TEPCO wary of Fukushima radiation leak exceeding Chernobyl

April 12 Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:16pm EDT

April 12 (Reuters) - The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said on Tuesday that they are concerned that the radiation leakage could eventually exceed that of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

"The radiation leak has not stopped completely and our concern is that it could eventually exceed Chernobyl," an official from operator Tokyo Electric and Power told reporters on Tuesday.

Japan on Tuesday raised the severity of its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to a level 7 from 5, putting it on par with the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

The emission of radioactive substances from the Daiichi plant is about 10 percent of the amount that had been detected at Chernobyl, Japan's nuclear safety agency said earlier on Tuesday. (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro, editing by Jonathan Thatcher)

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