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While steam was being released from reactor No. 2, officials took readings of the radiation level just outside the power plant's front gate and found it to be twice the maximum level previously detected, though only briefly. At 9:35 p.m., the level was at 760 microsieverts per hour; two minutes later it was up to 3,130 microsieverts. The level dropped to 431 microsieverts per hour at 10:15 p.m., and 321 microsieverts at 10:35 p.m., TEPCO said.
About 200,000 people had evacuated the area following a government order over the weekend. And after Monday's blast, authorities ordered at least 500