12 Mar 2011

How much more full-on radiation sickness after Japan’s earthquakes and tsunami?

Written by energyscout

The potential meltdown of one or more nuclear power reactors in the tragic wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan proves once again how difficult it is to assess and prepare for a disasters that can affect nuclear facilities and the residents living close by.

Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama. Credit: Kim Kyung-hoon / Reuters

Around 7 p.m. EST U.S., The New York Times reported officials said that radiation did not pose a major health risk to people living near Daichi and a second nuclear plant that suffered damage in the quake, called Daini, about 10 miles away. But they also told the International Atomic Energy Agency that they were making preparations to distribute iodine, which helps protect the thyroid gland from radiation exposure residents living close by.

The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial safety agency said as many as 160 people may have been exposed to radiation around the plant, and Japanese news media said three workers at the facility were suffering from full-on radiation sickness.

Worries about the safety of the two plants were worsened on Saturday night after  government officials and executives of Tokyo Electric Power, which runs the plant, gave confusing accounts of the causes of the dramatic midday explosion and the damage it caused.

The Union of Concerned Scientists were among the responsible critics raising more questions by the hour after its initial analyses late Friday.





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