What was the fallout from Fukushima?

When a tsunami hit the nuclear plant, thousands fled. Many never returned – but has the radiation risk been exaggerated?

Shunichi Yamashita knows a lot of about the health effects of radiation. But he is a pariah in his home country of Japan, because he insists on telling those evacuated after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident that the hazards are much less than they suppose. Could he be right?

Yamashita was born in Nagasaki in 1952, seven years after the world’s second atomic weapon obliterated much of the city. “My mother was 16 years old when the bomb dropped and she was two miles away,” he told me at his office in the city, where he still lives with his mother, who is now 88.

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