Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Japan raises nuclear alert level from 5 to the highest 7




The government of Japan has raised the nuclear alert level from 5 to the highest possible level of 7 on Tuesday following the crisis of the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant, Kyodo News said.


The decision was made on Monday by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency following the continuous release of massive amounts of radioactive materials from the faulty nuclear plant.
International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) Alert Level 7 means "Major Accident." With this development, the Fukushima plant has the same level of damage and spread of radiation level to that of Ukraine's Chernobyl disaster that happened on 26 April 1986. It caused widespread health and environmental effects. Click here to know the various INES Alert Levels.
The damaged plant released for several hours 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials that prompted Japanese authorities to raise the alert level from INES Alert Level 5 to the maximum of Alert Level 7.
At INES Alert Level 7, there is major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures.
Because of this development, Japan is extending the evacuation zone around the nuclear plant because of increased radiation.
Earlier on Tuesday, a nuclear worker spotted fire at the Fukushima plant's Reactor No.4. The Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant's operator, said the fire was immediately extinguised.
Meanwhile, Central and eastern Japan were shaken separately by earthquakes on Tuesday morning.
Nagano Prefecture in central Japan was rocked with a magnitude 5.5 at 7:26, Kyodo news reported.
Chiba Prefecture, east of the capital, experienced a magnitude 6.4 tremor at 8:08.
There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.
Yesterday late afternoon, a magnitude 6.6 aftershock was felt near Fukushima Prefecture.
Watch the attached video.
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