TOKYO - The amount of radioactive cesium that has leaked from the tsunami-hit Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is about equal to 168 of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II, Japan's nuclear agency said Friday.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency supplied the estimate at a parliamentary panel's request. But, it noted, a simple comparison between an instantaneous bomb blast and a long-term leak is impossible and the results could be "irrelevant."
The report provided estimates of each of the 16 isotopes released from the atomic bomb and 31 of those detected at the Fukushima plant but did not give a total. The agency said the radiation that has leaked from Fukushima was about one-sixth of what the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster released in 1986.