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Radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant probably reached as far as Hokkaido, Shikoku and the Chugoku region in the west, according to a recent simulation by an international research team based on data after March 20, a week after the hydrogen explosions.

Large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan were probably contaminated, with concentrations of cesium-137 exceeding 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of soil in some places, says the study, which was posted Monday on the website of the National Academy of Sciences.

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