Johanna Faust, a mixed race Jew, prefers to publish pseudonymously. She is committed: to preventing war, ecological disaster, and nuclear apocalypse; to keeping information available and free; and to not only fighting for personal privacy, but, by representing herself as a soldier in that fight, to exhorting others to do the same. All these efforts find representation on her blog "ah, Mephistophelis," so named after the last line of Chirstopher Marlowe's in his famous Dr. Faustus, which, as some would have it, successfully flouted the censor for a time. A female Faust, she is a poet, always.

REPEAT AFTER ME:
RT Is Wrong:
Fukushima is NOT 4½ Chernobyls (Even Though Fukushima Is Worse Than Chernobyl)




The problem is that numbers were compared without being converted -- some of the measurements were in I-131 equivalence (and yes, this is the first I have heard of it, and no, I do not undrstand why everyone does not use the same scale, especially because it is easy to not catch mistakes like this when stressed out over the implications, duh).  

The first to sound the alarm clearly, however, was EX-SKF:



But the English sites that read Daily Yomiuri's article (but not necessarily TEPCO's press release) naturally compared the numbers this way:
Cesium-137 released from Fukushima: 360,000 terabecquerels
Cesium-137 released from Chernobyl: 85,000 terabecquerels

without realizing the Fukushima number is iodine equivalence, and the Chernobyl number isn't. Thus the headlines like "Cesium-137 contamination: Fukushima amounts to four Chernobyls" at RT, for example.

But without the 40x multiplier on Fukushima, the numbers are (I use the correct number, 10,000 which would be 400,000 with 40x multiplier):
Cesium-137 released from Fukushima: 10,000 terabecquerels
Cesium-137 released from Chernobyl: 85,000 terabecquerels

Or with the 40x multiplier on Chernobyl to get iodine equivalence, the numbers are:
Cesium-137 released from Fukushima: 400,000 terabecquerels
Cesium-137 released from Chernobyl: 3,400,000 terabecquerels

As one of the readers of the blog commented, the meme, however false, that Fukushima contamination is 4 times worse than Chernobyl seems to have taken a life of its own and is spreading. It's doubly ironic that it is all thanks to Yomiuri Shinbun, pro-nuke establishment newspaper whose owner Matsutaro Shoriki did all he could to bring about a nuclear Japan and succeeded.

Of note are the comments to the original RT -- especially because they linked to the most thorough breakdown of the mistake so far. Here are excerpts:

from
Fukushima’s Cs-137 is NOT “Four Chernobyls” ! 
(Russia Today spreading misinformation)
Posted on May 25, 2012 
by Michaël Van Broekhoven

So… see if get this right: The Cs-137 estimate went from 15,000 TBq, which is 15 PBq to… 10 PBq.  Wow…  That’s pretty crafty:  the estimate is lowered by 50%, but by using the iodine-equivalence in their press release, their new totals look much bigger.  Not understanding this sleight of hand, alternative media goes crying wolf about “4x Chernobyl!”, so that TEPCO can, in turn, point out their stupidity and score points for the lunatic pro-nuke crowd… 

So…  To make sense of all those news outlets comparing apples and oranges, I created this little table to shed light on the confusion (things in the same color can be compared):



(snip)

So while you could scream:   “FUKUSHIMA Cesium = 112 Hiroshima bombs” (which is old news, see my July 31, 2011 post HERE), saying it is “4 times Chernobyl” is truly NONSENSE.

(snip)

While in some respects, such as total Iodine-131 and Cs-137 release, Fukushima is less severe, as far as total radioactivity release, as well as ocean contamination, the 2011 and ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is WORSE than Chernobyl’s.  This is 100% backed up by the official data I quote above.   Recent reports (from RT in this case) that Fukushima’s Cesium totals are much worse than Chernobyl’s cannot be substantiated upon scrutiny.   

Do yourselves a favor and read more.

If you reposted the RT article, PLEASE consider posting a thorough, careful retraction -- as soon as possible --- with details, you know, and apology.  We could not only not look so bad, but maybe even gain ground with the people we most need to gain ground with.

Thanks.

UPDATE: the blog linked to above has been terminated, it seems, by the owner.  I made a PDF of the post that inspired this post, just in case.  So if the iframe below is blank, my apologies; it means the Internet Archive link is down as well, but then you can right-click and download the PDF here (data URI) or from Anonfiles here or here.  If one format doesn't work, try another.




Be seeing you.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for quoting my afternoon's work getting to the bottom of this. ;-) -It's been viewed 100+ times already.

    In absolute radioactivity terms Fukushima is worse than Chernobyl, but the thing with Xenon-133 is that it is a bio-inactive inert 'noble gas', with an extremely short half life, so in terms of damgage to biological life, Chernobyl is most likely still worse. A real comparison remains hard because so many factors are different.

    I hope the truth becoming known (especially about the waste problem) will suffice to end the nuclear age without more of this mess.

    Warmly,

    - Michael VB (allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com)

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  2. you are most welcome!

    ah but there's the small problem of the everlasting gobstopperish caesium -- seems that thirty years may not have been enough, in the wild... see "Ecological Half Life" of Cesium-137 May Be 180 to 320 Years?

    ***
    by your leave, good sir, the fullness of this my humble repost -- the graphics links having become broken i perhaps mistakenly took as a sign endorsing brevity & thus snipped instead. now your warmth enboldens me -- to ask ---

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  3. It is neither logical nor demonstrable using accurate data to say Fukushima is anything other than more than 100 times as large a radiation release than Chernobyl. This as of months ago.

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  4. The fallacy of this Nuber game is the nubers in it self, we are constantly feed shitt, from day one. Some of it is based on Mesurments done on lockations and with equipment plased at sherrypicked sites, thats the number game.
    The fact that this mesurments are based on flaws in regarding, sientific point of wiue.
    Its highly unacurate and does not idicate mesurmenst done over a waster are in the sea close to the site, if you compare it to reporst a Year ago.
    Already forgotten.
    huh
    The reason is this, and this is also the major difference between Tjernobyl and Fukushima.
    Scale and range, in size and the sheer numbers of Isotops relised.
    Aprox 1000 different isotops, and most of the decays into more dangerous ones.
    The relise of Iodine is also relise of other isotops that are rearly talked about, but whom all are highly dangerous.
    I dont even bother to link to anything.
    This may be driwelled down, but the "fact" is, and its been hidden in a heep of continous shitt feeding, the other sites owned by TEPCO that has trubble, in addition to the Reactore 1.2.3.and SFP4, and the other pools in that area.'
    Fukushima is one of the major sites in the world, dont forgett that.
    The radiation level at all the Melted ract. sites are so high that equipment dont work and humans can go there.
    And so on.

    The second issue is time and solutions, the first is esensiall, and right now the danger is escalating slowly, slowly. Are after are is closing down, and soon, the hole site(fuk.) is a No Go Sone, do you understand that notion.
    If not I cant help you, the single moust dangerous future aspect, it dwarf everything else.

    Thats the day I am afraid we are heading for, in a slow motion and everybody is so fu.. bizzy trying to downplay it, as mutch for them slefs I belive to, but thats the danger.
    The number looks so fu.. small.

    huh

    Last summer someone conducted a surway on rad. marine life, and they found rad. eveywhere, even 500 miles from Japan.
    ITS FOLLOWING THE GARBAGE.

    The fu..er have as far as I know, no solutions, to berying it in concreat sound like a stupid idea, to coccon a ongoing liquidations stages, is more show that use, and will only consile it for a wile. thats it, just ask Ukraina

    The Tyriods are skyrocketing and the growth speed is stunning and I firmly belive the worst is yett to come, as it all accumulates. Its a slow process and not like the Movie world portayings people generaly link the reality to.
    This is likewise a fight against this Ilution.
    No see, no hear, no speak.

    The day we realize we are killing our selfs, then what, and for the future generations,whos to blame.
    Our selfs, because we dint do anything.
    To wait for a "redeemer" is utter lunacy, we did it, and we have to clean it up.
    There will be no one else TO BLAME.

    I just wait for THAT day to rise, until then I and the Childrenof Japan have to Wait.

    peace

    “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
    ― Albert Einstein

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  5. anonymous 12:56:

    thank you for your contributions, here and elsewhere. i hope i can look forward to hearing more from you.

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