With the risk of nuclear leak looming large in Japan as a result of a huge earthquake and a devastating tsunami, more and more people are eager to find out exactly what are the dangers of a nuclear leak. If you are here for the same reason, read the following 7 dangers of a nuclear leak:
1. Death of Those Exposed to Radiation
People who get exposed to the high levels of nuclear radiation during a leak face the risk of immediate death. The immediacy of the death depends upon the amount of exposure to the radiation, but even slightest overexposure can result in instant death.
2. Incidents of Chromosomal Abnormalities
Depending upon the amount of exposure to radioactive material, chromosomal abnormality is the next most serious fallout of a nuclear leak after immediate death. A high incidence of chromosomal aberration and congenital malformations are always reported after any nuclear disaster whether it was the intentional bombing of Hiroshima or the unintentional Chernobyl disaster.
3. Down Syndrome
The prevalence of Down syndrome in children born within 9 months after the nuclear leak has always been found to be high. This effect has been most effectively recorded in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, when the incidence of Down syndrome almost doubled.
4. Neural Tube Defects
In the embryonic stage, the neural tube differentiates itself into the brain and the spinal cord. It appears that neural tube defects (NTDs) become uncommonly high in the aftermath of a nuclear leak. This too was closely recorded after the Chernobyl disaster.
5. Incidence of Cancer
Although research in this matter is ongoing and no firm conclusions can be readily drawn, it has been so far believed that nuclear leak can lead to high incidence of cancer among those who are exposed to radiation. In fact, thyroid cancer is considered to be the most common type of cancer amongst those exposed.
6. Water Resources
Here’s another danger of a nuclear leak. The water resources around the site of the nuclear leak are amongst the first to get contaminated. This water then becomes absolutely unusable until its radioactivity goes below acceptable levels. The radioactivity present in the water not only affects the animal and plant life in the water, it also starts to affect the soil of the land through groundwater and destroys all crops in the region.
7. Flora, Fauna and Animal Life
Apart from human live, all plant and animal life gets affected at and around the site of a nuclear leak. Those who survive the initial radiation are still likely to get affected through land, water and air contamination. Undoubtedly, there is a lot of death, disease and destruction in the aftermath of a nuclear leak.
The biggest nuclear disaster so far in the history of mankind has been the Chernobyl disaster. Although it occurred in 1986, scientists are still not able to confirm the expanse of destruction caused by the leak. Even today, evidence is being gathered that seems to tie today’s problems with yesterday’s tragedy. We hope you’ll take note of these dangers of a nuclear leak.
Top image source: risingsunofnihon.com