ROSATOM’s situation center representative Sergey Novikov interviewed by Euronews TV channel on INES severity rating elevation from Level 5 up to Level 7 for Fukushima-I.
He noted that initially the threat had been clearly understated, but now it is clearly overstated. “Probably, we may speak about Level 6 of INES. The French colleagues confirmed this several weeks ago, and our estimation was the same. Most likely, the IAEA will assign Level 6 to this incident. Both are dangerous: to understate and to overstate. The general public should not be frightened,” he said.
Answering a question on a potential contamination level of soil and seawater, Novikov emphasized that measurements now taken by both Japanese and Russian monitoring units showed the radiation background approaching normal values at boundaries of the 20-kilometer zone. “If we take a 200-kilometer zone, i.e. Tokyo, the radiation background there is even less than in Moscow, and there have not been traces of either cesium or iodine-131 in tab water since April 10,” he said.
S. Novikov noted that in all severity of the accident, there was no a single case of substantial radiation impact on human health or fatalities.
“Even liquidators who participate in the work in high radioactivity zones have not taken in the limiting permissible dose of 250 millisieverts set by the Japanese Government that means that most likely there will be no radiological consequences for their health,” he stressed.
The ROSATOM’s representative called for waiting till the end of Fukushima events and only then speak on consequences for the world nuclear power this accident might bring about.