So the WSJ comes out today with the headline, “Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl”.
Sounds ominous. But if one reads further, it becomes clear that the crisis at Fukushima barely compares to what happened at Chernobyl 25 years ago.
“It is quite different from Chernobyl,” said Mr. Nishiyama. “First, the amount of released radiation is about a tenth of Chernobyl,” he said, adding that while there were 29 deaths resulting from short-term exposure to high doses of radiation at Chernobyl, there were no such deaths at Fukushima.
“At Chernobyl, the nuclear reactor itself exploded,” he said, adding that at the Fukushima plant, the pressure vessel and the containment vessel were largely intact.
And this in the SMH:
Japan said this reflected the initial severity of the crisis and not the current situation.
“This is a preliminary assessment, and is subject to finalisation by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” an NISA official said.
But nuclear industry specialist Murray Jennex, an associate professor at San Diego State University in California, told Reuters the comparison with Chernobyl was wrong.
“It’s nowhere near that level. Chernobyl was terrible – it blew and they had no containment, and they were stuck. [Japan’s] containment has been holding, the only thing that hasn’t is the fuel pool that caught fire,” he said.
And as for Russia’s Zombie apocalypse? It is well worth remembering only 65 people have died thus far as a result of what happened at Chernobyl.
Number of deaths at Fukushima from radiation: 0
Number of people killed by wind power: 78
Coal vs nuclear death ratio? 4000:1