Radiation Spreading From Japan's Nuke Plant

Residents ordered to stay inside after latest blast, fire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2011 1:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – An alarming level of radiation is leaking from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant north of Tokyo after an explosion and fire today, and nearby residents have been warned to stay indoors to avoid exposure, AP reports. Radiation around the plant is now high enough to be a health risk, according to a government spokesman. Higher radiation levels have been found as far south as Tokyo, 175 miles away, but officials say there is no health risk there yet.

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"Please do not go outside. Please stay indoors. Please close windows and make your homes air tight. Don't turn on ventilators. Please hang your laundry indoors," a government official warned people within a 19-mile radius of the plant. "These are figures that potentially affect health. There is no mistake about that." Dozens of workers are still attempting to cool the damaged reactors. Some 15 workers and military personnel have been injured at the plant and up to 190 people others have been exposed to elevated radiation. (Read more Fukushima Dai-ichi stories.)

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