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”

Published: August 26th, 2013 at 11:34 am ET


Title: The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013
Authors: Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt
Date Published: July 2013

Mr. [Toru] Ebisawa, who had served NAIIC as an expert reactor engineer, estimated the amount of radioactivity that had seeped into the water that fills the basement of the reactor buildings (Unit-1, -2 and -3, as of 20 November 2012) as follows [footnote 292]:

  • Cesium-137: 276 PBq (i.e. 40 percent of the reactor core inventory) […]

[…] about 2.5 to 3.3 times, depending on the estimate, the total amount released into the environment from the Chernobyl accident.

[…] In June 2013, it was revealed that the groundwater sampled from a monitoring well adjacent to the Unit-2 turbine building is contaminated with strontium and tritium, so the highly radioactive water that filled the unit basement has already made its way to the aquifer, whence it can easily flow into the sea. […]

[Footnote 292] Toru Ebisawa, 2013, Bulletin of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, 465: 12. J. Kanda gives an earlier estimate of 160 PBq, as of May 2011, Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Kaiyo Hakusho 2012 [annual report in Japanese], p. 45. Seizando-Shoten Publishing, 2012.

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

Download the report here

Published: August 26th, 2013 at 11:34 am ET


Related Posts

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Japan Times: Extreme contamination in Fukushima reactor buildings ‘most likely’ mixing into aquifer, reveals Tepco — Bloomberg: Could this flow downstream to Tokyo and present a big risk? (VIDEO) August 26, 2013
  4. Gov’t Report: Fukushima released up to 181 Quadrillion Bq of cesium, Chernobyl was 105 Quadrillion — Radioactive material to flow from Japan “for years to come” — Fukushima radionuclides have now spread “throughout N. Pacific” May 20, 2014
  5. Nuclear experts concerned about water flow “reversing” due to Fukushima underground ice plan — Even more highly radioactive liquid inside reactor buildings to enter aquifer? August 27, 2013

62 comments to 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”

  • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

    Thanks Enenews for sharing this important report…

    After reading skimming through, I started thinking about China and India….how will they would handle a nuclear disaster…everyone knows how safety conscious both countries are with their workforce(sarcasm.)

    Maybe China will freeze dry the nuclear workers bodies who die trying to clean up their disaster and then send them on "The Human Body" tour to the United States like they did with the bodies of political dissidents a few years ago.

    Then I think about what if there had been a Nuclear Reactor in the middle of the ongoing Egyptian Civil war…

    There is also the X-factor for every reactor on the planet….no electricity, no cooling to the fuel pools= planetary apocalypse.

    Really, you cannot write fiction this strange…no one would be able to suspend belief and enjoy the story.

    • jec jec

      "freeze dry carbon based workers lifeforms"..heck they can just cremate them. Anyone remember the video/comment on "looks like lines of coffins"..which was immediately removed from youtube?

      • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

        Cremate…Yes, that is true, but then you can't make that all important few extra $$ off the disaster. You know…making lemonade out of lemons!

    • Gasser Gasser

      Rolling Bucky Balls

      I can't get no anti nuke satisfaction
I can't get no shut down satisfaction
      Cause I try and I try and I enenews try

I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm drivin' in my car

      And that man comes on the radio

      And he's tellin' me more and more

      About some useless hormesis information
Supposed to fire my imagination

I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no Nuclear safety satisfaction
I can't get no health satisfaction
      Cause I try and I try and I enenews try

      I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm watchin' my worthless TV

      And that man comes on to tell me
How safe Nuclear Reactors can be
But he can't be a man, can't see Plutonium's black smoke
The same smoke killing you and me


      • Gasser Gasser


I can't get no, oh no no no

        Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no anti cancer satisfaction
I can't get no Obama Care reaction
Cause I try and I try and I Blog try

I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm ridin' round the world

        And I'm doin' this and I'm signing that
And I'm tryin' to tell the MSM some logical meltdown sense
Who tells me, buddy better come back later next week
Cause you see were on a bullshit streak

I can't get no, oh no no no

        Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no, I can't get no
I can't get no F—n’ satisfaction

No POTUSA satisfaction,
        To much stupid war's distraction,
        There's no more commonsense interaction

    • moatib

      Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  • patb2009

    when Fukushima blew up, i did a quick set of numbers on a cocktail napkin and said
    "It's 4X chernobyl", people scoffed.

    So now it's offically 3.3 Chernobyls. Soon enough it will be 4
    and we are screwed if the fuel pools burn because then it's 20 chernobyls.

    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      If the fuel pools burn, we won't be alive to do the math. At least not in the Northern Hemisphere.

    • Sorry, at least some of the fuel pools already burned and/or exploded… at least one, more than one fire and #3 SFP possibly emptied of contents in massive nuclear prompt criticality as Arnie put it.

      It is not IF, it is HOW MUCH went out.

      • KDM KDM

        It's been said if the fuel pools ignite they can't be put out. It's also been said that some of the pools went dry and may have burned. Excuse my ignorance but someone care to elaborate on this? How could they have burned and put out? Did they burn up?

  • We Not They Finally

    Radioactive water in THE BASEMENTS? What about the three 120-ton coriums that sunk way BENEATH the basements, out of ANY containment, right down into the aquifer?

    Nice that there is starting to be a reality check, but will someone please get to the WHOLE REAL ONGOING situation PLEASE??!!

  • jec jec

    50% drop in Reactor 2 PCV pressure two days ago. Anyone have a clue? Any Clue?

  • unincredulous unincredulous

    Basement there would be a good place for the pro nuke folks to open up a coffee shop. Live on stage: Ann Coulter. A glowing cover performance of Simon and Garfunkel's song, "The Sounds of Silence."

    • Plus the medical folks that claim smiling protects you from radiation.

      They can hold classes for all of their true believers and drink the HOLY WATER in the basement.

  • 21stCentury 21stCentury

    180tons -v- 2200tons EXPERTS FAIL math test. Experts gave us NukePuke.

    Everybody is wasting too much precious cleanup time standing around with their thumb in their A$$ wondering exactly how big the mess is.

    I'm not an expert, I'm a janitor that still uses a slipstick sliderule to do math.

    To put the Fukushima -v- Chernobyl size comparison debate to rest..
    The Chernobyl reactor had 180 tons of nukefuel. 3 tons burned and went offsite. 177 tons of nukefuel melted into the basement.

    The March-2010 TEPCO inventory of nuke-rods was 1575 tons, and there was several hundred tons more MOX added between 3-2010 & 3-2011.
    2200 tons is a reasonable guess, because there was indications of sloppy secretive fuzzy-dice fuel inventory accounting.

    2200/180 = 12.22 times bigger & freakier than Chernobyl.

    …OK, so now all you neurotic spectators know how to adjust your self-medications accordingly.

    You all have my permission to drink 12-times more vodka.
    You all have my permission to smoke 12-times more pot.
    You all have my permission to pop 12-times more pills.
    You all have my permission to go to church 12-times more often.
    …but the janitors all have to work 12 times harder to clean up everybody else's mess.

    • So far, so good…

      But then MULTIPLY this by 100, because Chernobyl contained FRESH FUEL and NO SPENT FUEL.

      The difference in radiation between spent fuel, HOT almost used up fuel and fresh fuel is quite different, yes?

      ALSO, factor in the MOX fuel, which is 100,000 times more dangerous than regular uranium fuel, due to plutonium.

      ALSO, factor in blown MOX fuel in ocean, and bucky balls thanks to sea water sprayed all over reactors and SFP's.

      Factor all of that in, multiply times 10,000 and see where that goes.

      • enufisenuf

        possibly another dirty little secret…those "basements" might have been "weaponizing labs" with how much of what poison we will never know. Remember, the US conditions of surrender mandated Japan would never have Nuclear capability; but then GE Nuclearcrats saw an economic opportunity to build reactors and bombs on our newly-captured enemy's soil. Voila! Japan gets Nuked, again! And pays GE/US to have it done…these guys are good!!!
        GE brings death to all good things…

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      I must now go look for my one broom and dustpan.

      Will I need a feather duster too? 🙂

      Can we all wear those white jumpsuits?

      I like those white jumps suits and masks!

      Will Bobby get dirty?

      • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

        Bobby does not like to get dirty!

        • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

          The real question is..

          Do we humans really want a future world where we "all" have to wear white jumps suits and masks 24/7 everywhere on this planet?

          Sadly, if we stay on this current NPP energy course, then expect one suit available with designer colors and designer masks in our future…when we all go shopping!

          This choice (designer jump suits for everybody) might be automatically made for all of us by the civil authorities.. if "you" still want to stay alive.

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Many thanks for the calculations. Great find, Admin.

    I'd suggest making this one little bitty ol' change:

    Total Cesium-137 Released Into The Environment: 690PBq

    (100% of the total load of Reactor1-3.)


  • jec jec

    Those BASEMENTS are built BELOW sealevel (pre-3/11). And from some of the ENENEWS info, some are floored with "GRAVEL". Now I am not an engineer..but gravel..and lower than sealevel..seems to me a good place to look for said "leak." From Fukushima Diary, @terry, the geo report pre build/pre 3/11. Wonderful its even available with GOOD diagrams of faults under Fukushima..and the undersea basements..gads.

    • good article; puts lots of pieces together for a possible explanation..

      Good luck with getting the pro nuke biologists and scientists to investigate THAT theory.


    Perhaps it's time to try a different kind of reporting. All these figures and technical details can't convey the terrible reality of this global disaster.

    Most people don't normally pay attention to rads, becquerels, and the names of radioactive elements being released. This disaster in faraway Japan still does not seem to resonate with the public over here. People know it is a bad thing, that it may poison the fish, but maybe they'll switch to chicken instead. And as far as contaminated air goes, it's quite polluted already, so what's the big deal.

    Reporters and scientists who really care about the consequences of this ecocide will need use even more visual language, one to which average people can relate.

    As I write this quick talkback I haven't really given the topic of effective audience-targeted language much thought. It just occurred to me.

    We Enenews readers are receptive to Fukushima reports, but most people aren't. And most media have not managed to communicate the strong significance of this event in our lives.

    To make things even harder, the web is rife with apocalyptic predictions and people are becoming numb to it all.

    Maybe we need a Fukushima for Dummies style mixed with tabloid-type screaming headlines. And we also need to round up celebrities to speak out. Whatever it takes. Something needs to be done to wake people up!

    • or-well

      Indeed language is a problem, Tracy W.
      The sci-tech jargon.
      The bureaucratic bafflegab of regulatorians.
      The euphemisms – like "spent" fuel which is the opposite of spent.
      The outright lies.
      The past-tense speaking of what's ongoing.
      The inaccuracies and mistakes of reporters who don't know what they're talking/writing about.
      And as bo said elsewhere, the difficulty of smoothly hitting the talking points in discussion with naysayers and the asleep.

      Occasionally, others here have tried to think of more "impactful" language/words to replace those that are so bland and unreflective of the underlying awfulness of that which they represent. The responses have shown how difficult that is.

      It's why I believe art and artists have a role to play. Images, cartoons, music, poetry, dance and sculpture can all "speak" to us, sometimes in a gut/heart way that surpasses words.

      It's a sad commentary on the times and the power of social manipulation that we can become numb to anti-human horrors.

      Heh, sorry to be so wordy, all.

      • @ or-well

        Very well said.

        Art could jump over all the jargon and tell the story. Illustrations, short films, performances, poetry – artists have to try it all. As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words.


        Anyway, anyone with ideas should present them here and on other forums. Who knows, maybe they will reach the right person and get something started.

        In the meantime let's look at past successful mass campaigns for inspiration. Some of them took years but that was before the internet.

        I really think that people have the power to at least get our governments to confront Japan and intervene.

    • amberlight amberlight

      Excellent observations, Tracy.

      People I talk to here on the west coast are aware that the Fukushima debacle is bad but they don't know what to do about it so they just pretend it won't affect them too much. I asked a close relation how he would feel about ignoring the situation if he got cancer in a few years and he responded that he could get cancer anyway and not be able to trace the cause. True, and that is what the industry is counting on.

      Another crowd tranquilizer is the mantra that "The Pacific Ocean is soooo big that it all gets diluted, so no worries." I guess that could be extrapolated to "The atmosphere is sooooooo big that the airborne radionuclides get dispersed and float harmlessly into Never-Never Land."

      • @ amberlight,

        I used to bring up the subject when this first started, but I do it less now because I encounter exactly the same attitude of fatalism.

        True, it appears to be out of our hands, but something could be done.

        Experts HAVE NOT even called an international conference yet – not that I know of. Or created a permanent think tank to analyze the situation and offer suggestions. The fact that TEPCO has been so secretive does not help.

        But still, there has not even been an attempt at taking charge of this situation that affects the whole planet.

  • NPR made a brief pause in their reporting about race to broadcast an update on Fukushima.

    While much of NPR's reporting has an emotional undercurrent aimed straight to our hearts, this report about Fukushima is an example of superficial recitation of facts without proper context, and of detached reporting at its best:

    NPR: New Leak Reported At Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Plant

    Operators are reporting a fresh leak of contaminated water from the grounds of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Japan's coast.

    In 2011, a tsunami sparked meltdowns at the plant, and authorities have had to pump in water ever since to keep the melted nuclear fuel cool. After passing through the reactors, the contaminated water is decontaminated and put into storage until it can be recirculated through the reactor cores.

    But it keeps leaking out. In April, it seeped from a reservoir. And a few weeks ago, the Japanese government warned that the plant itself was leaking around 80,000 gallons of contaminated ground water every day into the Pacific Ocean.

    This time, the Tokyo Electric Power Company says an additional 80,000 gallons of contaminated water have spewed from a metal holding tank.

    Read more and yawn –

    • bo bo

      NPR reported in 2011 that 'radiophobia – fear of radiation – may be the biggest challenge people in fukushima face.'

      Puke. puke. puke.

      Like reporting 'phobia of gas chamber'is the biggest challenge jews face in germany in the1930s.

      • So true…

        With the Koch Brothers and other huge corporations financing public broadcasting and putting their personal brand name on shows, what do you expect?

      • @ bo

        I have the link for that unforgettable report by NPR. It was broadcast as recently as March 11 of this year, and it deserves to go on the Journalism Hall of Shame.

        "Depression And Anxiety Could Be Fukushima's Lasting Legacy"

        • good example…

          It is pure propoganda, no science, no facts.

          All corporate speak, double talk and fear mongering.

          Bottom line; blame the victims for the crime of murder and mayhem on a global scale.

          If the news media agree, wow, what a relief, now they get hailed as heroes and get a promotion, instead of the jail cell.

          • "After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan kept people safe from the physical effects of radiation — but not from the psychological impacts."

            Yea, right, and if you believe that we have some valuable property on Venus and Mars to auction off.

        • bo bo

          Thanks for digging that back up. That was an article that sent the biggest chill down my spine, such a betrayal.

          Now I feel personally assaulted anytime I hear NPR newscaster's voice from the radio.

          I wanted to smash the radio the other day when I heard a hint of a chuckle in the reporter's voice talking about Bradley Manning demanding to be treated as a woman. Yeah, it will soon become great material for a nice ' introspective' piece soon on 'this american life' contemplating about the ambiguities of the world or something like that.

  • Sol Man

    Humans with their unlimited shortcomings (I'm being nice here.) designing super critical sophisticated systems; what could possibly go wrong here?!

  • 6feetunder 6feetunder

    Interesting story , from the comments:
    Matt what you and all the other “doomers” forgot was the Nukes. You see about 72hrs. after the lights go out the Nuke fuel will start to boil the water in the cooling pools.(there are 100000 such pools and MILLIONS of tons of radioactive waste) Sometime around 24hrs later that fuel will start to burn. (like Fukushima) When it dose it will KILL everything within 50 miles around the “sight” and as far down wind and down stream as the fallout can reach. It will keep killing for the lifetime of the Nuke Fuel (around 2 BILLION years) You can’t see it ,You can’t smell it. You won’t even know its there. It will infest the air ,the water the soil. “Post collapse” survival is not even an option in most of North America until time itself seals the nuke plants and spent fuel rods AND the fallout in the earth.(unless Yellowstone pops its cork and lays a blanket of ash 300 feet deep over most of NA ) We are entering the seventh Great ELE. I hope the earth survives us. But we and 90+% of life on earth today WON’T—-.P.S. Fukushima ALONE is killing the Oceans. If they die We die. If” “they” can’t or won’t stop the contamination NOW we humans ,and most life on earth have 1-5 years left.— AT MINIMUM there are 20,000 nuke plants . (most with their own “cooling pools”) along the earths coast lines and rivers. Some of them are turning 70 this year. When the light’s go…

  • News report: TEPCO executive says that there are many other risks at the plant, and that they may reveal them SOMEDAY. (!!!)

    WHAT ELSE is going on? That's why the much touted "international community" must intervene and find out what else TEPCO is hiding from us.

    At this point TEPCO is even asking for help –

    TEPCO sends first SOS.

    They may want to get others involved to later shift the blame.

    That's why the West must demand ALL information about the site – all of it – and then intervene.

  • rockyourworld

    i think i'll have fish tonight, fish from unknown origins. make friends with it everyone, i am

  • rockyourworld

    japan needs a regime change

  • ruppert

    Can somebody explain what the significant differences are between spent and unspent fuel?

    I am confused about if the makeup of the spent fuel if it changes as far as isotopes are concerned. Does spent fuel turn into Plutonium or how does the Plutonium even become created?

    How and why is it more dangerous?

    I really need stick figures and childlike visuals but I'm sure there are others that get lost in what being spent fuel "means" also.


    • When 'fresh' uranium is loaded into the reactor, it has not yet fissioned. It is somewhat radioactive, but it is so low, that pro nuclear apologists use this example of how 'safe' reactors are, because you can 'safely' hold this fresh fuel in your hand.

      But, once uranium fissions inside the reactor, it decays and produces toxic and highly radioactive daughter products, such as plutonium, tritium, etc.. Once it has run through a fuel cycle, the 'spent fuel' is now so toxic and radioactive, that if you now tried to hold any of it in your hand, you would drop dead almost instantly. They need to keep the spent fuel under 40 feet of radiation insulating water to swap out spent fuel for fresh fuel. Otherwise, all of the plant operators would die within minutes.

      Not only is it highly radioactive, it is also very HOT temperature wise, and needs to be kept cool, for about 5 years, before being put in a dry cask, where it must be kept for about a million years, away from all humans because it is soooooo radioactive.

      Dr. Gordon Edwards – The Nuclear Fuel Chain That Leads To Nuclear Bombs; via A Green Road Blog

      Bottom line, nuclear reactors are just places to create nuclear bombs… The excuse needed to get the public to pay for them is that they produce electricity.. but what a tradeoff…

      30 years of hot water, for a million years of costs to guard and protect radioactive waste…

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Not sure, but someone will answer, you must be patient.

    It might be like that big fresh hotly cooked meal that you sit down to eat.

    Man you say that this is really yummy, but you made to much and alas you have left overs.

    You take that meal that already had most of nutrients cooked out of it and you stick this great meal in the fridge.

    The next day you go to the fridge and grab that wonderful meal you had the day before, and as you eat it the same great feeling you had he day before slowly drifts away..

    Oh the meal still tastes good, but not the same and in the process all kinds of bacteria may have had a chance to grow on the meal during cooling and transport possibly requiring you to take a trip to the toilet.

    The food is the same and only a small amount of nutrition has been lost when it was cooked but as time/days go by that same meal has you constantly sitting on the toilet.

    This meal never really goes away as it heads to the sewage treatment plant for processing..

    So they both are bad (fresh/spent fuel) and neither ever will go away, the one coming out of the toilet can be processed and one coming out of the Nuclear Power Plants can not be and the NPP's bowel movement will simply last and glow forever!

    Thus the need for millions of Nuke/Puke janitors for an eternity!

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Thanks Dr. and I knew you would save the say and answer his question properly, but I am still afraid we all will be taking more trips to the toilet when blood starts coming from all our…fill__in. 🙂

    • The fuel cycle is all toxic and dirty, from mining, through enrichment, 'burning' and then trying to store the waste for a million years.

      "The bulk (96%) of the byproduct from enrichment is depleted uranium (DU), which can be used for armor, kinetic energy penetrators, radiation shielding and ballast. Still, there are vast quantities of depleted uranium in storage. The United States Department of Energy alone has 470,000 tonnes.[1] About 95% of depleted uranium is stored as uranium hexafluoride (UF6)."

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks the "day"!

  • MichaelV MichaelV

    The Sacramento PBS affiliate KVIE just ran a Fukushima report from NHK: No mention of melted coriums nor any of sea floor rad levels…

    • newsblackoutUSA newsblackoutUSA

      I saw a report today where the reporters talked briefly about humanitarian aid needed in Japan to help people "Cope" with the post-tsunami issues" they are dealing with, so US is sending some experts to assist with problem solving.

      I rarely watch tv, and now I understand why.

  • ruppert

    Thank you for your explanation. I had a rough idea but I knew I was missing some basic facts.

    I think the idea that nuclear power plants are just basic bomb makers is the scary part (actually it's all scary).

    So Plutonium doesn't really exist until the fuel gets spent?

    Thanks Again

  • W8R W8R

    MOX, or mixed oxide fuel, contains roughly 6%
    Plutonium and is used like "octane booster".
    Spent fuel contains a multitude of daughter isotopes,
    and is very "dirty" and actually "hotter" than when it
    was fresh.
    Calling it "Spent fuel" is like comparing fresh air to car exaust.

  • W8R W8R

    And many signs point to a lab under unit 4.
    I have also read where the Mox at FDNPP.
    could have been enriched as high as

  • Mack Mack

    Some facts from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report:

    Unit 1 23 – 11,100 ≈26 13,900 ≈24
    Unit 2 5 – 72,900 ≈39 22,800 ≈22
    Unit 3 10 – 4,780 ≈37 20,900 ≈20
    Unit 4 0.1 – 0.6 n/a 15,900 ≈28

    The second row shows radiation levels inside reactor buildings by mSv/hr
    Third = temperature at bottom of pressure vessel (centigrade)
    Fourth = amount of radioactive water in tons
    Fifth = temperature of spent fuel pool (centigrade)


    *There are 176,000 tons of solid waste (pipes, concrete, plastic)

    * Cesium is emitted into the air from Units 1, 2 and 3 at a rate of 240 MBq a day. (not including radionuclides going into the water)