Japan: Nuclear Crisis Raised to Chernobyl Level
“Japanese authorities have raised the severity rating of their nuclear crisis to the highest level, seven.
The decision reflects the total release of radiation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which is ongoing, rather than a sudden deterioration.
Level seven previously only applied to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, where 10 times as much radiation was emitted…
The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan announced in a statement that the crisis level at the Fukushima Daiichi plant was being raised, adding that it was a preliminary assessment which required further technical evaluation by specialists.
The level seven signifies a “major accident” with “wider consequences” than the previous level, officials say.
“We have upgraded the severity level to seven as the impact of radiation leaks has been widespread from the air, vegetables, tap water and the ocean,” said Minoru Oogoda of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa), the government’s nuclear watchdog.
Reporting the commission’s decision, the IAEA said previous level five ratings had been provided separately for accidents at Reactors 1, 2 and 3 but had now been combined as a single event. Another affected unit, Reactor 4, has retained its level three rating, it said.”