Japan’s nuclear accident ‘provisionally’ given Chernobyl’s rating

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Japanese authorities Tuesday “provisionally” declared the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident a level 7 event on the international scale for nuclear disasters, putting the current crisis on par with the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl.

Regulators have determined the amount of radioactive iodine released by the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi was at least 15 times the volume needed to reach the top of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Association said. That figure is still about 10 percent of the amount released at Chernobyl, the agency reported.

The amount of radioactive Cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years, is about one-seventh the amount released at Chernobyl, according to the agency.

Level 7, a “major accident,” is the highest level on the event scale. The 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, event also was rated a level 7. For more information about the ratings, see this interactive.

 

Categories: FUKUSHIMA

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