Inevitably, perhaps, debate on the new law has been viewed through the prism of the Fukushima crisis, which revealed disastrous collusion between bureaucrats and the nuclear industry. Critics say journalists attempting to expose such collusion today could fall foul of the new law, which creates three new categories of “special secrets”: diplomacy, counter-terrorism and counter-espionage, in addition to defence.

These water issues are clearly major problems that will take decades, new technologies and billions of yen to resolve, but they are a completely different beast from the problems of the accident’s early days. Fukushima’s problems are fodder for debates on broader issues, making it crucial that these latest concerns about leaks and groundwater contamination be neither overblown nor understated. Our goal here is to try to draw a clear and evenhanded picture of the situation at Fukushima Daiichi today and the risks it poses. § [An MSM article refreshingly free of both alarmism and "everything is fine" rhetoric. Only discusses water, though, and not, for example, structural integrity of buildings.]

Medical examinations in Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear crisis of 2011 have detected 18 children with thyroid cancer.

The embattled Fukushima nuclear plant, which stands as a controversial reminder of the devastation left by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is being considered as a new ‘attraction’, with reports suggesting Fukushima disaster tourism could be about to get the go ahead.

The levels of exposure to radiation following the leaks and explosions at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 were so low that they led today to this important conclusion from experts convened in Vienna by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation: It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers.

Two years after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, work continues to ensure the damaged units remain stable and to prepare for the long and challenging task of decommissioning.

Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, children who were not evacuated are found to have thyroid cysts and nodules. What will this mean for their future?

In the immediate aftermath of the nuclear accident, public-health experts worried about the possible risk from radiation. Subsequent analyses have shown that the prompt, if frantic, evacuation of areas around the reactors probably limited the public’s exposure to a relatively safe level (see ‘The evacuation zones’). But uncertainty, isolation and fears about radioactivity’s invisible threat are jeopardizing the mental health of the 210,000 residents who fled from the nuclear disaster.

Researchers and clinicians are trying to assess and mitigate the problems, but it is unclear whether the Japanese government has the will, or the money, to provide the necessary support. Nor is it certain that the evacuees will accept any help, given their distrust of the government and their reluctance to discuss mental problems. This combination, researchers fear, could drive up rates of anxiety, substance abuse and depression.

A very big report came out last month with very little fanfare.

It concluded what we in nuclear science have been saying for decades – radiation doses less than about 10 rem (0.1 Sv) are no big deal. The linear no-threshold dose hypothesis (LNT) does not apply to doses less than 10 rem (0.1 Sv), which is the region encompassing background levels around the world, and is the region of most importance to nuclear energy, most medical procedures and most areas affected by accidents like Fukushima.

The Mainichi news project has covered people from various walks of life: a woman angry at no one taking responsibility for the disaster and calling for a group lawsuit; a family that gave up on returning home and moved away; the former mayor of Okuma where the crippled nuclear plant is located; a fisherman who set up a decontamination company and vowed to see the revival of his hometown; a deputy secretary-general at a teachers union who continued to warn about the dangers of radiation while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Their situations were different, but they shared the grief of having their hometowns stolen from them. They also shared distrust toward a national government that had steamed ahead with a policy of promoting nuclear power.

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