FUKUSHIMA RADIATION DISASTER TOLL: none dead, none sick.
Heard much about Fukushima lately? You know, the disaster that spread deadly contamination across Japan and spelt the end for the nuclear industry.
You should have, because recent authoritative reports have reached a remarkable conclusion about a supposedly "deadly" disaster. No one died, nor is likely to die, according to the most comprehensive assessments since the Fukushima nuclear plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
The accident competed for media space with the deaths of nearly 20,000 people in the magnitude 9.0 quake – 1000 times worse than the Christchurch quake – and tsunami, which wholly or partly destroyed more than a million buildings.
The nuclear workers were the living dead, we were told; hundreds of thousands would die if the plant exploded; even if that didn't happen, affected areas would be uninhabitable and residents' health would suffer for generations.
Instead, two independent international reports conclude that radiative material released from Fukushima's four damaged reactors, three of which melted down, has had negligible health impacts.
In February, the World Health Organisation reported there would be no noticeable increases in cancer rates for the overall population. A third of emergency workers were at some increased risk.