Fukushima nuke plant situation 'worsened considerably': think tank
WASHINGTON, March 15, Kyodo
The situation at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in northeastern Japan ''has worsened considerably,'' the Institute for Science and International Security said in a statement released Tuesday.
Referring to fresh explosions that occurred earlier in the day at the site and problems in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods, the Washington-based think tank said, ''This accident can no longer be viewed as a level 4 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events scale that ranks events from 1 to 7.''
Noting that a level 4 incident involves ''only local radiological consequences,'' it said the ongoing crisis is ''now closer to a level 6, and it may unfortunately reach a level 7'' -- a worst case scenario with extensive health and environmental consequences.
''The international community should increase assistance to Japan to both contain the emergency at the reactors and to address the wider contamination. We need to find a solution together,'' it said.