EU-funded Research: Fukushima atmospheric release of 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 used as upper bound in simulation — Chernobyl estimated at 70 to 85 quadrillion

Published: September 23rd, 2013 at 5:45 pm ET


Title: Modelling the global atmospheric transport and deposition of radionuclides from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident
Source:  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Authors: T. Christoudias and J. Lelieveld
Date: 2013
Emphasis Added

We modeled the global atmospheric dispersion and deposition of radionuclides released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant accident. […]

We obtained good agreement with measurements of 133Xe, at both T255 and T106 resolution. The comparison for 137Cs is less favorable, though not systematically biased based on the 137Cs emission estimate of 36.7 (20.1–53.1) PBq [petabecquerels (quadrillion becquerels)] by Stohl et al. (2012). This is equivalent to somewhat less than half the 137Cs source by Chernobyl (85 PBq, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (2006)). The estimate of 13 PBq by Chino et al. (2011) (revised to 8.8 PBq by Terada et al. (2012) and confirmed as a lower bound of 12 PBq by Winiarek et al. (2012), with an upper bound of 210 PBq, was also included in our comparison.

[…] Although the prevailing wind direction during the accident was in easterly direction, some of the atmospheric radioactivity was transported toward the west and southwest, and deposited in Japan and to a lesser extent reached the Philippines. Based on the above mentioned emission estimates, we calculated that an area of Japan of 34,000 km2 was contaminated by more than 40 kBqm−2 of 137Cs and 131I, to which 9.4 million people were exposed. Our model results indicate that a surface area of 60,000 km2 received a total deposition greater than 10 kBqm−2, a region inhabited by 46 million people.

[…] The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.

Nuclear Energy Agency’s 2002 assessment of the Chernobyl disaster: The total 137Cs release was estimated to be 70 petabecquerels (PBq)

See also: [intlink id=”fukushima-worst-nuclear-disaster-history-reveals-study-one-day-releases-japan-plant-100-quadrillion” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: September 23rd, 2013 at 5:45 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Study: Daily release from Fukushima of 100+ Quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 early on in crisis “seems reasonable” — Chernobyl total release was ~70 Quadrillion Bq of cs-137 February 19, 2014
  2. Japan Gov’t-funded Study: Fukushima has released up to 120 Quadrillion becquerels of radioactive cesium into North Pacific Ocean — Does not include amounts that fell on land — Exceeds Chernobyl total, which accounts for releases deposited on land AND ocean (MAP) June 30, 2014
  3. Nuclear Engineer: Estimated 276 quadrillion Bq of Cs-137 entered Fukushima basements — Triple Chernobyl total release — A portion “has already made its way to aquifer, whence it can easily flow into sea” August 26, 2013
  4. Russian Study: Fukushima released 100 quadrillion becquerels of cesium into atmosphere… In just ONE day — About equal to Chernobyl’s total release August 29, 2013
  5. Marine Chemist in Jan. 2014: Latest numbers I have are Fukushima has released 80 Quadrillion Bq of cesium-137 (Chernobyl estimated at 70 Quadrillion) — “The radioactive plume itself has actually arrived… it’s already here” on west coast of N. America (AUDIO) January 21, 2014

37 comments to EU-funded Research: Fukushima atmospheric release of 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 used as upper bound in simulation — Chernobyl estimated at 70 to 85 quadrillion

  • or-well

    See this in the paper
    or on the news?
    With Journos explaining?
    To you-know-whos?
    Uh uh.
    Ha ha.
    Once numbers reach squillions
    it's out go the lights!
    Lets hear from NASA –
    they give good "Science Lite"!
    We'll just set aside talk
    that might give people frights.
    How's that trip to Mars
    going to work out?

    • jo

      The EU research cited is titled "global" but it only refers to Japan and the Pacific Ocean. They speculate the Ocean got 80% of the rad-isotopes offshore from Fuku. I suspect it was more like 90%.
      Nothing "global" about this report.

  • markww markww

    Humankind’s Most Dangerous Moment: Fukushima Fuel Pool at Unit 4. “This is an Issue of Human Survival.”


    • Gasser Gasser

      Now scientist say man is made outta Plutonium mud
A radioactive man's just contaminated muscle and blood
Cesium muscle and blood and skinny to the bones
A mind that's weakened and a back that growns

      You remove sixteen fuel rods, what do you get
Another day contaminated and deeper in sweat

      Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go

      I owe my soul to melted Corium's that won't show

      I was born one mornin' when the Corms did shine

      I picked up my shovel and I walked there with no mind
I unloaded sixteen tons of fuel reactor rods
And the Yakuza boss said "Well, I just beat the odds"

      You unload sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day radiated and wetter in sweat

      Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the Yakuza for my money flow

      I woke up one mornin', it was drizzlin' radioactive rain
Frightened and troubled as they called my name
I was raised on a hook by a big mutha' crane 

      Then a Yakuza boss made me tie a fuel pool line

      You unload sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day polluted as you Cesium sweat
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
      I'm too freaking polluted and faith to damn low

      If you see me glown', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died

      One fist of Americium, the other of Neptunium
If the right one don't contaminate you
      Then the left one will

      You unload sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in…

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      I hope all Enenewers sign this petition. Not sure if it will do any good but at least we can make our position concerning this nuclear disaster known to the PTB. Thanks for posing makww.

    • bsgcic bsgcic

      markww – that is a really good summary of the situation. They should post that to

  • ftlt

    And it is still wide open and a huge continuing threat..

    At least, the Soviet Union aggressively attacked the problem and did its best to limit the on going releases..

    At FUFU this may never have possible given the location of the reactors on the ocean and the extent of the other earthquake and tidal wave damage the country was confronted with…

    The biggest crime of all remains that the world did and continues not to step forward to aid Japan with global disaster…

    The IAEA is wholly discredited now… They are exposed hack for hire fools of the Empire that they are now – They call themselves "Scientists" HAHAHAHAHA

  • or-well

    It's the becquerel sweeps!
    We're playing for keeps!
    Forget tera and peta,
    those puny leaks,
    we got the numbers
    to give ya the creeps!
    There's zetta and yotta –
    that's a whole lotta –
    and after that,
    well, it prob'ly won't matter –
    they don't give out prizes
    when those records are shattered.

  • MichaelV MichaelV

    Subject: The World Community Must Take Charge at Fukushima


    The danger of huge radiation releases from Fukushima 4 has taken on a new dimension; the world community must step in!

    That's why I signed a petition to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations and Barack Obama, President, United States of America, which says:

    "At Fukushima Unit 4, the impending removal of hugely radioactive spent fuel rods from a pool 100 feet in the air presents unparalleled scientific and engineering challenges. With the potential for 15,000 times more fallout than was released at Hiroshima, we ask the world community, through the United Nations, to take control of this uniquely perilous task."

    Will you sign this petition? Click here:


  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    I wonder what the time frame is for that map?

    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      …1 month….and Cs numbers are assuming that Fuku releases of Cs were less than half of Chernobyl….and the paper admits that estimates are underestimated by perhaps a factor of 5.

  • Jebus Jebus

    please note, they are fuckin with ya in this article…

    Petabecquerel (PBq) is a SI-multiple (see prefix Peta) of a derived metric measurement unit of radioactivity.

    1 petabecquerel = 1.0 × 10+15 becquerels
    1 PBq = 1.0 × 10+15 Bq
    1 petabecquerel = 1 000 000 000 000 kilobecquerels
    1 PBq = 1 000 000 000 000 kBq
    1 petabecquerel = 1 000 000 000 megabecquerels
    1 PBq = 1 000 000 000 MBq
    1 petabecquerel = 1 000 000 gigabecquerels
    1 PBq = 1 000 000 GBq
    1 petabecquerel = 1 000 terabecquerels
    1 PBq = 1 000 TBq
    1 petabecquerel = 27 000 000 000 microcuries
    1 PBq = 27 000 000 000 μCi
    1 petabecquerel = 27 000 curies
    1 PBq = 27 000 Ci

    This was just the initial airborne releases…

    Now add the corium water flowing into the sea at 60 billion becquerels a day for over 900 days…
    A completely different uncharted scenario than Chernobyl…

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      I think you meant to say:

      1 petabecquerel = 1.0 × 10^15 becquerels
      1 PBq = 1.0 × 10^15 Bq

      • Jebus Jebus

        I'm no math wiz anne, that was ripped right from that link…

        My point is that they are pitching the contrasting numbers so fast and furious now, that no one can keep up…

        Bottom line, it's worse than Chernobyl in a unique way because of the ocean contamination…

        • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

          I have not seen even one argument against fuku being the single largest noble gas release in the history of… well? history. at least 2.5 times chernobyl. Isn't this large release of noble gas indicative of something?

          So, I think there is sneaky unknowns and incomparables, like apples to oranges, both are fruit but very different.

          We get so lost in Cesium as most of us do not spend time knowing there are hundreds of other by the past, we always relied on our scientists to keep humanity safe. I guess we know better now, eh? Scientists seem like they just may have done irreparable harm to our planet and species, time for a hippocratic oath for the field.

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            Like the Doctors who are now ripping our GDP apart? Not hardly..

          • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

            cataclysmic, there is an engineers oath that says they will do everything for safety and be careful not to harm.

            I actually believed science would be mankind's savior, now I know it was the planets destruction. Talk about epic failures!

            Any and all engineers who promote nuclear should not be allowed to practice engineering and are in the wrong field. Its a true statement because they played with the deadliest of fire with hubris and millions died from it

            • unincredulous unincredulous

              With all that radiation in the ocean, and the phytoplankton and zooplankton eating it up; the damage to the DNA of those tiny creatures may be what kills us all, or many of us.

              They talk about bio-accumulation, and that eventually we will eat it. They say that's the problem. Back up a minute. Say that 1/6 of these tiny creatures die, well that is 1/6 of the base of the food chain gone. That means that 1/6 of the top of food chain dies, too, doesn't it?

              I just hate to think about it, but in layman's terms, this sucks.

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            Cataclysmic, here's a partial answer to your question.


        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Just a scientific notation thingie.

          • HoTaters HoTaters

            ^ denoting an exponent (something raised to a power of something).

            100 * 10^5 =

            100 * 10 to the 5th power.

            Or 100 * (10*10*10*10*10)

            At least that's what they were using in computer formulae the last time I checked. (Also no math whiz.)

  • razzz razzz

    Aren't we all lucky? The report says 80% of the fallout from Daiichi fell into the Pacific. You can see why some would say Chernobyl was worse as its fallout fell on the immediate and nearby surrounding landmasses as its reactor fire raged for 10 days.

    If they combined fallout patterns with local weather events maybe they could come up with hotspots (the concentrations of fallout during rain, snow, etc., events.

    While Daiichi continues to spew fallout, they will have to raise background levels again.

    For 3 months after 3/11, the Japanese government claimed there were no meltdowns and later in December of that same year congratulated themselves on cold shutdowns (without containment).

  • or-well

    Detain this –
    O warrior of drones
    and bomber of homes –
    there's plutonium particles
    seeking YOUR bones!
    Try and disappear THAT
    with Wall Street ass-kissing
    and war-machine funding!
    Go huddle in red, white and blue
    Empire bunting
    and wonder why your
    Bankster mentors went missing
    when your dying daughters
    for the last time you're kissing!
    Too mild or too subtle
    for slick Yes We can?
    How 'bout NUCLEAR DEATH
    is stalking your land!
    And it doesn't care
    if you're rich or you're POTUS!
    But you don't care either
    'cause that's not your focus,
    it's of spin hocus-pocus
    that you take notice.
    Keep donations coming
    and cops protesters stunning,
    keep media dumbing
    the populace meek,
    keep nuke issues hidden
    when power and influence
    is what you seek.
    Wrap your head around this,
    O Nobel Prize winner –
    when those that you care for
    just keep getting thinner,
    nuke industry profits
    won't help those who sicken
    or DU munitions
    the bloody orifice stricken!

  • We Not They Finally

    Oh, and this was all released "yesterday," and now today, there is nothing more to come?

    And plutonium isn't even up there at all?

    Etc., etc., etc.?

    Is anyone giving the full picture ANYWHERE?

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Some "beautiful" poetry in these pages. And people wonder why people seek refuge in Religion.

    The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.…

    Better, huh? I am not a Bible thumper, but it looks better all the time….

    Lately the local paper has many "humanists" writing about how humanism is so much better than religion. "Humanists are people helping people," they wrote. Yeah. Right. Makes me want to go to church. I don't remember asking to be taxed to give bankers trillions of dollars. I don't recall asking for 1947395639583465968585859484743789494848494948848 gallons of radioactive dog doo doo either. I don't remember anything at all.

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Do you think Spongebob goes to church?