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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 Jan;50(1):2-8. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.D-11-00021. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident: facts, environmental contamination, possible biological effects, and countermeasures.

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1
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nihon Pharmaceutical University, 10281 Komuro, Ina-machi, Kitaadachi-gun, Saitama 362-0806, Japan.

Abstract

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake led to major problems at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A 14-m high tsunami triggered by the earthquake disabled all AC power to Units 1, 2, and 3 of the Power Plant, and carried off fuel tanks for emergency diesel generators. Despite many efforts, cooling systems did not work and hydrogen explosions damaged the facilities, releasing a large amount of radioactive material into the environment. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of the nuclear accident, and the fundamental biological effects, acute and late, of the radiation. Possible medical countermeasures to radiation exposure are also discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Fukushima nuclear power plant; environmental contamination; low dose effect; nuclear accident; radiation mitigator; reactive oxygen species

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