It was grim. We went from hospital to hospital and from one contaminated village to another. We found deformed and genetically mutated babies in the wards; pitifully sick children in the homes; adolescents with stunted growth and dwarf torsos; foetuses without thighs or fingers and villagers who told us every member of their family was sick.

John Vidal remembers a visit to Chernobyl five years ago.

110401 Guardian

We are seeing something that has never happened – a multiple reactor catastrophe including one using plutonium fuel as well as spent fuel pool accidents, all happening within 200 kilometers of a metropolis of 30 million people. Because the area is far more densely populated than around Chernobyl, the human toll could eventually be far worse in Japan.

Dr. Alexey Yablokov, Russian Chernobyl scientist, warns of dire consequences for health around Fukushima.

110325 Common Dreams