earthquake. The communique reported that the amount of radiation around the gate of the nuclear power plant was increasing. It became 70 times higher than normal amount at 9 o’clock in 12th March.
In March 2011,airborne fission products due to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident was detected in Seattle, WA, USA(1). Fallout radionuclides released in the Fukushima Nuclear Accident were detected in environmental samples at the city of Krasnoyarsk in April(2). Radioactive contamination may pose major risks to both people and the environment. “It can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, absorption, or injection. ” After Fukushima nuclear power disaster, ingestion, inhalation, and absorption are main ways to enter body. People were affected through direct exposure, breathing, and eating contaminated foods or drinking contaminated water.
As we all know, radioactive contamination is very harmful to the health of humans. Generally speaking, low levels of radioactive contamination pose little risk. But medium and high levels of radioactive contamination can cause huge damage to humans’ health. Medium levels of radioactivity are likely to give rise to diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting and hair loss. High levels of it will hurt people’s central nervous system, even be life-threatening. If radioactive isotopes, such as iodine-131, are absorbed and accumulated in bones, people will come down with kinds of cancer.
As for long-lived isotopes, such as cesium-137, even low level of radiation can be life-threatening when in long exposure to it(3). When people are directly exposed to radioactive substance, it enters their body through skin and air tube. Radioactive fallout from Chernobyl nuclear power disaster affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the former Soviet Union and contamination spread throughout Europe(4). In addition the harm to human health, the leak of radioactive substance causes huge damage to the environment.
Firstly, the neighboring plants can suffer from radioactive material contamination. In April 12th, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan announced that minute quantities of Strontium-89 and Strontium-90 were found in soil and plants around the nuclear power plants. In March 23rd the milk in Ibaraki-ken and ten kinds of vegetables in Fukushima were found to be over the safely radioactive level. In July 18th, the radiation quantity of spinach, tea, milk, and fish in Japan’s supermarket was found to exceed the standard.
In August 21st, radiocesium was detected in the brown rice in Ibaraki-ken. Secondly, the leak of radioactive substance is likely to seep into ground water (5). The radioactive substance enters the humans’ or animals’ body when they drink water. Radioactive contamination will be absorbed as the result of eating contaminated plants and animals or drinking contaminated water or milk from outdoor animals. Thirdly, after the Fukushima nuclear power disaster, the leak of radioactive substance flowed into the sea and affected the ecosystem.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Institute reported that the density of radioiodine in the sea around the outfall was 3355 times higher than the lawful standard. Furthermore, Tokyo Electric Power Company poured 11. 5 thousand tons of waste water into the sea. The density of radioactive substance in this water was 100 times higher than permitted standard. It will very likely give rise to a marine ecosystem disaster. Marine products will not be suitable for eating and exporting.
References: (1)Arrival time and magnitude of airborne fission products from the Fukushima, Japan, reactor incident as measured in Seattle, WA, USA, J. Diaz Leon, D. A. Jaffe, J. Kaspar, A. Knecht, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 102, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 1032-1038 (2)Evidence of the radioactive fallout in the center of Asia (Russia) following the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volume 102, Issue 11, November 2011, Pages 1062-1064 (3)http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Radioactive_contamination (4)Chernobyl: catastrophe and consequences, Jim T. Smith and Nicholas A. Beresford (5)http://www. economist. com/node/21525966 (6)http://www. nature. com/news/2011/110815/full/news. 2011. 482. html