Tepco: Cesium getting stirred up? Fukushima plant still emitting 10,000,000 becquerels every hour

Published: July 24th, 2012 at 6:53 am ET


(Subscription Only) Title: After 500 days, Fukushima No. 1 plant still not out of the woods
Source: Asahi, AJW
Date: July 24, 2012


According to calculations by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, a total of about 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive cesium was being emitted from the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors as of June.


since February, the level of radiation emitted from the reactors has remained unchanged.

“There is the possibility that the cesium that fell on the reactor buildings was stirred up again,” said Junichi Matsumoto, acting general director of TEPCO’s Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division.

The most radiation is being emitted from the No. 2 reactor, which is releasing 8 million becquerels an hour. The radiation is believed to be leaking from a hole that was made in the wall of the top floor of the reactor building.


Published: July 24th, 2012 at 6:53 am ET


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30 comments to Tepco: Cesium getting stirred up? Fukushima plant still emitting 10,000,000 becquerels every hour

  • mungo mungo

    and where is all this going?

  • arclight arclight

    interesting article

    "that the cesium could have been stirred up???????

    “..TEPCO workers are considering the possibility of inserting thermometers directly into the pressure vessel…”

    “..The total volume of that contaminated water, including that which has accumulated in nearby buildings, has reached 100,000 tons…”

    “..several hundreds of tons of groundwater a day is flowing into the buildings and even though about 160,000 tons have been processed, or more than double the initial plan, the processing work is still not complete…”

    this explains the 1000 bq/l peak on the groundwater stats.. 🙁

    “..TEPCO has increased the capacity of the tanks to hold the processed water to a total of 228,000 tons. Plans also call for pumping out groundwater in order to lower the water level…”

    “..However, no decision has yet been made on what specific steps will be taken because not only will that work be unprecedented, but the work will also have to be done in an environment of high radiation levels…”

    its going to take a total of 130 years to get to the elephants foot in reactor 4 chernobyl.. and a new containment building every 30 or 50 years..?? how are the tepco going to bypass that?

  • sadtexan

    I know this is serious news (though maybe not all that surprising). What bothers me is that for most readers, 10M becquerels likely remains an unrelatable figure. I suppose (nee hope) more context and dosage projections will come with time, since it will be awhile before the reactors stop spewing.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      “A recent study was prepared for Greenpeace Germany by international nuclear safety expert Dr. Helmut Hirsch. Dr. Hirsch’s assessment, based on data published by the French government’s radiation protection agency (IRSN) and the Austrian government’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) found that the total amount of unstable radionuclides Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 released between March 11 and March 23 has been so high that the Fukushima crisis already equates to three INES 7 incidents.

      Release of radiation from the stricken reactors has reached 10,000 teraBequerels (10,000 trillion Bequerels) per hour, measured for radioactive Iodine-131.”


      “The uranium bomb which the United States dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II released 89 tera becquerels. It killed 140,000 people – many instantly, others within weeks of the blast as they succumbed to severe radiation burns.”


      So, a rough estimate is that Fukushima is spewing the equivalent of 112 Hiroshima-type nuclear bombs worth of radiation every hour, of every day.

      That’s 981,120 atomic bombs a year going off worth of radiation into our biosphere.

      Apparently, TEPCO missed a few zeros.

      Happy to clear that up for you.

  • kongrufus kongrufus

    What i would like to know is: does TEPCO mean 10 million counts per hour, or do they mean 10 million bequerels (period). If it is the latter, the counts per hour would be 3600 times(!) higher…

    • kongrufus kongrufus

      As one bequerel is one count PER SECOND.

      • TheBowRiver TheBowRiver

        Hi Kongrufus

        Given the long history of Tepco's disinformation saga, what can be surmised from this news release?

        What is the probability that their PR department would publish a larger, more disturbing number?

        Maybe the translation to English altered the correct term.

        If this is not the case, the PR department are again throwing out disinformation to confuse and mislead away from the truth.

        Tepco can always say later, that they meant to say 10 Mega-Becquerels, which as you clearly pointed out is the radioactivity equivalent of frequency (1/second).

        I am amused that even using their public relations department is still happening. One would hope that they would get the message that the people of Japan are sick of the sugar coating and the investors already know that the plants are a total loss.

      • gottagetoffthegrid

        this is just more of the obsfucatory nuke-speak. specific activity of is reported in bequerels per gram. so what they are reporting is actually a proxy for mass or moles of Cs rather than the more conventional use of Bq as a proxy for CPS.

        One gram of caesium-137 has an activity of 3.215 terabecquerel (TBq). according to Wikipedia.

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    I give up. TEPCO is a criminal organization, protected by Government. Fuku simply got the best of them. Japan and PNW US is toast. Goodbye Hawaii. Perhaps those east of the Rockies can live with Fuku, but the current 52% cancer stat will gradually increase to 60% or more. TEPCO can't work in Fuku1,2,&3, and so has no plan for dealing with these reactors. I have nothing more to say on the subject of Fuku. Fare you well, all.

    • weeman

      That the wrong attitude, never give up, it blows my mind to, keep spreading word, the fight has just begun.

      • andagi andagi

        Dear weeman,
        I must say that I am on your side. Millions of parents are trying not to panic as they seek truth. Let the truths be known so parents can do whatever they can for their families …as difficult as this is. Let the world learn the truths so that we can make our best decisions to help in any way possible while we still can.
        Thank you all for your commitment and hard work. Thank you ENENews.

        • weeman

          I would like to believe millions of parents are concerned but I post on FB everyday, make personnel pleas to people who just had kids or have kids or grandchildren, warn all,I even threatened to remove them from my list if they do not respond, I have had 3 likes total. I put a stupid joke thier and I get 10 likes a day.
          Am I frustrated yes, I cannot for the life of me understand it, we are pitiful species and maybe it is for the best that we exterminate ourselfs.
          As you see you are not alone, consider us your help line please I do.

          • andagi andagi

            Dear weeman,
            Please know you're doing better than I am with 'likes' 🙂
            You are being of great service. Those three persons are are probably now reading ENENews and educating themselves (it's painful) because you cared, and because they have courage and wisdom (like many here).
            Probably they are finding, as we are, that the truths presented here are undeniable (it's painful).
            We can't give up on the humanitarian side of this horror -yet. The science is clear. There are more effective ways to present the facts so average persons might understand them and make the best decisions they can.
            As painful as it is, if all I read is true, it won't be long before we start seeing children suffering instead of innocently running around playing, smiling brightly and telling us they believe their dosimeter is a 'lucky charm'.
            Don't give up!

    • Phillipupnorth

      I hope you are not discontinuing posting…

      I learn from your posts…

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      philipupnorth, wish you wouldn't leave but do understand it's like sensory overload reading about all of this. Hope you'll come back soon if you're feeling better. It's very hard to cope with all of this. I understand, I'm there sometimes ….

    • teamplayer

      I don't comment here often, but I read comments almost every day.
      Yours are among those I have greatly appreciated.
      If you are serious about discontinuing, I want to thank you for your contributions and hope you will reconsider in the future.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Stirred up how?
    How is cesium being disturbed..in perfectly "tented" Unit 1?
    And it is spewing out of 2?
    Unit 3… also releasing cesium.
    A skillful emission of mention..Unit 4.
    What can be said for TEPCO's "cold containment"?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear experts of the world can't stop the radiation from flowing into our environment. Reactors, worldwide, must be outlawed.

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    I would say there are billions, actually trillions, of becquerels per day being released airborne, mainly from Units 2 and 3.

    Actually on cold nights you can still the steam coming off those reactors, its not just steam its radioactive steam.

    Something on the order of trillions of becquerels per day… trillions of disintegrations per second per day are being released even now.


    Something change lately to cause this huge supposed decrease in emissions?

  • lam335 lam335

    "The most radiation is being emitted from the No. 2 reactor"

    That must be because the other three have already leaked out and/or exploded out most of their contents.

    • Whether you are going to sometimes engineers Tepco, anything more than movies, pornographic ??. Bo should watch, Liv camera, as in the Gulf of Mexico robot twisted screw with eight bolts at a depth of 2000 m. I think that robo came to no difficulty pushing a PIN into the hole in the reactor….

  • Of course, the PiN must be made of something soft, such as lead.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    I don't know about the numbers, but I know the work of our video experts like Nuck & ChasAha suffice to make me realize we are in deep, deep trouble with these turkeys spewing 24/7/365~~~~~~~~

  • chrisk9

    Maybe I am not thinking straight, but I believe there must be some sort of answer to the constant releases. The reactors are releasing small particles into the environment from small sources, smaller the the size of the building at least. Is there no way to contain these releases? When we used to work inside plants there were times that there was a lot of airborne activity stirred up from the welding, cutting or other work. When that was the case there were several steps that could be taken to control the situation and keep control of any loose radioactivity.

    One of the things that could be done was to set up air systems with hoses and filters to suck in any contamination in the air and filter it to catch the radioactivity. Secondly in more extreme situations, tents would be set up surrounding the work area with air filters attached to the tents. With these tent configurations you could have hot and dirty work going on inside the tents with people inside wearing lots of protective clothing and respirators. And yet right outside the tents the contamination levels would be close to zero. These are basic and well known practices.

    Is there no way to use these practices at Fukushima? I remember as a child swimming in a meet where the entire pool area was inside a giant plastic bubble, with airlock doors and controlled air inside that kept the bubble perfectly inflated. Why not build a giant bubble over the top floor of the reactor buildings?