Report: Fukushima Daiichi equal to or greater than Chernobyl? “Some startling results”

Published: March 11th, 2013 at 10:08 pm ET


Title: Two years have passed since Japan nuked the rest of the world
Source: Enformable
Date: March 11, 2013
Emphasis Added

This year, on the second anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the author would like to pose the following questions, and invite the reader to do the same.

Fukushima is no Chernobyl…right?

To date, all attempts to model or accurately measure the core damage and radiation releases from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami have proved incomplete, unreliable, and admittedly unable to accurately replicate the sequence of events, largely due to the lack of information available […]

Still, much has been said about the radioactive releases from Fukushima Daiichi, but one thing remains certain; anyone who attempts to make definitive statements as to minimize the size or scale of the release can do no better than to offer some rudimentary stab at the issue, as the data released to date is woefully insufficient. What little recorded data has been published and peer reviewed has yielded some startling results, which may infer some insight into why so many pro-nuclear voices have been so quick and adamant in their downplaying of the disaster. […]

More recent studies have estimated that some 27.1 PBq of Cs-137 was released at Fukushima Daiichi into the ocean just during the first four months of the disaster.  Additionally, studies have placed the aerial release between 36.6 PBq and 66 PBq for the first week of the disaster.  Conservatively adding the 27.1 PBq aqueous release with the 36.6 PBq aerial release yields a 63.7 PBq combined Cs 137 release. […]

It has also been popular for pro-nuclear lobbyists to promote the idea that the release at Fukushima Daiichi was not equal to or greater than Chernobyl, and even more, that the potential source release was never on a scale comparable to the 1986 Soviet nuclear disaster. […]

Chernobyl Cesium 137 Inventory and Release […] 85 PBq […]

Full report here

Note: Using Fukushima’s high end estimate for aerial releases of 66* PBq cesium-137 (only includes the first week), plus the 27.1 PBq of aqueous release, totals 93.1 PBq of cesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi — Chernobyl is 85 PBq.

*The estimate used for aerial releases of 66 PBq cesium-137 from Fukushima Daiichi only includes the releases “for the first week of the disaster”.

See also: [intlink id=”gundersen-fukushima-daiichi-released-radiation-chernobyl-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 11th, 2013 at 10:08 pm ET


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  3. Highest Estimate Yet: Fukushima about equal to Chernobyl, says US gov’t funded study April 3, 2012
  4. TV: Isn’t Fukushima Daiichi at least a 21 on International Nuclear Event Scale, equal to 3 Level 7’s? “Global catastrophe… Disaster of unimaginable proportions” (VIDEO) August 22, 2013
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60 comments to Report: Fukushima Daiichi equal to or greater than Chernobyl? “Some startling results”

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    The effects from Chernobyl and Fukushima will be with us for thousands of years, thanks to nuclear.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      How Dangerous Is 400-600 Pounds Of Plutonium Nano Particle Dust Liberated By Fukushima? Via A Green Road

      Hot Particles (Fuel Fleas) From Fukushima Continue To Circulate Globally; via A Green Road

      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        Our question is this?

        How can FukU be no worse than Chernobyl, when 3 reactors WITH PLUTONIUM melted down and through.

        How can FukU be no worse than Chernobyl, when between 3 and six spent fuel pools with multiples of the reactors total contents AND MOX FUEL containing plutonium also caught on fire, melted down and released some to all of their contents?

        Plutonium is about 1 million times more toxic than uranium, and there was at least 1,000 pounds of plutonium at FUKU. How much was released? Estimates range from 60 pounds to 600 pounds.

        It only takes 9 pounds till kill everyone on Earth, if evenly distributed via nano particles.

        Fuku may very well be an experiment in global genocide, via a slow, silent, invisible, and deadly weaponized bucky ball plutonium delivery system.

        Live each day as if it is your last, because it may very well may be…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    “…The overall problem we face is that nearly all of the spent fuel at the Dai-Ichi site is in vulnerable pools in a high risk/consequence earthquake zone. The urgency of the situation is underscored by the ongoing seismic activity around NE Japan in which 13 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 – 5.7 have occurred off the NE coast of Honshu last week in the 4 days between 4/14 and 4/17. This has been the norm since the first quake and tsunami hit the site on March 11th of last year. Larger quakes are expected closer to the power plant. Earlier this month, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) revealed plans to remove 2,274 spent fuel assemblies from the damaged reactors that will probably take at least a decade to accomplish. The first priority will be removal of the contents in Pool No. 4. This pool is structurally damaged and contains about 10 times more cesium-137 than released at Chernobyl. Removal of SNF from the No. 4 reactor is optimistically expected to begin at the end of 2013. A significant amount of construction to remove, debris and reinforce the structurally-damaged reactor buildings, especially the fuel-handling areas, will be required.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      “…Also, it is not safe to keep 1,882 spent fuel assemblies containing ~57 million curies of long-lived radioactivity, including nearly 15 times more cs-137 than released at Chernobyl in the The stark reality, if TEPCO's plan is realized, is that nearly all of the spent fuel at the Da-Ichi containing some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain indefinitely in vulnerable pools. elevated pools at reactors 5, 6, and 7, which did not experience melt-downs and explosions….”

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      Why Fukushima Is A Greater Disaster Than Chernobyl
      By Robert Alvarez
      24 April, 2012
      “…After several decades and billions of dollars, the United States effectively abandoned the "closed" nuclear fuel cycle 30 years ago for cost and nuclear non-proliferation reasons. Over the past 60 years, the history of fast reactors using plutonium is littered with failures the most recent being the Monju project in Japan. Monju was cancelled in November of last year, dealing a fatal blow to the dream of a "closed" nuclear fuel cycle in Japan….”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Chernobyl didn't use MOX fuel which is plutonium ground into a very fine powder. Then Reactor #3 exploded miles into the sky, and perhaps from the explosions at reactor #4 at Fukushima Daiichi, this plutonium powder reached the jet stream and has been deposited around the world. There are 429 lethal doses for every human inhabitant of the entire world. These hot particles, when inhaled, cause certain inevitable death.

    Chernobyl didn't destroy an entire ocean. Fukushima has completely destroyed the Pacific Ocean and rendered all food coming from that ocean to be contaminated with lethal radiation. It is also killing off all the plankton, from which most of our oxygen comes. Without food to eat and air to breathe and even our water supplies being completely ruined by nuclear power plants, pesticides and herbicides and fracking chemicals and other toxic chemical run offs, there is not even water to drink.

  • W8R W8R

    By only listing C-134 or 137 they intentionally bypass the critical fact.
    Fukushima included MOX fuel.
    By that fact alone, it is magnitudes worse than Chernobyl.

    • And never forget the strontium, in much level percentages than cesium like 3 to 7%, however it is the boogeyman, it goes right to the bones and stays there, and then produces leukemia. Which is almost always a nasty fatal, expensive death. Blood cancer.

      • We Not They Finally

        Actually don't understand why there is not more mention of strontium-90, since it goes right into dairy and children thrive on MILK. It is also EXTREMELY helpful to know that apparently, the major radionuclides replace prevalent minerals in the body: like strontium replaces calcium and cesium replaces potassium. So fortifying the body with calcium and potassium has to help. Same as having enough natural iodine in the body to ward off radioactive iodine 131.

    • guezilla

      There's this bizarre claim being paraded around, just to set the record straight… all nuclear fission of uranium produces plutonium.

      In light water reactors like Fukushima that form the backbone of modern nuclear power production, the amount of plutonium in irradiated fuel is about 1%. In MOX this amount is about 7%.

      Chernobyl nuclear power plant was a graphite moderated breeder reactor such as used for weapons grade plutonium production. I couldn't quickly find Chernobyl's exact figured anywhere, but a breeder reactor like Chernobyl operates by fissionin plutonium to turn uranium into plutonium. A breeder reactor core usually contains about 20% of plutonium.

      Plutonium after Chernobyl was readily discovered everywhere, see for example Reports of plutonium releases from Fukushima remain scant, though it does seem to take decades for public to be told. A recent attempt at comparison can be seen at

      The important thing, of course, is that Fukushima Dai-ichi risked, and still risks, release of nearly full inventory of nuclear material stored on site (I belived cited at 86 times that of Chernobyl's total). Also, that while Chernobyl is cited as "worst case" nuclear accident scenario, it seems highly likely that Fukushima Unit 3 experienced direct aerosolization of at least some of the reactor core into…

      • We Not They Finally

        Percentages are very deceptive. Like 1% of ANYTHING ELSE being plutonium is deadly dangerous. Just one ingested "hot spot" of plutonium lodged in the lungs becomes an internal emitter and leads to lung cancer. Just a few POUNDS of plutonium dust spread evenly across the world and we are all goners. That's why proportionality needs to be built into statistics.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    TRUTH Being Hidden-Fukushima Radiological Effects Will Be Much Worse Than Chernobyl
    “…Aug 29, 2012
    The 'experts' are reporting that Fukushima is anywhere from 10-50 times worse (meaning fallout) than Chernobyl. These same experts are now saying that the environmental contamination from Fukushima will cause the deaths of millions of people. If you don't think the effects from Chernobyl are significant because it's been swept under the rug by media and government, please see my video link below 'Fukushima DNA Mutations…' People, we are being lied to and the dangers are being horrifically downplayed. Listen to what Dr. Chris Busby is telling you. There is a link to the global petition he talks about below.…”

    Fukushima DNA Mutations:

    International Commission on Nuclear Justice:

    • We Not They Finally

      Thanks for the links about DNA mutations. That was largely kept out of the news with Chernobyl, since Belarus is not a major power. It's been kept out of the news for Falljah, Iraq (depleted uranium weapons, by the U.S. — first promoted by Bush Sr. when President, with his profiting from it through the Carlyle Group), because they were "the enemy." Japan would be the last to come clean because their culture "takes care of" its defective young and does not even include them in statistics. But what about when it become US? Nothing is more crippling, demoralizing, draining on a culture. However much we want to face reality, denial is the more tempting way to go. We'll just have to see. But there at least need to be scientists doing more RESEARCH.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne


    Worse than Fukushima

    “The meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant was a wake-up call that we ignore at our peril.
    It could happen here, and if it did, the consequences would be much, much worse than they were in

    “Former NRC commissioner Victor Gilinski wrote recently in The New York Times, “A severe accident at Indian Point…is a remote but real possibility….The Chernobyl accident was dismissed in Western countries on the grounds that it was the product of Soviet sloppiness and ‘couldn’t happen here.’ But the Fukushima accident involved reactors built to American designs.

    “As the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster approaches, the crisis is not over, despite recently assurances the complexhas achieved “cold shutdown.” Plant owner TEPCO admitted on December 13, 2011 that Fukushima has released a staggering amount of radioactivity, 26 billion becquerels, including strontium-90, into the Pacific, where radiation readings are 50 million times normal. The same day, news broke that the wall of a reactor building collapsed as the plant continues to deteriorate.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      “Uehara Haruo, architect of Fukushima Daichi Reactor 3, recently admitted in an interview, that the “China syndrome” in which reactor fuel melts through the floor of the containment building and into the ground, has occurred, and that he considered it inevitable that the melt-through would eventually hit groundwater, causing a massive hydrovolcanic explosion.

      “As terrible as the Fukushima disaster is, consequences of a similar accident at Indian Point would be even worse. Indian Point’s spent fuel pools contain about three times the radioactivity contained in the entire Fukushima complex. The population around Indian Point is much denser than around Fukushima, and the distance to major cities and water supplies much shorter. Radiation extended from Fukushima 140 miles to the Tokyo reservoirs, where large numbers of residents reported symptoms of radiation poisoning. Manhattan is 25 miles from Indian Point, and some of its major reservoirs are under ten miles away …”

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Some people want to close Indian Point. At a taxpayer cost of $811 million dollars:

      Build a lethal, dangerous power plant. No insurance required. Make the taxpayers pay for it, make lots of profit, and when the whole thing is a giant pile of nuclear hazardous waste, let the taxpayers pay to clean it up.

      • Sheesh the closure is way more like $2000 million.

        And if we want them gone, we will have to pay for it

        do we want them gone? Seriously, is there anything more important?

  • W8R W8R

    Plutonium is 1000 times more hazardous than Uranium..
    You have releases going from Uranium UP the scale, rather than down.
    Half lives of thousands, even millions of years..
    You have aerosolized releases of gasses containing Neptunium, Xenon, Chlorine, with millions of BQ radioactivity, You have Plutonium going into the ocean..
    To compare the releases at Chernobyl to Fukushima is to compare the tide to a Tsunami..
    A Tsunami of releases…
    Flooding the ocean, our life blood, with poison…
    Flooding the air we breathe, that our children breathe..
    With DEATH….

  • W8R W8R

    You see, a beta emitter emits "waves".. So too does a gamma emmiter.
    Plutonium in an alpha emmiter..
    Alphas are PARTICLES..
    You cannot breathe, drink, or eat a wave….
    Direct exposure to alphas is deadly.
    Oh, and Pu is the most toxic metal, or substance, ever created..
    Poisonous, radioactive particles…
    In every one of us…
    Leaking from a plant for 730 days now…
    Of course, Hanford has been leaking for 50 years..
    Kinda a hint about how much they can, or will, do about their messes…

    • yep, keep in mind, uranium and Pu are worse as toxic heavy metals, their half life is so long, they only rarely pop out a radiation.

      ?They are the worst toxic heavy metals and Fuku aerosolized tens of tons.

      Proof here.

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      Last time I checked Beta is an electron.
      Better modeled as a particle than a wave. (IMHO)

      I won't get in to the classic particle/wave discussion here.

      "Direct exposure to alphas is deadly."
      Well, direct Alpha exposure from outside the body is nothing to worry about.
      Direct exposure from inside is terrible.

      One needs to be careful how one defines exposure!

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        "I won't get in to the classic particle/wave discussion here."

        Why not? According to the FTL verified experiments we already have.

  • W8R W8R

    I know it has been said before, but to clarify yet again.
    17 millionths of a gram..
    Break a gram of Plutonium into 1 million pieces, and 17 of them WILL KILL YOU… 9 pounds "properly distributed" to kill 6 billion people.

    According to information provided by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the complex:

    "There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores."

    Lets do the math….
    3400 tons.. Roughly 7 million pounds.
    Conservatively, 20% was MOX.
    Conservatively, 1 million pounds..
    lets say .001 % gets released.
    Extremely conservative…
    1000 pounds… 6% Plutonium oxide MOX fuel…
    60 pounds….
    See above..
    Even the "Best Case" "Ultra Conservative" viewpoint…
    Well, we`re f@#$%d…………
    Plankton will die, we will suffocate, Nature will bury the mess, and 3500 years from now we will be Archeology….

  • W8R W8R

    Oh, and since I am so "conservative" I left out the 800 tons that were in the cores..
    Conservatively, Unit 3 blew "its load" of 150 tons into the stratosphere…
    Do I have to do the math again??
    3 alone was enough………..

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      30,00 to 40,000 feet out??
      Please share with us where you got this information.

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        The top subtropical jetstream heights can get to 33,000–52,000 ft.

        "At moderate latitudes the stratosphere is situated between about 10–13 km (30,000–40,000 ft; 6–8 mi) and 50 km (160,000 ft; 31 mi) altitude above the surface, while at the poles it starts at about 8 km (30,000 ft; 5 mi) altitude, and near the equator it may start at altitudes high as 18 kilometres (60,000 ft; 10 mi)."

        Those hundreds of tons of radioactive material be blowin' in the wind, mon.

      • bits of pool contents were found on the ground over 3 miles away from the reactor.

        • Sickputer

          Fairlie showed photos today in New York of huge 30-foot holes in the roof of auxiliary Unit 3 buildings and commented on the huge debris chunks. Not much on mentioning the MOX fallout though.

  • W8R W8R

    2 years…
    2 f`n years..
    I never dreamed it would drag on so long…
    How is this possible????

    • hbjon hbjon

      Perhaps it's the sinking of the titanic. A slow agonizing process. Learn to breath shallow. When that portion of your lungs get diseased, start using other unused portions. Don't excercise and practice controlled breathing. Drink filtered water. Eat canned food pre31111. In the end, the F word will get us all.

    • mem mem

      Me too. Before Fuku I never would have thought such a disaster could be hidden for two years. I was so incredibly naive back then.

      • Time Is Short Time Is Short

        Don't worry. There will be more.

        There are 31 GE Mark I & II BWR's in the US, and we allow them to store 4x to 5x more nuclear waste than Japan does in SFP's in buildings no more protected than your local Super WalMart with a tin roof.

        There will be many more.

  • weeman

    First class artical, he really knows his stuff, how can you disput it, tell me.

  • Bleifrei Bleifrei

    Chernobyl victims are not all born!!
    how can you talk about pay since.
    In Japan, the same isotope only more and more durable …
    some time in thousands of years, until the last victim to be born
    , which contaminate in the running of their lives ….

  • pcjensen

    Thank you for all the information and the analysis on people making statements about the impacts when we all know – garbage in, garbage out. If the above news does not cause some, e.g. ARod, to STFU with the lies, then there ought be serious legal attention shining on them.

    It bothers me to think they might be able to get away with their lies by countering with: "oh, I was just going with what was published, no reason I couldn't trust the sources… can't blame me for the damages caused by placing inaccuracies in the public purview."

  • W8R W8R

    Yes, to be accurate, betas are shed electrons..
    Alphas are shed nuclei and are a true "particle" which can be eaten or drank or breathed.. Both are low emitters.. But shed Pu nuclei are toxic as a heavy metal. Also they are nearly undetectable by most hand held counters, as their emissions travel about an inch, and cannot penetrate skin or clothing..
    As for the stratosphere, multiple high altitude studies have detected Fuku radiation circling the globe since 3-11…
    My basic point is that Fuku released Pu into the environment, Chernobyl did not, in any measurable sense..
    Thus, a magnitude of difference….
    Consider also the effects of the Gamma "shine" the sailors on the RR got…

    • dka

      unlike heavy metal, when a Plutonium particle is inhaled or ingested and it becomes lodge in part of the body (bones or lungs), it continues to emits the alpha particles from within. No heavy particles is doing that (except other radionuclides such as plutonium, uranium…). And this causes more damages to than heavy metal. This radiation initiate, promote and propagate cancer.

      • depends… if it's some that got blasted.. and so particularized to under 0.05 microns.. it will get into your reproductive organ zone and damage all your children… size matters in this case… as with with ALL radioactive isotopes. This is why what you are breathing in is critical to your health.

        • 0.05 micros… that's the size your lungs will stop if larger… but much isn't so big… and each type has a place it will concentrate if gets into blood. CS-137 attacks the heart in this way… it's just the BIGGER stuff that gets lodged in your lungs.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    How can the release from one reactor…Chernobyl.. can not be equal to the multiple reactor accident at Fukushima.
    The amount of nuclear material released from Fukushima..and Chernobyl…are nowhere close in comparison..
    Simple as that..
    Is comparison is ridiculous.

  • pepperland pepperland

    check out this propa-puff article at bloomberg:

    I've written the editor: Mary Duenwald at concerning the miss-info of the piece.

    With all the knowledge of you contibutors here on ENE, could some of you write a brief note to mary.

    thank you for sharing your knowledge and time.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Doesn't work, pepperland. Once a shill, always a shill. Until her child gets sick. And even then it depends on how large the paycheck is.

      • HH

        Couldn't disagree more, Time Is Short.

        It's imperative to speak out, politely and factually.

        If no one speaks out, they'll continue to think they are right or that no one disagrees with them.

        When Miles O'Brian of PBS did that pro-nuke story on Fukushima, he got so much backlash that his future stories were far more even.

        It works.

        Everyone should use their voices. That's all we have.

  • mem mem

    Thanks for the email. The lies in that Bloomberg article made me livid, and it was the only headline about Fukushima yesterday on Google news. Of all of the articles for them to choose….

  • dosdos dosdos

    Huh, seems to me that I griping two years ago about this topic, how all the media consistently claimed that Fukushima was less than Chernobyl, even if it was inferred by stating the trite "worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl"? Fukushima was worse than Chernobyl back when it first happened, and it's constantly getting worse.

  • ML

    We are living on a different planet now. The speed at which it is morphing into an inhospitable environment has been accelerated by nuclear power plant accidents, especially Fukushima.
    But the effects of all the nuclear bomb tests are still with us also. One oncologist I recently had a conversation with told me that people in Reno, NV, aren't supposed to eat from their own gardens.
    This is all good job security for oncologists and hospitals.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    May 24 2011
    Michio Kaku..
    Fukushima:How many Chernobyls is Bob Nichols

    "Simple division tells us there are at least 48.6 Chernobyls in the burning old reactor cores pumping fiery isotopes into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is no stretch to say Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors and the dry holding pools for old reactor cores are equal to more than 50 Chernobyl disasters.

    Further clarification is needed, of course, and it is being worked out now by independent physicists. Note that the lethality of radioactive reactor cores goes up the first 250,000 years they are out of the reactor – not down.

    Looking at the current Japanese meltdown as more than 50 Chernobyls is just the start. In addition, the fate of the four nearby reactors at Fukushima Daini is as yet unknown by the outside world. Working at the nearby reactors, only 10 km (6 miles away) is a quick, painful death sentence. They are inside the mandatory evacuation zone.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Dr. Paolo Scampa, the famous physicist, knows precisely how we are all being poisoned. Here is Dr. Scampa to tell us a way the Pro-Nukers lie to us every day and the reality behind the lie."

    I Spit on Your Grave
    3/8 /2013

    Please see data..

  • W8R W8R

    The amount that the PTB have poisoned our planet makes one wonder if they have another one waiting…