Disasters & Accidents

Japan says it will continue to probe Fukushima radiation effects

Tokyo, Mar 10 (efe-epa).- Japan said Wednesday that the Fukushima authorities are continuing to investigate the potential effects of radiation on the health of the region’s inhabitants after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The remarks came a day after the United Nations published a report on the issue and a day before the 10th anniversary of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster.

The investigations seek to respond to people’s concerns regarding the matter, Japanese government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference.

He added that ensuring the health of residents is one of the priorities of the reconstruction and recovery of the affected area.

Kato made these remarks in response to a question about the UN report published the previous day.

According to the report, there is no evidence linking the radioactive waste released by three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to an increase in the incidence of a disease, specifically thyroid cancer cases among young people in the region, which it attributes to other factors.

The report coincides with other studies commissioned by the Japanese government and published in 2017, which arrived at similar conclusions and failed to establish a correlation between radioactivity and this form of cancer although they suggested that a long-term follow-up of up to 20 or 30 years was necessary to draw more reliable conclusions.

The report by the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, which reaches a similar conclusion, attributes the increase in the cases to the widespread use of modern diagnostic methods to detect problems in that gland, which would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Radiation fears is one of the main reasons why around half of the over 36,000 people who were displaced by the nuclear disaster have no desire to return even if the evacuation order over Fukushima is lifted.

There is also uncertainty surrounding the decommissioning of the damaged plant.

In this regard, Kato pointed out that the central government will continue to support activities to explain the risks of radioactivity and allay people’s fears. EFE-EPA


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