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Nuclear medicine

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Science  05 Mar 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6533, pp. 978-982
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6533.978

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Summary

Physician Masaharu Tsubokura has concluded that the evacuation of nearby residents during the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in northeastern Japan claimed more lives than the radiation spewed into the environment. No one died from the radiation, but Tsubokura's studies have shown that in the months after evacuation, the death rate increased for both genders and every age group. The stress and disruption were particularly hard on the elderly in long-term care facilities for whom the death rate increased 2.7 times compared with the period before the emergency. Tsubokura originally intended to volunteer his services in the region for just a few weeks, but documenting the health impacts of evacuation turned into a career.

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