Fukushima Radiation: Just How Bad Is It?

    June 29, 2014
    Toni Matthews-El
    Comments are off for this post.

Three years ago, a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the nation of Japan.

Even worse, the natural disaster sparked the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, which involved a major meltdown at a nuclear power plant. The tsunami carried radioactive water from the plant into the Pacific Ocean.

If that weren’t enough, last year Tokyo Electric Power Company admitted that the leak didn’t end with the tsunami; radioactive water had been pouring into the ocean for some time after the geological event.

There was widespread panic and outrage over TEPCO and the Japanese government’s secretive and dishonest treatment of the catastrophe.

At the same time, there is a growing debate over just how bad the the situation really is in Fukushima and beyond.

One writer and scientist claims that some news stemming from the disaster is in fact “fear mongering”.

James Concha wrote in Forbes that irresponsible writers lacking scientific credentials and a will to do thorough research were scaring people unnecessarily about the fatal nature of the nuclear disaster.

Said Concha, “Many so-called researchers, activists and reporters claim thyroid cancers have exploded in Japan and Japanese children are dying by the thousands.”

He claims that bad science and irresponsible reporting are creating a panic over issues where it’s still too soon to see the full effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Moreover, there may have been an overestimation in how far spread the radiation levels are following the disaster.

Initially there were fears that wind and water would carry high levels of radiation to America and we would be subjected to a series of health problems.

Now one conservation group testing the waters of Oregon said it would be surprised if radiation levels were anything other than normal.

Needless to say, certain anti-nuclear activists are not happy with the idea that concerns over the effects of Fukushima are being dismissed. They claim that the Japanese government and TEPCO are hiding the truth about the disaster from the Japanese people and the world.

So what does it all mean?

It means, frustratingly, that it’s still far too soon to know the full truth of the matter. It may still be a few years before any noticeable health problems are demonstrated in the Japanese population as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

The back and forth debate among nuclear activists and pro-nuclear organizations means that persons will often have their own motives for skewing studies and research. Either we’ll be expected to dismiss the radiation leak or expect that the worst is still to come.

The best thing anyone genuinely concerned about this situation can do is their own research.

Read peer-reviewed scientific studies from experts in the fields of radiation and its effects on populations.

Otherwise, you may be vulnerable to misinformation.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

  • TheHealthPhysicist

    Yes, look to scientific consensus reports, not individual studies or propaganda in the popular press. Both UNSCEAR and WHO have produced scientific consensus studies.

    • dosdos

      UNSCEAR and WHO are hobbled by the IAEA, which promotes nuclear power. Their reports are biased, based on selective analysis, and are not scientific. Both intentionally fail to consider the effect of ingested isotopes. Inductive science is worse than no science at all.

      • Thinker

        And the treehuggers reports are not biased,? this report here is not biased??? so why Ramsar Iran has more natural radiation than Fukushima and this report does not mention it, the ocean ha same radiation before Fukushima and the report does not mention it, ok . ets talk bias than.

        • TheHealthPhysicist

          No, UNSCEAR & WHO are not hobbled by anyone. Both consider ingested isotopes. You obviously haven’t actually read their reports. The ocean has more radioactivity since Fukushima, obviously.

  • DoneNDusted

    Mainstream Media here in Australia do not report at all about Fukushima whatsoever? Coverup- yes well of course TEPCO are hiding the truth and covering up the deadliest radiation leak we humans have ever known… Having had to study the effects of radiation in the military many years ago, I am fully aware how deadly enriched Uranium is! Hold your Loved ones close, enjoy life today as we know it and plans for the future put on hold..because there isn’t one! Potassium Iodine and Geiger counters selling like hot cakes at the moment.. Japan trying to play down the worst nuclear accident ever that has the potential for extinction..Good luck one and all.. We going to need it! :0

  • No

    Oh, “one conservation group testing the waters of Oregon said it would be surprised if radiation levels were anything other than normal.” Gosh,can’t you tell us WHICH ONE that might be? People might then ‘do their own research’. You certainly cannot trust an “article” like this.

  • Mark Scheuer

    This is certainly not “NEWS”. There are no fact reported, just opinions. “Do your own research”??? Really. The danger levels or radioactivity are well known and have been published since the 1950’s. All nuclear site workers wear badges that detect cumulative levels of radiation and corporate policy, at least here in the US, limits monthy exposures. The Japanese government and /or the international nuclear community should be monitoring the radiation at fixed distances from the accident site (and MUCH closer than Oregon) and publishing these results, in real time, on the web. Anything less is completely irresponsible..

  • harley5571

    TEC lied just like BP lied..All they worried about is dumping their stock before the huge fallout!!

  • SocialistCafe

    Yes, absolutely, do your own research. The pro nuke industry, in their vigorous pursuit of obscene profits have muddled the issue up so much that you have to dig through their BS propaganda to get at the truth.

  • Denny Pollard

    As stated “Coverup- yes well of course TEPCO are hiding the truth and covering up the deadliest radiation leak we humans have ever known… ” I happen to live about 60Km from Daiichi and yes even where I live we have radiation so does everyone. Material is being shipped away from Daiichi to other prefectures with no oversight and dump as fill dirt. These piles of dirt, rock and other stuff have high levals of radiation so TEPCO is allowing nuclear waste to be disposed on people that do not know it is harmful. This is a real crime and in the future people will get sick from it. This is the untold story no one is seeing or knows about.

  • Guest

    Scientists do relocate an entire town for no reason.

  • Karen Sherry Brackett

    Scientists do not relocate an entire town for no reason.

    • Curious Cuss

      Scientists do not relocate towns. What authority would they have? Governments relocate towns, folks. And they do stuff all the time for no good reason.

  • Thinker

    Total propaganda, radiation in the ocean before Fukushima was the same as it is now, because the radiation was already there from the nuclear tests, the Fukushima contribution does not even show on the scale, they are trying to make a story out of it, to push the green propaganda, they will make us all pay more for electricity , Ramsar Iran has higher radiation naturally than Fukushima, learn the truth people, or you will be led like sheep.

    • Nicola Tesla

      Gullible Moron.

  • lenslens1

    I have a geiger counter in my house in Seattle and it went nuts 4 days after FuckUshima went off. I presume it was radioactive iodine. Thanks guys for destroying my thyroid.

  • Nicholas Sakalauskas

    100% of seaweed from the pacific tested positive for cesium. no news outlets have made a warning about sushi,
    the main media is saying don’t worry, the independents are running for the hills, a great friend of mine went over to help the clean up. Hes in the military, the Rad levels are so high that the guys he was wereking with all received the limit of exposure.

    radioactivity is a dust. look into “cloud chambers” thats what the dust does.
    plutonium is “man made”, its not earth natural in pure forms, now its in our seafood.

    The reality is, Fukushima isnt going to kill you, but if you eat sushi and seafood, your almost guaranteed to develop some form of isotope related cancer.
    if fukushima wasnt a problem, why is it still in the news? oh thats right, its still melting down, nobody knows where the molten material is, there is still spent fuel on site, and one bad earthquake could totally fuck the pacific. But yea, no worries

  • JRh

    The reality is the truth will not be disclosed due to the fact it will cause widespread panic. I do not believe anything in this article. It is all a cover up!

  • Nicola Tesla

    This is the nuclear industry plan: When something goes wrong, dump it in the ocean.
    There is no other plan. Only irresponsible pollution, that lasts 5000 years.

  • Nicola Tesla

    You realize: That any measure to stop a meltdown is: “experimental?”

  • Nicola Tesla

    Environmentalists: they were 100% right about nuclear power.
    Scientists: they lied to us.

  • Nicola Tesla

    Nuclear power is the most foolish and irresponsible method of generating electricity, ever conceived by humans.

    • Unbiasedobserver

      You are correct Tesla. Nuke power is literally insane. How many children need to get cancer or be born with genetic diseases for people to admit this obvious conclusion?

      • Nicola Tesla

        Short term corporate profits take priority over our children’s health and future. (as usual)
        Future citizens are all going to pay a huge price to clean up this mess, for centuries to come. The problem doesn’t go away…

  • Unbiasedobserver

    UNSCEAR and WHO are pro nuke. Period. WHO claims only a few dozen died from Chernobyl!! If you trust WHO, UNSCEAR, IAEA or other transparently pro nuke orgs like the NRC then you are a fool. Period. Where are all the kelp studies?? Why are ALL the sea stars and animals dying in the Pacific at a ridiculously rapid rate?? Pelicans, seals, walruses, anchovies, squids, ect ect…

  • Unbiasedobserver



    CNN story about Seattle radiation and hot particles from Fukushima:

    eattle radiation levels were 40,000 TIMES NORMAL BACKGROUND LEVELS on 3/20/11…

  • pam spencer

    nuclear radiation which dumbass don’t think we should be worried about it’s destructive force, come on , come on, step right up for your Fukushima cocktail.

  • Shaohua Xu

    Another article paid by Japanese government!

  • Nicola Tesla

    Corporate profits are a priority over our children’s health and future. (as usual)
    All will pay a huge price to clean up this mess, for centuries to come. The problem doesn’t go away…

  • Nicola Tesla

    ALL the electricity we need can be made by solar, wind, hydro electric and geothermal. The technology to do this exists right now….
    This is one reason why nuclear power is so foolish and irresponsible.