Russia nuclear chief says Japan exaggerates crisis

13th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The disaster at the Fukushima atomic power plant cannot be compared to Chernobyl, Russia's nuclear chief said on Wednesday, suggesting Tokyo was exaggerating the emergency, possibly for financial reasons.

"It is hard for me to assess why the Japanese colleagues have taken this decision," Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom, told reporters in the southern Chinese city of Sanya on the eve of the BRICS summit.

"I suspect, this is more of a financial issue than a nuclear one."

Earlier this week Japan upgraded its month-old nuclear emergency to a maximum seven on an international scale of atomic crises, placing it on a par with the Chernobyl disaster a quarter-century ago.

"I guess that maybe it could be linked to the definition of force majeure with regards to insurance? I would pay attention to that. It is a bit strange," Kiriyenko said.

Kiriyenko said at first the Japanese authorities had thought to downplay the scale of the disaster but now the situation at the plant was improving.

"Our estimates have shown that the level was between five and six," Kiriyenko said. "Today it doesn't reach the sixth level."


© 2011 AFP

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