Japan mulls raising nuclear crisis to top level: report
Tokyo (AFP) April 12, 2011
Japan may raise the severity of its nuclear accident to seven -- the top level on an international scale -- from five, the Kyodo news agency reported Tuesday, as workers battled to contain the crisis.
Kyodo said preliminary figures from the country's Nuclear Safety Commission revealed the battered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had released up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour for several hours.
The calculation prompted Japan to consider upgrading the accident to the highest level -- something that has only be given to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- Kyodo said, citing unnamed government sources.
According to the INES, level 7 accidents release radioactive material of more than tens of thousands terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131.
Haruki Madarame, chairman of the government-run commission, said it has estimated that the release of 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour continued for several hours, the report said.
Japan currently assesses the nuclear accident at level 5, or the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.
On Monday the disaster-stricken nation marked a month since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.
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Tokyo (AFP) April 11, 2011
The president of the embattled operator of Japan's crippled nuclear plant visited Fukushima on Monday and apologised for the atomic emergency engulfing the area. Masataka Shimizu, the president of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), had wanted to go to the offices of the Fukushima prefecture government in the hope of meeting governor Yuhei Sato, but a local official said no meeting had taken pl ... read more
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