Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 03:02

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant to seven, the same as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The facility’s damaged reactors have already leaked about 10 percent of the radiation that Chernobyl released. Level seven accidents mean that there has been a “major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures,” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency which helped establish the system.

Japan’s Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano said that the country’s earthquake may result in a larger hit to the economy than the government had previously estimated. 

"The Rating of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) on the events in Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS), Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (TEPCO), caused by the Tohoku District – off the Pacific Ocean. Earthquake is temporarily assessed as Level 7, considering information obtained after March 18th. However, the amount of discharged radioactive materials is approximately 10 percent of the Chernobyl accident which was assessed on the same level."