John King, USA

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April 12th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Japan's Nuclear Crisis: Tied With Chernobyl for Worst-Ever

Today we have a new measure of the magnitude of the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Japanese government raised the situation from a Level 5 event to Level 7 on the international system for rating nuclear accidents. Level 7 is the top of the scale. Japan’s crisis now shares the worst-ever ranking with the 1986 accident at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant; even though scientists believe the amount of radiation released so far is only a tenth of what was released at Chernobyl.

One of John King USA’s frequent guests since the crisis began has been nuclear safety expert Arnie Gundersen, the chief engineer for Fairewinds Associates. Back on March 16th, nearly a month ago, he predicted the crisis will reach Level 7.

He’ll be with us again tonight at 7pm EST, and we’ll ask what’s ahead.

In the meantime, you’ll find it both interesting and worth your time to read Gundersen’s postings about the crisis on the Fairewinds Associates website. Just click on this link:

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  1. mark V

    ...Japan’s crisis now shares the worst-ever ranking with the 1986 accident at Ukraine’s Chernobyl...

    To my understanding, the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been for weeks a level 7 event, just the japanese authorities were not able to longer hide the scale of radiation leak? Even in the press release accompanied by this announcement, they say that nothing new happened, and the decision is based on better evaluation of the old data. Following the same logic, we might have 10x Chernobyl situation today, which will be admitted in weeks/months?

    April 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  2. michael m

    So the fukishima disaster has gotten even worse? Poor japan

    April 12, 2011 at 5:48 pm |