Why are we so afraid of Fukushima ?

Fukushima is a nuclear incident that changed the attitude of the whole world towards Nuclear energy.

This series of articles is dedicated to the various myths surrounding nuclear energy. We will stepwise decode different myths related to Nuclear Power. We will also talk about the advantage of nuclear energy over other renewable and non-renewable sources of energy.

An aerial view of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The incidence of Fukushima comes into people’s mind whenever Nuclear Energy is discussed. Unlikely to the common belief there was not a single death or immediate health effects caused by radiation exposure among the roughly 25,000 workers who were at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.  According to UNSCEAR the nuclear accident at Fukushima did not cause any immediate health effects – neither at the site of the accident nor amongst the members of the general public.  Their report further concluded that radiation doses received by the public were generally low or very low and that “no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants. UNSCEAR examined data from 12 of themost exposed workers and concluded that they may be at increased risk of thyroid cancer or other thyroid disorders. Around 160 other workers were exposed to estimated radiation doses of more than 100 millisieverts (mSv)

The radioactive leak from the site led to a precautionary ban on leafy vegetables and milkfrom animals that had been feeding on local grass. An extensive monitoring system was put in place and analysis in 2015 found that radioactivity levels fell quickly in most vegetables: just five months after the disaster, only a handful of samples exceeded the limit.

Despite so much available data and so many precautions, the incident led to complete shut down of Nuclear energy programmes in countries like Japan and Germany. The countries have become more sceptic about Nuclear energy and a lot of countries are planning to decommission the existing nuclear  power plants

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UNSCEAR – United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic

Author Profile

Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma
Mritunjay Sharma finished his B.Sc (H) from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University in Chemistry. After that he went to England to study Masters in Polymer Material Science and Engineering from University of Manchester and consequently finished his PhD in Nuclear and Materials Chemistry from University of Manchester

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