Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant: Fire had broken out Tuesday in the No. 4 reactor followed by hydrogen explosion Tuesday at the plant’s No. 2 reactor. Hydrogen explosions had previously occurred in the plant’s No. 1 and No. 3 reactors.

The radiation levels at the plant increased to about 167 times the average dose, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Between 50 and 70 employees in protective gear, were left at the plant to battle problems. Some are assessing the damage and radiation levels caused by the explosions, while others cool stricken reactors with seawater to try to avert a potentially catastrophic release of radiation.

That dose quickly diminished with distance from the plant, and radiation fell back to levels where it posed no immediate public health threat, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

People living within 20km of the plant have been issued with pills to protect them from the risk, but with radiation yesterday soaring to harmful levels, the danger remains.

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