Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fukushima's aftermath today, radiation and trauma

       Five years ago a radiation leak occurred when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced machine failures due to a typhoon that crossed through Japan. To this day there are still effects from radiation that are present in the people within the surrounding area in Japan. One of the most prominent problems that people face are cancers linked to radiation exposure.
           The problem is especially visible in young children. Thyroid cancers were the most prevalent in children under the age of 18 after children in nearby areas were screened. In some cases there were dozens of children who have had their thyroid glands removed, "perhaps unnecessarily." (Normille 2016) Events such as these occur rarely, such as the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 in Ukraine. For several years after after people within the zone outside the path suffered birth defects and cancers as well. According to the source about 1/10th of the level of radiation of Chernobyl escaped at the Fukushima Plant. Radiation is one way for genes to undergo mutations, sometimes these mutations lead to trouble such as the case here. Large scale radiation is problematic when introduced rapidly in a population as it can lead to several detrimental effects. Other times small doses of radiation in the wild sometimes allows for an individual to gain traits that may be beneficial. Such as coloration or increased capacity for intellect or other physical traits that allow for success in finding a mate. Cancer and birth defects are part of the negative consequences of radiation.
         Robots have been clearing the area within the fallout zone for many years now. Contamination is the largest factor believed to cause the rise of this epidemic in the children and others living in the country. Crops, homes and livestock have been washed over or removed. Water that was contaminated was also removed and some of it is still being treated. Japan turned to other countries like the US to improve its treatment methods. To this day there are still effects of the incident being felt in Japan's people. More import costs, lower exports, and intensive care for patients dampen the spirits for those trying to recover in the wake of the accident. It will take more time to reach a point where the accident's aftermath has been placed under control. 

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