Fukushima update: the level headed view

An editorial in the latest edition of the Journal of Radiological Prediction by Richard Wakeford provides a good summary about what happened at the Japanese nuclear power plants and the resulting risks. PhysOrg reports and provides a link (http://iopscience. … 746/31/2/E02) to the editorial.

While praising the organisational abilities of the Japanese authorities and the heroic efforts of emergency workers, Wakeford is critical of alarmist pronouncements from some of those in authority outside Japan, and offers perspective on the radiological hazard the emergency poses.

The reactors functioning at the time of the even did scram but suffered a loss of coolant due to the damage to the emergency cooling systems. That caused damages that resulted in the release of radioactive products. To date, measures of exposure indicate that there may be, at most, up to a ten percent influence on nominal cancer rates. That means that the impact on human health due is going to be more evident in the nuclear-ophobia than it is in actual physical ailments. That phenomena is one noted by professor Wakeford in citing pronouncements which “have been breathtaking in their extravagance.”

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