"TOKYO — Japan has raised its assessment of the accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the worst rating on an international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency said on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan, meanwhile, called on the country to rebuild. While acknowledging the decision to raise the severity of the nuclear accident at Fukushima to the highest level, he took pains in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday evening to say that the reactors were being stabilized and to emphasize that radiation releases are declining.
The prime minister said he had ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of Fukushima Daiichi, to present its plans and expectations for the stricken nuclear power plant. He also expressed concern about the economic consequences of the accident, calling on people across Japan to continue buying products from the affected areas of northeast Japan."
"Physicist Reviews Nuclear Meltdowns" (New York Times)
"NRC: Japan Nuke Crisis 'Static' but Not Yet Stable" (New York Times)
"From Safe Distance, U.S.-Japanese Team Draws Up Plan to Demolish Reactors" (New York Times)
"Will Fukushima Crisis Chill Civilian Nuclear Energy Deals?" (Christian Science Monitor)
"Doubts on the Independence of Nuclear Safety Inspections in Europe: A Continent Divided on Nuclear Energy" (DC Bureau)