Fukushima nuclear meltdown still a present catastrophe

Remember Fukushima? The nuclear plant that suffered damage from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. That’s all in the past now, right?

Wrong.

It was reported two months ago that lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, seven years after it was destroyed.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (Fukushima Daiichi Genshiryoku Hatsudensho) is located on a 3.5-square-kilometre (860 acre) site in the towns of Ōkuma and Futaba in the Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The plant is now disabled, but the chain of events caused by radiation leaks are evident now and will be felt for many years to come.

That’s how radiation works – slow but destructive.

Though the Fukushima disaster has been out of the main news cycle for some time, reports from around the world indicate that Fukushima radiation is still wreaking havoc on people’s health. In some cases, the radiation is eating away at people’s brains.

The Spanish newspaper, El Pais Semanal, reported back in May 2016 that Toru Anzai, 63, a former resident of Litate, Japan, a village in the Fukushima Prefecture, suffered a major heart attack and stroke several years after the reactor meltdowns. During Anzai’s stay in the hospital, doctors realized that the frontal lobe of his brain had developed a hole. They told him it may have been caused by absorbing the radioactive isotope cesium, which was prevalent at Fukushima.

Just weeks after the El Pais story was published, another report published in the Chinese paper Xinhua highlighted a slew of radioactive-related diseases triggered by Fukushima that have been ignored by government officials. These diseases include exceptionally poor health among children, including thyroid cancer.

Now lodged in marine life, in humans, and in the food supply, the effects of radiation and the true impact of Fukushima is still to be told.

Image: IAEA personnel at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 4, 2013 (Wikimedia Commons).

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