How is the world’s most eminent basic researcher viewing Fukushima’s nuclear accident ?
Taisei Nomura, emeritus professor at Osaka University, has achieved unrivalled research results on cancers and teratogenesis caused by radiations on second generation of mice. He is nowadays considered the world’s most eminent basic researcher in the field of radiation genetics. It was known that mice exposed to radioactive rays would develop cancer but Dr. Nomura was the first to demonstrate in the 1970’s that cancer was passing down through generations and that the probability of developing cancer was linked to the radiations intensity.
Combined radiation injuries
There are elements in Dr. Nomura’s researches that can’t be overlooked when thinking about Fukushima’s nuclear accident.
When mice are exposed even only once to radioactive rays, not only those mice but also their young and the next generation end up developing lung cancers, liver cancers and leukemia. If the young – born before their parents develop any illness – are exposed once more to radioactive rays or chemicals, the resulting effects increase exponentially.
These research results applied to human beings imply that after being exposed to low-intensity radiations, someone is even more likely to develop cancer if he was to ingest irradiated food or food containing chemicals. If people irradiated because of a nuclear accident should keep on consuming irradiated foods, the probability they develop cancer in the next 10 to 15 years is actually increased by the “Combined radiation” phenomenon.
Why predisposition to cancer is hereditary
There are three reasons why children whose parents have been irradiated are predisposed to cancer. The increase in the risk of developing cancer for the mice used in the experience is due to mutations in one of the numerous genes involved in the immune system or the functioning of the metabolism, resulting in the weakening of their immune system or the reduction of their ability to recover.
In the areas contaminated by the Chernobyl disaster in Russia, many children whose parents are soldiers, firemen, or local inhabitants, are developing illnesses exactly as in the experiences realized with the mice. The fact that those illnesses are developed rather by inhabitants’ children than soldiers’ children is hinting that it is linked to internal exposure to radiations, through the consumption of irradiated food.
As there are many more people living near Fukushima than there were at Chernobyl, we can’t help but worry about the influence of radioactive contamination on all those people.