20:10 24 May
TEPCO puts radiation release early in Fukushima crisis at 900,000 TBq
TOKYO, May 24, Kyodo
An estimated 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere in March last year alone due to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.
The figure is larger than estimates issued by the government's nuclear safety agency or an oversight body, the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, but far lower than the 5.2 million TBq believed to have been discharged in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Japan has already acknowledged that the severity level of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is maximum 7 on an international scale -- equivalent to the Chernobyl disaster -- based on the amount of radioactive materials released into the atmosphere.
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