Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fukushima: Sea radiation levels triple Tepco estimates - 10th Sept 2011

Radioactive material released into the sea in the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis is more than triple the amount estimated by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power, Japanese researchers say.

Japan's biggest utility estimated approximately 4,720 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 and iodine-131 were released into the Pacific Ocean between March 21 and April 30, but researchers at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency put the amount at 15,000 trillion becquerels, or terabecquerels. Government regulations ban shipment of foodstuff containing more than 500 becquerels of radioactive material per kilogram.

Takuya Kobayashi , a researcher at the agency, said Friday the difference in figures was probably because his team measured airborne radioactive material that fell into the ocean in addition to material from contaminated water that leaked from the plant. He believed Tepco excluded radiation that originally came from airborne material. The report does not include cesium-134, as the research group initially lacked resources to measure it, meaning the amount of estimated radioactive material will increase with further calculations. Read More