I need some ideas of things to photograph…things to get my camera, lenses, and whatnot. I have a new Nikon D90, what should I do?
Winter is a great time for pictures! Everything is beautiful with a blanket of snow
Fukushima, Two Years Later
Two years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which followed the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. One of the world’s foremost experts on the consequences of Fukushima as well as 1986’s Chernobyl disaster is biologist Tim Mousseau of the University of South Carolina’s College of Arts and Sciences. Mousseau studies the effects of radiation on wildlife in their natural surroundings. […]
“The most important thing we’ve learned so far is just how little we understand about the role played by low-level, low-dose radiation in natural environments,” Mousseau said. “What we’ve learned over the last seven or eight years – in Chernobyl in particular – is that the impacts of radiation under natural conditions, in the field, are much greater than what people had seen in the laboratory setting, and they’re much greater than people had seen for the so-called ‘pure’ external-dose radiation, such as much of the work that has been done with atomic bomb survivors.
“It’s very clear, based on recent studies by other folks in addition to us, that the effects of radiation on natural populations – those that experience the full range of natural stress, in addition to the radiation – are much larger than the effects in the other settings.”
Mousseau’s work also challenges the widely held notion that low-level radiation, below a certain threshold, is in fact harmless. “We see no threshold,” Mousseau said. “We see consequences – such as in terms of mutation rates, or lowered fertilities and other population consequences – all the way down to very low levels, levels that are much lower than what people previously had thought could be measurable in the wild. […]
In contrast to Chernobyl, the situation in Fukushima remains difficult to assess because it’s still very early since the radioactivity release. “It’s been two years, and we’re just starting to get a handle on what’s going on there,” Mousseau said. […]
“There was a really wonderful study done by a group of Japanese scientists at Okinawa University,” Mousseau added. “They demonstrated that the butterflies living in Fukushima were experiencing dramatically elevated rates of genetic mutations, and this was being reflected in all sorts of developmental abnormalities – deformities in the wing structure and in their legs and antennae that were clearly impacting their ability to survive and reproduce.”
Research support remains a significant problem, though. “The truth is that there is minimal funding available for independent scientists to conduct research in either place,” Mousseau said. “Among the scientific community that is not associated with the nuclear industry or the nuclear agencies, there is virtually no funding for this kind of work.” […]
More information concerning Mousseau’s research in Chernobyl, Fukushima and other “hot” places can be found on his website: http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/chernobyl/