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Fukushima radiation higher than first estimated, TEPCO admits

58 Comments
By Kevin Krolicki

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58 Comments
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Old news. Everybody knows this stuff! TEPCO lied and continues to - period!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

We all knew this just based in our gut feeling of the situation. I am happy that they are passing along information even if it's to little to late. The truth will always come out in time!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No surprises

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Maybe it was seven times more, or a hundred, because nuclear industries and governments say what they want. Or, in the case of the U.S, say nothing at all.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

Is this news?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Last year, TEPCO first stated the radiation released was 750,000 terabecquaerels but some months later revised that down to 350,000 terabecquerels. That was during the time of ex PM Kan who insisted all info released from TEPCO was agreed by the nuclear disaster info office.

Now TEPCO has again updated the radiation level to 900,000 terabecquerels, but also stated this was the total amount since 3/11 so I'm unclear on this.

The total radiation released at Chernobyl is 5 million terabecquerels but I don't know the amount released in the initial disaster period?

Officials expect it will take up to 30 years to decommsion the plant.

It could also take much longer than that. Last year in Britain, a nuclear plant was closed and the gov't stated it would take 90 years to decommssion.

The estimates for the cost of the nuclear disaster range from ¥25 trillion to ¥45 trillion plus. The more decades it take the higher the eventual price will increase.

Japan needs to resolve the problem of nuclear waste storage.

7 ( +9 / -1 )

"So we got it wrong, but only because we were wrong about the Iodine-131. It was 3 times higher than estimated but not to worry because it only has a half-life of 8 days."

Oh please. More than a year on and still trying to downplay the reality. If you were wrong about the Iodine, chances are you were also wrong about other far nastier isotopes too, and just how has this "information" suddenly come to light, if you didnt have the means to gather the data in the first place? Is it really 2 1/2 times more, or 10 1/2 times more? We will never know, will we?

Not trying to scaremonger, just want to know the truth. Still dont think this is it. But then, I dont think any of us would know the truth even if it did jump up and bite us now - TEPCO have blown any chance of us ever believing anything they say.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

But, before we go damning TEPCO. for their deception let's not forget the J-Gov was adiment for nearly two weeks after the quake that there was no meltdown at all. While it may only be the second largest nuclear disaster ever, it is still holding the trophy for the biggest load of BS ever released to the public.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Lies wrapped up in more lies. It's the Japanese way. Anyone who wants them to sit down at the UN Security Counsel big table with the adults should look at the NK-like secrecy and utter incompetence from the Fukushima mess.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

They will deny admitting it later. They've done it before, got away with it, so they'll do it again.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wish the article mentioned how much cesium, strontium, and plutonium was released according to the new estimate. Iodine-131 with a half life of 8 days is the least of our worries compared to those bad boys.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I bet this still isn't even close to the truth of the extent of the damage, but since TEPCO is still very much under the gun they're only going to continue letting the truth trickle out as time elapses. We'll probably NEVER hear or now about just how bad things were and are, and certainly not until after the government has forced the reactors back on and can successfully say 'shouganai'.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

so are they still frugal with the truth in relation to the contamination as it stands at present?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I will never forget seeing the images of these buffoons dumping ocean water on exploded nuclear reactors and telling us not to worry because everything is safe. That was 5 days after the quake and it seems the only thing that has not changed is... they are still buffoons.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Another layer added to the onion they know most people won't bother to peel.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You'll also more than likely find this in the low estimate.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Surprise?? News?? What a load of BS!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Like everything else in this country is hidden !!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Ted, if any plutonium was released, it would be in the milligram or microgram range, as that reactor core type does not produce plutonium and the MOX fuel on site never reached the critical heat level needed to disperse. As for Cs/Sr, only trace amounts would have been carried by the wind inland, most would have gone out to sea where it will disperse and be absorbed into the rocks at the bottom of the sea. Considering those rocks already have plenty of radioactive isotopes, the increase will not be measurable.

Another interesting fact is that neither those two nor I131 are particularly dangerous, in fact it's about the same as going outdoors without sunscreen. Beta emitters like those three and even Uranium have very low levels of gamma radiation, and the beta radiation is stopped by a simple aluminum sheet or even a bit of water. Ingestion is about the only way that it can affect you (other than medical beta- ray sources, which are in the hundreds of mSv/hour range), and everyone from the government to private citizens have been monitoring that.

As for the jumps in radiation readings, you need to understand that the levels could only be measured inland since nobody was monitoring the sea (TEPCO normally did but come tsunami, go the sensors). Very likely if you read the full report you would find that almost all the increase is in the ocean level calculations. But considering they probably used pre-quake dispersion models, and many of the undersea currents have changed since then, we will probably see another revision (likely revised down again).

As for biggest BS, you people forget that Chernobyl wasn't even disclosed until well after the fires were put out, and by then a large section of the most fertile and populated land in the USSR was heavily contaminated due to an exposed core. It's not always about how much, rather how much it affects people and population centers. That's the reason why the Bikini Atoll blasts didn't have anywhere near as much effect as the Hiroshima bombing, even though that test was about a hundred times more powerful.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

And why would any one believe this new figure they are saying? Little by little the real truth is unveiled, because they now state this or that still does not mean full disclosure, its just one more small step down the path to the real and whole truth. It maybe 20 or 50 years untill the full truth is uncovered or disclosed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“If this information had been available at the time, we could have used it in planning evacuations,” TEPCO spokesman Junichi Matsumoto told a news conference.

Does Mr Matsumoto expect the public to believe that the staff at Fukushima didn't have access to to hand held dosimeters?

The conclusion is that people should have been evacuated but were not?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

TEPCO has estimated the total amount of radioactive substances emitted measured 760,000 terabecquerels, 1.6 times the estimate released by NISA in February.

It reached a final estimate of 400,000 terabecquerels of iodine-131 and 360,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137.

The amount of cesium 137 released at Chernobyl was 85,000 terabecquerels.

One terabecquerel is equal to 1 trillion becquerels.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120523005514.htm

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Everything is just fine, just fine... don't panic everything is all right there's nothing wrong.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

the MOX fuel on site never reached the critical heat level needed to disperse.

Do you have a source for this?

Lots of articles last fall mentioned plutonium being found far(40km) from the reactors. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7e3af460-ece6-11e0-be97-00144feab49a.html

Another interesting fact is that neither those two nor I131 are particularly dangerous, in fact it's about the same as going outdoors without sunscreen. Beta emitters like those three and even Uranium have very low levels of gamma radiation, and the beta radiation is stopped by a simple aluminum sheet or even a bit of water. Ingestion is about the only way that it can affect you.

I don't think anyone ever said anything else than that Ingestion and Inhalation are the main dangers for areas further away from the reactor. You are however very incorrect in stating that those isotopes are not particularly dangerous. I am not one of those saying that we are all going to die, but the isotopes present a serious health risk depending on the dose. Not fully accepting this will only cause problems for the future.

The thing to understand here is that the unit used to measure the effective dose (Sv) already compensates for the difference between beta, alpha and gamma emitters by using different weighting factors for different types of radiation and different types of body tissue. Thus the effect of a dose of 1mSv is always the same independent of the radiation source. This is in contrast to gray (gy) which is simply one joule of ionizing energy absorbed per kilogram.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do not justify what TEPCO or the government did, but during the first several days and even weeks, TEPCO did not have the means to confirm the meltdowns. Those who watched the news at the time probably remember that they used the expressions 確認できません、確認していません, meaning "we cannot confirm" and "we have not confirmed" There are many things which will become clear from now on and a lot of data will be released based on further observation and analysis.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

most would have gone out to sea where it will disperse and be absorbed into the rocks at the bottom of the sea

That's some serious willpower there, buddy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As for the jumps in radiation readings, you need to understand that the levels could only be measured inland since nobody was monitoring the sea (TEPCO normally did but come tsunami, go the sensors)

Also thought I should comment on this.

The USS Ronald Reagan (I think) was measuring the dose out at a distance of something like a 100 nautical miles. From what I heard the numbers where kept from the public on request of the Japanese government.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Honestly, does anyone here even care what the precise numbers are? Be it 500,000 terabecquerels or 1,500,000 terabecquerels; It's still way too freaking much for our safety regardless, and that's the only fact that matters. The numbers themselves are meaningless.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Some additional information about that USS Ronald Reagan measurement.

From what I can gather it seems they measured 0.6mR direct shine at a distance of 130 miles. So that is something like an increase of 30 times background radiation. But the interesting thing here is that it is direct shine, which means it did not come from dispersed alpha,beta,gamma emitters but rather the radiation sent out directly from the broken reactor.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some additional information about that USS Ronald Reagan measurement.

From what I can gather it seems they measured 0.6mR direct shine at a distance of 130 miles. So that is something like an increase of 30 times background radiation. But the interesting thing here is that it is direct shine, which means it did not come from dispersed alpha,beta,gamma emitters but rather the radiation sent out directly from the broken reactor.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And that should of course be 0.6mR/hr

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hoserfellaMay. 25, 2012 - 08:39AM JST

Lies wrapped up in more lies. It's the Japanese way.

Hoserfella: No doubt that this TEPCO situation is the epitimy of lies wrapped up in more lies, but for someone who regularily visits a Japanese news website, you sure seem to have major issues with 'the Japanese way' in general. As if the J-Gov is the only government in the world with scandals and lies.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Here's some tritium contamination data: http://tinyurl.com/tritiumJP

And it's recap in English: http://tinyurl.com/tritiumEN

0 ( +0 / -0 )

power and cooling systems were cut off by the tsunami.

Actually it was because of inadequate safety protection systems. All companies downplay disasters, just run far away until it can be proven safe in all cases.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jumpultimatestars

Have to agree. Dangerous is dangerous and all of these numbers, calculations, and expert terminology are meaningless to the layman.

Suddenly, everyone seems an expert on this matter, judging by some of the posts above. If TEPCO got it wrong, how can I expect to believe someone who has only intorduced this new vocabulary into their life since 3/11...

Some years down the road, the full extent will become clear.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The article seems to want to reassert that all damage to Fukushima was done by the tsunami alone.

Quote: "The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which had six reactors, was hit by a series of hydrogen explosions and meltdowns after power and cooling systems were cut off by the tsunami."

And yet they say that the monitoring stations were knocked out by both the quake and the tsunami.

Quote: "Because radiation sensors closest to the plant were knocked out by the March 11, 2011 quake and the tsunami, the utility based its estimate on other monitoring posts and data collected by Japanese government agencies."

OK. Right. If this part is true, then should we not be asking for earthquake-resistant monitoring stations in Japan?

Not heard any such thing on the news yet...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

basroil

Are you working for the nuclear industry because that would explain some of the contents of your comments?

Ted, if any plutonium was released, it would be in the milligram or microgram range, as that reactor core type does not produce plutonium and the MOX fuel on site never reached the critical heat level needed to disperse.

The No1-No3 reactors at the time of the 3/11 disaster were fully functioning and running at max power. The No3 reactor contained about 30 MOX fuel assemblies, and TEPCO have stated that the No3 spent fuel pool contained no MOX fuel. While I agree that the amount of plutonium "discovered" was small in mass, what is of interest is the distance from the plant that it was discovered, indicating the No3 explosion was very powerful.

As for Cs/Sr, only trace amounts would have been carried by the wind inland, most would have gone out to sea where it will disperse and be absorbed into the rocks at the bottom of the sea. Considering those rocks already have plenty of radioactive isotopes, the increase will not be measurable.

Only "trace amounts" would contradict all the evidence, radiation charts and facts presented by the government, TEPCO, atomic safety agencies, and other interested groups.Last year, the Ministry of Science stated an estimated 10,000 sq km of land had been contaminated with more than 20% contaminated above 20 microsieverts per year. While I would agree, the country was fortunate that so much radiation released went out to sea but sufficient levels went inland to make major contamination, and produce numerous hot spots with levels above 10 microsieverts per hour. A number of people including a small number of children were contaminated internally.

Scientists have measured the radiation which went out to sea. The seabed next to the NPP is also contaminated which TEPCO is currently covering it with a mixture of concrete and clay.

As for biggest BS, you people forget that Chernobyl wasn't even disclosed until well after the fires were put out,

That's not correct, because I watched it on the TV.

That's the reason why the Bikini Atoll blasts didn't have anywhere near as much effect as the Hiroshima bombing, even though that test was about a hundred times more powerful.

Tens of military people stationed at the Bikini Atoll and other stations for atomic bomb testing developed radiation cancers and they or their families have been seeking compensation.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Thanks for the those comparison figures Zichi. So in terms of cesium, this one was worse than Chernobyl? Scary thought.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hoserfella: No doubt that this TEPCO situation is the epitimy of lies wrapped up in more lies, but for someone who regularily visits a Japanese news website, you sure seem to have major issues with 'the Japanese way' in general. As if the J-Gov is the only government in the world with scandals and lies.

Tahoochi -As you point out this is a Japanese news website, and for the time being Japan is where I live, so whats your point? (bland enough, mods?? Good god, you must be deleting 90% of all posts if you deleted my last innocuous effort)

3 ( +4 / -2 )

So, if the entire Pacific ocean will be radioactive, how long can we safely swim each day?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ahh...who cares now?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If you lived in Japan for any length of time, you know the famous Japanese frontal facade. But deep down, you also suspect that that is all it is, just a facade. That is why so many foreigners left immediately after the blast of the TEPCO power plant. You know the Japanese government and TEPCO will deny the seriousness of the event. They can't cover up what is obvious, but they can mislead, evade, or omit the truth from the public. Decades from now, you'll see a spike in cancer and other health problems because of expose to radiation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

From TEPCO's Press Release

TEPCO has come up with the latest estimate of the radioactive materials released from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, and it is higher than everyone else's, at 900,000 terabequerels (iodine-131 equivalence) for the month of March, 2011.

Iodine 131: 500,000 terabequerels Cesium 134: 10,000 terabecquerels Cesium 137: 10,000 terabequerels

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2012/1204659_1870.html

also from TEPCO, "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause!"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The place is spewing radiation. Any punishment for thuggery going on here? The average Joe doesn't pay a bill and their wages are garnished.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you lived in Japan for any length of time, you know the famous Japanese frontal facade. But deep down, you also suspect that that is all it is, just a facade. That is why so many foreigners left immediately after the blast of the TEPCO power plant. You know the Japanese government and TEPCO will deny the seriousness of the event. They can't cover up what is obvious, but they can mislead, evade, or omit the truth from the public. Decades from now, you'll see a spike in cancer and other health problems because of expose to radiation.

I thought the fleeing foreigners were leaving because they were scared to death. Even people who had lived in Japan for decades... leaving friends and loved ones behind.

I went out to Japan as soon as I could to show support for my ex and her family.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thunderbird2,

I never moved an inch, didn't even think about deserting my family and friends in their deepest hour of need!

1 ( +4 / -2 )

with the time admits TEPCO the true

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People can't be surprised about this news.

TEPCO knew the whole time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi... I never said everyone left... just those people who read the BBC and other western media reports which proclaimed end of the world scenarios with every report and fled in panic. I know a lot of people stayed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Looks like there might be more problems. There has just been a big report on Newstation that the rods in reactor no.4 at Fukushima are in grave danger of a meltdown. The building looks in a shocking state and apparently one fairly big earthquake would be enough to cause huge problems. It was very worried experts and an insider whistleblower vs. the government and TEPCO (their spokesman: "can't guarantee it's 100% safe, but don't worry!")

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thunderbird2 In fact a large number of foreigners did flee, mostly Americans and Europeans, maybe 500,000 people. I don't think the Japanese thought much of them. But many more stayed and some even went to the disaster areas to help out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Billyshears,

Looks like there might be more problems. There has just been a big report on Newstation that the rods in reactor no.4 at Fukushima are in grave danger of a meltdown. The building looks in a shocking state and apparently one fairly big earthquake would be enough to cause huge problems. It was very worried experts and an insider whistleblower vs. the government and TEPCO (their spokesman: "can't guarantee it's 100% safe, but don't worry!")

Don't know we're you got your info from? The No4 reactor was empty of nuclear fuel assemblies, prior to the 3/11 disaster and was being refuelled at the time. There was some major concern with the spent fuel but the situation is under control.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@zichi,

There has been lots of internet buzz lately about the fuel pool of reactor 4. I think the buzz basically started with the letter from Senator Ron Wyden after his visit to Fukushima.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

TEPCO has consistently provided low estimates and then raised them quietly later. basroil "brought to you as a public service by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy" perhaps? They found strontium in Yokohama. They refused to look for plutonium anywhere outside Fukushima Prefecture but they did find it there.

Tonight (May the 25th) Furutachi at Hōdō Station did a piece on the #4 fuel pond. They have firmed up the underbelly to some extent but some people in the field believe it's still quite a dangerous situation and call for removal of the fuel to be expedited.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SquidBert

I have seen those reports and articles on the No4 spent fuel pool. Written by propagandists claiming the end of Japan or other world. Worse kind of stories which spread like those chain letters that use to happen.

The articles claim the pool is not level, the building is tilted and the pool is about to collapse with its contents of 1500 spent fuel assemblies.

TEPCO have shown the pool is level and the building is not tilted. The spend pool has been proped up with steel and concrete.

Since 3/11, there have been more than 6,000 quakes, and more than 1,000 stronger than mag 5. The spent pool has not collapsed.

Having said all that, I still believe the spent pool remains of serious concern but TEPCO have stated it can't remove the fuel until 2014?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am greatfull to the posters on this site who appear to be more informed towards the truth then TEPCO is willing to divulge. However their reports do not put my mind at ease, my concerns for the health and well being of family in Japan is ever more fearfull.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Officials expect it will take up to 30 years to decommission the Fukushima reactors

and tepco still plan to trade their way out of this mess ??

power will probably need to be put up to 50yen / kWh (for business too, not just the mugs like you and me) to even start to cover this mess

nuke is sooo cheap, and sooo safe in Japan... pull your head out

remove the current monopoly on power asap

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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