Japan: Nuclear crisis raised to Chernobyl level
- Published on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 09:05
- Posted by Scott Buckler
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(April 12th)
Level seven previously only applied to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, where 10 times as much radiation was emitted.
There have been no fatalities resulting from the leaks at Fukushima, and risks to human health are thought to be low.
Meanwhile a 6.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday prompted the plant's operator to evacuate its staff.
The operator of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), said it was checking the status of the plant after the quake, the second to hit in as many days, but said there had been no reports of problems with external power.
The aftershocks come a month after a huge quake and tsunami hit north-east Japan, leaving 13,219 people dead and 14,274 missing. More than 150,000 people have been made homeless.