The accidental or hostile exposure of individuals to ionizing irradiation is of great public and military concern. Radiation sickness (acute radiation syndrome, or ARS) occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation within a short period of time. Systemic infection is one of the serious consequences of ARS. There is a direct relation between the magnitude of radiation exposure and the risk of developing infection. The risk of systemic infection is higher whenever there is a combined injury such as burn or trauma. Ionizing radiation enhances infection by allowing translocation of oral and gastrointestinal flora, and reducing the threshold of sepsis due to endogenous and exogenous microorganisms. The potential for concomitant accidental or terrorism-related exposure to bio-terrorism agents such as anthrax and radiation also exists.

This site is made of a home page that presents new developments and updates on the management of acute radiation syndrome including concomitant exposure to radiation and anthrax. Separate pages are dedicated to the treatment modalities.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Steam rising from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan

Steam was reported today to be rising from a destroyed building that houses a reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator of the plant. The levels of radioactivity around the plant had remained unchanged and the cause that triggered the emission is investigated. It is speculated that rain made its way through the reactor building and having fallen on the primary containment vessel, which is hot, evaporated creating steam.
Each reactor is surrounded by a primary containment vessel. This is made of strengthened steel four to eight inches thick. It provides the most critical line of defense against leaking radiation from the reactor.

This latest incident underscores the challenges facing the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, in trying to keep the ravaged plant under control. About a week ago a significant spike in radioactive cesium was detected in groundwater 25 meters from the sea. The operator has been flushing water over the damaged reactors to keep them cool for more than two years, but contaminated water has been building up at the rate of an Olympic-size swimming pool per week.

The # 3 crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

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