Severity of Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Raised to Same Level as Chernobyl
On Tuesday, April 12th, Japan’s nuclear regulators made the decision to raise the severity of the nuclear crisis to the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The rating was changed from 5 to 7 — the highest level on the international scale used by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The impact of nuclear crisis has elevated radiation levels in the air, on fruits and vegetables, drinking water and in the ocean.
While Tokyo Electric Power, the nuclear plant operator, continues to estimate the total amount of radiation that may be released by the accident, they acknowledged the amount released may exceed that emitted by Chernobyl.
So, what is the impact on Taiwan likely to be? Currently, it seems that the radiation leak is having more of a psychological than physical effect on the Taiwan population.
The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) remains on high alert and conduct daily testing at their laboratories and detection centers. Every day, the AEC releases new information regarding radiation levels. These findings have shown relatively amounts of radioactivity which are said to be deemed at safe or ‘allowable’ levels.
Still, the Taiwanese public remain wary of eating fish, vegetables and even sea salt. Seafood sales have dropped drastically following Japan’s nuclear crisis, affecting the economies of major Taiwanese fishing areas.
On Sunday, April 10th, Taiwanese environmental groups called for a referendum on Taiwan’s nuclear power plants. At a meeting held at Guandu Nature Park, environmental organizations the said that a national referendum should be held to allow citizens to decide whether they wanted to keep Taiwan’s nuclear power plants.
*** We will posting all future updates regarding the nuclear disaster in Japan on this page. ***