Days after global nuke experts declare Fukushima Serious Business, Japan raises disaster level to 5


Japan's nuclear safety agency (NISA) today raised the level of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant from level 4 (local consequences) to level 5 (wider consequences, same level as Three Mile Island), on the 7-point scale* created by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

NISA's assessment was declared retroactive to Tuesday.

More on the story: New York Times, Kyodo News, NHK English (with video).

* Okay, 8 levels if you include the "zero" default

PHOTO: The damaged Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in Fukushima is seen in this DigitalGlobe satellite image, taken March 18, 2011. About 300 workers are racing against time to restore power and cooling systems to the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi and try to avert the biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986. Japan has entered its second week after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and 10-metre (33-foot) tsunami flattened coastal cities and killed thousands of people.