Medical tests conducted in the Fukushima Prefecture, located in the northeast of Japan revealed that 18 children have developed thyroid cancer as a consequence of the radiation emitted from the nuclear plant. After the explosion of the at the Fukushima Nuclear complex, uncountable amounts of radiation spread over the east coast of Japan, and later moved east towards the pacific coast of the United States.
Regional authorities ordered to do medical evaluations to all 360,000 children with ages up to 18 years old, who lived in Fukushima to assess the impact of the nuclear accident in their health.
The results, which were released on Tuesday, revealed that 18 of those children developed thyroid cancer, while 25 others may suffer from this disease, reported Japanese public television NHK.
The panel that conducted this study explained that it could be because the radioactive particles emitted by the nuclear plant have accumulated in the thyroid gland of children, increasing the risk of developing cancer. This outcome means that all Japanese exposed to that radiation may eventually develop thyroid or other types of cancer that will begin to appear over time.
The doctors who are part of the medical panel have underlined that they have not been able to determine if the nuclear incident has increased the rate of thyroid cancer incidence among children in Fukushima.
In this regard, the director of the medical study, Hokuto Hoshi, has advanced that another group of experts will conduct a case-by-case analysis to obtain detailed explanations.
In March 11, 2011, an earthquake and tsunami devastated the coast of the Japanese prefecture, resulting in the worst nuclear accident in history, alongside that of the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine.
Fukushima-1 was prepared for an earthquake, as Japan sits on a fault, but not a tsunami, so sea whip caused several hydrogen explosions that made the cores of some of its reactors partially unstable to later melt and cause the radiation emissions that cause the children to get thyroid cancer.
Earlier this week, the Japanese government raised the threat level at Fukushima. Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority proposed raising the level to three on the seven-point scale. The agency announced the proposal in a document posted on the agency’s website. Later, the NRA approved the measure at a weekly meeting.
As we have reported earlier, there doesn’t seem to exist a solution to the daily leakage of 300 tonnes of radioactive water that have been getting out of Fukushima. Despite the continuous failure from TEPCO, the nuclear plant’s operator, to stop the water from getting to the ocean, the Japanese government has not intervened to find a solution to the contamination of the air or the water.
Masayuki Ono, general manager of Tepco, confirmed that the levels of radiation are greater and more dangerous than first reported. One sample of contaminated water emitted 100 millisieverts an hour, the equivalent to being exposed to radiation for five years.