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Japan says Fukushima 'different from Chernobyl'
Japan said on Tuesday, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, that its six-week-old Fukushima nuclear crisis was "different in nature" from the events in Ukraine.

Japan has ranked the tsunami-triggered disaster at Fukushima as a "major accident" with the maximum severity ranking of seven on an international scale, the same as Chernobyl, while stressing that it is less serious.
"It is clear that the two cases are different in nature," said the government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano.

"Unfortunately the amount of radioactive material leaked was about one-tenth (of Chernobyl), but at least we were able to avoid explosions of the reactors," he said on the day the world marked a quarter of a century since Chernobyl.

He said Japan had been able to draw on some of the lessons of the disaster in Ukraine in dealing with its own crisis after a massive earthquake on March 11 sent a tsunami crashing into the plant, knocking out its cooling systems.

"Studies and research based on Chernobyl on the impact on health have become an asset shared by all of humanity," Edano said, adding that such research had indirectly helped to inform Japan's evacuation orders.

Japan has created a 20-kilometre (12-mile) no-go zone around the plant, where workers are dousing reactors and fuel rod pools with water to prevent the nuclear fuel inside from overheating and melting down.

No-one has died so far from radiation in Japan, unlike in Chernobyl, where two workers were killed by the explosions on April 26, 1986, and 28 other rescuers and staff died of radiation exposure in the following months.

Tens of thousands were evacuated and radioactive material blew into Belarus and Russia and further into western Europe.

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