The main difference between Chernobyl and Fukushima regarding radioactive iodine:
Chernobyl: Iodine, which is absorbed by the thyroid glands, is not in the Western diet. That's why most salt sold in the west is IODIZED salt, in order to supplement this deficiency in the diet. When children in Chernobyl, who had no iodine in their diet were exposed to radioactive iodine, their thyroid glands absorbed the radioactive iodine like drops of water in desert sand. I believe this was the cause for the alarming cancer rates among children there who were exposed to the contaminated milk, etc.
Fukushima: Iodine is deeply rooted in the Japanese diet; mainly in seaweeds such as Konbu and Nori. If the thyroid glands have absorbed non-radioactive iodine, there is nowhere for the radioactive iodine to be absorbed. This is why they pass out iodide pills (even as far as the West Coast); to fill the thyroids will iodine so the radioactive iodine would not be absorbed. What we need to consider here is that the seaweed may now be contaminated with the radiation flushed into the ocean, but nowhere near the contamination levels as milk in Chernobyl and surrounding areas.
Don't get me wrong; I hope that this sort of disaster never happens ever again. I also hope that we as a human race wake up and realize that nuclear weapons, as well as nuclear energy, are just a bad idea. Cost effective? If it costs us our environment and safety for future generations, then this is definitely not worth it. However, it is important to get an accurate understanding regarding cancer caused by radioactive iodine, and to understand that other changes in lifestyle caused by fear of radiation (such as not exercising outdoors and evacuating to a whole new location and way of life) may actually be more harmful to the health of victims.
Source: 放射線医が語る被ばくと発がんの真実 (I translated this book into English, but English version has not been published yet.)
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Strange how a representative for China is saying how Germany is fine with being compared to Japan. Sounds like a case of putting words in somebody (in this case a whole nation's) mouth. SMH
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One phrase everybody should know when harassed (whoops I meant questioned) by police in Japan: "Ninyi desuka? Kyousei desuka?" (任意ですか?強制ですか？) This means, is this optional? Or compulsory? They need some cause for suspicion of a relation to some crime, so clarifying that the "questioning" and in most cases searching through your belongings is optional (and unrelated to any crime, or suspected relation to any crime) could potentially save a lot of time, not to mention avoiding the humiliation and harassment. Film the police while asking for their names, credentials, and police handbook. They don't like to be identified as or act like individuals. I personally had my fingerprints taken at a police station once for hitting a drunken chinpira who was spitting repeatedly on me, and I am officially in the police database for no reason other than not knowing (you will NEVER be told) that letting them take my fingerprints was optional. The case was subsequently dropped. I feel as if I had my personal information stolen from those who are supposed to protect me. Know the law of the land, and PROTECT YOURSELF.
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