Prolonged radiation exposure can cause leukemia & other cancers — World Nuclear Assn.
TOKYO — Radiation released from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami far exceeded the estimates of the company operating the plant, researchers found.
Tokyo Electric Power underestimated the amount of radioactive cesium that flowed into the sea from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant by two THOUSAND percent, according to the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety.
The Cesium 137 released is significant, IRPN noted, as it has a half-life of 30 years. HOWEVER it has dispersed to the effect that it “should” not pose a threat to human health.
Of greater concern, IRPN said, is the effects of radiaocative runoff from rain at the coast near the plant.
Atmospheric contamination is another story: Three melted reactors and damaged spent-fuel pool(s) may have emitted 35,800 terabecquerels of cesium 137 into the atmosphere, according to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics journal. The 1986 Chernobyl explosion released more than double that amount.
Cesium 137 is a source of concern for public health because the radioactive isotope has a half-life of 30 years.
A terabecquerel is 1 million times 1 million becquerels.
A becquerel is equivalent to one radioactive decay per second. and involves the release of atomic energy, which can damage human cells and DNA. Prolonged exposure to radiation can cause leukemia and other cancers, according to the World Nuclear Association.