Radioactive Times: LLRC Journal

Nuclear accident in Japan

Report from Radioactive Times Volume 3, Number 2, October 1999 (content not updated)

LLRC has been contacted by many people asking about the dangers from the recent accident at the Tokaimura fuel reprocessing plant in Japan.

We have established that the accident involved the fissioning of about 16Kg of 18% enriched Uranium fast breeder fuel.

NRPB maintained that the yield was contained since the reaction was in solution in nitric acid despite the hole in the roof of the building.

The two workers received 800 adn 1600 rads respectively and are unlikely to live. 300,000 Japanese will have been exposed to the fission yield. On the basis of UNSCEAR and WEERIE figures from NRPB's Roger Clarke, LLRC estimate the activity of the main isotopes released. They are approximately:

Sr-89 20 TBq
Sr-90 0.8 TBq
Ru-106 2.5 TBq
I-131 12 TBq
Te-132 12 TBq
Cs-137 1 TBq
Xe-133 25 TBq
Mo-99 14 TBq
Ce-144 15 TBq
Of these, the volatile Iodine and the noble gases will pose the most risk to the local population. Little effect will be registered in the UK.

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