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Minister soothes Russians as Japan nuclear threat fears grow

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Accidents at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that followed the powerful March 11 earthquake are not dangerous for Russia even if things turn ugly, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.

Accidents at Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that followed the powerful March 11 earthquake are not dangerous for Russia even if things turn ugly, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday.

"Monitoring carried out in the last two days in line with the worst-case scenario shows that there is no serious threat to Russian nationals," Shoigu told Russia Today TV channel.

A series of blasts and fires damaged four of Fukushima's six reactors after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan last week, sparking a powerful tsunami and killing thousands.

The death toll from the disaster has risen to 5,429 people and 9,594 are listed as missing, police said.

Shoigu said radiation levels are measured every hour in Russia's Far East.

The minister called the situation in Japan "very complicated."

"This is the first case in the past 30 years or even more when a large-scale natural disaster grew into the largest manmade catastrophe," he said.

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)

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