Talk:Radiation effects from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster

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Definitions and objectivity[edit]

The definitions and objectivity of this article are questionable. References are lacking for bold claims. Various definitions are missing, for example the words "safe" and "safely" are used often but are not defined. Living in Tokyo is not safe because of traffic and air pollution deaths. Yet no one is evacuating Tokyo's 13 million inhabitants. How do we define safe? This is just one example of the lack of verfiability and objectivity of this article. Another example is the quoting of a study by Mark Jacobson, a well known anti nuclear campaigner with no credentials on health physics or nuclear anything, yet whose hatchet jobs on nuclear energy are well rebutted in peer review, but keeps being quoted in the grey literature, including this time on Wikipedia. Speculating on the number of deaths without knowing the dose to each individual is pure speculation and fails Wikipedia's verifiability and correctness requirements (among others). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Siphon06 (talkcontribs) 17:39, 28 December 2012 (UTC)

A number of statements have been revised -- subjective words like "unacceptable levels" have been changed to "above the government limit" or "detectable levels of radiation" depending on the severity. Context has been added to blunt misleading alarmist statements. Sources still need to be scrutinized, questioned, and replaced with more accurate sources. Ottawakismet (talk) 07:35, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate your efforts but I had to undo your edits. We don't improve the article by employing euphemism; what we need are better sources and better writing. Your unsourced revisions weren't an improvement, sorry. --John (talk) 10:36, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
You just mass removed every edit, without looking at any revision with looking to find if it was true or not. You removed citation needed tags where they were appropriate and didnt fact check a single edit. I'm restoring the edits, adding sources for these edits. Defining radiation as "unacceptably" large is a subjective definition, and reflects bias. If radiation falls well below a valid threshhold for affecting human health, it could be termed detectable, but not cannot be termed dangerous. I'm including sources that elucidate the meaning behind many radiation levels that have been cited without context. Furthermore, you did remove edits that included sources, so please refine your editing to what is untrue, or unbalanced. The article is definitely unbalanced and gives a misleading impression and unscientific perception of the situation at Fukushima. Please read each edit in its entirety before removing a mass group of edits. Ottawakismet (talk) 14:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC) You also edited elements out that are quoted within otherparts of the article (And sourced by previous contributors) please read edits you are trying to change, without assuming its vandalism or incorrect Ottawakismet (talk) 14:32, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Edits that were done to improve grammar, add commas, or correctly cite the referencing articles were removed in the mass deletion of edits. For example, the reference for bodies being unacceptably contaminated is incorrect; when reading the article, the article cites that radiation made them inaccessible (obviously only for a time, since the bodies have not been left to rot for 2 years) Equally, changing the edit to cite that the US Navy only suspended transfers temporarily is valid -- the US Navy has not ended their presence in Japan, and they have not stopped sending people to Japan 2 years on -- Therefore it was a temporary not permanent suspension of personnel transfer. The 7th fleet has returned to a typical pattern of deployment. Saying that radioactive elements with a short half-life emit particles more quickly then a product with a long half-life represents a rule in physics. (and does not require a citation.) Reporting radiation levels with citations is legitimate as is reporting if they are below the level that can affect human health. I understand some people who have a fear of radiation unjustifiably believe that any amount of radiation is dangerous, but this is unscientific nonsense and falls outside of a NPOV. None of the edits were done maliciously or to vandalize the article, but to improve it, and offer context and balance. Also, I'm removing the section about the criticism of Japans radiation levels being insufficiently strict, as the following paragraph details how Japan changed their levels, making the original Belarus criticism obsolete. The article is still already too long, unwieldy and in needs of streamlined organisation to make it readable Ottawakismet (talk) 14:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Content relevance[edit]

Is anyone else of the view that most of the content of this article is not relevant to the effects of radiation? According to the title, this article is specifically about "RADIATION EFFECTS" - yet almost the entire article does not discuss effects (either observed or projected). For example, even in the opening paragraph, only the very first sentence is actually relevant to the direct effects or radiation. The second, third and fifth paragraphs make no mention of effects at all. I'm considering starting a major overhaul of this article, but doing it bit by bit so that people can comment etc. A lot of this might simply involve deleting irrelevant sections and information. Suggestions? Objections?Ecoltom (talk) 05:18, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

This article has become unnecessarily lengthy, and there is considerable irrelevant content. It should be re-organized and edited down. Paragraphs should be concise and to the point. Even material that is sourced isnt necssarily crucial to the article, there needs to be focus. Ottawakismet (talk) 14:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

I moved the "Summarised daily events" section to the bottom of the article. Frankly, it does not discuss *effects*, and there is already a whole Wikipedia article for the Timeline of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. I'll leave it at the bottom for now and if no one object for a while will delete it.Ecoltom (talk) 01:45, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

This article does concern the effects that radiation has on the surroundings of the plant, the living environment of the people there, and the pollution, that has been created there.... Why is that not a "radiation effect" ?.
1947enkidu (talk) 23:46, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed, details on the source term and releases should only be supportive to evidence of the effects of radioactive releases.

I take issue with the use of Becquerels and TeraBecquerels as in the phrase "An estimated 538,100 terabecquerels (TBq) of iodine-131, caesium-134 and caesium-137 was released." This sounds like a great deal, but in fact it does not even measure the quantities of the offending isotopes. One becquerel, Bq, is one radioactive emission per second. Since 134 grams of Cs-134 include about 6 times 10 to the power 23 atoms, the verb "was released" is erroneous, and if such a rate were measured, it is equivalent to 5.4 times ten to the power 17 events per second, less than 134 millionths of a gram. But that's nonsense too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:59, 4 April 2013 (UTC)


This article seems to have been hijacked by a coterie of editors who are on an anti-nuclear campaign. The entire thing is stuffed with random things to try and frighten people, to the point where it has lost all pretense of a NPOV. This article does not seek to inform, the objective is to frighten readers Ottawakismet (talk) 14:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about what parts or what edits are not neutral? For example, can you point to an edit which changed the neutrality? JoshuSasori (talk) 05:09, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
It might look frightening, in fact it is,
whenever someone can find something positive in this disaster, he can add it, for sure.
Here is something that has a huge impact on all manhood. And this nuclear disaster has not stopped yet, see: TEPCO considers dumping water from Fukushima nuclear plant into ocean Dumping all that tritium ? Diluting all that water ? That does not change the amount of radioactivity, TEPCO wants too get rid off
Greetings 1947enkidu (talk) 17:08, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
You are making unsubstantiated claims about the situation and are appealing to fear. The article you've linked is not relevant to the disputed contents, and moreover, you don't seem to have an adequate understanding of the material present in the article, whether it be tritium, chemical dilution or radioactivity. You are simply attempting to push an agenda, and are likely contributing to the non-neutral edits in question. (talk) 04:01, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious that User Ottawakismet has a clear bias. If you go to the casualties and health effects portion, it regularly downplays the risk of cancer and uses counter factual or non scientific reasoning. For example:

"According to the Japanese Government, 180,592 people in the general population were screened in March 2011 for radiation exposure and no case was found which affects health."

Which 180k people? Why were they tested? How is it possible that they were not exposed to radiation at all? Is there no background radiation where they live?

"Even in the most severely affected areas, radiation doses never reached more then a quarter of the radiation dose linked to an increase in cancer risk."

1 Sievert is broadly accepted to linearly represent a 6% increase in lifetime risk of cancer. The above statement seems to agree that people received 250mSievert's of radiation, which means they will face a 1.5% increase in lifetime risk. However the statement is worded to give the impression that you cannot get cancer until you reach the measuring criteria. That is unfactual.

"evacuation procedures after the accident may have potentially reduced deaths from radiation by 3 to 245 cases"

This estimate seems counter intuitive. If people were exposed to high levels (up to 100msv an hour) of radiation for between 1 and 3 days before evacuation, and ~1,000 of them will die, doesn't it seem quite clear that many more would have died if they'd remained there for years?

"However, that estimate has been challenged, with some scientists arguing that accidents and pollution from coal or gas plants would have caused more lost years of life."

More people will also die from car accidents. Relevance? Is this just there to give people context or is it an entirely unWiki paragraph?

"However, there is a larger issue. The radiation emitted in Fukushima instigated evacuations of "16,000 people","

Downplaying the numbers? Why? Over 400,000 people were evacuated. Why on earth would the article state something completely counter-factual?Senor Freebie (talk) 04:13, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

"Which 180k people? Why were they tested? How is it possible that they were not exposed to radiation at all? Is there no background radiation where they live?"
You have not read the article.
Fukushima Prefecture has started the screening from March 13. It is carried out at the evacuation sites and the 10 places (set up permanently) such as health offices. Up until May 3, the screening was done to 180,592 people. Among them, 102 people were above the 100,000cpm, but when measured these people again without clothes, etc., the counts decreased to 100,000cpm and below, and there was no case which affects health.
"Not exposed to radiation at all" is not an accurate statement. Radiation exposure alone does not imply adverse health effects, hence the need for screening to begin with.
"The above statement seems to agree that people received 250mSievert's of radiation, which means they will face a 1.5% increase in lifetime risk"
25 mSv, not 250. Given your own shoddy linear calculation, they might face a 0.15% increase over a lifetime. The radiation doses referred to never reached more than a quarter of the radiation dose linked to an increase in cancer risk i.e. 100 mSv. That number doesn't even suggest a causal link or the significance of the increase, so of course it wouldn't be proper to suggest anything that much lower would.
"This estimate seems counter intuitive."
Counter-intuitive doesn't mean incorrect. The estimate was a 22% reduction, which translates into the 3-245 estimate. Your hypothetical doesn't stand in the face of the calculations already done. You are not reading the articles sourced and are jumping around wildly in speculation in order to just suppose your arguments and leave them uncontested.
"Downplaying the numbers?"
Actually, if you'd read the article referenced, it was a mistake; the article states 160,000 were forced to evacuate. It also does not imply these were the only people who were evacuated.
Furthermore, the article referenced does not cite the study where it says so. There's a reason there's an unreliable source tag.
Ottawakismet doesn't have a bias; there is in fact non-neutral wording going on in the article. Rather, I ask why you did not talk about any of the phrases that are actually questionable in the article, such as the gross final paragraph in the article's intro section. (talk) 04:45, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
THIS user I rather guess he is part of the pro-nuclear priesthood. The believe in the benefits of nuclear power is a true faith in itself. Rather POV here.....
You can put all of your bible here... why are you anonymous ?
I do not belief you at all.
greetings 1947enkidu (talk) 20:52, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Oh come on. Really, can't you do any better than some childish, baseless ad hominem? Likening pro-nuke stances to a religion is pretty laughable in itself. You're clearly paranoid and delusional in your stance and won't budge from evidence and argument, but the point here isn't to convince you, now, is it? It's to address the current state of the article and the things that do not belong in it. Nobody actually educated on the subject is going to agree with your babblings, so there's nothing for me to argue. We just need to get rid of the non-neutral and biased wording in the article.
That being said, I don't actively promote nuclear energy, I just try to make sure quacks like you don't become influential and are brought down a peg when possible. The Tohoku earthquake was an event very close to me, and when the internet exploded in anti-nuclear stances that were completely without rational basis, I took it to correct and educate people on the issue. I only came here because I was browsing and saw the wall of [citation needed] following dubious information. (talk) 05:12, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

At the moment TEPCO considers to dump radioactive water, they might be able to take away 62 of the 63 found radioactive substances with a new filtersystem, but not the around 2000 becquerel per mililiter, this they want to dilute first, and after that the whole lot TEPCO hopes to dump. Cheap ! see: The Mainichi Shimbun (6 March 2013)TEPCO considers dumping water from Fukushima nuclear plant into ocean
Diluting does not take anything away, the whole lot would dumped.
This newspaper brings all kind of news about the handling of radiation and more.
best wishes 1947enkidu (talk) 20:35, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
The newspaper article contains two different things which need to be separated, yes TEPCO did discharge contaminated water in the early stages of the accident into the sea. My understanding of this was that a controlled release of water with low levels of contamination was made to make space to allow strongly contaminated water to be kept on site. This action can be viewed as part of an accident mitgation plan. But the planned release of tritium contaminated water long after the start of the accident is a different matter, the nuclear accident is now under better management so it is no longer reasonable to make as strong a moral argument for the release of the water which goes over the limit for tritium. On the other hand tritium is one of the least toxic radioisotopes, it is important to understand that in terms of how toxic they are not all radioisotopes are equal.Dr Mark Foreman (talk) 19:04, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

talk appears to be a victim of the disaster themselves - they appear to have a clear case of radiophobia and are rabid anti-environmentalists. Coal power is invisibly killing 10s of thousands of people in America alone each year and contributes more radiation to the air than all the reactors in the world combined ever have. Fukushima induced hysteria has increased coal usage and paradoxically therefore increased rather than decreased radiation in the air - this is an effect worth mentioning in the article i believe. Fear of radiation is also driving climate change at a time when new reactor designs would make us able to dispose of what is currently dangerous waste safely, using it to give us 500 years of power. These new designs are also idiot proof unlike older designs like BWR2. Nobody with access to the facts and their facilities could be anti-nuclear, certainly not if they have any concern for our future.Mycosys (talk) 08:04, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Business Insider and SF water[edit]

I've removed the passage alleging that water in SF was found to be "181 times the federal limit." This was cited to "Business Insider," which from what I can tell is a website that anyone can post to and includes all sorts of bizarre stories. I would hardly consider it a reliable source. If water in San Fran was in fact 181 times the federal limit, this would be rather noteworthy and certainly other news outlets would have picked up on the story. But I did a search and couldn't find any reliable source to corroborate this report. -Helvetica (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:01, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Radioactive Seawater Impact Map[edit]

This image from March 2012 best shows the effect of the disaster. -Mardus (talk) 05:39, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

That looks like it'd be good to add, but only if it comes with some clear labels describing exactly what it means. Does the yellow area mean 1 GBq, 1 kBq, or just 1 Bq? If you have a reliable source that precisely describes what the map is showing, you should add it. Otherwise, it's just a scary-looking diagram that doesn't provide any information. Great Skies Above! (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 02:44, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Health effects[edit]

"An increase in infertility has also been reported." In the quoted article there's actually no reference to a detected increase in infertility in the area. There are, instead, concerns about a possible increase in infertility in the years to come.

And this sentence "As of August 2013, there have been more than 40 children newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer and other cancers in Fukushima prefecture alone and nuclear experts warn that this pattern may also occur in other areas of Japan." leads to believe that these cancers are due to radiaton exposure, while Japanese doctors (as it is stated in the article itself) believe that the children had likely developed cancer prior to the incident.

This section has already been revised on the main article about the nuclear disaster. I suggest to revise the section in this article too.

I have aligned the section with the main article.--Gautier lebon (talk) 09:35, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

The section:

"the predicted risks remain low and no observable increases in cancer above natural variation in baseline rates are anticipated."

is rather misleading since it seems to suggest that there will be no effects on the cancer rate within the Japanese population. However similar reports exist for the Chernobyl disaster, hence why I added that there were no statistically detectable increases in the cancer rates in Chernobyl to give readers an idea on the context.

Furthermore Cardis et al. discusses that only 0.1% of the 110,000 cleanup workers surveyed have so far developed leukemia, although not all cases resulted from the accident.

AritaMoonlight81 (talk) 13:21, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

What you are doing appears to me to be WP:OR and WP:SYN, that is, replacing what the source says with your own interpretation of what makes sense. Neither are allowed in Wikipedia. I have reverted your changes and once again request that you do not change the article again until we have reached agreement on this take page.--Gautier lebon (talk) 13:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Conflicting edits - help needed[edit]

Editor ArialMoonlinght has made a series of changes that, according to me, were not consistent with the sources. I made changes to align the text with the sources and ArialMoolight reverted them. Since I don't want to engage in an editing war, I would like other editors to step in, take a look, and edit the text appropriately.--Gautier lebon (talk) 10:34, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

The latest edit by AritaMoonlight is at [1]. This edit states "the source linked did not support the information provided". But the information in question, that Arita removed, was a literal quote from p. 8 of the WHO report, see [2]. And that was the cited source. So I would appreciate it if a third party looked into this and lets us know what they think.--Gautier lebon (talk) 12:20, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I requested a Wikipedia:3O but was informed (see User_talk:Gautier_lebon#Third_Opinion_requests) that it was premature because there hadn't yet been a direct discussion between me and Arita. So I've now asked Arita to post comments on this talk page, see User_talk:AritaMoonlight81#Fukushima_edits.--Gautier lebon (talk) 09:24, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

AritaMoonlight has again made an edit, see [3], removing material on the grounds that the source [Cardis et. al.] did not support it. But the source of the removed material was not Cardis, it was the WHO report, and it was correctly cited as far as I can tell. So I have realigned the text with the sources and invited Arita to discuss on this talk page before changing it again.--Gautier lebon (talk) 12:40, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I have again reverted Arita's changes, which were made without discussion on this talk page. Please do not change again prior to agreeing on this talk page, and please see the related discussion at Talk:Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster#Help:_I_cannot_do_this_alone. See also the comments in the section above.--Gautier lebon (talk) 13:48, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

WP can be great for history, cooking, cars and the like, but when something is important like Fukushima WP is not very good. Why? Editors with motive. This disaster is huge and worsening, theres a lot at stake. It will take years for WP on this topic to be neutral and up to speed. SaintAviator (talk) 04:03, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

At this edit [4] AritaMoonlight claims to have removed material that was not supported by the source. But in fact the material was an exact citation from the source. The material added by AritaMoonlight does correspond to a source, but it is taken out of context, because the main conclusion given by the source is "People in the area worst affected by Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident two years ago have a slightly higher risk of developing certain cancers, the World Health Organization said on Thursday", see [5]. I will revert the misleading changes. But can somebody else please step in? And is it time to ask for an administrator to review the situation?--Gautier lebon (talk) 13:45, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

I hate this sort of thing "As part of the ongoing precautionary ultrasound screening program in and around Fukushima, (36%) of children in Fukushima Prefecture in 2012 were found to have abnormal growths in their thyroid glands, but these are not attributed to the effects of radiation.[45". Why reference to a newspaper? Why not find the journal articles. It wasn't abnormal, it was cysts/nodules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graemem56 (talkcontribs) 12:57, 4 January 2015 (UTC) I found the table A subtotal Within normal range 132,354 99.5% A (A1) No specific finding 77,497 58.3% (A2) Nodule with e5.0 mm or/and Cyst with e20.1 mm 54,857 41.2% B Nodule with Q5 mm or/and Cyst with Q20.1 mm Recommended further examination 734 0.5% C Needed further examination 1 0.001% Total 133,089 100% [1]

"Plutonium-239 is particularly long-lived and toxic with a half-life of 24,000 years and remains hazardous for tens of thousands of years.[370] Radioactive products with a long half-life are less radioactive than products with a short half life, as isotopes with a long half life emit particles extremely rarely. Experts commented that the long-term risk associated with plutonium toxicity is "highly dependent on the geochemistry of the particular site."[371]" - I've taken out the "particularly" because it isn't correct, although the author had taken the world directly from the source, there are several other isotopes in nuclear waste with longer half-lives. 238U 235U 234U 230Th 79Se 95Ze 99Tc 107 126Sn 135Cs is an incomplete list. The toxicity of Pu is controversial. The "Radioactive products" sentence is poorly worded, begins with the plural, changes to the singular. Unfortunately the source for the "highly dependent on the geochemistry of the particular site." quote has disappeared. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Graemem56 (talkcontribs) 06:01, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

I added the sentence "For example, one mole (131 grams) of 131I releases 6x1023 decays 99.9% of them within three months, whilst one mole (238 grams) of 238U releases 6x1023 decays 99.9% of them within 45 billion years, but only about 40 parts per trillion in the first three months." but I'm not sure about it. What do others think? Does it clarify or confuse?Graemem56 (talk) 06:12, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Conflicting information[edit]

This source claims many districts experienced over 50mSv/year while the wiki article says 25mSv/y was the max. I'd be interested to know what the primary source of the former is and whether the figures can be reconciled? (talk) 13:06, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^