Friday, April 1, 2011

Fukushima crisis 'bigger than Chernobyl'

Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Source: Press TV

The nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima power plant is "much bigger than Chernobyl" and could rewrite the international scale used to measure the severity of atomic accidents, a Russian nuclear expert says.

"Fukushima is much bigger than Chernobyl," AFP quoted thermodynamic engineer Natalia Mironova as saying on Friday.

"Chernobyl was a dirty bomb explosion. The next dirty bomb is Fukushima and it will cost much more" in economic and human terms, she added.

The crisis at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant remains unresolved nearly three weeks after Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Mironova said Japan's unfolding nuclear crisis was likely to surpass Chernobyl on the seven-point international scale used to rate nuclear disasters.

"Chernobyl was level seven and it had only one reactor and lasted only two weeks. We have now three weeks (at Fukushima) and we have four reactors which we know are in very dangerous situations," she warned.

The nuclear reactor accident in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, is considered to be the worst nuclear disaster in history and the only level seven instance on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

It resulted in a severe release of radioactivity into the environment following a massive power excursion which destroyed the reactor.

The accident in 1986 claimed lives of at least 4,000 people.

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