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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/27/11

Updating Japan's Nuclear Disaster

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In addition, contamination is spreading, now affecting Tokyo water with elevated radioactive iodine levels, an alert saying don't let infants drink it. Milk, vegetables, fruits, and likely all crops in northern Japan are affected. Further, on March 25, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said:

"Iodine-131 detected in Tokyo hit 12,000 becquerels, compared with the previous day, a tenfold increase in both radioactive iodine and cesium." In addition, "Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, saw the highest radioactive values recorded, with 12,000 becquerels of cesium, iodine and 85,000 becquerels."

On March 25, the Takoma Park, MD-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) said:

"Radioactive iodine releases from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi reactors may exceed those of Three Mile Island by over 100,000 times....While Chernobyl had one source of radioactivity, its reactor, there are seven leaking radiation sources at the Japanese site. Together, the three damaged reactors and four spent fuel pools at Fukushima Daiicho contain (much) more long-lived radioactivity, notably cesium-137, than the Chernobyl reactor." 

Its half life is about 30 years. According to IEER president Arjun Makhijani, "This accident has long since passed the level of Three Mile Island." Already, large parts of Honshu, Japan's main island, have been affected. Even so, Japanese authorities haven't been forthcoming about actual radiation releases that independent experts believe are extremely high and dangerous.

On March 26, government officials said predictions on when Fukushima could be stabilized aren't known, spokesman Yukio Edano saying "this is not the stage for predictions." According to IAEA head Yukiya Amano, "(t)his is a very serious accident by all standards, and it is not yet over." Ending it "will take quite a long time."

So far efforts to stabilize the damaged reactors haven't succeeded. On March 24, Natural News.com writer Mike Adams headlined, "Radioactive fallout from Fukushima approaching same levels as Chernobyl," saying:

"The radioactive (iodine-131) fallout is now as much as 73 percent of the daily radiation emitted from Chernobyl following its meltdown disaster." For cesium-137, it's 60%.

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