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Author: Masaharu Tsubokura M.D., PhD.

Editor: Yudai Kaneda

323  More Realistic Report

April 17, 2021

International organizations overseas have released evaluation reports on radiation exposure and its health effects due to the recent nuclear. The most representative of these is the report from the United Nations Commission on Safety and Health (UNSCEAR), which released its latest version as the "2020 Report" last month and concluded that it was unlikely that health effects such as increased cancer would be seen in the future as a direct result of exposure.

There are two types of exposure: external exposure and internal exposure. In the report, for example, the exposure dose for internal exposure is described as follows: the amount of contamination in food is XX becquerels, and if you eat about XX grams of that in a meal per day, your exposure dose is XX sievert, or the amount of radioactive materials in the air immediately after the accident is XX becquerels, and the amount of air you breathe is about XX liters, therefore your exposure dose is XX sievert.

In previous reports, where there was not enough data, the numbers were estimated too strictly, and calculations were made with caution so not to underestimate exposure doses (i.e., not estimate lower than they were). Future exposure doses were also calculated based on experiences such as Chernobyl. The new report uses more precise measurements and presents more realistic results compared to the previous ones.

324  No Mutation to the Child

April 24, 2021

Ten years have passed since the Fukushima nuclear accident, and 35 years have passed since the Chernobyl nuclear accident that occurred on April 26, 1986.

Recently, the results of a study on the genetic effects of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident were published in Science, one of the world's prestigious scientific journals.

With the cooperation of 130 people and their children who were exposed to high levels of radiation because of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident, all the human genetic information was analyzed using the whole genome sequencing method.

Through comparing the parents’ and their children’s genetic information, the researchers were investigating if the parents’ radiation exposure caused more mutations in their children.

The results showed there were no signs of more mutations occurring in the children. The radiation exposure due to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident was overwhelmingly higher than that of the current nuclear power plant accident. The fact that no genetic effects were seen in this study strongly suggests that we should not be concerned about genetic influences on children due to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident.


The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on 17 and 24 April 2021 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.


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