Saturday, March 12, 2011

Radiation Could Already Have Leaked At Nuke Plant

TOKYO (Kyodo)--Radioactive substances could already have leaked at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after a magnitude 8.8 earthquake hit northern Japan, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday.

The amount of radiation reached around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the plant, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency also said. The discovery suggests radioactive steam could spread around the facility.

The agency also said radiation has been more than eight times the normal level at a monitoring post near the main gate of the plant.

The authorities expanded the evacuation area for residents in the vicinity of the plant from a 3-kilometer radius to 10 km on the orders of Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who plans to visit the facility later Saturday.

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