Original radiation released by Fukushima 2.5 times higher than what TEPCO told public

May 25, 2012JAPAN The amount of radioactive materials released in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster was almost two and a half times the initial estimate by Japanese safety regulators, the operator of the crippled plant said in a report released on Thursday. The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the meltdowns it believes took place at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances into the air during March 2011. The accident, which followed an earthquake and a tsunami, occurred on March 11. The latest estimate was based on measurements suggesting the amount of iodine-131 released by the nuclear accident was much larger than previous estimates, the utility said in the report. Iodine-131 is a fast-decaying radioactive substance produced by fission that takes place inside a nuclear reactor. It has a half-life of eight days and can cause thyroid cancer. It is difficult to judge the health effects of the larger-than-reported release, since even the latest number is an estimate, and it does not clarify how much exposure people received or continue to receive from contaminated soil and food. Experts have been divided on the health impacts since the disaster because the studies of assessing radiation risks are based mainly on a different type of exposure — the large doses delivered quickly by the atomic bombs in Japan in 1945. Although people who lived closest to the plant were evacuated, many people remain in areas with significantly higher radiation levels than normal. Tokyo Electric said it had initially been unable to accurately judge the amount of radioactive materials released soon after the accident because radiation sensors closest to the plant were disabled in the disaster. “If this information had been available at the time, we could have used it in planning evacuations,” a spokesman for Tokyo Electric, Junichi Matsumoto, said at a news conference. More than 99 percent of the radiation released by the accident came in the first three weeks, the utility company added. The newly released information is likely to add to concerns among many Japanese that they were never told the extent of the accident or the risks it posed. A terabecquerel is a trillion becquerels, a commonly used measure of the radiation emitted by a radioactive material. –NY Times
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8 Responses to Original radiation released by Fukushima 2.5 times higher than what TEPCO told public

  1. radiogirl says:

    There is little doubt the citizens in surrounding areas will need to move.

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  2. Perry Puccinelli says:

    Does anyone know where there is (accurate) information available regarding how much Fukushima radiation fell and/or is still falling in Northern California, and the health risks involved? thanks

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    • Michele B. says:

      Hi Perry. Don’t have the answer but wondering: Are you asking specifically because you live in Northern California, or for another reason? Just curious.

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      • Perry Puccinelli says:

        Hi Michele.. I’m asking strictly because I live in N. Cal, (in the foothills of the Sierras) and have been concerned since the quake last year just how much radiation we’re getting here. I’ve read that the gov’t virtually shut down their public disclosure of radiation measurements right out the gate, indicating possibly that the true levels were dangerous enough to have caused panic had the public been informed. Many questions remain of course, but I’d like to know just how bad it has been over the last year, is at the present, and will be in the future if # 4 Reactor is destroyed in another quake. Sadly, I’m retiring and have just acquired the little farm I’ve wanted all my life, but now in spite of planting I’m preparing to abandon it and gather my family and fly to S. America the minute # 4 falls. 😦

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  3. Jake says:

    Is anyone actually surprised we were lied to about this?

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  4. Dan Sherwood says:

    I am seeing lots of blogs and comments about this. Some are saying bury the place under a mountain of dirt, others are saying nothing can be done. Big arguments about it every where.
    The way I see it, Japan is sitting right next to one of the deepest trenches on the planet, and it is likely that when the big shift takes place, Japan will be at the bottom of that trench. (just my opinion)

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  5. Rob says:

    @ Dan Sherwood-Interesting observation. It makes me curious as to whether that’s the reason for the lack of action being taken there.

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  6. Dan Sherwood says:

    This disaster could actually be a blessing in disguise. If the danger of radiation poisoning prompts the mass evacuation of millions before the end of the year, then if Edgar Casey’s prediction of Japan sliding into the deep comes to pass. It would result in the loss of millions fewer lives. (just saying, you never know how God works these things out)

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