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The Fukushima disaster was the most significant nuclear incident since the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl disaster and the second disaster to be given the Level 7 event classification of the International Nuclear Event Scale.
There have been no fatalities linked to short term overexposure to radiation reported due to the Fukushima accident, while approximately 18,500 people died due to the earthquake and tsunami.
Controversially however, an estimated 1,600 deaths are believed to have occurred, primarily in the elderly, who had earlier lived in nursing homes, due to the resultant poor ad-hoc evacuation conditions.
In 2017 risk analysis has determined, that unlike Chernobyl, "relocation was unjustified for the 160,000 people relocated after Fukushima" especially considering these 1,600 deaths that occurred due to the stressful evacuation conditions, when the potential future deaths from exposure to greater amounts of radiation, had everyone instead stayed home and been supported in Sheltering in place, would have been less.
On 5 July 2012, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) found that the causes of the accident had been foreseeable, and that the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), had failed to meet basic safety requirements such as risk assessment, preparing for containing collateral damage, and developing evacuation plans.
On 12 October 2012, TEPCO admitted for the first time that it had failed to take necessary measures for fear of inviting lawsuits or protests against its nuclear plants.