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Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 2013 Report, Volume I

Levels and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great East-Japan earthquake and tsunami

image of Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 2013 Report, Volume I

This publication, the first of two volumes of scientific annexes, provides a detailed review of scientific material that underpins the Committee's evaluation of the radiation doses and effects due to the accident which occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station on 11 March 2011. It covers the amount and composition of radioactive material released to the environment, the pattern of dispersion and deposition of the radioactive material over land and sea, the radiation doses received by the general public and workers, the radiation effects on the environment, the radioactivity in foodstuffs and the implications of the radiation exposures for human health and the environment. The evaluation uses information provided before the UNSCEAR 60th session (May 2013) by 26 United Nations Member States and 5 international organizations, as well as peer-reviewed literature.

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Introduction

Since the establishment of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation by the General Assembly in its resolution 913 (X) of 3 December 1955, the mandate of the Committee has been to undertake broad assessments of the sources of ionizing radiation and its effects on human health and the environment. In pursuit of its mandate, the Committee thoroughly reviews and evaluates global and regional exposures to radiation. The Committee also evaluates evidence of radiation-induced health effects in exposed groups and advances in the understanding of the biological mechanisms by which radiation-induced effects on human health or on non-human biota can occur. Those assessments provide the scientific foundation used, inter alia, by the relevant agencies of the United Nations system in formulating international standards for the protection of the general public and workers against ionizing radiation; those standards, in turn, are linked to important legal and regulatory instruments.

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