Japan Raises Nuclear Alert to Maximum

Japan Raises Nuclear Alert to MaximumTokyo, Apr 13. -Japan raised to a maximum of seven the nuclear alert at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi Plant (F-1), considered a serious accident on the INES world scale of this type of event.

This category is applied in cases of larger releases of radioactive material that endanger the health and environment, and requires countermeasures.

So far, the only case in the world of that classification was the Chernobyl plant catastrophe in Ukraine in 1986.

The Japanese government's decision was preceded by a fire on Tuesday morning at a sampling building close to a water outlet of the No. 4 reactor.

The evacuation area was ordered expanded to 40 km because of higher levels of accumulated radiation beyond the 20 kilometers established during the first few days of the crisis.

The measure respond to the risk presented by a constant exposure to these substances for human health.

On Monday, a 7.1-magnitude aftershock shookt the same area affected by the 9.0 quake and ensuing tsunami in eastern Japan. The aftershock cut off electricity to about 220,000 homes and the pumping system use to cool the three destroyed Fukushima reactors. (Prensa Latina)