Japan raises nuclear crisis to highest danger level

Accident now on par with Chernobyl

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In 2005, the Chernobyl Forum - a group comprising the IAEA and several other U.N. groups - said fewer than 50 deaths could be confirmed as being connected to Chernobyl, according to the Associated Press. It also said the number of radiation-related deaths among the 600,000 people who helped deal with the aftermath of the accident would ultimately be around 4,000.

The U.N. health agency, however, has said about 9,300 people are likely to die of cancers caused by radiation. Some groups, including Greenpeace, have put the numbers 10 times higher.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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