Radiation levels are a staggering 1,000 times above normal around a Japanese nuclear plant after a deadly earthquake and tsunami damaged the cooling system, it was reported Friday.
The elevated reading was taken in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Agence France-Presse reported.
Kyodo News said the discovery suggested radioactive steam could spread around the Tokyo Electric Power facility, about 160 miles from Tokyo.
More than 30 million people live in that area.
Japan declared it's first-ever emergency at a nuclear power plant because of a cooling system failure at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor.
As the emergency grew, the evacuation area and level of panic grew by the minute.
Late Friday, residents who live within a 6-mile radius of the Fukushima plant were evacuated. Earlier in the day, only residents within a two-mile radius of the plant were urged to evacuate.
Read more: Nuclear power plant worries continue to grow in Japan as effects from deadly tsunami grow