Science Fukushima now rated as a level 7 disaster 


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Early reports coming from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster were rated by some as alarmist.  Now it appears that early estimates of its severity were, if anything, too conservative.

The disaster is now rated at level 7.  This is the same level as Chernobyl. 

A level 7 incident is described by the ­International Atomic Energy Authority as: “A major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.”

Although to date the Fukushima disaster has released but 10% of the airborn radiation of Chernobyl, it meets the level 7 standards.  The key words are "... planned and extended countermeasures"  The 10% figure is the estimated air release of radiation and does not include ground and water contamination.

Almost everything about Fukushima exists outside any plan that had been put in place.

Although extended radiation threat to a wide spread area is deemed small, it is the unstable situation that causes the most concern.  The authorities do not have full control of the situation.

The disruption of life and the food chain in northern Japan are an ongoing concern for the government as is the possible loss of power long term as Japan examines all its reactor sites that could be subjected to similar forces of nature.


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011