Early Online Release: Fukushima and Ocean Radioactivity, Ken O. Buesseler, Journal of The Oceanography Society, Jan. 5, 2014: [The] earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases from Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. […] Total releases [of cesium-137] from Fukushima are not well constrained, with estimates from atmospheric fallout and direct ocean discharge spanning 4 to 90 peta Becquerels (PBq), but are most likely in the 15–30 PBq range. […] Cs concentrations in benthic fish stay elevated over predictions [...] Fukushima-tagged surface waters will reach the US West Coast [in the range of] two to four years […] To determine which model predictions are more accurate would require more extensive vertical sampling across the Pacific than is currently available. Some information will be forthcoming from analyses underway in Japan and the United States, and monitoring of coastal activities along the United States […] In the aftermath of Fukushima—after years of relative complacency— the public and policymakers have renewed concerns about radioactive contamination.
In this new article Buesseler states the total cesium-137 released from Chernobyl is 100 PBq, though just a few months ago he used 85 PBq as the total (see slide 4). The Nuclear Energy Agency’s original estimate of 85 PBq was later revised to 70 PBq when more accurate data became available. Using the 100 PBq total for Chernobyl instead of 85 PBq, or the most recent 70 PBq, removes the possibility of the reader being left with the impression that the Fukushima disaster (up to 90 PBq) may be the worst nuclear plant release in history.
During a recent presentation to the nuclear-related departments of the U.S. government at the Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards, Buesseler appears to be proud of his ability to get media outlets to print his quotes that downplay the releases from the Fukushima plant. From slide 15:
Published: January 8th, 2014 at 3:48 pm ET
- 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 September 23, 2013
- 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
- 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
- Japan Professor compares cesium-137 releases from radiation disasters: Fukushima at up to 77 quadrillion Bq (77 PBq); Chernobyl at 85 quadrillion Bq (85 PBq) — Fukushima releases ongoing August 27, 2013
- ‘Mind-Boggling’: Far more cesium released from Fukushima than previously thought says Japan gov’t agency — 40,000 trillion becquerels estimated -Asahi February 29, 2012