April 21, 2024

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Ten years of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan

Ten years of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan


Ten years of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. 

A doctor conducted a decade of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan and found a surprising health threat.


In the past ten years, this Japanese doctor discovered the fact that no one actually died in this nuclear accident. Instead, the evacuation of more than 100,000 people caused obvious social and health problems.


Ten years of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan


Ten years ago, a major nuclear leak occurred at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan due to an earthquake, which forced the evacuation of 160,000 people and caused the most serious marine pollution in human history. Ten years have passed now, what’s going on there now?


The biggest nuclear leak after Chernobyl

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan was the world’s largest nuclear power plant before 2011.

However, on March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred in the sea near Japan and triggered a tsunami.

The earthquake and tsunami caused an explosion and a serious nuclear leak at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The amount of leaked radiation is as high as one-tenth of the Chernobyl accident.


The four reactors damaged by the Fukushima nuclear power plant in this accident took 10 years to build and cost US$2.2 billion.

However, it would take at least 30 years to clean them, US$76 billion.


Be in danger

In April 2011, Masaharu Tsubokura attended a medical conference in Paris, France. During the meeting, he and his girlfriend took a cruise on the Seine River.

At this time, Professor Masahiro Shinma, the chairman of the Tokyo Institute of Medical Governance, called him and asked him if he could Should I go to the coastal areas of Fukushima Prefecture to be a volunteer doctor?

It was shortly after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

There was an urgent need for clinicians, especially young and adaptable doctors.


When Masaharu Pakura was still a medical undergraduate, Professor Masahiro Shinma left a deep impression on him, because many doctors regarded patients as the subject of scientific research, and Masaharu Pakura puts patients first, followed by research.

Therefore, Professor Masahiro Kamima thought of him when he needed a volunteer doctor in Fukushima.


Masaharu Tsubokura is a native of Osaka. He has never been to Fukushima or even heard of this place.

After searching on the Internet, he bluntly said that Professor Masahiro Shinma has summoned himself to the center of the disaster.


His girlfriend was also very angry about this, worried that Masaharu Pingkura would be dangerous to go to Fukushima. But this anger only lasted a few weeks.




A large number of people were forced to evacuate

Masaharu Tsubokura arrived in Fukushima in late April 2011.

At this time, Japan is still counting the number of victims. The massive earthquake and tsunami destroyed more than 800 kilometers of coastline, resulting in 15,899 deaths, 2,527 missing and 500,000 dead. 

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami, an explosion occurred and nuclear fuel melted, causing the reactor to release a large amount of nuclear radiation into the atmosphere and sea water.

The estimated radiation amount was one-tenth of the Chernobyl accident.



Worried about the effects of nuclear radiation, nearby residents began to evacuate

Fearing that there will be more nuclear radiation leaks, the Japanese government ordered the evacuation of all residents within 20 kilometers of the nuclear power plant.

Many residents 20 kilometers away also voluntarily left due to concerns about nuclear radiation.

In the end, 160,000 people were in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Escape within two weeks.


These evacuees crowded in schools, gymnasiums and other public buildings in cities outside the evacuation zone for several months until emergency housing was built, and some chose to live with relatives outside the city.




Evacuees temporarily residing in the gymnasium

When Masaharu Pinggura inspected the evacuees scattered in various evacuation centers, the question he heard most asked by people was: What is radiation? Is it safe to stay here?Can the children go out?


In the beginning, he used what he had learned to explain one by one to the people who asked the question.

Later, he made a PPT and gave public speeches among the masses, revealing the basic knowledge of radiation and local radiation exposure levels.


In his speech, he told people that the level of radiation exposure is actually very low, which makes many people feel at ease. 

However, many people questioned that he was instigated by the government and deliberately played down the harm.



Tsubokura Masaharu

These accusations and doubts filled Masaharu Pingkura with stress and troubles. One night in June 2011, he went to bed and suddenly found that he could not close his left eye.

His face was paralyzed. He has been suffering from nuclear disaster for months.

The doctor who provided consulting services to the displaced residents turned out to be a patient himself.


Fortunately, the facial paralysis caused by stress is only temporary, but since he started volunteer work in Fukushima Prefecture, the factors that caused this stress have continued in his life.

The original plan was to provide health check-ups for the evacuees during the voluntary service period.

Very short, but now, this work has been going on for 10 years, and it will continue.



Surprising discovery

In the past ten years, Pingcang Masaharu discovered the fact that no one actually died in this nuclear accident.

Instead, the evacuation of more than 100,000 people caused obvious social and health problems.


He came to a controversial conclusion: The health impact of evacuation itself is greater than the health impact of radiation.


Many people accused him of defending the nuclear power plant and the government.

In the face of such accusations, most people would choose to leave and said that they had done their best, but he persisted, and this persistence lasted for ten years.


In the past ten years, Masaharu Pakura has accumulated a lot of data.

He and his colleagues have published more than 140 papers. In these papers, they recorded the relatively low radiation exposure in the Fukushima area and the impact of large-scale evacuation.

Health effects-leading to an increase in deaths among older people, an increase in chronic diseases, and a decline in overall well-being.


Pingcang Masaharu stated that his goal is to help the locals. He stayed here as a doctor, not as a researcher.

He wrote the paper to share this knowledge with the scientific community and to document the disaster. How to influence people.


After the nuclear leak, some people believed that the local cancer incidence had increased.

When someone died of leukemia in the local area, people tended to think that this was the consequence of nuclear radiation.





Does nuclear radiation really have no effect?

Pingkura Masaharu believes that the nuclear radiation leaked from the Fukushima nuclear power plant does have an impact on health, but this impact is indirect.

After the accident, dozens of local doctors and nurses were evacuated. One month after the accident, only half of the local hospitals Staff, one and a half years after the accident, the number of medical staff is still 15% less than before.

The weakness of the medical system caused by the nuclear spill had an indirect impact on health.


In 2018, Masaharu Tsubokura published a paper in the “Journal of the National Institute of Public Health”, which showed that in the first month after the nuclear accident, the risk of death for both men and women and people of all ages On the increase, this has the most obvious impact on the elderly who live in nursing facilities for a long time.

The death risk of the 715 elderly in nursing homes at 5 evacuation points is 2.7 times higher than before.

The most common cause of death is pneumonia, which indicates that they died due to physical weakness, lack of care, and deterioration of their physical condition.


In addition, Dr. Ozaki Akihiko, a collaborator of Masaharu Tsubokura, found that after the nuclear accident, women were found and detected breast cancer later than before, which led to more advanced cancer detection and also made treatment more difficult.


They also found that the incidence of diabetes among nearby residents has increased by 5% within 3 years after the accident, and diabetes-related complications such as stroke have become more common and serious.

They believe that this was due to the changes in exercise habits and eating habits caused by the nuclear accident, as well as the interruption of family and social relations, because the accident caused people to pay less attention to their own health.


These findings indicate that the pressure brought about by the large-scale evacuation is the real health threat in the Fukushima area.


However, some experts believe that people currently know too little about the hazards of radiation, so they have to take a more cautious approach.

Although the radiation exposure caused by this accident did not reach the level that caused serious injury, but the low level of nuclear radiation exposure may still lead to an increase in cancer incidence a few years later.

Therefore, in order to avoid the delayed effects of radiation exposure, it is necessary to evacuate nearby residents.




The evacuated residents began to return

Today, the evacuation orders for many towns near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been lifted, and residents have begun to return.

Masaji Pingcang is still conducting a number of studies, including how the medical and nursing facilities in the evacuation zone will take care of bedridden patients.


Because the radiation dose in some areas is still more than ten times higher than the standard, there are still 37,000 residents unable to return to their homes.

Pingcang Zhengzhi is also discussing with the local government how to take care of these 37,000 evacuees who are still unable to return to their homes to reduce their diseases.



Ten years of research on the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan


Ten years later, the town of Futaba, which is 4 kilometers away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, still bans residents from living, and it is still an empty city.


The woman who opposed Masaharu Tsubokura’s trip to Fukushima was already his wife.

She still often asked: Didn’t she say that she only went to Fukushima for a week? How could she stay for 10 years?






(source:internet, reference only)

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