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High radiation levels at Fukushima reactor is bad, bad news

The fatal levels will keep officials from stabilizing the area as we approach the 6th anniversary of the nuclear plant's disaster.

Frank Ramspott/Getty Images

Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan.

A containment vessel at the destroyed Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached off-the-chart radiation levels, reported the Japan Times.

The reading of 530 sieverts per hour represents the highest level of radiation the reactor site has seen since three nuclear meltdowns hit the power plant in March 2011 almost six years ago -- and also among the most deadly.

To put the danger to human life into perspective, the 530 sieverts reading is high enough to prove fatal during even brief exposure, compounding the problem of containment for the government and Tokyo Power Electric Company (TEPCO). 4 sieverts would kill one in two people, and 1 seivert could lead to hair loss and infertility, the Japan Times noted, citing the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.

Experts believe that escaped melted fuel can account for the spiked reading.

The Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant suffered a series of meltdowns and explosions after Tsunami-triggered earthquakes crippled Japan's coast. The cleanup is expected to take decades.

Update, 3:24 p.m. PT: Corrects that it's the 6th year anniversary since the Fukushima disaster.

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