Growing panic in Japan : TODAYonline
The fire in the No 4 reactor punctured two holes in the wall of its outer building, releasing radioactive materials directly into the atmosphere and exposing the spent fuel pool. Officials said a blast in the No 2 reactor may have also damaged the surrounding container.
The government ordered 140,000 people living within 30km of the plant to stay indoors and make their homes airtight.
“The possibility of further radioactive leakage is heightening,” Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in an address to the nation. “I know that people are very worried but I would like to ask you to act calmly.”
Levels of 400 millisieverts per hour were recorded near the plant’s No 4 reactor. Exposure to over 100 millisieverts a year is a level which can lead to cancer, according to the World Nuclear Association.