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IAEA: Radiation Eases Near Japan's Nuclear Evacuation Zone

An aerial view of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station from March 24
The UN's nuclear watchdog says that radiation measured at a village 40 kilometers from Japan's crippled nuclear plant is falling daily, two days after warning the level exceeded a criterion for evacuation.

The March 30 statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had added to mounting pressure on Japan's government to extend the exclusion zone beyond 20 kilometers around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station.

But the IAEA says the situation remains "very serious."

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano today warned it would "take more time than people think" to end the crisis and stabilize the plant, which has leaked radioactivity since it was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Radioactive material detected in the sea near the plant rose steeply on March 31, with radioactive levels reaching 4,385 times the limit.

Meanwhile, the operator of the plant announced it was reviewing data on radiation leaked from the plant, citing errors in a computer program.

compiled from agency reports