Tuesday, March 26, 2013

JNES Calculation of the Amount of Radioactive Materials Released from #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES), an independent administrative corporation under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, issued the result of its calculation of radioactive amounts released from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant in the first week of the nuclear accident.

From JNES presentation (3/27/2013), unit is petabecquerel (1x10^15) and 1 petabecquerel is 1,000 terabecquerels:

From March 11 to March 17, 2011,

I-131: 250 to 340 petabecquerels (or 250,000 to 340,000 terabecquerels)
Cs-134: 8.3 to 15 petabecquerels (or 8,300 to 15,000 terabecquerels)
Cs-137: 7.3 to 13 petabecquerels (or 7,300 to 13,000 terabecquerels)

For I-131, JNES's calculation, which is based on the accident progress analysis, is closest to TEPCO's number which is the highest (500 petabecquerels, or 500,000 terabecquerels).

In the image below (English labels added by me), from the top row, the entities that did the analysis are:

  • Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES)


  • Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)

  • Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

  • Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI)

All except JNES based their calculation on the actual measurement of radioactive materials.

I find it interesting that JNES's calculation shows potentially more Cs-134 than Cs-137. From the actual measurements on the ground, I believe the ratio has been 1:1 to 1:1.2.

On the night of March 11, 2011, the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) had JNES do the simulation using the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) to predict the progression of the accident. JNES faxed the result of the simulation for Reactor 2 to NISA as early as 9PM on March 11, the simulation for Reactor 1 by noon on March 12 (more than three hours before the explosion), and the simulation for Reactor 3 at 6:30AM on March 13. The faxed results for Reactor 2 was delivered to the Prime Minister's Official Residence just past midnight on March 11 (early hours of March 12). (Jiji Tsushin, 9/3/2011)

No one acted on them.

NISA was trying to figure out the areas to have people evacuate. In addition to ERSS, the agency also ordered SPEEDI simulations done, using the information that the agency collected on its own. The agency dropped that effort when Prime Minister Kan and his ministers thought they knew best and drew concentric circles around the plant and decided the evacuation zones, ignoring the emergency protocol that specifically said they should use SPEEDI simulations for that purpose. (Asahi Shinbun's "Trap of Prometeus" Part 2)


Anonymous said...

Surprising to many, doing nothing is not a bad thing in Japan. If you don't act, you also cannot make a mistake, the reasoning goes. "Nobody ever got fired for NOT doing something", I was once told.

Anonymous said...

I'm under the impression that all these agencies only exist for the purpose of looking like they have a purpose. Smoke and mirrors.

When it's time for them to do what they're supposed to, they always seem to drop the ball and fail miserably.

Anonymous said...

You might think public agencies have duties toward the taxpayer but agencies are probably doing what they are told to do. Look at what happened with SPEEDI: F1 dispersion forecasts were made public too late for citizens to choose where to take shelter but when North Korea exploded its nuclear devices forecasts were promptly available.
Similarly, you might think the goverment job is to do what the citizens want but in fact Japanese goverments restart nuclear powerplants in the face of 70% of the citizens who want to stop them asap. At the same time Japan imports LNG at about twice the price Europe does (Hodo Station yesterday).

Anonymous said...

ExSKF, could you make a spread sheet comparing the various estimates of inventory versus releases from the various estimates? It is all very confusing they way it is now explained, which is perhaps the intent.

We have everything from the official sources claiming it was only 10 percent or so of Chernobyl releases on upwards to equal or even more than Chernobyl. I don't know how we can trust any of the data from the government or Tipkill, the greatest criminal entity in the 21st century other than the ZIonist Lobby in the USA.

Atomfritz said...

My feeling is that they try to massage down the numbers again.
More cesium-134 for example means less long-term cesium contamination due to the quick decay of Cs-134.

@ 5:59
There have been quite a lot of different official estimates. I tried to search for them but it's very difficult to find these.
Especially the more detailed estimates which do include more radionuclides than only iodine and cesium seem to be hard to find.

Again, it depends on the elements you look at when comparing Fuku and Chernobyl.
For example, there have been released about double the quantity of noble gases in Fukushima's three medium-sized reactors than at Chernobyl's one large reactor. On the other hand, there was way more cesium and plutonium released at Chernobyl's reactor blaze than at Fuku.
So, it always depends on what radionuclides you are talking about when comparing these havaries.
It's like comparing apples and pears as a German idiom says.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon at 5:59PM, I could try. One thing I can tell you right away is about Fukushima having released more than Chernobyl. That "meme" started when Yomiuri English forgot to mention the number they reported was in iodine-131 equivalent. Certain English sites and blogs wrote that was the amount of radioactive cesium (it wasn't), and said Fukushima released three times as much cesium as Chernobyl and therefore three times as bad.

That got translated back into Japanese, and Japanese believed it (many still do) because these articles were written in English.

Atomfritz, I asked about Cs-134 number to people who know more than me on Twitter. They are not really concerned, or curious, as long as Cs-134 and Cs-134 amounts are expressed in the same digits.

I thought the higher amount of Cs-134 actually matches the quicker reduction in radiation which has been measured in many locations in Fukushima.

But then, there is one particular arc in Fukushima which has seen the radiation go up.

OT to Atomfritz, vote Merkel and her party out.

Anonymous said...

I thought Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl because they've made almost zero progress resolving the situation and are spending way more time and money pretending the whole thing didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Fuku to Cher is apples and oranges, radioactive ones!

I highly recommend folks take the time to watch the very very interesting presentations that are now online here:


Many very interesting speakers and lots of presentation of data estimates.

One interesting thing that caught my eye is a map that was shown by Ian Fairlie, who is no fan of nuclear power. He shows a map comparison made by Wakefield, I think, who is pro nuclear. Anyway, the map shows the extent of the radiation field is vastly smaller than Chernobyl, however, it is does not show the extent of the ocean! To make a true comparison you would need a map that at least guesses at where the airborne radiation went in the ocean as well as on land in Japan. Especially given that 80 percent of the radiation went to sea.


Anonymous said...

anon at 4:08: Thanks for sharing the link to the webcast above. Very interesting and informative.

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