Damaged Nuclear Plants Raise Health Concerns in Japan

What are the health concerns in Japan?

Health officials claim that it will be more than a few weeks until the Fukushima Nuclear power plant is kept under control. In fact, they do not have a precise estimate of when this will be ceased but they are currently doing all they can to keep everything at bay, even risking their lives doing so. Radioactivity has been seeping out gradually because of the nuclear power plants, slowly poisoning everything in its path, including the health of the people nearby. With so many people being on the streets, staying inside the home is not an option to protect them from radiation. How and when will this nuclear mishap be put to an end? The answer is unclear and this is why people fear for their very lives. For those of you who are oblivious to this situation, you should know what it means for a nuclear energy plant to “melt down”. This term is one of the worst events that could happen to a nuclear reactor and it seems inevitably in the case of the Tsunami which shattered the lives of individuals everywhere in Japan.

A nuclear reactor is used to create power from nuclear fission which is controlled by us. Once enough radioactive materials are brought together, power is then created. The only thing that accounts for the closing of this process is the “control rods”, which are used to separate all the radioactive material. On March 11 in Japan, on the day of the Earthquake – this is when the control rods had stopped the nuclear reactions. What this means is that there will be no nuclear blasts even though the plants are damaged. If you didn’t already know, the nuclear matter within reactors will stay radioactive. For example, they will give off heat which could take days or even weeks to cool down. The fuel rods we mentioned earlier are required to stay in a cooling pool until the radioactivity wears off as well as the temperature.

How can I protect myself from radiation?

Currently, the radiation levels that surround the nuclear power plant and within that area is 1600 times more than the normal level. This poses a major health risk for neighbors who cannot leave their homes due to certain family or financial issue. A regular chest X-Ray is quite safe with only millisieverts while 1,000 increases the risk of cancer with a low white blood cell count. In the most fatal case of 10,000 millisieverts, the case is always fatal. Symptoms would include severe nausea and vomiting. Depending on the overall health of the individual, death would follow shortly after a few hours to a few days. Of course, the radiation that Japan is currently facing is enough to kill people and because of this – officials may have to put forth a plan to bury the reactors underground beneath the concrete.

To protect yourself from radiation, begin eating foods that are low in sugars. Pump yourself up on Vitamin D as well. This may seem strange but it may help. You can also limit yourself from electrical devices such as the TV, laptop, and cell phones. Scientists have also found that Beta-Carotene can protect an individual against large amounts of radiation. Plenty of Beta-Carotene is found in either Vitamin E or Vitamin D – so make sure to take all your vitamins.


Officials in Tokyo have also warned that children under the age of one should not drink tap water because of  radiation levels in the city’s supplies.

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Adrianne Izaguirre

Hello everyone. I am a stay at home writer and web designer who enjoys spending time with family, going out to the movies, and living the good life!

3 thoughts on “Damaged Nuclear Plants Raise Health Concerns in Japan

  • March 25, 2011 at 10:11 am

    The levels of radioactivity around the Fukushima nuclear plant will be a long term problem. The nuclear accident will make it difficult for the nuclear industry. I say Nuclear power has lost its attractiveness for a long time.

  • March 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Sadly it is always the young who suffer most. With their rapidly dividing cells children are particularly at risk from the increased radiation levels.

    It must be a nightmare for parents of babies and young children.

    And sadly, this morning I saw on TV, an elderly couple who had stayed in their home. Perhaps at their age they thought that the trauma of shifting to outside the exclusion zone was more upsetting than being exposed. Either way, very sad.


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