Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday the risk of further releases of radioactive material remains "very high," as crews struggle to contain an increasingly critical crisis at a damaged nuclear plant.
Radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have increased to "levels that can impact human health," and anyone within a 30-kilometer radius of the plant should remain indoors, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said soon after Kan spoke.
Nearly all of the plant’s staff — some 800 people — have left, Edano said. Just 50 remain to carry out crucial cooling work.
"There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out," the prime minister said, calling on people to remain calm. "We are making every effort possible so that no further explosion or no further leakage … would happen."
Kan spoke as a new fire burned at the No. 4 reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.
Read the rest of the story: New blast, fire fuel nuclear fears as death toll climbs in Japan.