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Feature Article - Japan Nuclear Explosion and Earthquake Essay Example

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Feature Article - Japan Nuclear Explosion and Earthquake

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Marine systems, food chains, agriculture, animals, milk and ecology in general is contaminated by radioactive isotopes.It has been reported that in the earlier days after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, the surface deposits of radionuclides became radioactive for agricultural plants and the animals which consumed these (Roberta, 2009). . This was rapidly absorbed into milk which increased the level of thyroid in people who consumed milk. This was predominately observable across Ukraine , Belarus and Russia. The secondary phase of the sedimentary deposition was that these were taken up by plants from the soil through roots. Ceasium was the isotope which was reported to be most dangerous in this regard. It must be noted that agricultural products from highly affected areas may even now have traces of this isotope (Roberta, 2009).The direct presence of radioactive elements in plants reduced with time. The reasons could be weathering, physical decay, and the downward movement of radioactive elements into lower zones of soil inaccessible to the plants (Greenfacts, 2006). However, the impact of the radioactive leakage on agriculture does not limit to this direct surface deposition and plant uptake. The extensively cultivated areas with high content of organic content were affected. Pasturing of affected animals over unimproved grass lands also contributed to the radioactive content in agricultural plants and products. The people associated with these farms, especially the subsistence farmers in Russia were largely affected (Greenfacts, 2006)Radioactive plant products are reported to be largest contributors for human internal dose of radioactive elements. As these isotopes, especially Ceasium, has long life, the traces of the element is still found in some of the products.The current scenario is that the level of radioactive elements in products from Chernobyl has come down below national and international action levels. However, in Zhytomir and Rovno regions in the Ukraine, the traces of these elements in milk are even now above the action levels (Greenfacts, 2006) .In the case of Fukushima, the long term effects of the nuclear accident are closely being monitored. However, the lesson learnt from Chernobyl nuclear accident has prompted people to react with caution in terms of consumption of products. Moreover, the extensive destruction of infrastructure related to farming also has

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IAEA (2011) IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Status Report , International Atomic Energy Agency, Retrieved on 2 December 2011, from < http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/fukushimareport271011.html

Greenfacts (2006) Scientific Facts on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, Retrieved on 2 December 2011, from < http://www.greenfacts.org/en/chernobyl/l-3/3-chernobyl-environment.htm#4p0

Roberta C. Barbalace. Chernobyl Disasters Agricultural and Environmental Impact. EnvironmentalChemistry.com. 1999. Accessed on-line: 12/2/2011


RIA Novosti (2011) Damage levels at the Fukushima I nuclear power plant Retrieved on 2 December 2011, from http://en.rian.ru/photolents/20110318/163073248.html

Promar (2011) SPECIAL REPORT #1: Impact of Japan’s Disasters on its Food and Agriculture Industries Promar Consultancies Retrieved on 2 December 2011, from http://www.promarconsulting.com/site/wp-content/uploads/files/promar_special_report_01.pdf

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