I spent a good part of last spring filming a documentary for school about my best friend's mother. A native of the Ukrainian SSR region in the former Soviet Union, she survived the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in 1986 to later become a fashion model. My movie explored how if it was not for Chernobyl, she would never have become a model.
While the terrors of Chernobyl--including the dreadful nuclear radiation spill that left a giant human wasteland in the region--did not negatively affect her personally, unintentional nuclear radiation could be classified as one of the worst potential accidents that can occur, since it causes unforeseen damage that ultimately involves widespread death.
Just 11 days ago, another disastrous nuclear accident occurred. In Fukushima, Japan, where they suffered the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, a consequential nuclear spill is releasing dangerous radioactive material into the air. What is termed as the Fukushima I nuclear accidents is a series of ongoing equipment failures in town's nuclear plant due to the tsunami flooding it, knocking out emergency generators needed to run pumps which cool and control the reactors. These are the reactors that are now releasing the harmful radioactive materials.
Currently, the region is still undergoing the potential short-term and long-term ramifications. One potential consequence of radiation other than the well-know resulting death is hearing loss. While I rather have a hearing loss than die, it is important to understand how radiation can affect one's hearing.