Nuclear Crisis in Japan Is Comparable to Chernobyl

Regulators have raised the nuclear crisis rating.

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One month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, regulators have raised the nuclear crisis rating from level 5 to level 7, the same rating given to Chernobyl, thought to be the worst nuclear crisis in recent history. The amount of radioactive iodine already released could have widespread health effects. In the farming community of Iitate, 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, radiation levels have been high for the past few weeks. The Japanese government has ordered residents to vacate within 30 days. "I am absolutely sickened," one dairy farmer told ABC News. "I hate those nuclear plants." The farmer can't sell his milk because of radiation concerns and can't take his cows out because the soil is contaminated. So he must dump all the milk he produces in a nearby ditch. [See photos of the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and resulting tsunami.]