Recently, Japanese authorities said that the Fukushima reactor accident was roughly equal to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The international scientific community has dismissed these claims as completely bunk, saying the reactor damage and risks posed aren’t nearly as bad as Chernobyl. The threat is real, but it is being exaggerated.
Scientists warn against sensational comparisons
Japanese authorities recently said the damage to the Fukushima nuclear power complex and subsequent radiation leak was as bad as the Chernobyl disaster. However, according to CNN, scientists from around the world have denounced the comparisons as wild exaggeration. The Japanese regulatory agency for the nuclear power industry, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, raised the danger level from a five to a seven, the highest threat level, on the scale used by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The only other nuclear disaster in living memory that was a threat level seven was the Chernobyl disaster, but scientists have pointed out that the Fukushima disaster only poses a serious risk to people within 30 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.
Chernobyl disaster far worse
The disaster at Chernobyl was drastically different from the Fukushima incident and far worse. The only comparison is that the Chernobyl incident and the Fukushima incident are both rated the same on the IAEA scale, but the NISA was quick to point out that the Fukushima incident poses only 10 percent of the risks to people that Chernobyl did, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The reactor core at Chernobyl didn’t just boil over; it exploded, shooting nuclear material into the atmosphere and all over the surrounding area. The Fukushima complex had minor hydrogen explosions and still retains about 90 percent of its nuclear materials inside the reactors.
Aftershocks rock already ravaged nation
There have been a recent serious of aftershocks, making a bad situation worse. A 6.6 magnitude quake struck the eastern coast of Japan on Monday, April 11, causing tremors in Tokyo and power outages to 220,000 residences, according to MSNBC. The week before, on Thursday, April 7, a magnitude 7.4 aftershock struck off the coast and had similar effects, causing officials to issue a tsunami warning, according to The Telegraph. Anyone living close to the Fukushima reactor complex has been evacuated, but there is a danger of further radiation leaks.
Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0412/Why-Fukushima-isn-t-Chernobyl-despite-rise-in-crisis-level
The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8436570/Japan-earthquake-large-aftershock-shakes-northeastern-coast.html
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