Can Radiation Be Good For You?

STANFORD – The earthquake- and tsunami-related problems at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant have inspired endless commentary and speculation. Unfortunately, much of the debate about the disaster and its implications has been uninformed and problematic.

Radiation levels have increased by as much as 400 times the normal level 12 miles from the Fukushima plant; increased radioactivity has been found in milk, fish, and a variety of vegetables farmed in the region; and drinking water in Tokyo, 140 miles (225 kilometers) from Fukushima, has been declared unsuitable for consumption by infants. Several countries have banned imports of milk and vegetables from the affected region.