Cleanup sent 1 trillion becquerels of cesium into atmosphere last summer: Tepco

JIJI

Up to 1.12 trillion becquerels of cesium was dispersed last summer as debris was removed from the battered building of reactor 3 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, with tainted rice later being found in Miniamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, according to Tokyo Electric.

Last Aug. 19, radiation-tainted dirt and dust was stirred up while the debris was removed from the unit, which was gutted by an explosion during the March 2011 meltdown crisis, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday at a review meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

By Tepco’s estimate, up to 280 billion becquerels per hour of radiation were released into the environment over four hours. That’s 2,800 times the 10 billion becquerels per hour usually discharged from buildings at the crippled plant.

The work set off an warning alarm for airborne radiation at the plant and the cesium-tainted rice was found in paddies about 20 km north of the plant.

A southeast wind was blowing at the time of the removal work.

Tepco claims it was still not known whether the rice contamination had a causal connection with the work.

  • JTCommentor

    “Tepco has claimed it was still not known whether the contamination had a causal connection with the work.”

    Nice way to avoid responsibility. Whats the other option – strange coincidence? Maybe the radioactivity came from Godzilla?

    Really, it would be very difficult if not impossible to “know” whether A caused B, thats a basis of scientific theory – cannot be proven, only ever best theory at a given time. Leveraging that, Tepco can go on avoiding responsibility forever, waiting for evidence to prove it so they “know”. Like one of the radioactive particles admitting it, or being caught on film flying up to the rice paddies.

    • Steve Novosel

      “Nice way to avoid responsibility. Whats the other option – strange coincidence?”

      You’re misreading this. There was radioactive material released, there was contaminated rice found. When was the rice contaminated? This seems to imply that it’s not known when the contamination occurred. If it occurred after the release then of course it’s likely that the events are related. But perhaps it’s not known.