CNN Wire Staff
Tokyo (CNN) – A second fire was discovered Wednesday in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the latest in a series of setbacks at the stricken plant that has heightened fears that the incidents could lead to widespread radiation contamination.
The fire followed an explosion Tuesday at the plant's No. 2 reactor and a fire in a storage pond used for spent nuclear fuel at the No. 4 reactor. Radiation levels at the plant increased to about 167 times the average dose during that fire, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
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.
But the deteriorating situation and concerns about a potential shift in wind direction that could send radiation toward populated areas prompted authorities to warn people as far as 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) from the plant to stay inside.
"There is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out," Prime Minister Naoto Kan said, asking people to remain calm.
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