Feature Article - Japan Nuclear Explosion and Earthquake - Essay Example

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Japan is extensively integrating their efforts to reconstitute its environmental, social and infrastructural makeup. The hardest task in this is to manage the damage caused to Fukushima nuclear plant. The government and other agencies along with private players are putting in great efforts to minimize the impacts that it has caused on the environment and industries like food and agriculture…
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Feature Article - Japan Nuclear Explosion and Earthquake
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Download file to see previous pages The Fukushima accident and Chernobyl nuclear tragedy having had similar consequences, it will be useful to compare these two incidents so as to understand the possible interventions to be made in future. An analysis of Chernobyl nuclear tragedy in terms of its short term and long term impacts would help the scientists working on the Fukushima issue to predict the possible long term impacts of Fukushima accident. Moreover, they will be able take lessons from the Chernobyl experience to be adapted to their present operation in Fukushima. The objective of this essay is to compare the impacts of Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear accidents on environment. Impact on environment It is beyond any doubt that both Fukushima and Chernobyl tragedies have resulted in serious environmental impacts. The danger in the impacts is that the pollutants are radioactive. This would mean that it continually changes its chemical constitution and set forth chain reactions causing complex multiple implications. In terms of environment, the largest danger is the long time these elements take to decompose itself. Half life, which is time taken for a compound to decompose into half of it is very long in the case of these isotopes. Thus the environmental implications are long term and unpredictable. The radioactive elements get into the water, air and soil. It also gets into the supplementary systems of water, air and soil. 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 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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