Japan's nuclear accident 'provisionally' given Chernobyl's rating
April 11th, 2011
10:32 PM ET

Japan's nuclear accident 'provisionally' given Chernobyl's rating

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.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Joey

    I am stunned by the magnitude of this tragedy that will affect much of the world.
    Respectful, solemn silence is the only tribute one can offer the admirable people most closely affected by this catastrophe.

    April 12, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. The sau R us

    I can't help feeling that "anomaly" is not quite the right word to use...

    April 12, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. vet2640

    What happened at the Fukushima plant is no "accident", yes, probably there were human errors in design etc., etc,, in TMI it was the inept operators and in Russia an inept government! And look at the U.S., same, same.

    April 12, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. Greatest countryofnuns

    where are the american nuns? Can they not assist the reactor workers as they have no family concerns and claim to create a charity based world? Where is the courage so loudly claimed? Who needs radiation suits when the americans saints are protected as some claimed lighthouse of destiny? There must be some saints in waiting.. Or maybe some non violent prison inmates who want a chance to clean up the world.

    April 12, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Col. Bat Guano

    Everything is okay.

    April 12, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Terd Lt

    Colonel! The peasants are revolting!

    April 12, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Andreas Moser

    So ONE MONTH after the incident, we still cannot control the risks.
    Anyone still thinks this technology is safe? I don't think so: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/risk-of-nuclear-technology/

    April 12, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Veejay

    Who knows where the truth lies? In ten years time when children are born with terrible defects and the cancer rate is way above normal.. someone MIGHT come out with the truth but I doubt it.

    April 12, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    Ten years time? he he...the dangers of nuclear energy are not a secret and never really have been. But since when have the world's leaders paid any attention to placing us in harms way? They knew the risks but did it anyway, while most of you cheered!

    April 12, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. DLR

    Just one more reason everyone needs to read "Hell is an Awfully Big City"

    April 12, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. boog

    This is sooo cool!! Bring it on!!!!

    April 12, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    I had an idea of sending Cherry Blossom trees to them from the United States, Canada, Germany, Turkey, and all the countries that had recieved the gift of trees from them. Maybe the Arbor foundation (if it does not get cut) could be in charge of uniting the countries and getting the seedlings started this year and giving them next spring if the clean up goes well.

    April 12, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Lassiter

      Nice idea but the soil is shot, so it the water.

      April 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mark V

    The very fact, that they only take into account emissions into air (claiming 10% of Chernobyl), is telling. What I learned during this month, is that I can only believe my own dosimeter.

    April 17, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |