As I'm writing I come across all kinds of interesting tidbits. Here is one from an excellent essay that was published last year:
Fujioka Atsushi. 2011. Understanding the Ongoing Nuclear disaster in Fukushima: A ‘Two-Headed Dragon’ Descends into the Earth’s Biosphere. Michael K. Bourdaghs trans. Asia Pacific Journal Journal Vol 9, Issue 37 No 3, September 12, 2011.http://japanfocus.org/-Fujioka-Atsushi/3599
[Excerpt] "a typical million-kilowatt class nuclear reactor will produce in a single day of operation as much “deadly ash” (spent nuclear fuel) as three explosions of a Hiroshima-class bomb. This means that in a year of operation, a typical reactor produces as much “deadly ash” as a thousand Hiroshima-class detonations. Each day, today’s nuclear reactors use as much energy as it would have taken to detonate three Hiroshima-class bombs to heat large amounts of water and drive enormous electricity generators...."
Majia Here: Prof. Atsushi also notes that the amount of fuel residing at the Fukushima plant is "roughly ten times the amount of nuclear fuel that was involved in Chernobyl. . . This means that the Fukushima plants holds [sic] an accumulated total radiation equivalent to 138 times the amount that leaked from the Chernobyl plant..."
Majia here: Another estimate provided by a different Japanese academic looks at the amount of cesium-137 released:
Professor Hiroaki Koide, Nuclear Reactor Specialist and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute stated that the Japanese government report submitted to the IAEA quantified the radiation released by the explosions of March 2011 at 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 alone.
This figure did not include other radionuclides, nor did it include radionuclides released into the ocean. Yet, it amounted to 170 times the amount of cesium-137 released by the Hiroshima explosion (Hiroshima was 89 terabecquerels of cesium-137).
Archive Footage of the NYC Press Conference May 4th 2012.” Cinema Forum Fukushima: Available: http://cinemaforumfukushima.org/2012/05/06/archive-footage-of-the-nyc-press-conference-may-4th-2012/On May 4, 2012.
OF COURSE, THE ESTIMATES KEEP CHANGING:
TEPCO's post-mortem shows No. 2 reactor main source of radiation may 25 2012
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. has come up with a new mind-boggling figure to explain the amount of radiation that spewed in the three weeks following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.
It is 900 quadrillion becquerels: That's 17 zeros (a quadrillion is one thousand trillion).
The latest figure, announced May 24, reflects findings by TEPCO a little more than a year after the crisis triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake...."
Majia here: BUT NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE CALCULATIONS for EMISSIONS CHANGE, THEY ARE ALWAYS REPRESENTED AS LESS THAN CHERNOBYL WHEN REPORTED IN THE MAINSTREAM PRESS.
How can that be when Fukushima has leaked for 15 plus months and involved 4 reactors, while Chernobyl emitted for 10 days from 1 reactor?
Fukushima has much more fuel than Chernobyl did.
Tepco is saying that only a small fraction of the fuel at Fuukushima has been released.
After watching the Tepco webcam for over a year, I'm not buying that story.
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