Fukushima Has Leaked 168 Hiroshima Blasts of Radiation

Illustration for article titled Fukushima Has Leaked 168 Hiroshima Blasts of Radiation

We've known Fukushima's been hemorrhaging radiation steadily since the disaster began in March. But now we've got a horrid new way to quantify it: the amount of terribly dangerous cesium-137 released by the plant is equal to 168 nuclear bombings.

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The Guardian reports that the Japanese government's own calculations put the release of cesium-137—a particularly lethal isotope—at 15,000 tera becquerels. That's an esoteric unit of measurement, but you can ignore it. Just think of it this way: the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima released 89 tera becquerels of cesium-137 when it leveled the city.

Now this isn't an entirely apt analogy. The destruction of a nuclear bomb is inordinately greater than that of a plant meltdown, because the former is a weapon designed to create a massive explosion and release of heat. Fukushima did explode, yes, but with nothing resembling the blast of a nuclear bomb. Fukushima's release is slower—more insidious. A deadly leak that's seeped into the earth, water, food, and urine of Japan. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima obliterated civilization within a radius of several miles—the evacuation zone around Fukushima is considerably wider. [Telegraph]

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DISCUSSION

Gizmodo, please stop posting about stuff you don't understand. If you want to report on a topic that is truly dangerous, write a big article about car wrecks that happen. 4068 people have died in the 60 year history from just radiation. 4056 of those are from Chernobyl, which Fukushima will never even get close to being as dangerous, which has killed 3 so far from radiation. Over 3000 die daily from car accidents. People need to focus on things that actually matter.