Future Health Effects from Fukushima N-Crisis Unlikely: U.N.

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Berlin, March 9 (Jiji Press)--Future health effects directly linked to radiation exposure from the March 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, are "unlikely to be discernible," a U.N. panel said in a report Tuesday.

In the report, the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation said that a reported increase in the number of local children diagnosed with thyroid cancer is not the result of radiation exposure from the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which was knocked out by the powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

Rather, it is the result of "ultrasensitive screening procedures that have revealed the prevalence of thyroid abnormalities in the population not previously detected," the report said.

Through its assessment of the incidence of thyroid cancer that could be inferred from the estimated exposure to radiation, the panel concluded that "this is not likely to be discernible" in any of the age groups, including children and those exposed in utero to radiation, the report said.

The panel also concluded that an increase in cancer and leukemia among workers at the plant is "unlikely to be discernible."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press