Japan values Chernobyl lessons in handling Fukushima crisis
The Japanese government said Tuesday the nation had taken advantage of lessons learned in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine to cope with its own ongoing nuclear crisis, DPA reported.
Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and has been leaking radioactive substances ever since.
"The studies and research on what kind of health problems could emerge based on Chernobyl have become an asset and knowledge shared by all humanity," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on the 25th anniversary of that accident.
"Those things served as an indirect factor" in determining the evacuation and no-entry orders that the government issued to residents near the plant, Edano said.
Japan's crisis was "different in nature" to the 1986 meltdown as the amount of radioactive material leaked was about one-tenth of that released from the Chernobyl plant, Edano said.
It was spread across a far smaller area, Edano was quoted by Kyodo News as saying. No plant workers had died at Fukushima as a result of the leak, he said.
Two weeks ago, the government raised the accident level at the plant to 7, the highest on an international scale, putting it on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.