Why is Fukushima leaving

March 11, 2011: Fukushima-Daiichi reactor disaster

During the reactor disaster in Fukushima, the legal limit values ​​for radioactive iodine and cesium in sea water were temporarily exceeded by 50,000 to 200,000 times.

As a result, greatly increased radioactivity was detected in fruits, vegetables and meat from Fukushima Prefecture. All residents had to be evacuated within a radius of thirty kilometers, 100,000 to 150,000 people have left the area and will never be able to return to their homes. The incident is on the INES scale with the highest level 7 (catastrophic accident, until March 2011 only occurred in Chernobyl).

An estimated 23 percent of radioactive fallout fell over mainland Japan. People across Japan came into contact with contaminated air, water and food. The employees at the power plant and the rescue workers were exposed to the highest levels of radiation.

The World Health Organization (WHO) assumes that there will be additional cancer cases among the workers at the power plant. Looking at the Japanese population as a whole, it can be assumed that 9,600 radiation-related cancer cases will occur, half of which are fatal, caused by the disaster.

Consequences for the environment

The long-term impacts on the environment have so far been difficult to assess. Well-known scientists from Germany have presented an initial study: The reactor disaster in Fukushima will have far-reaching consequences for the Pacific and the habitats there. The readings from Tepco and the Japanese Ministry of Science show that the sea around Fukushima is highly polluted. It can be assumed that the radioactive substances will be widely distributed and accumulate in the food chains from bottom to top.

A major problem is the cooling of the molten cores by introducing water in order to prevent worse things from happening: contaminated cooling water is permanently released into the environment through leaks in the safety containers and cooling basins. The scientists are calling for a nationwide network of independent measuring stations and epidemiological investigations, the reassessment of limit values ​​and the worldwide phase-out of nuclear energy.