Is the Fukushima nuclear plant breakdown worse than Chernobyl? via SF BayView

April 15, 2011

by Janette D. Sherman, M.D.

A little over six months ago I wrote: “Given profound weather effects (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis etc.), human fallibility and military conflicts, many believe that it is only a matter of time before there is another nuclear catastrophe. Nuclear fallout knows no state or national boundaries and will contribute to an increase in illnesses, decrease in intelligence and instability throughout the world. The economic costs of radioactive pollution and care of contaminated citizens are staggering. No country can maintain itself if its citizens are economically, intellectually, politically and socially impoverished.”
(My submission, which had been requested by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, was ultimately rejected … too alarmist?)

While thousands of miles and 25 years separate the sites and the events that led to the catastrophes at Fukushima and Chernobyl, the effects will be very similar – and will remain so for years to decades to centuries.

After Chernobyl, there was a delay in collecting and releasing information. The nuclear industry and many governments are reluctant to alarm the public, but the public has a right to know what the risks are and how, if possible, to avoid those risks – as much as possible.


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