(NaturalNews) Japan's government recently estimated that the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster thus far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs.
Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope of caesium which is formed as a fission product by nuclear fission. Like all radionuclides, exposure to radiation from caesium-137 results in increased risk of cancer. Everyone is exposed to very small amounts of caesium-137 in soil and water as a result of atmospheric fallout. Exposure to waste materials from contaminated sites or from nuclear accidents that disperse these radioactive materials into the air can result in cancer risks that are much higher than typical environmental exposures.
If exposures are very high, serious burns and even death can result. The magnitude of the health risk depends on exposure conditions or on factors such as the strength of the source, length of exposure, distance from the source and whether there was shielding between you and the source.
How Fukushima's radiation release compares to Hiroshima
Since the three reactors were crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami this year, the amount of caesium-137 released has been estimated at 15,000 terabecquerels so far, as reported by the Tokyo Shimbun. This is supposedly quoting a government calculation.
This figure compares with the 89 terabecquerels released into the atmosphere by "Little Boy", the uranium bomb dropped by the US on the western Japanese city of Hiroshima in the final days of World War II, the report said. The estimate was submitted by Prime Minister Naoto Kan's cabinet to a lower house committee "on promotion of technology and innovation."
The 89 terabecquerels would have to be multiplied by 168 in order to come close to equaling the amount of radioactive particles that have been released into the atmosphere since the Fukushima disaster began.
Not surprisingly, the government argued that this comparison was not valid. But where is their proof for that claim?
Why does this information matter, you ask?
What in the world is a terabecquerel, you ask, and why should you care? A terabecquerel is a trillion becquerels, and a Becquerel is one radioactive unit per second. A radioactive event is when an atom or molecule of a radioactive substance emits one particle - and one particle is all it takes to kill someone, if it happens to land in the wrong place at the wrong time. An example would be if this particle hit a molecule of your DNA and damaged it in a significant enough way that your health could be at risk.
It's true that most radioactive particles pass right through us without hitting anything, and even if a molecule of DNA does get hit by a radioactive substance, every cell in our body has elaborate DNA repair mechanisms. This means that "radioactive events" usually do not initially kill people. But some of those particles do indeed land in the wrong place at the wrong time, and subsequently can cause cancer or birth defects in human beings.
Don't be fooled by censorship - Fukushima is still a HUGE concern
Let's think critically about the Fukushima situation. From the outside, people seem to think it's not that big of a deal - after all, nobody has died yet, right? No big deal.
Wrong. The Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (according to UK Daily Mail and several other sources) are now saying that the amount of terabecquerels released during the first week of the Fukushima disaster was more than double what the public was originally told. In the first week alone, at least 770,000 terabecquerels were released, if not more. 770,000 terabecquerels is 770,000,000,000,000,000 becquerels, or radioactive particles released per second. During just the first week!
Both the Japanese and US governments have told citizens "not to worry," because there is supposedly no IMMEDIATE danger of the Fukushima radioactive fallout. This false assurance combined with the five months that have passed since Fukushima means that the average world citizen has forgotten all about the potential effects of the catastrophe.
However, the amount of radiation Fukushima has released into the Northern Hemisphere is not something to be written off, and it must be taken seriously.
Read more about how to protect yourself from radiation exposure here: