The amount of Cesium-137 leaked from the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be worse than expected, a Japanese research team has concluded. They believe 50 percent more of the radioactive material could have escaped into the atmosphere and seawater.
The original estimate of 13,600 terabecquerels was made by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the power station. However, a new report by Japanese researchers estimates that between 17,500 and 20,500 terabecquerels have been released, which is 50 percent higher than originally thought.
Michio Aoyama, a professor at Fukushima University’s Institute of Environmental Radioactivity who is part of the team, told Kyodo News that TEPCO is “underestimating” the amount of Cesium-137 that was released into the atmosphere and later fell into the sea.