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Radiation-related Health Effects from Fukushima Nuclear Accident, 23 March 2011


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Radiation-related Health Effects from Fukushima Nuclear Accident, 23 March 2011

  1. 1. Fukushima Nuclear Accident<br />Radiological Implications on Human Health<br />23 March 2011<br />Division of Radiation Transport and Waste Safety<br />Department of Nuclear Safety and Security<br />Division of Human Health<br />Department of Nuclear Science and Applications<br />
  2. 2. Radiation-related Health Effects<br />Acute effects of radiation exposure? (Individual)<br />NPP accident: Not likely in general population (doses NOT high enough)<br />At risk: NPP workers, fire fighters and rescuers.<br />Long-term effects? (population)<br />Increased risk of cancer<br />Risk of thyroid cancer: Prophylaxis by iodide pills.<br />Noted: Iodine is NOT an antidote for radiation exposure.<br />
  3. 3. Risk of radiation-related health problems<br />Health problems depend on exposure. <br />Exposure depends on:<br />Dose received<br />Duration of exposure<br />Distance someone is from the plant<br />Weather conditions<br />
  4. 4. Human beings are exposed to natural/man-made radiation on a daily basis. <br />2-3 mSv/year<br />Nuclear accidents with health hazards:<br />External Radiation <br />Internal contamination<br />External contamination (can often be washed off the body)<br />
  5. 5. Main radionuclides in Fukushima with health risk are:<br />Iodine-131<br />Cesium-137<br />suspended air, food and drink <br />Workers of NPP and civil defence teams: higher radiation doses - professional activities <br />
  6. 6. Which public health actions to take?<br />Prevention of exposure:<br />evacuation <br />sheltering of those near the site.<br />Preventive Iodine pills to reduce the risk of thyroid cancer. <br />Restriction of consumption of vegetables and dairy products produced in the vicinity of the power plant.<br />Follow instructions by competent authorities <br />Source: WHO<br />
  7. 7. How can food products become radioactive?<br /><ul><li>Contamination of the environment (soil, rivers, lakes, sea)</li></ul>How?<br />surface of foods<br />Or build up within plants and organisms<br />Severity of health risk depends on radionuclide mix and intake <br />Radioactivity cannot contaminate food that is packaged<br />
  8. 8. What general advice can be given to food consumers and producers?<br />In early stages of an emergency:<br />avoid consumption of locally produced milk, vegetables and seafood;<br />avoid slaughtering animals; and<br />avoid fishing, hunting or gathering mushrooms or other forest foods.<br />Source: WHO<br />
  9. 9. Are there rules for radioactivity in foods for international trade? <br />Guideline Levels (GLs)<br />Food below these GLs is safe for people to eat<br />If GLs are exceeded - national policies<br />Source: WHO<br />
  10. 10. MeasurementsIAEA radiation monitoring team 23/03/11<br />Radius 30 from 73Km for NPP measurement of :<br />Dose rate: 0.2 to 6.9microSv/ hour (background: 0.1 microSv/ hour)<br />Contamination: 0.02 to 0.6 Mbq/ m2<br /><ul><li>IAEA team dispatched for further analysis of environmental contamination</li></li></ul><li>Gamma Dose Rates/March 15-22<br />(Japanese authorities/microSv/hour) <br />Background: 0.1 microSv/hour<br />Increase since yesterday<br />Close monitoring needed<br />
  11. 11. Daily deposition of Iodine-131 and Cesium-137 (Japanese authorities)<br />
  12. 12. Radioactivity in food, milk and drinking waterFukushima and Ibaraki prefectures<br />Japanese authority:<br />Cease distribution and consumption of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage and the like) in Fukushima area<br />Cease distribution of fresh raw milk in Ibaraki<br />Monitor seafood<br />Tap water in Tokyo is not used as drinking water for infants<br />
  13. 13. Drinking water I-131 concentration in Fukushima <br />14<br />
  14. 14. Sea water contamination<br />Sea water radionuclides concentration <br />Samples collected 330 m South of discharge point (NPP Daichii NPP)<br />Very high above the normal range<br />IAEA dispatch a team to conduct marine environmental study<br />