April 12, 2011 / 3:49 PM / in 8 years

Fukushima and Chernobyl very different: IAEA

Workers operate a modified Putzmeister 70Z, the world's largest concrete pump mounted on a truck, to pump contaminated water to the No.4 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant, April 12, 2011. REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co.

VIENNA (Reuters) - Japan’s decision to raise the severity level of its Fukushima nuclear accident to the highest notch of 7 does not mean it is comparable to Chernobyl, a senior U.N. atomic agency official said on Tuesday.

“This is a totally different accident,” International Atomic Energy Agency official Denis Flory told a news conference. He said the amount of radiation released at Chernobyl in 1986 was far higher.

Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Michael Shields

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