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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Japanese Government's Understanding of Chernobyl's Health Effects 首相官邸資料「チェルノブイリ事故との比較」の英訳


IPPNW のチェルノブイリ25年報告との比較と合わせてお読みください。

This document was published on the website of the Japanese Prime Minsiter's Office on April 15, shortly after Japan raised its assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident from Level 5 to Level 7. Many criticized this document as one that downplays the health effects of Chernobyl and to stresses the difference between Fukushima and Chernobyl to ease the Japanese public anxiety. Before we discuss further, let us present an English version of the document and allow it to be assessed by members of the international community, including victims and families of the Chernobyl accident and experts. We will update this page with comments and further information. Comments are welcome at "Post a comment" at the end of this entry, or by emailing .

Here is the link to the original document at the Prime Minister’s Office website. The whole document is quoted below the English translation.

Comparison with the Chernobyl Accident

April 15, 2011

The health effects of the Chernobyl Accident were announced in the 20th year (2006), jointly by eight international organizations including the WHO and IAEA and the three affected republics (Note 1) and a summary was published this year, the 25th anniversary, by UNSCEAR. (Note 2) What follows are comparisons between these reports by the international organizations and the Fukushima nuclear reactor accidents.

1. Those exposed to radiation within the nuclear power plant

- At Chernobyl, 134 people suffered from acute radiation damage, and 28 of them died within 3 weeks. 19 more people passed away up to now, but the relationship between those deaths and radiation exposure has not been recognized.
- At Fukushima Daiichi, the number of people who have suffered from acute radiation damage is zero. (Note 3)

2. Those who worked in cleaning up the site after the accident

- At Chernobyl, the average radiation dose of the 240,000 people was 100 mSV, and there was no health effect.
- At Fukushima Daiichi, there is as yet no one who applies to this category.

3. Residents in surrounding areas

- At Chernobyl, it was calculated that the 270,000 people in highly contaminated areas had radiation dosages of 50 mSV, and 5 million people in less contaminated areas had 10 to 20 mSV, but there was no health effect. An exception was thyroid cancer of children who drank contaminated milk without limit. 6,000 children had surgery, and 15 have died up to now. As for milk in Fukushima, there is no problem, as the provisional standard of 300 Bq/kg (100 for infants) has been observed and milk with over 100 Bq/kg (of radioactivity) has not been distributed.

- The radiation dosage of residents in areas surrounding Fukushima Daiichi has been below 20 mSV, so there will be no radiation effect.

In general, the IAEA states ”With level 7 radiation release, the risk of probabilistic effect (carcinogenic) increases in wide areas, and deterministic effect (physical damage) could occur as well,” but concrete examination of each aspect, as shown above, makes obvious the differences between Fukushima and Chernobyl.

Shigenobu Nagataki, Professor Emeritus, Nagasaki University
Former Board Chair, Radiation Effect Research Foundation, Honorary Chair, International Association of Radiopathology

Yasuto Sasaki, Managing Director, Japan Radioisotope Association, former Board Director of National Institute of Radiological Sciences


Note 1: Health effect of the Chernobyl accident: an overview Fact sheet 303 April 2006

Note 2: United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, SOURCES AND EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION UNSCEAR 2008 REPORT: Sources, Report to the General Assembly Scientific Annexes Volume II Scientific Annex D HEALTH EFFECTS DUE TO RADIATION FROM THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT VII. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS (Original Title 2008 / Published 2011) P. 64 –

Note 3: Press Release by NIRS (National Institute of Radiological Sciences) “3 gatsu 24 nichi ni hibaku shita sagyoin ga keika kansatsu de hoiken o jushin (Workers who were exposed to radiation on March 24 pay a visit to NIRS for observation),” April 11, 2011.




チェルノブイリ事故の健康に対する影響は、20年目にWHO, IAEAなど8つの国際機関と被害を受けた3共和国が合同で発表(注1)し、25年目の今年は国連科学委員会がまとめを発表(注2)した。これらの国際機関の発表と福島原発事故を比較する。






長瀧 重信 長崎大学名誉教授

佐々木 康人 (社)日本アイソトープ協会 常務理事
     (前 放射線医学総合研究所 理事長)


[注1]. Health effect of the Chernobyl accident : an overview Fact sheet303 April 2006 (2006年公表) 

[注2]. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, SOURCES AND EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION UNSCEAR 2008 Report: Sources, Report to the General Assembly Scientific Annexes VOLUMEⅡ Scientific Annex D HEALTH EFFECTS DUE TO RADIATION FROM THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT Ⅶ. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS (2008年原題/2011年公表) P64~

[注3]. (独)放射線医学総合研究所プレスリリース「3月24日に被ばくした作業員が経過観察で放医研を受診」2011.4.11

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