Skip to content


Fukushima’s Cesium-137 levels ‘50% higher’ than previously estimated via RT

The amount of Cesium-137 leaked from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be worse than expected, a Japanese research team has concluded. They believe 50 percent more of the radioactive material could have escaped into the atmosphere and seawater.

The original estimate of 13,600 terabecquerels was made by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the power station. However, a new report by Japanese researchers estimates that between 17,500 and 20,500 terabecquerels have been released, which is 50 percent higher than originally thought.

Michio Aoyama, a professor at Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity who is part of the team, told Kyodo News that TEPCO is “underestimating” the amount of Cesium-137 that was released into the atmosphere and later fell into the sea.

Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear fission. However, it is problematic due to its ability to spread easily as it is highly soluble. It is also very harmful to humans and can cause cancer, while it has a half-life of around 30 years.

[...]

The Fukushima plant contains radiation equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima 68 years ago. The main task now is to try and limit the fallout from the disaster, with Aoyama saying, “the release of radioactive cesium-137 has a big impact on the ocean,” since the Fukushima nuclear complex is near the coast.

TEPCO has consistently faced contaminated water leaks at the Fukushima plant. Water has to be pumped over the facilities’ stricken reactors to keep them from overheating, but this process creates large quantities of contaminated water which has to be stored in tanks on the site.

Ono acknowledged to the media that in TEPCO’s rush to deal with the stricken facility following the earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011, the company may have made mistakes.

Read more at Fukushima’s Cesium-137 levels ‘50% higher’ than previously estimated

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.