• An update on radioactive release and exposures after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster.

      McLaughlin, P D; Jones, B; Maher, M M; Department of Radiology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. mclaughlin.paddy@gmail.com (2012-09)
      On 11 March 2011, the Richter scale 0.9-magnitude Tokohu earthquake and tsunami struck the northeast coast of Japan, resulting in widespread injury and loss of life. Compounding this tragic loss of life, a series of equipment and structural failures at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FDNP) resulted in the release of many volatile radioisotopes into the atmosphere. In this update, we detail currently available evidence about the nature of immediate radioactive exposure to FDNP workers and the general population. We contrast the nature of the radioactive exposure at FDNP with that which occurred at the Chernobyl power plant 25 years previously. Prediction of the exact health effects related to the FDNP release is difficult at present and this disaster provides the scientific community with a challenge to help those involved and to continue research that will improve our understanding of the potential complications of radionuclide fallout.