Environmental effects of nuclear power plant accident at fukushima

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY: .ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT AT FUKUSHIMA 11 July 2011 Belson, Ken & Tabuchi, Hiroko. “Japan Finds Tainted Food Up to 90 Miles From Nuclear Sites.” New York Times. New York Times. 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 7 Jul. 2011. . This article from the New York Times reports that Japanese food safety inspectors have found high levels of iodine 131 in milk and spinach, at farms up to 90 miles away from the nuclear plants. The article highlights the effect of Iodine 131 and cesium 137 on human health and suggests that children and pregnant women in particular should be taking potassium iodide as a precaution. The article also reports that asparagus, cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes and other vegetables that are grown in Fukushima and the fish and meat in the region have not been found to be contaminated. The article also highlights that the meat, fish, fruits and vegetables from Japan have passed the food quality screenings in Hong Kong. Grossman, Elizabeth. “Radioactivity in the Ocean: Diluted, But Far from Harmless.” Yale Environment 360. Yale University. 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 7 Jul. 2011. . This report released by the Yale University highlights the growing concern that even though the ocean has the capacity to dilute nuclear contamination, elevated concentrations of radioactive cesium and iodine are moving up the local food chain. The report calls for a united approach of governments of Japan, United States and other nations to test and address this issue. The author clearly highlights the major challenge in the current scenario being the lack of adequate information about the whole range of radioactive compounds that have been released into the ocean and their distribution. The report also includes a comparison of the current situation in Fukushima with studies from previous releases of nuclear material in the Irish, Kara and Barents Seas, as well as in the Pacific Ocean. International Atomic Energy agency. Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log. 2 Jun. 2011. Web. 8 Jun 2011. . This report released by the International Atomic Energy agency gives an overall assessment of the environmental effects of radiation in Fukushima. This agency monitors the level of radiation at various regions in Fukushima on a daily basis. The report states that high levels of Cs-134/Cs-137 are still present in their samples based on which they have restricted distribution of certain food items. This report gives a good rundown of the types of food items that have been restricted for distribution and the level of radiation found in the samples they have tested. Schiermeier, Quirin. “Wildlife Suffering Around Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.” Scientific American. n.p. 27 May. 2011. Web. 8 Jul. 2011. &lt. http://www.scientificamerican.com/ article.cfm?id=wildlife-suffering-around-fukushima-nuclear-power-plant&gt.. This article from the Scientific American Magazine describes the ecological assessment conducted by radio-ecologists from the French Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety at Fukushima. They measured the concentration of radioisotopes in the soil and seawater in the contaminated region and plugged those concentrations into a software called ERICA (Environmental Risk from Ionizing Contaminants) to calculate the radiation dose that various groups of wildlife would have received. The French team has identified 50 radioisotopes that were released of which iodine-131 and caesium-137 were the most abundant. Based on their findings, the team has predicted high mortality rates among flatfish, mollusks, crustaceans and brown seaweed offshore of Fukushima and reduced reproductive rates among terrestrial organisms like birds, rodents and certain trees like pine and spruce. However the radiation effects on egg hatching and the survival of newborn mammals still needs to be monitored. Shaikh, Thair. Q&A: Is Fukushima as bad as Chernobyl?. CNN. 12, Apr. 2011. Web. 7 Jun. 2011. &lt. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-04-12/world/japan.nuclear.disaster.fukushima_1_ nuclear-watchdog-industrial-safety-agency-chernobyl-accident?_s=PM:WORLD&gt.. This news from the CNN reports that Japan raised it’s the severity level of its nuclear crisis from five to seven bringing it on par with the Chernobyl accident in 1986. This news article discusses the reason why the severity level of the crisis was raised and tries to provide. It also provides the opinions of various entities like the Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, Research Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute in Manchester and Head of the Climate and Energy Unit at Greenpeace regarding the increase in severity level. Walker, Tamsin. Marine life at risk from Fukushima leak. Deutsche Welle. 5 Apr. 2011. Web. 8 Jun 2011. &lt. http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14968034,00.html&gt.. Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster reports that the Japanese government took the unprecedented step of imposing a legal limit for radioactive iodine in fish in response to the contamination from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. The report also states that Fish at the top of the food chain are most at risk of contamination. The report discusses the widely proposed argument of dilution of radiation in the sea to the extent that it may no longer pose a threat. The report also briefly compares the situation in Fukushima to the situation in Chernobyl which faced a similar scenario.

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