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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (福島第一原子力発電所事故 Fukushima Dai-ichi) is a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.
The plant comprises six separate boiling water reactorsoriginally designed by General Electric (GE), and maintained by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The Fukushima disaster is the largest of the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents and is the largest nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Japanese officials initially assessed the accident as Level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) despite the views of other international agencies that it should be higher. The level was successively raised to 5 and eventually to 7, the maximum scale value.
The Japanese government and TEPCO have been criticized in the foreign press for poor communication with the public and improvised cleanup efforts.
Foreign experts have said that a workforce in the hundreds or even thousands would take years or decades to clean up the area.