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TOPIC: When Radiation Isn’t the Real Risk

When Radiation Isn’t the Real Risk 26 Sep 2015 23:16 #7767

  • Sebastian.V
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This week I read an article on the silent killer of the Japanese nuclear accident at Fukushima. In the article, they describe that 1,600 people have died "from the stress of the evacuation". The part that struck me about the article, was that it essentially pointed the finger at the government. "The government basically panicked … When you evacuate a hospital intensive care unit, you cannot take patients to a high school and expect them to survive." That evacuation order, perpetuated by "fear of radiation that ended up killing people", was repeated by the media and internal institutions, but "had the evacuees stayed … their cumulative exposure over four years... would have been about 70 millisieverts" while even 1000 millisieverts "is believed to eventually cause fatal cancers in about 5 percent of the people exposed". So they evacuated and killed 1,600 people, when not evacuating those same people would have exposed them to only 7% of a radiation dose that may increase their chance of dying a bit. I'm not suggesting they shouldn't have evacuated anyone, I'm suggesting they shouldn't have panicked and should have enforced a smarter evacuation order that allowed those with extenuating circumstances, like those in intensive care or in nursing homes, to stay put.
Article: www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/science/when-...-real-risk.html?_r=1
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When Radiation Isn’t the Real Risk 27 Sep 2015 23:25 #7826

  • Syeda. H
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I am so moved by this article! Really, all these lives could have been saved! The panic caused more harm than actually it could have been. I agree with you that they should have thought of a smarter plan instead of evacuating hospital intensive care unit. I am glad that, “Carol S. Marcus of Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles and Mark L. Miller of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, petitioned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to revise its rules to avoid overreactions to what may be nonexistent threats.” I hope the rules are going to be revised according to the level of risk involved.
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