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How do Fukushima and Chernobyl compare?

 
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Aurora



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 8502

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject: How do Fukushima and Chernobyl compare? Reply with quote

Quote:
The Guardian - 12/04/11

Japan has raised the severity level of its nuclear crisis from five to the maximum seven, putting the emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant on a par with that at Chernobyl in 1986. Mark Tran looks at the differences between the two disasters.

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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 18551
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How much radioactive material has been released at Fukushima?

Japan's nuclear safety commission has estimated that the Fukushima plant's reactors had released up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive iodine-131 per hour into the air for several hours after they were damaged in the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. It said emissions since then had dropped to below one terabecquerel per hour, adding that it was examining the total amount of radioactive materials released. A terabecquerel equals a trillion becquerels, a measure for radiation emissions. The government says the Chernobyl incident released 5.2m terabecquerels into the air about 10 times that of the Fukushima plant


Oh dear, what do they mean? The Fukushina number given is becquerels per hour, whilst the Chernobyl number is bequerels. This isn't comparing apples with pears, it's comparing the rate of apples falling on your head with a box of apples. Journalists need to learn about numbers before being allowed to write them down.
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2 As and a B



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 2592

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But they don't know how many apples will fall from the tree.

I must admit I am more than a bit confused by this piece. Is it saying that the very high initial burst of radioactivity was due to damage from the earthquake and tsunami? Before the explosions and fires started? I'm also surprised by the statement that the radioactivity level has dropped considerably after the "several hours". When did that happen, and how do they know? Last I heard, the reactors had been leaking radioactivity in all directions for many days and a single gusher may have been plugged.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chernobyl was only one apple tree, Fukushima is four.
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