Will the Fukushima nuclear disaster be the worst in our lifetimes?

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    The answer to this question depends on your age. If you were born after 1986 like me, then yes, the Fukishima incident would be considered the worst nuclear disaster to happen within our lifetimes. But the scale of the damage created by the Fukushima disaster is less than that caused by the Chernobyl disaster, which is considered the world’s worst civil nuclear accident.

    The radiation emitted by the Chernobyl accident was 10 times more than that emitted by the disaster at the Fukushima power plant. In total, over 300,000 people were evacuated from their homes throughout the USSR, Belarus, and Ukraine as a result of Chernobyl, while tens of thousands were evacuated by the Japanese government in reaction to the incident at Fukushima.

    The radiation from Chernobyl affected areas within a 300 mile radius and led to increased levels of thyroid cancer and as-yet untold numbers of deaths as a direct result of that radiation. Fukushima’s radiation directly affected areas within a 40 mile radius. The damage wrought by Fukushima has yet to be revealed–undoubtedly, many people may suffer cancer and other radiation-related diseases as a result. The scale of the damage caused by Fukushima is no doubt devastating, but it is considerably less than that cased by Chernobyl.

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