Workers Evacuated From Japan Nuclear Plant

Smoke rises from damaged reactor
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2011 7:28 AM CDT
Japan Nuclear Plant: Workers Again Evacuated From Fukushima Dai-ichi After Smoke Rises From Reactor
In this photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. gray smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, March 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Workers at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant were evacuated again today after smoke rose from one of the damaged reactors, the AP reports. The cause of the smoke was not yet clear. Earlier today, a village about 20 miles from the plant was advised by the Health Ministry its tap water had elevated levels of iodine and should be avoided. Still, the government said the radiation levels were too small to pose an immediate health risk.

Yesterday, a senior US nuclear official said on C-SPAN that though radiation levels at the damaged nuclear plant were still high, "we have some indications that they may be coming down," the Los Angeles Times reports. Even so, he added, "it's difficult to obtain accurate information." Levels at the plant are reportedly in the hundreds of millisieverts per hour; the exposure limit for Japanese workers is 250 millisieverts per year. (More Japan nuclear plant stories.)

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