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Fukushima Radiation Release Rivals Chernobyl

Despite media spin downplaying severity of crisis, Fukushima is likely to be a worse catastrophe than 1986 disaster

 

The radiation released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant already rivals and in one sense exceeds the Chernobyl catastrophe according to Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, even as media spin downplays the severity of the crisis despite the fact that the problems at the plant show no signs of abating.

“The release of two types of radioactive particles in the first 3-4 days of Japan’s nuclear crisis is estimated to have reached 20-50 percent of the amounts from Chernobyl in 10 days, an Austrian expert said on Wednesday,” reports Reuters.

Iodine-131 released in the first 3-4 days of the crisis was about 20 percent of that released from Chernobyl during a ten-day period, whereas the amount of Caesium-137 released amounted to about 50 percent, according to the institute’s Dr Gerhard Wotawa.

Despite the fact that the story appears under the euphemistic Reuters headline, Japan radiation release lower than Chernobyl, as Tyler Durden points out, when you consider the fact that the amount of Caesium-137 released at Fukushima in the first 3-4 days of the crisis amounted to 50% that released by Chernobyl over 10 days, the real run rate of the radiation released at Fukushima is now about 120-150% the figure released by the Chernobyl explosion – and that’s not even factoring in ongoing radiation leaks from Fukushima, which many experts have estimated could go on for much longer.

As the New York Times reported, “Experts….suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months.” Even if Fukushima technicians manage to stop radiation leakage after one month, estimated Caesium-137 emissions would be at least 500 percent more than those released by Chernobyl, whereas iodine-131 levels could be 200 percent worse.

A further complication is the fact that we don’t even know how much if any plutonium emissions have leaked from Fukushima reactor number 3, which runs on MOX or Mixed Oxide fuel, a mixture of plutonium and uranium. Plutonium is the most deadly radioactive isotope known to man, and MOX is two million times more deadly than normal enriched uranium. The Half-life of Plutonium-239 in MOX is 24,000 years and just a few milligrams of P-239 escaping in a smoke plume will contaminate soil for tens of thousands of years.

In the case of Chernobyl, the vast majority of the plutonium was not released during the explosion and subsequent fire. Japanese authorities and the establishment media seem reticent to even discuss the potential release of plutonium from reactor number 3 at Fukushima.



“The fact that radiation releases are approaching the level they did in Chernobyl is a cause for concern, a sign of the severity of the accident that’s already taken place,” said Edwin Lyman, senior scientist at the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, especially given the way Chernobyl exploded.”

The only two factors that have really prevented the Fukushima crisis from becoming as severe as Chernobyl thus far are firstly that, unlike in the case of Chernobyl, residents within the exclusion zone were quickly evacuated, and secondly, most of the radiation from Fukushima has been dispersed over the Pacific Ocean, whereas Chernobyl fallout blanketed the land mass of Europe.

However, at least with Chernobyl the full impact of the disaster was known and its threat was able to be quantified quickly. Fukushima has been burning for 2 weeks and shows no sign of abating. Given the fact that one type of radiation reached 20% and the other over 50% of Chernobyl within days, Fukushima is on course to be worse than the 1986 disaster in the long term.

As Tyler Durden asks, “How soon until the first indications of radiation poisoning start appearing. Somehow we are confident we will not find out until years from now when all the truth surrounding this incident is finally declassified.”

Indeed, despite UN and World Health Organization studies that claim Chernobyl led to a maximum of 9,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of radiation sickness, more contemporary studies have shown that nearly a million people have been killed from cancers caused by the disaster over the course of the last 25 years.

If radiation releases from Fukushima are being underreported by authorities, as they were with Chernobyl, and a heap of evidence suggests they are, then we won’t know the full impact of the disaster until decades have passed.

Despite the massive threat Fukushima poses to the food supply, as the U.S. and other countries ban dairy and vegetable imports from farms contaminated by the radiation release, U.S. health authorities and the EPA are still insisting that Americans should not take potassium iodide, even at weaker levels, despite the fact that it is known to protect against thyroid cancer by blocking the absorption of radioactive iodine.

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7 Responses

  1. […] radiation released by the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant already exceeds the Chernobyl catastrophe according to Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and […]

  2. The numbers cited are completely ludicrous. They suggest that the Fukushima accident released radioactive materials at a faster rate than the Chernobyl accident during the first days of the accident. There is no way they can be correct if you compare the mechanisms of the two accidents (hint: the latter one was and still is infinitely more dangerous).

    Consider the fact that the radiation release at Fukushima during the first 3-4 days consisted solely of vented water vapor with trace amounts of fission products such as Iodine-131 (half-life 8 days) and Cs-137 (30 years). The amount per time unit likely increased when the reactors sustained additional damage due to pressure problems and hydrogen explosions and the spent fuel pools emptied. However, there has been no word of failure of the pressure vessels (the innermost part with the actual nuclear fuel). This sort of damage would be the only explanation for the cited numbers.

    The radiation amounts detected at the nuclear plant during the 3-4 first days do not support this theory. They were, while considerably elevated, still not really dangerous and definitely not deadly. They have unfortunately risen massively since then and are now on average somewhat dangerous but still not deadly unless one spends several days in a row at the plant (this doesn’t apply even to the workers, who are obviously on a constant rotation to minimize radiation exposure).

    This pales in comparison to what happened at Chernobyl where the pressure vessel was burst open in an explosion and the nuclear fuel was completely exposed without any shielding remaining. The graphite burned for days, spreading the nastiness everywhere within a few thousand miles. The contamination is considerable in many countries in Europe and will remain so for several decades.

    In contrast to the state of Fukushima during the first few days, the radiation amounts in the vicinity of the Chernobyl plant were absolutely, positively deadly (I heard a story about some poor fellow who noticed that he had gotten a nice tan in just a few minutes’ timeframe. He subsequently got sick and died). You would get a lethal amount of radiation for spending just 10 minutes near the power plant – and this applies even today if you force your way inside the containment building.

    This is the sort of difference that suggests that the results cited can’t possibly be correct unless the Japanese have been able to fool everyone completely about the initial days of the disaster. Had this been the case, we should already have detected it.

  3. Each one of us feels the truth or lack of the truth whenever we read or hear anything. The unease that we feel when we hear an untruth is compounded by the knowledge that we are being lied to. Personally, I feel more calm when governments report the truth as it then resonates with what I already knew deep in my soul. – Maria Caterina Rosenfeld

  4. Vince. I thank GOD that I stopped wasting my time with the ‘S’cientists at whatsupwiththat (by sharing with them that it was THEY who allowed such useful idiots like Darwin and the ‘piltdown man’ guys to rule with Gaia instituting Science as a Religion of Indoctrination which culminated (thus far) with us being ‘Gored’ by Climate Change/Global Warming or whatever ‘they’ contrive for us next.

    Thanks for being an integral part in my seeing that not ALL humans are dolts in the hands of the Pharisees.

    Keep up the great research, Vince.

    Cynthia Lauren

  5. Maria. You are absolutely correct. What you said echoes in my heart and soul as well.

    check out this web site for ‘3’ comments on the Truth.
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/03/21/japan-the-solution-to-the-blown-reactors/

    Pray and May God continue to bless You.

    Cynthia Lauren

  6. 1st, RE: Nymo Amonys and his position:

    All that Nymo Amonys said sure seems like official disinformation straight from the propaganda officials!

    When one refutes absolutely everything without any references stating facts that can be verified a thinking person can deduce they are being lead astray much more often than not.

    FACTS: With 4 to 6 reactors out of control for weeks now, in various stages of meltdown, NONE CONTAINED, MUCH LESS SEALED, as well as at least 4 cooling ponds extremely inappropriately placed in the first place, and worst of all very insecure to this day and likely at least 4 of them still venting ever more radiation from well over 100 tons of spent fuel rods in them, at least partially exposed (out of the water) that have been exposed and still likely are exposed to the raw atmosphere, or at least many of them

    Then toss in the fires, the explosions, all the full breeches, ect.

    OMG.

    YES, This will ALMOST CERTAINLY make Chernobyl pale by any and every comparison before this ends. By enormous leaps and bounds.

    Fact: But at least it’s on the coastline and much of the radiation will end up over and in the ocean. Yet there lays another first, and many unknowns still to be seen. But yes, at least some will scatter and dissipate, much posing the least harm, just like many hundreds of above ground nuclear tests did decades ago. So that’s the only “good” news yet that too contains many unknowns…

    I fully believe but cannot prove that the article is much closer to the truth and that the 1st post below the article by Nymo Amonys is wishful thinking at best. But most likely it’s an attempt of well placed propaganda by officials, or so it would seem. Either that or by a complete fool, or maybe an incompetent self thought of expert, maybe with a undeserved PhD at that!

    In Conclusion:

    People in Japan that are near, or downwind of the reactors ALL need to flee, relocate, get far away, where radiation levels are absolutely safe, and NOT DOWN WIND period! And for a VERY long time, to be absolutely certain they are safe, AT LEAST UNTIL THESE REACTORS AND COOLING PONDS ARE FULLY SECURED, MEANING SEALED WITH CONCRETE for the Reactors, and the ponds at the least fully covered as well as fully flooded over every last spend fuel rod.

    Lastly, any one that dares to come along and try to play down these dangers to any of these people should be, in the future, held dully accountable as accessories after the fact by a jury of the victims families!

    The wealthy and anyone else that could afford to have already fled and for extremely sound reasoning. Now the government of Japan needs to step in and as calmly and quickly as possible do everything humanly possible to first get all their people out of harms way. Or their in full breech of what would be expected of them.

    Me: I almost never post anything, nor almost never reply to any posts. In fact this is only my 3rd post anywhere online, in over 19 long years of being “online”.

    So maybe it would be wise to reflect on that alone as to the seriousness of all this I have stated because I for one cringe when I think of the notion that there are going to be millions of victims over the next 30+ years because of this crisis due to the inaction of officials to secure all it’s people’s as fast and calmly as possible, meaning relocation of MANY! At least the U.S.S. R. did that ASAP.

    Best Wishes to all of Japan,

    Anon.

  7. Anon,

    Your post is full of non-facts.

    3 reactors were completely defueled, and by nature cannot be ‘out of control’. There is NO fuel to be out of control. So one of your first statements is completely false. 3 out of 6 reactors were empty. Oops.

    Your statement “none contained” is certainly not factual. No core has been determined definately breached, let alone all 3. Pressure has been stable in 2 of 3, and has risen in 1 of three. This is not indicitive of a breach.

    Please show me your source for “this will almost certainly make chernobyl pale”. If that isn’t wishful thinking for worst-case scenario, I don’t know what is.

    Don’t downplay the problem, but in your case, don’t upplay them either. State facts, not conjecture or speculation.

    I found very few facts in your post.

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