Some 20,000 Japanese people died as a result of the tsunami that ripped into that country’s eastern shore in March 2011. At the most, a handful more people may eventually die from radiation released when the tsunami washed through the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, setting off a series of meltdowns within its reactors and creating many days of headline news around the world. And yet it is the nuclear disaster that most of us remember best from those terrible days. Why? Because there is something chilling about an accident involving a nuclear power plant. Something about the invisibility of radiation, and its potential to kill silently, that brings on a condition among many doctors working in the aftermath of Fukushima describe as radiophobia. Radiophobia is not, despite the protestations of nuclear apologists, an irrational condition. We have good reason to fear what we cannot see, or taste, or hear, or touch. If our senses offer no guide to the scale of the risk, we must assume the best or fear the worst.
Ecologist 31st Jan 2020 read more »