July 31, 2015
Rates of depression and PTSD increased following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and remain elevated, according to study findings in Lancet.
“[Four hundred thirty-seven] nuclear power plants are in operation at present around the world to meet increasing energy demands. Unfortunately, five major nuclear accidents have occurred in the past — ie, at Kyshtym (Russia [then USSR], 1957), Windscale Piles (UK, 1957), Three Mile Island (USA, 1979), Chernobyl (Ukraine [then USSR], 1986), and Fukushima (Japan, 2011),” Arifumi Hasegawa, MD, of the Fukushima Global Medical Science Center, and colleagues wrote. “The effects of these accidents on individuals and societies are diverse and enduring. Accumulated evidence about radiation health effects on atomic bomb survivors and other radiation-exposed people has formed the basis for national and international regulations about radiation protection. However, past experiences suggest that common issues were not necessarily physical health problems directly attributable to radiation exposure, but rather psychological and social effects.”