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Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

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A birds eye view of Fukushima

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was the most significant nuclear incident since the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the second disaster to have a Level 7 event classification of the International Nuclear Event Scale and there has been no deaths that were caused by this accident. The eventual number of cancer deaths that will be caused by the accident is expected to be around 130–640 people in the future. The World Health Organization report that there will be no increase in miscarriages, stillbirths or physical and mental disorders in babies born after the accident. Controversially however, an estimated 1,600 deaths are believed to have occurred, primarily in the elderly, who had lived in nursing homes, due to the poor ad-hoc evacuation conditions.In 2017 risk analysis has found that unlike Chernobyl "relocation was unjustified for the 160,000 people relocated after Fukushima" especially considering these 1,600 deaths that occurred due to the stressful evacuation conditions when the potential future deaths from exposure to greater amounts of radiation, had everyone instead stayed home and been supported in Sheltering in place, would have been less.[1]

The Meltdown

Fukushima power plant - before the melt down
Fukushima - after the melt down

The disaster happened on March 11th 2011 as seismic instruments recorded a magnitude of 9.0 Earthquake, and was followed by an irradiation the region of Japan, especially in the parts of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate. The earthquake and tsunami caused the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station located in the Pacific Ocean coast received a lot of damage by the earthquake and tsunami. The facilities for the external power supply and backup power were destroyed. The next day, 12th in the morning the leak of radioactive materials had been found in front of the main gate of the nuclear power plant. The steam was filled in the building by the core malfunction caused by the dysfunction of the cooling system.[2]

Lots of radioactive materials were scattered in the environment thorough “vent” to reduce the internal pressure and the hydroponic explosions of the nuclear reactors. This accident was 20% of the radiation of the Chernobyl accident. On April 12th, 2011, Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency raised the rate of the accident from level 5 to the level 7, the same level as Chernobyl. On 24 May 2012 more than a year after the disaster an estimated 538,100 terabecquerels of iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 was found to have been released. [2] [3]

Wildlife Impact


the Pale Grass Blue Butterfly was the leader in discovering the radiation in Fukushima.

A series of studies showed that the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has caused genetic damage to birds, monkeys and butterflies in the region. Researchers had the idea that low-dose radiation would cause genetic damage and increased mutation rates. One team examined Fukushima’s impact on the pale grass blue butterfly finding size reduction, slowed growth and high mortality in lab-bred insects with parents collected from contaminated sites. Non-contaminated larvae fed leaves from contaminated host plants collected near the reactor showed high rates of abnormality. This butterfly was the began of scientists realizing the amount of radiation that was in fukushima. Fukushima also saw declines in bird and cicada populations attributable to radiation released during the accident. Earlier this year a fish caught close the the Fukushima nuclear plant was over 2,500 times the legal safe radiation limit for seafood. The company Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) caught the fish, dubbed 'Mike the Murasai' online, in the bay close to the Fukukshima Daiichi main reactor and Nyander Guard is a no-kill animal shelter set up to accommodate animals who were lost or left behind in Fukushima after the disaster. [4]

Aberrant feathers were found on local barn swallow populations. The scientists involved in the project have urged basic scientific research and monitoring for wildlife populations.[5] However, other groups such as dragonflies and bees did not seem to be affected. Scientists observed morphological effects on some species such as abnormal feathers on barn swallows. wild boars living in the nearby hills came down to the towns and made themselves at home. Now, the Japanese government is preparing to lift evacuation orders in some areas, but residents have voiced concerns about the dangers of encountering wild boars in their streets and backyards. A small group of local hunters have been assigned to catch and kill the boars preparing for residents to return home.[4]


The fallout from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster shows that it has affected our food, vegetables and fruit covered with deformities and lumps. There have been many effected plants found such as is a giant tomato with tumors, a five-fingered turnip, and two peaches which have grown into figures of eight. High levels of radiation have been detected in groundwater near the plant. It was confirmed by Tepco to have amounts of radioactive cesium equal to 254,000 becquerels per kilogram, or 2540 times the limit of 100 becquerels/kg set for seafood by the government. Mutated flowers near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster may have nothing to do with radiation at all. Many people dismissed photos of the daisies as fake when they emerged on social media but botanical experts say there is a logical explanation for their bizarre appearance. These flowers are deformed with things such as multiple stems, conjoined centers and oddly-shaped petals. [6]

How it looks today

Fukushima City

Since the Fukushima accident there's been a lot of information put out about it - some is accurate but much is not. Isotopes are contained within the fuel elements, but when those elements are compromised—by melting down they can be released. Heavier elements are also created in a reactor core when uranium that hasn't been fissioned captures neutrons. they are called neutron capture products. Six years after the accident the engineers monitoring the Scorpion’s progress failed. With a remote-controlled snip of its cable, the latest robot sent into one of Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged reactors was cut loose, its progress stalled by lumps of fuel that overheated when the nuclear plant suffered a triple meltdown six years ago. In February 2017, TEPCO released images taken inside Reactor 2 by a remote-controlled camera, that show there is a six and a half foot wide hole in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor's primary containment vessel, which could have been caused by fuel escaping the pressure vessel, indicating a meltdown had occurred. there are no plans to composition the plant. [7]


Fukushima disaster explained


  1. Accident Updates The Hiroshima Syndrome. Web. accessed on February 1, 2018. Author unknown.
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.M. & Hibbs M Fukushima Accident World Nuclear Association. web. Updated October 2017.
  3. FAQs: Radiation from Fukushima FAQS. web. Updated March 2016. author unknown.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dearden, Lizzie Hunters deployed to kill radioactive wild boars as residents return to homes in Fukushima nuclear disaster zone INDEPENDENT. web. posted on Saturday 11 March 2017.
  5. Joshua Rapp Learn Radiation Impacts Fukushima Birds the wildlife society. web. Posted on April 22, 2015
  6. Professor Mousseau, Timothy EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR RADIATION FROM THE CHERNOBYL AND FUKUSHIMA DISASTERS’ flora and fauna. web. posted 17 March 2016.
  7. Fukushima Daiichi Status Updates AIEA. web. accessed on February 1, 2018. Author unknown