Setbacks mounted yesterday in the crisis over Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear facility, with nearby seawater testing at its highest radiation levels yet and the president of the plant operator checking into a hospital with hypertension.

Nearly three weeks after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami that slammed into the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, knocking out cooling systems that keeps nuclear fuel rods from overheating, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) is still struggling to bring the facility under control.

The country’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko reached out to some of the thousands displaced by the twin disasters — which have killed more than 11,000 people — spending about an hour consoling a group of evacuees at a Tokyo center. read more

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