Nuclear Expert: Fukushima “like the worst nightmare becoming reality” — Released as much as 1,000 atomic bombs worth of radioactive material — “Everyone on earth has been exposed… an increase in cancer will be the result”
Published: March 11th, 2016 at 10:06 am ET
Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added):
As for the scale of the [Fukushima] accident… we simply don’t know… all the measuring equipment was destroyed at the time of the accident…
The Japanese government has reported estimates [of] 1.5×10^16 Becquerels of Cs-137, which would make it a release of 168 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bombing. And this is only material released into the atmosphere…
But I myself think the government’s numbers are an underestimate. Various experts and institutes from around the world have offered several of their own estimates… some two or three times higher than the government’s numbers. According to these other estimates I think that the release of Cs-137 into the atmosphere could be around 500 times the Hiroshima bombing.
What has been washed into the sea… is likely not much different from the levels released into the atmosphere. Even today we are unable to prevent this release. And so if we combine the amount of Cs-137 released in the air and the ocean together, we get an estimate several hundred times the Hiroshima levels. And some estimates suggest the Fukushima accident could be as much as one-thousand Hiroshimas…
The amount released into the atmosphere from the explosion during the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear plant was 800 to 1000 times the Hiroshima levels. Put simply, these estimates place Fukushima on par with Chernobyl…
[T]he radioactive material released from Fukushima has been dispersed across the globe… everyone on earth has been exposed to additional radiation… An increase in cancer will be the result…
Not a single nuclear expert or policy maker ever seriously considered the possibility of an accident like this… I had been commenting on the possibility, referring to some results of simulations. But still I would have thought the kind of disaster that happened at Fukushima was some kind of impossible nightmare―yet it actually happened. It was like the worse nightmare becoming a reality… all those pronuclear people surely never gave it a moment’s thought. And so when it actually happened, no one had thought about, let alone built a system to deal with it.
Asia-Pacific Journal, Mar 2016: As we learn in this wide-ranging and important interview [with Hiroaki Koide], the accident often referred to as 3/11 was enormous and in many ways unprecedented. The full scope of the disaster is still unknown, but is clearly on the scale of Chernobyl, placing the amount of radioactive material released… up to 1,000 times the Hiroshima bombing of 1945.
See also: Japan Professor: I believe airborne release of cesium-137 from Fukushima equals 400 to 500 Hiroshima nuclear bombs — Another 400 to 500 bombs worth has already flowed into Pacific Ocean (VIDEO):