What is the current risk of radiation-related health problems in Japan for those residing near the reactor in comparison to those in other parts of Japan?
Radiation-related health consequences will depend on exposure, which is dependant on several things, including: the amount and type of radiation released from the reactor; weather conditions, such as wind and rain; a person's proximity to the plant; and the amount of time spent in irradiated areas. The Government of Japan's recent actions in response to events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are in line with the existing recommendations for radiation exposure. The Government has evacuated individuals who were living within a 20-kilometre radius around the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Those living between 20 km and 30 km from the plant are being asked to evacuate voluntarily. In general, people living farther away are at lower risk than those who live nearby. As and if the situation changes, the Government of Japan may change their advice to the public; WHO is following the situation closely.