‘Very Grave And Serious’: Fukushima Disaster Reaching Chernobyl Levels

(alternet.org) Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan: “We are not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care.”

As we noted was likely to happen just after posting last night’s update on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the “calm” over the last day or two that we reported was somewhat broken shortly thereafter. Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan took to the air for a rare press conference to discuss the situation at the crippled nuclear plant, and to mark the two weeks which have passed since an unprecedented, three-prong earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster rocked the country.

Kan described the situation at Fukushima as “very grave and serious”, adding, ” He did not, however, offer much in the way of new information. In the meantime, other government officials have now recommended (but not ordered) that those living between 20 and 30 kilometers from the plant voluntarily leave the area. They stress that the new recommendations are due to the difficulty in supplying food and other resources to the area, not because of an increase in radiation levels.

Last week, those living within 20 kilometers of the plant were forced to evacuate from that “exclusion zone”, and those within 20 to 30km of the plant were instructed to stay indoors to avoid radioactive fallout. The U.S. government has recommended a larger exclusion zone of 80 kilometers (50 miles) around the plant, though Japan has not felt it necessary to widen their own mandatory exclusion zone.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/world/150384/’very_grave_and_serious’:_fukushima_disaster_reaching_chernobyl_levels

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