Answer to Question #9122 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"

Category: Nuclear Power, Devices, and Accidents — Nuclear Devices

The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:


What are the long-term consequences of the bombing of Hiroshima?


There were many long-term consequences of the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I will focus my response on those related to radiation and health physics. First, it is important to recognize that thousands of Japanese citizens perished in the explosion and the fires that immediately followed. The long-term effects of radiation exposure among the survivors have been extensively studied in what has come to be known as the Life Span Study. The main effect observed has been an excess of approximately 400 cases of cancer among the approximately 100,000 survivors. That means that about 400 more cancers have been observed in this population than would have been expected from a similar, but unexposed population. This excess has been observed among the survivors who received the highest radiation doses (generally, those who were closest to the detonation site).

I hope you find this information useful.


Brant Ulsh, PhD, CHP

Ask the Experts is posting answers using only SI (the International System of Units) in accordance with international practice. To convert these to traditional units we have prepared a conversion table. You can also view a diagram to help put the radiation information presented in this question and answer in perspective. Explanations of radiation terms can be found here.
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