I saw this yesterday and promptly faxed it to my parents, before they call me up and ask if we are glowing in the dark yet or why we have not fled the country. I have not read any mainstream press articles on this subject, and won’t be any time soon.

The BNC blog includes a moderated discussion which is always informative and stimulating. Check it out. I also recommend the World Nuclear News and the IAEA sites (links in the sidebar, and also referenced in the BNC blog entry itself), and the Nuclear Energy Institute website.

Hot in the news is that the Fukushima Nuclear crisis has been upgraded from INES 5 to INES 7. Note that this is not due to some sudden escalation of events today aftershocks etc., but rather it is based on an assessment of the cumulative magnitude of the events that have occurred at the site over the past month my most recent update on that is here.Below I look briefly at what this INES 7 rating means, why it has happened…

However, what about when you hit the top of the INES? Does a rating of 7 mean that Fukushima is as bad as Chernobyl? Well, since you can’t get higher than 7 on the scale, it’s impossible to use this numerically to answer such a question on the basis of their categorical INES rating alone. It just tells you that both events are in the ‘major league’. There is simply no event rating 8, or 10, or whatever, or indeed any capacity within the INES system to rank or discriminate events within categories (this is especially telling for 7). For that, you need to look for other diagnostics.

So headlines likeFukushima is now on a par with Chernobyl‘ can be classified as semantically correct and yet also (potentially) downright misleading. Still, it sells newspapers.

via Fukushima rated at INES Level 7 – what does this mean? « BraveNewClimate.

The whole thing is long. It’s “boring” (unless you’re personally interested, like me). It will not sell newspapers. But it will give you a clearer idea of what is going on, and what the “level 7” means.