Radioactive cesium-137 released from Fukushima 1.5 times Tepco estimate: study


The total amount of radioactive cesium-137 released into the atmosphere and seawater from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is estimated at between 17,500 and 20,500 terabecquerels, a study by a Japanese research team showed Friday.

The team’s finding on the cumulative amount of cesium-137 is nearly 1.5 times more than the estimate by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. of less than 13,600 terabecquerels.

The team announced its findings on cesium-137 during an academic session of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna on geoscience processes related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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

Scientists are trying to detect the levels of radioactive cesium due to its potential, long-term risks to the land and sea. Cesium-137, which has a half-life of around 30 years, can cause cancer.

The total amount of cesium-137 differs based on researchers’ estimates but Aoyama has expressed confidence about the data his team gathered and analyzed, saying theirs is the “most probable” figure as it is based on actual measured data.

The study estimates that 14,000 to 17,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 were released into the atmosphere, while about 3,500 terabecquerels directly flowed into the ocean. A terabequerel is equal to 1 trillion bequerels.

In the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, 85,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 were released.

But in the case of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Aoyama said the release of radioactive cesium-137 has a “big impact on the ocean,” since the Fukushima nuclear complex is near the coast.

The study also found that 12,000 to 15,000 terabecquerels of the cesium-137 released into the atmosphere fell into the sea, while the remaining amount fell into the soil. Of the amount that fell on land, up to 400 terabecquerels fell on North America, while Europe was hardly affected.

  • Winslow Wilson

    There is a better way to go in life than measuring poison that’s been dumped on us by the Nuclear power industry.

    In Germany last October, Wind and Solar supplied 60% of its total electricity to the country. It was a good month and though not every month is that good it will soon become better.

    Germany is going into high gear production on their new developments. They developed a new solar panel that is 47% efficient. Before they announced their determination to phase out Nuclear power 3 years ago, the best solar panels were only at about 17 to 20% efficient. Their new ones perform well even in the worst weather. The first ones will of course go to German industry and citizens before they become available to others.

    The main thing this shows us is that “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

    They knew they couldn’t stand around saying ” It’s too hard.” once they committed to getting off of nuclear power. They had to put a move on it and move they did. I’m surprised at the Japanese people still listening to the pro-nuclear spin-doctors that tell them they will be sorry if they leave nuclear as a power source.

    At one time people here in the US thought of the Japanese society as being very innovative and many of us thought that the great innovations in alternative power would come from Japan. Unfortunately this is no longer the case since Fukushima makes Japan’s technological abilities look quite impotent to the world.

    In so far as TEPCO’s ‘Deep Apologies’ to their public, they sound so hollow and useless. Deep Apologies are as useless as their ability to do anything. Maybe you should apologize first for all of the lies in your inspection reports and then for the lies of the harmful radiation releases during the first few days of the disaster.

    If you’re really sorry then get into another industry and try and do some repair to the planet you’ve damaged. Stop with the hand-wringing and tell your spin-doctors to stop trying to convince people that nuclear is a sane way to electric power.

    I commend Germany for their courage to commit to leaving nuclear power behind and bravely going forth into the uncertain future. I have all confidence that they will succeed and not only that but lead us all to a better way on this planet.

    The future will always be uncertain. The coward will stay with the known, even if it is bad or deadly, the brave ones will refuse and rise up to find a better way.

    • Starviking

      Sorry, it wasn’t 60% of Germany’s power being supplied by wind and solar in October – it was 59.1%, at noon, on October 3rd. Big difference.

      The rest of the time Germany relies either on it’s own dirty fossil fuel plants, and other power sources, like their remaining nuclear power plants.

      As for the solar cells, first, they are not German, they are from Princeton University in the US. Second, they are not 47% efficient – they are 47% more efficient than traditional cells. Another big difference.

      I advise you to be wary of renewable spin-doctors, and if you wish to rise up and find a better way, you should hit some science and engineering books.

  • Svenja

    I wish there were more analysis in the article. It merely reports that the group announced different calculations from those already released by TEPCO, but doesn’t even attempt to hint at what data collection methods, estimation methods, or calculation methods underpin the difference. The fact that the announcement of the findings was made in Austria is much less interesting than explaining the difference in calculations. This is just another uncritical news article. I am bored stiff by it.

  • Winslow Wilson

    True, it shouldn’t have been used as a power source for cities. Of course it’s only human nature to try. That I could accept. But once we discovered all the pit falls of not being able to store the waste and the inability to stop it in an emergency, we should have woke up and realized it’s too dangerous.

    Instead the fools started dumping the waste into the Oceans of the world. Millions of tons of high and low level radioactive waste was dropped out there for 3 decades before an international law was written to stop these clowns.

    Their motto is “Profit At Any Cost.” The health of all people is a ‘Risk they are willing to take’ in order to get their profit.

    Watch out for people writing pro-nuclear articles and viewpoints. The billionaire Koch brothers own giant Uranium mines and pay individuals to write pro-nuclear viewpoints on sites like this.

    Read about their ‘dark money’ on the web and how they are being investigated and made to disclose who they are giving their money to.

    They own people and put them into political positions to do their bidding. When I say own, I mean like how a pimp will own a little tramp on the streets.

    It’s quite obvious when we look at the mainstream media in the US. There has hardly been a word about Fukushima on TV, radio or newspapers since the accident took place. The only place you could find out any news about it was on the web.

    The corporations know that the vast majority of people don’t go to the web for their news.

    Ask most people on the streets if they know that Fukushima is still pumping radioactive waste 24/7 into the Pacific. Ask them if they know that its into the billions of gallons each week. They will tell you “No” they didn’t know it. Not only that, but most likely they won’t believe you.

    This is why word of mouth to your friends and associates is necessary. Get them involved to sign petitions online to stop this insanity. A good site to go to is Move On . Org

    They are mainly responsible for bringing about the investigations onto the Koch brothers dark money.

    Call out the spin doctors when you see them online. Remember, if they’re talking pro-nuclear then most likely there is money coming their way. Otherwise they couldn’t possibly be so stupid and out of touch to the ineptness and extreme dangers of this industry.

  • Vindicated Man

    It’s amazing how quickly Fukushima stopped being an important topic with the world’s media.

    • Winslow Wilson

      Think about it. General Electric owns NBC. General Electric is heavily leveraged into the Nuclear Industry.

      Then you have Westinghouse who is also involved in Nuclear and they acquired CBS in the 1990’s.

      Then they sold CBS to Viacom with certain agreements that there would be no news reporting from Viacom that could damage Westinghouse in any way.

      These companies dictate to hundreds if not thousands of television stations and set their agenda with the broadcasters. This is one of the main reasons any real news or journalism here in the US disappeared several years ago.

      Then of course you have to take into account the arch conservative Rupert Murdoch who owns vast amounts of newspapers, magazines, radio stations and God only knows what else.

      We here in the US get what I call ‘Pablum News’ The only thing we saw about Fukushima in our Mainstream Corporate Conservative Media was pictures of Fukushima giving off smoke, a few short films of helicopters trying to cool the radioactivity with water and the story was quickly dropped after a few days.

      General Electric and Westinghouse Corporations relied heavily on Rupert to keep it all Pablum for the masses of people who get their daily spoon fed junk from mainstream media coming and not a word about Fukushima.

      Rupert definitely gets his kick back from the Corporate Giants and they all work in the ‘Good Ole Boys Club’ together.

      This is why they hate the present way the web is set up. They are currently right now trying to make a major change in the FCC, to allow two of their Cronies, Verizon and Comcast to rearrange the way you are able to access the web today.

      Certain sites that the ‘Good Ole Boys’ don’t like will be targeted for a super slow download time. Sites that they approve of will pop open immediately.

      The same will go for Political campaign sites. Quick opening for those they pick to do their bidding, and slow download time for any politician they don’t want elected.

      The Big Corporations see the web as a threat because more people are turning to it for real news and information. They plan to change all that.

      You should go to Move On . Org and join them in their effort to stop this from happening.

      Good Luck

      • Starviking

        So, it’s a conspiracy?

      • Winslow Wilson

        No it’s not a conspiracy. It’s right up front and in your face and they are laughing at you telling you you’re powerless to do anything about it.

        It’s like the NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act signed into law last year that states you, as a US citizen can now be arrested without a warrant, held in a secret prison, and never allowed a trial nor to contact a lawyer or anyone. They can keep you there forever and your Bill of Rights no longer protects you from any of this.

        It wasn’t a conspiracy, they passed it right under everyone’s nose in broad daylight and the sheeple continued chewing their cuds and said nothing.

        Look it up under NDAA clause 1021 & 1022. The giant Corporations were the main players in getting their installed congressional puppets to vote yes on this.

        Conspiracy? They don’t need to conspire. They announce out loud what they’re going to do, to whomever they don’t like and thumb their nose at you.

        I’ve told several people about the new law and they don’t believe me.

        The giant Corporations own all of the Republican side of congress and several on the Democratic side too.
        Not to mention the majority of the Supreme Court.

        When I say ‘Owned’ , I mean like when, a pimp will own a little tramp on the streets.

      • Starviking

        Ah, well no worries for me then Winslow – I’m not an American Citizen.

      • Winslow Wilson

        Lucky for you not being a US citizen right now.

        However you should realize that these Corporations that were behind the NDAA move that removed our Bill of Rights guarantee to not be arrested without a warrant, are Multi-national and International.

        This means that they have no intention of just limiting their power of domination to the U.S. alone. They are wedging their way into countries all over the globe and intend to dictate policies and guidelines of their growing empire in the coming future.

        Why support them in any way? Why be a useful idiot as many of the voters here in the US were when they put these conservative creeps into power?

        Watch out for any big Corporation that has political agenda and installs its CEO’s into Congress.

        Former president Eisenhower tried to warn the citizens about this. He said that if anything could bring down our freedoms, it would be the MIC Military Industrial Complex.

        Look at VP Cheney former CEO of Halliburton. They got all of the giant contracts to rebuild the infrastructure of Iraq. He’s a blatant example of what Eisenhower was talking about.

        An interesting bi-note. Eisenhower encouraged and passed a lot of legislation to strengthen the Unions in the US during his presidency.

        He also imposed a 30 to 35% import duty on all goods coming into the US from foreign countries.

        The Big Corporations are strongly opposed to both of these things. They hate Unions because they demand fair wages. The Corporations don’t want import duties because the majority of their cheap labor force is in foreign countries where they have moved their facilities to.

        If Eisenhower were president today, the Republicans would consider him to be an extreme Left-wing Liberal.

      • Vindicated Man

        I didn’t know they owned NBC, this ownership explains a lot to me now! I know that GE was aware of the faulty reactor design (it wasn’t reliable enough under certain outlier conditions, like earthquakes). But they were under pressure to deliver, and simply ignored the engineering drawbacks.
        The mainstream media are badly rigged these days. Interestingly, almost any piece of news can be easily verified on the web (well, at least, subjected to some no-nonsense critical thinking). But the mass media don’t seem to care. They don’t understand that there’s no way back: The ginnie (the Internet) is out of the bottle. So silencing things down, or reducing the download speeds, will create total lack of trust. Something with the way these things are regulated maybe somewhat inadequate, needing a major revision.

      • Winslow Wilson

        Yes the major revision may be underway. You can help by getting with one of the many good organizations out there to sign petitions to make the Net a public utility. There are several organizations like Move On . org or Freedom Works that are doing this.
        Type into Google Making the Net a Public Utility.

        This will keep it out of the hands of the money mongers. Comcast and Verizon just made a grab today and got to first base. But it ain’t over yet.

        GE still owns MSNBC 24-hour cable and Internet news service (co-owned by NBC and Microsoft); This is the same Microsoft that gave about 2 million to get George Bush elected.

        GE last year sold it’s holdings of NBC to Comcast but it all goes with the same agreement. Pablum news only for the public and no bad words about us AND especially no reporting on silly things like Fukushima.

        I’m fairly certain GE also owns * CNBC business news and of course that’s all about corporate agenda. You’ll never hear a word about about Fukushima there either.

        You try and tell people these things and the first thing they yell is that you’re a conspiracy theorist which is supposed to somehow invalidate the truth.

  • Starviking

    The problem is Patrick, that efficiency and cost are linked, so whatever your viewpoint on nuclear power, you should be concerned about efficiency. As for pros and cons, you are obviously anti-nuclear, so really there’s no point in continuing the discussion.