Radiation levels 'health risk' after third blast
Fukushima: third reactor explosion causes harmful levels of radiation
Radiation levels at Japan’s disintegrating Fukushima nuclear power plant are now a risk to human health, following a third reactor explosion this morning.
Residents within 30km of the area are being encouraged to remain indoors, and in a televised address, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has urged all those still within 20km to leave the area immediately.
The plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co has said that radiation levels for one hour’s exposure around Fukushima had risen to eight times the legal limit, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano saying: “Now we are talking about levels that can impact human health.”
Earlier this morning a blast rocked the plant’s reactor number two, making it the third reactor at Fukushima to suffer an explosion. Japan’s nuclear safety agency has said it suspects that the retaining vessel which holds the reactor may have been damaged, and a fire, now extinguished, at the plant’s number four reactor is also thought to have led to radioactive leaks.
Radiation levels in the nation’s capital Tokyo are higher than normal, but officials have stressed there are no health dangers to those in the city.
Meanwhile, the rest of Japan struggles to come to terms with an increasing number of those killed and missing following last week’s earthquake, as relief efforts from across the world pour in to try and deal with the aftermath.