Tokyo Electric Power Company releases first figures on the extent of Fukushima leakage

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Workers at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant after it was initially damaged in 2011.
Image: Steve Herman.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, has for the first time released figures on how much radioactive waste the facility has emitted, since being damaged by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011. Approximately 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of nuclear energy has leaked since the disaster occurred, TEPCO said when releasing their data on August 5, 2013.

Hours after TEPCO made these figures public, a Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (JNR) task force said that there is a “high possibility” that this waste has contaminated water along the coast of Miyagi, the prefecture to Fukushima's immediate north.

“Right now we have a state of emergency,” Shinji Kinjo, head of the JNR task force, said.

The release of TEPCO’s figures came just one day after a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Miyagi. No serious injuries or structural damage have been reported so far. Russia Today reports that the tremor hit in approximately the same location oas the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Fukushima in 2011 — a disaster that destroyed much of the Fukushima power plant, claimed the lives of over 15,000 people and caused over 3,200 people to go missing.