Japan’s government downgrades its outlookfor growth.
WASHINGTON/TOKYO – The chairman of the NuclearRegulatory Commission said Tuesday that the situation in the wake of theJapanese nuclear reactor crisis is static but not yet stable, CNN reports.
On the day that Japan bumped up the seriousness of its nuclear accidentfrom a Level 5 to a Level 7 priority, on par with the Chernobyl disaster,a Senate committee heard from U.S. environmental officials, scientistsand NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko.
“From the information we have, we believe the situation currently isstatic, namely we don’t see significant changes on a day-to-day basis withthe reactors,” Jaczko told the Senate Committee on Environment andPublic Works. “It is not yet, however, what we believe to be stable: namelythat given additional events or other circumstances … there would notbe the potential for significant additional problems at the reactors.”
Thus, Jaczko said, the focus is “on these efforts to transition from staticto stable to ensure (the) long-term … ability to cool the reactors and toprovide cooling for the spent fuel pools.”
In another development, the Japanese government has downgradedits assessment of the economy in the wake of the devastation caused bylast month’s earthquake and tsunami, according to BBC. It said key areasof the economy would suffer, including industrial production andexports. The decision marks the first time in six months that the governmenthas downgraded its assessment. On Monday, the InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for Japanese growth.