Overview of exposure to and effects from radionuclides in terrestrial and marine environments



The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, precipitated by the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the northeastern coast of Japan in March 2011, has raised concerns about potential impacts to terrestrial and marine environments from radionuclides released into the environment. A preliminary understanding of the potential ecological impacts from radionuclides can be ascertained from observations and data developed following previous environmental incidents elsewhere in the world. This article briefly summarizes how biota experience exposure to ionizing radiation, what effects may be produced, and how they may differ among taxa and habitats. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2011;7:368–370. © 2011 SETAC