Reconstruction of residents' thyroid equivalent doses from internal radionuclides after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident.
ABSTRACT: There is concern among residents that their children might suffer from thyroid cancer in the near future after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS) accident. However, the demographic and geographical distribution of thyroid equivalent doses was not thoroughly evaluated, and direct thyroid measurements were conducted only for 1,200 children, whose individual thyroid doses were assessed on the basis of those measurements accounting for the dynamics of radioiodine intake. We conducted hierarchical clustering analyses of 100 or 300 randomly sampled behavioural questionnaire sheets of children from each of seven municipalities in the evacuation area to reconstruct evacuation scenarios associated with high or low exposures to plumes. In total 896 behaviour records in the Fukushima Health Management Survey were analysed to estimate thyroid equivalent doses via inhalation, using a spatiotemporal radionuclides concentration database constructed by atmospheric dispersion simulations. After a decontamination factor for sheltering and a modifying factor for the dose coefficient-to reflect lower iodine uptake rate in Japanese-were applied, estimated thyroid equivalent doses were close to those estimated from direct thyroid measurement. The median and 95th percentile of thyroid equivalent doses of 1-year-old children ranged from 0.6 to 16?mSv and from 7.5 to 30?mSv, respectively. These results are useful for future epidemiological studies of thyroid cancer in Fukushima.
Project description:A primary health concern among residents and evacuees in affected areas immediately after a nuclear accident is the internal exposure of the thyroid to radioiodine, particularly I-131, and subsequent thyroid cancer risk. In Japan, the natural disasters of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed an important function of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) and a large amount of radioactive material was released to the environment. Here we report for the first time extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured. The median thyroid equivalent dose was estimated to be 4.2 mSv and 3.5 mSv for children and adults, respectively, much smaller than the mean thyroid dose in the Chernobyl accident (490 mSv in evacuees). Maximum thyroid doses for children and adults were 23 mSv and 33 mSv, respectively.
Project description:The radionuclides released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 pose a health risk. In this study, we estimated the 1st-year average doses resulting from the intake of iodine 131 (131I) and cesium 134 and 137 (134Cs and 137Cs) in drinking water and food ingested by citizens of Fukushima City (?50 km from the nuclear power plant; outside the evacuation zone), Tokyo (?230 km), and Osaka (?580 km) after the accident. For citizens in Fukushima City, we considered two scenarios: Case 1, citizens consumed vegetables bought from markets; Case 2, citizens consumed vegetables grown locally (conservative scenario). The estimated effective doses of 134Cs and 137Cs agreed well with those estimated through market basket and food-duplicate surveys. The average thyroid equivalent doses due to ingestion of 131I for adults were 840 µSv (Case 1) and 2700 µSv (Case 2) in Fukushima City, 370 µSv in Tokyo, and 16 µSv in Osaka. The average effective doses due to 134Cs and 137Cs were 19, 120, 6.1, and 1.9 µSv, respectively. The doses estimated in this study were much lower than values reported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, whose assessments lacked validation and full consideration of regional trade in foods, highlighting the importance of including regional trade. The 95th percentile effective doses were 2-3 times the average values. Lifetime attributable risks (LARs) of thyroid cancers due to ingestion were 1.7-37×10-6 (Case 1) and5.6-79×10-6 (Case 2) in Fukushima City, 0.73-13×10-6 in Tokyo, and 0.04-0.49×10- 6 in Osaka. The contributions of LARs of thyroid cancers due to ingestion were 5.4%-11% of all exposure (Case 1) and 11%-25% (Case 2) in Fukushima City [corrected].
Project description:The great east Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunamis caused Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident. National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) developed the external dose estimation system for Fukushima residents. The system is being used in the Fukushima health management survey. The doses can be obtained by superimposing the behavior data of the residents on the dose rate maps. For grasping the doses, 18 evacuation patterns of the residents were assumed by considering the actual evacuation information before using the survey data. The doses of the residents from the deliberate evacuation area were relatively higher than those from the area within 20 km radius. The estimated doses varied from around 1 to 6 mSv for the residents evacuated from the representative places in the deliberate evacuation area. The maximum dose in 18 evacuation patterns was estimated to be 19 mSv.
Project description:Internal, high-dose exposure with radioiodine is known to increase the risk for thyroid cancer in children and adolescents. Ingestion of contaminated food is generally regarded a dominant route of internal exposure. We analyzed the huge data set of the post-Fukushima food monitoring campaign and deployed a conservative model for the estimation of the doses to the general public in a worst-case scenario. Our data suggest that the committed equivalent ingestion doses to the thyroids of the affected Japanese public, even in the utmost conservative approach, remained below the limit on ingestion of radioiodine in foodstuffs and beverages of 50 mSv (as thyroid equivalent dose). This level of 50 mSv is also the intervention level for the administration of stable iodine, mainly after inhalation. Our study hence suggests that, based on the food data, the internal exposure of Japanese residents was too low to cause a statistically discernible increase in thyroid cancer, even if the contribution from inhalation is taken into account. The data also indicate that the governmental efforts in the food monitoring campaign were successful and cut the thyroid doses to the public by a factor of approximately 3 compared to a scenario without any monitoring.
Project description:Variations of Fukushima-derived radionuclides ((90)Sr, (134)Cs and (137)Cs) in seawater and biota offshore Fukushima and in the NW Pacific Ocean were investigated and radiation doses to the Japanese and world population from ingestion of seafood contaminated by Fukushima radionuclides were estimated and compared with those from other sources of anthropogenic and natural radionuclides. The total effective dose commitment from ingestion of radionuclides in fish, shellfish and seaweed caught in coastal waters off Fukushima was estimated to be 0.6 ± 0.4 mSv/y. The individual effective dose commitment from consumption of radioactive-contaminated fish caught in the open Pacific Ocean was estimated to be 0.07 ± 0.05 mSv/y. These doses are comparable or much lower than doses delivered from the consumption of natural (210)Po in fish and in shellfish (0.7 mSv/y). The estimated individual doses have been below the levels when any health damage of the Japanese and world population could be expected.
Project description:The Fukushima Health Management Survey (including the Basic Survey for external dose estimation and four detailed surveys) was launched after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. The Basic Survey consists of a questionnaire that asks Fukushima Prefecture residents about their behavior in the first four months after the accident; and responses to the questionnaire have been returned from many residents. The individual external doses are estimated by using digitized behavior data and a computer program that included daily gamma ray dose rate maps drawn after the accident. The individual external doses of 421,394 residents for the first four months (excluding radiation workers) had a distribution as follows: 62.0%, <1 mSv; 94.0%, <2 mSv; 99.4%, <3 mSv. The arithmetic mean and maximum for the individual external doses were 0.8 and 25 mSv, respectively. While most dose estimation studies were based on typical scenarios of evacuation and time spent inside/outside, the Basic Survey estimated doses considering individually different personal behaviors. Thus, doses for some individuals who did not follow typical scenarios could be revealed. Even considering such extreme cases, the estimated external doses were generally low and no discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects is expected.
Project description:After the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, nursing-home residents and staff were evacuated voluntarily from damaged areas to avoid radiation exposure. Unfortunately, the evacuation resulted in increased mortalities among nursing home residents. We assessed the risk trade-off between evacuation and radiation for 191 residents and 184 staff at three nursing homes by using the same detriment indicator, namely loss of life expectancy (LLE), under four scenarios, i.e. "rapid evacuation (in accordance with the actual situation; i.e. evacuation on 22 March)," "deliberate evacuation (i.e. evacuation on 20 June)," "20-mSv exposure," and "100-mSv exposure." The LLE from evacuation-related mortality among nursing home residents was assessed with survival probability data from nursing homes in the city of Minamisoma and the city of Soma. The LLE from radiation mortality was calculated from the estimated age-specific mortality rates from leukemia and all solid cancers based on the additional effective doses and the survival probabilities. The total LLE of residents due to evacuation-related risks in rapid evacuation was 11,000 persons-d-much higher than the total LLEs of residents and staff due to radiation in the other scenarios (27, 1100, and 5800 persons-d for deliberate evacuation, 20 mSv-exposure, and 100 mSv-exposure, respectively). The latitude for reducing evacuation risks among nursing home residents is surprisingly large. Evacuation regulation and planning should therefore be well balanced with the trade-offs against radiation risks. This is the first quantitative assessment of the risk trade-off between radiation exposure and evacuation after a nuclear power plant accident.
Project description:The accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, released radioactive material into the atmosphere and contaminated the land in Fukushima and several neighboring prefectures. Five years after the nuclear disaster, the radiation levels have greatly decreased due to physical decay, weathering, and decontamination operations in Fukushima. The populations of 12 communities were forced to evacuate after the accident; as of March 2016, the evacuation order has been lifted in only a limited area, and permanent habitation is still prohibited in most of the areas. In order for the government to lift the evacuation order and for individuals to return to their original residential areas, it is important to assess current and future realistic individual external doses. Here, we used personal dosimeters along with the Global Positioning System and Geographic Information System to understand realistic individual external doses and to relate individual external doses, ambient doses, and activity-patterns of individuals in the affected areas in Fukushima. The results showed that the additional individual external doses were well correlated to the additional ambient doses based on the airborne monitoring survey. The results of linear regression analysis suggested that the additional individual external doses were on average about one-fifth that of the additional ambient doses. The reduction factors, which are defined as the ratios of the additional individual external doses to the additional ambient doses, were calculated to be on average 0.14 and 0.32 for time spent at home and outdoors, respectively. Analysis of the contribution of various activity patterns to the total individual external dose demonstrated good agreement with the average fraction of time spent daily in each activity, but the contribution due to being outdoors varied widely. These results are a valuable contribution to understanding realistic individual external doses and the corresponding airborne monitoring-based ambient doses and time-activity patterns of individuals. Moreover, the results provide important information for predicting future cumulative doses after the return of residents to evacuation order areas in Fukushima.
Project description:Radiation dose rates were evaluated in three areas neighboring a restricted area within a 20- to 50-km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in August-September 2012 and projected to 2022 and 2062. Study participants wore personal dosimeters measuring external dose equivalents, almost entirely from deposited radionuclides (groundshine). External dose rate equivalents owing to the accident averaged 1.03, 2.75, and 1.66 mSv/y in the village of Kawauchi, the Tamano area of Soma, and the Haramachi area of Minamisoma, respectively. Internal dose rates estimated from dietary intake of radiocesium averaged 0.0058, 0.019, and 0.0088 mSv/y in Kawauchi, Tamano, and Haramachi, respectively. Dose rates from inhalation of resuspended radiocesium were lower than 0.001 mSv/y. In 2012, the average annual doses from radiocesium were close to the average background radiation exposure (2 mSv/y) in Japan. Accounting only for the physical decay of radiocesium, mean annual dose rates in 2022 were estimated as 0.31, 0.87, and 0.53 mSv/y in Kawauchi, Tamano, and Haramachi, respectively. The simple and conservative estimates are comparable with variations in the background dose, and unlikely to exceed the ordinary permissible dose rate (1 mSv/y) for the majority of the Fukushima population. Health risk assessment indicates that post-2012 doses will increase lifetime solid cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer incidences by 1.06%, 0.03% and 0.28% respectively, in Tamano. This assessment was derived from short-term observation with uncertainties and did not evaluate the first-year dose and radioiodine exposure. Nevertheless, this estimate provides perspective on the long-term radiation exposure levels in the three regions.
Project description:After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, little information has been available on individual doses from external exposure among residents living in radioactively contaminated areas near the nuclear plant; in the present study we evaluated yearly changes in the doses from external exposure after the accident and the effects of decontamination on external exposure. This study considered all children less than 16 years of age in Soma City, Fukushima who participated in annual voluntary external exposure screening programs during the five years after the accident (n = 5,363). In total, 14,405 screening results were collected. The median participant age was eight years. The geometric mean levels of annual additional doses from external exposure attributable to the Fukushima accident, decreased each year: 0.60 mSv (range: not detectable (ND)-4.29 mSv), 0.37 mSv (range: ND-3.61 mSv), 0.22 mSv (range: ND-1.44 mSv), 0.20 mSv (range: ND-1.87 mSv), and 0.17 mSv (range: ND-0.85 mSv) in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. The proportion of residents with annual additional doses from external exposure of more than 1 mSv dropped from 15.6% in 2011 to zero in 2015. Doses from external exposure decreased more rapidly than those estimated from only physical decay, even in areas without decontamination (which were halved in 395 days from November 15, 2011), presumably due to the weathering effects. While the ratios of geometric mean doses immediately after decontamination to before were slightly lower than those during the same time in areas without decontamination, annual additional doses reduced by decontamination were small (0.04-0.24 mSv in the year of immediately after decontamination was completed). The results of this study showed that the levels of external exposure among Soma residents less than 16 years of age decreased during the five years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Decontamination had only limited and temporal effects on reducing individual external doses.