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Hasegawa A.,Fukushima Medical University | Tanigawa K.,Fukushima Medical University | Ohtsuru A.,Fukushima Medical University | Yabe H.,Fukushima Medical University | And 10 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

437 nuclear power plants are in operation at present around the world to meet increasing energy demands. Unfortunately, five major nuclear accidents have occurred in the past - ie, at Kyshtym (Russia [then USSR], 1957), Windscale Piles (UK, 1957), Three Mile Island (USA, 1979), Chernobyl (Ukraine [then USSR], 1986), and Fukushima (Japan, 2011). The effects of these accidents on individuals and societies are diverse and enduring. Accumulated evidence about radiation health effects on atomic bomb survivors and other radiation-exposed people has formed the basis for national and international regulations about radiation protection. However, past experiences suggest that common issues were not necessarily physical health problems directly attributable to radiation exposure, but rather psychological and social effects. Additionally, evacuation and long-term displacement created severe health-care problems for the most vulnerable people, such as hospital inpatients and elderly people. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Ohtsuru A.,Fukushima Medical University | Tanigawa K.,Fukushima Medical University | Kumagai A.,Fukushima Medical University | Niwa O.,Fukushima Medical University | And 7 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Past nuclear disasters, such as the atomic bombings in 1945 and major accidents at nuclear power plants, have highlighted similarities in potential public health effects of radiation in both circumstances, including health issues unrelated to radiation exposure. Although the rarity of nuclear disasters limits opportunities to undertake rigorous research of evidence-based interventions and strategies, identification of lessons learned and development of an effective plan to protect the public, minimise negative effects, and protect emergency workers from exposure to high-dose radiation is important. Additionally, research is needed to help decision makers to avoid premature deaths among patients already in hospitals and other vulnerable groups during evacuation. Since nuclear disasters can affect hundreds of thousands of people, a substantial number of people are at risk of physical and mental harm in each disaster. During the recovery period after a nuclear disaster, physicians might need to screen for psychological burdens and provide general physical and mental health care for many affected residents who might experience long-term displacement. Reliable communication of personalised risks has emerged as a challenge for health-care professionals beyond the need to explain radiation protection. To overcome difficulties of risk communication and provide decision aids to protect workers, vulnerable people, and residents after a nuclear disaster, physicians should receive training in nuclear disaster response. This training should include evidence-based interventions, support decisions to balance potential harms and benefits, and take account of scientific uncertainty in provision of community health care. An open and joint learning process is essential to prepare for, and minimise the effects of, future nuclear disasters. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Food prices in Cambodia increased by 36.8 per cent between July 2007 and July 2008. High food prices negatively affected people from all walks of life, but the extent of the impact varied. The poorest 40 per cent of the population spend 70 per cent of their incomes on food. The poor and net food buyers, who generally live in rural areas, were hit worst by these rising prices. Most of the food-insecure households are in the Tonle Sap and plains regions. For the very poor, both urban and rural, obtaining sufficient food is a daily struggle. About 50 per cent of surveyed households reported cutting back on food. Many went into debt. Food aid or 'food for work' should be the best solutions to meet short-term needs. Social safety nets based on food assistance should be introduced in order to avoid increased malnutrition and negative coping strategies used by food-insecure households. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Zhu M.,University of Southern California | Stott L.,University of Southern California | Buckley B.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Yoshimura K.,University of Tokyo | Ra K.,Cambodia Development Resource Institute
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres | Year: 2012

The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (IPWP) is a major source of heat and moisture to the atmosphere and thus strongly influences the global climate. In this study, we investigate how moisture fluxes from the IPWP influence the stable isotope signature of precipitation over Southeast Asia by analyzing the oxygen isotopic composition (δ18O) of tree cellulose from southern Cambodia. The cellulose δ18O record, spanning AD 1867-2006, documents a regular seasonal cycle with an average amplitude of ∼4‰ that is primarily controlled by seasonal differences in the isotopic composition of precipitation. Using the outputs from an isotope-enabled atmospheric model, we illustrate how the δ18O of precipitation at our site is predominantly controlled by the amount of rainout that occurs over the moisture source region, the IPWP. This is verified by strong correlations of our cellulose δ18O record with instrumental measurements of precipitation and outgoing longwave radiation over the IPWP, suggesting that the cellulose δ18O could be used to reconstruct the convection intensity over the IPWP. Spectral analysis of the cellulose δ 18O reveals significant peaks at 2-7 years corresponding to ENSO frequencies. The variability of the cellulose δ18O record on the ENSO band exhibits characteristics that match existing coral δ18O records from the tropical Pacific, with reduced amplitude of variability in the 1920s through the 1960s, a period of weak ENSO activity. © 2012 American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Davis K.F.,University of Virginia | Yu K.,University of Virginia | Rulli M.C.,Polytechnic of Milan | Pichdara L.,Kyushu University | And 3 more authors.
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2015

Investment in agricultural land in the developing world has rapidly increased in the past two decades. In Cambodia, there has been a surge in economic land concessions, in which long-term leases are provided to foreign and domestic investors for economic development. More than two million hectares have been leased so far, sparking debate over the consequences for local communities and the environment. Here we combined official records of concession locations with a high-resolution data set of changes in forest cover to quantify the contribution of land concessions to deforestation between 2000 and 2012. We used covariate matching to control for variables other than classification as a concession that may influence forest loss. Nearly half of the area where concessions were granted between 2000 and 2012 was forested in 2000; this area then represented 12.4% of forest land cover in Cambodia. Within concessions, the annual rate of forest loss was between 29% and 105% higher than in comparable land areas outside concessions. Most of the deforestation within concessions occurred after the contract date, and whether an investor was domestic or foreign had no effect on deforestation rates. We conclude that land acquisitions can act as powerful drivers of deforestation. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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