Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Flora Ten Years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Disaster

Dear colleagues,


It is a pleasure to announce that a new scientific paper has been published:


Ludovici, G.M.; Chierici, A.; de Souza, S.O.; d’Errico, F.; Iannotti, A.; Malizia, A. (2022). "Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Flora Ten Years after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Disaster". Plants 2022, 11, 222. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11020222


link: https://www.mdpi.com/2223-7747/11/2/222/htm



The aim of this work is to analyze the effects of ionizing radiation and radionuclides (like 137Cs) in several higher plants located around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP), evaluating both their adaptive processes and evolution. After the FNPP accident in March 2011 much attention was focused to the biological consequences of ionizing radiation and radionuclides released in the area surrounding the nuclear plant. This unexpected mishap led to the emission of radionuclides in aerosol and gaseous forms from the power plant, which contaminated a large area, including wild forest, cities, farmlands, mountains, and the sea, causing serious problems. Large quantities of 131I, 137Cs, and 134Cs were detected in the fallout. People were evacuated but the flora continued to be affected by the radiation exposure and by the radioactive dusts’ fallout. The response of biota to FNPP irradiation was a complex interaction among radiation dose, dose rate, temporal and spatial variation, varying radiation sensitivities of the different plants’ species, and indirect effects from other events. The repeated ionizing radiations, acute or chronic, guarantee an adaptation of the plant species, demonstrating a radio-resistance. Consequently, ionizing radiation affects the genetic structure, especially during chronic irradiation, reducing genetic variability. This reduction is associated with the different susceptibility of plant species to chronic stress. This would confirm the adaptive theory associated with this phenomenon. The effects that ionizing radiation has on different life forms are examined in this review using the FNPP disaster as a case study focusing the attention ten years after the accident.

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