GEPR HOME >This week's update – Low possibility of health hazards by low-level radiation exposure (09th January 2012)

This week's update – Low possibility of health hazards by low-level radiation exposure (09th January 2012)

Editorial staffs

After the nuclear accident in Fukushima, most of the Japanese people have strong interests in the following question, "Will there be any health hazards by low-dose radiation?"

GEPR staffs consider that the potentials for major health hazard in Fukushima and Japan are very little, because of the low radiation readings in Japan and current medical findings. GEPR will continue to provide correct information for Japanese and global citizens.

Updated Academic Articles and Columns

We will introduce the next column on 09th January.

Dr. Keiichi Nakagawa, associate professor of Tokyo University contributed a column, "What Radiation Exposure Standards Mean". Dr. Nakagawa is a clinician of cancer, and a director at the department of palliative medicine, University of Tokyo Hospital. After the Fukushima accident, he is informing facts about radiation to the public.

Dr. Nakagawa is concerned about the anxiety and confusion in Japanese society after the accident, and analyses the reason why this happened.

GEPR Editors provided an article, "Power Generation Costs and Economic Efficiency of Nuclear Power Generation". It introduces academic articles and research about power costs generated by various electric plants.

Web links of academic articles and reports

We introduce important article and report about low dose radiation and health.

The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (Hiroshima) published an academic article “Effect of Recent Changes in Atomic Bomb Survivor Dosimetry on Cancer Mortality Risk Estimates” (2004)

This article is to verify the possibility of health damage caused by low-dose exposure, using the follow up data of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors from atomic bombs. With the exposure to 200 millisieverts (mSv) or more, the risks of leukemia and solid cancer increases. Meanwhile, the relationship is not clear between low-dose exposure to less than 200 mSv and its effect on human health. We will make a commentary about this article soon.

The Japanese Government's Cabinet Office, "Working Group on Risk Management of Low-dose Exposure" published the "Report" in November 2011. This WG advised a 20mSv limit for radiation exposure to the region affected by this accident.

This WG announced to people in Fukushima, a “Summary” which 10 members explain their opinions (only in Japanese) and “Messages from overseas experts about radiation” (English and Japanese) .

Prof. Mikhail Balonov, a Russian Professor, a member of the International Commission of Radiological Protection, sent a message as follows. He studies the Chernobyl accident and visited Fukushima for a week after the accident as a member of IAEA.

Twenty five years passed since 1986 and we know now which detriment for the public health has been caused by the Chernobyl accident. It mostly resulted in elevated thyroid cancer incidence of children who drunk in May 1986 locally produced milk containing radioiodine. Unfortunately, authorities and experts failed to protect them fully and timely from this internal irradiation hazard. In Fukushima, this kind of human exposure to radiation was very minor because children did not drink in March-April 2011 milk contaminated with radionuclides. This is why any increase of thyroid disease should not be expected either in the near or in the far future.

What concerns long-term exposure of residents of the Chernobyl affected areas with radiocaesium, twenty five years of careful medical observation and scientific study did not reveal any elevated morbidity among population of the Bryansk region. Neither was it found by the most authoritative international experts who recently assessed health consequences of the Chernobyl accident in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. From comparison of radiation conditions of the Bryansk region of Russia in 1986 and of the Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 one can predict that the increase of morbidity of the Japanese population from radiation is unlikely.

This massage is a very good news for the Japanese people.


Is Fukushima Dangerous? -- Distorted images of Japan - Morley Robertson × Nobuo Ikeda

What's happen? What was the cause in Fukushima? Morley Robertson, writer and DJ, talk about distorted images of Japan after Fukushima nuclear plant accident with Nobuo Ikeda.

21st Century Energy Challenges

At the ARPA-E 2012 summit, Bill Gates and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu discussed the largest energy challenges of the 21st century in the U.S. and around the world.

A Web-TV Program "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" (Japanese only)

Agora Institute, who operates GEPR, broadcasted a Web-TV program "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" on internet video streaming channel "Niconico Live " on January 19th (in Japanese only) . Nobuo Ikeda, President of Agora Incorporated, and three experts on radiation, risk analysis, and energy policy discussed about the situations after Fukushima nuclear accident. Their opinions were consistent that potentiality of health damage caused by the Fukushima accident is very small. GEPR will provide a summary about this program soon.


Agora Inc., who operates GEPR, releases a podcast program which was originally aired on Jan. 19th, 2012on internet video streaming channel "Nico-nico Live"; "Is radiation really so harmful? Considering risks of nuclear power generation" (Japanese only) The panel: Nobuo Ikeda, Akihiro Sawa, Jun Takada, and Hiroyuki Matsuda