Fukushima reactor suffers multiple fires, radiation leak confirmed

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fires broke out at the Fukushima Daiichi plant's No. 4 reactor in Japan on Tuesday, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company. The first fire caused a leak of concentrated radioactive material, according to the Japanese prime minister, Naoto Kan.

The first fire broke out at 9:40 a.m. local time on Tuesday, and was thought to have been put out, but another fire was discovered early on Wednesday, believed to have started because the earlier one had not been fully extinguished.

In a televised statement, the prime minister told residents near the plant that "I sincerely ask all citizens within the 20 km distance from the reactor to leave this zone." He went on to say that "[t]he radiation level has risen substantially. The risk that radiation will leak from now on has risen."

Kan warned residents to remain indoors and to shut windows and doors to avoid radiation poisoning.

The French Embassy in Japan reports that the radiation will reach Tokyo in 10 hours, with current wind speeds.


2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami




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