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UPDATED 3/16/11 12:47am CST From The Guardian
"The government's chief spokesman, Yukio Edano, said Japan was considering seeking help from the US military.
All six of the plants reactors are experiencing problems following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, in which an estimated 10,000 people have died.
The workers were ordered to leave the facility after the level of radiation at the plant soared to 10 millisievert per hour - above the level considered harmful to human health – possibly as a result of radioactive substances being emitted from the No. 2 reactor. The reading later fell to around 6 millisievert per hour, reports said."
UPDATED 3/16/11 12:11am CST From The Australian:
"All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have,'' according to a translation by NHK television."
"Mr Edano also said a reactor containment vessel may have suffered damage, with steam appearing to be coming from reactor no.3.
He told the briefing that the likeliest explanation for a white cloud seen above the plant was that steam came from part of the containment vessel."
UPDATED 11:41pm CST
UPDATED 11:33pm CST: From WaPo: "Radiation readings from troubles throughout the plant spiked so high that the remaining skeleton crew of workers was at least temporarily ordered to abandon their posts, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a press conference Wednesday.
The draw-down of the plant’s workers “is a sign to me that they have given up trying to prevent a disaster and gone into the mode of trying to clean up afterward,” said nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen".
UPDATED 10:34pm CST: (this post was originally headlined "No One Is There) It is unclear whether all containment workers, the "Fukushima 50" have actually been fully evacuated or are somewhere in the complex. Our source tells us they may still be onsite but that the efforts to battle the situation are on hold.
There is no one at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Complex at this time. Following a second round of fires at reactor number 4, radiation surged to severe levels.
"Japan suspended operations to prevent a stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after a surge in radiation made it too dangerous for workers to remain at the facility.