The Japanese government plans to study possible effects of radiation on the genes of people affected by last year's Fukushima nuclear accident.
Disclosing the proposal, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono told a meeting in Fukushima city on Thursday that his Ministry planned to conduct blood and other tests on people who lived in the surrounding areas of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plant which was crippled in the March 2011 tsunami.
Fukushima residents have been voicing concerns over possible genetic effects of radioactive substances emitted in the accident at the plant owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
The Ministry says that it will work with the Fukushima Medical University and research institutions by giving priority for testing children, Japanese media reported.
Health of Fukushima residents needs to be monitored for more than 50 years, Hosono said adding that understanding radiation influences on the genetic level could help these people in the future. The Ministry will request for funding to carry out the study in its budget for the next fiscal.
Residents in a 20-kilometer radius of the plant were evacuated after the accident, the second biggest after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.
by RTT Staff Writer
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