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Japanese Nuclear Contamination Spreads Globally

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Radiation is spreading around the world as a small nuclear wasteland grows near the heart of Japan. The desperate struggle to restart the crippled reactors' own cooling systems in order to bring them under control is producing little to no results, and is shrouded in uncertainties.

Powerful aftershocks of the level nine earthquake that triggered the crisis threaten to obliterate what little progress has been achieved. Economic and political shock waves are similarly difficult to predict, but will likely also be felt strongly around the globe.

These are some of the main updates on the Fukushima crisis from the past week or so. On Tuesday, the Japanese government raised its assessment of the severity of the crisis by two notches simultaneously, from level five to level seven, the highest on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES), on par with the worst nuclear disaster in the history of the world, that in Chernobyl in 1986.

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