Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:11:53 PM EST
What level the accident at Fukushima is given on the INES scale does not change the actual environmental or human impact or the radiation released, but on that score it appears that the Japanese government is capitulating to the evidence and admitting it's as bad as it gets.
Kyodo: Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5 (12 April 2011)
The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.
The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.
The current provisional evaluation of 5 is at the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.
Use this thread as an open thread to discuss the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11.