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Impact of radiation exposure

This section has been taken from the publication "10 Lessons from Fukushima. Reducing risks and protecting communities from nuclear disasters" by the Fukushima Booklet Publication Committee[1]:

If a person is exposed to somewhere in the region of 7,000 mSv throughout their whole body at once, their DNA will be ripped to shreds and they will certainly die. There is no way to save them. 50 % would die from exposure to approximately 4,000 mSv. Exposure to such large quantities of radiation will bring nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and in acute cases symptoms include bloody bowel discharge, hair loss, and purple spots, followed by death. Due to manifesting a short while after exposure, these symptoms are called acute disorder[2]. Exposure to 100 mSv results in a temporary decrease in lymph corpuscles and sperm; dosages below this are considered to not result in acute disorder. This dosage is called the "treshold" of acute disorder, and anything under 100 mSv is considered to be low dosage[2].

Low level radiation

Low level radiation is the radiation emitted by nuclear facilities in "normal" operation. Usually this radiation is below the allowed limits of radioactive emissions, and the atomic industry usually says it wouldn't be of any harm for this reason. However, several examinations of the last 50 years have showed that low level radiation causes significant increases of health issues like leukemia and childhood cancers (see e.g. "KiKK study").

Background information


Additional resources

  1. source of the following part: Hisako Sakiyama, Takagi School/Former Member, National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC): Chapter 1. What is nuclear power, what is radioactivity?
  2. 2.0 2.1 accentuation by the editor