Introduction: Basic concepts regarding the Fukushima accident and radiation and radioactivity

Teruyuki Nakajima, Toshimasa Ohara, Mitsuo Uematsu, Yuichi Onda, Mitsuru Ebihara, Atsushi Shinohara, Yasunori Hamajima, Yasuhito Igarashi, Tatsuo Aono, Michio Aoyama, Masayuki Takigawa, Kimiaki Saito

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The accident of the Fukushima Daiichi (First) Nuclear Power Station (FDNPS) of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (hereafter, Fukushima accident) transpired after the Tohoku Region Pacific Coast Earthquake occurred in March 2011. Table 1.1 summarises the main events of the accident. After the earthquake occurred at 14:46 on 11 March 2011, tsunami waves of 13 m in height arrived at the FDNPS (TEPCO, 2011); the diesel power engine stopped at 15:41. Due to this electricity loss, the nuclear reaction became uncontrollable. The Fukushima Daini (Second) Power Station was able to make a controlled stop for cooling even after the intrusion of seawater from a tsunami wave with a height of 9 m. The estimated maximum height in the design of the Daiichi and Daini Power Stations was 5.1 m. In contrast, the estimated maximum tsunami height in the design of the Onagawa Nuclear Power Station of the Tohoku Electric Power Company, which avoided serious damage, was 14.8 m (Matsumoto, 2007).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Contamination from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Subtitle of host publicationDispersion, Monitoring, Mitigation and Lessons Learned
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9781108574273
ISBN (Print)9781108475808
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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