TOKYO (TR) – The amount of radioactive cesium released after the March 11 nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture is 20 times higher than reported by the plant’s operator, French scientists said, according to Japan’s NHK news service.
The French government’s nuclear research institute, IRSN, said its calculations show 27.1 thousand terabecquerels of radioactive cesium 137 leaked from the crippled Tokyo Electric Power Daiichi power plant by the middle of July. That number is about 20 times the estimate by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, NHK said.
The French institute says leakage from the damaged nuclear facility continues to contaminate nearby waters and has called for continued testing of marine products, the Japanese broadcaster said.
An earlier study by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, and reported by the Associated Press, said the Japanese authorities underestimated the amount of radioactive material released as a result of the disaster by nearly half. According to the Norwegian study, the accident released 36,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere by April 20. The Japanese government estimated just 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium was released during the same period, the AP said.