Voice of America correspondent Steve Herman, was the first of two American reporters to drive to the grounds of the crippled Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. He was turned away at the main gate. Japan declared the Fukushima Daiichi crisis a Level 7 event on the international system for rating nuclear accidents Tuesday, putting it on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the former Soviet Union. The designation was based on the massive release of radioactivity since the accident began, particularly in its early days, and classifies Fukushima Daiichi a "major accident" requiring long-term countermeasures.
Japan's nuclear crisis is now on par with Chernobyl, according to Japanese authorities who are now calling the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant a "major accident."
They have now raised the situation from a category "5" level accident, comparable with Three Mile Island, to a level "7" - the same as Chernobyl.
Ali Velshi and Kiran Chetry spoke with Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer and chief engineer with Fairewinds Associates, on American Morning and asked him what this means in terms of trying to control the plant.
Japanese authorities provisionally declared the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident a level 7 event on the international scale for nuclear disasters, putting the current crisis on par with the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl. Michael Friedlander, a nuclear expert, and former senior operator at three power plants speaks to American Morning on the present situation and what another earthquake or tsunami could do.
Concerns are elevating over the environmental fallout from Japan’s earthquake. With toxic water spilling into the ocean from nuclear reactors at Tokyo Electric Power’s plant, the Japanese government has created a radiation safety standard for seafood.
How vulnerable is the sea life and world-renowned seafood off Japan’s coast? Today on American Morning, Dr. Timothy Mousseau, radiation ecologist and professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina, explains radiation’s effect on marine life.
Mousseau, who studied the wildlife impact after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, says the radiation detected in fish in Japan is localized to the area around the Fukushima plant. Should American diners be concerned?
As concerns over leaking radioactive materials from the Fukushima Daiichi plant persist, workers continued Tuesday to try to cool the plant's reactors with water. But, the situation has become more complex as workers must find somewhere to dispose of the contaminated water used to cool the reactors. Additionally, highly toxic plutonium has been found in the soil surrounding the plant, causing concern.
Joe Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a public grant-making foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy. Cirincione talks to American Morning about the situation in Japan.
Japanese officials are reporting rising temperatures at reactor one at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Radiation levels are said to be registering at 100-thousand times the normal level, an amount workers could only be exposed to for fifteen minutes at a time.
Professor Cham Dallas is the Director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia and has led 12 expeditions into the most contaminated areas of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Professor Dallas talks to American Morning's Kiran Chetry about the latest developments out of Japan.