TEPCO made the startling admission today at a press conference that the plant is leaking 8 billion bequerels per day. (8 gigabequerels)
5 billion bq of strontium 90
2 billion bq of cesium 137
1 billion bq of tritium * (later corrected to 150)
This is the ongoing daily release to the Pacific. These release numbers are also within the realm of what some oceanographers have been warning about since last year, that there was an ongoing and considerable leak to the sea. According to journalist Ryuichi Kino TEPCO said this may be due to failings of some sort within the “glass” wall at the sea front. This is an underground wall made in the soil by injecting a solidifying agent to block water flow.
This daily release would add up to 11,680,000,000,000 = 11 terabequerels over 4 years time in addition to the initial sea releases during the meltdowns.
*** Update*** With a translation of a related portion of a TEPCO document released to METI just yesterday the total releases of this new admission are even higher than the 11 Tbq mentioned. The chart that can be seen here, shows the releases until 2014 were considerably higher. Releases dropped in 2014, likely due to work underway to try to block leaking water. TEPCO also has a section of where they think they will get once remediation work is finished that is lower yet, but that is not achieved yet based on the TEPCO document. This drastically changes the estimated releases to the sea in total. We came up with a rough estimate of about 673 Tbq for 3 years at the 2013 rate, this would be in addition to any initial sea releases during the meltdowns.
*** Update 2***
It was pointed out last night that the tritium number quoted by TEPCO in the press conference does not match the graph they released to METI. The TEPCO rep gave the verbal reading of 1 billion bq per day. The chart shows 150 billion bq per day of tritium. The other numbers stated by the TEPCO rep seem to match the chart. This change increases the total numbers to 4710 billion bq per month at the current 2014 rate. The bulk of this is tritium. This number change would make one year at the 2014 rate 1,719,150 billion bq for an annual total 1.7 Petabecquerels in a year at this rate.
The admission was extracted by journalists that continued to press TEPCO for an answer.
H/T to Fukushima-Diary who broke the initial story.
Transcript of the admission (in Japanese) http://kiikochan.blog136.fc2.com/blog-entry-3870.html
Many thanks to Yuri and Yuko for their assistance with confirming translation.
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