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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Chiyo Nohara (in Nature 2012 & 2014)

The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly



06 June 2012


24 July 2012

Published online:

09 August 2012

The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant caused a massive release of radioactive materials to the environment. A prompt and reliable system for evaluating the biological impacts of this accident on animals has not been available. Here we show that the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. We collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities. The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May. Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures. We conclude that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.


The biological impacts of ingested radioactive materials on the pale grass blue butterfly



17 January 2014


22 April 2014

Published online:

15 May 2014


A massive amount of radioactive materials has been released into the environment by the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, but its biological impacts have rarely been examined. Here, we have quantitatively evaluated the relationship between the dose of ingested radioactive cesium and mortality and abnormality rates using the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha. When larvae from Okinawa, which is likely the least polluted locality in Japan, were fed leaves collected from polluted localities, mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply at low doses in response to the ingested cesium dose. This dose-response relationship was best fitted by power function models, which indicated that the half lethal and abnormal doses were 1.9 and 0.76 Bq per larva, corresponding to 54,000 and 22,000 Bq per kilogram body weight, respectively. Both the retention of radioactive cesium in a pupa relative to the ingested dose throughout the larval stage and the accumulation of radioactive cesium in a pupa relative to the activity concentration in a diet were highest at the lowest level of cesium ingested. We conclude that the risk of ingesting a polluted diet is realistic, at least for this butterfly, and likely for certain other organisms living in the polluted area.

______See http://www.fukushima-is-still-news.com/article-butterflies-damages-by-radiation-from-fukushima-109033739.html

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