TEPCO: Fukushima Cesium Release Over 4 Times Higher Than Chernobyl

Official Fukushima nuclear radiation release estimates from TEPCO show the amount of Cesium released into the atmosphere is 423% higher than Chernobyl.

The latest TEPCO estimates of the amount of radioactive fallout released from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan since the March 11th disaster now puts the level of Cesium 137 released into to the atmosphere 4.23 times higher than the amount released from Chernobyl.

According to the data, Fukushima is estimated to have released of 360,000 terabecquerels (1 tera is 1 trillion) of radioactive Cesium 137 into the atmosphere compared to the release of 85,000 terabecquerels of Cesium 137 during the Chernobyl accident.

This figure also only includes the amount of cesium released into the atmosphere and does not consider the amount released into water.

It should be noted that when declaring land contaminated with radiation to uninhabitable the levels of Cesium fallout is what is considered due to its 30 year half-life.

The TEPCO estimates also put the level of radioactive Iodine-131 released into the atmosphere from the nuclear plant at 41.3% of the amount released from Chernobyl.

Chernobyl is estimated to have released a 968,000 terabecquerels of radioactive Iodine-131 into the atmosphere compared to the current Fukushima estimate of 400,000 terabecquerels.

The estimates only include levels of Cesium-137 and Iodine-131 released into the atmosphere and does not include the amount of radiation released into the water.

Chernobyl is is said to have released 5.2 million terabecquerels of total radiation into the atmosphere, which is an estimate for many types of radioactive substances and their various isotopes beyond just Cesium and Iodine.

Estimates of the total amount of radioactive substances released from Fukushima are not being provided.

Note: The total amount of I-131 at Chernobyl is estimated to be 1,760,000 terabecquerels of which 55% or 968,000 terabecquerels is estimated to have been released into the atmosphere. While it is known that water is leaking Fukushima from reactors 1, 2, and 3 as well as from underground water pits that run beneath the Fukushima reactor there are no estimates for the amount of radioactivity in that water, no estimates for the amount of radioactivity contained in water sprayed onto the reactors that has ran off into the Pacific and no estimates for the amount of other radioactive substances released from Fukushima, such as Telerium, Xenon, Strontium, Uranium, and Plutonium and other isotopes of Cesium and Iodine .

The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reports on TEPCO’s estimates below, but please note the article is misleading by claiming the combined Fukushima Cesium 137 and Iodine 131 release is the total amount of radiation released from Fukushima.

Clearly the article reports the release of 400,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131 and 360,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 which add up to 760,000 terabecquerels and the article turns around and labels the 760,000 terabecquerels as the total radiation release.

It then compares the 760,000 terabecquerels amount* which is only considers a single cesium isotope and a single iodine isotope) to the total amount of all radioactive substances released from Chernobyl in an effort to downplay the Fukushima release.

Furthermore, the article implies that the 760,000 terabecquerels number includes the amount of radiation released into the water from the Fukushima disaster which is also incorrect.

This is evidenced by the fact that even last year, TEPCO reported 720,000 terabecquerels of radioactivity released into the water alone.

That estimate was higher than the total amount of Cesium -137 and i-131 released into the atmosphere, which TEPCO estimated at that time to be between 370,000 to 630,000 terabecquerels.

The Daily Yomuri Reports:

TEPCO estimate sees more radiation than NISA’s

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated the total amount of radioactive substances discharged from its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant measured 760,000 terabecquerels, 1.6 times the estimate released by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency in February.


[TEPCO] reached a final estimate of 400,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131 and 360,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137.The amount of radioactive substances discharged in the Chernobyl accident in 1986 was 5.2 million terabecquerels.

Source: The Daily Yomuri

From The Asahi Shimbum (last year – 06/05/2011 )

Fukushima radioactive water could overflow soon

Raising fresh concerns about its ability to bring the nuclear crisis under control, Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced June 3 that highly radioactive water pooled in underground pits could start rising above ground in less than three weeks.

The company said there were 105,100 tons of stagnant water with high levels of radioactivity within the power plant as of the end of May.

The water contained an estimated 720,000 terabecquerels of radioactivity (1 tera is 1 trillion), according to the operator of the plant battered by the earthquake in March. That is more than the amount of radioactivity released from the plant into the atmosphere in the wake of the accident, which is estimated at 370,000 to 630,000 terabecquerels.

TEPCO warned that the contaminated water pooled in the basement of the buildings could start flowing out as early as June 20.

The company plans to treat the radioactive water in a new facility to be completed June 15 to prevent the overflow of polluted water, but it will also consider reducing the amount of fresh water being injected into the reactors.

Radioactive water is flowing into the basement of facilities within the compound as well as the buildings housing the Nos. 1 and 4 reactors, their turbine buildings, and the radioactive waste treatment facility, according to a report submitted by TEPCO to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The total radioactivity of the pools of contaminated water is equivalent to one seventh of the 5.2 million terabecquerels released into the atmosphere from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986.

As TEPCO continues injecting water into the reactors at the Fukushima plant to cool their nuclear fuel, the amount of highly radioactive water leaking from the reactors is expected to continue increasing.

The utility made estimates of when the contaminated water in buildings’ basements could leak aboveground, under several different scenarios, suggesting that it could happen as early as June 20.

It has been confirmed that highly radioactive water was leaked into the sea twice during the crisis: first 500 tons containing 4,700 terabecquerels gushed out, with 250 tons containing 20 terabecquerels following later.


Source: Asahi Shimbum

Categories: FUKUSHIMA

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