“Number of Fukushima kids with thyroid cancer jumps by 17 from December” — Jiji via The Japan Times
“FUKUSHIMA – The Fukushima Prefectural Government has confirmed in a new report that 50 children in the prefecture have developed thyroid cancer, an increase of 17 from previous study last December, sources said Monday.
The latest report, made Monday to an expert panel examining the results of health checkups on Fukushima residents, also detailed 39 children suspected of having developed cancer, sources said.
The cancer figure was taken at the end of March among Fukushima residents who were 18 or younger at the time of the March 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.
After studying data provided so far, including the new cancer figures, the panel said it was difficult to determine that a causal link existed between the children’s cancers and the triple meltdown at the nuclear plant.
The Fukushima health examination program covers some 370,000 residents. Of them, some 80 percent have already received the checkups. … ”
“Even tiny amounts of radioactive food made caterpillars become abnormal butterflies” — Smithsonian.com
” It’s no surprise that radiation is bad for animals, but how much is too much? Researchers in Japan decided to put this question to the test for the pale grass blue butterfly, a species commonly found around the remains of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. And, they discovered, even a small amount of radiation is too much.
Rather than study butterflies in the environment, the researchers performed meticulous lab experiments on specimens collected in Okinawa, far from any radioactive contamination. The scientists collected plant material from around Fukushima and fed it to pale grass blue butterfly caterpillars.
When the caterpillars turned into butterflies, they suffered from mutations and were more likely to die early than ones that had not eaten radioactive plants. This finding applied even to those butterflies had only eaten a small amount of artificial caesium as caterpillars. “We conclude that the risk of ingesting a polluted diet is realistic, at least for this butterfly, and likely for certain other organisms living in the polluted area,” the team concludes.
In other words, things don’t look good for the animals living around Fukushima. “