Emergency workers at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station were evacuated on Tuesday, as an explosion at one of the plant's reactors damaged its containment structure, putting Japan at risk of a nuclear disaster.
According to The New York Times, industry officials said "the situation had spiraled out of control and that all plant workers needed to leave the plant to avoid excessive exposure to radioactive leaks." If the plant is abandoned, the nuclear fuel is likely to melt down, which would release large amounts of radioactive material.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan addressed the nation on Tuesday morning, and urged people within 19 miles of the Fukushima Daiichi plant to remain indoors. Kan said that radiation is leaking from the plant.
“The level seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of more radiation coming out,” Kan said.