Monday Moaning

Butterflies yesterday, and again today.

Has Fukushima radiation created mutant butterflies?

A butterfly study is the first to definitively link Fukushima radiation to physical mutations in any organism

Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings. Photograph: Alamy

Last March, the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that sent over 45-foot waves of water crashing down on the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, causing the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. While health officials scrambled to quickly stabilize the situation, it was unclear how much radiation had made it out of the plant—and how it could affect people, plants, and animals who came into contact with it.

Preliminary studies concluded that most of the 140,000 people in the surrounding areas of Fukushima had probably been exposed to relatively low doses of radiation that probably wouldn’t lead to any adverse health effects. But a new study published last week in Nature has shown that the radiation is causing a particularly sensitive population—the pale grass blue butterfly—to develop a slew of uncommon and potentially lethal physical abnormalities.

Researchers collected butterflies immediately following the nuclear meltdown and six months later, both from the surrounding areas of Fukushima and from various other localities in Japan where the butterfly is common. As compared with the butterflies collected from elsewhere in the country, Fukushima butterflies showed some abnormally-developed legs, dented eyes, deformed wing shapes, and changes to the color and spot patterns of their wings, with an overall abnormality rate of around 12 percent.

Mutations included malformed antennae, dented eyes, bent wings, and abnormal color patterns. Photo courtesy of Joji M. OtakiMutations included malformed antennae, dented eyes, bent wings, and abnormal color patterns. Photo courtesy of Joji M. Otaki

While these levels of mutations were still relatively mild, perhaps more alarming were the same data on butterflies collected six months later, in September of last year. The overall rate of similar mutations among these butterflies was around 28 percent, while this number skyrocketed to around 52 percent in the second generation produced from the collected butterflies.

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Opinion:

The world still has not been told the whole truth about Fukushima.

Stunted wings courtesy Fukushima

If the radiation has affected butterflies, it has affected all life, including humans.

Butterflies have a fast life-cycle, in humans it will take maybe one or two generations before we start to see similar results.

Meanwhile, the governments and vested interests lie through their teeth.

I read today on a blog of a woman (American) who has just returned from Japan having been there as a tourist. “Japan is beautiful.”

You couldn’t drag me screaming to Japan.

Japan is dead. It just hasn’t rolled over yet.

Remember how they likened Fukushima to Chernobyl; “Fukushima is Chernobyl on steroids!” Now does that give you an idea of the enormity of the problem?

Decades after Chernobyl and the effects are still being seen.
Then there are other problems to consider. Fukushima is not over yet, there is still the risk of global disaster levels of radiation being released if the cooling tanks collapse as a result of another earthquake. In Japan earthquakes are a guarantee. The procrastination in removing this risk is a disgrace. If another disaster happens and the tanks collapse Japan is finished; and guess who’s next? The west coast of the USA.
The American government don’t want the people to know this because the USA has similar reactors (37 from memory) that are of the same faulty design.
Chernobyl – 26 years later.
“It is not unusual to find infants born to women from the Chernobyl area with shocking birth defects.The baby above was found in an orphanage that Mission In East regularly supplies with humanitarian aid. Her mother comes from the Chernobyl district and is unable to keep her.”Chernobyl Today
.
This is the legacy of Chernobyl, will Fukushima be any different?
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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on August 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I saw a program, not long ago, about Chernobyl … and could not believe that they have organized trips for tourists. They have to wear the white suits and masks … and then in they go. I can’t imagine that anyone would want to go in and possibly (probably) be contaminated. And the fact that tourists excursions are being organized just shows how powerful money is … seems to come before sanity, common sense and health. Pretty sad! And that creatures must pay for human folly … terrible!

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    • >SF, we still do not understand the full ramifications of nuclear power, or nuclear anything for that matter, and the results are horrifying. Another terrifying aspect is that we could soon be facing the use of nuclear weapons if Israel starts a war in the Middle East, the results of that would be catastrophic and make the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs look like squibs. The big problem is the governments aren’t telling and the people aren’t asking enough questions.

      Sanity, what is that?

      AV

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