Wildfires that broke out in a mountain forest near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant last weekend are causing worries that radiation from the 2011 disaster might be spread with the smoke, dust and flames. Eight helicopters from Fukushima, Miyagi and Gunma prefectures were dispatched to Mount Juman in Naime in the north east of the country, where radiation levels have remained high since the Fukushima plant experienced a triple meltdown in the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. When these helicopters couldn’t stop the blaze, said the Manichi, local officials summoned help from the Ground Self-Defense Force, a branch of the Japanese military.
Bellona 5th May 2017 read more »
“We don’t need to worry,” says Nikolaos Evangeliou at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, whose team has conducted the first global survey of radiation exposure caused by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan after a tsunami struck in 2011. Evangeliou’s team has calculated the approximate exposure of everyone on Earth to two radioactive isotopes of caesium, using all the data available so far. Most of this came from the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, which monitors radiation in the environment using a global network of measuring stations. “More than 80 per cent of the radiation was deposited in the ocean and poles, so I think the global population got the least exposure,” Evangeliou told the annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria, last month. He has estimated the dose that most individuals received to be 0.1 millisievert. “What I found was that we got one extra X-ray each,” says Evangeliou.
New Scientist 5th May 2017 read more »