Top scientists refute Japan gov’t: “Copious quantities” of radioactivity leaked from Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — A “significant part” of overall cesium release

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 12:53 pm ET
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STOCKHOLM, Oct. 25 — A new Fukushima study appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics “suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137,” reports Nature.com‘s Geoff Brumfiel.

The study says the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool released “copious quantities” of caesium-137.

Japanese officials have maintained that “virtually” no radioactivity leaked from the pool.

Yet the model by Andreas Stohl’s, an atmospheric scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Air Research in Kjeller, who led the research, “clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant’s caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly.”

“I think the release from unit 4 is not important,” says Masamichi Chino, a scientist with the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority in Ibaraki, who helped to develop the Japanese official estimate.

But Lars-Erik De Geer, an atmospheric modeller with the Swedish Defense Research Agency in Stockholm, says the new analysis implicating the fuel pool “looks convincing”.

Read More: Fallout forensics hike radiation toll : Nature News

Published: October 25th, 2011 at 12:53 pm ET
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