News Release

Japan Doubles Admission of Radiation, Admits Three Meltdowns


AP is reporting today: “Japan’s government has doubled the estimate of how much radiation leaked from a tsunami-hit nuclear plant and says the damage to the reactors was greater than previously thought.”

CNN International reports: “All three operating reactors at Fukushima Daiichi melted down after the plant was swamped by the tsunami that followed northern Japan’s magnitude 9 earthquake in March, Japanese authorities confirmed Monday.” Obama is meeting today with Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, which just announced it will shutdown all its nuclear reactors within 11 years.

ROBERT ALVAREZ,  kitbob at
Alvarez is a former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy and now a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. He just wrote the piece “America’s Nuclear Spent-Fuel Time Bombs,” which states: “Now that many Americans have stopped paying attention to Japan’s nuclear catastrophe, shocking new details about its severity are finally coming to light.

“The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently revealed that the cores of three of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station’s reactors started to melt within hours after the loss of offsite power, right after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Tokyo Electric Power, which owns the wrecked reactors, has announced that the accident probably released more radioactivity into the environment than the Chernobyl debacle. That would make it the worst nuclear accident on record. Meanwhile, a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government reported that about 373 square miles near the power station — an area roughly 17 times the size of Manhattan — may now be uninhabitable.”

Makhijani is president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, which has released a paper “The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and Its Impact on Nuclear Power in the United States.” He said today: “The TEPCO release estimates are still far below independent estimates. The Austrian Meteorological organization estimated releases twice as large as the most recent TEPCO estimates just for the first week of the accident. That estimate was made two and half months ago! There have been substantial releases since then. Cesium releases, which matter the most for long-term radiation exposure and habitability of fallout areas, may be comparable to those of Chernobyl by now, though other radionuclides may still be lower than Chernobyl.”

Aileen Mioko Smith is executive director of Green Action, a Japanese environmental group, which examined the threat earthquakes posed to the nation’s reactors. She said today: “The evacuation zone is not sufficient. The government drastically raised the allowable exposure — that should be reversed. There needs to be much more monitoring.” On a March 14 IPA news release she said thatthe Japanese government has not been making critical information public. In March 1995 she wrote “On Shaky Ground: Will Japan’s Nuke Plants Be Next?

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:

Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167